Thursday, April 29, 2010

What Government-Run Health Care really Looks Like

While the crazies running the US government are hell-bent on taking our medical system back to the Stone Age, they’d be well advised to see what that actually means. Here’s a piece from the UK of patients lying in their own feces, starving, dehydrated, and helpless – all the good ship National Health Care System sails merrily on. From the UK's MailOnline this is what government-run healthcare looks like. more

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Danger Of Pro-Death Thinking In Different Cultural Contexts

This is a thoughtful Indian response to the considerable lethal potential of assisted suicide and euthanasia being let loose in a cultural context where it might be embraced for all kinds of very bad reasons.
Are we ready for euthanasia?
Of late, the debate on mercy killing or euthanasia seems to have resurfaced. With UK and the US legalising the practice (albeit to a few states only), the buzz about euthanasia is catching up in India too. A few months ago, Supreme Court denied mercy killing for a 59 -years-old lady Aruna Shanbagh, who was laying unconscious in a K.E.M Hospital Mumbai (after being sexually assaulted). Similarly, the Patna High Court dismissed Tarakeshwar Chandravanshi’s request of mercy killing his 25-year-old wife and in another plea the Kerala High Court rejected the request of BK Pillai.
In India, where the right of life under article 21 of the Constitution is considered the utopia of fundamental rights, the whole issue about right to death would not fetch much acceptability. However, it is not about the issue of legalising euthanasia but actually about the fact – is India ready for such concept per se? more

Chimps Understanding Of The End Of Life Way Better Than The Pro-Deathers

Well at least the pro-deathers haven’t got to the chimps yet (stay tuned). In this report it looks like chimp behavior around the dying involves care, attention, close company, comfort, and affection – none of which are any part of assisted suicide. If you don’t believe me, go to YouTube and you’ll see what a ghastly experience assisted suicide is – and not only for the deceased.
Chimps Confront Death in Human-Like Ways
Chimpanzees confront death in human-like ways, including attempting resuscitation. The animals'awareness of death is probably more developed than previously thought. Researchers suggest chimpanzees be allowed to die naturally in their groups to permit final goodbyes.
From holding deathbed vigils to comforting the dying, chimpanzees face death in human-like ways that indicate their awareness of death is probably much more developed than previously thought, suggest two new studies.
The papers, both published in the journal Current Biology, provide rare, intimate glimpses of chimpanzees dealing with death.
For the first study, scientists observed how three adult chimpanzees reacted when an elderly female, named Pansy, gradually passed away in an indoor enclosure at Blair Drummond Safari Park in Stirling, Scotland. The over 50-year-old Pansy had grown increasingly lethargic before lying down on the floor one day after eating. more

In Texas Judge Says Killing A Disabled Man Is Not Murder

Well here’s cute story (not). Texas woman admits killing her medically disabled husband. Gets 10 years probation for “injury to a disabled individual.” No kidding – I’d say killing someone is definitely an injury, wouldn’t you? I’ll bet that the sentence wouldn’t have been the same if her husband had not been medically disabled – then it would have been plain ol’ murder. Lesson taught? People with medical disabilities are of less value in the eyes of the law than others. How pathetic.
Woman who killed ailing husband gets probation
An Austin woman who gave her disabled husband a fatal drug cocktail before trying to kill herself last year was sentenced to 10 years probation Friday under a plea deal with prosecutors.
Katherine "Kim" Yarbrough, 53, pleaded guilty this month to injury to a disabled individual, a first-degree felony punishable by up to life in prison. Prosecutors waived a charge of murder with the plea. State District Judge Bob Perkins agreed to follow the plea agreement after reviewing a probation department report on the case.
Yarbrough, who spent several weeks in the hospital after attempting suicide, said little in court. In the hallway afterward, she hugged a group of friends who came to lend support. She declined to comment through her lawyer, David Sheppard. more

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Death Clinic Disrespectful Of Its Clients? I'm Shocked, I Tell You . . .

Well the UK reports that the Swiss assisted suicide clinic Dignitas has been dumping urns of the remains of people killed at the clinic is hardly a surprise for at least two very obvious reasons. One, Dignitas, despite its name, kills people for a profit and not for any notion of dignity I can think of. Second, as this story notes, the clinic was caught dumping urns in the lake two years ago. Of course, the good citizens of Switzerland are shocked, I tell you, shocked, etc., etc.
“Dignitas” Urns Dumped In Lake
BOSSES of Swiss suicide firm Dignitas were facing jail today after the discovery of up to 300 urns containing human remains in a lake.
British "suicide tourist" ashes are believed to be in some of the caskets found at the bottom of Lake Zurich by police divers.
Authorities were first alerted in 2008 when Dignitas staff were caught pouring the ashes of 20 clients into the water. more

Swedish Pro-Deathers Hard At Work

The pro-death drumbeat isn’t only alive and well in the UK. Sweden has a new poster person who’s campaigning for the right to have her ventilator switched off. Seeing that someone else will have to do that, it’s clearly assisted suicide. But the Swedes are going to allow it – even thought-assisted suicide in Sweden is illegal. Why bother making laws anymore?
Sweden Permits Passive Euthanasia
STOCKHOLM (Agence France Presse) Halting life-support at the request of a patient is legal, Swedish health authorities said Monday, clearing the way for doctors to agree to a heavily disabled woman's request to be allowed to die. more

Ah, Those Brave Pro-Deathers

The UK pro-deather drumbeat continues apace. We’ve had Brits going to Switzerland to the assisted sucide clinic Dignitas to help their loved ones be killed. We’ve had Debbie Purdy hectoring the government until prosecutorial guidelines about the illegality of assisted suicide in the UK had to be issued. Now, a retired doctor directly challenging UK law by admitting that he’s deliberately helped people commit suicide. Ah yes, another brave poster person who’s sure to draw more sympathy than any he deserves.
Dignitas: British doctor first to face charges under new assisted suicide guidelines
Dr Michael Irwin, a retired British doctor who paid to help a terminally-ill patient commit suicide at a Swiss clinic, is set to be the first person charged under new guidelines for assisted dying.
Dr Irwin has written a letter to Keir Starmer QC, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), effectively inviting criminal charges within weeks, for which the former GP could be jailed for up to 14 years.
Dr Irwin, who admits he had accompanied two other previous strangers to the Dignitas clinic to help them take their own lives, wants to make a test case out of his assistance in helping Raymond Cutkelvin to commit suicide three years ago. more

Monday, April 26, 2010

Surprise: Canadian Public Against Assisted Suicide & Euthanasia

It’s not surprising that Canadians aren’t in favor of legalized assisted suicide/euthanasia – once they know about it. And learn about it they did in the recent defeat of a private member’s bill in the Canadian Parliament, which generated a ton of press. However, as we have learned over the years, the celebration needs to be short-lived, because the pro-deathers will be right back with another attack on decency and civilized society in short order, trust me.
Paul Russell: Readers gives thumbs down to 'death with dignity'
A private member’s bill to amend the Criminal Code to allow people to “die with dignity” died an undignified death itself last Wednesday, going down to defeat by a vote of 228-59. But in that court of public opinion known as the National Post’s Letters page, the verdict on the bill was even more one-sided. more

An Asian Doctor Gets It Right

A perfectly sane and reasoned rationale for not killing people who are suffering.
Embrace Life
. . . Now and then, the topic of euthanasia, or mercy killing, pops up in public discourse. When faced with an illness like advanced cancer that inflicts pain, suffering and ultimately death, should we go through with it or fast-forward?
 All our lives are accompanied by trials and tribulations. Some may argue that even in terrible situations like advanced cancer, there is light at the end of the tunnel. The "light" - in this sense - is the ultimate release: death.
I feel that such arguments miss the point. It is more important that we have loved ones and acquaintances who support us, help us and encourage us along the way. more

Ho-Hum, Another Prominent Person Bravely Comes Out For Euthanasia

So it goes, now in Ireland. Prominent personality “outs” themselves as a pro-deather, proudly announcing that they will help people kill themselves or just kill them outright. They couch themselves in terms of pioneers raging against the unjust sanity that life is more sacred than death. The really bad part is that so many people in the general population are likely to believe them!
Nell McCafferty offered to help Nuala O’Faolain end her life
Irish journalist Nell McCafferty offered to help her former long-term partner, author and journalist Nuala O'Faolain, end her life after she was diagnosed with terminal cancer. more

US Assisted Suicide & Euthanasia: The Dark Underbelly Of Abuse

Well, there are some things in this piece that I don’t agree with, but it does point out just how precarious the state of assisted sucide/euthanasia is in the US. First, euthanasia happens, even though it is illegal. Second, as this piece points out, and as many of us predicted ahead of legalization, that where assisted suicide is available in the US, it is not the transparent process everyone said it would be – in fact, it’s so under-the-table that the chances of abuse having happened are very high, I think.
Physician-assisted Suicide – Is Now the Time?
. . . Many studies indicate that a small, but definite proportion of U.S. physicians have performed physician-assisted suicide (PAS), even though it is illegal.2 The only national survey conducted found that, among a representative sample of 1,902 U.S. physicians with a high likelihood of caring for dying patients, 18.3 percent reported having received a request from a patient for medication to use with the primary intention of ending the patient’s life.  Of those physicians, 16 percent (or 42 physicians) had actually written the prescription and 59 percent of those patients (or 25 patients) used the prescriptions to end their lives. more

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Money For Transplant Organs A Bad Idea

The Brits are debating whether to pay or compensate for organs for transplantation. Here’s someone who thinks its a bad idea, for just about all the obvious reasons.
Consultant says organ donors should not receive money
A leading consultant at Northampton General Hospital has rejected proposals that could see people paid to donate their organs. Nuffield Council of Bioethics launched a consultation this week to look for ethical ways to encourage people to sign up to the donor register and meet the urgent need for donations.
It asks if people should be paid, given priority on the donor waiting list or have their funeral paid for in exchange for donating or be willing to donate organs.
In the last four years 18 people have died waiting for organ transplants in Northampton and currently 99 people in the county are waiting anxiously for a donation.
Dr Nazrudeen Ali, a consultant in NGH's Intensive Care Unit, said: "If we begin to pay for organ donations then we start to forget about personal wishes and what the patient really wants. It could also encourage people to lie about their medical history. more

No Euthanasia Because They Sometimes Wake Up

Yes, folks, one very good reason to resist euthanasia for people in persistent unresponsive states – sometimes, even after many years, they wake up!!
The Death-trap of Euthanasia
Nineteen years in a coma,  the case of Jan Grzebski, a 65 year-old Polish man, was reported by various media around the world. He became known for the extraordinary fact that he woke up from a long physical absence, rather than a spiritual one.
A rail worker, in 1988 he suffered a serious labor related accident and fell into a deep coma. However, he regained his consciousness back completely in 2007. He affirms that, during those years of apparent unconsciousness, he was aware of all that was happening around him, even though he couldn’t move nor speak. more

Scots Push Back Against Pro-Death MP

A Scottish MP, Margo MacDonald, has been pushing to introduce a bill in Scotland that will allow the euthanizing of children (Yes, you read that right). Here’s a strong Scottish response that’s well worth a read.
'To function consistently, society must reject assisted suicide...'
. . . It is incorrect and disturbing to suggest that any person can ever lose his or her intrinsic human dignity. This is in accordance with the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights which affirms in its preamble "the inherent dignity and … the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family" as "the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world". more

Canada Getting Serious About Palliative Care - It's About Time

Good for these Canadian MPs. Wherever assisted sucide & euthanasia seem to take hold, it’s almost always in contexts where there is little or no attention paid to high-quality palliative care. That this is now on the front burner right after the defeat of an assisted suicide/euthanasia bill in Canada is encouraging.
MPs band together to study palliative care
OTTAWA — Spurred by a private member’s bill that supported assisted suicide, five MPs from three federal parties said Wednesday they’ll band together to work on improving palliative and elder care, and will ask other MPs to join them.
The assisted suicide bill, introduced by Bloc Quebecois MP Francine Lalonde, was defeated Wednesday evening on second reading, but NDP MP Joe Comartin said politicians needed to do more than just deal with that bill. more

Canadian Parliament 1 Pro-deathers 0

Well, after several attemts by a pro-death Canadain politician, a bill on assisted sucide and euthanasia has been soundly defeated. Good lesson for us to earn: This defeat was in no small way due to the incredible efforts of my friend & colleague, Alex Schadenberg and his Euthanasia Prevention Coalition. Without his energy and leadership, things might well have been different.
Canadian parliament overwhelmingly votes down euthanasia, assisted suicide bill
The Canadian Parliament turned down recently a bill to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide.
In a landslide vote, the House of Commons rejected Bill C-384 by a vote of 228 to 59. more

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Final Exit Network: Never Saw A Felon They Didn't Like

Gotta love the pro-deathers over at the Final Exit Network. They’re up to their you-know-what in alligators with 4 of their members under federal indictment in Georgia and other fed investigations in Arizona and Michigan. Doesn’t stop them making pro-death hay from the new movie about I-killed-a-man-with-disability-on-TV Jack Kevorkian. Of course, no mention that JK killed people who had no physical illness at all, and is a convicted felon for killing people.
Final Exit Network: 'Right to Die at Forefront Again with Kevorkian Film'
The debate over physician-assisted suicide and the right of incurably suffering people to end their own lives has again been brought to national attention by the HBO premiere of "You Don't Know Jack," on the HBO pay-channel, April 24th. The film is based on the book "Between the Dying and the Dead: Dr. Jack Kevorkian's Life and the Battle to Legalize Euthanasia," by Neal Nicol and Harry Wylie. more

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Ah, Yes, The Joy Of Euthanasia

Usually all but the most rabid pro-deathers couch their nihilism in rosy euphemisms that lead directly away from the heinous horror of assisted suicide and euthanasia. But every now and then, someone can’t help themselves showing the vitriol they really feel against those of us who think bumping people off is a bad thing. This hit-job from Aussie.
Checking out with dignity
. . . I caught up with Marijke a while ago to meet her new man, Rene, a Dutch cardiologist. The little boys and I rolled up to a breakfast by the sea. Whole-wheat pancakes, bowls of stewed fruit the colour of jewels, fluffy clouds of yoghurt, steaming cups of coffee and light streaming in. At the moment I was reflecting on what a healthy sight it was, Rene pushed his chair back and lit a cigar. At the table.
I love Europeans.
He turned to me and said: "Cathy, did Marijke tell you how we met?"
"No, she didn't."
He took a drag of his cigar and said: ''I killed her father." more

Hey, Mister, Wanna Buy A Kidney? Hearts Now Two For The Price Of One!

Well, it’s been doing the rounds behind the scenes for a while, especially by Sally Satel over at the American Enterprise Institute (she apparently had the epiphany after a kidney transplant). The Brits are opening public debate on cash incentives for donated organs. Yeah, just what we need, placing a dollar amount not only on whole humans (as we routinely do with futile care) but now on human body parts. What’s the bet this will escalate into another nasty nightmare? What about the poor selling off various organs for financial gain? What about a black market in organs at rates that undercut “official process.” (This being the UK, I’ll bet there be a whole bureaucracy set up to regulate body part prices). Brave New World, indeed.
Cash incentives one idea under consultation for organ donation
The public is being asked for their views on how the number of organ donors can be increased ethically.
The Nuffield Council on Bioethics will be asking whether ideas such as cash incentives and payment of funeral expenses would encourage people to sign up to donate their organs. more

Hastings Center Spins Healthcare Rationing - Without Ever Mentioning Rationing

Here's the rationing spin from the Hastings Center (yes, the same place where President Obama got many of his new members for the President's Council on Bioethics). Note that the word rationing is never mentioned. Instead, it's a "new way of thinking" another needed "revolutionary movement" like feminism, environmentalism, and civil rights. Okkkaaaayyyy...... so we want a new way of thinking that restricts medical treatment. Spin, spin, spin. Keep a sharp eye out for it.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Wanting To Die Just Because

I mentioned Kathleen Dobson last week, who died at the infamous Dignitas Clinic in Switzerland, and whose death has resulted in a furor among her children. What’s painfully obvious is that Dobson lied to Dignitas, saying that she was bedridden, etc., etc., when in fact she wasn’t, as the photos in the piece show. One of her sons who unsuccessfully tried to stop her believes she was depressed. And what about all the money to be inherited? Could that have played a part? Stay tuned.
In-Dignitas: Son tells how his mother took her life at notorious Swiss clinic - and how they kept it secret from skeptical brother
Sitting in a favorite Lloyd Loom chair in a sun-dappled greenhouse, Kathleen Dobson waters her cherished tomatoes and looks a contented, wealthy woman enjoying a well-earned retirement.
But this poignant photo, on a balmy day in August, 2008, is the last taken of the 74-year-old multi-millionairess, who lived in Guernsey.
A week later, Kathleen flew to Zurich, where she ended her life by swallowing sodium pentobarbital at Dignitas, the Swiss assisted-suicide clinic.
Last photo: Kathleen Dobson a week before her suicide, watched by her distraught son Graham
In a letter to the doctor who prescribed the drug, she claimed she was immobilised by rheumatoid arthritis, ‘afraid to go outside, move around, garden . . . I exist between a chair and the bed’.
But her youngest son Graham Carlton, 47, insisted last night that, far from being bedridden, the widowed mother-of-three still lived a full, active life. Having inherited a fortune from her second husband, whose father was chairman of the Hawker Siddeley aviation empire, she had no financial worries. more

Assisted Suicide In A Wisconsin Jail

It’ll be interesting to see how the pro-deathers spin this one. A man in a Wisconsin jail helped his cellmate to kill himself, and has been charged with assisted suicide. I’ll be my last dollar that they’ll find a way. I’ll keep you posted.
Assisted suicide case moves ahead
JUNEAU — There are a number of legal issues to untangle before a Dodge County jury hears opening arguments in the assisted suicide case against Joshua E. Walters in June — and virtually no case law or precedents to guide the proceedings.
“I’m told this is the only time (an assisted suicide) charge has been filed in the state of Wisconsin,” said Dodge County District Attorney Bill Bedker during a motion hearing Friday. more

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sad: The Suffering Choose Death Rather Than Comfort

I don’t question the fact that Allan Peters was suffering and felt hopeless. As expected, the pro-deathers are quick to assert the argument that this (and other) cases mean we should legalize assisted suicide. Balderdash. Read the whole piece, where doctors tell the other side – that Peters could have been helped and made comfortable. There’s also another pro-deather clue in the story – Peters left a note saying that he believed in euthanasia. Very sad, desperate people trying to make themselves poster people for the pro-death cause before killing themselves.
Public suicide in Calif. raises tough issue of assisted suicide
The very public suicide this week of a Placerville, Calif. man suffering from severe emphysema raises prickly medical and ethical questions that many would prefer not to mull.
Most pointedly: How bad does the suffering have to get before a patient says, enough, and takes his life? And, how can a patient and medical provider manage terminal illness so that people aren't driven to take their own lives?
For Allan Leo Peters II, 64, those answers weren't forthcoming. He hanged himself Wednesday from a local bridge after delivering a note to a local newspaper, calling his condition unbearable. more

Importing Illegal Killer Drugs OK - As Long As You're Compassionate

Oh well, nice to know that as long as you’re breaking Aussie law because you’re “ compassionate” everything’s OK. . .
No conviction for euthanasia drug
A MELBOURNE cancer patient who imported the euthanasia drug Nembutal has avoided conviction after a court heard she was motivated only to relieve the suffering of others.
Her barrister described Ann Leith, 61, of Camberwell, as an outstanding person and selfless community contributor for many years who had been moved by witnessing the elderly in pain. more

Obama's Bioethics Council Dominated By Pro-Deathers

While attention has been focused on Obamacare, the changing of the guard at the President's Council for Bioethics has received little notice. Guess what? The new crowd are decidedly pro-death. I'm shocked, I tell you, shocked!
Euthanasia Thinktank Controls
Obama's Bioethics Commission
Hastings Center, the leading U.S.-based propaganda agency for euthanasia and medical rationing, released a statement gloating that Hastings in effect controls President Obama's "bioethics" commission. more

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Irish Perspective On Euthanasia

Here’s a good piece on euthanasia from Ireland.
Grappling with the rights and wrongs of euthanasia
I RECENTLY wrote about start-of-life bioethical issues. And now, the March visit to Ireland of the Australian euthanasia and assisted-suicide campaigner Dr Philip Nitschke (“Dr Death”) brings end-of-life bioethical issues sharply to the fore. more

Obamacare Promoting Assisted Suicide

My esteemed colleague Rita Marker has written an excellent piece over at American Thinker about how Obamacare could be used to provide assisted suicide to minors without their parents even knowing about it. I’m not optimistic she wrong.
ObamaCare High School: Reading, Writing, and Suicide Assistance?
. . . Consider the following.
A number of life-threatening (indeed, terminal) conditions can be diagnosed in a clinic or through a referral to a hospital on an outpatient basis. A student may be diagnosed through an SBHC's clinic with acute leukemia or melanoma -- all within school hours, when her parents believe she is in class or at band practice. And she could, under the state's law, be "qualified" for assisted suicide, since, in Washington (as well as in Oregon and Montana), the crime of assisted suicide has been transformed into a "medical treatment." That treatment is available to qualified patients who are at least 18 years old.
Within two weeks of her initial diagnosis, the student who had been looking forward to going to the prom could instead be referred to Compassion & Choices, the assisted suicide advocacy organization formerly called the Hemlock Society. (Compassion & Choices is the go-to group for assisted suicide services, responsible for facilitating most reported assisted suicide deaths in Washington and Oregon.)
Before her parents even knew she was ill, she could be given a prescription for a lethal drug overdose. She could take it. And die. more

Aussies Will Cave to Activists, Just Wait & See

We’ll be seeing more and more of this in Aussie. Next will be the cries that people should be allowed to have these drugs legally available in Australia so that these brave soul won’t be threatened with legal sanction.
Woman fined over euthanasia drug import
A 61-year-old Melbourne woman has pleaded guilty to importing a euthanasia drug from Mexico into Australia.
Ann Leith, of Canterbury, avoided conviction on Thursday for importing the border-controlled drug Nembutal. more

UK Pressure Builds To OK Assisted Suicide

Debbie Purdy, the Brit who forced a UK legal clarification on assisted suicide (which actually muddied the waters even more) gas now gone public castigating PM Gordon Brown for wanting to leave assisted suicide sanctions on the books. Gotta giver her credit – she doesn’t quit – until, I guess, she travels to Switzerland to kill herself.
Woman quizzes PM on suicide law
A multiple sclerosis sufferer from Bradford has challenged Gordon Brown over his opposition to legalizing assisted suicide.
Debbie Purdy won a landmark victory last year after forcing clarification on whether her husband would be prosecuted for helping her to die.
During a pre-election question and answer session in Leeds, Ms Purdy urged the Prime Minister to change the law.
Mr. Brown insisted that the law must stand.
Ms Purdy said: "Can we, the electorate, trust politicians that we elect to seriously consider the experience of jurisdictions where assisted suicide is legal - to consider how to implement that in this country? more

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Euthanized For Her Money?

Well at least one explanation of this sad story is that one of Kathleen Dobson’s sons helped her be euthanized for her money. The prodeathers always tut-tut the idea that assisted suicide and euthanasia might be used for killing people to get their money. I’ll bet it happens more often than we think.
DETECTIVES are investigating the death of a wealthy British widow at a Swiss suicide clinic amid confusion over a key legal document.
Kathleen Dobson was not terminally ill but suffering from rheumatoid arthritis when she decided to end her life at the Dignitas clinic in Zurich.
A friend said that although the 74-year-old multi-millionairess had been in some pain, she was able to drive, enjoyed playing bridge and had a satisfying social life on Guernsey. more

If You Legalize Euthanasia, They Will Ask To Die

Well, duh . . . if you legalize something, people will use it more than when it was illegal and punishable. What a surprise!! (Forgive sarcasm). Note in this piece that many requesting euthanasia are “not in the end stage of their lives.” So, people who have at the very east some time to live, are pre-empting what they think might happen to them ahead of time. This is not different from the pro-deathers who think we should euthanize some people based on what their lives light be like in the future.
Euthanasia Requests Triple in Belgium, Highest Among Young Cancer Victims
After being legalized eight years ago, euthanasia is becoming increasingly frequent in Belgium, according to a recent study by the Flemish-speaking Free University of Brussels (Vrije Universiteit Brussel or VUB). more

Friday, April 9, 2010

Spinning The Data For Euthanasia On Demand

A new report from the Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research is trumpeting that over the last several years requests for euthanasia have been stable (Think of that, there are actually places in the world were you can legally ask doctors to kill you). Well, SPIN ALERT: The requests may have been stable, but the number of actual euthanasias has increased dramatically. That is, more people who ask for euthanasia are being killed. This august report also makes the case for making euthanasia more widely available by including it in medical school curricula and that medical facilities should develop policies and procedures for carrying our euthanasia. Yes, folks, the medical community wants training for doctors in how to make you kick the bucket. Nice.
No increase in euthanasia since legalisation
The number of requests for euthanasia in the Netherlands has not risen since an act to decriminalise it came into force in 2002. The finding comes in a study by NIVEL, the Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research, published in the British Journal of General Practice. more

Assisted Suicide Is NOT Legal In Montana

The pro-deathers have been spinning a court decision in Montana as legalizing assisted suicide in that state. It’s not, and here’s why:
The Montana Supreme Court’s assisted suicide decision is remarkable for what it did not do. In Baxter v. State of Montana, 354 Mont. 234 (2009), the Court did not declare assisted suicide a constitutional right, and it imposed no duty on physicians or hospitals to assist suicides. In fact, the Court’s narrow decision didn’t even “legalize” assisted suicide. The Court merely allowed a possible consent defense if persons continue to be charged with murder for assisted suicide. Because the Court defined the practice of assisted suicide so benignly, it is an open question whether most assisted suicides would even qualify for the defense. more

Support For David Cameron's Stand Against Assisted Suicide

Here’s a good piece opposing assisted suicide and euthanasia from yesterday's Telegraph
Do not go gentle... into legalised assisted suicide
Hurray for David Cameron for pledging to resist the legalisation of assisted suicide. George Pitcher is right. You do not have to be religious to understand how creepy it would be if the government, which would have to create an oversight bureaucracy, got into the death business.
You don’t have to be church-goer to get a sense of what would happen if the flood gates were opened for strained public — and even private — health care bureaucracies. The collusion, for instance, between American HMOs (private health insurance companies that wrangle lower fees by cost-testing every procedure) and assisted suicide culture would be a sickening thing to behold. more

Brit Leader Of Opposition Against Assisted Suicide

David Cameron, who wants to be the next British prime minister, has made his views known, among others, about assisted suicide and euthanasia. He’s against it, which is good. However, it’s interesting to note that he uses the pro-deather term, “assisted dying” a deceitful “soft” term for assisted suicide.
David Cameron answers Catholic Herald readers’ questions
Will you vote against any attempt to legalise euthanasia/assisted suicide?
Again, it’s an issue of conscience, so it should be subject to a free vote in Parliament. But my personal view is that that if assisted dying is legalised, there is a danger that terminally ill people may feel pressurised into ending their lives if they feel they’ve become a burden on loved ones. I don’t believe anyone should be put in this position. So no, I don’t support any change in the law.
I’ve come to this view because I think there is a very fine, but at the same time very important, line to be drawn between allowing nature to take its course under some incredibly painful circumstances and on the other hand allowing doctors or others (however well-intentioned) to accelerate death. I think it would be wrong to tread over this line, because there are very serious implications for our families, and for our society as a whole. more

Organ Trafficking Will Increase, Trust Me

Well, yes, organ trafficking is to be expected because demand far outstrips supply. Here’s the kicker, though: There’s a lot of chatter in bioethics circles tut-tutting the shortage of organs for transplantation and what to do about it. There are some who are advocating that the definition of death be changed in order to make more organs available, and, among some of the more deranged are suggesting that organ harvesting be allowed for people who are in persistent non-responsive states and even those with dementia. This call will increase, trust me.
Police smash Israeli organ ring
A retired army brigadier general is among six suspects arrested by Israeli police investigating an organ-trafficking ring, police say.
The organisation offered as much as $100,000 (£65,600) for kidneys, which were transplanted by doctors in poor countries, a sting operation uncovered.
Police said they had been "shocked" by the extent of the smuggling ring.
Retired Gen Meir Zamir, arrested in connection with the trafficking, won a medal of valour in the Yom Kippur War. more

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A Timely Word Of Wisdom To Canadian Pro-Deathers

I consider Bill a friend and colleague. He makes eloquent sense here in strongly suggesting that Canada not become another pro-death nation.
A message to my Canadian neighbors
By: Dr. Willam Toffler, MD
Since assisted suicide has become an option in my state of Oregon, I have had at least a dozen patients discuss this choice with me in my practice.  Most of the patients who have broached this issue weren’t even terminal.
One of my first encounters with this kind of request came from a patient with a progressive form of multiple sclerosis.  He was in a wheelchair yet lived a very active life. In fact, he was a general contractor and quite productive.  While I was seeing him, I asked him about how it affected his life.  He acknowledged that multiple sclerosis was a major challenge and told me that if he got too much worse, he might want to “just end it.” “ It sounds like you are telling me this, because you might ultimately want assistance with your own suicide- if things got a worse,” I said.  He nodded affirmatively, and seemed relieved that I really understood what he was feeling.
I told him that I could readily appreciate his fear and frustration and even his belief that assisted suicide might be a good option for him. At the same time, I told him that should he become sicker or weaker, I would work to give him the best care and support available. At the same time, I told him that no matter how debilitated he might become, that, at least to me, his life was, and would always be, inherently valuable. As such, I would not recommend, nor could I participate in his assisted-suicide.  In response, he simply said, “Thank you.” more

One For Reasoned End Of Life Issues

The pro-deathers hate stories like this, especially because they’re accurate and factual, thereby effectively countering the pro-death propaganda that assisted suicide and euthanasia are the answers.
Helping Patients Face Death, She Fought to Live
By the time she was 38, Dr. Desiree Pardi had become a leading practitioner in palliative care, one of the fastest-growing fields in medicine, counseling terminally ill patients on their choices.
She preached the gentle gospel of her profession, persuading patients to confront their illnesses and get their affairs in order and, above all, ensuring that their last weeks were not spent in unbearable pain. She was convinced that her own experience as a cancer survivor — the disease was first diagnosed when she was 31 — made her perfect for the job.
In 2008, while on vacation in Boston, she went to an emergency room with a fever. The next day, as the doctors began to understand the extent of her underlying cancer, “they asked me if I wanted palliative care to come and see me.”
She angrily refused. She had been telling other people to let go. But faced with that thought herself, at the age of 40, she wanted to fight on. more

Monday, April 5, 2010

Can Ads For Assisted Suicide & Euthanasia Be Far Behind?

The suicide ads are to educate people in how to reach out to those who might be suicidal. All well and good. Can similar ads trumpeting the wonderful acts of assisted suicide and euthanasia be far behind?
Suicide advert aired in TV first
The first TV advert to tackle the issue of suicide is to be aired during commercial breaks in Scotland.
About two people a day in Scotland take their own lives and it continues to be a leading cause of death in young people, those behind the campaign said.
The target audience for the government-backed advert is men aged between 18 and 44.
Public health minister Shona Robison said helping people break the silence surrounding suicide was "vital".
She said the campaign aimed to encourage people to talk about the way they are feeling and to seek the help they needed. more

Opposing The Pro-Deathers: Some Talking Points

If you need some talking points against the pro-deathers, watch this. I'll post others later.

Futile Care Alive & Well In West Virginia

Here's the brutal side of the pro-death scene: Hospitals ordering treatment stopped on a patient because they think that medical treatment is not going to help the patient get better, and against the wishes of the family. The pro-deathers have a lot of very unconvincing arguments, but in the end futile care is simply a way of ensuring that money isn't "wasted" by treating those who won't get better. Simple, really: If you're medically expensive, and can get better, you get the treatment. If you can't - too bad, we won 't treat you any more.
West Virginia Hospital Will Continue Care for Woman
Attorneys from the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) secured a court order on Friday that extends care for a 40-year-old woman on dialysis.
Officials at Ruby Memorial Hospital had said they would end treatment against the wishes of the woman’s family. They agreed to continue care until April 9 while Rebecca Bennett’s family finds her another facility. more

Aussie Assisted Suicide As Political Act - Yeah, Sure

Seems like many elderly Aussies are swallowing pro-deather spin hook, line, and sinker. Aussie Dr. Death, Philip Nitschke is holding workshops on how the elderly can get information about assisted suicide by getting around the proposed Aussie national web filter that would block such information from being accessed.
Elderly learn to beat euthanasia blacklist
PAMELA LAZEMBY, 82, has beaten cancer: she has no fear of learning how to beat the law.
''Now I'm on borrowed time I can afford to live dangerously,'' she said after attending the first in a series of workshops teaching people how to circumvent a proposed law restricting access to some internet sites, expected to include some on euthanasia.
Websites associated with Exit International and its suicide manual, the Peaceful Pill Handbook, are expected to be refused classification and therefore to be inaccessible from Australian computers once a mandatory internet filter is in place.
Ms Lazemby has nursed four elderly people to death and is determined she will not end up in a nursing home. If the time comes, she says she may want information about how to end her life. ''I'm not going to let that happen to me,'' she said. more

Elderly Disabled UK Woman Killed: Watch The Pro-Deathers Spin The Story

Well, we all know what’s going to happen with this tragic story: The pro-deathers are going to whine about how elderly, disabled people wouldn’t need to be strangled to death by their husbands, if we had legalized assisted suicide or euthanasia
Man jumped to his death 'after strangling seriously ill wife'
A man killed his severely disabled wife before jumping to his death from the top of a shopping centre building, police believe.
An investigation was launched after the 71-year-old man was seen jumping from the four-storey building at the Swan Walk shopping centre, Horsham, West Sussex, just before 10.30am on Saturday.
When police went to his home to inform his wife they found that she had been strangled. more

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Aussie Government Tries To Control Info On Assisted Suicide

No surprise here: The pro-deathers are really stirring things up in Aussie, now moving to teach potential assisted suiciders how to get around the Aussie government’s proposed filters on things ugly – including on where to find assisted suicide info on the web.
Euthanasia computer seminar
Euthanasia groups will hold computer seminars around Australia to teach people how they can defy the federal government's proposed internet filter to obtain suicide information. more

Organ Donation Quid Pro Quo

The Israelis are trying to address the shortage of human organs for transplantation by creating a system of preferences for who gets organs and who doesn't. Art Caplan thinks it's a good idea. I'm not so sure - any system will be abused and worked around, so we may well end up with more problems that we have now. 
Good idea for organ donations
As the medical community routinely warns, there's never enough organ donors to satisfy the demand. A new campaign in Israel might help solve that problem, if broadly adopted.
Israel has begun giving preference for transplants to those who sign a donor card. And the preference extends to their families. more

Some Hospitals Refuse To Starve Or Dehydrate Patients To Death

Some good news. Some hospitals are taking a stand that they won’t starve or dehydrate patients to death. The very fact that some hospitals have to make this pronouncement, and that other hospitals allow this, is creepy enough.
Sunday: Catholic hospital policy criticized
Tulsa’s Catholic hospitals will abide by their patients’ end-of-life wishes, but will never allow them to die from starvation or dehydration, say two Tulsa physician ethicists.
“If a patient is not going to die of disease, we are not going to let them die of malnutrition or dehydration,” said Dr. H. William Allred, vice president of medical affairs and chairman of the medical ethics committee at St. John Medical Center.
The bottom line? Catholic hospitals refuse to starve their patients to death. more

Friday, April 2, 2010

Germany: Euthanasia Returns - Sieg Heil!!!

Ah, the Germans step up in favor of euthanasia . . . Yes, indeedy, they have a long history of killing people they think shouldn't be alive by the criteria they set. The more things change . . .
What Is So Bad About Dying?
Michael de Ridder, the head of the emergency ward at a Berlin hospital and author of a new book on dying, discusses how modern medical advances are making death more complicated for patients with little hope of living. His book makes a plea for doctors to allow people to die with greater dignity.
SPIEGEL: Mr. de Ridder, as an emergency physician, you fight to save lives every day. Which makes it interesting that you, all people, are now calling for a new definition of death in an era of high-tech medicine. Isn't that a contradiction?
De Ridder: In my field in particular, I see how the limits of life are constantly expanding, without regard for the well-being or will of the patient. In some emergency rooms, half of all admissions now come from nursing homes. If someone who is chronically ill has a heart attack or gets pneumonia there, the most sensible thing to do is to make sure that they don't suffer, and to refrain from doing anything else. But this is all too rare. Instead, old people, who are dying, are torn out of their familiar surroundings, rushed off to hospital in an ambulance, resuscitated and given artificial respiration. If they're unlucky, they die in the elevator. These are horrible, undignified situations. more

Comforting Truth About Alternatives To Assisted Suicide & Euthanasia

If ever you wanted to read a measured, sane, carefully considered piece about how palliative care can be powerfully used at the end of life, read this.
Quality of life and death
Dr Stanley C Macaden says dignity in death can be provided by good palliative care, which aims to restore the comfort of people affected by a terminal illness.
The night was long, but strangely bereft of anxiety and hopelessness. My sisters and I sat around my mother’s bed. After her second stroke we had watched a steady and progressive deterioration in her condition and now she was slipping away. There was a difference, however: Amma was at home with us, her pain was controlled and she was kept as comfortable as possible by following instructions of the palliative care team. Above all she was at peace with herself and her Maker. We had also shared a few beautiful moments and heartfelt sentiments with her. The dawn ushered in the first few rays of the sun through the window. We held her hand as she breathed her last...
Death is an inevitable reality for all. The only certain event after birth is death. We do our best to make birth a safe and good event. However, there is much to be desired in the way we die. According to medical ethics doctors have a dual responsibility: to preserve life and to relieve suffering. As a person approaches the end of life, relief of suffering is the more important of the two, especially as it becomes increasingly impossible to preserve life. more

Veterinarians Much More Likely To Commit Suicide

Something as little off the beaten track. Vets much more likely to commit suicide than other health professionals. Who knew? The story explains why, and it makes sense (that they are prone, not why they do it).
Veterinarians more likely to commit suicide
You'd never know it by looking at us, but veterinarians are four times as likely to commit suicide than the average person; twice as likely as our human healthcare counterparts. This gloomy stat was brought to you by a series of United Kingdom studies conducted over the past few years, which culminated in a paper published just last week on the subject of why. more

Language Watch: "Dignity Havens"

Remember: they who control the language control the debate.
Latest in the pro-death spin lexicon comes from New Zealand, which is currently a pro-deather hotbed. Thus article describes a dust-up of two different pro-death factions. Have at it, I say. BUT the significance of the piece was a term I’d not seen before: “Dignity Havens.” The idea here is to create areas of hospices where people could go to commit assisted suicide or to be euthanized. Given the significant infiltration into the hospice movement by the pro-deathers, we need to watch this carefully.
Gloves off in pro-euthanasia camps
Pro-euthanasia groups are trading barbs after an American woman was charged with helping a woman in New Zealand kill herself . . .
"This is the first example of the police being employed by one faction of the right-to-die movement to pursue those with an alternative view."
He also described Ms Martin's idea of "dignity havens" – hospices that include assisted suicide options – as quaint. more

Final Exiters Plead Not Guilty - I'm Shocked, I Tell You

The four members of the Final Exit Network were indicted yesterday in Georgia. They all pled not guilty. Really? If they're so committed to what they do, why not just admit it?
4 say not guilty in assisted suicide case
CUMMING, Ga., April 1 (UPI) -- Four members of the assisted suicide group Final Exit pleaded not guilty in Georgia Thursday to charges they ran an illegal organization that helped people die.
Group co-founder Thomas "Ted" Goodwin of Kennesaw and Punta Gorda, Fla.; Claire Blehr of Atlanta; Dr. Lawrence Egbert of Baltimore; and Nicholas Alex Sheridan, also of Baltimore; are free on bond after being indicted last month on charges of assisting a suicide, tampering with evidence and violating Georgia's anti-racketeering law.
The indictment came a year after the suspects were arrested for allegedly assisting John Celmer, 58, die by breathing helium pumped into a plastic hood over his head. They also allegedly helped plan the suicide of an undercover state investigator who led them to believe he had pancreatic cancer. more

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Here's The Truth About The Pro-Deathers - Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid

Here's an unvarnished look at what the pro-deathers are all about. The last few minutes are of scenes from  the pro-euthanasia Nazi propaganda film "I Accuse." Note in the court scene how the husband (who has killed his sick wife) uses the exact same arguments the pro-deathers use today.

Link To Journal Article About Euthanizing US Children

Here's the link to the article describing cases of euthanasia of children in the US. It's a small study, but to think that this is not happening elsewhere is beyond naive. more

Final Exit Network Four In Court Today

Assisted suicide group "Final Exit Network" heads to court
Four members of group accused of helping people commit suicide will be arraigned in a Georgia courtroom today. Part-time Punta Gorda resident Thomas Goodwin and three other members of the Final Exit Network have been indicted on charges of offering to assist in commission of suicide, tampering with evidence and violating state anti-racketeering laws. more

Doctors Euthanizing Children in The US

A recently piece in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine documents several cases of parents asking doctors to kill their children - and that the doctors complied. This is how the path to legalized euthanasia of children started in the Netherlands. It came to light that doctors were (illegally) killing children with severe disabilities, so the Dutch, in their infinite wisdom, decided to make it legal in order to make things "transparent" and to "control" it. Guess what? Yup, it's legal to kill Dutch children, but it's hardly been controlled. Essentially, doctors can kill children with impunity. Soon to a US hospital near you.
U.S. Study Finds Doctors May Be Euthanizing Dying Children at Parents’ Request
BOSTON, March 31, 2010 ( - A study published in the March edition of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine suggests that a few physicians may have killed children who were very sick by giving them fatal morphine doses, after the parents had requested euthanasia. more
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