No, We Don't Think Our Doctors Are Out to Get Us: Responding to the Straw Man Distortions of Disability Rights Arguments Against Assisted Suicide
Gill, Carol J
Disability and health journal 2010 Jan; 3(1): 31-8
The arguments that disability rights advocates present in opposition to legalized assisted suicide are frequently misconstrued in public debate. The goal of this paper is to identify and analyze key "straw man" fallacies about the disability rights opposition in order to clarify this position and the factors that contribute to its distortion. The author adopts a first-person perspective as a disability scholar/activist who has participated in "right to die" debates for over two decades. Three possible barriers that potentially impede comprehension of disability rights arguments are discussed. Prominent fallacies that assisted suicide proponents attribute to disability rights opponents are analyzed in relation to the dynamics of the assisted suicide debate, social views of disability and incurable illness, and available evidence. The author's position is that disability rights arguments against legalized assisted suicide contribute a complex intellectual and experience-based perspective to the debate that can illuminate immediate and distal consequences of altering public policy.
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