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Latest additions to web site: 3/7/14
- Quebec’s euthanasia bill dead for now
(March 5, 2014)
Bill 52, patterned after Belgium’s euthanasia law, was essentially killed when Quebec Premier Pauline Marois called for a new election in April. This resulted in dissolution of the National Assembly, killing all pending bills, including bill 52.
More on Canada
- “Vt. Senate chief supports repeal of aid in dying”
(sfgate — San Francisco Chronicle– February 27, 2014)
The president pro tem of the Vermont Senate says he would support a repeal of the state’s aid-in-dying law, but its chief sponsor says she hasn’t heard anything about the way it’s operating to give her concern.
More on Vermont
- “Official complaint lodged against leading Belgian euthanasia doctor”
(Bioedge — February 25, 2014)
The complaint is against Dr. Wim Distelmans in the death of Godelieve De Troyer. DeTroyer made a donation of 2,500 Euros to Distelmans’ right-to-die association, LEIF, two months before she died. Distelmans administers euthanasia to many patients, but he is also the head of the commission which investigates failure to observe the euthanasia law.
More on Belgium
- “Conn. lawmakers revisit aid-in-dying bill: opponents, proponents gear up for latest battle”
(Daily Journal — February 21, 2014)
Connecticut lawmakers agreed Friday to revisit legislation allowing doctors to prescribe medication to help mentally competent, terminally ill patients end their lives, launching one of the more hotly contested issues of this year’s short legislative session.
Text of Bill 5326
More on Connecticut
- “Healthy people are traveling abroad for assisted suicide because they grow ‘weary of life’”
(Mirror — UK — February 20, 2014)
Around 16 percent of the people who use ‘right-to-die-organizations such as Dignitas have no underlying health problems listed on their death certificates…Loneliness and feeling unloved are twice as likely to kill you as being fat.
More on Switzerland
- “Italian woman, 85, ends her life at Swiss euthanasia clinic because she was upset about losing her looks”
(Daily Mail — February 20, 2014)
Oriella Caszzenello was healthy. She disappeared without telling her relatives where she was going. Her family, who had reported her missing, learned of her death after they received her ashes and death certificate from the clinic.
More on Switzerland
- Belgium legalizes euthanasia by lethal injection for children
(February 13, 2014)
By a vote of 86 to 44 with 12 abstentions, the lower house of Parliament approved the law which had previously been passed by the country’s Senate. Young children will be allowed to end their lives with the help of a doctor in the world’s most radical extension of a euthanasia law.
Under the law there is no age limit to minors who can seek a lethal injection.
Parents must agree with the decision, however, there are serious questions about how much pressure will be placed on parents and/or their children.
In anticipation of the law’s passage, some Belgian parents, such as Professor Jutte van den Werff Ten Bosch, had already talked with a child, expressing support if the child should ever request euthanasia.
- “Insane Conversations — talking to children about euthanasia”
What would prompt a child to ask?
Think about why it would be that the specialist medical practitioner or the parents would come to a point where whey thought it was necessary to tell the child (or remind the child) about euthanasia as an option.
More on Belgium
Scroll down for other Recent Developments and for Featured Articles.
Doctor-prescribed suicide bills are being considered in a number of states. For developments in individual states, see Site Map.
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?
- New Mexico court hears arguments in assisted-suicide law challenge
- Belgian Senate passes bill allowing euthanasia for children
- Scottish Parliament to grapple with another dangerous assisted-suicide bill
- Canadian spoon-feeding case heard in court
- 21% approve of euthanasia for those “tired of living”
- News briefs from home & abroad
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Recent Major Developments… (Read other recent articles here)
“Drug Rationing for Seniors Begins”
(American Spectator — February 24, 2014)
Buried beneath the avalanche of recent news reports about the latest Obamacare mandated funding cuts to the Medicare Advantage (MA) program is a related but far more disturbing story — the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has taken a major stop toward rationing medications to the elderly.
More on Obamacare
“Quebec’s end-of-life bill faces more hurdles”
(Global News — February 23, 2014)
The Philippe Couillard-led Quebec Liberals last week effectively stopped Bill 52 from passing when they decided against staying late to vote on the bill before members of the National Assembly headed out on a two-week break, arguing there was not enough time to afford the bill the amount of debate it warrants.
More on Canada
“Federal Liberals call for de-criminalization of physician-assisted death”
(Montreal Gazette — February 23, 2014)
Federal Liberals have passed a controversial resolution calling for the de-criminalization of medically-assisted suicide during their policy convention here Sunday.
More on Canada
Text of resolution
“Company blocked from selling execution drug to Mo.”
(Star Tribune — February 12, 2014)
A federal judge agreed late Wednesday to temporarily block an Oklahoma pharmacy from providing an execution drug to the Missouri Department of Corrections….[because] it would likely cause “severe, unnecessary, lingering and ultimately inhumane pain.”
[The drug is pentobarbitol which is the same drug that, according to the latest official report, was the lethal medication for 90.1% of doctor-prescribed suicides in Oregon in the last year.]
Latest official Oregon report. See page 6
More on Oregon
Featured Articles…(Read other recent articles here)
“Assisted suicide — what could possibly go wrong?”
(Globe and Mail — Canada — February 20, 2014)
A service launched by a right-to-die group [in the Netherlands] has 30 mobile teams that make house calls to people who want to die but whose family doctors may be unwilling to participate. One of the people its staff put to death was a 63-year-old man who had no friends ot family and couldn’t face the prospect of retirement. Another was a 54-year-old woman with a pathological fear of germs.
More on Holland
“Wrong On Assisted Suicide In Oregon”
(Courant — February 11, 2014)
Michael Freeland had a history of depression and past suicide attempts, but still got a prescription. When two Oregon nurses assisted a suicide with no doctor or proof of patient consent, nothing happened to them. These and many other documented failures of the safeguards in the assisted suicide law don’t show up in the state reports.
More on Oregon
“Patient Harm: When An Attorney Won’t Take Your Case”
(Pro Publica — January 6, 2014)
A 2013 Emory University School of Law Study found that 95 percent of patients who seek an attorney for harm suffered during medical treatment will be shut out of the legal system, primarily for economic reasons.
“John Kelly Talks About the Tim Bowers Case”
(Not Dead Yet — December 5, 2013)
Bowers is the Indiana hunter who was injured in a fall and died the next day when he told doctors to stop life support….I have almost exactly the same injury as Bowers and I know that reliable prognosis requires the passage of time.
More on disability perspective
“The Ultimate End-of-Life Plan”
(Wall Street Journal — September 6, 2013)
My mother died shortly before her 85th birthday….She did not die a perfect death. But she died a “good enough” death, thanks to choices she made earlier that seemed brutal at the time.
“Observation stays don’t count for Medicare coverage, many seniors harshly learn”
(Pittsburgh Tribune-Review — August 24, 2013)
Betty Rickett was surprised by a $15,000 nursing home bill after spending three days in a hospital for a broken ankle in 2009.
What she didn’t know was that time spent in a hospital bed under observation doesn’t count toward the three-day minimum needed for Medicare coverage — and being under observation does not count.
More on Medicare and Medicaid
“Physician-Assisted Suicide Is Not Progressive”
(The Atlantic — Ira Byock — October 2012)
In today’s “Newspeak” the Hemlock Society morphed into Compassion and Choices, which promotes “death with dignity” and objects to the word “suicide,” preferring “aid-in-dying” and “self-deliverance.” These terms sound more wholesome, but the undisguised act is a morally primitive, socially regressive, response to basic human needs.
“If Medicare Tells You ‘No’”
(Wall Street Journal — October 18, 2012)
There are several things Medicare beneficiaries can do to reduce their costs….[O]ne that most beneficiaries don’t pursue is appealing denied medical claims. While the appeals process can be complicated and time-consuming, those who press their cases enjoy relatively high success rates.
More on Medicare and Medicaid
“Physician-Assisted Suicide in Oregon: A Medical Perspective”
( Michigan Law Review, Vol. 106 – June 8, 2008 )
While previous articles have examined assisted suicide from legal and ethical perspectives, this article examines the Oregon law from a medical perspective. More
“Euthanasia, Assisted Suicide & Health Care Decisions: Protecting Yourself & Your Family.”
Table of Contents
Part 1: Detailed and extensively documented report about the latest in attempts to legalize assisted suicide and euthanasia, along with tips for addressing these topics.
Part 2: Facts and practical information about advance directives including the difference between the Living Will and the Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care.
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.