The Danger of Assisted Suicide Laws
BACKGROUND AND SCOPE:
Despite the growing understanding that disability is a normal part of the human experience, the lives of persons with disabilities continue to be devalued in medical decision-making. Negative biases and inaccurate assumptions about the quality of life of a person with a disability are pervasive in U.S. society and can result in the devaluation and disparate treatment of people with disabilities, and in the medical context, these biases can have serious and even deadly consequences. In this series of reports on bioethics, the National Council on Disability will explore how people with disabilities are impacted by biases and assumptions in some of the most critical healthcare issues we face, including:
- Physician-assisted suicide —This report provides an update to the previous NCD analysis of these laws and examines whether NCD’s early predictions about the effect of these laws was – for instance, the ineffectiveness of purported safeguards – correct.