Latest additions to web site: 12/04/2018
Site Map

“Suicide, at 50-year peak, pushes down US life expectancy”
(Associated Press — November 29, 2018)
The suicide rate last year was the highest it’s been in at least 50 years, according to U.S. government records.  There were more than 47,000 suicides, up from a little under 45,000 the year before.
More on Suicide awareness, consequences and statistics.

“Maine Voices: Don’t sign petition to put flawed assisted-suicide law on state ballot”
(Press Herald — November 29, 2018)
Assisted-suicide laws are the most blatant forms of discrimination based on disability in our society today….This petition is not limited in scope and is actually far more dangerous than the proponents want to admit….The only real protections in the law are for people other than the patient, foreclosing any realistic potential for investigation of foul play.
More on Maine

“US life expectancy drops as opioid deaths and suicide rates rise”
(CNBCNovember 29, 2018)
Suicides overall were up by 3.7 percent in 2017.  Since 1999, the national suicide rate has increased by 33 percent.  [That figure does not include deaths from opioid overdoses.

“Suicide rates are up 33% in the U.S., yet funding lags behind that of all other top causes of death– leaving suicide research in its ‘infancy'”
(USA Today — November 28, 2018)
More than 47,000 Americans killed themselves in 2017, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday, contributing to an overall decline in U.S. life expectancy.
More on Suicide awareness, consequences and statistics.

[Isn’t it ironic that, at the same time suicide deaths are increasing, doctor-prescribed suicide activists are seeking to increase the number of suicides by changing the crime of assisted suicide into a medical treatment?]

Comparison of State Laws Permitting Doctor-Prescribed Suicide

“‘Terminal’: What does it mean?”
Doctors who favor doctor-prescribed suicide are prescribing the lethal drugs for patients who could live for decades. 

2018 Doctor-Prescribed Suicide Bills Proposed or Carried Over from 2017

Scroll down for other Recent Developments, and for Featured Articles.

For a listing of all categories on this web site, see Site Map.

The Latest PRC Update (2018 – Volume 32, No. 3):

  • The patient’s best interests & medical authoritarianism in the UK
  • Status update on 2018 state doctor-prescribed suicide bills
  • While the constitutionality of California’s assisted-suicide law remains in question, legislators pass a new bill allowing vulnerable patients to be “encouraged” to die
  • No parent should ask a child to kill
  • 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).

Recent Major Developments

“Vancouver Island records highest rate of assisted death in Canada”
(Vancouver Sun — October 16, 2018)
The total accounted for 3.6 percent of expected deaths on the Island in the two years after medically assisted dying became legal on June 17, 2016…
By contrast, it took more than 15 years for the rate of medically assisted deaths in the Netherlands to reach 3.9 percent of all deaths.
[Note: Canada permits both euthanasia by lethal injection and doctor-prescribed suicide.]
More on Canada

“‘This substance will cause death’: New euthanasia rules announced”
(The Canberra Times — September 26, 2018)
Euthanasia drugs will also have to be kept i a steel box with a label affixed warning “this substance will cause death.”
…It is understood work is under way that would allow the state government to import lethal medications used elsewhere in the world.  They could include pentobarbital (better know as Nembutal) and another barbiturate sedative known as secobarbital, which are banned for human use in Australia.
More on Australia
More on Drugs Used

“Robert Latimer, Who Murdered His Disabled Daughter, Wants Pardon”
(National Review — July 23, 2018)
In 1993, while most of his family was away at church, Robert Latimer took his twelve-year-old daughter Tracy, disabled by cerebral palsy, out to the barn.  He put her in his truck, turned on the engine, closed the door, and waited for his daughter to asphyxiate.
He was convicted of second-degree murder….If Latimer receives a new trial or Prime Minister Trudeau agrees to a pardon, it will send the insidious message that dead is better than disabled.
More on Canada

“Revealed: Three children are among thousands to die from euthanasia under Belgium’s radical laws.”
(Daily Mail — July 23, 2018)
An official report has revealed the annual number of euthanasia cases across all age groups has multiplied almost fivefold in ten years….In 2014, Belgium extended its euthanasia laws to all minors.
More on Belgium

“California appeals court reinstates law allowing terminally ill patients to end their lives”
(Los Angeles Times — June 15, 2018)
The ruling by the 4th District Court of Appeals allows the controversial law known as the End of Life Option Act to remain in effect, giving patients who have less than six months to live access to lethal medications from their doctors.
Opponents of the law have until July 2 to file a petition opposing the court’s decision….
California’s law granting patients the right to assisted suicide took effect in 2016.
More on California

(Mercury News — May 31, 2018)
A Riverside Superior Court judge on Wednesday morning rebuffed an effort to restore California’s End of Life Options Act….
So the state must try again.  The next motion — urging the judge to cancel a ruling last week invalidating the law — is set for June 29….
Meanwhile, major hospital systems such as Stanford, Kaiser Permanente, UC-San Francisco, John Muir, and California Pacific Medical Center are suspending access to the medication which has been legal for the past seven months.
More on California

(NPR — May 24, 2018)
An appeals court has let stand a lower court ruling overturning a California law that allows physicians to prescribe life-ending drugs to the terminally ill.  California’s Fourth District Court of Appeals on Wednesday refused to stay last week’s decision….
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra had sought to block the earlier ruling….
More on California

(Mercury News — May 15, 2016)
Riverside County Superior Court Judge Daniel A. Ottolia ruled that the Legislature violated the state constitution by passing the 2015 law during a special session called to address emergency needs in the state’s health care system…
More on California

“‘Miracle’ Boy, 13, Who Was Apparently Brain Dead Wakes After Parents Sign Organ Donation Papers”
(People Magazine — May 6, 2018)
Trenton McKinley defied all the odds.  After the 13-year-old boy was severely injured in a dune buggy accident, his parents made the difficult decision to donate his organs following  days of him being apparently brain dead, according to Fox 10.  But, after the papers were signed, he miraculously regained consciousness.
More on Organ Donation
More on Death & Brain Death

For additional articles and information, see Site Map.

Featured Articles

“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”
( –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.