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Latest additions to web site: 11/26/14
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“Courage helps Lauren Hill achieve goal”
(Green Bay Press-Gazette — November 15, 2014)
Hill has an inoperable form of brain cancer that doctors said at first would allow her two years to live, but now their revised assessment says she only has a short time left.

“Another View: Disabled have their own beliefs on ‘death with dignity’”
(Sacramento Bee — November 15, 2014)
The death of Brittany Maynard has generated attention on “death with dignity” and a push to enact laws on physician-assisted suicide in California….Many of us find the concept of “death with dignity” demeaning and devaluing since it implies that your state of being is “undignified.”
More on disability perspective

“Rural hospitals in critical condition”
(USA Today — November 12, 2014
The Affordable Care Act was designed to improve access to health care for all Americans and will give them another chance at getting health insurance during open enrollment starting this Saturday.  But critics say the ACA is also accelerating the demise of rural outposts that cater to many of society’s most vulnerable.
More on Obamacare

“Elderly should be given euthanasia ‘rewards,’ say one in 10 Britons”
(The Telegraph — November 6, 2014)
One in 10 British people believe elderly people should be offered a “reward” if they opt for assisted suicide, new polling suggests….The poll found that men are more than twice as likely as women to agree with rewarding assisted suicide and support rises to 14 percent, or one in seven, among people aged between their mid-30s and mid-40s.
More on United Kingdom
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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. 5,):

  • Compassion & Choices reveals assisted-suicide strategies in targeted states
  • Policies against giving CPR prohibited in US nursing homes
  • Belgian and Dutch euthanasia practice continues to expand and shock the world
  • 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

“Opinion: Doctors as deliverers of death?”
(DW — Germany — November 13, 2014)
Should assisted suicide be legal? Opinion is split, and the German parliament is debating this for the first time.
More on Germany

Doctor-prescribed suicide bill introduced in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania’s HB 2548 would permit Oregon-style assisted suicide.

“Director of Public Prosecutions responds to Supreme Court on assisted suicide policy”
(Crown Prosecution Service — October 16, 2014)
In considering the section which indicates the likelihood of prosecution or health care professionals, the DPP has made it clear that this refers to those with a specific and professional duty of care to the person in question.
More on United Kingdom

Featured Articles

“Courage helps Lauren Hill achieve goal”
(Green Bay Press-Gazette — November 15, 2014)
Hill has an inoperable form of brain cancer that doctors said at first would allow her two years to live, but now their revised assessment says she only has a short time left.

“Assisted suicide compromise: Column”
(USA Today — November 13, 2014)
Give terminally ill patients both hope and hospice.
Rather than shout at each other, both sides of the assisted suicide divide should get enthusiastically behind this health care change:  Allow the terminally ill to enter hospice care without having to give up life-extending or curative treatments.
More on hospice

“‘Miracle’ Woman Ruby Graupera-Cassimiro Survives After 45 Minutes Without Pulse”
(ABC News — November 10, 2014)
Doctors glanced up at the monitors to call the time of death for a patient whose heart hadn’t beat in 45 minutes and who hadn’t breathed in three hours.
Then, they saw it:  a blip on the screen.
More on determination of death and organ donation

“Brittany Maynard and Lauren Hill will leave very different legacies”
(Irish Times — November 9, 2014)
Another speaker, a respected researcher and oncologist, Prof. Benoit Beuselinck, described a surreal realisation he’s had when a woman requested euthanasia, but also wanted her little dog put down.  He realised ending her life would be uncontroversial, but that animal rights activists would probably prevent him putting the dog down.
More on Oregon
More on Belgium

Assisted suicide is bad medicine”
(Sacramento Bee — November 2, 2014)
Why, when listing opponents, did The Sacramento Bee editorial pushing an assisted-suicide law ignore the disability community?  We could be those most affected…. Direct coercion is not even necessary.  Denying, of even merely delaying, expensive, life-sustaining treatment can drive patients toward assisted suicide.  It is a deadly mix with our cost-driven health care system.
Brittany Maynard’s story is tragic.  When you look at assisted suicide through the narrow lens of one individual, it may look acceptable.  But when viewed as broad public policy, assisted suicide is bad medicine.
More on disability perspective
More on Oregon

“A Deadly Campaign Masked as a Personal Decision”
(American Thinker — October 31, 2014)
Imagine that you are standing in line at your supermarket pharmacy. As you wait to pick up your prescription, the pharmacist hands the person ahead of  you a bottle filled with capsules….But this bottle doesn’t contain the usual instructions to take one capsule.  Instead it directs that person to take the entire bottle of capsules, all at the same time.
Then, you overhear the pharmacist explaining, “Open each of these capsules. Put the powder from them into a glass. Then mix it all into a sweet beverage and drink it very quickly to cause death.”
More on Oregon

“Army captain with terminal cancer spreads word about suicide prevention at benefit ATV event”
(Bangor Daily News — October 15, 2014)
The story of Army Capt. Justin Fitch, who is fighting terminal colon cancer and for the lives of others in uniform by advocating for suicide prevention, spurred local retired Navy Corpsman Shawn Goodwin to take action….He is especially thankful for Fitch, since doctors have given him just months to live.  “The funny part is he’s thanking me when he’s spending part of the last few days he’s alive at [the Maine event],” Goodwin said.  “That’s humbling.”

“Mother in Coma Heard Everything: Was Petrified They’d Turn Off Life Support”
(Mix102.3 — October 14, 2014)
Kate Allat is a mother who suffered a stroke at 39.  The Daily Mail reports Kate’s mind was functioning perfectly, but everyone around her, including medics, thought she was brain dead.

“The danger of assisted suicide laws”
(CNN – October 13, 2014)
My heart goes out to Brittany Maynard, who is dying of brain cancer and who wrote last week about her desire for what is often referred to as “death with dignity.”
Yet while I have every sympathy for her situation, it is important to remember that for every case such as this, there are hundreds — or thousands — more people who could be significantly harmed if assisted suicide is legal…At less than $300, assisted suicide is, to put it bluntly, the cheapest treatment for a terminal illness.  This means that in places where assisted suicide is legal, coercion is not even necessary.  If life-sustaining expansive treatment is denied or even merely delayed, patients will be steered toward assisted suicide, where it is legal.
More on Oregon

“Death determination debate rages on in science, medicine”
(CBC New: Technology and Science — October 13, 2014)
Uncertainty influences disconnecting life support, organ donation.
More on Organ Donation and Organ Transplantation

“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”.

“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.