New England coordinator - disability rights group Not Dead Yet.
Canadians express moderate to strong support for changes in legislation that would allow physicians to help patients who want to commit suicide, but the specific circumstances that might justify this course of action suggest deep divisions in public opinion.
Canadians’ views on doctor-assisted suicide vary significantly based on the perceptions of recent experiences with loved ones receiving end-of-life care.
Those reporting a negative experience with palliative and hospice based care are significantly more likely to support physician-assisted suicide.
... In the middle is the largest group of Canadians who are open to the arguments in favour of a new overall approach in law, but who remain highly uneasy about specifics.
The Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee voted 4-3 to let the “Aid in Dying” bill proceed to the full 40-member Senate, but did so in a way that registered committee members concern and uncertainty by approving it "without recommendation."
Sens. Jim Whelan (D-Atlantic), Robert Gordon (D-Bergen) and Chairman Joseph Vitale (D-Middlesex) voted yes to allow to the bill to move forward, but agreed they would have voted no had it come up for a vote in the full Senate today.
"I'm not sure there are enough safeguards in place" to prevent the law from being abused, Vitale said
|John Kelly from Not Dead Yet.|
The bill has drawn the ire of many people with physical and developmental disabilities and their advocates. Curtis Edmonds, a managing attorney at Disability Rights New Jersey, a federally-funded legal advocacy organization, warned that such a law would define "what is perceived as an acceptable quality of life... and death as an obligation rather than autonomy."Senator's Sweeney (D) and Scutari (D) who co-sponsored the bill promised a vote on the assisted suicide bill in the New Jersey Senate in the new year.
Among the seven people were Marjorie, a former businesswoman in her nineties, who lived in severe pain that could not be diagnosed or treated.
A man in his sixties called Eddie, a retired professional, was going blind and wanted to die before he lost his sight.The article then focused on Jacques, a retired academic:
Then there was Henry, in his eighties and with early Alzheimer’s, and Charlotte, a WI chairman with Alzheimer’s, who wanted to die before she had to leave her home.
... Jacques, a retired academic in his seventies who suffered arthritis, heart disease and high blood pressure, Dr Brewer said: ‘It sounds no worse than in most people of his age. But he dreaded the possibility of a sudden deterioration … that would deprive him of the mental capacity to decide on the manner of his death.’
... I'm not saying that we should be killing people to take their organs. But Switzerland is one of the few countries in the world where several hundred people use assisted suicide every year. This is a situation where you have people who want to die, you know when they're going to die, and many of them are probably registered organ donors. So it's also more respectful to the people to let them do this final kind of parting gift to humanity.
Public support for voluntary euthanasia is overestimated and based on unscientific online polls that ask an uninformed public to respond to leading questions couched in euphemisms”, says Renée Joubert, executive officer of Euthanasia-Free NZ.
“Hence, many people confuse “assisted dying” (a euphemism) with switching off life support, withdrawing or refusing treatment and ‘do-not-resuscitate’ orders. However, euthanasia actually involves a doctor administering lethal drugs by injection in a way similar to overseas executions. Assisted suicide involves a person swallowing lethal drugs prescribed by their doctor.”
|June 24, 2014 protest against euthanasia.|
"the right to deep, continuous sedation until death" if the patient asks for it, and if their condition threatens life in the short term. If a patient isn’t able to decide alone, then the doctor, after a necessary consultation, would end treatment by switching off their life support.
The new legislation may also allow patients to express their wishes regarding how they want to die, and oblige doctors to follow these instructions when patients are no longer able to express their will.
Sedation terminal, taking the risk of accelerating exceptionally occurrence of death may be legitimate. However, sedation whose intention and result quickly cause death is euthanasia. Playing with words is to introduce a serious risk of confusion insecure patients who will doubt the real intention of those who care for them.Groups opposing euthanasia and assisted suicide and supporting a social solidarity have become well organized over the past few years.