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Crippen continues the debate around assisted killing (Mercy Killing) / 20 February 2010

"I just received a furious message from actor Nabil Shaban, best known to the public for playing Sil in Dr Who. Nabil is better known amongst activists as a ferocious advocate against war and for disability equality, in particular the right to live in equal status to others".

This is how Clair Lewis started her journal last week, and follows on ... "Nabil Shaban ACCUSES the British media, and that includes the BBC, of pursuing an identical propaganda exercise as Doctor Josef Goebbels with his notorious pro-Mercy Killing movie 'I Accuse' ".

Nabil goes on to say that, as history has shown, this was preparation for public acceptance of State-sanctioned euthanasia. He adds: "Ray Gosling was not brave, he is a murderer and by bragging about it on air, he is putting disabled people and ill people's lives at risk."

Read the full article by Clair and Nabil by clicking here


Assisted Living

An email is also circulating regarding a meeting to mobilise further the campaign for assisted living. Recipients included Baroness Jane Campbell and other leading lights of the disabled people's movement.

Here is the message it contains from disabled activist Deborah Sowerby: "Some of us disabled activists based in London are trying to mobilise against the increasingly overwhelming clamour for mass 'mercy' killing. Are you aware of anyone planning/doing anything on this? Are you up for a smallish planning meeting in the next couple of weeks? We've been offered a room for free. Look forward to hearing from you."

Clair and Nabil have updated Deborah about any activism they know of, as listed in there other blogs and we all have her permission to share this query further. Therefore If you know anyone interested please draw attention to this message. And please support this meeting if you can. I'll keep my ear to the ground and post anything I hear regarding developments.

Deborah Sowerby recently commented on this piece in Humanist Life regarding Terry Pratchett, 'Shaking hands with death - Terry Pratchett gives the Dimbleby Lecture'. To access the link to the article, please click here

Deborah says: "Many disabled people live (as in 'life') day in day out with these issues and questions. Many have done so from birth. I say from birth because birth is when the assisted dying 'question' is first raised, framed in terms of (you've guessed it) kindness and compassion. We don't get into questions such as what would the baby choose. No, these things are decided by others...

Nowadays the focus has shifted to the other end of life. But the arguments are the same - not based on fact, reality or experience but fear and ignorance. Oh, and economics as well. Money. Resources. This clamour for easier (assisted) suicide takes place against a backdrop of economic catastrophe where the cost of assisted living is unaffordable,fact.

So, kill the useless eaters, but let's not call it killing. No need.Simply keep going on about the TERRIBLE drain on the public purse and,in the same breath, keep saying how AWFUL it is to be old/disabled/in pain/dependent on others. By constant association (conflation) the two ideas merge.

Now we have one problem. Brilliant. We know what the problem is and who to blame. It's a short step to identifying the solution: reduce costs and relieve suffering in one go. Job done.

That takes care of the miserable old people dribbling on the mat. But how about that sweet little baby gurgling in the crib? What sweet little baby gurgling in the crib?"

If you want to get involved or support this meeting please contact Deborah Sowerby direct at or contact Clair or Nabil through this blog. Thanks.


New Crippen web site

The new Crippen web site was recently launched. Please let me know if you have any access problems with regard to this new site. To visit the new Crippen web site please click here


Crippen's profile

You can access a profile of Crippen on this web site along with other disabled contributers.
To access the Crippen profile page please click here  

Keywords: assisted suicide,disabled people's movement,nazi party atrocities towards disabled people,politics,


Gail Bradbrook

12 May 2010

I'm currently able-bodied.

My dad, grandad and uncle all got early onset dementia- aged 50. Only dad is still alive and in a care home. He looks shit to be frank. Scared, paranoid, agitated. He was a contented person. Its genetic and I have a 50% chance of getting it. I ask myself if I am judging something I shouldn't judge when I think I'd rather die... perhaps that life in dementia is valuable too...

My dad seems to have stabilised physically and hasn't deteriorated as quickly as hi dad and brother, so he could be in that state for a long time.

Without facing it for sure yet, I do think I would chose to die. It really doesn't look like a hot option.

It could be 12 years off the start of it and I have a two and four year old. I sometimes wonder when I'd choose to go- once its kicking in I'd get confused, but there would still be things to live and love for. But once its progressed I may no longer be able to chose to go. Should I leave it to my partner to decide to kill me and do I therefore wish for a change in the law? NO!

For all the arguments above the alignment to the oppression of disabled people is clear. No change in the law please. I figure I might have to die alone and sooner than might be optimal. A reasonable price to pay for keeping the law as it is...and not setting back the disability rights movement.

Clair Lewis

26 February 2010

We have only heard Ray's side of the story - this is the problem, you can't interview a corpse!

I feel we've finally made a breakthrough in the press through our work with allies behind the scenes. If you check out today's The Independent they have three pieces in about the DPP's guide to killing the sick.

The only opinion piece in there on the matter today is from me ::

The other two articles are - one explaining the guidance, which has included disabled people's movement views and a piece about what the consultation raised, same again there. This is the first newspaper I have seen to manage to write this up without reinforcing the 'better dead than disabled' myth and colluding with the idea that killing crips does us some kind of favour.

We have won an ally. If this is possible, with nobody from our movement working in house there to do it, we have gained proper alleigence from a large national paper which is now editing finely to wipe out any prejudice from their approach. The coverage today is properly neutral (normalised prejudice absent) and the opinion is from our standpoint.

Well I say our standpoint. If The Independent can get on board, it's a disgrace if people in our own community can't. We each need to be careful of our own integrity, at all times, where we are visible. Bad politics can destroy faith in organisations.

For weeks in various places I've been getting encouraged by some people to tone down my message. But I have not done. I am not going to sell out ANY crips arse to get attention - otherwise, any position we manage to scrabble to is wasted by having to toe the line you walked to get there.

We're making progress, and we need to keep moving in that direction.

Colin Hambrook

25 February 2010

Fear and ignorance are key here. The news media loves to prey on those emotions - and we crips are the stubbing plate for the media's fundamental disability-hatred. I speak as someone who knows only too well the collusion the medical authorities have with their practicing Dr Shipman's - disguised as angels of mercy.


25 February 2010

The DPP have issued a new set of guidelines today regarding 'assisted suicide' you can find the link on -

pink pjs

23 February 2010

Further, to take the issue, in particular, of people who experience mental distress. I and others regularly battle with often unbearable emotional and physical pain. There have been many times in my life when I would welcome death as a release. My doctor has asked me frequently, what would help, and my response has often been: a gun or a heroin od. However, I know from mine and other's like myself that what we are saying is Not that we wish to die, but, that we cannot cope with life at that time. What would help would be effective services and support, hugs, tlc, true asylum/sanctuary.

However, how is this going to work out? To take us in particular as an example? It has already happened that recently a young despairing woman came to A&E after taking what was potentially a fatal od without treatment and asked not to be treated... and was she??? No! She died.

The pressure will be on Disabled people and those who love them to end their lives as 'it's in everyone's best interests'.... not true!

The policies of our government in encouraging greed of the privileged and unscupulous people has further deepened an apparent crisis in social care, but not in Scotland, interestingly, where social care is free to those who need it and this is viewed as a way of saving lives and money!

Don't believe the hype!

Ray Gosling murdered his partner and appeared to view this as perfectly acceptable.

Bob Williams-Findlay

23 February 2010

The central issue for me in relation to Ray Gosling is the fact that his "story" is revealed at the time when the BBC has followed up on Terry Pratchett's proposals time and time again. I've convinced myself BBC stands for Bury Bloody Cripples due to the promotion of mercy killing by the Corporation.

A secondary issue, but an important one, is that once again the presentation is in terms of "an act of mercy" - someone with ability 'ending the suffering' of a powerless victim. This in the age when Parliament and the media portray all disabled and elderly people as "vulnerable".

I do believe there are debates to be had about an individual's right to self-determine their own quality of life; levels of pain, etc. however these kiind of debates are not possible in a climate of fear and ignorance - made worse by disablist propaganda.

Dave Lupton

23 February 2010

The problem, as I see it with anyone supporting Ray Gosling is that it colludes with the way in which the media are reporting positively on this sort of thing and not giving any air time to the alternative voices (and fears) expressed by disabled people. I know that disabled activists has been seriously edited re their comments recently and told that the readers don't want to hear this 'negative' side of the argument. For many of us crips it's an alarming parallel to what went on in Germany before the last world war (only some 70 years ago) where the German people allowed legislation through that resulted in the deaths of thousands of disabled people. History shows that this was due to a manipulation of the press and the production of films that portrayed disabled people as 'useless eaters'. It was also used as a solution to the dire economical situation that existed in Germany at that time. And the same as now, they used the argument that it was better to rid society of the people who were draining the resources rather than waste resources on them.

I cannot speak for those disabled individuals that have joined the Ray Gosling group but I can assure you that this blog, supported by Disability Arts on Line will continue to speak against the concept of so called 'mercy killing' and all that it entails.

23 February 2010

Having read Ray Gosling's testimony, I can't understand why anyone would want to add their support to someone with such an objectionable attitude to disability. That disabled people would want to support what was essentially a murder - seems to me to smack of self-hatred disguised as some quasi-humanitarian act. That it is seen as such underlies the perniciousness with which the media persistently supports ending disabled peoples' lives.

Brave New World

23 February 2010

I am concerned that those that have joined the 'I Support Ray Gosling' Facebook group also include those from within the movement. Peter Tatchell, I note has also joined this particular Facebook group which makes me assume that just because the assumed assisted 'victim' and the person claiming to have killed the victim as a cause of a pact is gay. This is not an issue of liberal identity politics as this media campaign could usher in an unfortunate Brave New World. These so called libertarians/liberals appear to think that this is an issue of personal choice. Does that follow then that they have so much faith that they perceive our government and our legislators to be both 'ethical' and 'moral'? It appalls me that those that accuse the so called developing countries of oppression, suppression and breaching of human rights are so narrow minded that they are unable to see what is going on here in our 'developed countries', so developed that it sees legalised killing of those who are terminally ill or severely impaired as an answer to the 'lack' of resoureces to the health service bill. The issue of 'assisted suicide' or the legalised killing of those who acquire a condition, illness, impairment is not an individual issue for those that refuse to accept that life is hard and want to opt out when the chips are down. Let them opt out if they wish to do so but do not take disabled people with you through selfishly using your individual circumstances to affect how the public see disabled people, older people and those with terminal illness with the 'right to die' when I please discourse. This is NOT an individual issue of choice BUT an economic issue. Nobody has to die in pain, nobody has to live in an undignified manner if resources are ploughed into the hospice movement to enable assisted living rather than assisted killing.

Clair Lewis

21 February 2010

Thanks Crippen :-)

We must all do everything we can and any readers can find lots of different ways to join in activism on this topic if they check out the action notices on my blog above, instigated by various people. And please if anyone is doing other campaign work let us know so we can list you up and get people on board.

Despite ongoing activism over the last decade, we haven't done enough and this is one of the independent living messages which just hasn't successfully got through. We cannot convert everyone, but what we MUST do is participate in the debate and find way to make our voices heard to help people think through this issue.

We also particularly need supporters who are good at getting public attention or background support from an ally in PR.

I will be interviewing other disabled people for blogs this week - next one up is Mik Scarlet. When people with no history in activism are up in arms you know omething terrible is going on. When RADAR and DAN people agree.. what SCOPE offer us a free room for an organising meeting, you know something terrible is going on.

In solidarity and LET US LIVE

Dennis (aka Clair Lewis)