A strong majority of voters living with disabilities support medical aid in dying—according to the only known polls on the issue that oversampled people living with disabilities, the February 2014 Purple Poll of Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Jersey.

Purple Insights, Voter & Disabled Community, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Massachusetts Survey (Feb. 2014), available from: https://compassionandchoices.org/wp-content/uploads/Purple_Strategies_2014_NJ-CT-MA-Combined_02-2020.pdf

An increasing number of disability rights groups have taken a neutral or supportive position on medical aid in dying:

Testimony of Disability Rights New Mexico Executive Director Jim Jackson before the New Mexico Senate Health and Public Affairs Committee hearing on the New Mexico Elizabeth Whitefield End-of-Life Options Act (March 1, 2021):

Stephen Hawking (1942-2018)

Renowned cosmologist and theoretical physicist, who lived with Lou Gehrig’s disease

"I think those who have a terminal illness and are in great pain should have the right to choose to end their lives, and those that help them should be free from prosecution."

Hugh Gallagher (1932-2004)

Paralyzed from age 19 until his death at 71; drafter of the Architectural Barriers Act of 1968, the nation's first federal disability rights law, which led to the broader accessibility provisions of the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act.

"As a disabled person who has fought for my civil rights I see assisted dying as a matter of personal autonomy. I make the decisions. While I do not believe that I would ever make use of assisted dying, I believe it would be a comfort and support knowing that it is available."

Andrew Batavia (1957 - 2003)

A disability rights activist who helped draft regulations for the Americans with Disabilities Act. In 2002, he co-founded Autonomy, Inc., to represent persons with disabilities who wanted choices and control over their lives, including the option of medical aid in dying for those who were terminally ill.

"My mission in this world is to try to ensure that all people, including people with disabilities, have greater choices in and control over their lives. I believe that achieving this mission will make the world a slightly better place than it was before I got here."

Dustin Hankinson (1975-2017)

A disability rights advocate who lived with Duchenne muscular dystrophy for over four decades, Montana

"No one is forced to die, just as no one should be forced to stay alive longer than their body is able and their mind is willing. I support the right of terminally ill adults — of any religion or no religion at all — to make their own end-of-life decisions."

Sara Myers (1954 - 2016)

Terminally ill person with disabilities and an ALS patient, New York City

"I’ve always felt that one should have a choice at the end of their lives. That has not changed because I have an ALS diagnosis. What’s more important for a dying person than to have control at the end of their life?"

Gene Hughes

A disability rights advocate who lives with a disability, Utica, NY

"My life would be empowered by medical aid in dying. It would give me the autonomy I’ve worked so hard to maintain since my very first day in a wheelchair."

Dr. Seth Morgan

A board-certified fellow of the American Academy of Neurology, leader for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and chair of Montgomery County's Commission on People with Disabilities

"Based on my 23 years of clinical practice, as a person with a disability, and as an individual whose family members have experienced very difficult end-of-life challenges, I am in strong support of authorizing medical aid in dying. Having cared for people with progressive and terminal neurological illnesses, I believe the authorized practice of aid in dying has strong protections for the patient."

Ed Barocas

Essex County attorney and former legal director for the ACLU of New Jersey

"As someone who has a disability, something that concerns and in fact offends me is the contradictory notion that in order to protect people with illness or disability, we need to paternalistically limit their right to make decisions and prevent them from having options."

Chris Hinds

Former board member for the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation’s Colorado chapter, disability rights advocate who has been paralyzed since 2008, Denver City Council member

"I have a disability. I am paralyzed and use a wheelchair for mobility. Although I am paralyzed, it does not qualify me for medical aid in dying. Medical aid in dying and my disability have nothing to with each other. I firmly believe in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I love my life, and I pursue happiness each day. Should I develop a terminal illness, I want the liberty to decide when I have suffered enough."

James Jackson

Executive Director Disability Rights New Mexico

“One of the probably most fundamental rights that we support as an agency is the right to make your own decisions whenever you’re competent to do so. And that leads us to stand here in support of this bill.”