Organizational Consultant & Blogger
Ingrid Tischer (White, she/her) is an organizational consultant and coach specializing in work-disability balance for disabled/aging/chronically ill workers and family caregivers. She was a Bay Area–based “accidental” fundraiser and non–profit manager for 30 years, beginning in a women’s free clinic on Haight Street, before moving on to Breast Cancer Action, Equal Rights Advocates, and Legal Aid at Work. For10 years, she served as the Development Director for Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF), and worked to redirect philanthropy’s culture of compliance toward an equity-based culture of access. Her media advocacy includes working with the Labor Project for Working Families, MomsRising and The Impact Fund,
Her blog Tales From the Crip explores the emotional landscape of disability and systemic ableism that also informs her long-time activism on assisted suicide legislation. She lives with muscular dystrophy, respiratory insufficiency, and depression.
I decided to become a plaintiff because assisted suicide laws are the Ford Pintos of healthcare legislation: They’re unsafe at any speed. I want to feel safer inside the medical system than outside it. I know that the same healthcare system that denies people a procedure or a pain relieving medication, that loses their records or misdiagnoses them, or that simply admits, “The system won’t let me help you,” is the same system that will implement assisted suicide legislation. I imagine the worst doctors I’ve met and remember that the main purpose of assisted suicide legislation is to protect them by lowering the medical standard of care for this one procedure, indemnifying them when they make a mistake. Which they will because no system’s operation is free of errors.
Assisted suicide legislation is a also bait and switch for consumers: You’re sold on a vision of dying that’s controlled, peaceful, and, safe. What you’re actually getting is a prescription for lethal drugs that don’t always work as expected. There is no required provision of “care” or even “assistance.” You get a prescription for lethal drugs and an absent physician who has no accountability regarding your welfare. Assisted suicide legislation is about building a demand for cheap, substandard medical care. Everyone deserves equal protection under the law and equal access to healthcare that meets their needs. That’s why I want the Americans with Disabilities Act enforced when it comes to everyone’s end of life.
Most of all I want us to see assisted suicide legislation for what it is: The painful proof that many people fear death less than not being able to escape our broken healthcare system or suffer within its inadequacies. This calls for enforcing our disability rights and strengthening medical standards, not undermining them and calling it choice.
How do you pronounce your name?
Ingrid (Ing like fishing and grid like the electric grid) Tischer (Tish like fettish and er like better).