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9/12 Twitter Chat: Assisted Suicide, Bioethics, and Disabled Lives

Disability Visibility Project Twitter Chat

Assisted Suicide, Bioethics, and Disabled Lives

Guest Host: Ing Wong-Ward, Co-Collaborator, Project Value

Monday, September 12, 2016

4 pm Eastern (U.S.)

The Disability Visibility Project is proud to partner with the Co-Collaborators of Project Value in a discussion about assisted suicide, ableism, bioethics, and disabled lives. Ing Wong-Ward, a Co-Collaborator of Project Value, will be the guest host in addition to other Co-Collaborators participating during the Twitter chat.

Project Value launched this past July on Facebook featuring personal stories by disabled Canadians. The six Co-Collaborators of Project Value are Sandra Carpenter, Catherine Frazee, Audrey J. King, Jeffrey Preston, Tracy Odell, and Ing Wong-Ward. Their July 25, 2016 post describes the mission and reason for this video series:

As we enter complex discussion in Canada about doctor-assisted suicide, we worry that Canadians are only getting one side of the disability story – that death is a natural choice for these poor suffering disabled people. But this story doesn’t speak to the experiences of many with disabilities.

This project seeks to explore a different perspective; to share stories and experiences that contradict the narrative that disability is a fate worse than death.

This is about projecting our value.

Right now Project Value’s videos are only on Facebook. Check out their videos here: https://www.facebook.com/projectmyvalue/

How to Participate

Follow @DisVisibility and @ingwongward on Twitter

Use the hashtag #ProjectValue when you tweet. To follow the conversation from this chat, click on the ‘Live’ tab for this hashtag on Twitter.

If you only want to respond to the questions, check @DisVisibility’s timeline during the chat. The questions will be tweeted several minutes apart. It can be less overwhelming this way.

Check out this explanation of how to participate in a chat by Ruti Regan: https://storify.com/RutiRegan/examplechat

If you don’t use Twitter and want to follow the conversation along in real-time, check out the live-stream: http://twubs.com/ProjectValue

9/12 Twitter Chat Questions

Welcome to the #ProjectValue chat w/ @DisVisibility & guest host @ingwongward. Please note: we will discuss suicide, ableism, & dying.

Ableism (also known as disablism) is the discrimination or prejudice against people who have disabilities. #ProjectValue

For a discussion on ableism & assisted suicide, check out this essay by the late Stella Young https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/oct/18/disability-euthanasia-assisted-dying #ProjectValue

The #ProjectValue chat may be triggering for many. Please practice self-care and feel free to take a break or leave if needed.

If you respond to a question such as Q1, your tweet should follow this format: “A1 [your message] #ProjectValue”

Q1 In your experience, how does your society view disabled people like yourself and others in the disability community? #ProjectValue

Q2 If you are a disabled person, how do YOU value your life? How are our lives valuable, unique and significant? #ProjectValue

Q3 Does ableism undermine the way you see yourself? How does it impact the choices, services, and freedoms you have access to? #ProjectValue

Q4 Many countries have assisted suicide/dying laws or legislation in the works. How will these laws impact disabled people? #ProjectValue

Q5 How do conversations about #AssistedSuicide miss the mark on understanding the lived experience of disability? #ProjectValue

Q6 What are your thoughts on the framing of ‘choice’ ‘autonomy’ and ‘freedom’ in the #AssistedSuicide debate? Is it ableist? #ProjectValue

Q7 Often disability is confused w/ terminal illness or presumed to cause great suffering. Does this concern you? #ProjectValue

Many bioethicists believe it is ethical to “assist” disabled people or infants to die given their ‘quality of life’/prognosis #ProjectValue

Q8 How do people’s perceptions about our quality of life impact choices about #AssistedSuicide? What can be done about this? #ProjectValue

Q9 What do you want as an alternate to #AssistedSuicide that provides the supports you need to live well? #ProjectValue

#ProjectValue uses storytelling & social media as an advocacy tool.

Q10 What are some other effective means re-framing narratives about disabled lives? What other tools & approaches are needed to push back?

This concludes our chat! Please keep the convo going. Thank you to our guest host @ingwongward & all the collaborators of #ProjectValue!

Additional links

Catherine Frazee (2016). The Last Chapter. Ottawa Life Magazine. http://www.ottawalife.com/2016/06/the-last-chapter/

Aaron Broverman. (August 10, 2016). Project Value Asserts Disability Is Not Worse Than Death. New Mobility: http://www.newmobility.com/2016/08/project-value-asserts-disability-is-not-worse-than-death/

Harriet McBryde Johnson. (February 16, 2003). Unspeakable Conversations. New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2003/02/16/magazine/unspeakable-conversations.html?pagewanted=all

Christy Duan. (May 1, 2016).Choosing Hospital Over Heaven: A Life Worth Living—Is death better than locked-in syndrome? Medpage Today: http://www.medpagetoday.com/publichealthpolicy/ethics/57625

Stella Young. (October 18, 2013). Disability – a fate worse than death? ABC Ramp Up: http://www.abc.net.au/rampup/articles/2013/10/18/3872088.htm

What is unbearable? (August 6, 2016). The Economist: http://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21703359-some-data-about-emotional-issue-what-unbearable?fsrc=scn/tw/te/pe/ed/whatisunbearable

Bill Peace. (August 14, 2016). Assisted Suicide: A life-style Choice. Bad Cripple: http://badcripple.blogspot.com/2016/08/assisted-suicide-life-style-choice.html

Merrit Kennedy. (June 18, 2016). Canada Legalizes Physician-Assisted Dying. National Public Radio. http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/06/18/482599089/canada-legalizes-physician-assisted-dying

Ian MacLeod. (June 27, 2016). “‘My biggest fear is I will become trapped’: Woman, 25, goes to court to overturn assisted-dying restrictions.” National Post: http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/canadian-politics/my-biggest-fear-is-i-will-become-trapped-woman-25-goes-to-court-to-overturn-assisted-dying-restrictions

Liz Carr. (2016). Disabled People’s Organizations Do Not Support Assisted Suicide! Not Dead Yet UK: http://notdeadyetuk.org/disabled-peoples-organisations-do-not-support-assisted-suicide/

Julia Bryant. (March 11, 2016). California Becomes Fifth State to Pass Right to Die Legislation. Law Street Media: http://lawstreetmedia.com/news/california-becomes-fifth-state-pass-right-to-die-legislation/

Marilyn Golden. Why Assisted Suicide Must Not Be Legalized. Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund: http://dredf.org/assisted_suicide/assistedsuicide.html

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