assisted life

i’m being serious when i say that i want every single non-disabled person to read THIS ARTICLE, all the way through. Lovers, friends, family, acquaintances, whatever our connection, if you give a shit about the gimps in your life/ community/ periphery, i want YOU to read this and really think about what it means.

i’d like you to think about what it means that instead of access to the things that make disabled folks’ lives work in the bodies we have, we’re “offered” / pushed into “assisted suicide” because the burden of our existence is somehow just too much – not necessarily for us, but for others, for the state, for the people in control of the basic shit we need to live.

Disabled folks aren’t unique in having to beg for the most utterly basic services to keep us alive. This is an ableism thing, it’s a racism thing, a classist thing, a white supremacist cisheteropatriarchal thing, a capitalism thing. This shit is connected and if you’re gonna be any part of my life you have an obligation to pay attention.

This is the very thing that so many disabled folks have been saying for decades, and i want you to listen to us, to stop talking in abstracts, riddles and metaphors about “assisted suicide”, and listen to what we’re saying when we share our concerns and fears about this. We’re the ones who end up on the shit-end of this all, but that “we” can just as quickly be “you”, make no mistake.

Please note that i absolutely respect other disabled folk’s right to choose it. There are people in my life who have done so, and who the hell knows, maybe i would have to choose it at some point. i want to have autonomy over my own life, and i wouldn’t try to take that from anyone.

What i have a problem with is it so often being the only option that a lot of us are given because what we need to live isn’t provided, because our lives aren’t valued, because in general disabled lives aren’t valued, and because specific kinds of disabled lives are especially not valued. The problem for me is that for so many disabled folks, this “choice” isn’t a choice at all, it’s the only option, the first suggestion, the thing that we are supposed to be so grateful for when it’s not actually what we would always choose for ourselves.

And i want more nuanced conversations about it that don’t centre the needs and whims of the state, which is so often what’s happening.

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Note: i will not engage in any debate about this here. If you do, it’ll be removed and i may need to consider removing you as well. It’s not about not being able to handle discussion, discourse, difference, whatever. It’s about refusing to debate my right as a disabled person to not listen to folks defending disabled death over disabled life; and being able to call the shots on this topic in this one small space. Please don’t do it here.

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