Los Angeles, CA — April 26, 2023 – Yesterday, the United Spinal Association (“United Spinal”), Not Dead Yet (“NDY”), Institute for Patients’ Rights (“IPR”), Communities Actively Living Independent & Free “CALIF”, and individual plaintiffs, Lonnie VanHook and Ingrid Tischer, filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, asking that California’s End of Life Option Act (EOLOA) be declared unlawful and unconstitutional.
“This lawsuit is a long-held dream come true for Not Dead Yet,” said Diane Coleman, president and CEO of NDY, a national disability organization. “We’re honored to join our fellow plaintiffs and attorneys to bring this fundamental disability rights challenge to the discrimination inherent in assisted suicide laws.”
NDY’s assistant director/policy analyst Jules Good says, “At a time where our rights are being stripped away, hateful laws are being enacted against LGBTQ+ members of our community, and disabled people of color are facing continued systemic violence, policies that make it easier for disabled people to die with help from their doctors are especially dangerous. Assisted suicide policies are inherently discriminatory, full stop.”
NDY’s director of minority outreach, Anita Cameron, says, “As a Black disabled woman, I have experienced both racial and disability discrimination in healthcare. Although few Blacks and people of color request assisted suicide, as it becomes normalized across the country, racial disparities and the devaluing of the lives of disabled people will lead to people being forced, or ‘convinced’ to ask for assisted suicide.”