Not Dead Yet led the filing of a Disability Rights friend-of-the-court brief in the Court of Appeals in support of the New York State Attorney General, and earlier rulings in the case by the Supreme Court and Appellate Division, both of which dismissed a case seeking to legalize physician assisted suicide.
Joining in the Not Dead Yet brief were ten other national and New York state disability rights organizations: ADAPT, the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, the Center for Disability Rights, the Disability Rights Center, the Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund (DREDF), the National Council on Independent Living, the New York Association on Independent Living, Regional Center for Independent Living and United Spinal Association, collectively referred to as the “Disability Rights Amici.”
New York attorney Adam Prizio handled the filing on behalf of the disability organizations. “Our basic position is that when some people get suicide prevention while other people get suicide assistance, and the difference is the person’s age, disability or health status, that’s unlawful discrimination,” said Prizio.
“It’s a problem that certain people are being told that others not only agree with their suicide, which is bad enough, but will even help them carry it out. It’s a deadly form of discrimination and, as our brief says, it violates the Americans with Disabilities Act.”Marilyn Golden, senior policy analyst with DREDF, summarizes concerns about a government authorized, medically administered public policy of assisted suicide as follows:
“If assisted suicide is legalized, some people’s lives will be ended without their consent, through mistakes and abuse. No safeguards have ever been enacted or proposed that can prevent this outcome, which can never be undone.”Editor’s note. This was posted by the disability rights organization Not Dead Yet. According to New York Law Journal the plaintiffs are “challenging whether two anti-assisted suicide statutes in state Penal Law apply to physicians and, if they do, whether the physicians’ constitutional rights are violated by the statutes.” Their challenge has already been rejected by two lower courts.