Feb. 11, 2020
Evanston City Council members last night ducked a resolution in support of assisted suicide after a large turnout of advocates on both sides of the issue.
Disability rights activists from Chicagoland organizations Access Living, Chicago ADAPT and Progress Center for Independent Living showed up to tell of the dangers of assisted suicide, while individuals representing national advocacy group Compassion and Choices pushed the so-called “safety” of the process.
Just as the council was set to take up the resolution, Evanston resident Fay Clayton, wearing a yellow Compassion and Choices T-shirt, asked for the resolution to be withdrawn. Evanston Mayor Stephen Hagerty agreed, but allowed attendees to make short comments about the proposal. When the comments ended, council members struck the resolution from its agenda, saying more public discussion was needed.
The proposal is expected to resurface in the future at the city council.
No legislation legalizing assisted suicide has yet to be introduced in the Illinois Legislature.
Watch this CBS-2 Chicago story on the issue in which reporter Vince Gerasole interviews Amber Smock, advocacy director of Access Living. Read more about last night’s council meeting in this article from the Daily Northwestern.
Feb. 4, 2020
Formal support for assisted suicide may soon be coming to the city of Evanston.
Members of the city council’s Human Services Committee last night voted to send a resolution supporting assisted suicide to the full council. The committee in 2018 refused to send a similar measure to council members.
Resident and disability rights advocate Larry Biondi told committee members that if legalized, assisted suicide would become “the cheapest treatment available in our profit-driven health care system,” according to local media outlet Evanston Now. He also noted that legalization offers no safeguards against abuse.
National disability advocate Diane Coleman of Not Dead Yet applauded Biondi’s comments in a blog post published today.
According to Evanston Now, more than a dozen attendees wore yellow T-shirts sporting the name and logo of Compassion and Choices, a national organization that supports the legalization of assisted suicide.
Also attending was state Rep. Robyn Gabel, D-Evanston, who is expected to sponsor any state legislation authorizing assisted suicide. No such bill has yet appeared in the Illinois Legislature.
Evanston Now reported that Gabel told committee members it would be easier for her to push potential legislation “if I can show that my home towns support me.”
Oct. 12, 2019
The State Journal-Register in Springfield today published an article, “Interest in ‘medical-aid-in-dying’ law rising in Illinois,” which features Dr. David Grube, the national medical director for Compassion & Choices, a national organization that advocates for assisted suicide. Grube is scheduled to speak about the issue on Oct. 17 at a free seminar hosted by the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine’s medical humanities department.
The article also features comments from state Rep. Robyn Gabel, D-Evanston, who said she plans on introducing legislation that would legalize assisted suicide in Illinois in 2020, or more likely, 2021.