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Latest additions to web site: 1/8/2021
The Massachusetts bill to approve doctor-prescribed suicide during the lame duck session was not approved. On December 29, 2020, the Senate voted “Ought NOT to pass (under Joint Rule 10) and placed in the Orders of the Day for the next session.
More on Massachusetts
- Legalized euthanasia/assisted suicide leads to normalized medical killing
- Disability & assisted suicide: When living doesn’t seem an option
- Courts bent on death for an 83-year-old husband with COPD and dementia
- Time to End Solitary Confinement in Nursing Homes
- News briefs from home and abroad
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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
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.
Scroll down for other Recent Developments, and for Featured Articles.
For a listing of all categories on this web site, see Site Map.
Recent Major Developments
“More US patients to have easy, free access to doctor’s notes”
(Associated Press — November 1, 2020)
More U.S. patients will soon have free, electronic access to notes their doctors write about them under a new federal requirement for transparency….
“It means information about your care can no longer be hidden from you. And you have a say in your care.”
More on Medical Records.
“Euthanasia proposal readied for children aged 1 to 12”
(NLTimes — October 13, 2020)
Terminally ill children between the ages of 1 and 12 will likely be granted access to euthanasia, Health Minister Hugo de Jonge told Parliament on Tuesday. End of life procedures carried out by doctors in the Netherlands were already possible for infants up to one year old, and for children above 12 years old.
More on Holland
More on Children and Teens
There is much discussion about who will have priority to receive a Covid-19 vaccine when it becomes available. Since there will not be enough vaccine immediately, to whom should it be initially provided?
“Ezekiel Emanuel’s War Against the Elderly”
(Epoch Times — September 21, 2020)
The draft framework for distribution from the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) would give “first tier” priority to: those most essential in sustaining the ongoing COVID-19 response such as frontline heath workers, etc.; those at greatest risk of severe illness and death, and their caregivers (e.g. adults over 65 years old the those with elevated complications); and those workers in frontline public transport, food supply and schools.
In contrast to the NAS proposal, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel — who is a key Joe Biden healthcare advisor and potential nominee to be Secretary of Health and Human Services would impose a “Fair Priority Model” internationally….He would impose what he calls a “Fair Priority Model” in which people who are at materially less risk of death from COVID than the elderly.
This is not the first time Emanuel has expressed invidiously ageist attitudes. He is famous for arguing a few year ago in The Atlantic that he wanted to die at age 75 — strongly implying we all should too — promising to forego medical interventions such as flu shots and life-sustaining treatment once he became too old.
More on Coronavirus
“Too many patients are still suffering and dying alone”
(Minneapolis Star Tribune — September 16, 2020)
Families are essential to our patients’ lives, and they should be treated as essential. Before COVID-19, families were often encouraged by the medical team to show up. Now, we are forcing families to stay away in patients’ time of need and their last moments….
As hospital workers look ahead toward a future with COVID-19, we must balance our new normal with empathy, and a trauma informed approach. In our efforts to keep our patients physically safe, we must not ignore the emotional harm we are imposing upon them.
More on Minnesota
More on Loneliness
“Hearing persists at end of life, brain waves of hospice patients show”
(Health24 — September 16, 2020}
In their last hours, many people become unresponsive. However EEG data indicated that their awareness of sounds was similar to healthy people. This suggests that they may still be aware of the presence of their loved ones, even though unconscious.
More on hospice
“Florida has new plan to allow some visits to nursing homes”
(Tampa Bay Times — August 19, 2020)
“It may have taken Mary Daniel, chief executive of a Jacksonville company, becoming a dishwasher at her husband’s memory are center, but a state panel of nursing home officials and regulators decided Wednesday to loosen restrictions on visitors at elder care centers after nearly six months of COVID -imposed isolation….
“In three days of hearings, Daniel pointed to the hypocrisy of the state policy, which every day allows thousands of vendors, nursing home staff and even state workers to enter long-term care facilities without proof they are free of the virus but prohibits family members, even those with proof of a negative test, from entering a facility.
“Why am I allowed to touch my husband as a dishwasher, but I’m not allowed to touch him as his wife?….
“The draft agreed to Wednesday considers an ‘essential caregiver’ someone who ‘provides health care services or assistance with activities of daily living,’ including things like dressing, bathing and eating.”
More on Coronavirus
More on Loneliness
More on Florida
Third Official Report for Colorado “End-of-Life Options Act” Issued
Issued in 2020 for activities in 2019 as well as statistics for the complete three-year period. 2017-2019.
First Official Report for New Jersey “Medical Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill Act”
Issued August 2020. Covers period between August 1 and December 31, 2019.
Unlike official reports from other states that have transformed the crime of assisted suicide into a “medical treatment,” the New Jersey report does include the reasons given for requesting assisted suicide.
More on New Jersey
“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
“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
“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.
“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
(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.
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.