Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Attitudes of People with Disabilities About Physician-Assisted Suicide

New on Westlaw, the Journal of Health Politics, Policy, and Law contains an article entitled Attitudes of People with Disabilities Toward Physician-Assisted Suicide Legislation: Broadening the Dialogue, 28 J. Health Pol. Pol'y & L. 977 (2003). From the abstract:

For close to half of the participants, the desire for autonomy in making end-of-life decisions was a primary concern, yet fear that PAS legislation could violate this autonomy in various ways was a deep concern as well. Also reported were widespread accounts of disability-based discrimination and frequent expressions of fear about openly discussing positions that diverge from the official, publicly held opinions of disability leaders who oppose such legislation. The findings support those of a recent Harris poll demonstrating considerable diversity of opinion about PAS legislation among people with disabilities. The findings further suggest the need for additional research on the apparent disjunction between the diversity of attitudes held by those interviewed and the more unified position taken by many disability activists.


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