Don’t weaken protections in state’s assisted suicide law

Assisted suicide threatens the most vulnerable in society, especially people with disabilities. I have Duchenne muscular dystrophy which, until recently, has been considered a “childhood disorder” because people who were born with it typically did not survive into adulthood. Despite my diagnosis, I have been able to live a full life, even founded a non-profit law firm, and have good prospects of eventually living into an elderly age. However, if assisted suicide is expanded as proposed in the state Legislature (HB 1141), I worry that people like me will make it into old age.

Many in society and the medical community have succumbed to the ableist belief that one’s value is based on their functionality. Some medical professionals are shocked that I am still alive. Of all the encounters with medical professionals, none is more egregious than when the physician who diagnosed me at the age of 3 told my parents to not expect me to live long enough to graduate from high school. But here I am, the founder of Washington Civil & Disability Advocate, a nonprofit law firm. Many in the medical community had written me off because of my disability, but I overcame the odds. If the already lacking, but existent, safeguards are reduced, I worry that others like me who have so much potential might not live up to it.

People with disabilities are already facing so much uncertainty with health care rationing during covid-19. An expansion of assisted suicide would unnecessarily exacerbate the uncertainty the disability community faces. Assisted suicide “safeguards” fail to protect the disability community according to a recent study by the National Council on Disability. Instead of working to increase access to assisted suicide, legislators should be working to improve quality of care. I urge the Legislature to reject assisted suicide expansion.

Conrad Reynoldson

Seattle

Talk to us

More in Opinion

Should vaccinated people mask up with COVID-19 cases rising? (AP Illustration/Peter Hamlin)
Viewpoints: Why we’re being asked to mask up again

While those fully vaccinated are protected from serious illness, the delta variant is highly transmissible.

toon
Editorial cartoons for Monday, Aug. 2

A sketchy look at the news of the day.… Continue reading

Snohomish County Auditor Carolyn Weikel is predicting 34 percent of the county’s registered voters will cast ballots. FILE PHOTO  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Editorial: A recap of endorsements for the Aug. 3 primary

The Herald Editorial Board makes the following endorsements for primary races in the county.

Burke: Terminal stupidity is anti-vax, anti-mask comorbidity

Here’s all you need to know: Covid is real. Masks and vaccines work. This isn’t hard to understand.

Comment: ‘Telling truth shouldn’t be hard.’ So let’s be honest

We’ll always have political spin, but even partisans be able to agree to facts that really can’t be denied.

Comment: Biles has exposed blurred lines for medicine, abuse

The history of pelvic exams shows practices that often denied women consent and dignity.

A few things the Republian Party doesn’t support

Republican Party What the GOP doesn’t support I cannot speak to the… Continue reading

Cuban protests a good lesson for young people

Cuban protests A good lesson for young people I hope our younger… Continue reading

Prisons seem to have room for repeat offenders

Convictions Prisons seem to have room now Seems like every time I… Continue reading

Most Read