Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Contrary to media reports: an Israel court did not permit euthanasia for the first time.

By Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition.
Alex Schadenberg

The language of the euthanasia debate continues to confuse people and much of the media. Recent opinion polls that ask: If you were suffering and terminally ill, should you be able to ask for a death with dignity have received a strong YES response. But what does the question actually mean?

In a similar way, the Israel media falsely reported that - for the first time in Israel, the court permitted euthanasia for a terminal patient. The article states:
The Tel Aviv District Court gave the verdict after the Attorney General reached an unprecedented decision to allow the patient to be disconnected from the life support machine he was connected to, according to the Israeli daily. 
The verdict was carried out and the patient died after the machine was switched off. The unique case was released for publication after a request from Ha'aretz.
Euthanasia causes death.
In the past, the withdrawal of medical treatment was falsely referred to as passive euthanasia. The withdrawal of medical treatment does not constitute euthanasia but rather it allows a natural death.

There is a clear distinction between euthanasia, which is the direct and intentional cause of death, and withdrawing treatment, which allows death to occur naturally. No one actually caused the death of this person in Israel, the person died of her medical condition.

Opposing euthanasia means to oppose giving doctors, or others, the right in law to directly and intentionally cause my death. Euthanasia is a form of homicide. Withdrawing medical treatment does not constitute an act of euthanasia or assisted suicide.

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