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Columnist Laments Assisted Suicides For People With MS
October 1, 2004

TORONTO, ONTARIO--Helen Henderson, the aging and disability issues columnist for the Toronto Star, weighed in on the case of Charles Fariala, who had recently been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and his mother, who is being charged with assisting in his suicide.

Henderson has lived with MS for more than 30 years. She wrote that she shivered upon hearing the news of Fariala's death.

Henderson pointed out that MS is often cited in assisted suicide cases, and that many of those Jack Kevorkian assisted in suicide gave it as the reason they wanted to die.

"MS is one of those conditions that plays by its own rules. It affects everyone differently and can progress at different rates," Henderson wrote. "But I cannot feel anything but sorrow for those labouring under the delusion that not being able to walk is literally a fate worse than death."

"I wish society was better at correctly assessing the talents of people with disabilities. I wish it did not so unthinkingly build barriers that make it more difficult for them to participate. But those who cannot face the prospect of life in a wheelchair are mostly victims of their own ignorance, prejudice and unwillingness to learn."

"Let's help people who are scared to death" (Toronto Star)

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