Judging Assisted Suicide Policy, Not People

This was a tough, tough interview and the toughest question NBC asked me was: “If you were talking to Brittany Maynard right now, would you tell her she can’t have this choice?”

A: I’d say, “I don’t want you to suffer and I want you to direct your own care so you have peace of mind. I’m a woman who has a degenerative neuromuscular disease and I want that for ME. But our choices aren’t really the problem and I don’t want to be set up to judge you. But I DO have to judge proposed public policy.

“The problem with assisted suicide legislation is the power of choice it gives to a system full of incentives for choosing profit over people, a system I do not in any way associate with compassion. It’s possible I could protect myself from being steered toward AS — I may be increasingly disabled but I’m also a white, middle-class, heteronormative, native English-speaking woman with a safe home life — but communities of color, poor people, people in abusive situations are going to be at risk and that’s not acceptable to me. It’s hard for me to believe that choosing to shield violence and medical error through AS laws is the best decision we can make as a society.”

Originally posted on November 4, 2014

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