I urge you to consider the civil rights implications of the Assisted Suicide bill and vote against it. This bill will set back years of progress for disability rights. It degrades and debases the value of the disabled and sets them aside as second class citizens where suicide is acceptable. For those who are not seriously sick or disabled, their life will still be valued and protected, they will receive encouragement to stay alive and find value in their lives, but for the sick and disabled, they will have the seemingly easy option of suicide. What kind of messages would we be sending? That we value the life of the healthy but not of the sick and disabled? That they can just go kill themselves if they’re in too much pain?
We should be advancing the civil rights of the disabled, not setting them back as second class citizens. Some of the greatest minds in our history have been disabled or at some point on the verge of dying. And how quickly has medical science changed so that something that was terminal 10 years ago is now a manageable disease?
Having our state be one of the first to set back the rights of the disabled would be a horrible stain on our progressive civil rights record.
As a Burlington voter, I ask you to say No to Suicide and yes to the rights of the disabled.