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Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

Center for Disability Rights Creates PSA on Assisted Suicide in Response to “Me Before You”

The Center for Disability Rights (a Center for Independent Living in Rochester, NY) has created a Public Service Announcement (PSA) to address disability and assisted suicide, one of the primary topics highlighted in the new romantic comedy, Me Before You. The film is based on the novel of the same name by Jojo Moyes, who also penned the screenplay. Me Before You tells the story of a cheerful underachiever, Louisa, who is hired as the Personal Care Attendant for a wealthy quadriplegic named Will Traynor. Louisa soon realizes her job is to convince Will to live, as he has an appointment at an assisted suicide facility in Switzerland in six months. Despite the two falling in love Will tells Louisa that love is not enough, and goes through with killing himself because of his disability.

The murder and killing of disabled people in Hollywood films is a common theme. Assisted suicide, in particular, can be seen in a number of films beyond Me Before You including Million Dollar Baby, The Sea Inside, and Whose Life is it Anyway? Assisted suicide is often presented as a logical ending to disabled lives. In these films, disabled people are seen as a burden, and are presented as suffering, so assisted suicide is seen as a reasonable and rational outcome. [Read more and watch the PSA at cdrnys.org…]

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