Advance Readings

As the DRLIB draws closer, our excitement is mounting, and we look forward to a wonderful two days of learning and discussion!

As you know from the DRLIB Announcement, we promised that you would receive written materials in advance and be expected to read them before the Institute.

Here is the initial list of readings. We may add to it, so please check back.

You’ll see that the readings are labeled “Required” and “Recommended.”

  • The Required list contains shorter items we hope everyone will read. “Required” doesn’t mean an ax will fall, and we promise there won’t be a test <smile>. Though the more we all educate ourselves in advance, the quality of the Institute will be improved. So we truly hope you will spend time with this material, all carefully selected by the DRLIB speakers.
  • The “Recommended” list contains additional material—a few are longer articles—that we hope you also have time for, especially if you are interested in a particular topic. NOTE that additional “Recommended” readings may be posted over the next days.

If you can’t finish all the required reading, we suggest you read some items on each subject.

A. Withholding Medical Treatment


  1. Not Dead Yet’s Public Comment to U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services on Affordable Care Act’s Nondiscrimination Regulations
  2. Public Comments on Futility by Diane Coleman on Behalf of Not Dead Yet Before the National Council on Disability


  1. Second Thoughts Connecticut leader Stephen Mendelsohn’s Testimony regarding SB 413, An Act Concerning the Department of Public Health’s Recommendations Regarding Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (MOLST)
    This pertains to a bill negotiated by the CT disability community, which could serve as a model for the nation.
  2. Friend-of-the-Court Brief Filed by Not Dead Yet, et al. in the Matter of the Conservatorship of Robert Wendland
  3. Not Dead Yet Blog: New Jersey Appellate Court Issues Ruling in Betancourt v. Trinitas
  4. Disability Perspectives on Public Policy In Advance Care Planning (Diane Coleman’s Plenary Remarks at international conference)

B. Assisted Suicide Laws


  1. Key Objections to the Legalization of Assisted Suicide
  2. What Do We Advise Our Clients? By Margaret Dore

    This article by an elder law attorney in Washington State shows how assisted suicide actually decreases, rather than increasing, choice and self-determination

  3. Testimony of N. Gregory Hamilton, M.D.

    This testimony shows the failure of established regimes of assisted suicide, where they are legal, to provide any safeguards protecting people with psychiatric disabilities who, due to depression, lack of services, and other factors, may be vulnerable to pressure to take their own lives.


  1. Disability Groups Opposed to Assisted Suicide Laws

    This one only needs a quick glance—to see the extent of disability community opposition to legalization.

  2. Some Oregon Assisted Suicide Abuses and Complications
  3. Attempts to Legalize Euthanasia/Assisted-Suicide in the United States

    Again, this needs only a quick glance. It shows the few successful attempts to pass assisted suicide laws, and the far larger number that have failed.

  4. Killing with kindness: Why the Death With Dignity Act endangers people with disabilities
  5. Why Assisted Suicide Must Not Be Legalized
  6. Physician-Assisted Suicide in Oregon: A Medical Perspective
    By Dr. Herbert Hendin and Dr. Kathleen Foley

C. Key issues in Reproductive Technologies


  1. Anatomy of a Webpage: Marketing Fetal Gene Tests and Sequenom’s MaterniT21
  2. Anatomy of a Webpage, Part 2: Preconception Services
  3. Anatomy of a Webpage, Part 3: Selling “Peace of Mind”
  4. The Bleak New World of Prenatal Genetics
  5. Eugenics: Compulsory Sterilization in 50 American States

    Note: The DRLIB organizing team all felt it important for participants to have information about the history of eugenics in the United States, which forms a backdrop to so many of our DRLIB topics.

D. Wrongful Birth/Wrongful Life Torts


  1. Letter to ACLU on Wrongful Birth and Life Statements


  1. The Disabling Impact of Wrongful Birth and Wrongful Life Actions

E. Violence Against People With Disabilities

While there are many types of violence against people with disabilities, one problem that reveals the prejudices behind many such acts of violence is the targeting of children by their families.


  1. Robert Latimer Murdered His Daughter
  2. Common Homicide: Killing of People with Cerebral Palsy, by Dick Sobsey, a leading researcher on this subject.