cw assisted suicide
This week the assisted suicide (“voluntary assisted dying”) bill passed the Victorian Lower House. I haven’t stop feeling queasy since. I knew it was going to be shit but I was still somehow unprepared for how incredibly hurt & unsafe & vulnerable i am feeling in response to the overwhelming uncritically positive response of the nondisabled aussie left to the news.
Lost it on Twitter, was retweeted by Miranda bloody Devine of all people, a mate transcribed it for me for accessibility purposes & because I’m working on getting this into a less incomprehensible article format.
Turns out there might be hope yet – a couple of Upper House MPs have quite dramatically changed their minds at the last minute so the vote’s actually looking a bit precarious, though at the moment it still looks like it’ll go through. The Upper House vote is on Halloween (Oct 31). If you can contact our MPs please do so. Disabled voices are not being heard on this and at the very least whatever vote they make should be an informed one.
Thread is here, full text is below.
- Hi Australian lefties. Please know that your uncritical celebration of assisted suicide laws in Victoria is terrifying to disabled people
- There is huge disabled opposition to assisted suicide laws in general and to the Victorian bill in particular
- The bill is reckless, poorly written, incredibly unsafe. The safeguards are a fucking joke
- I am degeneratively disabled and terminally ill and I am NOT CELEBRATING THIS BILL, I AM PISS TERRIFIED
- I have been rejected from the DSP 5 times in 3 years because the government cut the mortality clause from the impairment tables.
- But it would take me two GP appointments and ten days to access a lethal overdose
- Do you know how fucking scary that is as someone who is queer and trans and poor and has been suicidal for most of my life?
- It is now easier for me to access lethal drugs than pain medication in Australia
- There is also a deeply scary conflation of terminal illness and “life limiting” disability in the Victorian laws
- Why do abled people get to determine that my disabled suffering is more potent that other forms of suffering?
- Why do I get suicide assistance when other people get suicide prevention?
- I am genuinely so fucking scared that next time I call Lifeline the operator is going to agree with me that I should “end my suffering”
- You can’t make provisions for assisted suicide before you have assisted living in place
- A friend with cerebral palsy was once told “of course you want to die, you’re in a wheelchair, we’d understand if you want to go home and do that” while in emergency.
- This was in Sydney, but that friend now lives in Melbourne. How do you think she feels now? Safer? Fuckin nope
- You fuckers talk about solidarity and anti-ableism and you don’t even bother to do the slightest amount of research/community consultation
- Everyone has a story about an aunty or a grandmother, and nobody listens to actually disabled and terminally ill people
- Everyone posting in support of the Victorian bill is someone who I now feel unable to trust, someone who I now feel actively unsafe around
- For you, I am your worst-case scenario. Because I am a wheelchair user. Because I am in constant pain. Because I need oxygen. Because I am “dependent”
- But guess fucking what. I’d be a lot more independent if lawmakers legislated for accessibility rather than assisted suicide
- This coming in the DIRECT AFTERMATH of healthcare cuts. Like do you not see how fucking ridiculously dystopian that is?
- What the fuck happened to NOTHING ABOUT US WITHOUT US
- You are not helping disabled people. You are not helping terminally ill people. You are helping abled people who fear being disabled
- And no, this bill does not provide for “death with dignity”. Suicide by barbiturate overdose is not dignified. It can take hours or days
- It can induce vomiting, cramps, diarrhoea, and sometimes it doesn’t event kill you, it just leaves you with traumatic brain injury.
- We already have provisions for suppressing respiration via morphine to ease and already existent dying process.
- We already have provision for refusing further treatment including extension of life treatment
- Its called palliative care and end of life care and advance care directives
- How many people posting in support of the Victorian bill have even read it?
- How many people posting in support of the Victorian bill even know what an advance care directive is?
- How many people posting in support of the Victorian bill even know how fiendishly difficult it is to access the DSP, the NDIS
- We need 5000 expensive specialist referrals and wait times that last months and years for treatment, but we need 2 GP appointments and 10 days for DEATH
- Don’t fucking pretend that this isn’t about you seeing disabled people as a financial and social burden, disabled lives as not worth living
- Don’t fucking pretend that this isn’t about eugenics and ableism
- And no, Im not religious. Im not conservative. Im a filthy queer trans intersex sexworker commie crip
- I am done debating my right to existence and the quality of my life with able bipeds who have never been in my situation or felt my pain
- And at the very fucking least can you all stop telling me to move to Melbourne because it is so much more accessible than Sydney. Jesus Christ
- I’m done. I’m out. I have to try not to kill myself today and every other day & it’s that much harder now. Fuck all of you.