Saturday, January 3, 2015

Talking Points and 2014 year in review.

By Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

In 2014 there were many great articles opposing euthanasia and assisted suicide. Here are some of the key articles published from different perspectives in 2014.

People with disabilities oppose euthanasia and assisted suicide.

Kevin Fitzpatrick
●  January, Dr Kevin Fitzpatrick, a spokesperson for Not Dead Yet UK and the new Director of EPC International wrote an article - Legalizing euthanasia threatens people with disabilities
●  In February, Stephen Drake, the researcher for Not Dead Yet explained how the New Hampshire assisted suicide bill definition of "Terminal Condition" was broad enough to include anyone with a chronic condition.
●  In April, Jim Derksen, a founder of the Council of Canadians with Disabilities wrote an about euthanasia and eugenics - Not Dead Yet.
●  In June, John Kelly, from Second Thoughts wrote - Assisted Suicide: Just Too Dangerous.
●  In July, Baroness Jane Campbell from the UK wrote - Assisted Suicide could lure me to the grave.
●  In October Catherine Frazee wrote - Assisted suicide debate masks disability prejudice.
●  In November, Marilyn Golden from the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund wrote - Assisted Suicide is Bad Medicine.

Depression, euthanasia and assisted suicide.

●  In March Patricia, who had lived for many years with chronic depression, contacted us. She is concerned with the effect that assisted suicide has on suicidal people. After discussing her concerns, she sent us this article Assisted Suicide and Depression: A Personal Experience. Thank you Patricia for sharing your story. 
●  In September, Tom Mortier launched a court case at the European Court of Human Rights concerning the euthanasia death of his depressed mother.

Elder abuse, euthanasia and assisted suicide.

●  In Febuary, Washington State lawyer, Margaret Dore, published the article - Guardianship, Elder Abuse and Assisted Suicide: A personal shift in focus.
●  In March, an article written by a Secondary School student from Washington State connected elder abuse to the legalization of assisted suicide. Assisted Suicide has devalued the lives of the elderly in Washington State.
●  In October, disability leader, John Kelly from Second Thoughts wrote - Assisted Suicide laws more dangerous than people acknowledge.

Suicide Prevention and assisted suicide.

●  In January, Susan Martinuk (Calgary Herald), wrote an excellent column - Suicide Prevention at odds with assisted suicide.

●  In July, Paul Russell - the Director of Hope Australia reported: Australian Suicide Prevention groups condemn Nitschke's suicide promotion.
●  In August I wrote the article - Assisted suicide groups linked to suicide promotion website.
●  In November, Margaret Dore, wrote - Assisted suicide and the suicide contagion effect.
●  In December I wrote the article - Brittany Maynard story: a suicide contagion.

Dutch ethicist changes his mind on euthanasia.

●  In July, Professor Theo Boer, a nine year member of a Netherlands Euthanasia Regional Review Committee wrote an article explaining why he changed his mind and now opposes the euthanasia law. EPC contacted Professor Boer and learned that he had originally sent the Daily Mail an article that they did not publish and he gave us permission to publish his article - "Assisted Suicide: Don't Go There"

Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide 2014 News:

●  In December, assisted suicide Bill S - 225 was introduced in Canada's Senate. My critique of Bill S - 225.
●  In December, the Wales National Assembly rejected assisted suicide.
●  In November, the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition gained intervener standing in the court case challenging the Québec euthanasia law.
●  In October, a former Minnesota nurse was convicted in the assisted suicide death of a Canadian teenager.
●  In October the Supreme Court of Canada heard the Carter case, a case concerning euthanasia and assisted suicide.
●  In October, Gerbert van Loenen, a journalist from the Netherlands, spoke at the Euthanasia Symposium in Ottawa explaining - What happens when euthanasia becomes legal.
●  In September, the Netherlands 2013 euthanasia report indicated a 15% increase in euthanasia deaths.
●  In September, a memorial to the Nazi euthanasia program was opened in Berlin.
●  In July, Australian euthanasia campaigner, Philip Nitschke, lost his medical license.
●  In June, the Washington State 2013 assisted suicide report indicated a 43% increase in assisted suicide deaths.
●  In June, the Québec National Assembly voted on euthanasia Bill 52.
●  In May, the Belgian 2013 euthanasia report indicated a 26.8% increase in euthanasia deaths.
●  In May, a Swiss assisted suicide group extends assisted suicide to elderly healthy people.
●  In March, Stephen Fletcher (MP) stated that he would introduce a bill in parliament to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide. The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition welcomed an open debate.
●  In March, the Connecticut assisted suicide bill died.
●  In March, the New Mexico Attorney General appealed a lower court decision to decriminalize assisted suicide.
●  In March the New Hampshire legislature overwhelmingly defeated an assisted suicide bill.
●  In February, Arizona passed a bill to make it easier to prosecute assisted suicide cases.
●  In February, Dr Balfour Mount, the father of palliative care in North America, slammed the Québec euthanasia bill.
●  In February a BC Court decided, in the Bentley case, that normal feeding was basic personal care and not medical treatment. The Bentley family has now appealed that decision to the BC Court of Appeal.
●  In January, Tom Mortier wrote - Netherlands euthanasia law has derailed.
●  This year, among other states, New Jersey has been heavily debating assisted suicide. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie may need to veto the assisted suicide bill in 2015.

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