Fifty-two per cent of Americans would rather die than live with a severe disability, according to a recent national survey commissioned by Disaboom.com, a website for people touched by disability. Disaboom announced the shocking results in an effort to educate people about why this viewpoint is so tragic.
The survey, launched in an effort to understand America’s perception of disability, asked, “Which would you choose: Living with a severe disability that forever alters your ability to live an independent life, or death?” The survey findings noted significant attitudinal differences based on age, income, geographic location, and level of education.
Highlights of the research include:
. Middle-aged Americans were less willing to live with a severe disability than older Americans. 63% of people aged 35 to 44 chose death over severe disability versus 50% of people 55 to 64 and 56% of Americans 65 and older.
. People with higher incomes were more likely to choose death over severe disability. Among those with household income levels of $75,000 or more, 59% chose death, versus those with household incomes of $25,000 or less, of whom 45% chose death.
. Geographic location affected a person’s choice of death over severe disability. While only 45% of people living in the South chose death, 61% of people in the West would rather die than be severely disabled.
. Americans with higher levels of education would rather die than live with a severe disability. Of those with a college education, 57% answered that they’d rather die than live with a severe disability, versus 30% of respondents who have not completed a high school education.
Dr. Glen House, founder of Disaboom , was the first person to climb 14,110-foot Pikes Peak in a wheelchair. A doctor, inventor, extreme sports enthusiast, husband and father, House hopes that Disaboom will spark a paradigm shift in the way America views disability.
The website offers a variety of resources In its effort to engage, educate and encourage people with disabilities, as well as their friends, family and caregivers.