Less Than Human
I don't agree with that. For me, human is a state solely reliant on possessing those attributes we generally ascribe to humans. Remove those attributes and you have something less, and often much less, than human. It follows that other species that display near human attributes are also deserving of being considered human. The unfortunate Tony Bland had lost all the attributes of being human and should have been allowed to die much sooner.
Similarly, the lack of human attributes in a foetus is why I have no problem with abortion.
How disabled do I have to be or become, for you to start to consider me sub-human ?
The kind of identity striping dehumanising Alzheimer's that my mother has would do it. She made it clear when she saw her own mother similarly reduced that if she ever got to that stage she'd like someone to put a pillow over her face and end it. Unfortunately, the law has yet to agree.
Should add that no amount of physical infirmity would ever strip someone of their humanness.
And people with severe learning disabilities ?
Depends how severe but in general I don't think life should be prolonged or perpetuated when a reasoned judgement is that it isn't worth living. That's a judgement we make of other animals all the time so I don't see why we shouldn't extend it to humans.
In the case of severe mental and physical disabilities discovered before birth then I believe the case for termination should be overwhelmingly.
That may seem callous but my mother's situation tells me that our current attitude to 'life' is untenable.
So I’m bringing this here - in an attempt to keep things civil. I respect Colin Smith’s distress about his mother’s condition. But I am deeply concerned about any perspective that so devalues the life of people with disabilities. And any perspective that labels Homo sapiens sapient any stage of thei life as less than human.