My name is _______ . I am writing to you to explain why I oppose Bill 52. I believe Bill 52 should not pass because ______________________.
(Please describe who you are (age, living situation, background), why you are interested in these issues, what experience you have with disability, illness, and the health care system, and your opinion of Bill 52.)
I believe Bill 52 is dangerous for people with disabilities and chronic illness, because euthanasia can never be a free choice. Every person eligible for medical aid in dying has a disability, defined by the United Nations as an impairment which, in interaction with attitudinal and environmental barriers, hinders their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others. People with long-term disabilities who have health complications will be eligible for euthanasia.
Under this bill, when a disabled person asks to die, she might not even have a psychological evaluation before she gets a lethal drug, even though most people who are suicidal receive suicide prevention services. This discriminatory double standard is at the heart of the law. Suicide prevention services are not given equally to all people because of beliefs about the quality of life with a disability. This sends a message to people with disabilities, and society as a whole, that the lives of disabled people are less valuable than everyone else.
Discrimination also denies people with disabilities equal access to health care, home-based services needed to live independently, and the ability to participate fully in their communities. Québec is known for its lack of access to buildings, programs, transportation and housing, and lack of supports for community living. As long as Québecers with disabilities are forced to live in institutions and cannot be full and equal participants in society, the choice to die is not free.
People with disabilities need support to live, not to die.