In her Jan. 18 counterpoint (“Further discussion on medical aid in dying”), state Sen. Chris Eaton wrote: “Anyone who has sat at the bedside of a slowly dying loved one knows that the deterioration of the body with an intact mental state is its own kind of suffering.”
As someone who accompanied her mother through the final years of life with Parkinson’s disease, I agree. But I disagree with the conclusion that the appropriate response to this suffering is helping the sufferer commit suicide. We should alleviate or accompany that suffering, not eliminate the life.
In the 2017 case of Myers vs. Schneiderman, 11 disability-rights organizations filed an amicus brief opposing New York’s effort to legalize assisted suicide. They argued:
“By asserting that it is irrational for a non-disabled person to end his or her life, but rational for a disabled person to do so, appellants argue that the disabled person’s life is intrinsically less worthy of state protection than a nondisabled person’s life…”
Read more at the Star Tribune…