Oct 27th 2000

NDY Statement on Mary's Impending Execution

Not Dead Yet, a national disability rights group in the U.S., shares the outrage and horror of our brothers and sisters in the UK over the impending state-ordered execution of Mary, one of two conjoined twins.

Lord Justice Ward has referred to Mary as "parasitic" and a "creature." Using these blatantly dehumanizing descriptions of Mary, along with some farfetched legal rationalizations, the Court has re-invented the concept of "positive killing" to justify the order of execution of Mary, who has significant disabilities.

It is alarming that the Court has chosen to assign different and unequal values to the lives of Mary and Jodie, based on the Court's opinion of their respective disabilities. Inevitably, this case will be used as a basis for further attempts to devalue the lives of people with disabilities and justify their murders at the hands of medical professionals.

Referring to disabled people as parasites is nothing new. State-sanctioned murder of people with disabilities is not new either. It is, however, a grim and alarming beginning to the new century for those of us with disabilities who had hoped the world would leave these practices behind.