SUPPORT THE PATIENTS RIGHTS COUNCIL
Latest additions to web site: 3/27/2020

Due to the Coronavirus, the governor has ordered closure of business offices.  During this temporary closure, you can send email messages to the PRC by clicking here: CONTACT

Also, during this time, you can access specific information by clicking here: SITE MAP

There, you will find the information about a myriad of topics as well as about individual states. Information on this web site will be constantly updated.

We hope to be serving you again soon by telephone and will do so as soon as offices in the state are permitted to open.
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Scroll down to see selected Recent Developments

“Henry Ford Health officials confirm letter outlining life and death protocols for COVID-19”
(Detroit Free Press — March 27, 2020)
“Patients who have the best chance of getting better are our first priority.  Patients will be evaluated for the best plan of care and dying patients will be provided comfort care….Patients who are not eligible for ICU or ventilator care will receive treatment for pain control and comfort measures. Some conditions that are likely to may [sic] make you not eligible include:
. Severe heart, lung, kidney or liver failure
. Terminal cancers
. Severe trauma or burns
More on Michigan

“Coronavirus crisis: The wrong way to decide which patients get hospital care”
(New York Post — March 19, 2020)
At a hospital in New York City an intensive-care-unit physician faces a terrible dilemma.  There are two coronavirus patients in a severe situation, both competing for only one available ICU bed and ventilator.
Who should get the bed?
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Maryland General Assembly ends session early.
The legislative session ended on March 18, 2020.  It had been scheduled to end on April 6.  The early ending prevented the assisted-suicide bill from moving forward.
More on Maryland
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Oregon has issued its 22nd official report on doctor-prescribed death.
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2020 Prescribed Suicide Bills Proposed or Carried Over from 2019
Includes links to state pages along with text and analysis of bills.

States that have transformed the crime of assisted suicide into a “medical treatment.”

Attempts to legalize euthanasia or assisted suicide in the United States since 1994.
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Scroll down for other Recent Developments, and for Featured Articles.

For a listing of all categories on this web site, see Site Map.
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The Latest PRC Update (2020 – Volume 34, No. 1):
(January-March 2020)

  • Canadia forges ahead with the expansion of euthanasia law
  • Massachusetts court rules there’s no right to assisted suicide
  • Overview: State legislatures to grapple with assisted-suicide measures in 2020
  • Pushing Assisted Suicide for Baby Boomers
  • News briefs from home & abroad
    View as plain text.  View as PDF

Who will speak for you?
Imagine you are in an accident tomorrow and so seriously injured that you aren’t able to communicate about your health care wishes for several weeks. Who would make health care decisions for you during that time? Do you need an advance directive?

To obtain a durable power of attorney for health care for the state in which you are a resident, call the Patients Rights Council (800-958-5678 or 740-282-3810) between 8:30am and 4:30pm (eastern time).
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Recent Major Developments

“Hospitals consider universal do-not-resuscitate orders for coronavirus patients”
(Washington Post — March 25, 2020)
Health-care providers are bound by oath — and in some states, by law — to do everything they can within the bounds of modern technology to save a patient’s life, absent an order such as a DNR, to do otherwise.  But as cases mount amid a national shortage of personal protective equipment or PPE, hospitals are beginning to implement emergency measures that will either minimize, modify or completely stop the use of certain procedures on patients with covid-19.
More on DNR

Latest hearing challenging NJ assisted suicide law held.
“Dying patients deserve to use NJ aid-in-dying law, state says in arguing against lawsuit.
(North New Jersey.com — March 24, 2020)
State Superior Court Judge Robert Lougy said he would issue a written ruling on the state’s motion to dismiss, but did not say when.
More on New Jersey

New Jersey lawmakers introduce bill to permit registration of end-of-life care at motor vehicle agencies.
NJ Spotlight 3/9/20
The bill is a promotion of POLST forms.  It would create a registry for POLST forms and a process to allow residents coming in for a driver’s license to document wishes that would be accessible to all medical providers and emergency responders statewide.
More on POLST

Oregon’s Suicide Crisis Worsens
(National Review — March 5, 2020)
Oregon, a state that has considerably liberalized its assisted-suicide laws, has an ongoing youth and general suicide crisis on its hands.
In February the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released data showing that suicide was the leading cause of death among Oregon youth ages 10 to 24 in 2018, up from the second leading cause of death in 2017.
More on Oregon
More on Suicide Statistics

“Germany’s  top court scraps ban on assisted suicide”
(Daily Mail — February 26, 2020)
The milestone decision raised eyebrows by explicitly stating that people have “the right to a self-determined death,” and that the right to assisted suicide services should not be limited to the seriously  or incurably ill.
It is also “guaranteed in all stages of a person’s existence.”
More on Germany

Ohio Suicide Crisis as State Nurses Support Assisted Suicide
(National Review — November 14, 2019)
The Ohio Nurses Association, a union with 11,000 members, has endorsed legalizing assisted suicide….Ohio is in the midst of a suicide crisis, with such deaths increasing by 45 percent since 2007.
More on Ohio

World Medical Association reaffirms its position on euthanasia and assisted suicide.
“WMA Declaration on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide”
(November 13, 2019)
The WMA reiterates its strong commitment to the principles of medical ethics and that       utmost respect has to be maintained for human life.  Therefore, the WMA is firmly opposed to euthanasia and assisted suicide.

“Quebec court strikes down restriction to medically assisted dying law, calls it unconstitutional”
(The Globe and Mail, Health Reporter — September 11, 2019)
The portion of the federal assisted dying law [which permits both assisted suicide and death by lethal injection] was a clause that required patients’ natural deaths be “reasonably foreseeable.” That clause was found to be too restrictive.
More on Canada

“Dutch euthanasia case: Doctor acted in interest of patient, court rules”
(BBC — September 11, 2019)
A doctor accused of failing to verify consent before performing euthanasia on a dementia patient has been cleared of any wrongdoing by a Dutch Court….The doctor allegedly sedated the woman, who was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, then asked her family to hold her down as she administered a lethal drug.
More on The Netherlands

“HHS Inspector General Finds Serious Flaws in 20% of U.S. Hospice Programs”
(NPR — July 9, 2019)
“The Office of the Inspector General in the Department of Health and Human Services found that from 2012 through 2016, health care inspectors cited 87% of hospices for deficiencies.  And 20% of hospices had lapses serious enough to endanger patients….”
“We live in a time when we don’t even think about booking a hotel without checking its ratings and reviews.  Why do we demand less for hospices?”
More on Hospice

For additional articles and information, see Site Map.

Featured Articles

“Coronavirus crisis: The wrong way to decide which patients get hospital care”
(New York Post — March 19, 2020)
At a hospital in New York City an intensive-care-unit physician faces a terrible dilemma.  There are two coronavirus patients in a severe situation, both competing for only one available ICU bed and ventilator.
Who should get the bed?

“Involve the kids in euthanasia, advises Canadian doctor”
(BioEdge — February 29, 2020)
Bedside gatherings at Canadian euthanasia are normally an adults only affair.  But one doctor suggests that young children would benefit from being involved.  She gives some tips saying, “If the adults surrounding them normalize MAID [Medical Aid in Dying], so will the children.” [emphasis added]  She suggests this for children as young as 4.
More on Canada

“Training Doctors How to Assist Suicides”
(National Review — February 25, 2020)
In California, a death doctor named Lonnie Shavelson is trying to start an assisted suicide specialty….Doctors who assist suicides don’t need to be specially trained in treating a patient’s underlying medical condition….
They just need a license to prescribe lethal drugs and/or be otherwise willing to help suicidal ill people take their own lives.

“When Assisted Suicide ‘Protections’ Become Barriers”
(National Review — January 29, 2020)
When pitching legislation, assisted-suicide advocates solemnly promise that they have written, oh so “protective guidelines” into the legislation to prevent abuse.
Then, once the law is safely in place, advocates grouse that the guidelines they touted are “obstacles” or “barriers”…

“Federal study finds QALYs restrict access to lifesaving healthcare for people with disabilities”
(Not Dead Yet — November 17, 2019
According to National Council on Disability Council Member Clyde Terry, “Purely measuring the quality of life based on cost effectiveness starts with a premise of counting a person with a disability as less that whole, producing inherently discriminatory outcomes.”
More on Disability Perspective

“A doctor and medical ethicist argues life after 75 is not worth living”
(MIT Technology Review — August 21, 2019)
Ezekiel Emanuel is a medical doctor and chair of the University of Pennsylvania’s department of medical ethics and health policy, as well as a chief architect of Obamacare….
Emanuel questions “whether our consumption is worth our contribution” in old age.

“End-of-life care requires careful planning”
(Philadelphia Inquirer — July 1, 2019 )
“Each time I accompany my mother — now in her 80s — to the hospital, she’s asked the same question: Do  you have a living will?”
…”Confronting this question over and over again, I explored our options.  It was only recently that I got my answer– while watching television.”
More on Advance Directives

Gavin Newsom and his mother’s death.  According to an article in the New  Yorker, Gavin Newsom assisted his mother’s suicide in May 2002.
“Gavin Newsom, the Next Head of the California Resistance”
(New Yorker — November 5, 2018)
“In May, 2002, his mother decided to end her life through assisted suicide.  Newsom recalled, “She left me a message because I was too busy: ‘Hope you’re well. Next Wednesday will be the last day for me.  Hope you can make it.’ I saved the cassette with the message on it,  that’s how sick I am.” He crossed his arms and jammed his hands into his armpits. “I have P.T.S.D., and this is bringing it all back,” he said.  “The night before we gave her the drugs, I cooked her dinner, hard-boiled eggs, and she told me, ‘Get out of politics.’ She was worried about the stress on me.” [Page 23 of article]
More on California

“The Criminalization of Pain”
(Not Dead Yet — October 4, 2018)
Many people who depend on opioids and similar medications to manage pain are now finding that their access to them has been limited and they are being subjected by doctors to drug testing and pill counting. They feel as if they are being treated like criminals, charged with the crime of having chronic pain….
As more and more people experience poor pain management, it is easy to see that in states where doctor assisted suicide is legal, there will be an increase in requests for lethal drugs.  How ironic that it may become easier in some places for get a prescription to die than one to relieve pain.
More on Disability Perspective
More on Pain Control

Promotion of assisted suicide for anyone who wants to commit suicide.
“Legalizing assisted suicide would help counter stigma”
(Eugene Register-Guard — September 27, 2018)
A necessary step to truly remove this stigma [against suicide] is to legalize assisted suicide for everyone.  Why would a person who wants to do something talk to people that will only tell them not to do it and that they are mentally ill?  People need to know that assistance with the act is a real possibility.
More on Oregon

“NJ should reject assisted suicide bill”
(northjersey.com –September 22, 2018)
Currently the New Jersey Legislature is considering assisted suicide known as A1504.  Proponents claim this is a compassionate law that is limited in scope and has a number of safeguards.  That characterization is not only inaccurate; it fails to recognize some very serious problems in both its language and implementation.
More on New Jersey
More on Disability Perspective

“My Mother was in favour of assisted dying — when old age arrived it was a different story”
(Devonlive — July 12, 2018)
A life which looks intolerable to our younger selves really might be worth living.

“Risk of coercion too high to OK assisted suicide”
(The Daily Star — May 14, 2018)
Comparing people with a terminal prognosis to a pet that is “unable to care for itself and is in constant pain” raises understandable concerns among disabled people who need personal care services like me.  When it comes to killing our pets, studies show it’s more about putting them out of the owner’s misery than the pet’s….
So let’s stop conflating pets and people.  In a society with an alarming increase in elder abuse, the risks of coercion and foul play should be obvious.  There are no “safeguards” that work behind closed doors.
More on Disability Perspective
More on New York

“‘Dr. Death’ Philip Nitschke tells what really happens in suicide clinics”
(Starts at 60 — May 4, 2018)
Nitschke said he’d like elderly people over a certain age to be offered the drugs, (which could be kept securely at their homes), should they ever wish to take them.
“If we had a model whereby people over the age of 70 were issued the drugs, and they had to be secured in the house, then it’s no more dangerous than having rat poison in the house,” he added.
More on Australia

“Pain Doctors Face Greater Scrutiny Than Death Doctors”
(National Review — May 3, 2018)
At a time when assisted-suicide pushers fear-monger about unrelieved pain as a reason to legalize doctor-prescribed death, physicians are so afraid of the feds they leave some pain patients in the lurch, thereby unintentionally pushing them toward suicide — assisted and otherwise.
More on pain control

“Hospitals Pulling the Plug against Families’ Wishes”
(Townhall — April 25, 2018)
Who decides whether  your sick child lives or dies?
Alfie [Evans] isn’t  the first child sentenced to die by a British hospital…
Can it happen in the U.S.?  You bet.  It depends on what state you live in.
More on Futile Care
More on United Kingdom

“Assisted Suicide: Rhetoric v. Reality”
(Patients Rights Council)
Proponents of doctor-prescribed suicide point to Oregon to show that there have been no problems or abuses in the  years since its law went into effect.  Contrasting this rhetoric with the reality is crucial.
More on Oregon

“NDY Urges AMA to Affirm Longstanding Opposition to Legalizing Assisted Suicide”
(Not Dead Yet — February 15, 2017)
One of the most frequently repeated claims by proponents of assisted suicide laws is that there is “no evidence or data” to support any claim that these laws are subject to abuse…” These claims are demonstrably false.
More on Disability Perspective
More on Oregon

“Do patients pay when they leave against medical advice?”
Patients who are leaving the hospital against medical advice are often told by hospital staff that doing so will leave them liable for the entire bill because insurance will not pay if they leave against medical advice.
As described in a study, that is a myth, a medical urban legend, and one which is widespread.

Previously Featured Articles
Also see site map to access specific topics which include previously featured articles.

Have you heard about VSED?  
It stands for voluntarily stopping eating and drinking. VSED is being promoted by assisted-suicide activists who are also working to force health care providers to participate in it.  Important Questions & Answers about VSED

From the bookshelf…
In 1991, Ann Humphry, the co-founder of the Hemlock Society (now called Compassion and Choices) committed suicide. Her death made headlines worldwide.

Prior to her death, Ann contacted Rita Marker, a staunch euthanasia opponent. Over time, the two became close friends, and Ann asked Rita to make public secrets about the right-to-die movement — secrets that had weighed heavily on Ann.

Two years after Ann’s tragic death, the book, Deadly Compassion: The Death of Ann Humphry and the Truth About Euthanasia was published. It recounts Ann’s personal story, the founding of the Hemlock Society, and activities of euthanasia and doctor-prescribed suicide advocates. Thousands of copies of the book were sold in the United States, England, Canada and Australia. (Read excerpts from reviews of the book.)

Now, for the first time, you can read Deadly Compassion in its entirety on line in PDF format.