Friday, November 30, 2018

Maine Voices: Don’t sign petition to put flawed assisted-suicide law on state ballot

Signatures are currently being collected for a referendum to legalize assisted suicide in Maine.

This article was written by Mike Reynolds and published by Press Herald on November 28, 2019.
Maine residents are being asked to sign a petition calling for a referendum on legalizing assisted suicide to be placed on the 2019 ballot. The practice was legalized in Oregon in 1997. Since then, there have been far more problematic issues and unanswered questions than any assisted-suicide proponent claims. 
The Maine Legislature has voted down a number of attempts to legalize assisted suicide over the past two decades. The Health and Human Services Committee has never supported any version of this proposal, and an assisted-suicide measure has never passed the Legislature. In fact, the last time such a bill went to a floor vote, in 2017, it failed the House by 61 to 85, a larger margin than in recent history. 
The proponents of this law can’t pass this it in the Legislature, so now they are trying to get it through a statewide referendum. The problem is that the proponents have short memories: In 2000, Maine voters soundly rejected a referendum that mirrored Oregon’s law. Mainers have decided time and again against assisted suicide, and we don’t need another referendum funded primarily by out-of-state interests. 
If asked to sign a petition for the referendum, say “no,” and be firm. Assisted-suicide laws are the most blatant forms of discrimination based on disability in our society today. Does it make sense to tell a person who is battling cancer to consider suicide? Should we not be doing everything we can to support these people in having the best possible health care and home care so they have quality of life for however long they have?
 
With the experience of the laws in Oregon as a guide, the question of assisted suicide becomes, quite frankly, incompatible with Maine values. Oregon’s doctors have written suicide prescriptions for individuals whose medical basis for eligibility for assisted suicide was listed as diabetes. In Oregon, and in the referendum language, a person is terminally ill if he or she has a condition that could be reasonably considered terminal only if the patient refuses needed medication. By that definition, people could qualify as “terminal” who have epilepsy, ongoing infections and other illnesses that can be managed with medication. This petition is not limited in scope and is actually far more dangerous than the proponents want to admit. 
While much of our state is relatively close to adequate hospice and palliative care, there are huge gaps in northern and eastern Maine when it comes to these services. Before considering a public policy of assisted suicide, Maine must solve the vast disparity of access to hospice services and palliative care. It is not time to even consider a flawed law such as the one this referendum is proposing. Please, decline to sign. 
In Oregon, the rate of suicide is 33 percent above the national average, and the rate of teen suicide is soaring. There is a clear problem of suicide contagion. 
While the proponents claim there are safeguards, there is absolutely no oversight once the pills are prescribed. Under the Oregon law, a friend or relative – even an heir – can “encourage” an elder to make the request, sign the forms as a witness, pick up the prescription and even administer the drug (with or without consent) because no objective witness is required at death, so who would know? 
The method of dying that the referendum is trying to legalize involves taking 100 pills of a barbiturate, emptying the contents of each pill into a sweet solution, then drinking the solution. It can take up to 104 hours for people to die from the solution, and in seven Oregon cases, the person who took the solution woke up. 
This is not “death with dignity” – it’s a desperate effort to further a dangerous law and give it mainstream credibility, with no regard for the harm it causes, and it even gives full legal immunity to any medical personnel or other person who assists in the suicide. The only real protections in the law are for people other than the patient, foreclosing any realistic potential for investigation of foul play. 
For all of the reasons above, please decline to sign.
Mike Reynolds is a Lewiston resident and a member of Not Dead Yet, a disability rights group that opposes the legalization of assisted suicide.

Supreme Court (UK) right to reject "dangerous" attempt to legalise assisted suicide

Press Release issued on behalf of Care Not Killing
November 27, 2018

The Supreme Court is right to reject this dangerous attempt to legalise assisted suicide after Parliament has repeatedly rejected changing the law, says Care Not Killing.

This latest case brought by lawyers acting for Noel Conway was seeking permission for a full appeal. This ruling by Lady Hale, Lord Kerr and Lord Reed upholds the previous decisions by Parliament and judges who held that the current law protects vulnerable and disabled people from being pressured into ending their lives.

The judges, rejected the arguments of Mr Conway's legal team who claimed that the current blanket ban on assisted suicide under the Suicide Act is incompatible with his right to private life.

It upholds the decision by the Court of Appeal, which rejected the same arguments in June this year. In that ruling the judges concluded that the current blanket ban on assisted suicide achieves a fair balance between the interests of the wider community and the interests of people in the position of Mr Conway. They cited the need to protect vulnerable people, the importance of the sanctity of life and the need to protect the doctor patient relationship.

While in 2017, three experienced High Court judges concluded:
'It is legitimate in this area for the legislature to seek to lay down clear and defensible standards in order to provide guidance for society, to avoid distressing and difficult disputes at the end of life and to avoid creating a slippery slope leading to incremental expansion over time of the categories of people to whom similar assistance for suicide might have to [be] provided... we find that section 2 (right to life) is compatible with the Article 8 rights (private and family life) of Mr Conway. We dismiss his application for a declaration of incompatibility.'
Dr Peter Saunders
Dr Peter Saunders, Campaign Director of Care Not Killing, welcomed the ruling saying:
'The judges, parliamentarians, doctors and disability rights groups are all in agreement - that the safest law is the one we currently have. It carefully balances an individual's rights with the need to protect vulnerable people, who could feel pressured into ending their lives. We have seen in the US States of Oregon and Washington that the fear of becoming a financial, or care burden is cited by more than half of those choosing to end their lives. 
'And it is not just in US where we have seen disturbing developments, once safeguards have been removed. In Holland and Belgium, a law introduced to alleviate the suffering of mentally competent adults is routinely used on non-mentally competent adults and even children. This why in this area the blanket ban is the right approach and we welcome the Supreme Court's decision to reject this dangerous change.'
Ends

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Are Euthanasia Errors Acceptable?

By Fabian Stahle, a Swedish researcher.
Edited by: Alex Schadenberg, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition


When the advocacy for legalisation of euthanasia/assisted suicide approach a new jurisdiction it is always with the assurance that the proposed practise will only be used for extreme cases – persons in extreme pain and on their death bed. The advocates emphasize that strict safeguards will prevent anyone from being killed by mistake.


Dr Johan Andreen
These two speaking points in their sales pitch - only extreme cases and no mistakes – are constantly repeated in the first phase of introducing the idea of medical killing.

Currently the Swedish debate is in the introduction phase. A Swedish opponent of euthanasia, psychiatrist Johan Andreen, recently addressed the allegations about the proposed strict safeguards in an article in the Swedish Psychiatric Magazine, No 3, 2018. See page 54-56, (link) with translated title: "Taking Position In The Question About Euthanasia."

His article is a sharp and in-depth analysis of the weakness of the proponents claims and a passionate appeal for true compassion for the vulnerable.

The author asks the following question to those who propose euthanasia (and PAS) regime and to those who haven't yet made up their mind:
". . . Is it acceptable that any erroneous deaths at all take place in the context of something that should be a care measure?"
He then continues:
"If your answer is yes, the next question is: “why should we accept that when we do not accept it for other care measures?” Furthermore, how big a proportion is acceptable? Finally, how will we be able to establish and ensure safe control of that proportion of error with “assisted death"?

If the answer is no (which it reasonably ought to be), some of the follow-up questions would instead be: How can the law and its application ensure that mistakes and abuse of the law do not result in patients – who should have had care and support in a dignified life – having their lives shortened as well as a dishonourable ending to their life?


We had better watch out and navigate right in this paradoxical context. Because, although the existence and purpose of the act is to bring about death, and that this has been achieved, it will inevitably also have occurred in cases where care and treatment to live a meaningful and reasonably comfortable life should have been given. The assisted death will have the effect that some patients pass away as a result of the medical act, when this was incorrect and not the patient's actual desire and need. In the name of common sense and honesty, we should all be able to assume and agree that this will be unavoidable. In what world are there laws, doctors and healthcare systems that have no shortcomings and risks, or legal institutions that cannot be used for unintended and therefore illegal purposes?
The starting point must be, for empirical and logical reasons, that it will not be possible to introduce a "Swedish improved" version of the Oregon model that will not kill a number of people in error. . . . Let it be clear that this unintentional mortality would take place at a percentage or even permille level. It would also occur in a Swedish model.

Is any such mortality at all acceptable then? In our current situation, it is difficult to see, let alone find the opportunity to talk about this lethal side-effect or risk in the assisted death debate, since the act itself has the purpose of bringing about death!


So, here we need to see before us people who are depressed or just lonely and despondent. People who with pharmacological, psychotherapeutic and other treatment or just good care, compassion and counselling, together with their near and dear ones receive the support they need – but do not believe they can wish for – to be able to live out the time they have left. And no one can know the length of that time. 


There may be individuals who perhaps enter [into] their terminal condition due to the fact that in a state of depression – or sheer resignation – they stop taking or continuing treatment or investigation, or fail to ensure necessary intake of nutrition, fluid and basic activity and therefore become terminally ill. Is an outcome, involving an act that leads to death, acceptable in any or a few cases of these treatable and care-demanding non-terminal conditions? Should not our compassion, our strength and our resources instead be spent on scientifically developing – and with the use of care programs, focus and standardize – the help provided in cases of such suffering, the underlying disease and the social vulnerability?
In order to see with sharp clarity what we are talking about here – in a concrete corresponding care and treatment scenario – we need to begin to make comparisons with scientific pharmacological treatments.

When certain drugs appear to have clearly identified serious side-effects including fatality, severe illness or foetal damage, they are immediately withdrawn (the list could be long and will not here be encumbered with names). It does not matter that they have cost billions to develop and it does not matter that they may have a very good and important effect for the vast majority. It does not matter that these side effects are rare, if they cannot be safely prevented by any possible method. In those cases, we consider that to be enough. Our modern legislation guarantees that we should not have such drugs. The market for that drug will fall as soon as repeated reports of these outcomes occur. The company loses its credibility and status if, when the risk is clear, it does not immediately withdraw the drug before the drug authority in every country does.

In summary, the questions asked here are necessary and sufficient, and therefore crucial, to answer concerning euthanasia – regardless of model. Do we accept that the medical sector will be required to abolish and violate the thousands of years old parameters in our social contract – between individuals, people and the social system/state – that "you/we shall not kill"? Disregarding that a few countries have introduced euthanasia, do we not in the name of health care security and basic ethics have to talk about the fundamental risk to patients that this entails?

Do we accept that a societal change should be made that involves doctors and nurses participating in something that most of us agree is not, and can never be scientific treatment? Do we accept a state-imposed measure performed on the basis of patients' supposedly well-founded requests, following an arbitrary assessment by doctors – no science for this procedure exists – resulting in the death of a patient, a fellow human being, and that the possibilities for giving proper treatment and care are extinguished – forever? When this, apart from a series of risks and consequences for our society that have not been raised here, actually means that people who would have wanted and could have been helped to live will die of "assisted death"?"
As for Sweden we can already anticipate the second phase in the debate when it becomes clear for everyone, even for the proponents – although not admitted – that some collateral damage is inevitable. But the advocates play down the issue just like the Canadian doctor Ellen Wiebe, who in a debate in The Economist Magazine confessed (Link):
”I agree that one day I may make an error in my assessment and not realise that someone has been pressured into a decision to hasten their death. And the other independent assessor might make the same error. That might mean a person would die earlier than she or he may have preferred.”
Dr Wiebe continues with a rhetoric question that clearly demonstrates how the advocates in the implemantation phase shamelessly propagate for a miserable standard for protecting people from being killed.
"Should that error be the reason hundreds or thousands suffer needlessly against their will at the end of life? I am so glad to be Canadian in 2018 and to say, “No, that is not how it is here."
The confession that she "one day may make an error" may be an understatement in the view of her extensive experience of providing about 150 assisted deaths according to another article by her published in the The Economist Magazine (Link). 

Fabian Stahle is a Swedish researcher who, last year, uncovered hidden problems with the Oregon assisted suicide model.

Are doctors in Belgium and the Netherlands getting away with murder?

This article was published by OneNewsNow on November 29, 2018

Doctors accused of illegally euthanizing patients in two countries are being prosecuted for killing mental patients, but they likely will not go to jail – even if they are found guilty.

Alex Schadenberg
Belgium courts have now agreed to hear arguments from a 2010 situation in which three doctors were accused of euthanizing a woman who was supposedly autistic.

Alex Schadenberg of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition shared some of his extensive knowledge about the case:
“This case is euthanasia for psychiatric reasons, and the family has been complaining that this euthanasia should never have occurred – that this woman had just broken up from a relationship, and she was not in any way in a situation where she qualified for euthanasia,” Schadenberg explained.
OneNewsNow has reported previously that a public prosecutor in the Netherlands is taking a doctor to court for euthanizing a dementia patient who objected to the lethal procedure. The doctor asked family members to hold her down so she could kill her with a lethal injection:
“These doctors are not going to serve time in jail, but they will be put into a situation where they will be used as the example as to what needs to be done – or not done – if you want to kill someone by lethal injection for psychiatric reasons in their country,” Schadenberg stressed.
By sending the cases to court, a decision will be made as to what is acceptable and what is not – establishing guidelines for terminating the lives of patients who suffer from mental problems.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Will assisted suicide of children come to the US?

This article was published by OneNewsNow on November 26, 2018.

It starts with eliminating suffering.

Wesley J. Smith
As Canada considers legalizing child euthanasia, one ethicist warns it would be a mistake to think the practice will never make its way into the United States.

In every country that has legalized euthanasia upon request, save for one, doctors are now killing children. Wesley J. Smith, senior fellow at the Discovery Institute, tells OneNewsNow proponents of assisted suicide initially say it will only be for the terminally ill, but it nevertheless spreads to others, including children.

"Once the determination is made that one legitimate way to eliminate suffering is to eliminate the sufferer, and when you transform killing into a mere medical treatment, then there's no way you can limit it to adults," Smith asserts.
In Canada, where assisted suicide was legalized by court edict, officials are now considering the termination of children, and if the child is mature enough, to do so without parental consent or notification. Smith says that is the obvious direction this is going.
"It's a very bizarre situation where around these certain very controversial issues parents who might have what is considered, by the powers that be, a heterodox moral view are increasingly being kind of pushed out of the equation as to what is done with their own children," he reports.
Assisted suicide is legal in six states and Washington, DC. And while proponents say child euthanasia will never happen in America, Smith points out that Canada is America's closest cultural cousin.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Belgian doctors charged after euthanizing autistic woman.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

T
Tine Nys (center) with her sisters.
he Associated Press (AP) published an article by Maria Cheng that provided more information about the charges in the psychiatric euthanasia death of a Belgian woman. The AP article states that Tine Nys (38) had been diagnosed as having a form of Autism known as Asperger's.

According to the AP article, the family of Tine Nys filed a criminal complaint against the doctors who participated in the euthanasia death and that the doctors, in the case, attempted to block the investigation.


Lieve Thienpont
The article reported that Dr Lieve Thienpont, the psychiatrist who approved the death, stated:
“We must try to stop these people,”
“It is a seriously dysfunctional, wounded, traumatized family with very little empathy and respect for others,”
If this is true, Thienpont, who has been criticized for her handling of other psychiatric euthanasia deaths, should have asked herself - Why has this family been wounded and traumatized?

The International Business Times reported that the family believes that Tine was falsely diagnosed as Autistic so that she would qualify for euthanasia. The family also claimed that the law was broken because Tine never received treatment. The IBTimes reported:
Her sisters, however, told investigators that her suffering was caused by a broken heart after a failed relationship and not by autism. They also accused the doctors of making a rushed decision. They said the law was broken because Nys was never treated for autism and hence it had not been proven that she was suffering “unbearably and incurably.”
Ludo Vanopdenbosch
Earlier this year, Maria Cheng wrote in an article published by the Associated Press that Ludo Vanopdenbosch resigned from the Belgian Euthanasia Commission over their approval of a euthanasia death of a person with severe dementia who never requested euthanasia. His resignation letter stated:

The most striking example took place at a meeting in early September, ... when the group discussed the case of a patient with severe dementia, who also had Parkinson's disease. To demonstrate the patient's lack of competence, a video was played showing what Vanopdenbosch characterized as "a deeply demented patient." 
The patient, whose identity was not disclosed, was euthanized at the family's request... There was no record of any prior request for euthanasia from the patient.
Recently the Public Prosecutor in the Netherlands charged a doctor in the euthanasia death of a woman with dementia  who previously stated that she wanted to die by euthanasia, but at the time of the euthanasia, she said NO. According to the case, the doctor put a sedative in her coffee and then had the family hold her down while completing the lethal injection.

Nurse feels pressured to participate in euthanasia against her conscience.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition


I received a call from a woman, who is a nurse, who told me that she is being pressured into participating in euthanasia (MAiD) even though she opposes it. She asked me what she should do?

I stated that in her province she could freely say NO to participating in euthanasia but if she had a problem, we would help her.

Medical professionals who oppose killing people by lethal injection are being pressured and in some cases are referring patients for euthanasia against their conscience.

If you are a medical professional who is being pressured into participating or referring for euthanasia (MAiD), we urge you to say NO and if necessary to call us for help.

Euthanasia Prevention Coalition - 1-877-439-3348 - info@epcc.ca

Monday, November 26, 2018

Concerned Ontario Doctors oppose Sick Kids hospital proposed policy for euthanasia of children.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition



The Toronto Sun published an interview by Jane Stevenson with Dr Kulvinder Gill, the President of Concerned Ontario Doctors, in relation to Sick Children's Hospital (Toronto) proposed policy for child euthanasia.


The article stated that the Council of Canadian Academies will be releasing three reports on the extension of euthanasia in Canada, no later than December 13. One of the reports will concern the extension of euthanasia to children.

In September 2018, the Hospital for Sick Children (Toronto) stated in a report that they are not only willing to do child euthanasia but the proposed policy stated that a child could die by euthanasia without the consent or knowledge of the parents. The policy also argued that there was no difference between killing and letting a patient die.



Dr Gill, who is a pediatrician, states in the interview that rejecting the difference between killing or letting a patient die undermines a fundamental principle in medicine. She states:
Of particular concern is hospitals (Sick Kids) contention that there isn’t “a meaningful, practical or ethical difference for the patient between being consensually assisted in dying (in the case of MAID) and being consensually allowed to die (in the case of refusing life-sustaining interventions).”
“So that in itself is fundamentally attacking the very premise of medicine,” 
“It is now claiming to state that there is literally no difference between allowing a patient a natural death versus taking an action to cause a death.”
Gill challenges the lack of involvement of physicians in the consultation:
Frontline doctors have been kept very much in the dark about this. Most of what we’ve been hearing has been through the media, mostly international media. And many of these new federal laws which are being proposed, both extending euthanasia to children and to those that have mental illness will be putting the most vulnerable patients at risk.
Gill comments on the extreme nature of the Sick Kids report:
The Netherlands and Belgium have parents involved in the process. But this (Sick Kids) policy paper even imagined a scenario where it would happen without the involvement of family which, again, doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world.

Gill then comments on the slippery slope of euthanasia:
I think it’s a very scary, slippery slope that we’re going down. Less than a year ago, Ontario became the first jurisdiction in the entire world to have physicians lose their freedom of conscience forcing doctors to either be involved in actually administering MAID or be involved in the effective referral process. In Ontario, five per cent of vulnerable patients account for two-thirds of our public healthcare costs. Our healthcare is in crisis. Rather than seeing needed investments in frontline healthcare for our most vulnerable patients, our governments have plans to expand access to euthanasia.
Gill then comments on Canadian healthcare:
We are fundamentally devaluing human life and not giving patients equal access to life-sustaining healthcare or palliative care. We are the only country in the entire world where euthanasia is legal under a single-payer socialized healthcare system and more than 85% of patients in Canada do not have access to palliative care. There is the empty promise of a choice.”
Concerned Ontario Doctors is a secular organization trying to correct the problems with healthcare in Ontario.

'Brain Dead' child in India improves after father requested euthanasia.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Apoorva Mandhani reported for Livelaw.in, that a "brain dead" boy, whose father asked the court to approve euthanasia for, has been improving. The father was not asking for a lethal injection but rather the withdrawal of basic care.

The article reports that the father asked the Madras High Court for euthanasia for his son. The court, then, ordered the child be examined. The article states:
Hearing the petition, a bench comprising Justice N. Kirubakaran and Justice Abdul Quddhose had appointed a three member search committee to nominate three doctors from various fields to examine the child. 
The medical specialists appointed by the search committee had then opined that the clinical status of the child does not fit into the category of Persistent Vegetative State.

In the meantime, however, the court was approached by the Director of the Anirudha Medical Organisation Private Limited, who sought permission to treat the child through ‘Trigger Point Therapy’. After ten days of this therapy, the court was informed that the child was showing signs of significant improvement.

In response to pictures and video's showing significant improvement, the court stated:
“Today, when the matter is called, Mr.S. Raveekumar, learned counsel for the 5th respondent produced photographs and video clippings of the petitioner’s son showing that the child was able to sit with minimal or no support. Moreover, it is submitted hat child is responding to light and he raises his hand as per the command. If that is so, really, it is a path-breaking achievement in Medicine.” 
“Since Trigger Point Therapy and Musculo-Skeletal Therapy could be taken advantage of and more children, as well as adults diagnosed with different degrees of brain damage, could be treated, appropriate training has to be imparted in the said therapies."
I will not comment on the medical facts of the case, but there are many people who could benefit from therapies that heal the brain. Many patients are considered "as good as dead" or "organ donors" rather than receiving treatment. 

These are people with brain injuries, not breathing corpses.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Three Belgian doctors face charges over euthanasia death for psychiatric reasons.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

T
Tine Neys in the center with her sisters
shortly before her death.
hree Belgian doctors will face a court hearing in the euthanasia death of Tine Nys (38), the first trial to take place since euthanasia was made legal in 2002, the Brussels Times reported.


Nys died by euthanasia for psychiatric reasons, but her family contend that she should not have been approved for euthanasia and that the death was carried-out in an amateur manner. According to the Brussels Times:
The case concerns a 38-year-old woman, Tine Nys, who was euthanised in April 2010 at her request, as she suffered from psychological problems. 
According to the patient’s family, Nys was not ill enough to meet the requirements of the euthanasia law as it was at that time. In addition, the procedure was carried out in an “amateurish” fashion, relatives said. A sister of the dead woman made a complaint, and the circumstances of the case were investigated by the Ghent prosecutor’s office. 
The committal hearing found there was enough prima facie evidence of wrong-doing to send the case to trial. The three doctors – two physicians and a psychiatrist – have not been detained. This is the first trial to take place since euthanasia was made legal under strict limits in 2002. 
According to the family, Nys had a psychiatric past, but at the time of her request for euthanasia had not been in an institution for 15 years. She had, however, experienced a recent break in a relationship.
Wim Distelmans, the chair of the euthanasia evaluation committee, who also operates a Belgian euthanasia clinic stated that Nys met the conditions for euthanasia in Belgium. De Standard news reported Distelmans stating:
'The committee only checks whether the basic conditions and procedural conditions have been met. If documents show that this is the case, then we have no reason to doubt. We do not judge the professional competence of the psychiatrist or the doctor. It is not for us to judge about that. That is what the order of doctors, for example, is for. '
Recently the Public Prosecutor in the Netherlands charged a doctor in the euthanasia death of a woman with dementia, who previously stated that she wanted to die by euthanasia, but at the time of the euthanasia, she said no. According to the case, the doctor put a sedative in her coffee and then had the family hold her down while completing the lethal injection.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

"I was devastated by my husband's assisted death."

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition


Simon & Deborah Binner
A few days ago I published the article: She now opposes assisted suicide, after her husband died at a Swiss assisted suicide clinic concerning the book by Deborah Binner about the death of her husband at a Swiss assisted suicide clinic and the natural death of her daughter.

Today BBC published an article by Claire Williams concerning the interview by Victoria Derbyshire with Deborah Binner. This article provides more information about her experience with the assisted suicide death of her husband Simon. The BBC article states:

"There was a sense of people saying, 'Hasn't he done a wonderful thing?' But I had two children who were in bits," 
"Simon's death wasn't bad - but when you open the gate, what happens next?" she says. "Older lonely people, or people sitting on lots of money, people already feel a burden - it's something, how we value human life, that really worries me."
In the previous article Deborah suggested that filming Simon's death influenced his interest in assisted suicide.
He was keen to document his experience — he had a strong altruistic streak and wondered if it would be of use to someone else. Subconsciously, I thought he’d forget about it and we could get on with living, albeit in a different way, as we had with Chloë. But he deteriorated quickly over the next few months.
Deborah explains, in the BBC article, that she felt that her husband's attempted and then decision to die at a Swiss assisted suicide clinic almost backed her into a corner:
When Simon traveled to the clinic in Switzerland to die, in October 2015, he was accompanied by his wife and a film crew. 
The resulting BBC documentary, How to Die: Simon's Choice, was the only good thing to come out of it, Deborah says. 
"He had an altruistic streak so he felt that letting them follow him would benefit lots of people. 
"It was almost backing me into a corner and making me feel there was something worse. He was showing 'how desperate I am'.
The fact that Deborah lost a daughter three years earlier to cancer created conflicting feelings about assisted suicide. Deborah states:
Chloë's death had been gentle, which Deborah says was the key to her being able to live on. 
"How Simon died - it was so different - there was the worry if we were doing the right thing.
Deborah's book - Yet Here I Am is about her experiences with the assisted suicide death of her husband and the natural death of her daughter Chloë a few years earlier.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Euthanasia activist charged with a third murder.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition



Sean Davison who has been a euthanasia activist since he was arrested and convicted in the death of his mother, in New Zealand in 2010, he has now been charged in the 2015 death of Justin Varian. 


According to IOL news:
The latest charge was added after Davison allegedly “assisted” Varian, who had motor neuron disease, to end his life on July 25, 2015.

According to the charge sheet, he "administered a lethal amount of drugs to the quadriplegic deceased" at or near the Radisson Hotel in Granger Bay on November 2, 2015.
Davison reportedly filmed Varian requesting help to be killed.

Davison was a leader of the World Federation of Right to Die Societies and he is a leader of Dignity South Africa.

When Davison was charged with murder in the death of Anrich Burger IOL news reported that Davison was being investigated in more deaths.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Previous decisions by the UK Parliament and Judges to reject assisted suicide should be upheld by the Supreme Court

Press Release issued on behalf of Care Not Killing
RELEASE DATE: Wednesday 20th June 2018

The previous decisions by Parliament and judges in the High Court and Court of Appeal to reject attempts to legalise assisted suicide should be upheld by the Supreme Court, says Care Not Killing

This latest attempt, brought by Noel Conway, is seeking permission to appeal against previous rulings in UK’s top court.

Mr Conway’s legal team is expected to argue that the current blanket ban on assisted suicide under the Suicide Act is incompatible with his human rights. They will ask a panel of three Supreme Court Justices to grant them permission to appeal.

However, this exact same argument has been repeatedly rejected by the Courts, including the Court of Appeal as recently as June this year. In the most recent ruling the judges concluded that the current blanket ban on assisted suicide achieves a fair balance between the interests of the wider community and the interests of people in the position of Mr Conway.

While last year, three experienced High Court judges dismissed similar arguments, saying:

“It is legitimate in this area for the legislature to seek to lay down clear and defensible standards in order to provide guidance for society, to avoid distressing and difficult disputes at the end of life and to avoid creating a slippery slope leading to incremental expansion over time of the categories of people to whom similar assistance for suicide might have to [be] provided... we find that section 2 (right to life) is compatible with the Article 8 rights (private and family life) of Mr Conway. We dismiss his application for a declaration of incompatibility.”
The judges went on to say that the objectives of the current law are not limited to the protection of the weak and vulnerable, but also include respect for the sanctity of life and the promotion of trust between patient and doctor in the care relationship.
Dr Peter Saunders, Campaign Director of Care Not Killing commented: 
“The view of these judges is one shared by Parliamentarians up and down the country, who have rejected any change to the law on assisted suicide since 2003 – on more than 10 separate occasions. This includes the historic vote in the House of Commons in 2015, which rejected changing the law by the huge majority of 330 to 118.

“Members of Parliament, just like every major doctors’ group and disability rights groups expressed concerns about public safety, the failure of safeguards in the small minority of countries that have assisted suicide or euthanasia and the discriminatory message removing universal protections, from the sick, elderly and dying would send.

“We hope the Supreme Court will recognise that the safest law is the one we have - a complete ban on assisted suicide and euthanasia. Importantly our laws treat everyone the same regardless of their age or disability, deterring the exploitation, abuse and coercion of vulnerable people. As we have seen in the US States of Oregon and Washington fear of becoming a financial, or care burden is cited by more than half of those choosing to end their lives.”
Dr Saunders concluded: 
“Worryingly it is not just in US where we have seen disturbing developments, once safeguards have been removed. In Holland and Belgium, a law introduced to alleviative the suffering of mentally competent adults is routinely used on non-mentally competent adults and even children. This why in this area the blanket ban is the right approach and we hope the Supreme Court will reaffirm this.”
For media inquiries, please contact Alistair Thompson on 07970 162225.

Ends

Notes for Editors

Care Not Killing is a UK-based alliance bringing together around 50 organisations - human rights and disability rights organisations, health care and palliative care groups, faith-based organisations groups - and thousands of concerned individuals.

We have three key aims:

• to promote more and better palliative care;

• to ensure that existing laws against euthanasia and assisted suicide are not weakened or repealed during the lifetime of the current Parliament;

• to inform public opinion further against any weakening of the law.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Oregon woman changed her mind about assisted suicide after her doctor helped her find something to live for.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
 

The patient that I specifically recall is a patient by the name of Jeanette Hall. She was referred to me by her surgeon. She had a low rectal cancer.

Dr Kenneth Stevens
So when I saw her I told her what she had, I told her we could treat it with radiation and chemotherapy and said that this is potentially treatable.

She said I don't want to go through all that. I had an Aunt who lost her hair and I don't want to lose my hair.

She went back and saw the surgeon. The surgeon told her that if she wasn't treated that she would be dead within 6 months or a year.

The Oregon law says that if life expectancy is 6 months you qualify for the law so I could have written her a prescription for the lethal medication at that time.

She came back and I talked with her again and she said: why aren't you giving me the pills? I want the pills.

I learned more about her. I learned that she had a son who was going to the police academy. I said:  

Wouldn't you like to see him graduate? That really made her think that I really have something to live for.
Jeanette Hall with her son.
She really struggled in her mind as to whether she was going to be treated or not treated. She finally accepted the treatment, it took a few weeks to give, it was not easy, she actually did lose her hair and her hair grew back and she was able to attend her son's graduation from the police academy.

Five years later, my wife and I were at a restaurant and she was there with a friend and she came over and she said:

Doctor Stevens, you saved my life. If I had gone to a doctor that believed in assisted suicide I would not be here. I'd be dead.
The film clip is from the Fatal Flaws film. 
The Fatal Flaws film can be purchased or rented at: (Link).


Sunday, November 18, 2018

Dutch court case to establish precedent concerning euthanasia of incompetent people.

This article was published by OneNewsNow on November 16, 2018.


A prosecutor in the Netherlands is taking a doctor to court after she killed an unwilling patient but, in reality, jail time is not a certainty.

The 74-year-old victim, who suffered from dementia, was incapable of consenting to a lethal dose. When a sedative failed to calm her down, family members literally held the woman down so the doctor could kill her.
Alex Schadenberg
Alex Schadenberg of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition tells OneNewsNow this same doctor was considered for an earlier prosecution case, too, which was never carried through.

In the case of this elderly woman with dementia, a regional euthanasia review committee examined the case in 2017, ruling that the doctor did break the law but did so, somehow, in "good faith." 
"But then the chair of the committee made it clear he wanted this case to be prosecuted, not for the purpose of the doctor going to jail but for the purpose of establishing what the precedent is," 
"And I believe that's probably what's happening here."
That reasoning is frightening, he adds, because the committee is likely hearing the prosecution case only to set a precedent for future guidance on legally killing people.

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