Friday, September 30, 2011

UK: Woman NOT In A Non-Responsive State

Here's much more detail on the UK ruling that a woman in a non-responsive state should be kept alive (see below). Turns out she's much more responsive than previous reports have mentioned. And STILL her family wants her dead. 
Families must not have the right to play executioner
High Court judge Mr Justice Baker has ruled that a brain-damaged 52-year-old woman in a ‘minimally conscious state’ should be kept alive, denying her family’s request to withdraw the life support sustaining her.
We have much to thank him for in making this judgment. more

Another UK Assisted Killing "Love Story"

We're seeing more and more of these stories out of the UK: Very positive spin on assisted killing and the resulting clamor to make assisted sucide (and eventually euthanasia) legal. 
Wife tells of how husband decided to end his life in Swiss suicide clinic
The widow of a man who died in the Dignitas suicide clinic has spoken movingly of his last hours, in a bid to set up a similar centre in Britain.
Tony Clements, a retired Royal Engineers major, lived in Wilkinson Drive in the former Sergeant’s Mess, in Canada Road, Walmer, until 2009 before he succumbed to Parkinson’s disease.
He flew to the controversial Swiss clinic to die by lethal injection on August 25, just two months after his silver wedding anniversary. more

Pro-Deather Spin: Helping To Kill = "Joy"

There's a few very disturbing things in this piece, especially the spin linking "choice" to die with a lower "quality of life." Oh, yes, and how a son helping kill his mother turned out to have a "moment of joy." See? Dying equals happiness!! We're in deep trouble, folks.
South African prosecuted for helping his mother to die
Sean Davison with his mother Patricia, who asked him for help to die as she reached the end of her life.
As the sun set over the bay Sean Davison crushed "a good dozen" morphine tablets. Mixing the powder into a glass of water, he told his cancer-ravaged mother: "If you drink this you will die." Six hours later, on 25 October 2006, his mother did die, in her sleep, at the age of 85. "It was a moment of joy," Davison said.
It is Davison's candidness about helping his mother die that has exposed him to death threats, split his family and on 26 October will see him stand trial in New Zealand on a charge of attempted murder. more

UK: Patient 1, Pro-Deathers 0

Some good news from the UK - take it while you can get it. A court has sided with a patient in a non-responsive state over those wishing to pull the plug.
Courts decision against euthanasia is cause for rejoicing
It appears that the law is not “a ass” after all – at least in a judgement concerning a particularly heart-rending recent case. A High Court judge has rejected a family’s request for the life support machinery keeping alive one of its members to be switched off. more

A Thoughtful Response To The Pro-Deathers

Here’s a thoughtful piece arguing against the legalization of assisted sucide.
Assisted Suicide: The Forgotten Pro-Life Battle
The battle over assisted suicide and euthanasia is not over; advocates of assisted suicide are not resting. While earnest and engaged Americans are focused on the economy, an upcoming presidential primary, and impending Supreme Court battles over the health insurance mandate and same-sex marriage, the culture of death continues to advance largely unnoticed along a front that some had supposed was dormant. more

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Rwanda Commits To Quality Palliative And Hospice Care

Good for Rwanda, leading the way in sub-Saharan Africa in developing good palliative and hospice care. This emphasis will serve as a powerful antidote to any pro0-deathers lurking in the country. 
Rwanda moving to provide “good deaths” for terminally ill
“Go home and die.” Until recently, that advice constituted the extent of end-of-life care that patients with incurable diseases could expect in Rwanda. As in much of the developing world, palliative care was virtually nonexistent in the tiny Africa nation, condemning those with terminal illnesses to meet their end in isolation and pain.
Now, however, the country has committed to provide all Rwandans living with incurable illnesses, as well as their families and caregivers, with high-quality, affordable palliative care services to meet their physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs by 2020 — one of the first such policies in sub-Saharan Africa and the developing world. more

New Zealand Dust-Up Over Helium Assisted Suicides

In New Zealand there's been some tut-tutting about helium being used in assisted suicides and suicides. There's been the predictable call for authorities to look at ways of restricting helium sales. So far nothing’s developed. Don’t worry, the NZ pro-deathers will soon be hooting about how it needs to remain freely available so that the killing can continue.

No action on coroner's helium call
Despite a second confirmed helium-assisted suicide in recent times, the Environment Ministry says it will not change its classification of the gas.
In findings released after the death of 37-year-old Kyle McIntosh, Wellington coroner Ian Smith has renewed calls for distribution of the gas to be controlled and for helium to be classified as a hazardous substance. Mr Smith also recommended Consumer Affairs Minister Simon Power review how helium is sold and put age restrictions in place. more

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Aussie: Some Doctors Seek To Legalise Medicalized Killing

Again from Aussie. Think about this: More than a few doctors have signed a petition supporting making euthanasia legal. Lesson: make sure that YOUR doctor isn't a pro-deather!!!

Thirty doctors support euthanasia bill
MORE than 30 doctors across Australia have backed a proposed law which would give doctors a defence to provide treatment that shortens a person's life.
The state branch of the Australian Medical Association and the Law Society last week issued a joint statement condemning the Bill - one of two relating to voluntary euthanasia introduced by Labor's Stephanie Key.
Emeritus Professor of Medicine John Willoughby, from Flinders University, said yesterday the arguments against the Bill were not arguments but statements "unsupported by anything".
"Quite frankly, it is crap to say there is no need for this legislation," he said. more

Another Case Of Murder Masquerading As Assisted Suicide

We’re seeing more and more of this - murderers trying to escape murder charges by pleading that they had assisted a sucide. Good on the Canadian authorities, who in this case aren't buying it. I think a major reason for these kinds of cases is that assisted sucide and euthanasia have infiltrated the mainstream and are increasingly seen as being acceptable.
Crown rejects Edmonton man’s plea of guilty to assisted suicide in 2006 domestic slaying
When police arrived at the Lavery house in Mill Woods that September night, they found a 78-year-old man, crying and cradling his dead wife, who lay on the couple’s bed. He admitted to smothering her.
A constable remembered that scene Monday during the second-degree murder trial of Edmonton resident Noel Lavery, now 83. His wife, Sherry Lavery, had been an active member of the federal progressive conservative party in the 1980s. She was also an alcoholic, whose addiction had ruled and all-but ruined her family in the months before her death. more

UK: Pressure Keeps Building For Legalization Of Assisted Suicide

The pressure keeps building in the UK to legalize assisted suicide. Here's another wife who helped her husband be killed and who thinks the only thing wrong with the whole event was that the facility to do so was not available in the UK.
Wife calls for assisted suicide to be allowed in the UK
The wife of a Kent man who ended his life at the Dignitas facility is seeking a change in the law in the UK.
Tony Clements, 69, of Deal, who was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in his 40s, died at the site in Switzerland on 25 August.
Michelle Clements called for a change in the law to allow assisted suicide in the UK, and said she did not regret the action her husband took.
Assisted suicide is illegal and carries a jail term of up to 14 years. more

More On Aussie Dr. Death Philip Nitschke

Here's more background about Aussie Dr. Death Philip Nitschke and the current state of affairs in Australia related to assisted sucide and euthanasia.
The right to die: Australia's euthanasia debate
Dr Philip Nitschke assisted three people to die after the Northern Territory Government passed the controversial Rights of the Terminally Act in 1995 and then voided it in 1997.
The issue has been hotly debated since. It hit the headlines again this week as the South Australian parliament prepares to vote on legislation aimed at providing doctors with a medical defence if they offer a treatment that shortens a patient's life. more

Monday, September 26, 2011

We Need More Vids Like This To Counter The Pro-Deathers

We need more videos like tis one, that show how easily coerced euthanasia is possible - especially if people see the sick as a "burden." Funny, but true.

Aussie Dr. Death Whines About A Possible Prosecution

Poor Aussie Dr. Death (see below). Philip Nitschke is the most prominent pro-deather south of the equator. He's pushing the envelope by importing a death drug for use in assisted sucidie and eithanasia in Australia, where these activities are illegal. Now he's fretting that being allowed to import the drug is a set-up to convict him. We can only wish.
Right-to-die doctor's 'set-up' fears over euthanasia drug
A prominent Australian euthanasia campaigner has been given permission to import drugs used in assisted suicides.
 But Dr Philip Nitschke has said he fears he is being "set up" by the federal Therapeutic Good Administration, which approved the importation of sleeping drug Nembutal. more

Australia: Allowing Fatal Drug Import The Thin End Of The Wedge

Here's more on Aussie Dr. Death Philip Nitschke's bold attempt to import a fatal drug to Australia. Right now it seems like it's only for a few people, but this is the thin edge of the wedge. Prediction: Aussie will soon find itself in a legal quagmire similar to what's happened in the UK, where assisted sucide and euthanasia are illegal but where perpetrators are ignored. 
Dr Philip Nitschke wins right to use euthanasia drug
 RIGHT-TO-DIE campaigner Dr Philip Nitschke has gained permission to import a drug used in voluntary euthanasia.
He will provide the drug Nembutal to a Victor Harbor woman in South Australia who wants to die.
 "The drugs will be provided to her with clear instructions," he said. "They are to help her sleep. more

Aussie Dr. Death Wins Battle To Import Death Drug

Aussie Dr. death, Philip Nitschke, has been pushing for years to make assisted suicide and even euthanasia legal in Australia. Having been thwarted (at least for the moment) on the political front, his persistence has paid off in another area: He's won the right to import a fatal drug to Aussie. How did the pro-deathers accomplish this? They whined for years that Australians shouldn't have to travel to foreign countries to get the drug. Looks like they’ve succeeded.
Nitschke wins right to use euthanasia drug
RIGHT-TO-DIE campaigner Dr Philip Nitschke has gained permission to import a drug used in voluntary euthanasia. more

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Massachusetts: Let The Media Spin Begin

This piece about the Massachusetts assisted suicide ballot initiative tries very hard to be balanced, but it isn't. Read all the way through. One example: The writer says that the Oregon assisted sucide law hasn't been abused. How to know? Well, there's no way under the Oregon law to ensure that people aren't pressured to die, and mandatory psychiatric consults are routinely ignored. 
Death with dignity in Mass.
SOME MATTERS are so dicey for legislators that their best prospect for passage is as ballot questions.
One such issue may well confront voters next fall: Whether a terminally ill patient in his last six months of life can obtain a life-ending prescription from a willing physician. more

Friday, September 23, 2011

Legalized Euthanasia Is Never Fool-Proof

If you're ever looking for a coherent set of arguments against the pro-deather charge that legalized euthanasia is fool-proof, here it is. 
Why safe euthanasia is a myth 
All attempts to legalise voluntary euthanasia protect doctors from prosecution and endanger the lives of their patients.
The criminal law in Australia holds that the intentional taking of human life is a major criminal offence. This accords with the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to which Australia is a signatory, which declares that the right to the integrity of every person's life is equal, inherent, inviolable, inalienable and should be protected by law. more

UK: People With Disabilities Feeling Pressure Of Pro-Death Culture

Here's another report that finds people with disabilities in the UK are feeling the pressure from  an increasingly pro-death culture.
Growing pressure on disabled people heightens fears about euthanasia 
Disabled people are being put under much more pressure in the current social and economic climate.
 The disabled people’s charity Scope, in collaboration with ComRes, has published survey results from a series of quarterly polls, which show that disabled people feel that discrimination against them is getting worse. more

Netherlands: The Whining Death Doctors

Poor things - Dutch death doctors I mean. They're apparently whining that scrutiny of their killing of patients takes too long, leaving them anxious and worrying that they might be convicted. Never mind that this hasn't ever happened in the Netherlands. I think it's kinda rich that they are complaining - they don’t seem to have much of a problem killing their patients. Selfish and self-centered, if you ask me.
Dutch doctors complain about long wait for judgments in euthanasia cases
Dutch euthanasia doctors must wait up to eight months to find out if they will undergo criminal investigation. An “enormous” surge in the number of cases has flooded an already strained reporting system. The Dutch Medical Association calls the situation “serious” and says there is “unrest” among doctors. more

UK: How The Pro-Deathers Spin & Misrepresent Their Opponents

Here's a good piece on how the battle against the pro-deathers in the UK has to continually fight their spin and outright willful inaccuracies.
Dignity in Dying misleads supporters about opposition’s resources in order to boost campaign to legalise assisted suicide
Not so long ago I received a fund-raising letter written by Edward Turner (pictured), Treasurer of ‘Dignity in Dying’, formerly known as the Voluntary Euthanasia Society.
Dignity in Dying now campaigns for a change in the law to allow assisted suicide for people who are, in its own words, ‘mentally competent and terminally ill’. more

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Entertainment Media Pushing Acceptance of Assisted Suicide

The panelist in this piece got it right - assisted sucide is creeping into the entertainment media, thus making it more acceptable as a social form of behavior.
Movies seen as influencing renewed momentum toward assisted suicide
An increase in the number of movies that present assisted suicide in a positive light is contributing to a renewed momentum to legalize physician-assisted suicide, especially in the New England states, a panelist said at a Sept. 20 webinar sponsored by the National Catholic Partnership on Disability. more

Chuckle: Police Think They're Preventing A Suicide, BUT . . .

There's not much to chuckle about on this blog, but occasionally something comes up that generates a smile. A while back a California granny was doing quite good business selling suicide kits to people in Oregon. The authorities were horrified - why I have no idea, because assisted sucide is legal in Oregon. Here’s the story of heavy handed cops thinking they were saving someone from using the suicide kit, but . . . . read on.
FBI, police seek to reach buyers of suicide kits
FBI agents investigating the sale of suicide kits by an elderly California woman alerted authorities in Oregon of a man there who had bought one of the devices, prompting local police to storm his home in a bid to save his life. more

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Massachusetts Cardinal Condemns Assisted Suicide Ballot Initiative

The Roman Catholic church in Massachusetts continues to speak out about the ballot initiative to legalize assisted suicide. The good Bishop needs support - now
Cardinal O’Malley: initiative disguises ‘sheer brutality’ of assisted suicide
A proposed Massachusetts ballot initiative to allow terminally ill patients to take a lethal dose of prescription drugs corrupts the medical profession and undercuts efforts to prevent suicide, Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston said.
 Cardinal O’Malley hoped that Massachusetts citizens will not be “seduced” by language about “dignity and compassion,” charging that these words “disguise the sheer brutality of helping people kill themselves,” the Boston Globe reports. more

UK: Pro-Death TV Soap Up For Awards

So it goes. Popular UK TV show devises an assisted sucide line, now several of the show's actors up for awards for their portrayal. These kinds of accolades will mean assisted suicide (and euthanasia) will become increasingly accepted as the norm.
Emmerdale's controversial suicide stars up for Inside Soap award
The death of Jackson Walsh, who had been left paralysed in an accident on the ITV1 soap, was played out in emotional scenes as he was helped to die by his mother Hazel Rhodes and boyfriend Aaron Livesy.
Quirke and Miller, who play Hazel and Aaron in Emmerdale, have now been nominated for Best Actress and Best Actor respectively, with Miller also up for the Best Dramatic Performance gong for his role in Jackson's Choice. more

Monday, September 19, 2011

Oregon: How The Pro-Deathers Changed The Law Part 2

Here's Part 2 of Dr. Bill Toffler's comments about how the pro-deathers went about changing the law in Oregon for legalized assisted killing. (See Part 1 below).

Oregon: How The Pro-Deathers Changed The Law Part 1

Here's a good primer on assisted suicide, especially how it unfolded in Oregon. My dear colleague Dr. Bill Toffler addresses some very important issues.

We Need More Than Church Opposition To Assisted Suicide

As usual, the Catholic Church has come out opposing a Massachusetts ballot initiative seeking to legalize assisted suicide. Good for them. However, we need other groups to join in, otherwise it's easier for the pro-deathers to paint opposition as only from those bigoted horrible Christians.
O’Malley, Church Strongly Oppose Assisted Suicide Ballot Initiative
The head of the Boston Archdiocese is expressing his concerns about the “death with dignity” ballot initiative that’s been certified by the state. more

Sunday, September 18, 2011

"Euthanasia Blues" - Always Relevant

If you read this blog, you'll have a decent understanding of the shenanigans of the pro-deathers, so it's always good to post an oldie but goodie - Euthanasia Blues. This pretty much says it all about what the pro-deathers are trying to accomplish.

Netherlands: Killing Patients Now Part Of Medical Mainstream

No!! Sat it ain’t so!! Euthanasia now part of Dutch medicine? I'm shocked, I tell you!! I remember years ago the pro-deathers insisting that legalizing euthanasia wasn’t a slippery slope. Turns out it really is. Here's a useful summary of what the Dutch medicos are now saying about medicalized killing.
Euthanasia becoming integral part of Dutch medicine
Dutch doctors have a professional obligation to refer patients who request euthanasia to a compliant colleague if they object, says the national doctors association, the KNMG. more

Friday, September 16, 2011

Sweden: Baby Euthanasia Trial Continues

Here's more on the trial of a Swedish doctor accused of euthanizing a baby (see also below).
'She passed away after the last injection'
The trial against a Swedish doctor accused of infant euthanasia entered its second day on Thursday with the mother of the baby describing the care received as "beneath contempt". more

US Pro-Deathers Keep Marching On

Here's a good piece by my colleague Jennifer Popick providing some updates on assisting killing in the US.
While the country and the 50 states are largely focused on the economy, jobs, and budgets, assisted suicide advocates, namely Compassion and Choices, have been hard at work seeking to legalize or expand physician-assisted suicide. more

Sweden Charges Doctor For Killing Baby

Well, at least someone in Sweden got something right in charging this doctor for euthanizing a baby. The usual peanut gallery is, of course, tut-tutting about how this will have a chilling effect on doctors, etc., etc. The truth: A doctor killed a baby. Nothing more, nothing less.
Baby 'euthanasia' trial opens in Stockholm
The trial against a Swedish doctor accused of infant euthanasia came underway on Tuesday, a case causing concern among the country's medical profession. more

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Aussie Opposition To The Pro-Deathers Grows

The Aussie assisted killing debate is heating up again, with significant opposition. It will be interesting to see how far the pro-deathers are able to go.
Doctors, lawyers oppose euthanasia bill
DOCTORS and lawyers in South Australia have opposed the latest moves in state parliament to legalise euthanasia.
A bill backed by Labor MP Steph Key would give doctors a legal defence if they accelerated the death of a terminally ill patient whose pain could not be alleviated.
It will be subject to a conscience vote and returns to parliament for a third reading later this month.
But the Law Society of South Australia on Monday said it would decriminalise murder, manslaughter and assisted suicide in certain circumstances. more

Aussie Businessman Funds Push-back Against The Aussie Pro-Deathers

Good on some Aussies - looks like the pro-deathers aren't the only ones with lots of funds to spend on furthering their agenda. A wealthy Australian is backing a push-back against the pro-death crowd trying to make assisted killing legal.
Big-money bid to stop euthanasia laws
THE head of one of Australia's largest stockbroking firms is trying to block South Australia's voluntary euthanasia legislation. more

Canada: Assisted Suicide Committee In The Tank For Assisted Killing

If you've spent any time at all on this site, you'll be able to tell exactly what the pro-deathers think and how they phrase things. Here's the head of the Canadian Royal Society's panel on assisted sucide. He tries mightily to keep his pro-deather arguments masked, but fails to do so. If this is the guy in charge of the committee, is there any doubt that the final report will find assisted killing to be OK?
The assisted suicide dilemma
Professor Udo Schuklenk, a philosopher from Queen's University, talked to Marina Jimenez of the Globe and Mail editorial board. He is chair of the Royal Society's committee on end-of-life decision-making in Canada. The committee, which will release a lengthy report this fall, spent two years studying this issue, and the experience of other countries which have decriminalized assisted suicide. more

Sunday, September 11, 2011

UK: Pro-Deathers Flaunt Their Helping People To Kill Themselves

Well, just like in the Netherlands and Belgium, the pro-deathers are getting bolder and bolder in the UK. They're now so enabled that they are now announcing when they're going to participate in the illegal activity of helping someone kill themselves.
Pensioner to visit Swiss suicide
A PENSIONER is preparing to leave her Eastbourne care home to travel to a suicide clinic in Switzerland because she can no longer bare to live with her crippling arthritis and deteriorating eyesight. more

UK's Dr. Death Flaunts Illegality Of Assisted Suicide

The UK's Dr. Death, Michael Irwin, is becoming ever more strident in flaunting how he helps people kill themselves. This is a predictable response to UK authorities who are now effectively toothless in prosecuting what is still illegal in the UK.
Family doctor 'helped up to 30 end lives' at clinic
By Gordon Rayner, Chief Reporter6:00AM BST 10 Sep 2011Comments
In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Dr Michael Irwin, 80, said he had given advice to dozens of people contemplating going to Dignitas, but could not be precise. “I never keep records because I never know when the police might come,” he said. more

UK: Alison Davis' Articulet response To UK Pro-Deathers

My good friend and colleague Alison Davis has an excellent response to the prodeathers in an interview she did in the UK. Well worth the read.
Tony Nicklinson, a paralyzed Englishman campaigning for a so-called ‘right to die’, was interviewed recently by Stephen Sackur for the BBC’s “HardTalk” programme. Alison Davis, the coordinator of No Less Human, a group within SPUC representing disabled people, has kindly sent me her powerful response to Mr. Nicklinson’s interview: more

Netherlands: Yes, The Slippery Death Slope Continues

No Dutch slippery slope?  Here are the official Dutch euthanasia figures for the last three years - increases every year. THAT's the slippery slope.
DUTCH annual report 2010 Euthanasia Review Commissions published
September 7, 2011:  The Dutch Euthanasia Review Commissions have published their 2010 annual report this week. . . .Summary 2010 annual report Euthanasia Review Commissions. more

Massachusetts: More On The Assisted Suicide Ballot Initiative

Here's more on te ballot initiative in Massachusetts attempting to legalize assisted suicide.
MA ‘Death With Dignity’ Measure Proposes Physician-Assisted Suicide
Among the bumper crop of ballot measures (here’s the full list) that have just cleared their first hurdle by being certified by the state attorney general, several concern health care and will bear close watching here. But the one that intially grabbed me most is a “right-to-die” proposal titled the “Massachusetts Death With Dignity Act.” It would allow the sort of physician-assisted suicide for terminal patients that Oregon passed 14 years ago. It even includes a sample of what a request form would look like. more

Netherlands: More Medicalized Killing Proposed

Why am I not surprised? Dutch doctors are formulating new euthanasia rules that will essentially allow more people to be killed by the medical profession. Aren't we all so lucky?
Euthanasia advice redefines suffering
A new position paper just published by the Dutch Physicians Association (KNMG) says unbearable and lasting suffering should not be the only criteria physicians consider when a patient requests euthanasia.
The KNMG says the new guidelines will clarify the responsibilities, possibilities and limitations that physicians have within the regulations of the 2002 euthanasia law (Termination of Life on Request and Assisted Suicide [Review Procedures] Act or Euthanasia Act for short). more
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