Diane Coleman and Steve Drake from Not Dead Yet are speaking. Coleman discussed the problems people with disabilities face in the health care context.
Drake then took the microphone and told a touching story about his birth:
The doctor told my parents that the good news was 100-1 that I would not survive. The bad news was that I might survive. If I did, I would be a “vegetable.”
When a doctor uses that word it is a “goal directed” term. When they do, it means they want “storage” or “disposal.” Fortunately, my parents have a healthy disrespect and distrust of authority and demanded that I be treated properly.
Drake then left his prepared prepared script and asked that people in an anti-euthanasia coalition not bring up other issues that could drive potential members away—meaning while people are meeting and/or working together on that particular problem. He mentioned abortion, stem cell research, and the War in Iraq as examples. I think he is right about that. Why risk alienating people who are needed for the struggle? That is not to say that people shouldn’t engage these other issues as they see fit. They should—but in the proper place and at the proper time. That is how coalitions are built and succeed.
Drake also pointed out that the assisted suicide forces have no intention of limiting “death with dignity” to the terminally ill—which longtime readers of SHS know is a constant theme of mine. He pointed to an article in the Hastings Center Report in which the incrementalist approach that is clearly being pursued is explicitly laid out. I haven’t read the article yet, but I link it here for those who may be interested, and will comment on it myself at a later time. Here’s the link.