Standing for Life: Week 5 – Right to Life during COVID-19

23 April, 2020

Dear Supporters of Life,

I hope you are all doing well as we enter week 5 of restrictions imposed as a result of COVID-19.

Last week the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO) endorsed a Statement of Concern regarding the treatment (or non treatment) of people with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.  In releasing this, AFDO stated:
"There are much greater risks from the COVID-19 pandemic for people with disability, in particular, for older people with disability, First Peoples with disability, people with intellectual or psychosocial disability, those with chronic health conditions, co-morbidities, dependence on ventilators and compromised immunity."

This Statement of Concern which you can read in full by clicking the link below, sets out the Right to Life for people with disability:
"People with disability have an inherent right to life on an equal basis with others. To enjoy the right to life, people with disability must be provided with the health care and social services that are essential for their survival. They should not be arbitrarily denied health care or medical treatment on the basis of impairment".

This is a timely reminder that people in our society are not treated equally and we need to systematically and methodically work hard towards creating a Culture of Life which involves upholding human rights for all including people with disabilities:
Statement of Concerns: People with Disabilities
Babies with disability are often our most vulnerable.  Parents are encouraged to abort pregnancies with an indication of disability and many have described how they had to fight to keep their baby - then child - alive.  Read the story of Toni Mitchell where she described to the Royal Commission earlier this year how she had to fight for treatment for her son with Down Syndrome:
Toni Mitchell: my son's life was worthy
Adults with disability often feel as though they need to justify their own existence.  The (late) Stella Young was a strong advocate in this space, claiming:
"Social attitudes towards disabled people come from a medical profession that takes a deficit view of disability. This is my major concern with legalising assisted death; that it will give doctors more control over our lives."
Read more of her views here:
Stella Young: my life is worthy
We should also remember our elderly who acquire age-related disabilities resulting in increasing loss of autonomy.  According to leading Senior Rights groups, including Senior Rights Victoria, COVID-19 restrictions could trigger an increase in elder abuse:
Recognising our Elders' lives as worthy

Recommended Watching – 

Fatal Flaws: Legalizing Assisted Death

a Film by Kevin Dunn

Instead of a book this week, I am recommending you watch this documentary - click on the photo (right) to go to YouTube link.  Filmmaker Kevin Dunn masterfully presents the fatal flaws within existing jurisdictions where euthanasia and assisted suicide are already in place.

Fatal Flaws can also be purchased from Amazon
Final Word:
I started my career working with children and people with disabilities and it breaks my heart to see the COVID-19 restrictions imposing even greater risk to the vulnerable members of the disability community.

If you know someone who is vulnerable or at risk, call them now - not tomorrow, not next week - now.  Remember: Lonely is not being alone, it is the feeling that no one cares.  

Creating a Culture of Life starts with the individual.  We can all begin by reaching out to someone nearby to let them know that we recognise and believe in their worth.

I look forward to supplying you with another COVID-19 update next week.  In the meantime I hope that you stay safe and well.

Yours in the Defence of Life,
Dr. Rachel Carling
CEO - Right to Life NSW

We greatly appreciate all your support and generous donations.
Let's continue to stand for those who can't stand for themselves.
Keep being strong and take courage!
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Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Rachel Carling

< > Contact Dr. Rachel for any executive-level queries.  Dr Rachel is continuing to lobby parliament via teleconferences and videoconferences! The work of Right to Life NSW has not paused just our physical presence.



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