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Latest additions to web site: 7/31/2020

Is loneliness the new pandemic?

Canadian Official Report on Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD)
[Euthanasia & Assisted Suicide] Statistics for 2019 — Published July 2020
Official statistics indicate that 5,631 Canadians died of MAiD in 2019. [See pg. 18]
Of those, the nature of suffering reported for 13.7% of patients was isolation or loneliness. [See pg. 32]
More on Canada
More on Loneliness

“Hundreds of Sick Canadians Euthanized over Loneliness”
(National Review — July 28, 2020)
That’s about 771 people, or 64 a month, or two per day.
More on Canada
More on Loneliness

“Isolated during the pandemic, seniors are dying of loneliness and their families are demanding help”
(Twin Cities Pioneer Press — June 19, 2020)
“Minnesota’s efforts to protect its most vulnerable residents during the coronavirus pandemic, is also having a unintended consequence — the isolation is killing some of them…
“Three Minnesotans, all in their 90s, who died in early June had ‘social isolation’ listed as a cause of death or contributing factor on their death certificates.”
More on Minnesota
More on Coronavirus
More on Loneliness
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Who will speak for you?
Imagine you are very seriously ill or are in an accident tomorrow and so severely 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?

Every person from the age of 18 and older should have a well written durable power of attorney for health care in which they have named and individual they know and trust, who agrees with their views and values, and who can be assertive on their behalf.

To obtain a durable power of attorney for health care called the Protective Medical Decisions Document (PMDD) that complies with the law of 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).
More on Advance Directives
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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. 3):
(July-September 2020)

  • Telehealth ushers in virtual doctor-assisted suicide practices
  • UK court finds death by dehydration in man’s “best interests”
  • Oklahoma passes law to prohibit discriminatory health care rationing
  • Dutch Supreme Court approves euthanasia for advanced dementia
  • Doctors Now Assist Suicides via Zoom
  • News briefs from home and abroad
    View as plain text.  View as PDF

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Recent Major Developments

“Local resident calls for end of nursing home visitation restriction”
(Burnet Bulletin — July 30, 2020)
“By state law, he is isolated in one room as the Covid scare raised its ugly head in our facility.  He is alone, frightened, confused, and most concerning, he is declining.  This quarantine seems similar to solitary confinement in prison, where lack of contact is part of the punishment….
“We are allowed to only see them through the windows of the facility. I have seen residents locked in their rooms crying and clawing at the windows to try and touch and see their families. What are we doing? Are we trying to protect them from dying of the virus, or I ask, is dying of old age, loneliness, fear and panic better?”
More on Coronavirus
More on Loneliness
More on Texas

Latest California official report on assisted-suicide deaths from prescriptions for a lethal dose of drugs.
Official report for 2019 deaths, released in July 2020.
More on California

“Bill to Increase Penalties for Some Assisted Suicides Passes Pennsylvania House”
(National Review — July 14, 2020)
Assisted suicide is illegal in Pennsylvania.  Now, after a depressed girl was apparently encouraged to kill herself in an Internet “pro choice” chat room, the state’s House has passed a bill increasing penalties in particular cases for such encouragement.
More on Pennsylvania

Hawaii’s 2019 Annual Report on Assisted Suicide — Issued July 1, 2020
Between January 1, 2019 through December 31, 2019, 30 patients received prescriptions for the lethal drugs.
In the first half of 2020 (from January 1, 2020 through June 26, 2020), a total of 24 such prescriptions were written — almost as many as for the entire prior year.
The most common prescription was for DDMP2.
[DDMP2 contains diazepam, digoxin,   morphine, and propranolol.]
More on Hawaii.

“Assisted Suicide By Zoom”
(First Things — June 5, 2020)
“The American Clinicians Academy on Medical Aid in Dying– a newly formed association of doctors who assist suicides — recently published formal guidelines that permit doctors to assist suicides via the Internet. These guidelines state that examination should include a review of medical records and a video meeting via Zoom or Skype.  The second opinion can simply be done by phone.  This means that assisted suicides will be facilitated by doctors who never actually treated patients for their underlying illness, who may be ignorant of their family situations and personal histories, and who have never met their patients in the flesh.”
More on Telemedicine

Washington State Governor Jay Inslee issues Veto Message on bill to study removing “barriers” to accessing the state’s doctor-prescribed suicide law.
(April 3, 2020)
More on Washington

“NJ aid-in-dying law upheld, judge dismisses legal challenge”
(North Jersey — April 2, 2020)
A state judge has dismissed a lawsuit over New Jersey’s aid-in-dying law taking an extra step that could prevent future legal challenges to the law.
More on New Jersey

“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

For additional articles and information, see Site Map.

Featured Articles

“In every other field, from airplanes to new medicines, the onus is on the advocate to provide clear, scientific evidence that the idea is safe”
(The Province — July 9, 2020)
There is something troubling, even dangerous, about the way medical assistance in dying (MAiD) is evolving in Canada, and that is the absence of evidence.
More on Canada

“Losing My Grandma to Alzheimer’s Taught Me to Find Joy in the Small Moments”
(Woman’s Day — June 30, 2020)
“I have never experienced a bond with someone like the one I shared with my grandma — my yiayia…She advanced to Stage 7 Alzheimer’s…In the shadow of this horrid disease, I’d look at her — her sweet blue eyes — and I’d still see her in there; the person I’ve known my entire life; my person.
“…. This is my love letter to my yiayia, because it was a perfect, boundless love that she gave me, and it’s a love I’ll have for the rest of my life.  Even from her medical bed, unable to walk, she was there for me, she never forgot me and no matter where my life leads me, how far from home I go, I’ll never forget it.”
More on Alzheimer’s Disease

“Old Lives Matter, too”
(Mercatornet — June 15, 2020)
“From Minnesota, which has been the center of the world stage for many days now, comes a story which is not about riots and demonstrations.  A World War II veteran named Chester Peake, was diagnosed with coronavirus in a Twin Cities long-term care facility.  He was asymptomatic, but spent two-and-a-half weeks in isolation.   He died on June 2, just short of his 100th birthday.
“His death certificate listed the cause of his death as ‘social isolation, failure to thrive, related to Covid-19 restrictions’ — loneliness, in other words.”
More on Covid-19
More on Elder Abuse

“Mask Hysteria”
(The American Spectator — May 30, 2020)
Were these terrified people justified in ejecting the maskless shopper from their midst as a means of peer pressure to wear a mask?  Joe Biden’s chief health adviser, the bioethicist Ezekiel Emanuel, would probably say yes.  He has argued in the New York Times that mask-wearing should be universal and imposed by law.
More on Coronavirus

“Covid-19 — an oblique view on who shall live and who shall die”
(British Medical Journal — April 1, 2020) [The author is the former editor of the BMJ]
“The day before Boris Johnson announced a lockdown, I sat in a theatre in Tonbridge and watched my brother, Nicholas, playing a Nazi doctor, the director of a clinic for severely disabled children who were being systematically murdered…. [W]e are led to think about the related dilemmas of our own age and our own attitudes to things like assisted dying and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) putting a pound figure to human life.
More on Coronavirus

“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”…

“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

“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.