Thursday, June 30, 2011

Now The Truth: Brit Medical Association Openly Questions Value Of The Terminally Ill

So the death culture tightens its grip on British society. Now the British Medical Association is openly questioning the monetary value of the infirm and terminally ill. Lovely.
BMA: Let patients die
THE leader of Scotland's doctors has questioned whether society can afford to pay thousands of pounds to keep terminally-ill people alive for weeks or months when health service budgets are under unprecedented strain. more

The Old Animal Argument For Human Euthanasia

Well, the heading says it all: The old argument that if we put dogs down, why not humans? Well, here's a simple answer: Dogs are animals, humans aren't. Simple as that.
A painless, comfortable death was an option for Alan Rosendorff's dog Jimmy 45 years ago, why not for him?
Melbourne lawyer Alan Rosendorff, who has terminal cancer and faces a long, painful death has asked the Premier to initiate a public debate on voluntary euthanasia. Photo: Jason South
ALAN Rosendorff knows the value of a peaceful death. When his first dog Jimmy was battling a terminal illness 45 years ago, he took him to the vet who had looked after him since he was a pup.
''The vet laid him down on his table and said 'I'm sorry old soldier, I've known you for 15 years, but it's time to go.' He died painlessly and comfortably with the vet talking to him the whole time. It left such an impression on me,'' said Mr Rosendorff of the death he witnessed as a teenager. more

Another Murderer Claims The "Assisted Suicide Defense"

Yup, another plain ol' murderer asserting the "assisted sucide defense."
Police: Man Strangles Wife, Cat, Claims Assisted Suicide
According to police, a central Indiana man said he was helping his wife commit suicide, but is facing not only a murder charge but also a charge of cruelty to animals after police found the woman and her pet cat strangled in a Kentucky hotel. more

Bulgaria Starts To Consider Assisted Suicide

The Bulgarians are floating a bill to legalize assisted suicide. Predictably, they're now going to "study" the issue and have suggested a public referendum. Prediction: The referendum will show that many in Bulgaria favor assisted suicide.
Bulgarian Ombudsman Suggests Holding Referendum on Euthanasia
Bulgarian Ombudsman Konstantin Penchev has sent a letter to the Chairman of the Parliamentary Healthcare Commission asking him to state his opinion on the Euthanasia Act tabled by socialist MP Lyuben Kornezov.
Penchev reminds that the spirit of the law must be talked through before discussing the details and the precise wording of the text. more

Swiss Leave Assisted Killing As Is

Well this is no surprise. The Swiss are taking a PR hit over death clinic Dignitas, but the government has decided to leave assisted suicide as is.
Swiss drop plans to tighten euthanasia rules
THE Swiss government on Wednesday rejected proposals to tighten rules on assisted suicide, saying that they could inadvertently legitimise organisations offering assisted suicide. more

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Netherlands: Killing Alzheimer's Patients Begins

Here's more on the news out of the Netherlands that doctors are now killing people suffering from Alzheimer's. Prediction: Soon euthanasia will be available in the Netherlands for any reason, at any age.
Legally killed: 21 dementia victims given lethal injections by Dutch doctors in 2010
Dementia sufferers are being killed by doctors in Holland under the country’s euthanasia laws, official figures are to reveal.
A total of 21 patients with early-stage dementia, including Alzheimer’s, died by lethal injection last year, according to a forthcoming annual report.
This is the first time dementia sufferers have been included in the country’s euthanasia statistics. more

UK: Current Legal Clarifications Of Assisted Suicide

Here's a good discussion of the current state of affairs around assisted suicide in the UK. Most useful, I think, is the reporting of the UK Government guidelines around assisted sucide issued last year. They are completely toothless, focusing on the intent of the death helper, who must help kill out of "altruistic" reasons as a means of not running foul of the authorities. How the authorities are able to verify this is still a complete mystery.
Assisted suicide — Ireland’s stance in a world context
The recent BBC programme presented by writer Terry Pratchett on assisted suicide and euthanasia has again raised the complicated ethical and moral dilemmas surrounding these issues. Pratchett, who has Alzheimer’s, followed two people who decided to go to Dignitas in Switzerland to die. One of them allowed the cameras in as he ingested a cocktail of drugs to end his life.
Assisted suicide is when an individual takes his or her own life with the guidance, information and/or medication provided by a third party. more

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Canada: Terminal Woman Supports Assisted Killing

This is how the pro-deathers work to make their case: find a terminally ill poster person to help them with their cause. On our side we need to find like candidates who don’t want to die unnaturally.
Terminally ill woman joins constitutional challenge on physician-assisted suicide
 A 63-year-old Westbank woman suffering from Lou Gehrig's disease wants to join the B.C. Civil Liberties constitutional challenge to give Canadians access to physician-assisted suicide. more

Spain: Opposition To Euthanasia Too Little, Too Late?

The Spanish Church is speaking out against the legalization of euthanasia in Spain. I hope they can stem the tide, but in Europe over the last 50 years, the church's influence has waned considerably.
Proposed euthanasia law must be rejected, state Spanish bishops
Spain's bishops condemned a proposed “death with dignity law” and declared that the bill in its current form must be abolished, modified or rejected. more

Czech Public Seems To Like The Idea Of Euthanasia

Hard on the heels that Bulgaria is looking to legalize euthanasia, another eastern European country, Czechoslovakia, sees public opinion firmly for euthanasia. The dominoes keep getting lined up.
Most Czechs support abortion, euthanasia, death penalty - poll
About two-thirds of Czechs support the possibility of euthanasia and abortion and the introduction of capital punishment, according to a CVVM institute´s poll released today. . . .
Sixty-four percent believe that Czech legislation should make euthanasia possible, 27 percent are against it. more

Netherlands: Unsurprisingly, Now They're Killing The Defenseless

Wow, really? They're now euthanizing Alzheimer’s patients in Holland? I'm shocked. Surely this isn’t the slippery slope? And hey, what happened to the part of the euthanasia law that said patients requesting death had to be in their right mind? I guess I'm too picky . . .
Euthanasia on the rise in Holland: now being applied to patients with dementia
Euthanasia is on the rise in the Netherlands, and it is taking an even uglier turn than many would have expected.
Cases of euthanasia have risen from 2,500 in 2009 to 2,700 in 2010; but even more shocking, last year 21 persons suffering from the early stages of dementia, but who were otherwise in good health, were euthanized. All of these 21 “mercy killings” were subsequently approved by the official euthanasia follow-up commission. more

Bulgaria The Next Pro-Death Domino?

Creeping pro-death clouds have now reached Bulgaria, where they're about to submit a bill legalizing euthanasia.
Draft Bill on Legalization of Euthanasia in Bulgaria Enters Parliament
Bulgaria should allow euthanasia at the request of the patient or their relatives, according to a draft bill submitted to Parliament by socialist MP Lyuben Kornezov. more

Oh No: Another Spin For The "Murder As Mercy Killing Defense

I'm getting more than a little irritated at the media who (a) couldn't tell the difference between assisted killing and euthanasia if it were handed to them on a platter, and the painting of plain ol' murder as "mercy killing. This from Indiana.
Friends wonder if woman's death was mercy killing
Was it assisted suicide or cold blooded murder? That's the question Michele Daugherty's friends have after the Noblesville, Indiana woman was found dead in an Elizabethtown, Kentucky hotel room. Now her husband is behind bars charged with murder, but some Indiana friends of the couple are wondering if what happened in Elizabethtown was a mercy killing. more

UK: Long Term Plans For Government Sponsored Euthanasia Revealed

Here's the story of how the British government, decades ago, raised the issue of making euthanasia palatable to the elderly, even with the help of the BBC. It's happening now, in the UK, which is sliding fast down the slippery slope to pro-death nihilistic oblivion.
Dominic Lawson: A modest proposal for the benefit of the elderly
Among the most interesting documents released today, 28 June 2041, under the 30-year rule concerning the release of government papers, is the following memorandum from the senior special advisor to the then Chancellor George Osborne:
"Chancellor, you asked me to outline for Cabinet's discussion of the imminent publication of the Dilnot Commission's report on the funding of care for the elderly, the salient demographic and financial issues and the most cost-effective solution, fitting these straitened times.
"At the beginning of the last century there were just 61,000 British men and women over the age of 85. Today there are 1.5 million over-85s. In 20 years' time we expect that figure to have risen to 2.5 million. Our colleagues at the Department of Health tell us that no less than 70 per cent of emergency hospital admissions are now of retired people who have had a fall. The average cost of an occupied hospital bed is £3,000 a week, so we can begin to appreciate the cost to the working taxpayer of the physically doddery. more

Monday, June 27, 2011

Oregon Is, Indeed, A Slippery Pro-Death Slope

Here’s a piece that makes very clear what many of us have been saying for years: If you legalize assisted killing, it soon gets out of hand. Of course it's a slippery slope - don’t let anyone try to change your mind.
Oregon on the euthanasia slippery slope
Americans love conversation and public disputation about contested moral and ethical issues. Given the Australian Greens' continuing fascination with euthanasia, I decided to visit Oregon which has had a physician assisted suicide law in place since 1997.
In 2010, 96 Oregonians asked their doctors to prescribe a deadly barbiturate which they could ingest causing their own deaths; 65 of them went ahead and did so. This mode of dying accounts for just 0.2 per cent of deaths in Oregon. In the Netherlands, euthanasia accounts for ten times that percentage of deaths, and almost a third of them occur without the patient's explicit request. more

"Euthanasia Defense" For Murder Comes to Russia

So the "euthanasia defense" is used again to disguise murder, this time in Russia.
Do Russians have a right for euthanasia?
Death is not the worst thing that can happen to a human being, Plato used to say. What can one do about a loved one who suffers from terrible pains and wants to die? Vyacheslav Demin, a 72-year-old man, a resident of Petrozavodsk, strangled his wife, but it was the last thing that the woman asked her husband to do for her. The court took this detail into consideration - the man was sentenced to four years in a tight security colony. more

Canada: Should We Ration Healthcare?

This is a good discussion of Canada's dilemmas around rationing care at the end of life.
Can rationing possibly be rational?
Annie Farlow was just short of three months old when she died in an Ontario hospital of what her parents believe might have been a treatable respiratory condition. . . .
Canada’s aging population and the ongoing development of expensive therapies for life-threatening illnesses are further escalating pressures on the health care system, particularly intensive care units. Surveys estimate that Ontario, among other provinces, will need 80%–93% more intensive beds over the next 20 years, while about 87% of intensive care physicians indicated they had provided “futile” care at least once in the previous year. more

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Terrible Aftermath Of Assisted Killing

Here's an in-depth story about the ugly aftermath of a suicide facilitated by Swiss pro-deathers. Again, I'm struck by the incredible emotional and psychological damage an assisted killing causes.
The Swiss suicide clinic and the £1.3m will riddle of the real-life James Bond
In his 93 years Sir Peter Smithers was a spy, MP and renowned botanist. Now his death raises disturbing questions about euthanasia. Why did this real-life James Bond die with the help of a Swiss suicide clinic? And what lies behind the £1.3m High Court battle over his will? more

UK's Assisted Suicide Commission A Farce

In the UK, Lord falconer chairs a high level commission looking into whether UK law related to assisted killing should be changed. However, the commission is loaded with pro-deathers (surprise!!). Here's a report on this sleight of hand.
On radio this morning, Lord Falconer painted himself into a corner on assisted suicide
On to Radio 4’s excellent Sunday programme early this morning to say what I think of Lord Falconer’s Commission on Assisted Dying, which begins to consider the evidence – such as it is – that it has invited for a change in the law in the UK on assisted suicide. . . .
No, the fascinating part was Charlie Falconer’s response. Forced by Edward Stourton to say whether a “Commission” -  nine out of 12 of whose members have publicly supported a change in the assisted-suicide law, whose chairman has “form” (Stourton’s word) in that he’s tried and failed to change the law through Parliament, which is bank-rolled by Terry Pratchett of reality-death TV fame and power-broked by the death-on-demand campaign at Dignity in Dying – could ever possibly conclude that our laws are perfectly alright as they are, replied simply “Yes”. more

Dutch Consider Euthanasia For Dementia Patients

This is too rich: Doctors in the Netherlands tut-tutting about whether to euthanize dementia patients or not. I find it alarming enough that apparently a third of Dutch doctors think it's just fine. Scary.
Doctors wary of euthanasia for dementia
Just 33 percent of Dutch doctors are willing to use euthanasia in cases of early dementia, a national survey conducted by three university hospitals shows.
The poll was carried out by the university hospitals of Utrecht, Groningen and Rotterdam, a television programme reported on Saturday. more

The Dark Side Of Swiss Death Clinic Dignitas

So, the pro-death-no-suffering angle of the BBC "documentary" which showed the death of one person and an interviewed with another before his death was not as rosy as Terry Pratchett would have us believe.
A MULTIPLE sclerosis sufferer who killed himself at a Swiss clinic during filming of a BBC documentary took 90 minutes to die, the Sunday Express can reveal.
Andrew Colgan had built up such a tolerance to medication that his death came more than an hour later than the usual 20 minutes. more

Jack Kevorkian: The Media Spin Continues

The media spin continues about what a swell guy Jack Kevorkian was.
My interview with ‘Dr. Death’
Dr. Jack Kevorkian died June 3 at a hospital in Michigan after suffering from kidney failure and pulmonary problems. He was 83. Kevorkian helped more than 130 people to die who were terminally ill and in pain. And as you may know, physician-assisted suicide is illegal in Michigan.
I had the opportunity to meet him in 1996, when Don Hewitt, then Executive Producer of “60 Minutes,” asked me to fly to Detroit to interview Kevorkian. It seemed that he agreed to be interviewed by “60 Minutes” only if I would be the one to ask the questions. Why would Jack Kevorkian want to talk to me? I felt fine! more

India: New Request For Euthanasia

Well, this is what happens when you allow the thin end of the euthanasia wedge to enter. Last year, in the case of an Indian woman who had been semiconscious for 35 years, the Indian High Court ruled that euthanasia was feasible. Now comes a father requesting that his conjoined twin daughters be euthanized. It'll be interesting to see how this works out.
Father of Siamese twins pleads for them to be allowed to die
The impoverished family of Indian conjoined twins won worldwide sympathy when they rejected the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi’s offer to pay for surgery to separate them.
They feared that one or both might die in the operation and could not bear to lose either.
Five years later, they are pleading with the Indian government to allow them to carry out a mercy killing to release the 15-year-old twins from their increasing physical agony. more

Aussie Dr. Death Chats To Grannies

Aussie Dr. Death Philip Nitschke keeps up his campaign - even to a few old grannies who seem to think assisted killing is just fine.
Euthanasia campaigner to address supporters
CONTROVERSIAL euthanasia campaigner Dr Philip Nitschke will visit the Central Coast next week as the guest speaker at a Kincumber public meeting.
Organised by Exit’s Gosford Chapter, it will be Dr Nitschke’s first trip to the coast in more than two years. He is the head of prominent lobby group Exit International and will speak on decriminalising assisted suicide. more

Pro-Deathers Target Isle of Man

Obviously there's no place too small for the pro-deathers to persuade, in this case, the Isle of Man.
Campaigner expects changes to assisted suicide law
The Chief Executive campaign group Dignity in Dying says she expects there to be a change in the assisted suicide laws on the Island in the future. more

Friday, June 24, 2011

Slovak Nurse Claims "Euthanasia Defense"

This is a case of a Slovak nurse claiming he committed euthanasia. BUT here's the significant point: Did the patient ask for it, and how would we know now that the patient is dead?
Hospital employee who administered lethal medication remains in custody
The male nurse who reportedly helped a patient, age 63, to die has not appealed a court’s decision about detention and he has apparently decided to spend the investigation period in pre-trial custody, the Sme daily was informed by the spokesman of the Bratislava Regional Court, Pavol AdamĨiak. more

Yes, There Are Hopeful Alternatives To Assisted Killing

We need many more pieces like this - countering the inevitability of assisted killing and euthanasia.
Choosing to die misses the depth of life
We have just had a visit from our old friends, Jill and Dan. They are a remarkable couple. She was left a paraplegic after a motorbike accident 52 years ago. What a dire prospect for an active girl still in her teens! But she went on to be married, despite family pressure, to Dan, who lived in the same village. She wanted to have a family, and it of course seemed she'd have to have a baby by Caesarean section. In fact she was the first paraplegic to have a natural birth, watched by doctors from around the world, and went on to have two more boys. After their first was born, Dan was told: "You know, paraplegics normally survive just 10 years." more

Quebecois Pro-Deathers Go On A "Study Tour"

Where to begin . . . Now the Quebecois pro-deathers are going to Europe to "study" assisted killing & euthanasia - in the Netherlands and Belgium no less. And they want us to believe they'll be looking at this "difficult" issue from all angles. Balderdash. Do you really think they won’t be swayed by the predominant culture of death in these two countries? BTW, don't buy the story's line that euthanasia in the Netherlands and Belgium is done under "strict conditions." If this were the case, then thousands of patients who are killed without ever having asked for euthanasia would not happen.
Quebec delegation headed to Europe to research assisted suicide
A Quebec delegation is heading to Europe Monday to further study the thorny question of euthanasia and assisted suicide.
The four provincial legislators taking part in the mission are members of a special parliamentary commission on end-of-life issues that wrapped up public hearings this winter.
They are in the process of writing their report and decided to travel to European countries that have grappled with the perplexing questions involving life and death in recent years.
They will go to the Netherlands and Belgium, where assisted suicide is legal under strict conditions, and to France, where parliamentarians voted against euthanasia. more

What About Those Left Behind?

Here's a glowing piece about how swell it is to undergo assisted killing at the Swiss death clinic run by Dignitas. As with many of these stories, I wonder about the emotional and psychological damage to loved ones who don't want their loved one to die a premeditated death.
Conwy Valley man's account of wife's Dignitas experience
A CONWY Valley man has shared his moving account of how he witnessed his wife take her own life at controversial Swiss clinic Dignitas.
Aled Owen from Cwm Penmachno decided to tell the Weekly News about his own experience of assisted suicide following last week’s BBC documentary Choosing to Die, presented by Alzheimer’s sufferer and successful author Terry Pratchett. more

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Other Uses For Suicide Hoods

Well, in my more cynical moments, I might have had a chuckle at a child molester using a suicide hood to kill himself. I guess he thought going to prison wasn't really good for that "quality of life" pro-deather argument.
Tumwater Child Molester Kills Himself With Plastic Bag and Helium "Exit Hood"
​If you're going to off yourself, science says there's no better way than strapping a plastic bag over your head and pumping helium into your lungs. It is the preferred method of the controversial assisted-suicide group The Final Exit Network, and, according to the latest academic research, it is "is potentially quick and appears painless." It's also cheap, with the "exit hood" kit retailing for a mere $60 online. The latest poster child for the process is Richard Luckett, a 44-year-old Tumwater man who was expected to plead guilty to two counts of child molestation later this week. Thanks an exit hood, it looks like Luckett is definitely going to miss that court date. more

Assisted Killing & Euthanasia: No. Good Palliative Care: Yes, Yes, Yes

Yes, yes, yes. Bad deaths, those that make the pro-deathers seem so attractive, can almost always be avoided by good palliative care.
Assisted Suicide Not the Answer to Preventing Bad Deaths
Around the world too many patients have "bad deaths" because they do not get the care they need, said the President of the International Society for Advance Care Planning and End of Life Care on the first day of the Society's annual conference.
"Too often doctors and nurses fail to listen to the real problems from the patients' perspective and find solutions to help patients live as well as possible," said Associate Professor, Dr Bill Silvester, an Australian intensive care specialist.
"Care of the dying must be a priority everywhere." more

Yup, Euthanasia Is Killing. Period

Gee, a breath of fresh air from Aussie. Sydney's Roman Catholic Bishop makes it simple. It's killing, stupid.
‘Euthanasia means killing someone’: Sydney Cardinal issues blunt pro-life challenge
While euthanasia remains illegal in Australia, the country is a centre of international lobbying work to legalize the practice, and now the cardinal archbishop of Sydney, the leader of the Catholic Church in Australia, is calling for citizens, especially Catholics, to strenuously oppose it. more

Catholic Church: The Pro-Deathers Within

This is a disturbing but unsurprising fact - even many of those charged by their profession to err on the side of life think the culture of death is just dandy. Very disappointing.
Bishops Betrayed on Assisted Suicide
Even as the nation’s bishops react with alarm to a recent Montana Supreme Court ruling allowing physician-assisted suicide, their efforts are being undermined by ethics and law professors at several Jesuit universities. more

Monday, June 20, 2011

Why We Can't Give The Pro-Deathers An Inch

Here's another hard-hitting piece about why it's important not to give the pro-deathers an inch.
We must fight to maintain a total ban on assisted suicide and euthanasia
Assisted suicide and euthanasia are legal in the states of Oregon and Washington, as well as in a handful of nations worldwide. Both here and abroad, pressure is mounting to legalize both evils beyond those sad places where they have already been accepted.
Behind a facade of objectivity, these evils are subtly promoted by many in the media in order to deform public opinion in their favor. We know their methods very well: through a selective presentation of news stories, movies and on television, they hope to slowly deform people’s emotions, moving them to see that killing the unwanted is the compassionate thing to do. more

Cardinal Rightly Identifies The Slippery Slope Of Euthanasia

Here's a clear stance against assisted killing and euthanasia, one that should be heard more often.
Euthanasia legislation a slippery slope: Cardinal Pell
Cardinal George Pell has issued a letter against euthanasia, warning that it is a slippery slope, reports
"One important part of the Catholic task today, which we share with clear- headed humanists and humanitarians, is to explain that just as winter follows autumn, legislation to allow voluntary euthanasia or mercy killing would lead to widespread involuntary euthanasia, with many, perhaps a majority of those euthanised being subject to the procedure without their consent and often against their will," he writes, in the letter available on the website. more

Pro-Deathers Support Scots "Death Mother"

Well whaddya know, the UK pro-death group Dignity in Dying is coming out asking authorities to go easy on a "death mother" who accompanied her son to die in Switzerland. Not to worry, the authorities in the UK have already been told not to make a big deal of these cases, unfortunately.
Charity urges compassion in assisted death inquiry
A CHARITY campaigning for people to be able to legally carry out assisted deaths in the UK says the Scot who took her son to die in Switzerland should be treated with compassion.
Mother-of-four Helen Cowie, from Cardonald, Glasgow, told radio listeners how she accompanied her paralysed son Robert, 33, to the controversial Dignitas clinic in Zurich last October.
Police say they are looking into the circumstances of the case after her admission during the BBC Scotland radio debate.
Jo Cartwright from UK charity Dignity in Dying, which wants a change in the law to allow terminally ill people the right to assisted death in the UK, said: “We think people should be treated compassionately if they have acted with compassion. more

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Now It Begins: US Citizens Asking For Euthanasia

Now it begins in the US: Citizens publishing their wish for assisted killing. There will be  more,  soon, trust me.
Robbinsville woman, 91, pleads for dignity in death, begs for right to die
Dorothy Bleistein doesn’t fear death. She welcomes it.
A once-active senior who led exercise classes into her 80s and danced the hula every year at the Robbinsville Senior Center luau, the wheelchair-bound Bleistein now has only one wish.
She wants to die.
Quietly, peacefully, with dignity, she’d like her life, and her suffering, to end. more

A Scottish Take On The Dangers Of Assisted Killing

This is a hard-hitting piece about what will become of Scotland if assisted killing is ever legalized. While the author's cynicism shows in the second half, it's not, unfortunately, as outrageous as it might have been even a few years ago.
Does the Scottish way of death beckon?
As the BBC watched a sick man kill himself in Switzerland last week, the world became a chillier place for the weak and the dying who do not possess a plump bank account and who still believe in the sacredness of life. The lives of those whose disability and infirmity make them rely on our care and compassion became a little more cheap and, thus, a little more vulnerable. more

A Classic Pro-Death Spin

The media is spin continues to make assisted killing and euthanasia palatable to society. This is a classic propaganda lie, mixing the pro-death message with legitimate issues such as advanced directives.
Maybe now, nation can discuss reasonableness of assisted suicide
When Dr. Jack Kevorkian, a leading proponent of right-to-die legislation, died June 3, he may have achieved something he was unable to accomplish in his last years: perhaps return the issue of physician-assisted suicide (PAS) to a serious level of legitimate public discourse. more

UK: Care Not Killing Files Official Complaint Against BBC Televised Assisted Killing

Good for my colleagues at the UK's Care Not Killing. They are the first organization to formally file a complaint with the BBC Trust, which oversees the BBC.
Lord Patten is being asked to rule on whether the corporation breached its own guidelines with a controversial documentary on assisted suicide.
An official complaint has been made to the BBC Trust about the BBC2 documentary which followed a man’s final moments at the Swiss Dignitas clinic. Care Not Killing, which lodged the complaint, has accused the corporation of bias and says it risks fuelling more suicides. more

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Assisted Killing In Switzerland: A Horror Story

Think assisted killing at Swiss death clinic is all angels and light? Think again, and read this horror story.
Dignified? It was like an execution chamber: Verdict of loving daughter who took her mother to die at Dignitas
Karen Royle’s memories of the last precious hours with her cherished mother Rona are far from the serene, comforting images that she had hoped for.
Before arriving in Zurich, Karen, 51, had envisaged a pretty Swiss chalet, with perhaps a view of the Alps — ‘just like the pictures in the book Heidi, which I’d loved as a child’.
But the Dignitas ‘apartment’ at No  84 Gertrudestrasse, where 74-year-old Rona chose to end her life rather than succumb further to the ravages of Motor Neurone Disease (MND), bore no comparison to the picture-postcard tranquility her family had imagined. more

UK: More "Death Parents" Come Out Of The Woodwork

Here's another parent coming out of the woodwork to tell the world that she facilitated her son's assisted killing at Swiss death clinic Dignitas. They all have the same excuse (which doesn’t wash with me, I'm afraid): That they couldn’t change their child's mind so they went along with the killing. Macabre.
I helped paralysed son, 33, die at Dignitas, says mother as police launch assisted suicide investigation
Paralysed: Robert Cowie, injured in a swimming accident, talked his mother Helen out of helping him in the UK
A mother who rang a radio station to confess she took her paralysed son to a controversial Swiss clinic to die, is being investigated by police. more

Mocking Euthanasia, But making A Few Good Points

Here's a mocking take on why euthanasia is a good thing. However, in its very satirical slant, it successfully makes opposes the pro-death culture.
Euthanasia: a Modest Proposal
Sir Terry Pratchett, science fiction novelist and Alzheimer sufferer, made a documentary about ‘assisted dying’. The aim: to make euthanasia legal in Britain. Sir Terry’s wife is not in favour, apparently, but he is. Golly! Verily, the Book of Proverbs is right, ‘a good wife is worth more than rubies’. I confess: If I had a wife, I would like her to be like Mrs Pratchett.
Euthanasia-talk is topical indeed. Elderly people in British care homes are victims of spending cuts. The quality of their care is deteriorating. Privatisation has resulted in falling standards. The financial crisis bites. State support is short. It can’t go on like this. And so on. more

US Catholic Bishops To Officially Oppose The Culture Of Death

The Catholic Conference of US Bishops is looking to take an officiazl stand against assisted killing and euthanasia, instead pointing to the dignity of life. Good for them. Would it be that they were joined in this by other denominations.
US bishops approve first collective statement on assisted suicide
On June 16 the U.S. bishops approved a document on assisted suicide, which will become their first collective word on the matter.  The statement, entitled “To Live Each Day with Dignity,” refutes the idea that assisted suicide is a compassionate form of medical treatment. more

Assisted Killing: What About Loved Ones Who Don't Want It To Happen?

The spin continues in the UK - now an actor has come out to explain how his ex-wife underwent assisted killing at Swiss death clinic Dignitas. I can't help but wonder the particular anguish of those left behind who didn't want their loved ones to die.
I was aching inside. I didn't want Allyson to go but she calmly drank the poison and told me, 'look after our son'
STEELING himself, Chris Larner felt the hairs rise on the back of his neck as he watched businessman Peter Smedley slip away in this week's controversial BBC2 documentary about assisted suicide.
The heartbreaking scene, filmed at the Dignitas suicide clinic outside Zurich, was difficult viewing for most people.
But it hit Chris especially hard - for only last November he was with his ex-wife, Allyson Lee, when she died there aged 60. more

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Good Retort To Brit TV Assisted Killing

Here's an excellent counter to the TV assisted killing aired on Brit TV last Monday night.
JAN MOIR: Don't fall for this toxic idea that the old are disposable
What awaits us in old age? Well, the triumph of actually reaching old age for a start — not a privilege offered to all. Yet if one was to look on the downside, the scenario that looms large gets bleaker with each passing year — and economic crisis.
Dwindling pensions, soaring fuel bills, children who plot to murder us in our sleep, doctors who don’t care if we live or die? more

UK Media Reaction To Monday Night's TV Assisted Killing

Here's a summary of how the UK media reacted to Monday night's showing of an assisted killing on Brit telly.
Terry Pratchett: Choosing to Die
British author Terry Pratchett. Picture: Getty Images
Should we be allowed to choose to die? That was the polarising question raised by author Terry Pratchett in a documentary aired on the BBC on Monday. more

South Dakota Gets It Right: It's Not Assisted Suicide, It's Murder

In South Dakota, a murderer tries to spin the courts that what he did was an "assisted suicide." Nope, just plain ol' murder.
Murder conviction upheld in alleged aided suicide
The South Dakota Supreme Court upheld the murder conviction on Thursday of a Rapid City man who had argued that he did not commit murder in shooting a friend who was in chronic pain and wanted to die.
Robert Goulding, 53, was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole for the November 2008 shooting death of his friend, Allen Kissner, near Sheridan Lake in the Black Hills. Kissner, 56, wanted to die because he was in chronic, terminal pain, was addicted to drugs and likely was returning to prison, Goulding said. more

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I Agree: Death Should Not Become A Lifestyle

Anther wholly sane response to Terry Pratchett's pro-death "documentary" boradcast by the BBC last Monday.
Allison Pearson: Death should not be as easy as going to the dentist
Two stories of the week.  . . . Meanwhile, in Switzerland, Sir Terry Pratchett, the best-selling novelist, was leading a campaign for another mortal right.
“Peter Lawrence Smedley, are you sure you want to drink this medicament with which you will sleep and die?”
 “Yes, I’m quite sure.”
It sounded like a marriage, but it was actually a new rite of passage for humanity. The death ceremony. Peter, a charming retired hotelier, was pledging himself to Hades. more

UK: Showing Of Assisted Killing Leaves Many Questions

Here's a good piece about Terry Pratchett's Monday night "documentary" showing an assisted killing, and how misguided and wrong it was. I agree.
Assisted suicide critic ‘worried’ by Pratchett documentary
Baroness Finlay of Llandaff is one of the UK’s leading opponents of attempts to legalise assisted suicide. She gives her reaction to the controversial BBC documentary, which filmed a man dying at the Swiss Dignitas clinic
“THE more I see of this, the more worried I get and the BBC documentary only reinforced those worries.” more

UK Sitcom Condemned For Assisted Killing Episode

Things are starting to spin out of control in the UK. Hard on the heels of Monday night’s televising of an assisted killing a popular TV sitcom, "Emmerdale," broadcast an episode graphically portraying an assisted killing, Complaints have been almost as harsh as the real assisted killing.
Suicide Dale row ‘worth it’
EMMERDALE boss Stuart Blackburn has defended the show's controversial assisted suicide storyline - insisting the issue has raised an important debate.
The rural soap sparked shock and outrage for showing wheelchair-bound Jackson Walsh, played by Marc Silcock, killing himself by taking a cocktail of drugs. more

Oregon To Ban Assisted Killing Kits

After much handwringing it looks like Oregon is going to ban the sale of assisted killing kits. The jury is still out as to the fate of the 91 year-old granny who was selling these kits on the internet.
Oregon Bill Set to Kill Sale of Suicide Kits
The legal sale of "Do-It-Yourself" suicide kits in Oregon may well be on its last leg. The issue of assisted suicide has been in the news recently, most notably in the western states of California, Washington and Oregon. Prominent proponents of the practice such as the recently passed Dr. Kevorkian and the California woman who is currently on the front lines of the debate, often find themselves on the razor's edge of the law. more

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Shocker (Not): Pro-Death Scottish MP Thinks Televised Assisted killing Was Just Fine

Gee, what a surprise!! Scottish pro-deather Margo MacDonald thought last night's TV assisted killing was just dandy. Why wouldn't she? After all, she's been calling for legalized assisted killing for a while - even for children, no less.
Documentary moves Margo MacDonald
Right to die campaigner Margo MacDonald today claimed a TV documentary on the issue screened last night strengthened her case. more

The Irony Of How Pro-Deathers Choose To Die

This is a weirdly illogical story written by the husband whose late wife was an assisted killing advocate - yet chose not to die that way herself. Hubby the tries to explain how the way she died basically proves that one shouldn’t die this way. Then why the need for assisted killing?
My wife championed the right to choose when to die, the distress of her final days proves her case
There is a tragic irony about the death on May 28 of my wife, Ann, who died after battling pancreatic cancer for four years.
The many obituaries published since her death paid tribute to her professional life as a GP, writer, researcher and patient advocate — and most recently, as founder of Healthcare Professionals for Assisted Dying, which she formed two years ago, and as an active patron of the pro-choice charity, Dignity in Dying. more

UK: More Fallout From Last Night's TV Assisted Killing

Here's more fallout about the showing of an assisted killing on UK TV last night.
Sir Terry Pratchett's assisted suicide film denounced
Charities and religious groups have condemned the BBC for broadcasting the final moments of a man's 'assisted death' on screen, reports the Daily Mail. It says many viewers took to social networks and online message boards last night, to debate the BBC2 documentary, Terry Pratchett: Choosing To Die. They accused the programme makers of 'romanticising' and 'normalising' assisted death and warning it would lead to copycat suicides. more

UK: Backlash Builds To Assisted Killing On TV

I hope you have the time to view last night's BBC 'documentary" showing an assisted killing. There has been a serious backlash over this voyeuristic piece masquerading as reporting. It was completely in the tank for pro-death. BTW: This was not euthanasia, as the headline suggests - it was an assisted killing.
Anti-euthanasia backlash hits BBC after 900 viewers complain about Terry Pratchett documentary showing death at Dignitas
Almost 900 people contact the BBC to complain over programme
Former bishop of Rochester says the documentary was 'propaganda on one side'
Hundreds of viewers have complained about the BBC broadcasting the final moments of a man's 'assisted death' on screen - warning it would lead to copycat suicides.
Many viewers took to social networks and online message boards after watching Peter Smedley, 71,  beg for water and take his last gasp before slipping out of consciousness on the programme, Terry Pratchett: Choosing to Die. more

UK: Why The Disability Community Are Against Assisted Killing

The fallout from the BBC's showing of an assisted killing last night is drawing a good amount of attention. Here's a piece explaining why the disability community  fears that legalized assisted killing will make them even more vulnerable than they already are.
Dominic Lawson: Why the disabled fear assisted suicide
Last night, courtesy of the BBC, we could watch a man being killed – voluntarily. The much-heralded climax of the documentary Choosing to Die was of 71-year-old Peter Smedley being administered a lethal dose of Nembutal helped down with a praline chocolate (this was in Switzerland, after all). In his comments to accompany Smedley's death, the presenter, Sir Terry Pratchett, declared: "This has been a happy event."
It certainly seems to have been one for Sir Terry, who since his diagnosis with a form of Alzheimer's disease has become Britain's most prominent campaigner for "assisted suicide". It was only last year that the BBC gave Pratchett the great platform of the Richard Dimbleby lecture; the novelist used it to mount a forceful argument in favour of what he calls "the right to die" for those unable to commit suicide without assistance. more

Here's The BBC Piece On Assisted Killing Aired Last Night

Here's the much-trumpeted BBC "documentary" by pro-deather Terry Pratchett that hit the telly in the UK last night. Judge for yourself.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Terry Pratchett Prepares For His Assisted Killing

Terry Pratchett, whose film showing an assisted killing airs in the UK tomorrow evening, keeps pushing the envelope. He has announced that he's getting everything in order to go to Switzerland to undergo assisted killing. The macabre obsession with death continues to grow in the UK.
Sir Terry Pratchett Obtains Assisted Death Paperwork
Beloved British author and health campaigner Sir Terry Pratchett has applied for paperwork which could lead to his own assisted suicide in Switzerland. more

Kevorkian Was A Death-Obssessed Madman

The accolades following Jack Kevorkian's death are still pouring in. Here's a more accurate take that K was a sadist obsessed with voyeuristic killing.
Mercy is not a word that fits Jack Kevorkian
Jack Kevorkian, America's most prolific serial killer, died June 3 of natural causes at the age of 83 and the accolades just keep pouring in.
Words like "mercy" and "compassion" are attributed to this cold-hearted killer who has always been obsessed with death and dying.
What's interesting, though, is that at the end of his life, he chose not to be snuffed out prematurely by physician-assisted suicide even though he was elderly and terminally ill with kidney disease and pneumonia. Many of his victims weren't so lucky. more

UK: Film Of Her Husband Being Killed OK With Wife

Predictably, the wife of the man to be featured dying on BBC TV tomorrow evening supports his decision. Note that their daughter refuses to discuss the event. Could it be that she'd rather have her dad alive than dead?
He felt he needed to go, says widow of BBC Dignitas millionaire
The widow of the millionaire whose death at a suicide clinic will be shown in a BBC documentary tomorrow has broken her silence.
Christine Smedley said she had found her husband Peter’s suicide at the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland very painful but he could not face a lingering death from his illness.
Mr Smedley, 71, who had motor neurone disease, died in his wife’s arms in December. more

UK: More Opposition To TV Broadcast of Assisted Killing

The furor around tomorrow evening's showing of an assisted killing continues. Here's a member of the UK's House of Lords who opposes assisted killing.
Why assisted suicide can never be right
. . . . Last week I read that Peter Smedley had died; that he had gone to the Dignitas centre in Switzerland in December because he was suffering from motor neurone disease.
The BBC made a film about his death, narrated by Sir Terry Pratchett, who is a pro-euthanasia campaigner. The documentary, Choosing To Die, will be shown on BBC2 on Monday night and will include film of Peter's death.
I have taken a consistent view of the controversy surrounding assisted suicide. It has come up on several occasions in the House of Lords. I have consistently voted against its legalisation. more

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Dark Reality Of Assisted Killing

Here's the reality of an assisted killing.
Choking and pleading for water as he dies... this has been a happy event
A DESPERATELY ill man will be shown on TV choking and begging for water before he dies in a suicide clinic.
The harrowing scenes to be screened by BBC2 on Monday are set to spark outrage. more

Media Says Assisted Killing Peaceful: I See A Macabre Circus

Brit Terry Pratchett's "documentary" filming an assisted killing is getting advance spin from the media about how heroic, etc. it is. That’s what this piece is about. But read carefully the part about the actual assisted killing - I see a macabre circus where the duty to die lurks just beneath the surface.
I saw a stranger die. It's a Rubicon moment, not necessarily in a bad way
Terry Pratchett's controversial new documentary, Choosing to Die, ends in a man's death. Peter Smedley had motor neurone disease and chose to go to the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland before he lost the ability to "self-determine" (article 8 of the Human Rights Act upholds for us all the right to self-determination).
In the film, which airs on BBC2 on Monday evening, Smedley ends his life at 71 with a glass of lethal medicine, his wife on one side, a Dignitas helper on the other, Pratchett standing aside, Pratchett's assistant at the door. more

Friday, June 10, 2011

Push Back Against BBC Broadcast Of Assisted Killing

Here's some push back from colleagues in the UK where the BBC is planning on showing a "documentary" of an assisted killing at Swiss death clinic Dignitas.
BBC silent on claims that euthanasia film is biased
The BBC is refusing to defend itself against claims that a forthcoming film in which a man is shown dying in an assisted suicide breaches its guidelines on impartiality.
Anti-euthanasia pressure group Care Not Killing has accused the BBC of ignoring its own editorial policy and adopting a "blatant campaigning stance" in planning to broadcast the euthanasia of a millionaire at the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland. more

Euthanized Patients Organs Now Harvested

For those who think making assisted killing and euthanasia acceptable and who try to refute the slippery slope argument, read this: Organs are now being harvested from patients killied by euthanasia. This will increase pressure on some patients to request euthanasia, no doubt about it.
Transplantation of lungs: recovered from donors after euthanasia
Donors after cardiac death have increasingly provided organs for lung transplantation in Belgium. Between 01/2007-12/2009 in Leuven 17 isolated lung transplantations were performed from cardiac death donors, including four after euthanasia, Dirk van Raemdonck and colleagues (Leuven) report. "All donors expressed their wish for organ donation once their request for euthanasia was granted according to Belgian legislation. All donors suffered from an unbearable non-malignant disorder." One recipient died from a problem unrelated to the graft. The other three patients are still alive - in a good condition. more

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Yes, Kevorkian Was A Monster, Not A Hero

Campbell gets it exactly right in one of the few sane pieces around Kevorkian's death. He did nothing noble, nothing humane.
Colleen Carroll Campbell: The barbarism of Dr. Death
He was the wrong messenger for the right message. Judging by the obituaries published since his death from pulmonary thrombosis last week, that seems to be the mainstream media consensus on Dr. Jack Kevorkian, the 83-year-old pathologist who helped kill more than 130 people during his decades-long campaign for assisted suicide. more

Sitcom Assisted Suicide On The Telly - Why The Complaints?

This is puzzling. A Brit TV sitcom shows the assisted sucide of one of its characters. The TV station is deluged with complaints about it being too "graphic." Yes, too "graphic to watch someone drink a lethal potion. Strange, seeing that the pro-deathers in the UK tells us that the vast majority of Brits are in favor of assisted suicide & euthanasia.
Jackson Walsh's assisted suicide shocks Emmerdale fans
Emmerdale fans are outraged after 'harrowing' scenes of Jackson Walsh's assisted suicide were broadcast on Tuesday before the 9pm watershed. more

Assisted Suicide's Slippery Slope

I don't often pass along letters to the editor, but this one lays out the many pitfalls of how assisted works (or rather, how it doesn’t work - there's all kinds of opportunities for abuse).
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: The slippery slope of assisted suicide
"Assisted-suicide advocate dies" (Nation, Monday) reports, "Right-to-die groups hope the passing of Jack Kevorkian, who assisted in about 130 suicides in the 1990s, will shine the spotlight on the practice they call 'aid in dying.' " So do assisted suicide and euthanasia opponents - because the more evidence is revealed, the more people recognize the injustice and danger of this terrible practice. more

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Exactly: The Dying Need Comfort, Not Killing

This is a decent piece opposing assisted sucide - read it now.
Dying need care and comfort, not assisted suicide
The myth of autonomy is one of the controlling ideas of our time.
Many of us imagine that our lives have meaning and value insofar as we are able to choose and control all that affects us.
This is a self-deception. No such control is possible. Nor is it desirable. more

Pro & Con: Was Kevorkian Right?

Here's a decent brief debate pro-con about assisted suicide prompted by Kevorkian's death.
Point/Counterpoint: Was Jack Kevorkian right about physician-assisted suicide?
“Physician-assisted suicide” sounds almost noble. A better description for the practice would be, “Let’s kill Granny before she spends our inheritance on health care.”
Most suicidal people don’t need someone to help them pull the plug. They need therapy and relief from the factors depressing them. more

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

UK Push Back To BBC Showing Of Assisted Suicide

Here's a report of pushback to the "documentary" showing as assisted sucide on the telly.
BBC film of sick man taking his life sparks major row
THE BBC is at the centre of a storm of controversy over its decision to film a man's last moments at the Dignitas clinic in a documentary fronted by bestselling author Terry Pratchett.
In a five-minute sequence in the BBC2 programme, Pratchett witnesses Peter, a British man in his early 70s who has motor neurone disease, taking his own life at the Swiss clinic.
Last night the broadcaster was forced to defend its decision. The corporation's commissioning editor for documentaries Charlotte Moore said that she did not believe the "carefully edited but unflinching" scene could have been left out. more
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