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Latest additions to web site: 10/16/14
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“Cancer-stricken officer’s ‘final mission’ — help vets”
(USA Today)
An Army officer stricken with terminal cancer is fighting for his life — and the lives of others.  Capt. Justin Fitch said he wants to use his last days to reverse the epidemic of veteran suicide.
“Every single day that I have here on this Earth is a gift, and I want to use it as well as possible,” said Fitch, who was speaking slowly in a phone interview with Army Times on July 31, one day after his latest round of chemotherapy.

“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.”

“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

“Euthanasia would bring injustice to old and disabled”
(Calgary Herald — October 14, 2014)
In the 40 years since palliative care was introduced into Canada, the ability to control pain and other symptoms is improving constantly, although problems of equitable access persist. This is a grave injustice and, many believe, a breach of human rights, but the remedy is not to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide. It’s to provide the support dying people need.
More on Canada

“Death on demand is not death with dignity”
(San Francisco Chronicle — October 13, 2014)
[Palliative care specialist, Dr. B.J.] Miller wonders if in the new world of choice, there still will be a place for “people who are sick and beyond their utilitarian function.”
Brittany Maynard is a beautiful woman.  That’s probably why you’ve seen her so much on CNN.  She represents the fantasy of how we all want to be in the end — wanted, ready and resourceful.  But before  you sign on to her remedy, ask yourself what happens to sick people who don’t have her youthful spirit.
More on Oregon

“Dr. Emanuel’s resolve to die at 75 is no prescription for rest of us”
(Salem News — October 12, 2014)
He is one of the chief architects of Obamacare….He warns of a “tsunami of dementia” among elders still taking up expensive space beyond their sell-by date…. It is important to note that this is the way fundamental and sometimes transformational shifts in societies begin — with an engaging “conversation” that seeks to mask the endgame. …What does he think will happen if America’s leaders adopt his thinking, that health care past age 75 is a waste of the country’s resources”
More on Obamacare

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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

“Nurse Daniela Poggiali suspected of killing 38 ‘annoying’ patients”
(Sydney Morning Herald — October14, 2014)
Italian police have arrested a nurse suspected of killing up to 38 patients because she found them or their relatives annoying….
[P]olice had found a disturbing selfie on Poggiali’s phone showing her giving a thumbs-up in front of a recently deceased patient.

“Brittany Maynard: The Vultures Circle”
(National Review Online — October 9, 2014)
The movement has obviously orchestrated an expensive and very well planned media campaign to use her planned suicide to force open the door to doctor-prescribed death….More than that — and most egregiously — by validating and extolling her self-termination, assisted suicide advocates make it harder for her to back off the ledge….By breathlessly pushing the Maynard story, the media are pushing suicide.  This totally violates media guidelines for reporting suicide stories issued by the world health organization.
More on Oregon

“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

“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

“Cancer-stricken officer’s ‘final mission’ — help vets”
(USA Today)
An Army officer stricken with terminal cancer is fighting for his life — and the lives of others.  Capt. Justin Fitch said he wants to use his last days to reverse the epidemic of veteran suicide.
“Every single day that I have here on this Earth is a gift, and I want to use it as well as possible,” said Fitch, who was speaking slowly in a phone interview with Army Times on July 31, one day after his latest round of chemotherapy.

“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.”

“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