Thursday, May 31, 2018

Judge upholds decision. Assisted suicide is prohibited in California.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Sign our petition: Saying NO to assisted suicide. (Link).

California citizens were, once again, protected from assisted suicide when the assisted suicide lobby failed, on May 30, in their attempt to reverse a ruling by a Superior Court Judge, that the California assisted suicide law was unconstitutionally enacted. 

Bill McMorris reported in the Washington Free Beacon that:
On Wednesday Riverside Superior Court Judge Daniel Ottolia rejected a motion to vacate his decision declaring the End of Life Options Act unconstitutional. Assisted suicide supporters Compassion & Choices filed the motion on behalf of two terminally ill patients, as well as a doctor who prescribes lethal medication.
Judge, Ottolia, overturned the California assisted suicide law by ruling that the legislature acted outside the scope of its authority when it enacted the End of Life Option Act in 2015. 

California passed the state's assisted suicide law in a special health care funding session after the legislature failed to pass the assisted suicide bill in its normal session in 2015.

Judge Ottolia, held that:
“the End of Life Option Act does not fall within the scope of access to healthcare services,” and that it “is not a matter of health care funding.” 
Since the special legislative session was to focus on healthcare spending, and since the assisted suicide law is outside of that mandate, therefore the assisted suicide law was unconstitutionally enacted.

The assisted suicide lobby will likely introduce a new bill to legalize assisted suicide.

Sign our petition: Saying NO to assisted suicide. (Link).

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Sign and Share our Petition: No Assisted Suicide in California.

Sign our petition: Saying NO to assisted suicide. (Link).

Be a part of the growing movement opposing assisted suicide. Join our petition to California Governor Jerry Brown and Attorney General Xavier Becerra urging them to protect Californians from assisted suicide and provide patents with the proper medical care.

On May 15, Riverside County Superior Court Judge, Daniel Ottolia overturned the California assisted suicide law (End of Life Option Act) by ruling that the legislature acted outside the scope of its authority when it legalized assisted suicide.

California passed the assisted suicide law in 2015 within a special health care funding session after the legislature failed to pass the assisted suicide bill in its normal session.
Judge Ottolia, ruled that “the End of Life Option Act does not fall within the scope of access to healthcare services,” and that it “is not a matter of health care funding.”

On May 23, the Fourth District Court of Appeals upheld Judge Ottolia's decision.

Therefore, the California assisted suicide law was passed in an unconstitutional manner.

Now, proponents of assisted suicide are asking leaders in California to support a new law aimed at legalizing assisted suicide.

Sign our petition: Saying NO to assisted suicide. (Link).

Forced to lie about assisted suicide

This article was published by National Review online on May 30, 2018

Wesley Smith
By Wesley Smith

The assisted-suicide movement often lies, prevaricates, spins, word engineers, and obfuscates in its advocacy memes.

Lying in debates is one thing. But legally forcing doctors and public officials to participate in these tactics in their official capacities is quite another. Yet, that is what many assisted-suicide laws and legislative proposals do.

Take for example, lying on death certificates. Several state laws legalizing assisted suicide force MDs who assist suicides to falsify death certificates — an important public document needed for the accrual of accurate vital statistics — that the cause of death was the underlying disease and not a self-administered drug overdose.

Now, a Minnesota legalization proposal goes there. From SF 1572:

Subd. 17. Death certificate. Unless otherwise prohibited by law, the attending physician may sign the qualified patient’s death certificate. The qualified patient’s underlying terminal illness shall be listed as the cause of death.
Think about this: MDs compelled by law to lie in order to prevent transparency, inhibit oversight, and thwart accurate independent scientific studies of the deadly practice.

It gets worse. The bill would specifically legalize assisted suicide — doctors prescribing drugs for the purpose of a patient taking them to cause an overdose death — but claims mendaciously it isn’t legalizing assisted suicide:
Subd. 16. Medical aid in dying.
(a) Nothing in this section authorizes a physician or any other person to end a patient’s life by lethal injection, mercy killing, assisting a suicide, or any other active euthanasia.
(b) Any action taken according to this section does not constitute causing or assisting another person to commit suicide.
But that is exactly what it does!

And to make sure the mendacity sticks, the term “assisted suicide” is banned from use in public communications, documents, and pronouncement:

c) No report of a public agency may refer to the practice of obtaining and self-administering life-ending medication to end a qualified patient’s life as suicide or assisted suicide, and shall refer to the practice as medical aid in dying.
This is utterly nonsensical. As a recent AMA Ethics report on the issue noted (my emphasis): 
“The term ‘physician assisted suicide’ describes the practice with the greatest precision.”
Forcing MDs and public employees to lie and use euphemistic language isn’t just a matter of semantics. It destroys integrity in governance and undermines trust in public institutions. And, it disrespects democratic deliberation.

Assisted-suicide legalization turns thousands of years of medical ethics on its head. It has the potential to shatter family life. By definition, it results in the premature deaths of thousands of people — some of whom might not have died from their diagnosed illness, which sometimes happens. And, it gives the imprimatur of the state to some suicides, which has the potential to increase suicide ideation as it makes suicide prevention more equivocal.

If it is so important to do all that, then call a thing what it is! If you can’t, then stop pushing the agenda.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Portugal rejects euthanasia.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Portugeese Assembly
I have fabulous news.

Members of the Assembly in Portugal defeated four proposals to legalize euthanasia. The closest vote was on a bill drafted by the ruling socialist party. Reuters reported:

The bill, drafted by the ruling Socialists garnered 110 votes in the 230-seat parliament, but was outvoted by 115 opponents, with 4 abstentions, after a heated debate and a vote that required each lawmaker to declare his or her stance.
Reuters reported that protesters, opposing euthanasia, were outside of parliament with three main slogans:
“Yes to life, no to euthanasia!” and carrying placards “We demand palliative care for ALL”, or “Euthanasia is a recipe for elder abuse”
The Portugeese American Journal reported that the Medical Association opposes euthanasia:
The Portuguese Doctors’ Association opposed the bill, saying it violated their professional principles. A petition by the Portuguese Federation for Life a few collected more than 14,000 signatures opposing the bill on the principle that society and the state have a duty to protect human life.
The Morning Star online reported why the Communist party opposed euthanasia:
Communist MP Antonio Filipe explained that the party saw euthanasia “not as a sign of progress but a step towards civilisational retrogression with profound social, behavioural and ethical implications. 
“In a context in which the value of human life is frequently made conditional on criteria of social utility, economic interest, family responsibilities and burdens or public spending, legalisation of early death would add a new dimension of problems,” he told parliament. 
“Faced with human suffering, the solution is not to divest society of responsibility by promoting early death but to ensure conditions for a dignified life.”
In the past month, euthanasia bills have been defeated in Finland, Guernsey (UK), and the courts have declared that the California assisted suicide law is unconstitutional.

Will the American Medical Association (AMA) Heed its own Ethics Council on assisted suicide?

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

On May 4, I re-published an excellent article by bioethicist, Wesley Smith, on the decision by the American Medical Association (AMA) Council on Ethics and Judicial Affairs (CEJA) to continue opposing assisted suicide.

Last week the Psychiatric Times published an excellent article by Dr Ronald Pies, the Psychiatric Times emeritas Editor in Chief, who asks the question: Will the AMA Heed its own Ethics Council Regarding Assisted Suicide?

Pies explains that (CEJA) were asked to examine the AMA position on assisted suicide based on a request that they move to a neutral position on assisted suicide. CEJA, instead of taking a neutral position decides to uphold their opposition to assisted suicide. Pies states:


After much deliberation, the CEJA report reached two main conclusions: 
1. The AMA Code of Ethics should not be amended, effectively sustaining the AMA’s position that physician-assisted suicide is fundamentally incompatible with the physician’s role as healer. 
2. With respect to prescribing lethal medication, the term “physician assisted suicide” describes the practice with the greatest precision.
Pies then outlines the American College of Physicians, whose 2017 position on assisted suicide PAS:
Physician-assisted suicide is neither a therapy nor a solution to difficult questions raised at the end of life. On the basis of substantive ethics, clinical practice, policy, and other concerns, the ACP does not support legalization of physician-assisted suicide . . . [Moreover], dictionaries define suicide as intentionally ending one's own life. Despite cultural and historical connotations, the term is neither disparaging nor a judgment. Terms for physician-assisted suicide, such as aid in dying, medical aid in dying, physician-assisted death, and hastened death, lump categories of action together, obscuring the ethics of what is at stake and making meaningful debate difficult; therefore, clarity of language is important.
Pies continues by stating the unanimously supported position of the American Psychiatric Association on assisted suicide:
“The APA, in concert with the American Medical Association’s position on Medical Euthanasia, holds that a psychiatrist should not prescribe or administer any intervention to a non-terminally ill person for the purpose of causing death.”
Pies then acknowledges the difficult issues related to assisted suicide but he states:
Critical in this debate is the finding that most persons requesting PAS are not actively experiencing extreme suffering or inadequate pain control. Data from the Washington and Oregon PAS programs show that most patients request PAS because they fear loss of dignity and control over their own lives. These are matters that lend themselves to psychiatric intervention and counseling—not the dispensing of lethal medication.
Pies concludes his insightful article by stating:
The values of Hippocratic medicine admonish the physician as follows: “I [the physician] will neither give a deadly drug to anybody if asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect.”12 It is my hope that the AMA House of Delegates will uphold the wisdom of its own Ethics Council, and reaffirm that assisted suicide does not belong in the House of Medicine.
The American Medical Association needs to approve the position of their own ethics council and continue to oppose euthanasia and assisted suicide.

Monday, May 28, 2018

California: Heirs Risk Forfeited Inheritance & Murder Charge If They Kill Victims Under Void Assisted Suicide Act

This article was published by Choice is an Illusion on May 25, 2018

Margaret Dore
By Margaret Dore, Esq

In California, a person commits murder in the first degree via "willful, deliberate, and premeditated killing."[1] California also has "slayer statutes," providing that murderers shall not inherit from their victims. As an example, California's Probate Code states:
(a) A person who feloniously and intentionally kills the decedent is not entitled to any of the following:
(1) Any property, interest, or benefit under a will of the decedent, or a trust created by or for the benefit of the decedent or in which the decedent has an interest ...  [2]
With the passage of California's so called "End of Life Options Act," an exception was created for actions taken in accordance with the Act's provisions, which did not " for any purposes, constitute suicide, assisted suicide, homicide [murder], or elder abuse under the law."[3] 

With the Act now declared unconstitutional (void ab initio), adult children hoping to profit from killing their parents may instead find themselves charged with murder and disqualified to inherit.

Footnotes:

[1]  California Penal Code § 189Murder; degrees 
[2]  California Probate Code, § 250, "Person feloniously and intentionally killing decedent; entitlement to decedent's property; effect on decedent's estate.
[3]  End of Life Options Act, Part 1.85, § 443.18 (second sentence)

Assisted suicide lobby admits - California assisted suicide law was struck down.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition



On May 15, Riverside Superior Court Judge, Daniel Ottolia, invalidated the California assisted suicide law by ruling that the legislature acted outside the scope of its authority when it enacted the law.

California passed it's assisted suicide law in a special health care funding session after the legislature failed to pass the assisted suicide bill in its normal session.

Judge Ottolia, held that:

“the End of Life Option Act does not fall within the scope of access to healthcare services,” and that it “is not a matter of health care funding.”
The Fourth District Court of Appeals upheld Judge Ottolia's decision.

Compassion & Choices (C & C), an assisted suicide lobby group, stated in their May 24 media release that:
the law remains in effect and patients can still access it.
EPC USA Attorney, Sara Buscher, responded by stating:
“This is a declaratory judgment which means that once the judge declared the law unconstitutional, the law no longer exists. No need for an injunction to invalidate the law. I would argue the law has never existed-- void ab initio. 
Local district attorneys can now enforce the law and prosecute the doctors for assisting suicide when writing deadly prescriptions.”
Hon. William O'Brien
Former New Hampshire House Speaker and EPC USA board member, the Hon. William O’Brien said;

“Compassion and Choices should not be saying that this preserves the law even temporarily. 
If it was unconstitutionally enacted, there is a very strong argument it never came into effect and no doctor should be relying on it. That can - and should be - the effect of the final order in this case.”
Alex Schadenberg
And I stated in my article:

I am convinced that C & C is baiting pro-assisted suicide doctors to continue prescribing lethal drugs to enable them to create a legal challenge to the decision that correctly found that the California assisted suicide law is unconstitutional.
On May 26, C & C sent out a fund-raising letter admitting that the California assisted suicide law has been invalidated and then they ask people to "rush a donation" to C & C. They state in their fund-raising email:
for the time being physicians are no longer authorized to write prescriptions for medical aid-in-dying (better known as lethal assisted suicide drugs)
C & C decided to confuse the media while acknowledging the truth in order to raise money from their supporters.

The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition recognizes that this is the opportunity to convince California legislators that prescribing lethal drugs is not about freedom or autonomy but rather its an abandonment of people at a vulnerable time and to reject assisted suicide.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Compassion and Choices is spreading incorrect information that could put doctors in jail.


Media release EPC-USA - May 25, 2018.
California doctors can be prosecuted for assisted suicide.

California’s 4th District Court of Appeal denied the stay requested by the Attorney General, Xavier Becerra pertaining to the state’s so called “Death with Dignity” law commonly known as Assisted Suicide. It was in response to last week’s California, Riverside County’s Superior Court Judges’ ruling that California’s legislature acted outside the scope of its authority when it decriminalized Assisted Suicide.

There was a special session of the California Legislature convened by the Governor to address Medicaid funding shortfalls, services for the disabled and in-home support services. The bill for Assisted Suicide was introduced in this special session.



Nancy Elliott
Nancy Elliott, Chairman of Euthanasia Prevention Coalition USA stated; 
“The judges decisions were right in ruling that Assisted Suicide does not have anything to do with Medicaid funding shortfalls, services for the disabled or in-home support services unless the proponents of Assisted Suicide are saying that encouraging people to kill themselves would fix Medicaid’s funding shortfalls. I hope no one is that callous.”
Compassion and Choices, a proponent of Assisted Suicide sent out a press release telling California doctors it was "OK" to continue writing lethal prescriptions and falsifying death certificates.

William O'Brien
Former New Hampshire House Speaker and Euthanasia Prevention Coalition USA board member, the Hon. William O’Brien disagrees stating;

“Compassion and Choices should not be saying that this preserves the law even temporarily. 
“If it was unconstitutionally enacted, there is a very strong argument it never came into effect and no doctor should be relying on it. That can - and should be - the effect of the final order in this case.”
This was confirmed by EPC USA Attorney Sara Buscher; 
“This is a declaratory judgment which means that once the judge declared the law unconstitutional, the law no longer exists. No need for an injunction to invalidate the law. I would argue the law has never existed-- void ab initio.

Local district attorneys can now enforce the law and prosecute the doctors for assisting suicide when writing deadly prescriptions.”
Chairman Elliott further stated; 
“We are very pleased with the rulings. The absence of this law will make the state of California much safer for seniors, those with a disability and those who are ill. We are concerned for doctors that may listen to the baseless propaganda being put out by our opponents and wind up in very serious trouble.”

Thursday, May 24, 2018

California assisted suicide law is unconstitutional, decision upheld by appeals court.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition


Great news:

Last week, Riverside Superior Court Judge, Daniel Ottolia, overturned the California assisted suicide law when he ruled that the legislature acted outside the scope of its authority when it enacted the End of Life Option Act. 

California passed the state's assisted suicide law in a special health care funding session after the legislature failed to pass the assisted suicide bill in its normal session.

Judge Ottolia, held that “the End of Life Option Act does not fall within the scope of access to healthcare services,” and that it “is not a matter of health care funding.”

More great news: 

The Fourth District Court of Appeals upheld the lower court decision.

California Attorney General, Xavier Becerra, filed an appeal of the decision to the 4th District Court of Appeal. According to the LA Times Becerra argued that:

"The enactment fell within the scope of the special session called, in part, to consider efforts to 'improve the efficiency and efficacy of the health care system ... and improve the health of Californians,' "
Yesterday the Fourth District Court of Appeals upheld the lower court decision. NPR News reported:
California's Fourth District Court of Appeals on Wednesday refused to stay last week's decision by the Riverside County Superior Court, which ruled that state lawmakers should not have passed the law during a special session on health care funding.
Kaiser Health News reported that:
An appeals court on Wednesday refused to block a court decision that said a California law allowing the terminally ill to end their lives was passed illegally. California's 4th District Court of Appeal refused to grant an immediate stay requested by state Attorney General Xavier Becerra. However, the court gave Becerra and other parties time to "show cause" — that is, provide more arguments as to why the court should grant the stay and suspend the lower court ruling. There was no immediate comment from Becerra's office. (5/23)
The Court of Appeals stated in the decision that the majority agreed with denying a stay of the decision while the minority wanted to grant an immediate stay of the decision. Therefore the Court of Appeals gave "real parties" 25 days to file a formal return as to why a stay should be granted.

Compassion & Choices, a leading assisted suicide lobby group, states, in their press release, that the law remains in effect, despite the appeal court ruling.

I am convinced that C & C is baiting pro-assisted suicide doctors to continue prescribing lethal drugs to enable them to create a legal challenge to the decision that correctly found that the California assisted suicide law is unconstitutional.

Since the California assisted suicide law was declared unconstitutional based on how it was implemented and the Court of Appeals refused to stay the decision. Therefore at this time the California assisted suicide law is not in effect.

Life Legal Defense Foundation is an organization working to prevent assisted suicide in California.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Québec euthanasia deaths increase by 67% in 2017.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention.


A report compiled by Sean Murphy, administrator for the Protection of Conscience Project, indicates that the number of euthanasia deaths (MAiD) increased by 67% in 2017 in Québec.

Murphy published the euthanasia data from Dec 10, 2015 to Dec 10, 2017, comparing the data from the 2016 to the 2017 deaths.

Murphy's indicates that there were 454 reported euthanasia deaths in 2016 and 757 reported euthanasia deaths in 2017 in Québec. Thus in 2017 1.2% of all deaths were by euthanasia (lethal injection).

Murphy's data summary is very important because the law required that the agencies responsible for euthanasia in Québec were required to report, twice yearly, for the first two years and at that point the reporting requirement would end.


Amy Hasbrouck, the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition President and founder of the disability rights group Toujours Vivant - Not Dead Yet, analysed the (October 2017) euthanasia report and found significant problems with the reporting of euthanasia in Québec. Hasbrouck indicated the following concerns:
  • 37% of forms/reports from doctors, and an unnamed percentage of reports from institutions, needed more information. Some doctors openly refused to provide the additional information requested by the Commission.
  • The three cases in which the safeguards were clearly violated (two where the person did not have a “serious and incurable illness” and one where the person was not at the “end of life”)were not addressed as the crimes that they are.
  • The commission could not decide compliance in 19 cases (3%).
  • 5% of the cases did not respect the law
  • A 5% or 7% error rate (with 3% undetermined) would not be acceptable where lives depended on the effective application of safeguards (e.g. the airline industry).

The greatest concern is the fact that Québec legalized euthanasia by defining it as a form of medical treatment. Lethal injection is not a form of medical treatment and it is not palliative care. Euthanasia is the abandonment of a person at the greatest time of need.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

California AG appeals court decision that assisted suicide law is unconstitutional

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Last week, a California judge overturned the state’s assisted suicide law ruling that the legislature acted outside the scope of its authority when it enacted the End of Life Option Act.
The Act’s sponsors introduced the bill in a special session of the legislature convened by Governor Jerry Brown to address Medicaid funding shortfalls, services for the disabled, and in-home health support services.

Attorneys successfully argued, in the court, that the End of Life Option Act is not related or even incidental to the stated purpose of the special session.

Riverside Superior Court Judge Daniel Ottolia agreed, holding that “the End of Life Option Act does not fall within the scope of access to healthcare services,” and that it “is not a matter of health care funding.”
California Attorney General, Xavier Becerra, filed an appeal of the decision to the 4th District Court of Appeal. The LA Times reported that the appeal stated:
"The enactment fell within the scope of the special session called, in part, to consider efforts to 'improve the efficiency and efficacy of the health care system ... and improve the health of Californians,' " 
"As the Governor indicated, the Act deals with pain, suffering, and the comfort of having the health care options afforded by the Act."
Judge Ottolia struck down California's assisted suicide law based on its unconstitutional implementation. The California's assisted suicide law should have been rejected because the law discriminates against people at the most vulnerable time of their life, by giving doctors, the right in law, to assist with killing patients when they require care and not lethal drugs.

New Zealand euthanasia committee delays report by 6 months.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Euthanasia Free New Zealand is working in coalition with many groups to oppose the legalization of euthanasia. 

Yesterday, the New Zealand Justice Select Committee examining the euthanasia bill received a 6 month extension to submit its report based on the reality that the committee received 35,000 submissions for consideration.

Radio New Zealand reported that 10% of the submissions to the committee included a request to present in person and the committee intends to make this possible. RNZ reported:
Raymond Huo
The committee's chair Labour Party member Raymond Huo said the hearings would enable as many individuals and community organisations as possible to be heard. 
"The Justice Committee intends to hear from all submitters who have asked to be heard," Mr Huo said. 
"Hearing evidence in the regions will help ensure that as many individuals and community organisations as possible can present their views and that the committee take account of all of the submissions in an open-minded and balanced way," he said. 
Maggie Barry
Justice Committee deputy chair Maggie Barry said the number of submissions signalled the importance of conducting hearings. 
"The very large number of carefully considered individual submissions reveals just how seriously New Zealanders take the potential change of law to allow euthanasia and assisted suicide," she said. 
Several legislators have changed their position on the euthanasia bill. SBS news reported:
The bill - drafted by the libertarian ACT Party - passed its first reading in parliament by 76 votes to 44 but may face a tougher time in the second, with some politicians and disability advocates raising concerns about whether it's too broad in its criteria.
Many International groups also made submissions and asked to be given an opportunity for an oral presentation, including the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition. Based on our experience, the more information that is given to legislators, the more likely they are to oppose euthanasia.

The committee hearings started yesterday.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Fatal Flaws Screening Helps Defeat Assisted Suicide proposal in Guernsey.

Kevin Dunn with Dr Carmen Wheatley
By Kevin Dunn
Director - Fatal Flaws
During the government debate there was a moving moment when Deputy Graham McKinley, after announcing he had seen the Fatal Flaws film on Alderney, and how moved he was by it, bravely explained why he was abandoning the Requete.” 
Dr. Carmen Wheatley, Executive Director, Assisted Living, Guernsey (UK)
I had always hoped this film would be a game-changer. Looks like it’s happening.
I’ve just returned from The Channel Islands, UK where we had two screenings of Fatal Flaws: Legalizing Assisted Death. One in Guernsey and another in Alderney. These screenings happened just prior to a three day debate and vote on assisted suicide. According to The Guardian, “if the Requete had passed, Guernsey would have become the first place in the British Isles to offer euthanasia for people with terminal illnesses.” Instead they voted to improve palliative care on the island.

Newspaper ad promoting Fatal Flaws
The sponsor of the screening, Dr. Carmen Wheatley, Orthomolecular Oncology Medical Researcher and Executive Director of Assisted Living, Guernsey, reached out to me a few weeks ago and asked me if I would come to the Island before the vote. 


  • Order the film - Fatal Flaws and the Fatal Flaws pamphlets today.

  • In an email Dr Wheatley sent me today, she told me that during the debate, a Deputy for Alderney revealed to all that he had seen your film there, had become very moved by the content, listened to the Alderney folk, and changed his mind. The other Requeteers were not expecting this final coup de grace. In a more formal statement, she wrote 
    “In spite of misrepresentations of the film by campaigners, who refused to view it, and a mysterious blockade on TV and radio interviews from the one person on Guernsey, Kevin Dunn, who not only lives in a country, Canada, with such death legislation, but has been to no less than 6 jurisdictions/countries, interviewing doctors, patients, families on both sides of the divide, this documentary deeply impressed those few Deputies and the larger public who saw it.”
    She went on to say, 
    “To the extent that 1 of 2 Alderney representatives, who had originally, – and probably against his better judgement, been one of the signatories of the Requete, found the courage shortly before the decisive vote to publicly and dramatically renege on his allegiance to the Requete, thus adding to the strength of the decisive final No vote.”
    In the film, I asked journalist Gerbert Van Loenen from The Netherlands, “who is telling the other side of the story?” He said, “I’m afraid no one.” 
    Through the testimonies of so many brave and passionate people in this film, we were able to do just that: tell stories of a highly underrepresented group of people and shine a light on a dark corner of the political and medical landscape. 

    What could be more important than saving the lives of the vulnerable?

    Kudos to the entire FF team.

    Kevin Dunn, Director

    Swiss assisted suicide clinic founder charged with profiteering

    Alex Schadenberg
    Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition


    L
    Minelli at the Dignitas clinic
    udwig Minelli, the founder of the Dignitas assisted suicide clinic, has been charged for profiteering in the deaths of his clients. Accusations that Minelli charges inappropriate fees at the Dignitas clinic have circulated for years.

    The Swiss media have reported that prosecutors are basing their case on two key cases. According to the Swiss Local:
    In one of the cases, Minelli allegedly in 2010 charged a mother and daughter pair around 10,000 francs each instead of the usual cost of some 5,000 to 6,000 francs. 
    In the second case, Minelli is alleged in 2003 to have taken advantage of an 80-year-old woman who was sick but not terminally ill. He approached four doctors before finally finding one who was willing to aid to woman to commit suicide. 
    Prosecutors argue his persistence in this second case was based on the fact the woman had promised a 100,000-franc donation to Dignitas on her death. They also argue the woman gave power of attorney to Minelli, allowing him to transfer 46,000 francs to a Dignitas account when she died.
    Swiss law permits assisted suicide as long as it is not done for “self-serving” motives. Breaking the law could result in a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

    Soraya Wernli
    Several years ago, Soraya Wernli, a former Dignitas employee, told the Daily Mail that  Minelli was selling the personal effects of his dead clients at pawn shops and he was charging some of his clients exorbitant fees. Wernli also told the Daily Mail about the horrific death of Peter Auhagen. 
    According to the article:
    The gruesome 70-hour death of Peter Auhagen was the case that ended Wernli’s career with Dignitas and caused her to agree to be a secret informer for the police who were investigating Minelli. 
    Usually Minelli used a lethal dose of barbiturates to assist suicides but in the case of Auhagen, Minelli decided to test a “suicide machine” that the patient controlled the administration of drugs. Wernli said that: ‘the machine had a fault which meant it couldn’t pump all the poison into his system. The man was partially poisoned, in agony and thrashing around in a coma, frothing at the mouth and sweating. ... It was a terrible thing to witness, and I knew it could not go on. 
    Wernli recounts that Auhagen was still alive. She called Minelli who then came by and after a heated discussion he told the family to go for a walk and then someone administered the drugs by injection. Wernli claims that Minelli kept a supply of drugs in his personal office in case of an emergency.
    Pietro D'Amico
    In April 2013, Pietro D’Amico, a 62-year-old magistrate from Calabria Italy, died by assisted suicide at a suicide clinic in Basel Switzerland. His autopsy showed that he had 
    a wrong diagnosis.

    In February 2014, Oriella Cazzanello, an 85 year-old healthy woman died at a Swiss suicide clinic. The letter she sent her family stated that she was unhappy about how she looked.


    Minelli also accused of dumping human remains into Lake Zurich.

    Sadly, if convicted, prosecutors appear to be only seeking a fine.

    Assisted suicide bill overwhelmingly defeated in Guernsey

    Guernsey Parliament
    Alex Schadenberg
    Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

    More incredible news: The Guernsey parliament, today, defeated a proposal to legalize assisted suicide in the British Island state by a vote of 24 to 14.

    This is incredible news considering the resources that the assisted suicide lobby invested into passing assisted suicide in Guernsey, that they viewed as a possible "opening" to the legalization of assisted suicide in the UK.

    Guernsey newspaper ad.
    According to the Guardian the assisted suicide proposal was based on the Oregon model.


    A coalition of groups formed to defeat the bill included disability rights groups - Not Dead Yet UK, and the Guernsey Disability Alliance, also the British Medical Association, and the Care Not Killing Alliance in the UK. 

    Carmen, from Assisted Living Guernsey booked Kevin Dunn, producer of the film - Fatal Flaws - to address a audience after the screening of Fatal Flaws in Guernsey. We are happy to state that some members of the Guernsey parliament attended the screening of Fatal Flaws and one member changed his position on assisted suicide after watching Fatal Flaws.

    Dr Peter Saunders
    Peter Saunders, campaign director for the Care Not Killing Alliance was reported in the Shropshire Star as stating:

    “We welcome this strong rejection of this dangerous proposition by the elected Deputies on the Island. 
    “Parliamentarians across the UK have rightly rejected attempts to introduce assisted suicide and euthanasia ten times since 2003 out of concern for public safety, including in 2015 when the House of Commons overwhelmingly voted against any change in the law by 330 votes to 118. 
    “We know the Deputies in Guernsey will now turn their attention to the real issues facing disabled people and the terminally ill on the island, ensuring equality of access to the very best health care available and how to fund this.”
    Recently the Finland parliament rejected euthanasia and a California court struck down the California assisted suicide law as unconstitutional.

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