Month: July 2020

2020 Spring Newsletter

In this issue: -Why assisted suicide laws are inherently discriminatory against people with disabilities -Michael Hickson’s story of being denied care by his doctors based on subjective  quality of life judgements -2020 Legislative State Status Update -New free downloadable California advance health care directive  

How Deeply Ableist is Mainstream Media?

Assisted suicide laws set up an ableist two-tier system, where some people get suicide prevention and others, namely those with life-threatening disabilities, get suicide assistance. This results in death to the devalued group. Nothing could be more discriminatory. A man named Michael Hickson died on June 11, 2020. He was denied food an fluids for 6 …

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When telemedicine can be dangerous — even deadly

The coronavirus pandemic has forced us to adapt the way we access health care, and telehealth is now widely used to overcome many hurdles related to receiving in-person attention. But there are some contexts in which relying on telemedicine can be dangerous — even deadly. Telemedicine should never be used in the context of assisted …

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Kristen Hanson & Ashton Ellis Discuss Advanced Healthcare Directives on Fight Back! Podcast

  Kristen Hanson, Community Relations Advocate with the Patients Rights Action Fund, joins host Steve Poizner on the Fight Back! podcast to discuss advanced healthcare directives, an important legal document that addresses such end-of-life issues as “do not resuscitate” orders, treatment options, healthcare proxies, and more.  Ashton Ellis, who is an attorney and expert on advanced …

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Mom lost daughter to suicide, fights for shutdown of assisted suicide website

Jackie Bieber has been living every mom’s worst nightmare since May of last year. “On May 22, 2019, my daughter took her life, with the help of an assisted suicide website,” Bieber said. Her daughter, Shawn, battled depression and anxiety for years. Shawn had been seeing a therapist and taking medicine. Jackie Bieber says, if …

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Black Disabled Man Dies From COVID-19 After Texas Hospital Refused to Treat Him

A Black disabled man died from COVID-19 in Austin, Texas, after doctors declined to provide hydration, nutrition and treatment based on a “quality of life” decision. Disability advocates highlighted that the discriminatory attitudes behind these “quality of life” decisions are rampant — and dangerous. Michael Hickson, who was married and had five children, was hospitalized …

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Quadriplegic man’s death from covid-19 spotlights questions of disability, race and family

It is tragic when patients are denied the treatment they need and deserve based on a subjective judgment about the quality of their life.  Subjective, qualitative medical judgements can be harmful and even deadly. Too often we are seeing medical professionals substitute these subjective quality of life judgments for authentic treatment, especially as they navigate …

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