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The ethics of PAS: Morally relevant relationships between personal assistance services and physician-assisted suicide

      Abstract

      Batavia AI. The ethics of PAS: morally relevant relationships between personal assistance services and physician-assisted suicide. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 2001;82 Suppl 2:S25-31. Although personal assistance services would appear to have no direct connection to the national debate over legalization of physician-assisted suicide, arguments relating to personal assistance have been raised in the debate. Independent living opponents of a right to assisted suicide contend that people with disabilities who do not have access to the basic personal assistance services they need are inherently oppressed, and a society that provides a right to assisted suicide is essentially an accomplice in coercing such individuals to end their lives. Independent living proponents of the right argue that people with disabilities should have control over the assistance they need to achieve all their goals, and access to desired assistance in seeking death may allow some to decide to forgo or postpone what would otherwise be a desperate act. Both sides would agree that personal assistance services are extremely important to people with disabilities, and that universal access to such services will eliminate a major area of contention in the right-to-die debate in the United States. © 2001 by the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine

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