Monday, October 31, 2011

UK: More Assisted Suicide Stories On The Telly

The UK entertainment media are running hard with stories about assisted sucide. Just another example of how the pro-deather movement is infiltrating the mainstream.
The Case: is daytime TV ready for assisted suicide?
Not many people would consider the BBC’s decision to schedule The Case, a legal drama revolving around assisted suicide, as a natural fit among the quiz shows and cooking competitions of daytime television. But writer David Allison didn’t set out to produce a topical drama about euthanasia. more

UK: A "Full & Frank Debate" On Assisted Suicide - Good Luck

Beware: When a group calls for a "full and frank debate" you can be sure they're pro-death and that the discussion will be anything BUT "full and frank," and will not be a debate - trust me.
Pensioners' group calls for euthanasia and assisted suicide debate
A PENSIONERS' lobby group in York has called for a “full and frank debate” on issues around euthanasia and assisted suicide, as a controversial campaigner prepares to come to the city.
As reported in The Press on Friday, Australian Dr Philip Nitschke is to hold a seminar in the city centre next month, including advice for elderly or terminally ill people who want to commit suicide. more

New Zealand: Davison "Assisted Suicide" Trial On Hold Until Wednesday

The NZ Davison trial will continue Wednesday with the defense case asserting that Davison is not guilty of any crime. BTW, the report gets it wrong - he's not on trial for euthanasia.
Euthanasia trial on hold
Son on trial in attempted murder case
The trial of a DNA scientist for the attempted murder of his mother will restart on Wednesday and is expected to finish this week. more

India: 21 Year-Old's Euthanasia Request Stayed - For Now

Here's some development in the Indian case of a 21-year-old who had requested euthanasia because she was unable to pay for treatment. Money has been raised for continued treatment - at least for now. I'm very concerned about developing countries where medical services are scarce or expensive - this will make assisted suicide and euthanasia much more attractive than it needs to be.
21-year-old blood cancer patient goes to Vellore for treatment
Borrowing money from relatives and neighbours, 21-year-old blood cancer patient Alka Tiwari, who had filed an euthanasia plea in a court, has left for CMC hospital in Vellore in a "last hope" of receiving treatment. more

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Kevorkian's Grisly Output Doesn't Sell At Auction

Welcome news: Nobody was too interested in buying Jack Kevorkian’s crazed paintings or his assisted suicide machine at an auction in New York. Can we now please let 'ol killer Jack fade into history?
Kevorkian suicide machine, disputed paintings don’t sell in NYC auction amid museum dispute
A suicide machine belonging to Dr. Jack Kevorkian was withdrawn Friday from an auction of the assisted-suicide advocate’s possessions after failing to draw a high enough bid, while 17 of his paintings tied up in a legal dispute with a suburban Boston museum found no takers. more

Medicalized Killing Of Kings & Queens

Just in case you thought that euthanasia was something new, here's a story abut how several kings and queens were probably killed by their doctors not too long ago..
Norway’s Queen Maud in euthanasia speculations
A new book by Norwegian author Tor Bomann-Larsen casts light on the Norwegian Royal Family’s WWII history. Against a backdrop of Norway-Germany negotiations to unite against the Bolsheviks, come rumours Queen Maud was euthanized by her own physician. more

Friday, October 28, 2011

Scot MP Is Persistent, If Nothing Else

Here's more on Scottish MP Margo MacDonald's latest attempt to introduce an assisted suicide bill in the Scottish Parliament. I have to give her points for consistency - she tries this about once a year and (at least to this point) has been firmly rebuffed. We'll see what happens this time.
MSP re-launches bid to change the law on assisted suicide
An Independent MSP has re-launched her controversial campaign to legalise assisted suicide in Scotland, even though her previous attempt was soundly defeated. more

Aussie Dr. Death Starts His UK Freak Show

Aussie Dr. Death Philip Nitschke is about to kick off his traveling freak show advocating for assisted suicide and euthanasia. It will be interesting to see what kind of public reaction ensues.
Euthanasia campaigner Dr Philip Nitschke to host seminar in York
Australian campaigner Dr Philip Nitschke, who dropped a plan in 2008 to come to the UK, is now set to carry out a UK tour talking about ways to help the elderly and terminally ill to end their lives. In the past, he has advocated methods including an “exit bag” of gases. more

New Pro-Deather Idea: Take Harvesting Organs From Living Patients

Here's another slippery slope. Initially, everyone agreed that an organ donor had to be dead before harvesting organs. Now some are floating the idea that waiting for death is passé. Why not harvest organs from living patients? Ghoulish.
‘Dead-donor’ rule dangerously misleading, experts say
Doctors should abandon the “dangerously misleading” policy of having to declare donors dead before their organs can be extracted for transplant, and adopt a more honest policy that acknowledges some patients may still be technically alive, Canadian and Spanish experts suggest in a provocative new commentary. more

Pro-Deather Arrogance At NZ "Assisted Suicide" Trial

The Davison "assisted suicide" case continues in New Zealand. Read this and see what pro-deather arrogance looks like.
Manuscript told of fatal dose
Jurors in the trial of a man charged with the attempted murder of his cancer-stricken mother were yesterday told how the accused felt any case against him would "make a mockery of the law" against voluntary euthanasia.
Yesterday was the third day of the trial in the High Court at Dunedin of Sean Davison, a university professor in Cape Town, South Africa, accused of giving his 85-year-old mother, Patricia Davison, a lethal dose of morphine shortly before her death on October 25, 2006. more

Thursday, October 27, 2011

New Zealand: More On The Davison "Assisted Suicide" Trial

More on the Davison trial in New Zealand.
Friend testifies accused stockpiled morphine
A friend of more than 30 years to a euthanasia campaigner accused of attempting to murder his terminally ill mother today testified the accused had stockpiled morphine leading up to the death. more

Latest on New Zealand "Assisted Suicide" Trial

Here's the latest on the trial of Sean Davison in NZ, where he's on trial after admitting he assisted in his mother's death.
A journalist has told a euthanasia trial in Dunedin how the accused admitted to her he helped his mother die.
After writing about her death in a book, Sean Davison is on trial at the High Court for the attempted murder of his terminally ill mother, Patricia Davison, in 2006.
Nicola Shepheard, who was a journalist with the Herald on Sunday newspaper at the time, told the jury she wrote an article about Professor Davison's confession after receiving an early manuscript of his book anonymously in the post. more

Aussie Dr. Death At It Again In The UK

As I've said often before, it's always good to remember that the pro-deathers never, ever give up. Aussie Dr. Death Philip Nitschke caused a furor in the UK several years ago by trying to take assisted suicide mainstream with lectures and demonstrations. Guess what? He's at it again.
Australia's Dr Death is coming to UK
Dr Death is back. After an abortive attempt three years ago to instruct elderly and terminally ill Britons in how to end their lives, Dr Philip Nitschke is returning to the UK to host a series of seminars on DIY suicide methods. more

Argentina Debates Euthanasia

Here's an interesting piece from Argentina, where the fate of a two-and-a-half year old is reenergizing the debate over euthanasia. However, defining the different terms involved is not as clear as I would like them to be.
Euthanasia: A Debate Re-opened
On the 16thOctober, Mother’s Day, the heartbreaking story of Camila Herbón was made public once again when her mother, Selva Herbón, sent a letter directly to the president asking to be given a personal audience. This personal audience, she hoped, would give her the chance to describe face-to-face the situation of seemingly endless suffering that the Herbón family have found themselves in since Camila’s birth two and a half years ago. At the same time she hoped it would help to speed up the decision of a lengthy legal debate in Congress on the right to a “limitation of the therapeutic effort” in Argentina. more

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Scots MP Tries To Introduce Assisted Suicide Bill - Again

Scottish MP Margo MacDonald, she of advocating assisted suicide for children, is back at it, attempting to reintroduce assisted suicide legislation in the Scottish Parliament - even though several previous attempts have been blocked.
MacDonald moves on right to die
MARGO MacDonald has taken the first step in re-introducing a Bill to give Scots the right to assisted suicide. more

Quebec: Assisted Suicide Commission Might Have Some Positives

Well, if this story turns out to be true, then good on this Quebec committee. Emphasizing palliative care and training doctors better in end of life care are exactly what we should be doing. However, the pro-deathers have been thick on the ground in submitting testimony to the Commission. Time will tell . . .
Committee on assisted suicide likely to recommend more palliative care
Quebec's committee examining physician-assisted suicide is running behind schedule and wants more time to reach a consensus on its recommendations to the provincial government. more

More On The NZ "Assisted Suicide" Case

Here's more about the New Zealander on trial for killing his mother, claiming "assisted suicide."
Euthanasia campaigner on trial for attempted murder of mother
A forensic science professor who has campaigned for the public discussion of voluntary euthanasia went on trial in New Zealand Tuesday charged with the attempted murder of his terminally ill 85-year-old mother, news reports said. more

A New Zealand Death Case Where We'll Never Know The truth

Doctor helps kill his mother. Says it was assisted suicide, not murder. Pleads not guilty. Uh-huh. We've heard this too many times before. We'll never know what happened  because his mother is dead, and she would be the only person to tell us which it was.
Euthanasia campaigner's trial starts
The trial of euthanasia campaigner Sean Davison began at the High Court at Dunedin this morning.
The 49-year-old is accused of the attempted murder of his mother Dr Patricia Elizabeth Ferguson in Dunedin in 2006. more

Netherlands: "Loneliness" Enough For Euthanasia

See? In the Netherlands they're now expanding the criteria of medicalized killing - hey, are you lonely? No worries, here's the needle. The Dutch are well on the way to euthanasia on demand for any reason.
Slippery slope: ‘loneliness,’ ‘fatigue’ now criteria for euthanasia in Netherlands
The Royal Dutch Medical Association (KNMG) has released new guidelines for interpreting the 2002 Euthanasia Act that now includes “mental and psychosocial ailments” such as “loss of function, loneliness and loss of autonomy” as acceptable criteria for euthanasia. The guidelines also allow doctors to connect a patient’s lack of “social skills, financial resources and a social network” to “unbearable and lasting suffering,” opening the door to legal assisted death based on “psychosocial” factors, not terminal illness. more

Netherlands Doctors Are Kinda OK With Killing

Well, this is hardly news, but it seems that Dutch doctors don’t mind killing you if they think you are suffering. They tend to get more squeamish when there's little or no suffering. Aren’t we lucky?
Dutch doctors still reserved about euthanasia
. . . In the Netherlands, life and death are both individual choices. That may be the image the Netherlands has abroad but euthanasia is not, in practice, carried out on any major scale. Dutch doctors are often reticent.
Take the case of a woman in her eighties. She is perfectly healthy, able to take care of herself and not in need of assistance. Despite this, she made a request for euthanasia to her family doctor saying “enough is enough”. The doctor refused point blank, since there was no question of unbearable suffering. more

Sunday, October 23, 2011

UK: A Fairly Balanced Piece On Issues

Here's a fairly balanced piece on some current issues in the UK, especially the pro-death Falconer Commission.
Euthanasia: Should people be allowed the right to choose to die?
Recent reforms of laws regulating assisted suicide in some European countries are pro-euthanasia and professional bodies have expressed support for relaxing the criteria for permitting assisted suicide.
The Guardian reports that a commission was established in England to consider reforms on the law of assisted suicide. The commission, headed by Lord Falconer, was established following the publication of new assisted suicide prosecution guidelines in February 2010. Opponents of Euthanasia have complained that the new guidelines favor any one who assists another in committing suicide. more

For A Change: A Positive & Meaningful Life

Here’s the antithesis of pro-death: someone who, with a severe disability, sees life as valuable and worth living. We need to hear form more people like this to counter the pro-death poster people that tend to get all the attention.
Paralysed Leicester Tiger Matt Hampson talks about his inspiring life
WHEN Matt Hampson was left paralysed after breaking his neck in a freak rugby accident, he plumbed the depths trying to find meaning in his life.
But the former Leicester Tiger prospect and England U21 international soon realised he could either “get busy living, or get busy dying”. more

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Sweden: Murder By Doctor

I mentioned this case a while ago. Doctor euthanizes baby. Court Case follows (Predictably) the doctor is acquitted. Nary a word about what the doctor REALLY did - killed a baby because he could. Frightening stuff.
Court acquits Swedish doctor in infant euthanasia case
A court on Friday acquitted a doctor at a Swedish children’s hospital accused of infant euthanasia killing, in a case that has caused deep unease among the country’s medical professionals.
The case, which has received widespread media coverage since the doctor’s arrest in 2009, was exceptional because legal procedures against doctors are very rare in Sweden, where malpractice cases usually go before the National Board of Health and Welfare with no criminal ramifications. more

UK Assisted Suicide Piece Tries To Be Balanced - But Fails Miserably

Here's a long UK piece about another pro-death poster person. The article tries to be balanced, but you know the reporter is in the tank on the pro-death side by using adjectives like "fatal and merciless condition," "indignities of his illness," and " His physical faculties  . . . are already pitilessly diminished." You get the idea.
I can't roll my wheelchair over a cliff so Dignitas seems a good way out', says Motor Neurone-crippled Chris Woodhead
When, two years ago, Sir Chris Woodhead lost the use of his legs completely and succumbed to life in a wheelchair, he and his wife Christine moved house.
You might assume they chose a conveniently adapted bungalow fitted with grab-rails and ramps, a short walk from the shops. You'd be wrong. more

Kevorkian: At It Again From Beyond The Grave

I noted earlier this week that Jack Kevorkian, unfortunately, is still with us. Well, at least his art is. A feud between his estate and a Massachusetts museum that is refusing to turn over paintings for an estate auction has now escalated into a lawsuit.
Suit to seek art of Dr. Death
The executor for the estate of assisted suicide advocate Jack Kevorkian will file a federal lawsuit today against a Boston-area museum, which has refused to hand over 17 paintings by the late pathologist. more

Woman Desperate For Assisted Suicide Considers Suicide By Cop

Here's another pro-death poster person, but with a twist. Aside from wanting to die, she's thought up several novel ways of going it, including suicide by cop.
Terminally ill Brighton woman's bid to die
A WOMAN with Parkinson’s disease has told how she considered trying to get the police to shoot her to end her suffering.
Since Sarah Brodie-Carpenter 64, of Rosehill Court Terrace, Brighton, was diagnosed with the illness seven years ago her desperation has spiralled.
She has contacted Swiss suicide clinic Dignitas, spoken to Hove euthanasia expert Dr Michael Irwin and even considered hiring a hitman or trying to provoke armed police officers to end her life.
Mrs Brodie-Carpenter said: “I am considering paying someone to shoot me. “I thought if I took tablets, what if I vomited them back up? So I thought about hiring a hitman. more

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Hawaii: Pro-Deathers Are Lying - Will Anyone Notice?

Well, the Hawaiian pro-deathers have decided that if they can't get assisted suicide legalized via regular channels, they are simply going to assert that assisted suicide is ALREADY legal in Hawaii. This is beyond spin, it's just lying. However, the pro-deathers understand that if you repeat a lie often enough, people will eventually believe it.
Earlier this month, Hawaii Death With Dignity, a group which promotes doctor-prescribed death, held a meeting at their state capital announcing Hawaii was the 4th state to legalize assisted suicide.   This is flat-out incorrect on several grounds. more

Australia: Politician Clearly Opposes Euthanasia

Here's refreshingly frank opposition to the pro-deathers from an Aussie politician.
Euthanasia debate brings Liberal MP Adrian Pederick to tears
OPPOSITION agriculture spokesman Adrian Pederick has broken down in tears during a euthanasia debate in State Parliament while recalling the death of his father-in-law in an Adelaide hospital.
Mr Pederick today used his speech to call on fellow MPs to vote against measures that would give doctors a legal defence if they administer pain-killing drugs which hasten death.
"I witnessed my father-in-law passing away a couple of years ago, and it was pretty tough. But, at the end of the day, we knew that he was getting the best of care at Ashford Hospital," an emotional Mr Pederick said.
"We were told at the end, and I knew the day I saw him for the last time, that he might have three weeks to live but I think for his benefit, because he had had enough, he slipped away in the next week and a half.
"I still do not condone endorsing euthanasia, because I think the doctors know damn well what they are doing. more

UK: Nurses Not To Discuss Assisted Suicide/Euthanasia With Patients

This is as it should be - UK nurses have been told that because assisted suicide and euthanasia are illegal, they may not discuss these options with patients - even if the issue is raised by the patient. So far, so good. Prediction 1: Sooner or later a pro-death nurse will go public admitting encouraging a patient to die via assisted suicide or euthanasia, thereby putting the authorities on the spot. Prediction 2: The authorities will be the first to blink and not prosecute.
Don't mention Dignitas: Nurses warned they could be jailed for talking about assisted suicide
Nurses will be told they could go to prison for talking to patients about assisted dying.
They will be warned they face prosecution if they are found to have discussed any aspect of euthanasia with a patient who goes on to commit suicide.
The new Royal College of Nursing guidelines will remind staff that it is illegal to offer information about assisted dying – including contact details for the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland – in case it is seen as ‘encouragement’. more

Kevorkian Just Won't Go Away

Jack Kevorkian just won't go away, even several months after his death. I noted a while ago that many of his possessions were up for auction in New York. Now there's a feud between a Massachusetts museum and the estate over the return of several paintings that the library maintains were donated by Kevorkian.
Kevorkian's Estate, Mass. Museum Feud Over Artwork
The Armenian Library and Museum of America is refusing to surrender 17 paintings and other artwork by assisted-suicide advocate Dr. Jack Kevorkian, saying he donated them to it and his estate has no right to claim them nearly 12 years after it put them on display. more

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

NZ Bishops Oppose Legalizing Euthanasia

Good for the New Zealand Roman Catholic Bishops for coming out against euthanasia. Now we need more secular opposition to join them.
Euthanasia 'dangerous threat to society'
Legalising euthanasia would introduce a whole new, and dangerous, dimension to society, said the New Zealand Catholic Bishops in a statement released today.
In the statement titled "The Dangers of Euthanasia" the bishops outline a number of risks often omitted or downplayed in debates around euthanasia. more

A Dubious Argument For Regulating Organ Donation

Here's someone trying to make the case for regulating the organ donor industry as a cost-saving measure. Well, perhaps this is preferable to the growing black market in organs, but regulation brings its own pitfalls and ethical dilemmas.
Shockingly Simple: Regulated organ market actually a feasible idea
Every day in the US, 20 people waiting for organs die on the wait list without receiving the organs they need to survive.
Different countries have tried several methods to encourage organ donation, from increasing infrastructure and access to organ donation services to both direct and indirect compensation for organ donors.
The London-based Nuffield Council on Bioethics recently recommended paying funeral expenses for donors to incentivize organ donation without directly purchasing a person's organs.
The system would not only increase organ donation and save lives, but also save money since the average British funeral costs around $11,000, but an organ donation saves taxpayers roughly $20,000 by eliminating the need for costly dialysis. A similar system could work in the U.S. where Medicare spends billions on dialysis annually. more

UK's Falconer Commission Stacked With Pro-Deathers

My friend and colleague Peter Saunders supplies the context of the Falconer Commission in the UK - and how it's stacked with pro-deathers, leaving the upcoming publication of the final report a foregone conclusion - assisted killing should be legal.
Falconer Commission on ‘assisted dying’ soon to be put out of its misery
Even before it was launched in November 2010, commentators were asking serious questions about the status and independence of Lord Falconer’s so-called ‘independent commission on assisted dying’.
 These concerns intensified when it emerged that the privately organised enquiry was the idea of campaign group ‘Dignity in Dying’ (formerly the Voluntary Euthanasia Society) and was being funded by celebrity novelist and DID patron Terry Pratchett (who like Baroness Warnock backs legalising assisted suicide for people with Alzheimer’s disease). more
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