Disability Advocates on the steps of the Victorian Parliament
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Disability Advocates on the steps of the Victorian Parliament

February 1, 2020

– We’re here today to talk
about assisted suicide from a perspective of disabled people. We believe that this is a
lethal form of discrimination and that we are the
people who are very likely to die from the result
of mistakes and abuse. We have information
and personal experience of having a degenerative disability. We understand that we don’t have the right to live often. We live in poverty. We don’t have support. And we really believe that we need to do something today to speak about those issues
and many other issues because our voices aren’t being heard. We’re fighting against a really big and powerful lobby which
is mostly compromised of non-disabled people who are afraid of being like us. And so today we we’re actually having a go of Cards Against Humanity which has wildly inappropriate questions with wildly inappropriate answers. And we’re really hoping to bring awareness to Parliament today to help the people who are decision makers understand that we really need to
have our voices heard because we are the people who
matter in this conversation. – So I’m here on the
steps of Parliament today to oppose assisted
suicide laws in Victoria because they’re going to be really harmful for the disability community. We can’t have assisted dying when we don’t have the resources that we need to live and live well. I’m really concerned
particularly what it means for young people with disabilities who may be going through a difficult time as a lot of young people do. And going through crises and having some mental health issues and what it means for
them and their families when they’re going through this stuff. And yet they can apply to die on the basis of their empowerment. And we’ve seen this in America and we’ve seen this happen in Switzerland and other places in the
world where this legislation has come into place where young people have opted to use the legislation when really what they
need is crisis supports and supports to help them
live well and not to die. And I’m also concerned for
people with acquired disabilities that may be going through
a time of grief and loss as they adjust to their
new bodies or minds. And there’s only a ten day waiting period to get approved for this
legislation in Victoria. So it’s a really short turn around time. What does that mean for
people who are going through an acute depressive phase but will actually come out of it and find ways of living with
their new bodies and minds and having a filled sense of self and fulfil life and yet they’re going to go out and apply for this legislation and die. So I’m really concerned about
how it frames disabled lives as inherently less than other lives. And when we live in a world that values us in a myriad of ways as being less than non-disabled people anyway. I really think it’s opening up, it’s opening up for a
really really dangerous and lethal space for
people with disabilities. So I’m a fabulous queer and a feminist and my
politics is left wing in a lot of ways. But on this one issue I’m united with people that I wouldn’t normally have anything to do with
because I’m so concerned what this issue can mean
for my disability community. – Hi. My name’s Anne Rassenberger. And I’m a person with Asperger’s Syndrome. But I’m also a holder of a
Master of Special Education and I work with a group of children who have special needs. And I’m concerned that this
bill isn’t representing the true concerns of people
that it will effect the most. I”m concerned that people
at the end of their life won’t feel they can have a say. That vulnerable people
with mental health issues won’t be able to speak out. – We’re here to protest the legislation of an assisted suicide bill which has is called something
different everywhere. Everywhere that’s legislated
something like this they call it assisted suicide
or they call it assisted dying or they call it physician assisted suicide or dying with dignity or, I think, medical aided dying. And I’ve seen Victoria calling it volunteering assisted dying. Like if they put extra adjectives on it will be like it’s safe. Safe good voluntary dying, safe good voluntary good happy dying, good happy safe voluntary euthanasia. You can’t, like, I’m not religious, I’m not conservative, I’m really really really gay. I’m really gay and I’m
really trans and I’m progressive. And I don’t want this legislation to go through not as it is. Not as it is. The people who would vote for this have not read the bill. They don’t know the details. They just think oh yeah I want autonomy, I’d want a choice. But it’s not about your choice. It’s about the choice
of a hypothetical you in the future who is disabled
and you are not disabled. And you do not know
what choice you’d make. I used to be pro-euthanasia
assisted suicide. I used to not know the difference. And then I became a fucking cripple. And I was like, oh I actually
rather like being alive. I can go really fast down hills. The problem is your fucking curb cuts and your weird trains
that have wheelchair signs or carriages that wheelchair
users can’t get into. The problem isn’t pain. Pain can be treated with pain medication. What we have isn’t adequate
but that’s not like an adequate solution is death. That’s the opposite of help. That’s not help. – So look, at a time where
there are increasing pressures and cuts financially and rationing in terms of social care and welfare and health care of many different people. Is this the right time to be introducing medically assisted suicide onto the menu of treatment options in
your state or country? No. And you know what? As long as we value
certain lives differently and we do. We value the lives of
disabled and ill people and those who have greater dependence, we value those lives less. And as long as that’s true and
as long as that’s happening, we cannot enshrine that
inequality in a law. So I implore you that’s why I’m here, to implore you to not
legalise assisted suicide. It is okay to say no. – We can’t have assisted dying when we don’t have the
resources that we need to live and live well.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. Euthanasia laws are being sneakily put to parliament under the cover of afl finals and homosexual redefining of marriage at federal level.These suicide pills that Oregon has are the equivalent of KGB cyanide capsules…and Dan Andrews wants to copy Oregon model. 2 doctors to check off and then you check out any time you want using your capsule of death. no good.

  2. The policy clearly states that being disabled alone is not enough to be eligible. They have nothing to worry about. A protest over nothing.

  3. You should've had a bigger protest. You missed out on people that could've supported this. Understand there is state sanctioned vile cruel human research that results in psychiatrists' killing 21,000 Victorians in 2018 & maiming many more, sanctioned by government under the Mental Health Act 2014 of Victoria. These people plea to not be forcibly drugged, electrocuted, tied to beds. But the disability community won't join with the people being disabled by forced psychiatry, to abolish forced psychiatry. If you'd supported victims of psychiatrists, to abolish the vile, cruel laws, instead of spouting propaganda and DSM slurs at us, we'd have those who are tied, to beds and isolated in psychwards, who are putting up a resistance to forced psychiatry, free, rather than broken, and forcibly subjected to a chemical 24/7 indefinitely that makes for a slow poisoning to death, of which suicide seems like an option, to escape the forced human experimentation they're subjected to by psychiatrists and the state. No one deserves to be a subjected to forced human experimentation, particularly the vile cruel kind under the Mental Health Act 2014. If the disability community recognised us, protested with us, we'd have also protested Euthanasia, because we don't want that either, and together, we may have stopped it. Think about victims of psychiatrists a bit more, being disabled by your government, by medicine, is not something that is positive. It is not 'differently abled' it is about being violated. Please recognise where we come from. You allow people to be killed because you believe they are somehow deserving of the violations, you do the typical 'othering' of those people subjected to the exploitation racket that is the Mental Health Act 2014, and you all lose. https://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/council/petitions/electronic-petitions/view-e-petitions/details/12/107

  4. For terminal illness with months to live for people who are suffering horribly and even the best funded help isn't enough, not for disability.

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