U.N. Experts Say Disability Is Not A Reason To Sanction Medically Assisted Dying

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In recognition of the December 3rd International Day of Disabled Persons, NDY posts the following statements by United Nations experts contained in a press release issued earlier this year.

Disability is not a reason to sanction medically assisted dying – UN experts

GENEVA (25 January 2021) – UN human rights experts today expressed alarm at a growing trend to enact legislation enabling access to medically assisted dying based largely on having a disability or disabling conditions, including in old age.

“We all accept that it could never be a well-reasoned decision for a person belonging to any other protected group – be it a racial minority, gender or sexual minorities – to end their lives because they experience suffering on account of their status,” the experts said.

“Disability should never be a ground or justification to end someone’s life directly or indirectly.”

Such legislative provisions would institutionalize and legally authorize ableism, and directly violate Article 10 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which requires States to ensure that persons with disabilities can effectively enjoy their inherent right to life on an equal basis with others.

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