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Latest additions to web site: 9/26/14
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“Elderly couple to die together by assisted suicide even though they are not ill”
(Mail Online — September 25, 2014)
The pair from Brussels fear loneliness if the other one dies first. Identified only by their first names, they have the support of their three adult children who say they would be unable to care for either parent if they became widowed.
More on Belgium

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“Should doctors help people die? Another perspective”
(Milwaukee Journal – September 6, 2014)
Proponents argue that it is necessary to eliminate physical suffering, while admitting that the vast majority of those who request to die do so for emotional suffering, including a fear of future suffering or loss of control…. And always, somewhere, proponents remind us about how much it costs to care for people who are terminally ill, handicapped or elderly.

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Scroll down Recent Developments, and for Featured Articles.
For additional information, see Site Map.
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The Latest PRC Update (2014 – Volume 28, No. 4,):

  • Dutch euthanasia expert: “We were wrong — terribly wrong, in fact”
  • Quebec legalizes euthanasia; one lawsuit filed — so far
  • Compassion & Choices wants to be the only assisted-suicide drug dealer in US
  • Massachusetts General issues DNR orders without patient or surrogate consent
  • New Jersey bill pulled before Assembly floor vote
  • Washington #1 in assisted-suicide percentage rise
  • No conscience against prescribed suicide allowed
  • “Aid-in-dying”: States should beware
  • UK: Two landmark court rulings address euthanasia and DNR orders
  • British House of Lords debates Oregon-like assisted-suicide bill
  • News briefs from home & abroad
    View as plain text.  View as PDF

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
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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

“Maine gov orders state to back mom in legal battle over baby’s DNR order”
(Fox News — September 5, 2014)
Maine Gov. Paul LePage reversed state bureaucrats and vowed to defy a state Supreme Court ruling if necessary to back a teen mom seeking to lift a “Do Not Resuscitate” order from her one-year-old baby, who was allegedly shaken into a coma but miraculously recovered.
More on DNR
More on Maine

“Utah man ordered to stand trial in death of ailing wife”
(Salt Lake Tribune — September 2, 2014)
Before Jean Chamberlain died Feb. 16 in her Roy home, prosecutors say her husband had amassed a small library of suspicious titles, “The Peaceful Pill Handbook,” “The final Exit,” “If You Go Into a Nursing Home, Will Your Spouse Go To The Poor House?”

“Is fear of nursing homes a reason for Dutch euthanasia?”
(Bioedge — August 30, 2014)
A Dutch euthanasia clinic is being investigated for helping an elderly woman to die because she did not want to live in a nursing home.
More on Dutch euthanasia

Featured Articles

“Hitchcock thriller reveals busy mind in ‘vegetative’ man”
(Nature — September 15, 2014)
Ever since the 34-year-old man lost consciousness at age 16 after being assaulted, his father has taken him to the cinema every Wednesday.  “The fact that we can say he is enjoying these movies, he can understand these movies, says something about his quality of life” Owen says.

“Should doctors help people die? Another perspective”
(Milwaukee Journal – September 6, 2014)
Proponents argue that it is necessary to eliminate physical suffering, while admitting that the vast majority of those who request to die do so for emotional suffering, including a fear of future suffering or loss of control…. And always, somewhere, proponents remind us about how much it costs to care for people who are terminally ill, handicapped or elderly.

“Coverage for End-of-Life Talks Gaining Ground”
(New York Times — August 30, 2014)
Five years after it exploded into a political conflagration over “death panels,” the issue of paying doctors to talk to patients about end-of-life care is making a comeback, and such sessions may be covered for the 60 million Americans on Medicare as early as next year.
More on Obamacare
More on Cost Containment
More on Medicare
More on POLST

“Operator? Business, Insurer Take On End-of-Life Issues by Phone”
(Kaiser Health News — August 27, 2014)
Imagine you’re at home….You have cancer. You just had another round of chemo, and the phone rings.  “My name is Kate, I’m a health care counselor.”  After sending a letter, counselors essentially cold-call to offer what they describe as “nondirected” end-of-life counseling….It is paid for by insurers and federal privacy rules permit this for business purposes.
More on Cost Containment

“The Progressive Case Against Assisted Suicide”
(Huffington Post — August 4, 2014)
I also reject the attempt by a small group of wealthy elites trying to turn assisted suicide into some right-wing or religious debate….We must all take a skeptical look and acknowledge the role that money and power play in end-of-life decisions, and how assisted suicide is being used by some health care companies and decision-makers to increase their bottom line by denying treatment.

“Beware the rush to help people die”
(Los Angeles Times — July 2, 2014)
Physician orders written in advance can’t possibly cover every real-world eventuality.  Sometimes you have to render decisions on the spot, in response to new information such as an allergic reaction — or a change of heart….
Worse still, some POLST programs don’t even require a doctor’s input.
More on POLST

“At These Hospitals, Recovery Is Rare, but Comfort Is Not”
(New York Times — June 23, 2014)
The man was a patient at the Hospital for Special Care here, one of 400 long-term care hospitals in the United States….Some, especially those recovering from accidents, eventually will leave.  Others will be here for the rest of their lives.
For a list of long-term-care hospitals go to the CMS website.  Scroll down to the bottom and click on the link “List of LTCHs”.

“A Trial of ICU Care: a true end-of-life story”
(Geriatrics for Caregivers — June 13, 2014)
He was DNR and we had planned for comfort care once his symptoms got worse. But when he fell dangerously ill, I ended up advocating for him to go into the Intensive Care Unit….Three days later, Mr. H was discharged back there, where he re-engaged in his favorite activities….

“With assisted suicide, context is everything”
Globe and Mail — June 6, 2014)
I am an oncologist, and I am Jewish.  Fortunately, at this moment, I am not terminally ill, nor do I bear an incurable disease. By virtue of my profession and my age, death, suffering and the indignity that can go with it are familiar to me.
That is my perspective. I lead with that declaration, because when it comes to the business of assisted suicide, context is everything.

“Euthanasia deaths ‘not easy’”
(British Broadcasting Company)
Attempts by doctors to help people suffering from fatal illness take their own lives failed to give an “easy death” in one in five cases, researchers say.

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…
Twenty years ago, 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.


“Coverage for End-of-Life Talks Gaining Ground”
(New York Times — August 30, 2014)
Five years after it exploded into a political conflagration over “death panels,” the issue of paying doctors to talk to patients about end-of-life care is making a comeback, and such sessions may be covered for the 60 million Americans on medicare as early as next year.
More on Obamacare
More on Cost Containment