Friday, May 28, 2010

Ozzy Osbourne's Animus Toward People With Disabilities

If you think that popular culture values people with disabilities, you’ve been asleep or seriously not paying attention.
Read on.
Tracy Latimer was a 13-year old Canadian girl who was significantly impaired by cerebral palsy, in chronic pain, and suffered serious epileptic seizures.
Tracy was murdered by her father, Robert.
He put her in the family car and killed her by carbon monoxide poisoning.
Robert Latimer was convicted of second-degree murder in 1993.
He’s already out on parole.
What was most astounding about the Latimer case was that there was widespread public support for what he had done, showing that many Canadians felt that killing Tracy was justified because of her severe disability.
Fast-forward to this week.
Ozzy Osbourne's new album contains a song about Tracy's murder.
It’s sympathetic to Robert.
From the Vancouver Sun:
The 10th track of Osbourne's solo album entitled Scream, due out June 22, is Latimer's Mercy which describes what Latimer may have felt in putting his daughter to death. The lyrics are poetic yet brutally graphic.
"The sun shines on this deadly new mourning/The church bells ring an early warning/Your eyes shine as I turn on the motor/The tears fall as the mercy gets closer."
"I won't say I know what I'm doing/I won't say I'm sorry/I can't bring you back but I can't leave you helpless/I'll make the pain rest in peace."
This refrain is repeated:
"Another day and another full seizure/Another pill, you spiral down deeper/Another cut by a surgical butcher/It's just a way of prolonging the torture."
Ah, yes, poetic putting-Tracy-out-of-her-misery lyrics.That’s bad enough, and if Osbourne left it at that I suppose he could claim artistic license.
But he didn’t.
He went ahead and told us what he really feels about children with disabilities:
"I don't know if I could do that to my own child but I'm not in that position," Osbourne said.
"To put your child to death is a big decision. I'm not one to go, 'You're wrong, you shouldn't do that,' or 'You did the right thing,' Osbourne said the interview.
"I'm in the middle of the road. I question myself, thinking 'How would I deal with that?' It's a very big decision to make."
This is blatant animus to people with disabilities.
When a public figure openly writes a song applauding the killing people with disabilities, profits from it, and then refuses to strongly condemn said killing, we’re very, very far down the slippery slope into open hostility and increased violence to people with disabilities.
We’d better wake up.
Start by never accessing anything that Osbourne does ever again.

Quebec Legal Eagles Already Caving On Prosecuting Assisted Suicide & Euthanasia

Gee, what a shock! The legal eagles in Quebec are already huffing and puffing about how they might not be able to prosecute people who assist suicide or carry out euthanasia, right in the middle of the national debate as to whether to legal these forms of killing. Prediction: They’ll go for the mealy-mouthed non-clarification just as the Brits did, and it’ll have the same result as is happening in the UK: That the law will turn a blind eye to those who engage in assisted suicide and euthanasia. Ah, progress indeed.
Assisted-suicide prosecutions called 'grey area'
A Quebec government committee says the province could consider not prosecuting some cases of assisted suicide and euthanasia.
A Quebec government committee says the province could consider not prosecuting some cases of assisted suicide and euthanasia. more

Quebec Officially Opens Public Assisted Suicide Debate

While legislation to legalize assisted suicide in Canada recently failed, the pro-deathers simply don’t give up. Now the Province of Quebec has begun formal public hearings on the issue. Note that the pro-deathers are way ahead of the curve here, having got the pols to use the term “dying with dignity.” Stay tuned.
Quebec Debate on Euthanasia Opens to General Public
QUEBEC CITY, Quebec, May 26, 2010 ( – The public end-of-life debate that the Quebec government launched in December is now being opened to the general public.
The Quebec National Assembly’s special commission on "dying with dignity" released a consultation document at a press conference yesterday after having heard from legal, medical, ethical, and philosophical experts in February and March.  They will be travelling to eleven major cities in the province to consult with interested parties, and have set up an online questionnaire. more

Some Sanity In The Singapore Assisted Suicide Debate

They’ve been debating assisted suicide and euthanasia in Singapore for quite a while now. Here’s a sane piece that counters the pro-deather spin in its common sense and offers a real sense of dignity at the end of life, not the ersatz dignity proffered by the pro-death crowd.
Should I fight to the bitter end?
SINGAPORE - His sister died two years ago of advanced liver cancer. Till today, Alexandra Hospital chief executive Liak Teng Lit and his family believe the "best care" she received was the three-hour talk with the surgeon on her options, and the subsequent decision not to operate.
"She had a really good death. She spent the last two months doing family things ... and when she finally died, we had a celebration," said Mr Liak. more

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

They Might As Well Go Ahead & Legalize Assisted Suicide In The UK

Ah, yes . . . Note the opening phrase: This man was devoted to his wife. How do we know he was so devoted? He killed her. Nothing like marital devotion, I say. Oh, yes, and, of course, after much staring at their collective legal navels, the Brit authorities have decided not to prosecute a man who admitted breaking the law. Lesson? It’s OK to kill people because the law will look the other way. Oh, sorry, not even look the other way – but to come out siding with the criminal. Pathetic all round.
Husband who helped wife to die will not be prosecuted
A devoted husband will not be prosecuted for assisting the suicide of his 62-year-old wife, Crown prosecutors announced today.
They said there was sufficient evidence to take Michael Bateman to court over his wife Margaret's death last October but a trial would not be in the public interest.
Mr Bateman helped place a plastic bag over the head of his wife who died from inhaling helium at the family home in Birstall, West Yorkshire. more

Yes, Folks, Assisted Suicide & Euthanasia Used as A Murder Defense

We’re starting to see this defense pop up more and more. Murderer kills someone with a severe medical or other disability, then claims it was assisted suicide (or euthanasia) and that the decedent actually wanted it to happen (no quality of life, yadda, yadda, yadda). This one's in New Zealand. Here’s the nasty part: Sooner or later, I predict, some loony jury somewhere, already brainwashed by the pro-deathers, will buy it and a murderer will go free.
Tetraplegic didn't want to die, court hears
A tetraplegic whose throat was cut as he watched television did not agree with his killer that he wanted to die, a court has heard.
Former Paralympian Keith McCormick, 56, died after his throat was slashed and he was stabbed six times in the side of the neck by his part-time carer, Eric Neil Smail. more

Monday, May 24, 2010

More "Brave" Pro-Death Poster People

I’m getting just a tad irritated by the poster-person-for-death crowd. Here’s another “brave soul” who is publically stating he’ll help his girlfriend kick the bucket even if it mean he’s prosecuted in the UK, where assisted is still (although barely) illegal. Have you ever thought about what kind of society the UK is becoming where people openly, and in the media, brag about helping kill someone, and where this is seen as a good thing by many? God help us all.
I'll end my partner's life - even if it means jail: Retired IT worker says he'll accept sentence to ease companion's MS suffering
A retired computer worker from Co. Wicklow has vowed to help his seriously ill partner end her life - even if it means he will go to prison.
Tom Curran, 62, has promised Marie - whose multiple sclerosis leaves her in constant pain and needing 24-hour care - that he will help her to die with dignity at a time of her choosing.
In an interview with the Irish Mail on Sunday, published today, he insisted: ‘I am prepared to go jail. I know there are consequences to my actions and I will face them. This is something I believe in strongly.’
Mr Curran will be breaking the law and could even face a murder charge, but he says he is willing to accept the consequences in order to spare Marie needless agony. more

UK Nurses Back Off Pain Meds = Ignorance Of Palliative Care

Let’s see how long it takes the pro-deathers to take this information and morph it into another rationale for legalizing assisted suicide. Basically, the piece reports a survey of UK nurses who apparently go easy on pain meds because they fear being accused of assisted suicide if the patient dies from the meds. Well, the glaring point here is that these nurses appear to be so poorly trained that they haven’t a clue about the differences between involuntary euthanasia and palliative sedation. Another fine flub by the UK’s National Health Service.
Dying patients refused pain-relief because nurses fear prosecution for assisted suicide
Dying patients are being refused pain-relief because nurses fear they will be prosecuted for assisted suicide, a poll has found.
More than one in 10 nurses say they have held back treatment such as morphine on terminally-ill cancer sufferers in case they are implicated with hastening their death.
Many admit they are leaving their patients in agony but fear they will be charged with giving an overdose if medical records are later scrutinised. more

Not Surprising: Suicide Rates Higher In Nursing Facilities Than In Community Settings

This is hardly surprising – community settings are more comfortable, generally, than nursing facilities. It’s also good to see an article, however brief, that notes that issues such as depression should be looked into.
Suicide rates for seniors climb in Italian nursing homes, assisted living
A new study of seniors in long-term care facilities in Italy found that seniors in assisted living and skilled nursing facilities are more likely to commit suicide than their community-dwelling counterparts. more

Presumed Consent: Over My Dead Body

Beware the arguments that begin with the whine that there are not enough organs available for donation. Not because donation is a bad thing, but because of what some people are proposing to get more organs. Hence this piece from USA Today, arguing for “presumed consent.” That is, unless you have a legal document specifically stating that you don’t wish to donate your organs, they will be taken as a matter of course. Now, add to this how we’re redefining death to harvest organs before people are dead, and we all know where this will likely go.
Opposing view on end-of-life choices: Adopt 'presumed consent'
There is a severe organ donation crisis in New York.  Ten thousand New Yorkers are on the waiting list for organs in literally a "life-and-death" waiting game. Hundreds die each year waiting for an organ that never comes.
. . .The current failed New York system requires individuals to sign up on a registry to become a donor. There is a vastly superior alternative: New York should adopt a "presumed consent" model for organ donation, a system successfully used in 24 nations, including Israel, Spain, Belgium and Austria. The largest transplant programs in New York (NY-Presbyterian, Mount Sinai and NYU) all support making this change. more

Hospice Needs To Do A Better Job

Here’s a report that shows one reason why pro-deathers have ammunition for their cause: Hospice, at least in this report from Ireland, is not doing a good job of caring for some people who are terminally ill. We MUST do a better job.
Care for dying patients varies depending on type of disease
PATIENTS with dementia get the worst care when dying in hospital -- while standards are highest for cancer sufferers, a new report revealed yesterday.
The research uncovered for the first time that a 'hierarchy' -- based on a person's disease -- exists in the quality of treatment while dying in Irish hospitals.
The findings from the Irish Hospice Foundation emerged in the first audit of treatment provided to patients in their last week of life in 24 acute hospitals and 19 community facilities.
It revealed a sliding scale of care of the dying, depending on the illness -- with cancer at the top followed by patients who suffered a heart attack or stroke, or respiratory conditions like pneumonia or obstructive lung disease. more

Friday, May 21, 2010

Mealy-Mouthed UK Guidelines for Assisted Suicide

OK, this piece is about how reasonable, sane, etc, etc., yesterday’s released assisted suicide/euthanasia guidelines by the UK’s General medical Council are. Uh-huh. Read this quote from the guidelines and tell me how this actually can be enforced if an assisted suicide or euthanasia is suspected. Chilling.
Dignity in Dying 'fails' to get doctors to sanction assisted suicide
. . . “Following established ethical and legal (including human rights) principles, decisions covering potentially life-prolonging treatments must not be motivated by a desire to bring about a patient’s death and must start with a presumption in favour of prolonging life. This presumption will normally require you to take all reasonable steps to prolong a patient’s life. However, there is no absolute obligation to prolong life irrespective of the consequences for the patient, and irrespective of the patient’s views, if they are known or can be found out.” more

Ah, Yes, Safeguards In Legalized Assisted Suicide & Euthanasia - Really???

This is how it goes. Many of us see quite clearly the potential for abuse in assisted suicide and euthanasia laws. We’re usually shouted down by pro-deathers saying that these laws have “safeguards.” Balderdash. Every law that I’ve seen in Europe and the US has loopholes wide enough to drive Jack Kevorkian’s death bus through. They’re at it again in South Aussie.
Vulnerable sick and elderly at risk if WA euthanasia bill passed
The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) today called on West Australian parliamentarians to reject the euthanasia bill being introduced into the Upper House by Greens’ MP Robin Chapple today, saying that, if passed, the legislation would put the lives of vulnerable sick and elderly West Australians at risk.
ACL West Australian Director Michelle Pearse said that if Mr Chapple’s private member’s bill succeeds the ‘right to die’ could quickly become the ‘duty to die’ under the new culture legalised euthanasia inevitably creates. more

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Opposing The Culture Of Death: A Very Diverse Group Of People

Here’s a great response to the prodeathers trying to paint everyone who opposes the culture of death as religious wing nuts.
The humanist case against euthanasia
For me, one of the great mysteries of modern times is how the ‘right to die’ came to be seen as an important progressive cause.
It has now reached a level where if you tell someone that you have liberal instincts, humanist tendencies, and you don’t follow any religious faith, they will automatically assume that you are in favour of legalising assisted suicide. There is almost an unspoken, nudge-nudge agreement amongst a certain section of society that this is a just and righteous campaign: you read the Guardian, you shop at Waitrose, you go to the National Theatre, you support assisted dying. more

So, As Long As Involuntary Euthanasia Is Not Increasing, Let's All Celebrate!!

See also the post below this one. Here’s the pro-death spin about the CMAJ article saying that people are being euthanized without asking for it in Belgium. Ah, I see, it’s still happening, but let’s all rejoice because it’s not getting more widespread. Pure evil, folks, pure evil.
Euthanasia And The Use Of End-of-life Drugs Without Explicit Request
Despite fears to the contrary, the use of drugs to end life without patient request has not increased since euthanasia was legalized in Belgium, states an article in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal). more

Gee, I Thought That You Were Supposed To Euthanize People ONLY When They Wanted It

Hot off the presses of the Canadian Medical Association Journal, confirmation of what many of us have known all along – they’re euthanizing people (in this case in Belgium) who never asked for it, never wanted it, and never saw it coming. So much for making sure this didn’t happen by legalizing euthanasia.
Physician-assisted deaths under the euthanasia law in Belgium: a population-based survey
. . . Use of life-ending drugs without an explicit request mostly involved patients 80 years of older, those with a disease other than cancer and those in hospital. Of the deaths without an explicit request, the decision was not discussed with the patient in 77.9% of cases. more

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Pro-Deathers: He's A Murderer, We're Compassionate

Good. One William Melchert-Dinkel is in deep doo-doo for talking two people into committing suicide over the internet. The pro-deathers, of course, quickly try to distance themselves from this murderer, saying “aid in dying” is different that convincing someone to kill themselves. Uh-huh. The only difference, as far as I can tell, is that Melchert-Dinkel did it at a distance, while the pro-deathers will actually have someone sitting right next to you telling you it’s OK to kill yourself as they help you do it.
Online Talk, Suicides and a Thorny Court Case
The seemingly empathetic nurse struck up conversations over the Internet with people who were pondering suicide. She told them what methods worked best. She told some that it was all right to let go, that they would be better in heaven, and entered into suicide pacts with others.
But the police say the nurse, who sometimes called herself Cami and described herself as a young woman, was actually William F. Melchert-Dinkel, a 47-year-old husband and father from Faribault, Minn., who now stands charged with two counts of aiding suicide.
Mr. Melchert-Dinkel, whose lawyer declined an interview request on his behalf, told investigators that his interest in “death and suicide could be considered an obsession,” court documents say, and that he sought the “thrill of the chase.” While the charges stem from two deaths — one in Britain in 2005 and one in Canada in 2008 — Mr. Melchert-Dinkel, who was indeed a licensed practical nurse, told investigators that he had most likely encouraged dozens of people to kill themselves, court documents said. He said he could not be sure how many had succeeded. more

Irish Pro-Deathers Gear Up

The long cold hand of pro-death advocacy is going official in Ireland, with the setting up if a branch of Exit International, which will, no doubt, hijack the media to force people to agree how wonderful it is to have people help you kill yourself, or even let others do it without your involvement. Lucky Irish, I tell you . . .
Euthanasia body to set up Irish group
Exit International, the controversial pro-euthanasia organisation, is setting up a group in Ireland. The first advocacy group of its kind in Ireland will be headed by Dublin man Tom Curran.
Curran said the association in Ireland would be a source of information and support to people interested in learning more about euthanasia and assisted suicide. He said people had ‘‘a right to access information’’.
Curran’s partner had multiple sclerosis and, as her condition had become progressively worse, he said they had discussed options such as assisted suicide and euthanasia. more

Nuns Now Into Euthanasia? Say It Ain't So!!

Say it ain't so – NUNS committing euthanasia?? Thus little snippet from California raises the possibility, although obviously this is only an allegation. Would it surprise me if it were found t be true? Nope. We already know, unfortunately, that other Roman Catholic entities support killing – there are some church-run hospitals that allow for both futile care and abortion. Go figure . . .
Euthanasia Alleged At Auburn Sisters Of Mercy
AUBURN, Calif. (CBS13) ― A former employee of a community for retired nuns has sent shock waves through the Catholic community after claiming a nun was euthanized while staying there, an allegation the religious organization has vehemently denied.
Jeanne Reaume, an employee at the Sisters of Mercy in Auburn for 15 years, filed a civil suit in Placer County claiming she was fired without cause and alleging that a mercy killing took place.
The complaint says a nun visiting a sick sister in 2005 took morphine from a medical locker and locked herself in the sick woman's room with other visiting nuns. During that time, the lawsuit claims, staff pounded on the door and all they heard with singing coming from the room. more

Monday, May 17, 2010

Sowell Gets It Right Opposing Assisted Suicide

As usual, Sowell gets it right, and in a very few words explains why assisted suicide is so abhorrently horrible.
A ‘Duty to Die’?
One of the many fashionable notions that have caught on among some of the intelligentsia is that old people have "a duty to die," rather than become a burden to others.
This is more than just an idea discussed around a seminar table. Already the government-run medical system in Britain is restricting what medications or treatments it will authorize for the elderly. Moreover, it seems almost certain that similar attempts to contain runaway costs will lead to similar policies when American medical care is taken over by the government. more

Gee, I Thought ALL Nurses Were Against Assisted Suicide!

Speaking of a slippery slope: Just exactly how far have we gone down that slope when we are asking nurses whether they agree with assisted suicide or not? That means they must think that not every nurse is against it, which, of course, is probably true. So, in this day and age, beware those kindly nurses’ faces, they may not have your best interests at heart!!
Share your views on assisted suicide
Nursing Times is asking nurses about their feelings and experience around assisted suicide.
We want to gain a comprehensive picture of how nurses deal with this difficult issue in hospitals, in the community, in hospices and nursing homes. more

Never Mind What The Pro-Deathers Say: Their Agenda Is A Slippery Slope

Read everything you can find by Margaret Sommerville. She’s an articulate, sophisticated, advocate for life over death. Here she makes the point that once some previously unaccepted things are accepted, even if under very specific and limited conditions, they will sooner or later be expanded beyond those initial restrictions.
Euthanasia may become normal – ethicist
OTTAWA - Margaret Somerville has warned doctors euthanasia will become the normal way to die if it is legalized. more

Pro-Death Obamacare Will Ignore Conscience - Aren't We Lucky???

Well duh, of course there re problems with some parts of Obamacare that imply that if health care professionals refuse to engage in certain procedures which they find morally problematic that they will be sanctioned. That’s because the prodeathers will stop at nothing until they bend everyone to their nihilistic will.
New health-care law raises concerns about respecting providers' consciences
Deep within the massive health-care overhaul legislation, a few little-noticed provisions have quietly reignited one of the bitterest debates in medicine: how to balance the right of doctors, nurses and other workers to refuse to provide services on moral or religious grounds with the right of patients to get care.
Advocates for protecting health workers argue the new law leaves vulnerable those with qualms about abortion, morning-after pills, stem cell research and therapies, assisted suicide and a host of other services. Proponents of patients' rights, meanwhile, contend that, if anything, the legislation favors those who oppose some end-of-life therapies and the termination of pregnancies and creates new obstacles for dying patients and women seeking abortions. more

Being Born Prematurely Should Not Be A Death Sentence

This rather long piece addresses the pros and cons of surviving neonates who are born at about 23-24 weeks. We all understand the pitfalls of such early births, but there are parts of this article that clearly show that there are those in the medical professions who would rather not bother with letting these kids live. On the other hand are parents who understand more than the so-called professionals that a medical disability shouldn’t have to be a death sentence.
Two new pieces of research raise a profoundly troubling question: Is it sometimes wrong to keep premature babies alive?
When Hayley Franklin reached what she thought was the halfway point of her longed-for pregnancy, she had no idea of the horrifying decision she and her husband, Jez, would have to make barely two weeks later.
As she lay in a hospital bed, reeling from the news that her baby was almost certain to arrive dangerously early, her consultant offered two stark options: 'You can have a termination or I can try to turn a non-surviving foetus into a severely disabled child, by holding off your labour until the baby has a chance of survival. The choice is yours.'
Death or disability. No one would choose either for their child. But for parents of any baby born at 24 weeks or earlier, these are often the options. more

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Living Longer So That We Can Euthanize You - Go Figure

Ah, yes, another use for euthanasia. In the future we’ll live longer, so that euthanasia can kill us off. The novel pro-death ideas never cease to amaze me!
Anti-ageing drugs 'will fuel euthanasia'
People will simply choose to end their own lives in the future, when anti-ageing drugs that could extend life spans by many years become commonplace, according to an expert on longevity.
But birth rates might also have to be centrally controlled to cope with rising numbers of old people, Dr David Gems of the Institute of Healthy Ageing at University College London said.
Dr Gems, who is researching ways of slowing ageing, said society faced "a strange future".
Speaking on the ethics of anti-ageing treatment at the Royal Society, he said: "If we were to live very long lives then I feel that more people would simply elect to end their own lives. That seems to be reasonable." more

Aussie Pro-Deather Hit Piece

This also from Aussie, a fairly long hit-piece extolling the virtues of “rights,” “self-determination,” etc., etc., to legalize assisted suicide and euthansia. You get the picture. The part that amuses me most in the pro-deather arguments is that because everyone wants it, it should be legal. What balderdash.
Euthanasia is a rational and humane cause
Euthanasia is an issue that divides societies, although it enjoys 80 per cent popular support in Australia and Britain. The issue, however, should be clear. If individuals have the right to their own lives, then euthanasia should be legalised. more

Pro-Deathers At It Again In South Aussie

A few years back, euthanasia was legal in South Australia, and then quickly withdrawn. The pro-deathers are baaacckk!!!!
MP makes fresh bid to legalise euthanasia
Another attempt is being made to legalise euthanasia in South Australia.
Independent MP Bob Such will introduce a private member's bill this week in the House of Assembly.
Last year a similar bill proposed by the Greens in the Legislative Council was narrowly defeated 11 to nine.
Related Story: Euthanasia 'hacking classes' to help bypass filter Related Story: NT Govt wants power to legislate euthanasia
Related Story: Crossin says Greens bill is about Territory rights, not euthenasia
Mr Such says his legislation is tighter and would only be allowed when a patient who is dying cannot get adequate pain relief.
"This bill has merit because it's very limited and has safeguards in terms of checks and balances," he said.
"It's not available to anyone who simply wants to end their life and it's not about people who just don't want to live any more, that isn't allowed under my bill." more

Dignity In Death - Uh-Huh. . .

The story about Swiss pro-death clinic Dignitas dumping urns of remains of those who came to the clinic to commit suicide in Lake Geneva broke last week. Here’s a piece that has the right heading: Where is the dignity in this?
Where's the dignity in this? A notorious suicide clinic is dumping human remains at  bottom of Swiss lake... but were 50 Britons among them?
. . . The bay lies on what the Swiss call their Gold Coast - ten miles of villas fringing Lake Zurich where international bankers, minor European royalty and celebrities such as Tina Turner have made their homes.
Yet just 200 yards away from singing star Miss Turner's magnificent waterfront mansion, a gruesome discovery has set the whole community in uproar.
For it was here that divers uncovered a huge number of brown urns at the bottom of the lake, containing human remains.
'At first we thought they were flower pots,' said a sailor who discovered the urns by chance when he was searching for a sun-awning that had fallen from his motorboat into the lake. 'When I realised that they contained the remains of people, I was horrified. more

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Just What We Need: Organ Donation Euthanasia

Just when you think the pro-deathers have outdone themselves with outlandish suggestions that eventually morph into policy, something more troubling appears. Oxford’s radical Julian Savulescu has been making pro-death pronouncements for years under the guise of academic “bioethical” scholarship.

However, Savulescu’s arguments (like Peter Singer’s) are rather rudimentary, completely utilitarian, and unashamedly macabre.

For several years now, under the radar, and lead by Savulescu, there as been a bioethical stream of thought kicking around novel ideas about how to separate patients from their organs before they are dead.

Generally, donor organs are only removed from patients once the patient has been declared dead evidenced by irreversible stoppage of the heart. This takes at least several minutes, and is a major problem because organs begin to deteriorate the moment the heart ceases pumping blood around the body.

So, what’s a good medical and bioethical profession to do?

Well, take the underground idea of taking the organs before the patient has been declared dead, clothe it in civic-minded do-good-you-owe-it-to-your-fellow-man hyperbole, and start to twist broader public opinion to accept medical killing as a good thing.

Start the propaganda by writing a scholarly paper in a reputable journal to present killing patients as a meaningful, profound, and absolutely appropriate thing to do.

Yes, folks, make us think that removing all donatable organs from living people is cool.

Except for the poor patient, of course, who dies because their organs have disappeared into a cooler for someone else.

I’m not making this up. Wish I were.

Unsurprisingly, Savulescu’s rationale is the same old same old:
The patient is going to die anyway.
We’ll put “safeguards” in place so the system is not abused.
Just think how many people can be helped if we do this.
Think how many people will not be helped if we don’t.
And, yes, of course, we’ll do our best to convince people on their deathbeds that this is for the larger good.
And oh, by the way, we’ll give you anesthetic before we kill you and take your organs. You won’t feel a thing.
A win-win all around, no?

Beyond frightening.

It's Official: Let's Harvest Organs Before People Are Dead

Well, this idea has been bubbling up for a number of years, and now a prominent radical pro-deather and one of his students has outed the unthinkable in a so-called scholarly journal. Oxford’s Julian Savulescu is one of the most outspoken scholars calling for redefining death and pushing generally way-out-there utilitarian ideas. With this piece, he’s made it official: we should harvest organs from people for transplantation before they are dead. He’s also coined a new term: Organ Donation Euthanasia. I for one am (ahem) so excited about this cutting edge thinking.
Organ Donation Euthanasia
. . .This is a proposal for those 5000 patients each year who will have their life saving treatment stopped. We can give them the option in advance to donate their organs if they are ever going to have their treatment limited because their prognosis is deemed hopeless. If the person agreed in advance to be such an organ donor, and an independent committee confirmed that the patient’s prognosis was hopeless and treatment should be stopped, the patient could be taken to an operating theatre in controlled circumstances, given a general anaesthetic and have their organs removed. The surgical procedure would be a form of euthanasia. We could call it “organ-donation euthanasia”. This option would give people the best chance of ensuring that their organs do not go to waste after their death. It would also prevent the patient from suffering after life support was withdrawn. It would harm noone, and would potentially benefit a number of seriously ill patients in organ failure. more

Monday, May 10, 2010

Singapore Also Has Terminally Ill Poster People for Assisted Suicide

From the same Singapore source as the post immediately below, here’s the media cheering for assisted sucide. As always, there’s a terminally ill poster person who is insisting that she be killed, adding that wanting to do so means she is a “free-thinker.” Sure.
"I want to die now"
SHE has only weeks to live. But even that is too long for her to wait. She wants to die - now.
Madam Lim Kim Keow, 56, wants someone to help her end her life - on her terms. Cancer has eaten away almost her entire body and doctors have told her she will soon die.
But she wants what she calls "an le shi" or a "happy death". The free-thinker is not afraid of death. What she fears is suffering and being a burden to others. more

Singapore Has It Right, But The Media's Getting Involved

Singapore, and other Asian nations, are starting to become aware of assisted suicide and euthanasia, and doing do so in cultural context that sees killing people for their own good as a pretty far-fetched idea. However, as the media gets more involved (until now generally quite balanced) I predict we’ll see a tilt in favor rather than against.
Assisted suicide a crime here but views are mixed
Anyone who assists another person to commit suicide is criminally responsible. THE law is clear: Any form of assisted suicide is an offence. Anyone who assists another person to commit suicide is criminally responsible. A physician's role should be to help patients get well. If that's not possible, he should relieve suffering without intentionally causing harm, the Health Ministry said in response to queries from The New Paper. more

How The Media Lies In Favor Of Assisted Suicide

This is how lies keep reinforcing other lies. This is a sycophantic admiration piece masquerading as journalism. Anytime you’re agreeing with anything Jack Kevorkian ever said, you know you’ve gone over to the dark side. Oh, and the bit I’ve highlighted below about how Oregon’s assisted suicide law has all kinds of “safeguards. Uh-huh – like the fact that there is no provision for a medical doctor to be present at the suicide? Like the fact that after the doctor writes the lethal prescription there is no further monitoring of what happens to the poison?? Yeah, safeguards, indeed.
The morality behind doctor assisted suicide
There is an incredibly complex battle raging across the United States about whether or not it is socially acceptable to allow a doctor to help a patient commit suicide if they are suffering beyond help.
. . . Oregon has a system in place called the Death with Dignity Act that has all sorts of fail-safes for potential problems and moral arguments that people may have with euthanasia. For example, it takes at least thirty days and two requests to be legally euthanized so that you can’t rush into it without time to think about this final decision. You also cannot have just one doctor say that there's nothing that can be done for you and then apply for euthanasia. Oregon has been extremely meticulous in measuring what worries people and has written the act to address these problems quite well. more

American Board Of Anesthesiology Hypocrisy

Ho-hum, I’m shocked, shocked, I tell you!! The American Board of Anesthesiology is tut-tutting over its members participating in administering lethal injections in state executions. Too bad they are pretty silent on their members assisting suicide or carrying out euthanasia. Ah, you say, that never happens. Anyone wanna bet??
Anesthesiologists and Capital Punishment
The majority of states in the United States authorize capital punishment, and nearly all states utilize lethal injection as the means of execution. However, this method of execution is not always straightforward (1), and, therefore, some states have sought the assistance of anesthesiologists (2).
This puts anesthesiologists in an untenable position. They can assuredly provide effective anesthesia, but doing so in order to cause a patient’s death is a violation of their fundamental duty as physicians to do no harm. more

We Need To Oppose Assisted Suicide & Euthanasia Strategically, Not Emotionally

There are many things that divide those of us who oppose assisted suicide and euthanasia. Religion, or lack thereof, is one. There are some faith-based groups who wouldn’t be seen dead within 100 miles of hard-lefties on these issues, and certainly vice-versa. So, imagine what might happen if we came across those in Islam who stand on our side!! We all have to decide how to move strategically rather than emotionally, and, for all of us, that might be quite a challenge.
Euthanasia and Islam
. . . First, Muslim scholars insist that suicide is strongly abhorred and outlawed in Islam, that its punishment is eternal hell, and that one who commits it will be denied proper funeral service. (One finds no discussion on the possible reasons for a suicide; it is all rejected across the board.) more

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Honorable Alternative To Euthanasia

I posted this when it was published a few weeks ago. It came across my screen again today and I thought it was worth a repost. Here’s a doctor who specializes in palliative care (care/pain management of the terminally ill) who finds herself terminally ill. It’s an eloquent story of dignity, self-respect, and care.
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.” more

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Pravda Get It Right Arguing Against Euthanasia

Those of us who grew up in the Cold War used to make jokes about Pravda, the official communist newspaper. (Joke: Pravda breaking news: We have just been given the results of next week’s elections!!). Things seem to have changed for the better with this very good piece arguing against euthanaia. It’s clear, and understandable. Make a note of it.
Euthanasia and the Culture of Death
Shortly before the passing of the severely handicapped Terry Schiavo, whose death in Florida in 2005 was hastened by a U.S. court order to remove her feeding tube, Patrick J. Buchanan wrote: “That there arose a national outcry at the execution of Schiavo -- so loud Congress and President Bush heard it and came to the rescue -- is a sign America is not morally dead . . . yet. But a culture of death has taken deep root in America's soul.”
Terry Schiavo’s ultimately tragic death demands a more serious look at euthanasia and the destructive direction in which it is leading society. This requires a more serious reflection on the implications of life-sustaining treatments as applied to patients in the clinical condition called the "vegetative state". more

Swiss Killing Business Dignitas Taking Strain - Good!

Speaking of Swiss death clinic Dignitas being a business, owner Ludwig Minelli is in the hot seat for dumping urns of remains of people who came to Dignitas to be killed into Geneva lakes. Here he was confronted by the media, and was anything g but dignified. He lost his cool because the exposure is bad of the killing business.
Dignitas boss Ludwig Minelli faces 3 years in prison and a £30,000 fine if found guilty
URNS said to contain the ashes of Dignitas suicide patients are lying forgotten at the bottom of a Swiss lake.
In exclusive footage obtained by the Sunday Express, several of the discarded terracotta caskets can be seen strewn across the murky bed of Lake Zurich.
Many are still intact and bear the lion logo of a crematorium used by the controversial assisted death clinic, while others have been broken into fragments.
The foot-high urns have since been retrieved by police frogmen but a painstaking task is now under way to find out if any of them stored the remains of terminally ill or severely disabled Britons.
Dignitas founder Ludwig Minelli faces accusations he carried out a systematic dumping of patients’ ashes to avoid paying funeral costs.
When confronted by the Sunday Express at home in the Zurich suburb of Forch, Mr Minelli initially refused to comment. He finally snapped and shouted: “Eat ****, eat **** with many flies. That is an English expression is it not?” more

Killing For Profit

The drumbeat of poster-people in the UK glorifying assisted suicide continues apace. Don’t think assisted sucide is a business?? Andrew Barnes has already paid Swiss death clinic Dignitas $13,000 to travel there to kick the bucket as his has (ahem) “right.”
I have a right to end my life with dignity
A FORMER pilot given just three months to live is planning to die with the help of Swiss assisted-dying clinic Dignitas.
Andrew Barnes said his quality of life was deteriorating quickly because of a failing liver and an enlarged heart.
He regularly suffers pulmonary edema — fluid on the lungs — and takes a cocktail of drugs to control his illnesses.
Mr Barnes, 54, by his own admission a heavy drinker, was told three years ago that unless he reduced his alcohol intake, he faced life-threatening disease.
He was given his recent prognosis during treatment at the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital last week, where he spent ten days having fluid drained from his lungs. more

There IS An Alternative To End Of Life Killing

This is an important primer – that there IS a better alternative to killing yourself or having others kill you – palliative care, which specializes in making terminally ill people comfortable rather than killing them. Imagine that!!
Palliative care MD: Rethink euthanasia
STELLARTON — People who say they agree with euthanasia do so without knowing what it is, a palliative care specialist said Friday.
Most people think it’s the same as a "do not resuscitate" order that stops medical intervention to terminally ill patients and is an option for those receiving palliative care, Dr. Jose Pereira told professionals and volunteers attending the Nova Scotia Hospice Palliative Care Association conference in Stellarton.
But euthanasia is not the same, he said. more

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Good Analysis Of UK's Clarification Of Assisted Suicide Laws

Here’s a good analysis of the clarification of assisted suicide law in the UK. What it did, essentially, is make the matters even cloudier. Read on . . .
UK: Assisted Suicide
Assisted suicide has become a controversial and provocative legal topic around the world, particularly in the European Union. JURIST has reported on assisted suicide law and policy in the United Kingdom since 2006, and scholars, legal practitioners, and the public have commented extensively on the new assisted suicide guidelines for England and Wales released on February 25, 2010. These guidelines were made public by the Director of Public Prosecutions of England and Wales (DPP), Keir Starmer, as the result of consistent pressure from citizens seeking clarification of the law. Prior to the introduction of the new guidelines, public confusion existed over when people would face criminal prosecution for assisting in another's suicide under the Suicide Act of 1961 ("the Act"). The DPP's role in criminal prosecutions for assisted suicide cases is critical because his permission is required for a case to be brought before the court for prosecution. more

A Sane Alternative To The Pro-Death Spin & Lies

Here’s a very sane articulation of the difficulties around end of life issues that should be ore widely read. There are, indeed, other ways of managing the emd of life than assisted suicide or euthanasia.
Physician Assisted Suicide: A Spiritual Challenge
Last week’s piece on Physician Assisted Suicide (PAS) [2]by Dr. Juliana Eng addresses in simple and clear terms an issue that, at times, occupies the front pages of our newspapers or becomes the center of heated public debate or the theme of elaborated ethical argumentations. For long periods, however, the request of some of our patients to be helped in putting an end to their suffering, be it physical or existential or both, goes on silently in the professional lives of many of us.
As Ethics Editor of Clinical Correlation, I would very much like to see Dr. Eng’s piece stir a debate in our community as members of New York University regarding PAS and its many medical, moral, psychological and social implications. In my opinion, to be useful, this debate should not be adversarial or focused on dogmatic reasoning. Rather, it should be a forum where each one of us feels at ease to express his or her views as a practicing physician who may have encountered patients requesting PAS, but also as a person who may have been personally touched by the extreme suffering of a relative or friend. more

Pro-Death Spin: Assisting Suicide "An Honor"

Ah, yes, the pro-death spin: It’s an honor to help people kill themselves.
Doctor In 'Right To Die' Case Talks To WJZ
BALTIMORE (WJZ) ― The right to die is a controversial subject that's making national headlines because of a Baltimore doctor some compare to Dr. Jack Kevorkian.
The doctor who has been charged with assisted suicide sat down with Adam May and revealed how he's helped dozens die. Controversial Baltimore doctor Lawrence Egbert could go to prison for supporting what he calls a person's right to die with
dignity. Others call it assisted suicide. "It's always scary. You never get used to it. It's also awesome in its honor of being with the person at this time," said Egbert. more

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Stand Now With Schiavo Family, Or Shut Up

The media, for some strange reason, are going after the Terri Schindler-Schiavo Foundation.

Well, in some ways, it's not that surprising. Terri reminds us that abuse of people with disabilities is reprehensible. That legalized murder (as in Terri's case) is OK. Not something the media wants to hear.

The media are much more in the camp of hey-they-won't-have-any-quality-of-life-so-why-bother? Several people have already noted the integrity of the Schindlers - no need for me to pile on. Adding my absolute endorsement is enough.

Mike Deeson can make all the charges he wants.

Here's my take: Who's pocket is Deeson in?

Would be good to find out. If he was into "fair & balanced" reporting, he would have given the Schindlers some airtime.

Yo Mike, let's do a background check on you. Can you stand it??

Clue: It's already under way. Good luck!
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