Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Opposition To Quebecois Push For legal Euthanasia

A readers of this news blog know, there’s a massive push in Quebec for legalizing euthanasia and assisted suicide. This piece is a logical and clear dissent. It’s a good read.
Judging the value of a life: The fact is that most people, whatever their condition, don’t want to die
According to a recent L├ęger Marketing survey, an extraordinarily high proportion of Quebeckers – 71 per cent – favour decriminalizing euthanasia and assisted suicide. This, in a province that’s been the major bastion of Catholicism in North America for so many decades. The question is so complex, and so deeply fraught with moral issues and potential abuses, that it’s difficult to understand why so many people can opt for a radical solution without being, at least, a little anxious about the consequences of their choice. more

Hollywood Endorses Killing - What A Shock!!

Well, this is how things go. A murderer garners sympathy for being a “hero.” Major Hollywood star plays him in a TV miniseries. Actor wins acting award for his sympathetic portrayal of Jack Kevorkian. Ergo, helping people kill themselves is a legit social behavior.
Hollywood veteran Al Pacino bagged the outstanding lead actor in a miniseries or movie award at the 62nd Primetime Emmy Awards. Directed by Barry Levinson, the miniseries is about the life and work of physician-assisted suicide advocate Jack Kevorkian, which is played by Pacino. more

Vicki Killed Herself Because She Feared Being A Bother - How Tragic!!

Here’s another story sympathetic to killing people with medical disabilities at the Dignitas Clinic in Switzerland. I think it’s important to note that Vicki’s main reason for killing herself was that she didn’t want to be a burden to anyone. How awful, because we’ll never know whether she was really a bother to others or whether that was simply her perception. I’ll bet it was the latter.
Experience: I was with my friend when she took her own life
'She took the glass and drank steadily, without a tremor. She looked at me and said, "Oh, yuck" and from nowhere I replied, "Well, they won't do as last words." more

Monday, August 30, 2010

An Exemplar Of Pro-Deather Spin

This is the pro-deather line – we need euthanasia because otherwise we’ll all be drooling, half conscious, pain-maddened incontinents. It’s a fairly convoluted piece, but the intent is clear – euthanasia now.
Why patients have nothing to fear from Godless doctors
According to a new report, doctors are influenced by their religious faith or lack of it in deciding how to treat terminally ill patients.
The medical sociologist who compiled the report for the British Medical Journal, Professor Clive Seale, found that non-religious doctors are twice as likely as religious ones to administer treatments either intended or expected to shorten the lives of terminally ill patients.
Coverage of the report illustrated that headline writers are as influenced as doctors by their beliefs. Some wrote, “Atheist doctors are more likely to hasten death”, where they might equally have written: “Religious doctors prolong the agonies of the dying.” Neither headline explains the finding of the report adequately, and neither advances the cause of understanding the right way to think about care of the terminally ill.
"I should, first, declare an interest. I am a patron of Dignity In Dying, an organisation devoted to promoting the right of people to receive medical help to die if they express a clear and settled wish for it. Dignity In Dying used to be called the Voluntary Euthanasia Society: “euthanasia” means “a good death”, and “voluntary” means that a person’s choice to end his or her own life is willingly and clear-mindedly made. more

Here's Why We Shouldn't Kill People In Persistent Non-Responsive States

Here’s the perfect example against the pro-deather clamor to euthanize people who are in non-responsive states – because they sometimes get better.
Pensioner tells how he beat "locked in" syndrome after massive stroke
A stroke victim has told how he amazed doctors by overcoming "locked-in" syndrome in a case that raises questions for the assisted suicide debate.
Graham Miles, 66, said that through sheer willpower he regained the use of his body after he was left completely paralysed except for his eyes by a stroke in the stem of the brain which connects it to the body.
His recovery is such that he can now walk, talk and even races cars.
But while it has amazed doctors and his family and friends, it has also reopened the debate about assisted suicides and the assumption that completely paralysed patients can never recover. more

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Sadness Of Being Killed At Dignitas

Here’s the final blog post of one Tommy, 93, having arrived at Dignitas in Switzerland to commit assisted suicide. Read it carefully. It’s matter-of-fact, and rather stoic. It’s also incredibly sad that a man of 93 years is all alone hours before being killed, and the good ol’ “stiff upper lip” is clear. What a contrast from dying naturally surrounded by loved ones without the cold, impersonal killing clinic and strangers who are more than happy to help you kick the bucket.
Well chaps, here I am in Switzerland with just a few hours to go. I thought I would share some last thoughts with you.
Firstly, terminal prostate cancer stings a bit. Get checked and get checked regularly.
Secondly, don't believe all this "I will live my life my way because when it ends I will be happy I smoked, drank and ate all the pies", because you won't be happy. This is the only life I have and I am not happy it is about to end. more

Friday, August 27, 2010

More Opposition To Euthanasia In Quebec

Good for the health professionals who are standing up against the introduction of assisted suicide and euthanasia in Quebec. I just hope it’s not too little too late.
Euthanasia debate heats up in Quebec
A group of medical specialists is speaking out against euthanasia ahead of a Quebec-wide consultation on the controversial practice, warning that previous attempts at legislation elsewhere in the world have failed. more

The Next Aussie Pro-Death Spin Will Be For Merin Nielsen

I’ll bet my bottom dollar that when Aussie Merin Nielsen goes to trial for assisting in a suicide, the pro-deathers will be howling that he’s really a hero, not a potential criminal. They’ll spin it into Nielsen being a brave champion of the cause rather than as a lawbreaker. Trust me on this one.
Man to face trial over assisted suicide allegations
A man accused of helping a friend to take his own life will face trial in the Supreme Court in Brisbane.
The body of Frank Ward, 76, was found in his Clayfield unit last year. He had consumed a large quantity of pentobarbital which is used to euthanase animals.
Merin Nielsen, 49, was charged with aiding a suicide and importing a controlled drug. more

Another Talk You'd Better Have With Your doctor

Well, as is often the case, here’s some research backing the idea that religious or spiritual outlooks influence how we think about life. Most religions value life from conception to natural death. As this piece points out, doctors without a religious orientation are more likely to want to help you kick the bucket. Maybe it’s time to have THIS conversation with your physician. . . .
Doctors’ religious beliefs strongly influence end-of-life decisions
Atheist or agnostic doctors are almost twice as willing to take decisions that they think will hasten the end of a very sick patient’s life as doctors who are deeply religious, suggests research published online in the Journal of Medical Ethics. more

Some Sanity From The Montreal Gazette

As the drumbeat for assisted suicide in Quebec keeps growing, the Montreal Gazette has a good counter argument.
No to euthanasia
The call for legalized euthanasia is fuelled by fear of having to endure a meaningless existence suffering intolerable pain.
The problem of pain and the pursuit of the meaning of life are serious issues which elude simplistic solutions. Euthanasia is a technocratic response to these problems, one which offers at best the illusion of an answer, which is in fact no answer at all but rather an admission either that there is no answer or that we are not interested in pursuing it.
It is particularly worrisome that the Quebec government would hold hearings into the legalization of euthanasia at the same time that it is publicly worrying about the cost of health care. more

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A Counter To The NZ Pro-Deathers

Here’s a sane and very legitimate response to the pro-deathers, especially in New Zealand, where a terminally ill doctor has raised the issue again.
Euthanasia is really suicide with better manners
As people who take to hedonism with gusto, we sure have a problem with dying. We see it as the ultimate indignity, rather than the price you have to pay for having lived.
It's a high price, but when you consider the pleasures of living, it's a fair one. It's sad, admittedly, when young people die, but death comes to us all, regardless of fairness, and heedless of our opinion. more

Others Are On To The NY Pro-deather Legislation

Here’s a similar take to mine (see post below) on the proposed NY end-of-life legislation
Confusing palliative care and assisted suicide in NY?
. . . . What struck me is that the assemblymen who sponsored the bill did so at the behest of Compassion and Choices of New York, "an organization that seeks to improve end-of-life comfort care" -- but one that also supports physician-assisted suicide. PAS is certainly not what I'd consider end-of-life "care," but clearly the two are linked for many people in the industry. more

Wolves In Sheep's Clothing In NY Legslation

Here’s a beautiful piece of spin – chattering on about how great palliative care is (it is) but then slants to other darker angles. The dead giveaway is that the proposed NY legislation was introduced by the NY branch of Compassion & Choices, a pro-death outfit that were the force behind the assisted sucide laws in both Washington state and Oregon. And, the red flag in the opening paragraph – the economic aspects of end of life care. Death panel, anyone??
Frank Talk About Care at Life’s End
Legislators have begun to recognize the medical, humanitarian and economic value of helping terminally ill patients and their families navigate treatment options as they approach the end of life. more

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Others' Care Changes Man's Mind About Euthanasia

This is encouraging: Several years ago a Hong Kong quadriplegic wrote to the government asking to be euthanized. The story prompted a outpouring of public support (as well as from the government) and he was eventually able to move back home. Guess what? With support, improved care, and knowing that people cared about him, he changed is mind about dying. I wonder how many people have died by assisted suicide, suicide, or euthanasia because they thought nobody cared about them or because they were not receiving adequate supportive care?
A quadriplegic man who six years ago wrote to Hong Kong's leader demanding the right to die has moved out of hospital. . . .  Tang Siu-pun later changed his mind and said he wanted to live, but he still believes that the choice to live or die is a basic human right. more

I Helped To Kill A Patient, Nah, Na-Na Naaa!!!

The dominoes in the UK are falling rather quickly, these days. Here’s a Scottish doctor who assists in a suicide (still illegal in the UK) and who then is incredibly arrogant about how she essentially got away with killing:

A RETIRED Scottish doctor who was facing prosecution in an assisted suicide case has had the charges against her dropped. Dr Libby Wilson, 84, a member of pro-euthanasia group Friends At The End, (FATE) was arrested by Surrey Police last September on suspicion of giving advice to multiple sclerosis sufferer Cari Loder, who took her own life using a helium cylinder and a hood. . . . .
Last night Dr Wilson, speaking from her home in Glasgow, spoke of her relief at the CPS decision but said she was "unrepentant".
"The CPS would not have had a leg to stand on trying to prosecute me. What jury would have convicted me? "But I know it's stressful to go to court and it would have been horrible being cross-examined. more

Healthy, But Tired Of Living? Why Not Kill Yourself??

So it goes: A few months ago a Dutch survey found that many elderly people favored assisted suicide or euthanasia for no other reason than they were "tired of living.” Guess what? Some pro-deathers are now calling for similar measures in the UK. Note that suicide is now a “rational” decision. Get it? Dying is rational, living irrational. ‘Nuff said.
The Society for Old Age Rational Suicide, led by a former GP known as “Dr Death”, says that pensioners should have the human right to declare “enough is enough” and die with dignity. more

Killing A Patient In Canada

For those who thought that Terri Schiavo being starved and dehydrated to death was some kind of sick anomaly (it’s not) here’s the latest case: A Canadian man who is not otherwise dying is being starved and dehydrated to death – in a hospital, no less. The pro-deathers are everywhere, including hospitals and hospices. From my good friend and colleague Alex Schadenberg: 
First: Joshua (48), who is not otherwise dying, is being dehydrated to death (euthanasia by omission). This is not a case when hydration and nutrition need to be withdrawn because he is actually dying and nearing death, but rather the decision appears to have been made to intentionally cause his death by withdrawing IV hydration and nutrition because he is unlikely to recover from his disability. . . .
Second: It is deplorable that the Consent and Capacity Board in Ontario, the hospital and the lawyer for the hospital, who are all paid by the government and have nearly unlimited resources to pressure people to consent to their will, appeared to appoint a Substitute Decision Maker (SDM) to make decisions on behalf of Joshua, based on that person’s willingness to agree to a non-treatment plan, even though there is no proof that the plan of non-treatment represented the values of the person. more

Lying About Assisted Suicide

Well Ray Gosling made headlines a while ago “confessing” to helping his partner die. The pro-deathers, of course, were in a swoon – such courage!!! Such honesty!!! Such humanity. Only one problem: It was a lie, who knows for what reason? Now Gosling is going to be charged with wasting the authorities’ time. Good. more
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