This story out of the UK speaks volumes about how devalued the lives of disabled people are becoming. Gillian March had progressive multiple sclerosis, a very difficult disease that not only leads to increased disability, but often depression. She decided she wanted to kill herself–so that her husband could go on with his life. She had tried several times before, and on the last occasion, her husband came home and tightened the seal around the plastic bag she had put over her head. He plead guilty to assisting her suicide and received no meaningful punishment.
What struck me about this story is the lack of apparent interest in suicide prevention or treatment for March’s depression. Perhaps her doctors had tried. We don’t know because curiously, the issue is never raised in the story–creating an (intended?) subtext that seems to proclaim, “Of course she wanted to be dead. Who wouldn’t?”
Needless to say the euthanasia crowd supported the tap on the wrist even though Gillian March was not terminally ill. No wonder so many disabled people see themselves in the cross hairs of the euthanasia movement.