Sunday, April 19, 2009

Fonteece released to half-way house - pending trial

Information Update:

The Canadian Press has reported that Peter Fonteece has been released on bail to a half-way house pending trial in the death of his wife Yolande.

The Canadian Press Article stated:
Peter Fonteece, 46, was released on a recognizance with $1,000 no-deposit bail after a court appearance Wednesday in this northwestern Ontario city.

Fonteece is required to live at Howard House, run by the John Howard Society, and abide by their rules and curfew. He must also report to police weekly and attend appointments with the Canadian Mental Health Association. Fonteece, who is scheduled to be back in provincial court on May 7, is charged with criminal negligence causing death and assisted suicide in the death of his wife, Yanisa Fonteece, 38.

The couple had been driving west when their vehicle broke down in Thunder Bay on Feb. 2, police said. It's believed they were unemployed and headed west, looking for work.

On Feb. 6, Fonteece called 911 and paramedics and police found his wife's body in their motel room.

Link to Canadian Press article:

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Thousands of elderly suffering as abuse toll doubles in Ireland

The Irish Independent newspaper published an article that was written by their Health Correspondent Eilish O'Regan about the growing incidents of elder abuse in Ireland.

I have decided to blog on this issue because in Canada and many other nations, their is a growing recognition that elder abuse has become a terrible cultural problem.

The article stated:
THE number of reported incidents of elder abuse doubled last year -- and in most cases the culprit is a member of their own family, a damning new report reveals.

The Health Service Executive (HSE) last night confirmed it received 1,840 reports of alleged or suspected abuse of elderly last year, compared to 927 in 2007.

The report uncovered the hidden torment of many older people who are physically abused in some cases, frequently by the person that is closest to them.

However, the reported cases are just the tip of the iceberg. Experts believe between 12,000 to 20,000 older people are suffering mistreatment in the community.

What should be really concerning to people who read this article is that the article states:
In the majority of cases the culprit was a spouse, son, daughter or partner and two-thirds of victims were women.

The article does suggest that the increased incidence is partially due to an increase in reporting, nonetheless the societal growth of elder abuse must be taken more seriously. The article states:
The rise is partly due to the appointment of elder abuse officers by the HSE around the country and also a greater awareness of the issue.

Prof Des O'Neill, who is chair of the National Implementation Group on Elder Abuse and author of the Leas Cross report, last night said he welcomed the evidence that more of these cases are now being brought to light.

"It is encouraging and a national database is now in place giving more information," he added.

But he said the implementation group -- set up by the Department of Health to act as watchdog to progress safeguards for the elderly -- was still not getting enough support from banks, the Financial Regulator or the Department of Finance.

My involvement in end-of-life issues helps me to raise a red-flag of concern related to how we treat people who are more vulnerable in society.

For those who suggest that assisted suicide is the answer to end-of-life issues, just consider that rising incidence of elder abuse and the reality that death can become the ultimate elder abuse.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Husband declared fit for trial for alleged role in wife's suicide

The Waterloo Record newspaper reported on April 9, 2009 that Peter Fonteece was able to stand trial in the death of his wife Yanissa Fonteece.

The article stated:
A man from Waterloo, charged with assisting his wife's suicide in February, has been found fit to stand trial. A judge made the decision yesterday after a psychiatric assessment of Peter Fonteece, 46. The body of 38-year-old Yanisa Fonteece was discovered Feb. 6 in a Thunder Bay motel room after her husband made a 911 call. The couple were heading to Western Canada when their car broke down Feb. 2. Fonteece is also charged with criminal negligence causing death.

It is important to note that when the media first contacted the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, the media were attempting to build a story for changing the law based on this case.

The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition cannot comment on the merits of the case until information becomes available.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Stephen Drake asks difficult questions about the Kaylee Wallace case.

Kaylee Wallace is an infant in Toronto who has Joubert Syndrome. Her parents have been told by the specialists at Sick Children's hospital in Toronto that Kaylee will die from her medical condition.

Jason Wallace and Crystal Vitelli, the parents of Kaylee, offered the heart of Kaylee for donation to Lillian O'Connor, a one month old child who requires a heart transplant.

There are questions about the ethics of offering a heart.

What happened is that on Tuesday morning, Kaylee was removed from the respirator, but didn't die.

In the meantime this has become a media circus about if one of the babies will die, will there be an organ donation, etc, etc.

Please read Stephen Drake's comments. It asks some very serious questions.
Link to the Stephen Drake's comments on the Not Dead Yet blog:

Monday, April 6, 2009

New Mexico Bill makes gassing animals illegal

When debating the issues of euthanasia and assisted suicide, it is often suggested that we euthanise animals why not euthanise humans?

I could write a long comment on why humans and animals are not the same, but then I would rather write about the fact that Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico has signed into law a bill to prevent animal cruelty that outlaws the euthanasia technique of gassing animals to death.

The article in the Albuquerque newspaper stated:
It passed the legislature and the governor signed the bill into law on Monday. The law prohibits euthanasia of dogs and cats by gas chambers.

The bill closes a loophole in existing legislation, and would eliminate the use of gas chambers in all cities and municipalities.

At the same time the Final Exit Network has been travelling across the United States using Turkey bags and Helium (Exit Bag) to assist the suicides of humans.

I wonder why it is considered humane by the Final Exit Network to use helium and a plastic hood while it is inhumane to use gas to euthanise dogs and cats.

I guess we don't need to wonder why the Final Exit Network "Guides" need to allegedly hold down the hands of their suicide victim to stop them from removing the hood.

Link to the articles:

Friday, April 3, 2009

Dignitas founder views assisted suicide as a universal human right

A BBC news article from April 2, 2009 interviewed Ludwid Minelli the founder of Dignitas clinic, the assisted suicide clinic in Switzerland, who stated that he intends to clarify the law in Switzerland concerning assisting the suicide of a healty Canadian woman who intends to die with her husband.

Minelli is reported to have defended to the BBC news the assisted suicide deaths of psychiatric patients also.

Link to the original article:

Minelli is stated to the BBC news:
suicide was a "marvellous possibility" and he wants the assisted suicide law clarified for the healthy partners of dying people.

He said: "I have a totally different attitude to suicide. I say suicide is a marvellous marvellous possibility given to a human being."

Further to that he reported of a test case that he intents to bring before the Swiss courts, he stated:
"Suicide is a very good possibility to escape a situation which you can't alter."

"It is not a condition to have a terminal illness. Terminal illness is a British obsession.

"We are not a clinic. As a human rights lawyer I am opposed to the idea of paternalism. We do not make decisions for other people."

"There is a couple living in Canada, the husband is ill, his partner is not ill but she told us here in my living room that 'if my husband goes, I would go at the same time with him'.

"We will now probably go to the courts in order to clear this question."

The Dignitas Clinic has spurned much controversy over the past several years in the advocacy of suicide and there encouragement of suicide tourists who travel to the Dignitas Clinic for death.

The article states that:
Dignitas is known in Britain for having helped more than 100 people to kill themselves.

The majority were terminally ill, but there have been more controversial cases such as psychiatric patients and couples, even when one was less ill than the other.

A recent controversy has erupted concerning the charge by a former Dignitas employee Soraya Wernli. Wernli has suggested that Minelli has not only been unscrupulous about who he assists suicides, but also for his elaborate fees and how he will assist suicides.

Previous blog entry about the Soraya Wernli's claims about Ludwig Minelli and the Dignitas Clinic:

The fact is that Minelli appears to be more extreme than the rest of the euthanasia lobby because he is unwilling to achieve the goals of the euthanasia lobby by incremental steps.

Consider the recent charges against four members of the final exit network and the recent interview with one of their leaders, it is clear that the Final Exit Network is not concerned whether people who they assist to commit suicide are not depressed or mentally competent. Link to a past blog commentary:

When one considers that Ted Goodwin the past president of the Final Exit Network allegedly admitted that they do not only hold the hand of the suicide victim, but they actually hold down the hands of the suicide victim to prevent the victim from removing the turkey bag that is filled with helium.

Link to blog comment on the Final Exit Network:

It is a known fact that people will often remove the "Exit Bag" during the deathing process, because of the 'will to live' and the natural fear that is associated with dying from suffocation.

Further to that, consider the antics of Philip Nitschke, Australia's Dr Death. Nitschke sells suicide devices and provides suicide manuals to people over the internet. He also promotes suicide tourists travelling to Mexico to purchase lethal drugs that are used by veterinarians for the euthanasia of large animals.

Link to a recent blog commentary about Philip Nitschke:

In case you take seriously the attempts to distance themselves from the rest of the euthanasia lobby by the UK euthanasia lobby group - Dying in Dignity, or Compassion & Choices in the United States, just remember that:
1. all of these groups are members of the World Federation of Right to Die Societies,
2. Ted Goodwin is the Vice-President of the World Federation of Right to Die Societies,
3. Philip Nitschke was a respected speaker at the World Federation of Right to Die Societies conference in Toronto - September 2006 where he had a display table that he used to demonstrate the effectiveness of his suicide devices.
4. Derek Humphrey is the founder of the Final Exit Network and the former Hemlock Society. The Hemlock Society formed into Compassion & Choices.
5. The only reason Dying in Dignity in the UK and Compassion & Choices in the United States are distancing themselves from Nitschke, Minelli and the Final Exit Network is that their strategy is based on an incremental approach to achieving the same radical ends, but they recognize that our culture is not ready yet.

Finally, last year when a film biography of the Rev George Exoo was released in the UK that proved that Exoo was assisting the suicides of people with mental illness and clinically depressed, the question of where Exoo found his victims directly connected him to the mainstream of the euthanasia lobby.

Link to the blog comments about Exoo:

Jon Ronson, the filmographer, interviewed Derek Humphrey, the long-time leader of the mainstream euthanasia lobby in the United States. Humphrey admitted that when he received a call from a persistent person, who appeared depressed or mentally incompetent, that he would refer them to Exoo.

I still wonder why Exoo was not arrested and Humphrey investigated.

Remember, the Euthanasia lobby is not about providing assisted suicide to terminally ill people who are suffering uncontrollable pain. The strategy of the euthanasia lobby is to promote limits that appear reasonable by the general public in order to build a further acceptance of a universal right to die for everyone.

A nirvana of peaceful pills, exit bags and death purveyors.

God help us all.