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Wisdom From a Chair – Thirty years of Quadriplegia

Recently the memoirs of Andrew I. Batavia were published. His brother Mitchell finished on the request of Andrew the memoirs, that at the moment of his death in January 2003 were not yet completed. The reason this book is interesting for end-of-life advocacy lies in the fact that Andrew Batavia – despite of his quadriplegia –  became an excellent scholar in law and public health, serving many years at governmental levels (amongst others he was Whitehouse Fellow and worked for one year as special assistant under the attorney general of the United States) . The drafting of language and regulations to implement the Americans with Disabilities Act can in part be attributed to Andrew’s work: a landmark civil rights act for the disability community.

“Drew’s pioneering work in the right-to-die debate and physician-assisted dying controversy from a disability perspective was a hot-button topic and one that he saw as an extension of civil rights of persons with disabilities – the right for control over one’s life, including a personal decision to end it” (italic from RJ; quote from Chapter 22, page 276).It prompted him to cofound RtD Organisation AUTONOMY Inc.
in 2002, a year prior to his death. (Autonomy has been a WFRtDS member from 2002 onwards till shortly). The book is worth reading and let you realise that fighting for disability rights does not automatically lead to oppositional issues regarding end-of-life and assisted dying issues.

Wisdom From a Chair – Thirty years of Quadriplegia
Andrew I. Batavia and Mitchell Batavia, Inc 2016
ISBN 978-1-63491-079-8

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