Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Here's An Uncomfortable Truth From Nabil Shaban

Those Pesky Aussie Laws Against Assisted Suicide . . .

Police are investigating, but this looks like a murder-suicide, with a husband killing his terminally ill wife and then himself. As usual, pro-death Aussie Philip Nitschke head for the cameras to say it was all the law’s fault, and that this wouldn’t have been such a shame if the wife was allowed to be killed and her husband survive.
Nitschke calls for changes after couple's death
The bodies of 66-year-old John Carl Stewart and his 61-year-old terminally ill wife Jennifer Anne Stewart were found on Monday by their daughter in their Sawyers Valley home.
Dr Nitschke has confirmed the pair were members of his euthanasia group, Exit International.
Police are investigating whether Mr Stewart played a role in his wife's death.
Dr Nitschke says family members who assist with suicide face life imprisonment under WA's current euthanasia laws. more

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

In Idaho, Proposals To Have Medicos Withhold Care If THEY See Fit

Seeing that many of us warned about rationed care before the horror of Obamacare passed, and that the AARP fell over themselves to support it, all of a sudden the AARP is astonished that Idaho is proposing a law that would allow medical professionals - NOT THE PATIENT – and as a matter of their conscience, to withhold medical care at the end of life if THEY (the medicos) see fit. Tell me this isn’t doctor power in its rawest, nihilistic form.
Law affects end-of-life care
COEUR d'ALENE - A new law goes into effect July 1 giving Idaho health care workers the right to refuse to provide end-of-life care they find morally objectionable.
Some fear the legislation places the conscience of a caregiver ahead of a dying person's rights. more

Pro-Deathers Infiltrate Spain

So the pro-deathers are busy in Spain as well, passing off killing people as “dignified dying.” Oy . . .
Spanish Counseling Centers Push Euthanasia
MADRID, Spain, JUNE 23, 2010 ( Doctors in Spain are warning against "dignified death" counseling centers that are pushing euthanasia in the form of ideologically slanted living wills.
Ignacio Pascual of the organizations Professionals for Ethics told ZENIT that these "citizens' advice for a dignified death" information offices aim to counsel the sick, elderly and their relatives on end-of-life issues.
However, he said, the centers, in Rivas-Vaciamadrid and Getafe, outside Madrid, are managed by the AsociaciĆ³n Derecho a Morir Dignamente (Right to Die with Dignity Association), which favors euthanasia. more

Tasmania Tries To Legalize Death Again

The Northern Territory of Aussie is hell-bent on legalizing assisted suicide and euthanasia, and the Tasmanians don’t want to be left behind, so they’re starting the debate all over again. Gives new meaning to the term “Tasmanian Devil,” if you ask me.
Tasmania relaunches euthanasia debate
ELEANOR HALL: The Tasmanian Parliament is about to launch into another emotionally charged debate about euthanasia.
The Attorney-General Lara Giddings says she is drawing up legislation that would support people's right to die with dignity. more

Bad Idea: Unless You Say No, Bingo, You're An Organ Donor!!

Well, we all know that there are more people needing organ transplants than there are available donors. This is because there are way fewer people who sign up to donate their organs than people needing them. Bioethics is becoming increasingly obsessed with how to change this – everything from redefining death to suggesting people be allowed to sell their organs for profit. A more insidious plan is to make laws that declare “presumed consent.” That is, the state will assume you want to give up your organs unless you specify otherwise. Ah, Big Brother . . .
Donors' consent can't be presumed
Individuals who sign up for New York's Donate Life Registry perform a selfless act, as do families who agree to organ donation amid the loss of a loved one. Still, New York's organ donor registration rate is among the nation's lowest — just 13 percent of people 18 and older have designated themselves as organ and tissue donors. That means too many New Yorkers wait for organ donations that will never come.
Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, D-Greenburgh, wants to create a system of "presumed consent" to increase the pool of organ donors. Under such an arrangement, it would be presumed that a person agreed to become a donor, unless she opts out. more

Monday, June 28, 2010

More "Heroes" Of Assisted Suicide Hit The UK Media

If you ever wanted a prime example of pro-death media spin, read this. Note how it’s not helping kill someone that’s the problem, it’s all the bad Brit rules that meant this guy couldn’t help his partner die in the UK. Oh, and by the way, the grieving partner blames his drinking, depression, etc., on the Brit laws. What about accompanying his partner to be killed when he might have had more time alive? If I sound unsympathetic, it’s because all these “brave” people keep coming out of the woodwork portraying themselves as either saints or victims, or most irritating of all, as heroes for the cause.
Assisted suicide case: 'Ray should have been able to die at home'
Alan Cutkelvin Rees is, technically, a free man. Nearly a year after he was arrested on suspicion of helping his long-term partner to commit suicide, the Crown Prosecution Service has decided not to prosecute. But he is not celebrating. "It has been hell," he said, speaking exclusively to The Independent on Sunday, only hours after hearing the decision.
It lifts a cloud of uncertainty that has hovered over Mr Cutkelvin Rees, 57, since he travelled to the Swiss euthanasia clinic Dignitas with his terminally ill civil partner, Raymond Cutkelvin, in February 2007. more

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Killing People Is Profitable? Who'da Thunk It?

Killing people profitable? Not exactly a new idea. But at least the mask is starting to slip from the visage of Ludwig Minelli, the owner of Swiss death clinic Dignitas, who now, it’s revealed, is a multimillionaire. He says his stash was inherited. Well, maybe, but at the hefty fee he charges to help kill people, I’d be willing to lay bets on that “inheritance” angle.
Report: Clinic Founder May Profit From Assisted Suicide
ZURICH, Switzerland (June 24) -- A Swiss magazine alleged this week that the founder of Dignitas, the controversial clinic that helps terminally ill people meet a "dignified death" and has been accused of promoting "death tourism," could be profiting from the mercy killings.
Ludwig A. Minelli, a former journalist and lawyer, has been under the spotlight here and abroad since 1998, when he founded the Zurich-based clinic. The magazine, Beobachter, alleged that tax records have shown that Minelli had no taxable personal fortune registered when he founded the clinic, but by 2007 had amassed a personal fortune of $1.8 million. more

UK Might As Well Repeal Aid/Abetting Assisted Suicide Law

Well, no surprise here. The UK authorities have ruled that a doctor who accompanied a patient to die at the assisted suicide clinic Dignitas in Switzerland won’t face prosecution, even although such an act is illegal in the UK. The authorities are clearly communicating that they have a law on the books that they now plan to ignore. The social and legal constraints to death making in the UK are beginning to crumble, just as they have in the Netherlands, Belgium, and elsewhere. Coming soon to a place near you – death on demand: enjoy the dignity of your trip!!
No prosecution for right-to-die doctor
Dr Michael Irwin was arrested in 2009 after Mr Cutkelvin died
A former GP and right-to-die campaigner who took a man to a euthanasia group in Switzerland will not be prosecuted.
Dr Michael Irwin, 79, of Surrey, was arrested after cancer sufferer Raymond Cutkelvin, of London, died at Dignitas in Zurich. more

Death Clinics In Oregon - Heck, Why Not??

 An Oregon psychiatrist wants to open a death clinic al la the Dignitas death clinic in Switzerland. There’s a certain logic being employed – Switzerland has legalized assisted sucide and permits death clinics. Oregon has legalized assisted suicide so why not a death clinic in that state? Prediction: there’ll be lots of faux concern, much head scratching, a legal case or two (with the requisite killing-is-a-brave-and-loving-act shtick) and sooner rather than later, it’ll happen. And then the dominoes will fall elsewhere. Trust me.
Death with Dignity house planned in Portland
PORTLAND — Portland psychiatrist Dr. Stuart Weisberg plans to open a house in the Sellwood neighborhood where the terminally ill can kill themselves under Oregon’s Death with Dignity Law.
Weisberg told KGW-TV he felt compelled to act after watching a TV interview with Dr. Jack Kevorkian, who pioneered assisted suicide. Under Oregon law, a terminally ill state resident with only six months to live may receive a lethal dose of drugs from a pharmacy if two doctors agree. The Oregon Department of Human Services reports 59 people used the law last year to end their lives. more

Thursday, June 24, 2010

UK's Latest Killer Doctor The Next Harold Shipman - I Agree

Here’s more on the UK Brit doctor, Howard Martin. The piece argues that Martin is no different than the UK’s most infamous doctor-killer, Dr. Harold Shipman, who probably killed hundreds. I agree wholeheartedly.
Death doctor Howard Martin and Dignity in Dying have more in common with
Dr Howard Martin, struck off by the General Medical Council last week and facing a second criminal investigation into the deaths of several of his patients, is anxious to distance himself from mass-murderer Harold Shipman. Dr Shipman, he says, was “a psychopath”, while Dr Martin claims he was acting out of “Christian compassion”. I’m not sure how Dr Martin can invoke Christianity here, since the gospel enjoins us to visit the sick and comfort the dying, not to kill them, but there we are.
And the GMC described Dr Martin, who has openly boasted of ending the lives of several of his patients, as “egregious, despicable and dangerous”, which are adjectives that could be applied to the late Dr Shipman, even if there are other, worse ones to describe him too. Furthermore, what Dr Martin and Dr Shipman appear to have in common is as follows: They both believed they had an infallible responsibility for deciding when a patient should die (interestingly, Dr Martin claims to have done this with the dying patients’ relatives, which is supposed to make it right); they both appeared to believe that it was in some way ethical for a doctor to kill his patients, or “help them to die” are the weasel-words that euthanasia lobbyists use; they both appear to have believed that some lives, usually those of the terminally ill, are not worth living, which is an unusual judgment for a doctor to make, to say the least. And both of them seem to have had no problem with their conscience while playing God. more

UK Families Begin To Fight Back Against Killer Doctor

Just like the FEN post below, families of patients killed by Howard Martin, the Brit doctor who’s been bragging about killing his patients lately, are beginning to fight back. It’ll be interesting to see how the authorities react, although I’m not optimistic.
Calls for disgraced GP to face charges
FAMILIES of patients who died in the care of North-East GP Howard Martin last night called for the disgraced doctor to face fresh charges.
The appeal to prosecutors came after Dr Martin admitted he had used morphine to hasten deaths – including that of his own son.
The 75-year-old told a national newspaper he had acted out of “Christian compassion”.
Durham Police will consult the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to decide whether to launch a fresh investigation following the admission. more

Final Exit Network Sued By Victim's Widow

Finally, the widow of a man killed by the federally indicted Final Exit Network is being sued by the widow of one of their victims. Wait for another wave of FEN propaganda saying that what they did with her husband was noble, etc., etc., and that she’s just overreacting. Trust me, it’ll come!!
Widow sues ‘Final Exit Network’ over its role in husband’s death
The widow of a Forsyth County man who died two years ago with the assistance of the Final Action Network, an assisted suicide organization, has filed a wrongful death and negligence suit against the group and four members already facing criminal charges that they helped John D. Celmer, 54, commit suicide with the aid of an “exit hood” connected to a helium tank. more

Counterweight To Smarmy UK Killer Doctors

I reported a few days ago that another Brit doctor had proudly admitted that he had killed some of his patients. Here’s a counter piece that’s a good read.
There's nothing merciful about these doctors who play God
Dr Howard Martin was struck off the GMC for giving vulnerable elderly people excessively high doses of morphine
When someone you love is dying in agony, who has the right to decide whether to speed things up? If a patient has given their consent, should doctors be able to administer large doses of drugs which allow them to slip away without the pain? more

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Ozzy & Sharon's Assisted Suicide Pact - Rock On!!

Well, Ozzy Osbourne is certainly becoming preoccupied with death and assisted suicide. Two weeks ago he launched a new album with a macabre song praising Robert Latimer, the Canadian who murdered his severely disabled daughter. Now he and Sharon are cooing about their assisted suicide pact. Couldn’t happen to nicer people, I say.
Ozzy and Sharon’s assisted-suicide pact
Following the tragic loss of her father earlier this year, Sharon Osbourne made her own end of life plans. The Daily Mirror interviewed the “America’s Got Talent” judge about the decision she and husband Ozzy reached to choose their own ends should a mentally degenerative disease afflict either of them. more

The Other Side Of Pro-Death Doctors

Here’s a more balanced media take on the latest Brit MD to confess to murdering his patients.
The end-of-life dilemmas experienced by GPs
It is one of the starkest ethical dilemmas a doctor can face.
Confronted with a patient who is experiencing great suffering, do you help them end their lives and, at the same time, their pain?
The law is clear: actively carrying out euthanasia is illegal.
However, the case of Dr Howard Martin - who told the Daily Telegraph that he hastened patients' deaths out of "Christian compassion" - illustrates the ethical pressures faced by medical practitioners. more

Another Brit Doctor Happily Admits He Killed Patients

Howard Martin is the latest Brit MD to heroically admit that he killed some of his patents. For their benefit, of course. Several inquiries by the Brit medical authorities concluded that he was responsible for scores of deaths, and revoked his medical license.
Now everyone in the UK is wringing their hands as to whether he might be prosecuted. Given the current popular sympathy for euthanasia and assisted sucide, I wouldn’t bet on it.
Dr Howard Martin: Admission of hastening death could lead to further investigation
Over the past decade, teams of officers and coroners have looked into claims that the GP killed elderly and terminally ill people by injecting them with morphine.
He stood trial in 2005 for murdering three former patients but refused to give evidence and was acquitted.
Dr Howard Martin's admission could lead to the police re-opening the case.
His new confession that he “made them comfortable in their hour of need”, together with a damning verdict by the General Medical Council that his “despicable and dangerous” conduct did hasten the deaths of 18 patients could mean fresh police action.
Thanks to Labour’s Criminal Justice Act 2003, the ancient right of “double jeopardy” that prevented defendants being tried twice for the same crime has been removed. more

Monday, June 21, 2010

We Need To Use The Pro-Deather's Tactics Against Them - Lessons 1 & 2

We need to pay more attention to the pro-deathers’ tactics, because we have some lessons to learn.

Let me just discuss two recent events, both noted here at Alive & Kicking.

First, the Final Exit Network (FEN).

FEN is in deep trouble with the Feds in Arizona, Maryland, and Georgia. In Arizona, the Feds have handed down an indictment on a FEN member involved in helping kill a woman with serious psychological problems. A FEN office holder has been indicted in Maryland, and FEN was busted in Georgia in an undercover sting that showed their complete disregard for anything more that helping kill as many people as possible.

For most self-respecting organizations, this would be enough reason to head for cover.

Not so FEN.

President Jerry Ricin came out with media interview where he held forth about what a good and caring bunch FEN were, and that the indicted FEN members are just very brave frontiersmen who should be celebrated, not indicted.

Then, news over the weekend that FEN has paid for billboard advertising for assisted suicide in San Francisco.

Lesson to be learned: In the battle against the pro-deathers, remember that spin, propaganda, and downright deceit, are the order of the day. Never forget that these people will do whatever it takes (legal or illegal, ethical or not ethical) to make more people dead.
Never forget that.

Second, in Scotland, MP Margo Macdonald has continued her press for legislation allowing assisted suicide. She’s been at it for a while. She’s so deep into the pro-death camp that last year she suggest assisted suicide be legalized even for children.

Contrary to MacDonald’s spin, open hearings showed that most professionals were against legalized killing.

Here’s what Macdonald said, when asked for her reaction to this severe setback:
"This doesn't surprise me. Nor does it discourage me.”
Lesson to be learned: No matter how soundly there ideas are defeated, the pro-deathers don’t quit – they regroup, reload, and reengage.

Over and over again.

We must do the same.

The Need For Discussing Living Wills Carefully

First of all, having and advanced directive (living will) is probably better than not having one. However, they are often carelessly written, and there is quite strong evidence that patients are not fully informed about what they are and what the mean. It’s particularly important that it’s not simply a “Do you want to live or die when you are in dire medical circumstances?”
Living wills' lack of specifics limits their usefulness
Patients often opt for more end-of-life care when given detailed circumstances -- at odds with responses to a general question, a new study says.
Living wills fail to capture patients' end-of-life care wishes because they do not ask about the real-life scenarios patients are likely to face as they
get close to death, according to a new study. Researchers from Thomas Jefferson University in Pennsylvania examined interview responses of 202 Philadelphia-area patients age 70 and older
for the study in the May 22 Journal of Palliative Medicine.
Patients first were asked a question used in many Pennsylvania living wills, probing whether to "withdraw life-sustaining treatment that serves only to prolong the process of dying." Patients then were queried about their desires about more specific scenarios, such as whether to use antibiotics to treat their pneumonia if they also have Alzheimer's disease. There was a 23% average correlation between the responses.
"This study points out that if you talk to people in more detail, there's more nuance to their decisions than just results from a simple question about what they want in a living will document," said Charles F. von Gunten, MD, PhD, editor-in-chief of the Journal of Palliative Medicine and provost of the Institute for Palliative Medicine at San Diego Hospice. more

Proposed Pro-Deather Legislation Slapped Down In Scotland

A Scottish MP, Margo MacDonald, has been trying to introduce legislation in the Scottish Parliament to legalize assisted suicide. She’s a true pro-deater – even advocating assisted suicide for children. Yes, you read correctly, assisted suicide for children. However, when her ideas were opened to public debate, sentiments were heavily against legalizing assisted suicide. However, no resting on laurels, please, because at the end of the piece MacDonald remains unfazed, and will be back again, bloodied for now but definitely unbowed.
Opponents deal a blow to MacDonald's assisted suicide bill
MARGO MacDonald's bid to introduce assisted suicide in Scotland has been dealt a blow, with the vast majority of people giving evidence to Holyrood on the issue declaring that they oppose her bill. Analysis of the reaction generated by Ms MacDonald's End of Life Assistance Bill has revealed that 87 per cent of those who took time to produce written evidence were against it. more

Strong Opposition To Pro-Deathers In Canada

My colleagues Jim and Rhonda do sterling work fighting the pro-deathers in  Manitoba, Canada. In this piece they lay out the danger for Canadians with disabilities.
Don't give MDs power to pull plug: disabled: End-of-life guide a risk, MPs told
Giving Manitoba doctors the power to pull the plug on a patient discriminates against disabled people who may fall short of the minimum standards to remain on life-support, local advocates told a Parliamentary committee Wednesday.
Jim Derksen and Rhonda Wiebe, Winnipeg members of the Council of Canadians with Disabilities, said certain policies -- including Manitoba's end-of-life guidelines -- put disabled patients at risk of improper treatment because of common attitudes that "it's better to be dead than disabled." They spoke out in front of a federal palliative and compassionate care committee in Ottawa, and voiced their concerns about legalizing assisted suicide and other inequities in end-of-life care. more

A San Francisco Treat: Advertising Assisted Suicide

The pro-deathers are upping the ante. You gotta give it to the Final Exit Network, the pro-death outfit that currently has several members and office holders under federal indictment for helping to kill people. Now they’re advertising assisted suicide in San Francisco. Aren’t we all so very lucky? By the way, there’s no mention of their nefarious methods, like preventing people from ripping off the death/gas mask if they change their minds. Lovely.
Right to die billboard causes a big stir
SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- It's a simple billboard, raising complicated questions. People advocating what they call "the right to die" brought their message to the Bay Area on Wednesday.
On Wednesday, a sign went up at the intersection of Howard and Van Ness. The six words on the sign costs $2,500 and it's getting a lot of attention.
Some people are going out of their way to read the billboard and many are taking a double take.
It reads: "My life my death my choice." more

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Why Are The Dutch Surprised That Legalized Euthanasia Is On The Rise?

Ahead of the official release of last year’s euthanasia stats in the Netherlands, the Dutch press is reporting that euthanasia is on the increase over previous years.

What surprises me is that the Dutch authorities continue to be surprised by the increase.

Let’s see:

Take the social taboo of euthanasia, allow it to happen undercover, then tut-tut that instead of happening behind closed doors, it should be regulated and ‘transparent.” This doltish idea was meant to ensure that undercover euthanasia was stopped and only happened under very rare and highly controlled circumstances.

It hasn’t turned out that way, as some of us predicted years ago.

Here’s the slippery slope:

First, euthanasia was meant for only those adults who were terminally ill and in unbearable and uncontrollable physical pain.

Then, euthanasia was allowed for those with unbearable physical pain, even if it could be controlled, and even f they were not terminally ill.

Then euthanasia was allowed for those who were not only not terminally ill, but for people in no physical pain whatsoever – psychological pain, controllable or not, was enough.

Then the age limit was extended to adolescents.

So, from
The number of reported deaths by euthanasia rose 13% last year to 2,636, following an increase of 10% in 2008, the NRC reports, quoting figures due to be published at the beginning of July.
The 2008 increase led the health ministry to set up an investigation into the increase. That investigation is due to start this month.
This is not the whole macabre picture, either: These stats reflect ONLY patients who requested to be killed.

It does not include hundreds, and perhaps thousands, who are euthanized even though they never requested it.

It does not include the hundreds of newborns with disabilities that are murdered under the so-called Groningen Protocol.

It does not include legalized assisted suicides.

Here’s the truth: Euthanasia is now increasingly accepted as just another medical procedure. The social constraints have collapsed.

Need any more proof?

A recent survey in the Netherlands showed that there was strong public sentiment for making euthanasia available for anyone over 70 even if the only reason to die was because they were “tired” of living.

One final point: No, we’re not at the bottom of the slippery slope. It will get worse.

Human Heads Discovered On Southwest Airlines

Gee whiz! Authorities think that there might be a black market in body parts. Really? I’m shocked, I tell you.
Southwest Airlines employee finds human heads on their way to Fort Worth
A Southwest Airlines employee called police after finding 40 to 60 human heads in a package set to be transported to a Fort Worth medical research company, the airline said. more

Swiss Feds Sever Ties To Assisted Suicide Organization

Maybe the Swiss are coming to their oh-so-civilized senses. Their federal court has severed ties with an assisted suicide outfit. The intent of the previous arrangement was to regulate how assisted suicide was carried out. Guess what? It didn’t work (shocked, I tell you).
Federal Court overturns assisted suicide deal
The Swiss Federal Court has declared an accord between the Zurich prosecutor’s office and an assisted suicide organisation null and void.
According to the country's highest court, Swiss law does not permit such deals.
In 2009 the Exit association and Zurich’s chief prosecutor signed an agreement regulating the particulars of assisted suicide, including the use of deadly sodium pentobarbital and compensation for those who help others kill themselves. more

Pro-Deathers Begin To Infiltrate Churches

The pro-deathers continue to seep into every single place they can with their message of a happy death. It’s not surprising, therefore, that they have begun to infiltrate organized religion to co-opt churches and their members to their will. They’ve already started doing this in the hospice movement.
Speakers at CHA workshop assess tactics of assisted suicide proponents
DENVER (CNS) -- Proponents of assisted suicide are using the U.S. church's own revised ethical directives as "propaganda to promote" their cause, a physician and Franciscan brother told a workshop at the Catholic Health Association convention June 14.
Compassion & Choices, a national organization created from the merger of the former Hemlock Society and Compassion in Dying in 2005, is telling people that the "Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services" now require that "everyone will have a feeding tube rammed down their throat" at Catholic health facilities, said Franciscan Brother Daniel P. Sulmasy. more

So, How Dead Do You Need To be? New US Guidelines

So, new US medical guidelines to establish when someone is dead. It’s a step in the right direction, seeing that until now the guidelines have been varied and allowed for the possibility of someone being diagnosed as brain dead when they weren’t. Major question: In the race to harvest organs, will doctors abide by these guidelines, seeing that the guidelines essentially increase the time from actual death to diagnosis of death. I’m not too hopeful here.
When is someone brain dead? Experts revise guidelines
Determining brain death is a complex process that requires dozens of tests to make sure doctors come to the correct conclusion. With that goal in mind, the American Academy of Neurology has issued new guidelines — an update of guidelines first written 15 years ago — that call on doctors to conduct a lengthy examination,
including following a step-by-step checklist of some 25 tests and criteria that must be met before a person can be considered brain dead. more

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I'm Surprised The Dutch Are Surprised That Legal Euthanasia Is On The Rise

Nah, who wouldda thunk it???? Euthanasia deaths are starting to snowball in the Netherlands (um, make murder legal, they will come, and die, whether they want to or not). The funniest part of the story is that the government is concerned at the increase. If it’s legal, why be concerned? The time for concern was years ago when people were trying to stop the slide down the slippery slope. Are you listening, UK??
Sharp growth in euthanasia deaths
The number of reported deaths by euthanasia rose 13% last year to 2,636, following an increase of 10% in 2008, the NRC reports, quoting figures due to be published at the beginning of July.
The 2008 increase led the health ministry to set up an investigation into the increase. That investigation is due to start this month. more

NHS Nightmare: "If We Say You're Dead, You're Dead - Don't Argue"

This would be funny if it weren’t so serious, AND a good look into the kind of bureaucracy-gone-mad socialized health care known as the UK’s National Health Service. It’s a very similar system, by the way, to what Obamacare will turn out to be. Run away! Run away!!
Sorry, you can't have an appointment... you're dead!': Hospital refuses to see cancer sufferer because he's 'deceased'
A cancer sufferer was told he could not book a hospital appointment - because records showed he was dead.
Alan Campbell rang a booking system phone line after becoming worried that the disease may have spread to his throat.
But when he tried to make an appointment with the NHS Choose and Book system, a telephone operator informed him their records showed him as 'deceased'. more

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Czechs Seem To Like The Pro-Death Idea Of Euthanasia

Well, what a shock . . . another European country in the tank for euthanasia. Stay tuned for the valiant pro-deathers to introduce law to make it so. Aren’t we all terribly fortunate???
Poll: Czechs keep liberal approach to abortion, euthanasia
Prague, June 14 (CTK) - A major part of Czechs keep a tolerant approach to abortion and euthanasia, and want capital punishment to be reintroduced, a CVVM agency's poll has shown. . . .
As far as euthanasia is concerned, people's opinions have not profoundly changed in the past four years. According to 61 percent of Czechs, the national law should make euthanasia possible, while 29 percent are opposed to this. more

Inmate Claiming Legit Assisted Suicide - Judge Didn't Buy It - Good!!

The yo-yo who helped his cellmate commit suicide and then claimed assisted suicide as a legal defense has been sentenced. The judge didn’t buy it. Good.
Inmate sentenced in assisted suicide case
JUNEAU — A judge has sentenced a Wisconsin inmate to 27 months in prison for helping his cellmate commit suicide last year.
During sentencing Friday, Dodge County Circuit Court Judge Andrew Bissonnette said he questioned whether 20-year-old Adam Peterson could have
succeeded in hanging himself without help from Joshua Walters. more

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Myth That Assisted Suicide Is Only For The Terminally Ill

We’ll probably never know why two talented youngsters decided to kill themselves. What we do know is that they probably died using techniques championed by Aussie’s “Doctor Death,” Philip Nitschke. I find it ironic that in the UK every time somebody shoots someone else there are renewed calls for banning all firearms, yet nobody seems in a hurry to ban Nitschke’s “suicide by computer."
‘Suicide by laptop’ riddle of two brilliant students found dead in hotel room
Two brilliant university students were found dead together in a hotel room after apparently rigging up a laptop to deliver lethal injections in what is thought to have been a suicide pact.
Friends Robert Miller, 20, and 19-year-old James Robertson – both described as highly intelligent – were found slumped in chairs.
Their bodies were discovered facing each other at the £65-a-night Ramada Jarvis Hotel in Ayr – 80 miles from where they were both studying for joint maths and physics degrees at Edinburgh University. more

Wisconsin Case Recognizes Assisted Suicide For What It Is - Killing

Well, at least this Wisconsin judge followed the law in convicting an inmate of assisted suicide for helping his cellmate kill himself – in some other places in the US, and certainly in several countries in Europe, this guy would have been celebrated as “helping” his cell mate to a “dignified death.”
Judge sentences Wis. inmate for role in suicide
JUNEAU, Wis. — A Wisconsin inmate was sentenced to 27 months in prison Friday for assisted suicide after describing how he helped his cellmate, a killer, hang himself last year.
Joshua Walters, 21, said he agreed to help Adam Peterson take his life after hearing for weeks about how much he wanted to die. Peterson, 20, was facing life in prison on a first-degree intentional homicide charge in the 2008 stabbing death of Madison man Joel Marino. He felt horrible about killing Marino and for letting down his family, Walters said. more

Peter Singer Just Wants Us All Dead - Aren't We Lucky?

Peter Singer gets stranger and stranger. Its amazing what he gets away with because he’s a university professor. This, from last week, where he makes some pretty dangerous points. Don’t make the mistake of underestimating his outlandish ideas – he’s revered by millions, especially the pro-deathers.
Should This Be the Last Generation?
Have you ever thought about whether to have a child? If so, what factors entered into your decision? Was it whether having children would be good for you, your partner and others close to the possible child, such as children you may already have, or perhaps your parents? For most people contemplating reproduction, those are the dominant questions. Some may also think about the desirability of adding to the strain that the nearly seven billion people already here are putting on our planet’s environment. But very few ask whether coming into existence is a good thing for the child itself. Most of those who consider that question probably do so because they have some reason to fear that the child’s life would be especially difficult — for example, if they have a family history of a devastating illness, physical or mental, that cannot yet be detected prenatally. more

Will Incentivizing Organ Donation Lead To A Black Market In Organ Trafficking?

Sally Satel is an MD who had a kidney transplant a few years ago, and it’s changed her perspective on how we should go about organ donation. She’s firmly in the let's-incentivize-the-donors camp. However, I’m not convinced by her arguments addressing how this won’t become abused and lead to a black market in organ trafficking.
Altruism + incentive = more organ donations
In March 2006 a friend gave me her right kidney. I had been searching for a donor for more than a year — my kidneys mysteriously gave out in 2004 — and things were not going well.
Three friends offered to donate but backed out. Frustrated at first, I soon found myself oddly relieved. I dreaded the constricting obligation that would surely come with accepting such a sacrifice. I wished I could buy a kidney just to avert the emotional debt.
Soon, however, I wanted to buy one for a more obvious reason: without a new kidney, I would spend years on life-draining dialysis. Mercifully, in late 2005 I received an e-mail from Virginia, a casual friend who lived halfway across the country. Virginia was a brilliant writer who had heard from a mutual friend that I needed a kidney. more

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

UK: National Health Service Brutality II

Well, as we know, socialized medicine never rations care – uh huh. Read this piece, where a Scottish study found that for women, the older they were, the less likely they would be offered some treatments for breast cancer. That’s exactly what Obamacare will do here in the US, trust me.
patients receive 'lower level of treatment', claims charity
OLDER breast cancer patients are much less likely to receive surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy as part of their treatment, a charity claimed today.
Breakthrough Breast Cancer said it is "wrong" that not all women have equal access to such care.
The charity is calling on the Scottish Government to ensure older patients are treated on the basis of clinical need.
About 4000 women in Scotland are diagnosed with breast cancer each year, with the disease claiming more than 1000 lives annually.
However Breakthrough Breast Cancer said patients aged 80 or above are 40 times less likely to be treated with surgery than younger patients.
Older women with cancer are "significantly less likely" to get chemotherapy and radiotherapy. more

UK: National Health Service Brutality I

For those of you who think nationalized medicine is such a brilliant idea that we in the US should get it too, read this – a UK mom, terminally ill, is being refused an expensive drug because it’s not going to make her better. The fact that it may well give her enough survival time to see her son go to school is completely ignored by the NHS murderers.
Family 'just wants more time' with mother denied costly cancer drug
A devastated family today attacked doctors for refusing to give a mother life-prolonging drugs that could let her live to see her son start school. more

Kudos For Medical Students In New Jersey For Committing To The Terminally Ill

Here’s an encouraging and innovative program at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-New Jersey Medical School in Newark. They kept running into terminally ill patients who faced the prospect of dying alone. They decided to change that, pairing up each patient with a medical student who remains their support until their death. What a contrast tp the pro-deathers who can’t wait for people to kill themselves no matter what.
Learning Bedside Manners: When Students Are All EARS for Dying Patients
IN the last two months of his life, Nick Macioci suffered the ravages of cancer while grappling with the heartache of not being able to attend a funer- al for his mother, also a victim of the insidious disease. Now, Barbara Ciricillo holds onto mem- ories of the compassionate care her brother received at University Hospital (UH) in Newark during his last days and credits a student- inspired initiative at NJMS with encouraging him when she could not be there herself. more, beginning p. 25 of the pdf 

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Connecticut Slaps Down Pro-Deathers

Good for Connecticut, but there’s no time to celebrate. If we know anything at all about the pro-deathers, it’s that they’re manically persistent and will try again to foist their death wish on the rest of us very soon.
Connecticut Trial Court Rejects Attempt to Overturn Ban on Assisted Suicide
Hartford, CT ( -- A Connecticut trial court judge rejected a lawsuit by euthanasia advocates seeking to overturn the Connecticut ban on assisted suicide. had the lawsuit been successful, it could have made the New England state the fourth after Oregon, Washington, and Montana to allow assisted suicides.
Gary Blick and Ronald Levine, two Fairfield County doctors, brought the lawsuit with the support of the pro-euthanasia group Compassion & Choices and state attorneys hoped Judge Julia Aurigemma would dismiss it.
Judge Aurigemma did just that -- and dismissed the petition, although the backers of the lawsuit are expected to file an appeal. more

Monday, June 7, 2010

In Belgium: No, It's Not Death With Dignity - It's Cold Blooded Murder

Forgive my chuckle at this research from the Canadian Medical Association Journal, which reports that in Belgium, in spite of all the “transparency,” “legal checks,” etc., not only are doctors sometimes the killers, but nurses as well, and surprise, surprise, a whole bunch of people were killed without ever having requested it. This, in a sane world, is called murder. Ah, but the pro-deathers call it ”death with dignity.” Aren’t we lucky??
The role of nurses in physician-assisted deaths in Belgium
. . . Overall, 128 nurses reported having cared for a patient who received euthanasia and 120 for a patient who received life-ending drugs without his or her explicit request. . . . life-ending drugs were administered by the nurse in 12% of the cases of euthanasia, as compared with 45% of the cases of assisted death without an explicit request. In both types of assisted death, the nurses acted on the physician’s orders but mostly in the physician’s absence. . . . Interpretation: By administering the life-ending drugs in some of the cases of euthanasia, and in almost half of the cases without an explicit request from the patient, the nurses in our study operated beyond the legal margins of their profession. more

Scotland: Assisted Suicide Foxes Watching The Parliamentary Henhouse

We’ve seen this before. For example, Oregon’s 1997 assisted suicide law was written under heavy influence of the pro-deathers. Now the same is happening in Scotland. MP Margo MacDonald (she of calling for assisted suicide for children last year) is appointing an pro-deather to a panel discussing the acceptability of legalized assisted suicide. Gee, why aren’t I shocked?
Pro-lifers hit out over suicide bill committee
AN author who has argued for assisted suicide has been appointed adviser to the Holyrood committee scrutinising MSP Margo MacDonald's bill calling for sick people to be given the right to die.
Pro-life campaigners are angered by the appointment of Alison Britton, the co-author of The Case For Assisted Suicide, to her position as the committee's only adviser and sought assurances that she will be impartial. more

Supreme Court Nominee On Assisted Suicide

Friday’s document dump of US Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan’s missives during the Clinton administration provide at least some info on what she thinks of the feds stepping in to ban assisted suicide. She thinks that it’s not a good idea.
New Docs: Kagan on Assisted Suicide Law
As a mid-level White House staffer, Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan argued it was a "terrible idea" to pursue federal legislation in response to a state assisted suicide law, in a hand-written aside on a memo buried in more than 40,000 documents [1] released Friday from the Bill Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock.
The 1998 document [page 30] [2] reveals Kagan's previously unknown view on how she believed the federal government should respond to an Oregon law allowing assisted suicides. Kagan writes in her own hand the following:
Karen Popp called this week to say that DOJ is ready to opine that Oregon doctors who assist suicides are not violating the Controlled Substances Act. (This is contrary to an initial DEA ruling.) We need to decide whether to accompany this ruling with a request for new legislation making assisted suicide a federal crime. I think this is a fairly terrible idea, but I know Begala likes it. Do we need to run some kind of policy process? Elena. more

Friday, June 4, 2010

Here's Why Assisted Suicide & Euthanasia Are Dangerous - You Might Survive Your Terminal Illness

Here’s a letter to the Montreal Gazette which speaks more eloquently in a very few words than many of us could ever do in years of blogging.
Persuaded to live with dignity
I'm a retired bookkeeper, who lives in Oregon, where assisted suicide is legal. Our law was enacted via a ballot initiative, for which I voted.
In 2000, I was diagnosed with colon cancer and told that I had six months to a year to live. I knew that our law had passed, but I didn't know exactly how to go about doing it. I asked one of my doctors, but he didn't really answer me.
Instead, he encouraged me not to give up and ultimately I decided to fight. I had both chemotherapy and radiation, and I am truly happy to be alive! That was 10 years ago, and if my doctors had believed in assisted suicide, I would be dead. I thank each of them for helping me choose "life with dignity."

Italy Slaps Down The Dutch Penchant For Killing

Good for Italy. A Dutch husband and his wife, who is in a persistently nonresponsive state, live in Italy. He’s trying to kill her under Dutch law, but, commendably, the Italians aren’t biting.
Dutch euthanasia directive doesn’t travel
What is the validity of a written "euthanasia directive" that details a Dutch citizen's wish to die for authorities in another European country? Answer: it has no validity, at least not in Italy. De Volkskrant recounts the story of a Dutch-Italian Anne Busato (age 63), who has remained in a vegetative state following a stroke in 2009. Twenty years ago Ms Busato went to the trouble of writing a request that she be removed from life support in the event of a persistent vegetative state or irreversible coma. However, her husband has not been able to obtain permission to carry out her wishes. The euthanasia law that applies in the Netherlands, does not apply for Dutch citizens living abroad. “The Italians believe that euthanasia is murder. They say that in the Netherlands, we kill all kinds of sick people, sometimes even babies,” explains her husband to Volkskrant. To bring his wife back to the Netherlands, he has taken a case to the Hague to be recognised as her legal guardian, but Italy refuses to acknowledge the court ruling. more

Pro-Deather Propaganda Reaches Germany (Of All Places)

So it spreads, the pro-deather message, that is. Here’s a fight in Germany where a woman and her lawyer conspired to euthanize her mother – illegally, but, as we’ve seen elsewhere, this is increasingly irrelevant in the drumbeat for death.
German Criminal Court Considers Watershed Assisted Suicide Case
KARLSRUHE, Germany, June 3, 2010 ( – Germany’s Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof) is expected to rule this month on whether the removal of artificially administered food and water constitutes murder or is simply the cessation of “medical treatment.” 
The case surrounds an attempt to euthanise “Erika K,” who had been comatose since a cerebral hemorrhage in 2002. The woman’s daughter claimed her mother had previously expressed a desire not to have her life artificially prolonged and asked nursing home staff to discontinue her mother’s “artificial diet.” The nursing home initially agreed, but then backed down.
The daughter, known as “Elke G” in court, said that following the advice of her lawyer, Wolfgang Putz, she used scissors to cut the gastric tube from her mother’s abdominal wall. Upon discovery, nurses inserted a new feeding tube and called the police.
Although Erika K died shortly after of unrelated causes, the daughter and her lawyer were indicted for attempted manslaughter. Elke G. was acquitted, but Putz received a nine month suspended sentence. more

Thursday, June 3, 2010

More From Baroness Campbell Opposing The Pro-deathers

Here’s the UK’s Baroness Campbell’s rationale not to weaken UK laws against assisted suicide. It’s an eloquent and completely rational counterweight to the pro-deathers in the UK (and the rest of the world) who are working as hard as they can to make assisted suicide and euthanasia available anywhere, anytime, for any reason. Go Baroness!!
Disabled people need help to live, not die
I've been a campaigner for most of my life. I've not been alone. I've worked with other disabled people and great allies in parliament and elsewhere. Mostly, what we've wanted for disabled people has been almost universally applauded: better access, more support, equal rights. Opposition came from those holding the purse strings but we kept badgering away, arguing that equality for disabled people was good for everyone in society. By strength in numbers we scored notable victories, such as the Disability Discrimination Act. The wider public accepted that it was wrong for disabled people to receive inferior treatment. more

Good For The UK's Baroness Campbell For Opposing Assisted Suicide Legislation Changes

Baroness Campbell in the UK has been a very vocal opposition to the pro-deathers who are chipping away at laws that make assisted sucide a crime. The Baroness has lived with her severe disability for years and sees no need to legalize anyone helping her, or anyone else, for that matter, from kicking the bucket.
Disability campaigner Baroness Campbell urges MPs not to relax assisted suicide law
Baroness Campbell of Surbiton wants politicians to sign a charter declaring that disabled and terminally ill people should receive protection and support services, to prevent them feeling under pressure to end their lives prematurely.
She is also calling on the Commons to resist any new attempts to legalise assisted suicide – where one person helps another die – or euthanasia, in which doctors deliver the fatal dose. more

UK Disability Community Opposition To Assisted Suicide Strengthens

It’s good to see the disability community in the UK finally getting together and making a stand against the creeping threat of assisted suicide and euthanasia in the UK. I hope other disability communities world-wide follow suit.
'Right to live' group targets MPs
A new campaign by disability rights activists to limit the right to die launches at Westminster on Thursday.
The campaign - called Not Dead Yet UK Resistance - will be asking MPs to sign a charter in support of its aims.
It says that disabled and terminally ill people should enjoy the same legal protection as everyone else. more

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Why Surprise That Pro-Deathers Want Killing Even For People With Serious Mental Illness?

The more astonishing thing about this report from the UK is how surprised everyone seems to be that the Swiss death-clinic, run by Dignitas, was actually willing to help kill a man who was clearly psychologically disturbed. It seems it’ll take a while to convince the media that what the pro-deathers really want is death anywhere, anytime, for any reason. And in whatever state if mind you happen to be. Awful.
Swiss suicide clinic Dignitas probed after 'patient suffering from paranoid schizophrenia was given suicide kit'
Swiss suicide clinic Dignitas is under investigation over claims that it ignored a patient's distressed mental condition to give him drugs to end his own life.
Strict assisted suicide laws in Switzerland state that each patient must be of sound mind and able to understand the consequences of their actions.
But now details have emerged of a patient who was allegedly given a DIY suicide kit prescribed by a Zurich gynaeologist despite suffering from paranoid schizophrenia. more

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Montana State Senator Seeks To Overturn Court Ruling On Assisted Suicide

Montana state senator Greg Hinkle has introduced legislation that will overturn the backdoor legalizing of assisted suicide that began with the Baxter case. He needs to be applauded and supported fully.
Montana Patient Protection Act
I have introduced the Montana Patient Protection Act which prohibits physician-homicide and physician-assisted suicide ("aid in dying"). The Act is in response to the Supreme Court decision Baxter v. State of Montana. This Act is based on Montana's public policy to prevent elder abuse and to value all citizens. more

When Faced With Serious Illness, He Chose To Live

Here’s someone who has walked the walk, considered assisted suicide, didn’t do it, and was able to be a great support for his family. This says it all about why we don’t need the assisted suicide/euthanasia route – life is too precious.
Dad who survived cancer against the odds tells why he’s so against assisted suicide
A DAD-OF-THREE has spoken of his trauma after he conquered the terminal cancer that had convinced him to end his life – only to see his wife killed by the same disease. . . .
After doctors told him he could have as little as six weeks to live, he started to discuss the prospect of assisted suicide with his beloved wife Lynne – fearful of the effect his debilitating illness would have on his children, Jody, then 10, Jamie, six, and baby Zac, who was just six weeks old. The cancer went into full remission for 11 years – allowing him to attend his daughter’s wedding, and see all three children forge successful careers. . . .
Jody, now 30, is a building society manager, Jamie, 26, is a teacher and Zac, 20, runs his own gardening business.
When the cancer returned in 2001, he was given an operation that left him in a wheelchair – but crucially still able to be there for his kids.
And they would need him to be – because the next year he tragically and unexpectedly lost his wife to liver cancer at the age of 49. more

Aussie Drumbeat To Legalize Euthanasia Continues

Here’s some commentary on the second reading of a proposed euthanasia bill in Aussie. It’s the usual death-with-dignity claptrap we’ve come to expect. It remains to be seen whether this will make it into law, but I’m not betting it won’t, I assure you.
Voluntary Euthanasia Bill 2009: Second Reading Speech
I am proud to introduce the Voluntary Euthanasia Bill 2009. This bill will afford immunity from criminal prosecution and civil ramifications to a person who assists a suffering terminally ill patient to die, provided that person acts in accordance with the terms of the bill. This bill is not about legalising suicide. This bill is not about
devaluing life or about pushing the boundaries of morality. This bill is about giving choice to a suffering terminally ill person and about providing civil and criminal immunity to those people who assist such a person to carry out that choice. This bill is about nothing more than that. more

The Myth of Euthanasia "Choice"

Bill Reichel is a highly respected scholar and author who knows more than most people about euthanasia, especially in the Netherlands. Here he makes some brief, but very telling points about the myth that euthanasia is a “choice.”
Euthanasia doesn't assure choice
Dutch doctors have practised assisted suicide and euthanasia for decades. Although the law calls for performing assisted suicide and euthanasia with the patient's consent, it is often involuntary. The law also calls for obtaining a second opinion from another physician, but this is often not done. more
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