News Release FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Beaumont, Alberta, November 30th 2011 ― The United Nation’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities will be observed globally on December 3rd 2011. Canadian advocate for disability inclusion, Mark Davis Pickup applauds UN initiatives to ensure people with disabilities have a voice in their communities and countries as well as inclusion and afforded full equality rights. Pickup observed that although Canada has made strides in areas of accessibility, citizens with disabilities are getting mixed messages. He stated: “This past October the House of Commons gave its unanimous support to a National Suicide Prevention Strategy and now in November the British Columbia Supreme Court is considering a challenge (Carter case) to whether Canada’s law against assisted suicide should be overturned for the terminally and chronically ill and disabled.”
Pickup is chronically ill with aggressive multiple sclerosis (MS) and is electric wheelchair dependent. He continued:
“Let’s understand the message people like me will hear if the BC court rules in favour of the assisted suicide lobby. The healthy population should receive suicide prevention when suicidal. The old, sick and disabled get help committing suicide.”
Mark Pickup supports the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition’s intervener standing in the Carter case to protect people with disabilities, the chronically ill and elders. Their efforts to preserve Canada’s laws that protect people from euthanasia and assisted suicide must be supported. Pickup believes that laws and public policy must promote life with dignity for people with disabilities through supports for Canadians with disabilities to reach their full potential as individuals and citizens. Ensuring access to education, transportation, appropriate housing, recreational opportunities and other forms of reasonable accommodation can help full inclusion in society.
Mark Davis Pickup
Tel: (780) 929-9230