Friday, March 13, 2009

Final Exit Advisory Board Members Supporters of Parents Who Kill -- Their Disabled Kids


Stephen Drake, the research analyst for Not Dead Yet is exposing the leaders of the Final Exit Network (FEN) through his research. Drake is exposing leaders of FEN by there comments about cases in the past whereby a child with a disability was killed by a parent.

He specifically refers to Ruth von Fuchs who supported Robert Latimer who was convicted of second degree murder for killing his daughter Tracy. Tracy had cerebral palsy. He also refers to Faye Girsh who as the executive director of the Hemlock Society released a press release concerning the David Rodriguez case in 1997.

Stephen Drake made these comments on his blog:
In case you thought that the so-called "right to die" movement was limited to support for voluntary euthanasia, we have some info on related activities of two of the advisory board members of the Final Exit Network. In addition, these two FEN advisors have cosigned an appeal for donations to a defense fund for the arrestees from FEN.

First up is Ruth von Fuchs, whose creds are listed this way on the FEN website:
Ruth von Fuchs, MA
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Founding Network Board Member
President, Right to Die Society of Canada
Member of Network Training Faculty
Board Member, ERGO (Euthanasia and Research Guidance organization)
Canadian disability activists are familiar with Ms. von Fuchs. She has been a vocal defender of Robert Latimer, convicted twice of 2nd-degree murder of his daughter Tracy. Tracy had cerebral palsy and cognitive disabilities. Part of her defense has entailed treating the parental murders of children as "compassionate" and subject to lesser penalties - or to no prosecution at all. Here is a sample of her "advocacy" in the Latimer case:

Proponents of euthanasia say that, until proper legal and social supports are in place, many people, like Latimer, have to take the law into their own hands. "This law is being written unofficially in emergency rooms and intensive care wards every night," says Ruth von Fuchs, a member of the Right to Die Society in Toronto. Von Fuchs views Tracy's death as part of a "continuum" that begins with brain-damaged infants, some so severely handicapped that doctors quietly remove life support within hours of birth. It is unfortunate, she adds, that because mercy killing has been "criminalized," Latimer felt he had to act alone, without the help of a social worker or medical expert. von Fuchs, and other members of the euthanasia movement, is calling for a change in attitude to mercy killing. "In our society, we forbid people to give up," she argues. "We say, 'Never say die,' but sometimes you have to stand back and realize that really is a cliché. We cannot fix everyone every time forever."


Faye Girsh is another advisory board member of FEN - and one with a history of defending NONvoluntary killing of kids with disabilities and elderly people with alzheimers. Here is the info for Girsh as it's featured on the FEN website:
Faye Girsh, EdD.,
Sr. Advisor LaJolla, CA
Founding Network Board Member
Exit Guide and Network spokesperson
Board member/editor, World Federation of Right to Die Societies
Former president of The Hemlock Society USA
Those of us who have been in the euthanasia struggle for over a decade are very familiar with just how wide an agenda Girsh advocates. On December 3, 1997 the Hemlock Society (now Compassion and Choices) issued a press release titled: "Mercy Killing: A Position Statement Regarding David Rodriguez." The release is almost entirely composed of one long statement by Girsh, who was executive director of the Hemlock Society at the time. I don't have a link to the press release. After reading it, no one will be surprised that the Hemlock Society and its successor organization (Compassion and Choices) prefer to pretend this document never existed. Those of us who received the press release in our electronic newsfeeds made sure to save our copies. Here it is below, in its entirety (with portions emphasized by me):
Mercy Killing: A Position Statement Regarding David Rodriguez

DENVER, Dec. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- The following statement is issued to Louisiana media by Faye Girsh, executive director of the Hemlock Society USA, the nation's oldest and largest right-to-die society, regarding the David Rodriguez case:

"The Hemlock Society USA advocates that a suffering person at the end of life should be able to receive compassionate help from a physician to end his or her life if that is the wish. This should be done lawfully and under conditions which ensure that the diagnosis is correct, the request is an enduring one, and that the person is mentally competent."

"Unfortunately, our proposal has been enacted as law in only one state -- Oregon. Even with such a law, there are many people suffering from chronic and terminal illnesses who either beg to have their lives ended or who are not competent to make this decision and are in those instances assisted to die by a loved one. In a few rare instances death has come this way with the help of a friend, family member, or physician. In Louisiana, David Rodriguez shot his father who had repeatedly begged to be killed so that he would no longer suffer. Cases such as this are prosecuted either under murder or assisted suicide statutes. Juries, who see these as crimes of compassion, are at a loss to render a just and appropriate verdict under existing law."

"We suggest that, if these cases are to be prosecuted, they should be treated as special crimes of compassion and evaluated separately. The criteria might include the person's wishes to die, the person's medical condition, the family's concurrence, the alternatives available, and the motives of the person being tried. In many of these cases the person who did the killing is a distraught family member who is put through the horrors and expense of a humiliating criminal process that eventuates in probation or a suspended sentence. There should be a way which would still protect innocent people from being murdered but also take into consideration that mercy killing is not a cold-blooded, malicious crime but one in which the motivation is kindness and relief of suffering."

"In the case of a minor or an incompetent adult, the law now allows life or death decisions to be made by a designated health care agent and/or a family member in most jurisdictions. If the Rodriguez death had been the result of a decision to forego life-sustaining medical treatment no criminal liability would have ensued. In such instances, the person "dies naturally."

Some provision should be made for a situation in which life is not being sustained by artificial means but, in the belief of the patient or his agent, is too burdensome to continue. It is pathetic that a son should have to shoot a suffering father. Death should come in a more humane and less violent way."

"A judicial determination should be made when it is necessary to hasten the death of an individual whether it be a demented parent, a suffering, severely disable (sic) spouse or a child. Consultants should evaluate what other ways might be used to alleviate the suffering and, if none are available or are unsuccessful, a non-violent, gentle means should be available to end the person's life."

"As life expectancy increases, chronic diseases proliferate and medical science can lengthen life almost indefinitely. We must find ways to provide help to people who wish to hasten the dying process. Clearly the popular sentiment is not to punish and incarcerate but to provide merciful alternatives for those who act out of love."

SOURCE Hemlock Society USA
12/03/97 /CONTACT: Don Blake of Hemlock Society USA, 800-247-7421
So if anyone thought that the latest episode with FEN and its advocacy of "facilitating" deaths of NON terminally ill people was as far out as this movement goes - you ain't seen nothing yet. Not only is the "advocacy" of zealots of Girsh and von Fuchs broader than terminal -- the idea of "voluntary" is somewhat quaint in that weird mental world they live in. --Stephen Drake

Link to the original blog comment:
http://notdeadyetnewscommentary.blogspot.com/2009/03/final-exit-advisory-board-members.html

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