Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Some Swiss Oppose Assisted Suicide, But Perhaps The Battle Is Lost

Good luck to those pushing back against Swiss acceptance and recent vote for assisted suicide. However, I think the Swiss battle has been lost, absent some sort of sociological miracle.
Suicide Tourism” Doesn’t Please Evangelical Swiss
Voters in Zurich overwhelmingly rejected on Sunday, May 15, proposed bans on assisted suicide and “suicide tourism” — foreigners traveling to Switzerland to receive help ending their lives. Only 15.5 percent of voters in the local referendum backed a ban on assisted suicide, while nearly 22 percent supported a ban on suicide tourism, final results showed. more

US Pollsters Start To Stir The Pro-Death Pot

So, as predicted, the pollsters are starting to fan the flames of the pro-deathers in the US. See below:
Poll: Doctor-assisted suicide divisive
Doctor-assisted suicide was the most controversial cultural issue in Gallup's 2011 Values and Beliefs poll, results indicated. more

The Whining Aussie Dr. Death

Well, this is pure spin. Aussie Dr. Death Philip Nitschke is clucking that police tried to derail an assisted suicide, and that, well, is simply not fair. The whining doctor forgets that assisted sucide in still on the books in Aussie as a crime. The way he's spinning this, the uninformed may well think that he's been shortchanged.
Police tried to stop euthanasia: Nitschke
Police should not have delayed an elderly Gold Coast man's efforts to end his life, euthanasia campaigners say. more

Korean Oncologists Not In Favor Of Medicalized Killing

Well, at least in Korea, according to this study, cancer doctors are not too keen on assisted killing. Good for them!
Attitudes Toward End-of-life Care: A Survey Of Cancer Patients, Family Caregivers, Oncologists And Others In Korea
Attitudes toward end-of-life care for cancer patients vary, but most patients, family members, oncologists and members of the public are receptive to withdrawing futile life-sustaining treatments in people who are dying, found a Korean study in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal). more

Canada's Ruling Party To Be Against Euthanasia

Good for Canada's Conservative party, who are planning to come out against euthanasia at their convention in a few weeks.
Tory convention to tackle treason, tax policy, euthanasia
- Euthanasia
One resolution says the Conservative party "will not support any legislation to legalize euthanasia or assisted suicide in Canada." Another one calls on the party to support working with provinces on a national palliative care strategy. more

Did UK Pro-Death Doctor Die Naturally?

Anne McPherson was a big pro-deather, yet her death is shrouded in mystery. Either she died naturally and that'll embarrass the pro-death movement, of whom she was a vociferous advocate, or she was assisted to commit suicide or euthanized, in which case I'd expect everyone to be shouting that fact to the rafters. Fascinating . . .
Dr Ann McPherson: GP who championed assisted suicide dies
One of Britain’s best known GPs, Dr Ann McPherson, who was a strong advocate for assisted suicide, has died after a long battle with cancer, just days after writing of her frustration at not being able to die. more

Yes, The Pro-Deathers Are Infiltrating The Hospice Movement

The author of this piece is absolutely right - the pro-deathers are working very ahrd to infiltrate the good practices of the hospice movement.
Will California Legislation Promote Assisted Suicide?
In a recently online published book entitled: This-Thing-Called-Hospice author Ron Panzer presents compelling arguments that Hospice may be at least one of the vehicles being prepared to actively promote acceptance of assisted suicide. more

Monday, May 30, 2011

Euthanasia Should Never Be Considered A Human Right

Here's a good backgrounder on recent headline assisted cases in the UK. However, the report confuses assisted suicide with euthanasia.
Can euthanasia be a human right?
Nan Maitland was an elegant 85-year-old retired occupational therapist who lived comfortably in Chelsea. She suffered from no apparent condition except a deteriorating case of arthritis. Calmly and determinedly she had decided that she would not put up with a life of pain and discomfort, “a prolonged dwindling” that she expected in the future. In February this year, she said her goodbyes and proceeded to Switzerland, booking herself into a clinic where she was assisted in ending her life. more

Needless Suicide Gets Easy Media Treatment

Daniel James was a twenty-something rugby player who became disabled after an accident of the field. He chose to go to Swiss death clinic Dignitas and kill himself - with the help of his parents. Please forgive me - I don't have too much sympathy, as there was no need for Dan to die, and certainly no need for his parents to support his decision.
Agony of helping a son to kill himself
Daniel James, the 23-year-old paralysed rugby player who became the youngest Briton to travel to the Dignitas assisted suicide clinic in Switzerland, was so determined to end his life that he told his parents he would move out of the family home and starve himself to death if they did not help him. more

Suicide Kits Have Real-World Consequences

I've posted several times about the 91-year-old California granny selling suicide kits on the web. Here's a report of someone whose brother bought a kit and killed himslef.
Suicide kits rekindle debate on assisted suicide
The door to the room was locked, and there was no response as Jake Klonoski knocked, looking for his younger brother.
He picked the lock and made a grim discovery: his dead brother lying on the bed, his head covered in a plastic bag connected by a tube to a helium tank. He had gassed himself to death using a suicide kit he learned about online and ordered through the mail from a woman in California. more

Thursday, May 26, 2011

"Death Granny" Loses Her "Exit Kits" To The Feds

Well, the Feds have finally caught up with the 91-year-old granny who was selling suicide kits on the internet. Oregon got all huffy because the state wanted to corner the market on medicalized killing, is about to pass legislation about it, and now granny's kits are in the hands of the authorities.
Raid on US 'suicide kit' seller Sharlotte Hydorn, 91
A 91-year-old Californian woman who sells kits to help people end their lives says her home has been raided by federal agents.
Sharlotte Hydorn said they took away her computers, sewing kits and boxes of what she calls "exit kits", the Associated Press reported. more

Palliative Care Should Have Nothing To Do With Medicalized Killing

This is a report of some very dangerous events in Aussie: The pro-deathers are trying to conscript the palliative care folks to become medicalized killers if ever Australia legalizes suicide. The pro-deathers are doing the same thing by infiltrating the hospice movement.
Euthanasia debate heats up
Like it or not, the debate about voluntary euthanasia has more to do with palliative care workers more than any other sector professional because, in the event that the law is changed, they will be the ones most involved in hastening a person’s death, a 'pro-choice' advocate said. more

Pro-Death Arguments Undercut Good Palliative Care

I agree here - palliative care, already in need of better support, is damaged by the assisted suicide/euthanasia movement if for no other reason that palliative care can relieve end of life suffering while the pro-deathers insist that death should do the job.
Euthanasia undermines palliative care, not complements it
The Australian Christian Lobby has rejected claims by euthanasia advocates that palliative care can complement euthanasia.
The ACL’s Chief of Staff Lyle Shelton said the YourLastRight.com group’s suggestion that palliative care would go hand in hand with euthanasia was misleading.
“Legalising euthanasia is likely to take away the imperative for Governments to adequately fund palliative care, which is where our efforts as a society should be concentrated as we seek to provide dignity at the end of life,” he said. more

UK Doctor Aids & Abets Assisted Suicide

Daniel James was a 20-something young man who was paralyzed after a rugby accident. He went to Swiss death clinic Dignitas where he underwent assisted killing. Now it comes to light that his UK doctor knew what he was planning and essentially disobeyed British law by not telling authorities. The doctor needn't worry, though. While it's still illegal in the UK to assist in a killing, everyone is turning a blind eye.
Daniel James' GP knew he would go to Dignitas but did not tell police
Detectives who investigated the case of Daniel James said that his GP witnessed a formal declaration of his intentions two weeks before he died at the Dignitas centre in Zurich.
But police were only alerted on the day that Daniel flew to Switzerland with his parents, too late to attempt to convince him to change his plans, because the doctor wanted to preserve “patient confidentiality”. more

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Texas Looks To Overhaul Futile Care legislation

Texas was the first state to enact futile care legislation in the late 90s. For many families, it's pitted their wishes against the more utilitarian views of doctors and hospitals. It's good to see that this problem is now being addressed by the Texas legislature.
House endorses study on end-of-life care
The Texas House voted today to order an interim study on a state law that governs how and when doctors can allow patients to die by withholding life-sustaining treatment against the wishes of family members. more

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Why Didn't Aussie Woman Get Surgery To Ease Her Pain???

Here's more on the Aussie suicide case posted below. I that report, Inger Rijn was refused pain meds that made her suffer. Can we say poor pain management? Now we learn that her pain was from a torn hip tendon. Excuse me? Seems like this is a fairly simple condition that could have easily been corrected with surgery. I don’t know why she didn't have surgery, but one explanation might be that in the Aussie socialized medical system, she was judged not worthy of the surgery. Stay tuned.
Assisted suicide case sparks law reform calls
The case of a Melbourne man who helped his seriously ill wife commit suicide has prompted calls for reform laws in cases of medically based euthanasia.
Victor Rijn was yesterday sentenced to a three-year good behaviour bond after pleading guilty to inciting his 70-year-old wife Inger to commit suicide.
Before she took her own life, Ms Rijn suffered pain from a torn tendon in her right hip that was so bad she had trouble walking, sitting and lying down. more

Poor Pain Management No Excuse For Suicide

This Aussie story is supposed to support legalized killing, but it inadvertently reveals why some people want to die - poor pain management. Let me repeat myself: In almost every case, effective pain management can keep people comfortable until natural death.
Court mercy in suicide help case
WHEN Inger Rijn was last year refused a third dose of Panadeine at hospital in a last-ditch bid to manage chronic pain, her mind was made up. She would take her own life.
Doctors at the Cabrini Hospital emergency department told the 70-year-old mother of three that she could not have another injection because ''we've given you enough to kill a horse''. Mrs Rijn felt no better. more

Russia Continues To Oppose Legalized Killing

The Russians are holding fast to their opposition to legalized assisted suicide and euthanasia. Good for them!!
"Right" to death
When people talk about “a good way to go” they usually mean dying in your sleep. Meanwhile, a voluntary easy death is called euthanasia. The word "euthanasia" was first used in a medical context by Francis Bacon in the 17th century, to refer to an easy, painless, "happy" death, during which it was a "physician's responsibility to alleviate the 'physical suffering' of the body." However, the issue of euthanasia has only now received wide public attention. Today public discussion of euthanasia is particularly influenced by the concept of a “standard of living”. Recently 80% of the residents of the Zurich canton in Switzerland voted for the legalization of euthanasia for terminally-ill Swiss citizens and foreigners who come to Switzerland especially to die an "easy death". more

Monday, May 23, 2011

How Other Religions See Assisted Suicide & Euthanasia

Here's a very interesting piece giving a brief sketch about how assisted suicide and euthanasia are considered by other religions than Christianity, Islam, & Judaism.
Goodbye, cruel world
The debate surrounding assisted suicides may be new but the idea of euthanasia, mercy killing or assisted suicide has been accepted in various cultures for centuries. Throughout antiquity there existed large support for voluntary death, with physicians providing long-suffering patients with the poisons they needed. This changed after the Middle Ages and with the rise of Christianity, and from then on, no organised religion supports the idea of euthanasia or assisted suicide. more

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Final Exit Network Stays On Offense Despite Indictments

Final Exit Network, currently with several of its members indicted for assisting in a sucide, just stays on the offense, criminality be dammed. Here's a good backgrounder if you're not familiar with this bunch of prodeathers.
Baltimore doctor helps the ill commit suicide
From a cluttered Baltimore apartment office, Dr. Lawrence Egbert says he has helped direct the deaths of nearly 300 people across the country.
Some of his patients, as he calls them, are racked with cancer, paralyzed or staring down Alzheimer's. Others simply want to slip away on their own terms. Sometimes family members gather around the bedside to say goodbye; in other cases, their appointed "exit guides" lock the door behind them and make arrangements for someone to stumble across the body. more

Did Kevorkian's Medical Chart Stipulate "Do Not Resuscitate?

Well Jack Kevorkian appears to be on the road to recovery. I wonder if he had a DNR (do not resuscitate) order on his medical chart?
Assisted suicide advocate Kevorkian "getting better"
Assisted suicide advocate Jack Kevorkian, who helped more than 130 people end their lives before spending eight years in prison, was "getting better" and was "not in grave danger" at a Detroit-area hospital on Friday, his attorney said. more

Friday, May 20, 2011

How The Soaps Lie About Euthanasia & Assisted Suicide

Here’s an excellent piece by my friend & colleague Dr. Peter Saunders taking the media to task for reinforcing ideas of euthanasia and assisted suicide in soap operas.
TV soaps and real life quadriplegics
The problem with television dramas is that they make rare events appear common and so distort public opinion on key issues. Take for example the chance of surviving a cardiac arrest . . .
But a far more serious distortion of the truth involves assisted suicide and the implication that a hugely disproportionate number of people with serious illness or injury wish to kill themselves. more

A Thoughtful Piece On Euthanasia & Its Consequences

Here's a very thoughtful piece related to euthanasia - definitely a cut above the mealy-mouthed pro-death pieces that flood the edia.
Assisted Suicide? How About A Dutch Treat?
When I evaluate an elderly person in a nursing home, I typically ask, "Are you afraid something bad is going to happen to you?"
And I'll get, "I wish it did."
Or, "Do you think it is wonderful to be alive now?"
And I'll get, "No. I'll be happy to be dead."
It's common for people, whatever the narrative arc of their lives, who suddenly find themselves frail, elderly, and institutionalized to look for an early exit.
I also ask, "Are you happy?"
And I'll get, "I was until I came here." more

More On Kevorkian's Hospitalization

For those who aren’t sure who Jack Kevorkian is, here's the latest on his hospitalization and some background.
Euthanasia advocate Kevorkian in hospital
ASSISTED-SUICIDE advocate Jack Kevorkian, whose controversial tactics earned him the nickname Doctor Death, has been admitted to hospital with kidney problems and pneumonia, local media reported.
Kevorkian, who spent more than eight years in jail for the murder of a man whose videotaped assisted suicide was aired on national television, claims he actively helped 130 people to die. more

Jack Kevorkian Hospitalized

The Original Doctor Death, Jack Kevorkian, has been hospitalized. I don't wish him any ill, but if it's serious or terminal I wonder if he'll consider having someone help kill him just like he helped Thomas Youk do so on CBS news a few years ago.
Jack Kevorkian in hospital with kidney problems
A lawyer says assisted-suicide advocate Jack Kevorkian is in a Detroit-area hospital with pneumonia and kidney problems. more

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Aussie Pol Opposes Legalizing Euthanasia

Well at least there's one politician in Aussie who has the backbone to oppose legalizing euthanasia. We need more like him.
Minister at odds with electorate
Correctional Services Minister Tom Koutsantonis says he will vote against euthanasia legislation before the South Australian Parliament despite most people in his electorate being in favour. more

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Scottish Opposition To Bill Legalizing Assisted Suicide

Here's some opposition to Scottish MP Margo MacDonald's push to reintroduce her assisted suicide bill that failed miserably last year.
No new mandate on assisted suicide
The Catholic Church in Scotland has rejected Margo MacDonald’s (above) claim that she has been given a mandate to reintroduce her assisted suicide bill to the Scottish Parliament.
Ms MacDonald, whose End of Life Assistance Bill was roundly defeated at Holyrood last December, claimed yesterday that her re-election as an MSP gave her a mandate to reintroduce her legislation but Peter Kearney, director of the Catholic Media Office, said her proposal had been roundly rejected. more

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

More Pro-Deather Pressure In The UK

Pressure keeps mounting in the UK for legalizing assisted suicide using the old argument that people shouldn't have to go to other countries to be killed.
Daughter of former Bath GP in plea for talks on assisted death
The daughter of a doctor who travelled to Zurich for an assisted death has urged the government to hold a full and frank debate on the issue.
Dr Anne Turner, a former GP in Bath, decided to end her life after being diagnosed with the degenerative neurological disease PSP.
She had watched her husband die from a similar condition and went to the Dignitas clinic in Zurich to end her life.
Dr Turner's daughter Sophie Pandit, 46, took her mother to the clinic for an assisted death in 2006.
"If she had not had this option there is no doubt she would have tried to do something herself," said Mrs Pandit, a patron of campaign group Dignity in Dying. more

Scottish MP Tries To Intro Assisted Suicide Legislation - Again

Scottish MP Marge MacDonald has more staying power than the Energizer Bunny. She's been consistently rebuffed in trying to introduce assisted suicide legislation, but she's trying again. Gotta give her points for trying.
MacDonald to resume assisted suicide fight
A NEW bid to make assisted suicide legal in Scotland is being planned by independent MSP Margo MacDonald who claimed she has a mandate to introduce the legislation at Holyrood. more

Pro-Deather Recipe: Emotion + "Counselor" = Death

Here's a very emotional piece about a man committing assisted suicide. But note the sinister presence of the "counselor" in the background who, essentially makes the decision of when this man should die. Macabre.
Making the difficult decision to die
Voters in Zurich may have rejected proposals to ban assisted suicide and "suicide tourism" but the journey towards making the decision to die remains as difficult as ever.
This is the story of Ruth and Eduard told to me by Ruth, because Eduard is not here any more.
A middle class Swiss couple, they lived happily together for 50 years in a beautiful traditional old house just outside Zurich. She was a psychologist, he a minister - they had four children together. more

Monday, May 16, 2011

New Anti-Ethanasia Movie Wins Award

Hard on the heels of Code Blue (see trailer below), a Cannes award winner about a Dutch euthanasia nurse, is this movie about how the Nazis murdered their own citizens with disabilities.
The Doctor’ wins the script category at Life Fest Film Festival
At the inaugural Life Fest Film Festival held on April 15-16, 2011 at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, CA, screenwriter Claire Hutchinson, M.A., took hometop honors in the script category with her Nazi period drama, “The Doctor”, about the German Euthanasia Campaign in Hitler’s Germany. more

Medical Push Back Against Euthanasia In Aussie

Finally, some medical push back to the growing demand for euthanasia in Australia.
Border doctor tackles euthanasia
A BORDER surgeon will outline his opposition to euthanasia as the battle over life and death heats up. more

UK Pro-Deathers Happy About Swiss Pro-Killing Vote

Well, duh. The UK pro-deathers are crowing today over the Zurich, Switzerland vote to continue legalized killing both for the Swiss and for foreigners who travel to Switzerland for this purpose.
UK group hails Swiss assisted suicide vote
Campaign group Dignity in Dying says Swiss voters have made a "brave decision" in rejecting calls to ban assisted suicide for non-residents.
But anti-euthanasia alliance Care not Killing said it was disappointed after 78% voted against outlawing it. more

More On The Zurich Vote To Continue Assisted Killing

Here's more on yesterday's Zurich vote to continue legalized killing, including allowing it for foreigners.
Swiss voters overwhelmingly in favour of 'suicide tourism'
Britons will still be allowed to opt for assisted suicide in Switzerland after people in the country voted in favour of leaving it open to foreigners.
It is feared that the overwhelming public support of the Swiss for so-called 'suicide tourism' and clinics like Dignitas which offer it, could strengthen the right-to-die campaign in the UK. more

UK Pro-Deather Not So Compassionate After All

Every now and then the pro-deathers let their caring facade slip, and it's quite instructive. The UK's Michael Irwin, struck from the medical register for his pro-death stance, tells the UK press that he doesn’t care what happens to assisted killing victim's remains after they have been killed. Ah, such empathy and "compassion."
THE man campaigning to legalise assisted suicide in Britain says he has no idea what happened to the ashes of two people he accompanied to Switzerland to help them end their lives.
Dr Michael Irwin, who was struck off the GPs’ register for attempting to supply drugs to a dying man, said: “To me this is a Swiss responsibility, the responsibility of the undertaker.
“When someone is dead, they are dead. What happens to their ashes I don’t have any interest whatsoever.” more

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Swiss Further Embrace The Culture Of Death

The Zurich vote is in - those chocolate lovers and cuckoo clock makers have clearly embraced the culture of death, even saying that assisted killing is a "human right." If assisted suicide is a human right, why not argue that genocide should be a human right? Very little difference, if you ask me.
Switzerland: Zurich votes to keep assisted suicide
Voters in Zurich, Switzerland, have rejected proposed bans on assisted suicide and "suicide tourism".
Some 85% of the 278,000 votes cast opposed the ban on assisted suicide and 78% opposed outlawing it for foreigners, Zurich authorities said.
About 200 people commit assisted suicide each year in Zurich, including many foreign visitors. more

Err On The Side Of Life: Sometimes "Brain Dead" People Wake Up

Yup, another case to show why we should always err on the side of life: Sometimes "brain dead" people actually wake up.
“Brain dead” woman awakes in Australian hospital
 “Hopeless” and “brain dead” are expressions which have to be used with great caution, it seems, judging from the experience of an Australian woman. more

Pro-Deather Spin - Laws Against Assisted Suicide Create Misery

Now, I don't want to appear insensitive of the pain of losing a spouse, but these pro-deather sob stories are getting a little irritating. Here's why: It's not about the tragedy of losing a loved one, but the spin of supposedly about how bad assisted suicide laws are abusing sick people.
Chris Broad interview: I would have liked to have held my wife’s hand as she slipped away
On July last year former cricketer Chris Broad kissed his wife, Michelle, goodnight. He then went to the spare room and tried to sleep, knowing that by morning she would be dead. “I would have liked to give her some support,” he says with a steadiness one can see has been painfully acquired through much crying. “Having shared a life I would have liked to have held her hand as she passed away.” more

Always True: Patients Can Refuse Treatment

This is misleading, implying that the Spanish are in favor of hastening death aka euthanasia or assisted suicide. All that's happened is that the Spanish have confirmed that, as is the case in most places, patients can declare that they want no more medical treatment because they are at peace with the natural dying process.
Terminally ill could get right to die faster under law approved by Spanish government
The Spanish government has approved a law that gives terminally ill patients the right to hasten their deaths by halting medical treatment. more

Code Blue Trailer: A Euthanasia Nurse

I mentioned a Cannes film Festival entry, Code Blue, yesterday. It apparently involves a Dutch euthanasia nurse. Here's the trailer:

Saturday, May 14, 2011

UK Lesson: Be Sure You're Terminal Before Considering Suicide - You Might Not Be

Here's one reason to consider when thinking you're terminally ill and consider suicide - get a second diagnosis, because you might not be terminal after all.
‘Terminally ill’ man who wanted euthanasia recovers
A man who applied for euthanasia - believing he was months from death - has discovered he is no longer terminally ill.
Andrew Barnes, 55, applied to the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland for an assisted suicide after doctors told him he would be dead within months.
However, Mr Barnes’ GP refused to sign a consent form, telling him he could make a recovery if he cut down on alcohol. more

More Info On Zurich Assisted Suicide "Tourism" Vote

Here's an in-depth piece about the Zurich vote on assisted suicide "tourism that will take place Sunday.
Swiss vote could call time on 'suicide tourism'
Switzerland has become the final destination of choice for citizens of nearby countries determined to end their own lives in peace. But a vote on Sunday could bring all of that to an end.
Voters in Zurich will decide on two referendum proposals relating to assisted suicide: one to ban the practice altogether, and the other to limit it to residents of Zurich only.
Assisted suicide has been legal in Switzerland for decades, and recent opinion polls show it continues to enjoy wide support among the Swiss, many of whom believe an individual has the right to decide when and how to die. more

Zurich Votes Sunday On "Assisted Suicide Tourism"

Sunday's Zurich vote on euthanasia will be interesting, no doubt about it.
Debate rages ahead of assisted suicide vote
Voters in Zurich have their say this weekend on a proposal to end “suicide tourism” in the canton. An initiative calls for assisted suicide to be limited to residents who have lived in the canton for at least a year. more

Oregon Doesn't Like The Private Sector Getting Involved With Assisted Suicide

As I've posted several times, Oregon doesn't like the private sector muscling in on its business of killing people legally. The latest effort is to stop a 91-year-old woman in California from selling her suicide asphyxiation masks in the state. Of course, with all the publicity, the woman's business has picked up dramatically.
91-year-old stands by "exit kits" despite suicide furor
A 91-year-old California woman selling do-it-yourself asphyxiation kits for $60 apiece says business is booming since a depressed but otherwise healthy young man used her product to kill himself in Oregon.
Notoriety surrounding Sharlotte Hydorn's home-based mail order operation near San Diego and the December suicide of one of her customers, Nicholas Klonoski, 29, has also sparked a move in Oregon to outlaw sales of such devices. more

UK Pro-Deathers Plan A Suicide Hotline To Help People Die

So it goes - the UK pro-deathers keep pushing the envelope with an announcement that they'll be starting a very different kind of suicide hotline - to actually give people info that will make killing themselves easier. I hope I'm wrong, but I think the UK will legalize euthanasia in the not too distant future.
Euthanasia group to launch assisted suicide info hotline
A euthanasia advocacy group has announced it will open a suicide hotline – but one unlike any other suicide hotline that currently exists, which typically offer a sympathetic ear and seek to convince those brought to the brink of despair not to take their own lives.
Compassion in Dying, an offshoot of the campaign group Dignity in Dying, said that it will instead be setting up the telephone line that will dispense information for those wishing to commit suicide on their legal rights. more

A Polish Anti-Euthanasia Movie?

Not much info on this movie, but apparently a Polish director has made a movie that comes down on the side of natural death rather than being euthanized. 
Urszula Antoniak, Agnieszka Holland and Malgorzata Szumowska have all made strides outside of their native country.
Polish female filmmakers Urszula Antoniak, Agnieszka Holland and Malgorzata Szumowska all left Poland at different times in the country’s history and their own lives, and are now making the most of opportunities on the global film stage.
Antoniak has a film in this year's Director's Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival -- the 1.5 million euro [$2.1 million] Dutch-Danish co-production Code Blue.
The drama focuses on a repressed nurse who has trouble living her own life while being an angel of death for the terminally ill in the Netherlands, where euthanasia is legal. more official Cannes Film Festival site for Code Blue

Playing The Assisted Suicide Victim Card In The UK

This is all so predictable. Two Brits accompany a man to Switzerland for assisted killing. Because assisting suicide is illegal in the UK, they return fearing prosecution. However, the UK prosecuting guidelines have been so loosened that prosecution is now almost impossible - as long as people can convince authorities that they aided the suicide with the best of intention. Give me a break . . .
Decision hailed by right-to-die
RIGHT-to-die campaigners today hailed the decision to drop the case against Douglas Sinclair’s friends and have called for a change in the law. more

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Dubai Rejects Calls To Legalize Euthanasia

Good for Dubai rejecting calls for killing people!!
Dubai rejects demands to enforce euthanasia           
Dubai health authorities have rejected demands by a group of local doctors for enforcing  euthanasia, better known as mercy killing of dying patients, saying ending a human life is not permissible in the UAE, a newspaper in the emirate reported on Wednesday. more

Push Back Against Brit Documentary Showing Man Dying

Here's some push back to the death documentary to be show on the BBC tonight.
Andreas Whittam Smith: Television is not how to witness the passing of a life
My unease starts from the fact that for most of the audience this will be the first time they have been in the presence of death. For death has been institutionalised
In a straw poll I took this week, I discovered that few of us have ever seen somebody die. I wanted to find out how acquainted we were with death because I was thinking about the BBC One programme due to be screened this evening at 9pm entitled Inside the Human Body. It shows the death of an elderly man from natural causes. This is not quite a first. Sky showed an assisted suicide in a film called Right to Die? in 2008. In 1998 Robert Winston's BBC documentary, The Human Body, dealt with the final moments of an elderly German called Herbie. A documentary on Alzheimer's made by Terry Pratchett and due to be screened in the summer also shows an assisted suicide, this time at a clinic in Switzerland. more

UK: A Real Death On The Telly Tonight

Ah, I see. Brits will be able to watch a someone die on national TV. All in the name of "science," of course. The BBC says it's "educational." Perhaps, but it will also abet the commercialization and cheapening of death.
Inside the Human Body to show death of sick grandad as Gerald becomes first person in Britain to die on national television
BBC1 bosses are under fire for giving the go-ahead to show cancer patient Gerald, 84, taking his final breath.
He is the first person in Britain to die on national television.
Vivienne Pattison of Mediawatch said: "It fills me with unease."
The BBC argued its science show Inside the Human Body does not shy away from difficult subjects. more

No UK Punishment For Aiding & Abetting Suicide

So goes the slippery slope to death on demand in the UK. UK law specifically states that assisting a suicide is a crime, but pressure from the pro-deathers has lead to the authorities turning a blind eye. Shameful.
No charges in South Tyneside assisted suicide inquiry
No further action is to be taken against a man and woman arrested on suspicion of assisting the suicide of a South Tyneside man, police said.
Douglas Sinclair, 76, who was suffering from multiple system atrophy, died in Zurich on 28 July 2010.
The retired engineer had arranged his death with the Swiss assisted-suicide organisation Dignitas, his solicitor Christopher Potts said.
The arrested 48-year-old woman and 49-year-old man will not face charges. more

Assisted Suicide Hypocrisy In Oregon

Oregon lawmakers have sanctimoniously voted to ban the sale of a suicide mask kit available on the internet. Oh, yes, this is a state where assisted suicide is legal. Go figure . . .
Suicide Kits Under Fire as Oregon Proposes Ban of Sale
Oregon senators have unanimously voted in favor of passing a bill that would ban the sale or marketing of suicide kits.
The vote came in response to a 29-year-old Oregonian named Nick Klonoski who used a suicide kit to end his life in December. Klonoski ordered the simple kit, which contained a hood and tube, through the mail. more

Minnesota Assisted Suicide Verdict Makes Assisting Killing Palatable

I've long been on the case of the deranged male nurse from Minnesota William Melchert-Dinkel who encouraged at lest two people to commit suicide over the internet. Minnesota law says that aiding in a suicide is punishable by up to 30 years in prison. What did Melchert-Dinkel get? A year in jail. I wish I was making this up. Now, the Time story looks more at the legal intricacies of this case, but let's just say it like it is: There's something seriously wrong with a society that slaps a man on the wrist for egging people on to kill themselves. It's verdicts like this that will have more people thinking it's OK to help others kill themselves, unfortunately.
Assisted Suicide Goes Digital: When Is a Chat-Room Post a Crime?
On Nov. 27, 2005, a man in Faribault, Minn., received an e-mail with a subject line that read, "Melissa goodbye to Li Dao." It was a suicide note, scribbled digitally, sent by a woman to her online pen pal who had actively encouraged her to embrace death. The only catch: Li Dao was not a real person, and, according to authorities, the virtual advice was not an act of empathy but an attempt to manipulate Melissa into taking her own life — all for what the man told the police was the "the thrill of the chase." more

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Zurich Set To Loosen Assisted Suicide Constraints

The Swiss are set to loosen constraints on assisted suicide in an upcoming vote. Should be interesting.
Zurich set for vote on assisted suicide
Voters in Zurich are being given mixed messages about whether to allow or prevent people from being able to decide how to end their own lives.
The slogans are punchy and powerful: “Freedom at the end!” on one side against “Save life!” on the other.
They belong to opposing campaigns ahead of the cantonal vote on Sunday, when voters will have a say on two people’s initiatives: one calling for a ban on assisted suicide in Switzerland, the other for it to be restricted in Zurich. more

The Hollowness Of The "Quality Of Life" Argument

Here's a good piece laying out how hollow the "quality of life" pro-deather argument is.
Does ‘human rights’ now mean the right to kill infants?: Vatican newspaper
Does the modern concern for “human rights” in medical practice actually erode the real rights of real humans? An editorial appearing this week in the English language edition of the Vatican’s L’Osservatore Romano newspaper, points to the growing acceptance in the medical community of withholding life-saving treatment and resuscitation from newborns based on the so-called “quality of life” or “best interests” criteria. more

Legalizing Assisted Suicide Will Pressure Disabled To Die

While the pro-deathers insist that making assisted suicide legal would not be a slippery slope to death on demand, the disability community has it right in this poll - they'll be among the first groups to be pressured to die.
Allowing assisted suicide would 'pressurise disabled to kill themselves'
Celebrities including the author Sir Terry Pratchett and the actor Sir Patrick Stewart have backed a campaign to allow terminally ill patients to receive help to die.
But a new poll found 70 per cent of disabled people were concerned that such a reform would create pressure on vulnerable patients to “end their lives prematurely”. more

Texas Opponents Of Futile Care Put Up A Fight

The idea of futile care is simple: Money should be spent on people who can get better. Unfortunately it's permeated our laws, especially in Texas where futile care law was passed in 1999. It's been a disaster, and opponents are fighting ferociously to have it changed.
Sensitive topic of futile medical care faces long road in Legislature
For the fourth consecutive session, Texas legislators are struggling with the delicate issue of how and when doctors can allow patients to die by withholding life-sustaining treatment against the wishes of family members.
It's a nuanced, difficult question that can be ill-suited to the blunt-force nature of lawmaking.
And true to form, tackling the issue this legislative session has split allies, produced odd political alliances and resulted, thus far, in a stalemate. more

Swiss Pro-Deathers Pushing For Easier Assisted Suicide

Well, so it goes. Switzerland is already infamous for the death clinic Dignitas. Now the pro-deathers are taking things to the next level - they want "barriers" to assisted suicide for the elderly removed. This is simply spin-talk for getting to the ultimate goal: death on demand, anywhere, anytime, for anyone for any reason.
Aged "should have easier assisted suicide access"
The assisted suicide organisation Exit wants to make it easier for the elderly to end their lives.
Exit, which helped 257 people to die last year, amended its statutes accordingly on Saturday, the organisation said on Sunday.
The goal is the reduction of “unnecessary hurdles placed in the way of the aged who are of a sound mind and wish to die,” the Exit statement said. more

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Aussie Dr. Death Pushes The Legal Envelope

Aussie Dr. Death Philip Nitschke continues to push the envelope. A few weeks ago he announced that he was thinking of opening a euthanasia clinic in Aussie. Now, after being involved in the deaths of an elderly couple, he's challenging police to arrest him for ahwt are, essentially illegal acts. As far as the authorities stepping in, I'm not too hopeful.
Australian right-to-die campaigner dares police to arrest him
Sydney - Australian euthanasia campaigner Philip Nitschke on Sunday challenged police to arrest him over his links to an elderly couple who took their own lives in a suicide pact. more

Aussie Pro-Death Propaganda At Its Best

Here's some pro-deather propaganda from Down Under designed to make the couple victims of the big, bad state that won't legalize\d assisted suicide or euthanasia.

Euthanasia Seeps Into Pop Culture

Euthanasia continues to seep into popular culture. Here's an anime video with lyrics about euthanasia (actually, like many, the author confuses assisted suicide with euthanasia).
Drops of tears fell silently and disappeared into the ripples.
Enveloped by the tides of my sentiments, I closed my eyes. more

Scottish MP Pushes Assisted Suicide - Again

Scottish MP Margo MacDonald is at it again - she has had her assisted suicide bill turned down at least twice, but in classic pro-deather form she's baaack!! MacDonald, in discussing one of her previous attempts, also suggested that assisted suicide be allowed for children. Yes, children.
Margo in pledge to push own priorities
SCOTLAND’S sole independent MSP has vowed to crack down on loan sharks and revive her assisted suicide Bill after an election she said was dominated by “near fraudulent” big-party promises. more

Aussie Push Back Against Philip Nitschke

Here's an interesting push back to Aussie Dr. Death Philip Nitschke's hi-jinks Down Under.
We should not decriminalise assisted suicide
Recent news in respect to court proceedings against Mr. David Scott Mathers for the assisted suicide of his partner, Eva Griffith in July 2009, deserve scrutiny; as do comments from Dr. Nitschke and from Michael Duffy in the Sydney Morning Herald.
First it needs to be noted that Mr. Mathers was convicted of manslaughter. The criminal code of NSW was upheld; there was no ‘judicial activism’ in that decision. The judge sought fit, in the circumstances, to suspend the custodial sentence and Mr. Mathers was released. Sentences are always open to public debate and discussion. Justice Hall’s decision to suspend the sentence was made on compassionate grounds in what were incredibly difficult circumstances including Mathers’ own depressive illness. Some may argue that mercy tempered justice properly in this case; others may disagree; but the law against assisted suicide was upheld. more

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Irish Pro-Deathers Are "Shocked" That Their Police Will Charge Assisting A Suicide

No, really? Irish pro-deathers are 'shocked' that Irish authorities stopped, and were prepared to prosecute, a woman who was about to aid in a suicide?

Pro-choice group 'shocked' as Irish women forced to cancel assisted-suicide trip
Pro-choice group Exit International Ireland has described as "shocking" the case of two Irish women who tried to travel to Switzerland for assisted suicide, but learned they could be liable for prosecution if they did so and then cancelled their plans. more

Good On The Irish: Warn Of Prosecution For Helping Assisting In A suicide...

Well, at least the Irish authorities have more backbone than their English counterparts, stopping a planned assisted suicide and telling said assister that she may be prosecuted if she does so.
Pro-choice group 'shocked' as Irish women forced to cancel assisted-suicide trip
Pro-choice grop Exit International Ireland has described as "shocking" the case of two Irish women who tried to travel to Switzerland for assisted suicide, but learned they could be liable for prosecution if they did so and then cancelled their plans. more

Irish Pro-Deathers Are "Shocked" That Their Police Uphold The Law

No, really? Irish pro-deathers are "shocked" that Irish authorities stopped, and were prepared to prosecute, a woman who was about to aid a suicide?. (See story below). All the usual arguments, etc. etc.
Pro-choice group 'shocked' as Irish women forced to cancel assisted-suicide trip
Pro-choice group Exit International Ireland has described as "shocking" the case of two Irish women who tried to travel to Switzerland for assisted suicide, but learned they could be liable for prosecution if they did so and then cancelled their plans. more

Aussie Pro-Deathers Deliberately Muddy The Waters For Their Ends

An important caveat has surfaced in the Aussie euthanasia debate The pro-deathers are confusing the public about that this is all about. That's exactly what the pro-deathers want - confusion so they can sway the debate to their side.
Alzheimer’s Australia: euthanasia debate “clouded in confusion.
The Australian Christian Lobby has welcomed an Alzheimer’s Australia report examining end-of-life planning for people suffering for dementia.
The report, “Planning for the End of Life for People with Dementia Part 2”, found the current debate surrounding euthanasia has left patients and their families “clouded with confusion” and unsure of their rights. more

Good On The Irish: Warn Of Prosecution For Helping In A Suicide

Well, at least the Irish authorities have more backbone than their English counterparts, stopping a planned assisted suicide and telling the assister that if she help to kill her friend, she may be prosecuted.
Women prevented from travelling to Switzerland for assisted suicide
Two Irish women have been prevented from travelling to Switzerland for assisted suicide, after intervention by the GardaĆ­ [police].
The women, one of whom is in the final stage of multiple sclerosis, were forced to cancel their planned visit to the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland, after officers became aware of their plans, radio station Newstalk has reported. more

Aussie: Legalizing Euthanasia On Hold - For Now

Some reason to be guardedly optimistic about attempts to legalize euthanasia in Aussie - at least for now.
Bill to allow euthanasia in limited circumstances looks likely to fail in Parliament
HOPE remains for a law allowing euthanasia despite Parliament dealing another model a near-mortal blow.
All five MPs speaking yesterday indicated they would move to block a euthanasia plan supported by Health Minister John Hill to give doctors a legal defence for providing pain-relieving drugs that hasten death.
Independent MP Bob Such said yesterday he was confident the opposition to the proposal, drafted by Labor backbencher Steph Key, did not close the door on a more regulated euthanasia plan being brought into law in the future. more

UK's Slippery Pro-Death Slope: Death On Demand May Come Soon

Here's a very real glimpse of what might happen if the UK keeps on going down its slippery pro-death slope.
Legalising assisted suicide 'would lead to death on prescription
The sick and disabled will be able to buy suicide drugs at the chemist if the law is changed to allow assisted dying, two of the country’s most eminent legal and medical experts claim.
Any such law will open the way for pharmacists and nurses to prescribe drugs to help their patients kill themselves, warned Lord Carlile and Baroness Finlay.
They also said liberalising euthanasia laws will open the way for the establishment of state agencies to assess whether or not sick citizens should be helped  to die. more

Minnesota: Encourage A Suicide & Get A Slap On The Wrist

So this is how the culture of death seeps into society. A creepy male nurse in Minnesota coaxed a young woman to commit suicide on the web - and gets only a year in jail. Gone are the days, apparently, when this madness would have resulted in him being dumped in jail and the key thrown away.
Former U.S. nurse gets year in jail for aiding
The brother of a Brampton woman who killed herself after getting encouragement from an online predator is speaking out against the sentence handed out by a U.S. court to the convicted man. more

Monday, May 2, 2011

Elderly Using Social Media To Sway Pro-Deather Arguments

Here we go again - old people using the new social media to tell the world how much not being legally able to have assisted suicide is so terribly wrong. Too bad they're not the first couple to kick the bucket where one spouse was actually healthy. Brit conductor and Edward Downes and his wife scooped this one about 18 months ago.
Elderly couple record message to be played on YouTube after assisted suicide past
The bodies of Don and Iris Flounders were found at their home in Victoria, Australia, last Friday, having killed themselves the day before.
The couple made no secret of their intention to die together and travelled to Mexico in 2008 to buy the drug they need for a controlled death.
Mr Flounders, 81, suffered from mesothelioma, which is an incurable form of lung cancer. His 88-year-old wife, who was not suffering from a terminal illness, decided she did not want to live without him.
Their message, which will be broadcast posthumously on Tuesday, tells of their desire to die in the manner that they choose. more

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Empirical Answer To The Pain Argument: Good Pain Management, Not Death

We have to keep repeating, and repeating, and repeating: Every time the pro-deathers shriek that we need medicalized killing because people are in unbearable pain, we need to counter with a very simple empirical fact: In almost every case, people are suffering because of POOR PAIN MANAGEMENT and a lack of POOR PALLIATIVE CARE.
Euthanasia pushes past pain barrier
WHEN David Scott Mathers escaped a jail sentence for suffocating his chronically ill partner, much was made of her pain. Eva Griffith had wanted to die and her considerable pain was referred to 16 times last week in Justice Peter Hall's judgment, which concluded the manslaughter to which Mathers had pleaded guilty was ''a selfless act born out of the love the offender held for her''.
In Australia it is often assumed pain would be the main reason for voluntary euthanasia, or assisted suicide, yet evidence from the US suggests Griffith's circumstances were unusual. more

UK Doctor Advocates Killing Infants - Just because

Aren't we lucky!! A prominent UK doctor is calling for killing infants even if they have no "quality of life" issues. That is, the pro-deathers have now (predictably) moved from advocating killing infants with disabilities to just any old infant. I predict that very soon we'll see a renewed push for assisted suicide and euthanasia for any reason, anytime, by anyone, and for all stages of life.
Proposal to withhold care from sick babies is unethical, Vatican adviser says
A proposal to allow premature or sick newborn babies to die even when their life would be deemed worth living by medical staff has been condemned by a leading member of the Pontifical Academy for Life.
Doctor Carlo Bellieni says the suggestion being made by the Oxford-based physician James Wilkinson is both “flawed” and “an erroneous way of considering life.”
Dr. Wilkinson outlines his controversial argument in the American Journal of Bioethics. “The prevailing official view is that treatment may be withdrawn only if the burdens in an infant’s future life outweigh the benefits. ... I conclude that it is justifiable in some circumstances for parents and doctors to decide to allow an infant to die even though the infant’s life would be worth living,” Dr. Wilkinson wrote. more

Ersatz Canadian Victimhood About Aiding In A Suicide

If you read this bog regularly, you'll know that Canada is embroiled in all kinds of debates about legalizing assisted suicide - currently it's still a crime. So, as expected, here come the "poor victims" who have gone with a loved on to Switzerland for assisted killing and then are worried on their return that they might be charged. Really? The Canadian authorities have consistently indicated that they will turn a blind eye, just as they do in the UK. So why the media coverage about their fears of prosecution? Why, to make the claim for victimhood, of course, in the hopes that it will sway people to call for decriminalizing assisted suicide in Canada.
Assisted suicide abroad puts families in legal limbo
Family and friends who travel to Switzerland to be with their loved ones as they commit assisted suicide enter legal limbo when they return home -- they may have committed a crime, but have no way of knowing if the police will come calling.
British Columbians Lee Carter and Hollis Johnson filed suit against the federal government this week for legal changes that would allow doctor-assisted suicide for people suffering from incurable diseases. As it stands, helping anyone commit suicide is a criminal offence punishable by up to 14 years in prison. more
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