I have been vocal in my opposition to assisted dying because it fits into my belief in the rights and responsibilities of citizens. I believe that it is not justed about blocking formalised mechanisms of assisted dying, but also to change the culture the enables people with impairments and families to desire assisted dying by properly valuing the contribution people with impairments make and enabling further contribution.
There are three prominent activists who have played a major role in campaigning against assistied dying; Liz Carr, Tanni Grey-Thompson and Jane Campbell. But as I will show, there hasve been individually committed other actions that as to make you wonder what their understanding and commitment to the issue is. There is little point opposing assisted dying for people who in reality are offered little respect.
Last year Liz said in a fringe meeting at Labour’s Party Conference that the Government ambition to support more people with impairments into work, as opposed to leaving them on the scrapheap, was comparable to sending them to nazi concentration camps. Ignoring for one moment the disgraceful offence to the survivors of the holocaust , Liz is saying that meaningful inclusion is ‘evil’ and that people with impairments are better off on the scrapheap, regarded as unfit for society. Being on the scrapheap, waiting for god, will only cause the emotional mixture required to desire assisted dying. Liz is therefore demanding people with impairments should not die, but should not live either, condemning them to hell on earth in the name of socialism because of her opposition to the meaningful inclusion of ALL people with impairments.
Tanni has used her time as a member of the House of Lords to focus on many issues but mainly opposing welfare reforms as well as opposing assisted dying. Tanni has always come across as someone easily swayed by political correctness to her approaches many issues with a lack of lived experience due to her privileged position by background or opportunity. This means her political correct moral compass shows her to oppose assisted dying, and to support Labour’s attacks on the inclusion of people with impairments because it is ‘hard’, and it is better to exclude people with impairments in the name of support, compassion and human rights. But denying people with impairments the responsibilities associated by citizenship by labelling them as vulnerable all the time means she is defining us as either children or animals, especially when Tanni opposes sanctions for those who refuse to cooperate and take responsibility for their actions.
Jane used to be one of the few role models in my life. She indirectly taught me the values that are key in what I now believe. I sadly now realise many of my teachers in the old disability movement did not really believe what they were preaching. The movement loved the social model when it worked in their favour in terms of rights but as soon as the government and others called for the responsibilities to be delivered, proposed by the movement itself, they quickly reverted back to the medical model, which can be seen by the UN Convention of the Rights of Disabled People.
Jane has been a fierce opponent of assisted dying, something to be undoubtedly admired, but a recent conversation with her has questioned her commitment to all people with impairments. The government recently said in an awkward fashion that in a world with limited resources that those with high support needs in terms of resources, should be prioritised. This should be very uncontroversial but it was mercilessly attacked by many including Jane. Jane told me the any hierarchy of impairment was ‘unhelpful’. But it is a reality that should not be ignored and it is something that those at the top will always say as they are not a part of the forgotten voices. It opens up the idea of a double standard where the right not to die is exclusive to the impaired elite. Those at the bottom often have their voice controlled by their families, an potential of abuse that is ignored by the old disability movement and the sick movement, which can be seen by the celebration of Fiona Pilkington, and her murder of her impaired daughter, Francecca, was justified by ‘disabled’ activists in the name of ‘hate crime’.
Liza, Tanni and Jane’s hypocrisy are a sign of a much bigger problem in terms of the many double standards of activists in a range of movements. Sadly, few activists interested in dysability issues are willing and maybe able to think for themselves and question everything anyone says.