Friday, July 26, 2013

Swiss assisted suicide leader says that there is almost no difference between euthanasia and assisted suicide.

Paul Russell
An article published today in Australia's Canberra Times concerns a three week fact finding mission conducted by Federal Labor MLA, Mary Porter, who visited the Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland concerning the practice of euthanasia and assisted suicide in those countries. The article is written by Megan Doherty and titled: Euthanasia: Time to talk.

Paul Russell, the leader of HOPE Australia, has been very effective at explaining to Australians why euthanasia and assisted suicide are not safe.

The article explains that Porter visited countries where euthanasia and/or assisted suicide are legal in order to speak with the groups and individuals who support and oppose its legalization.

While visiting Switzerland, Porter spoke with Bernhard Sutter, the Vice President of Exit Switzerland. Sutter explained that the difference between euthanasia and assisted suicide is: 
"merely the administration"
Sutter explained:
''Let's say it's administered by intravenous drip: if the doctor opens the switch allowing the lethal medication to flow, it is 'active euthanasia', if the patient opens the switch, it is 'assisted suicide.'"
The article states that the Australian government will not legalize euthanasia:
Opposition health and ageing spokesman Peter Dutton says the Coalition ''does not propose any changes'', while a spokesperson for Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus says ''the government is not planning to introduce legislation dealing with voluntary euthanasia into the Parliament''. 
Porter says the ACT Government is also not planning any measures to circumvent the Andrews law. She maintains she is simply responding to a concern she recognised among in the community, including from lobby groups such as Dying with Dignity.
Porter states in the article that she favoured legalizing euthanasia before going to Europe but she now thinks that the issue is more complex. The article states:
''after going and listening to everybody, I realise that it is much more complex than I thought it was. ... 'What about the mentally ill? Should they be allowed to be euthanased? What about people with disabilities? What about children?'''
Dr Benoit Beuselinck
The article explains that Porter met with people who oppose euthanasia, such as Dr Benoit Beuselinck, who is an oncologist in Belgium. The article states:
''For me and several of my colleagues, the euthanasia law has been bad for Belgium: the patients are finding less humanity, the doctors have more difficulties in their daily work and finally, I think the image of our country is suffering,'' he says. 
Beuselinck, who met Porter, says more focus should be on patients being able to manage their disease or condition through palliative care. He also says the euthanasia laws are threatening the patient-doctor relationship. 
''In my practice it occurred that some family members thought we were euthanasing a patient without her demand. Another patient refused to go to a hospice, because he thought that palliative care would automatically mean euthanasia. A colleague even received a false demand for euthanasia, written by a son on behalf of his father,'' he says.
Legislators should deeply question the idea of legalizing euthanasia, especially when considering the abuse of the euthanasia law in Belgium, where euthanasia has been legal for 10 years.

For instance, recent studies concerning the Belgian euthanasia law found that: 32% of the assisted deaths are done without request and 47% of the assisted deaths go unreported in the Flanders region of Belgium. Another recent study found that even though nurses are prohibited by law from doing euthanasia, that in fact nurses are euthanizing their patients in Belgium. There has never been an attempted prosecution for abuses of the Belgian euthanasia law.
The book, Exposing Vulnerable People to Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide uncovers data proving that unreported euthanasia deaths and the abuse of the euthanasia laws in jurisdictions, such as Belgium and the Netherlands, where it is legal, uncovers euthanasia deaths without request not only occur but represent a threat to vulnerable patient groups.  

Links to recent blog articles on similar topics:


Winston said...

What Paul has not mentioned here (and probably will never mention, because it goes against his presuppositions and fearmongering) is the documented, peer-reviewed fact that there is more abuse and deaths without consent in jurisdictions without laws regulating assisted suicide and voluntary euthanasia.

1. Kuhse H, Singer P, Baume P, Clark M, Rickard M End-of-life decisions in Australian medical practice. Med J Aust 1997; 166: 191-6.

2. Luc Deliens, Freddy Mortier, Johan Bilsen et al. End-of-life decisions in medical practice in Belgium, Flanders. The Lancet 2000; 356: 1806-11. Comment by H. Kuhse on the latter article was published in the Belgium journal Ethiek & Maatschappij, le trimester 2001, Jahrgang 4, Nr. 1, April, pp. 98-106.

3. "Euthanasia and other end-of-life decisions in the Netherlands in 1990, 1995, and 2001"

This lack of oversight was what allowed Harold Shipman to murder his patients for decades.

Alex Schadenberg said...

The studies that you are referring to (1) was written by Kuhse and Singer, and compared apples to oranges and was published in 1997, old and outdated. (2) was written by Deliens et al, the newer studies by the same author prove the opposite, (3)those studies actually prove my point.

Harold Shipman would be running the euthanasia clinic if it were legal.

Winston said...

If it were legal, consent would be paramount.

It is easier to get away with murder today under anti-compassion laws. All one has to do is increase the morphine and lie to the coroner about one's intentions.