LIFEalerts – Euthanasia

Euthanasia

Canada – Medical Organisations: euthanasia will provide not prevent suicide.

Several countries have permitted euthanasia for patients with psychiatric illness opening the door to provide suicide rather than prevent it. The American Medical Association repeatedly concluded that euthanasia practices are “fundamentally incompatible with the physician’s role as a healer,” and the World Medical Association is firmly opposed to euthanasia. Experts in Canadian law and medicine wrote: Bill C-7 will allow physicians to end the life of people with disabilities or chronic illnesses at their request and will require the system to ensure it happens even when physicians are convinced, based on their expert knowledge, that medicine offers options and even when the patient may have years or decades to live with a good quality of life if other options are explored and tried first. More

USA – Bioethicists look for different ways to eliminate incapacitated people

Two prominent bioethicists propose the implantation of a time-release suicide device that will cause future death at the time of the patient’s choosing. This is to eliminate people diagnosed with dementia when they become incapacitated. Belgium and the Netherlands permit advance orders to be euthanized. Another proposal gaining traction in bioethics would force caregivers to starve patients to death. This new idea was published in the Hastings Center Report — the world’s most prominent bioethics journal. This device is called an “advance directive implant, or ADI”. The ADI would require extensive engineering, would be computerized subdermal implant containing a lethal dose of a medication or combination of medications. Release of lethal dose would occur rapidly after a predetermined interval or after some specific event had occurred. The ADI would likely require a long-lasting battery, computerized control, and a pump or microfluidic mechanism. More

Netherlands – Assisted suicide now available without doctor intervention!

Recently a 28-year-old man was arrested and charged for selling a suicide drug to at least six people for 20 euros over the internet. Some of his clients were young people police said. According to police, the man also had links to Cooperatie Laatste Wil (CLW) (Last Wish Cooperative), a euthanasia group that promotes “assisted suicide without the intervention of doctors”. Similar groups operate under the radar in other countries. A long feature article in the popular newspaper de Volkskrant about the death of a 28-year-old woman named Marjolein in September 2020. She had a history of depression and mental instability. She also bought the suicide drug from and agent of CLW. She changed her mind almost immediately, but efforts to rescue her failed. Jos van Wijk, chairman of the CLW, indignantly rejected the family’s accusations of improper conduct saying they adhere to the rules of law. This is another example of how things get out of hand once euthanasia is legalized in a country. More

LIFEalerts – Euthanasia

Euthanasia

Belgium – UN Human Rights Council criticized Belgium’s euthanasia law

Since Belgium legalized Euthanasia in 2002, the country has experienced a hundredfold increase in registered euthanasia deaths. In February 2014, the law expanded to enable doctors to end the lives of children of any age. In 2017, almost 20% of deaths by euthanasia in Belgium involved patients displaying symptoms common with aging. In May this year, the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland challenged Belgium on the human rights implications of its euthanasia law with various states urging the government to improve treatment of the elderly and of persons with disabilities. Not only does the European Court of Human Rights challenge Belgium on its euthanasia law but also now pending another case before Europe’s top court in the Tom Mortier case.

The case, which now sits before the top European court, has the potential to set a precedent for euthanasia laws across Europe. The Court’s decision could affect more than 820 million Europeans across the 47 Council of Europe Member States subject to its rulings.

The World Medical Association has consistently rejected the practice of euthanasia and assisted suicide as being unethical. The act has long been associated with discriminatory attitudes against those who are elderly or disabled.

“The slippery slope is on full public display in Belgium, and we see the tragic consequences in this case. According to the most recent government report, more than six people per day are euthanized in this way, and that may yet be the tip of the iceberg. The figures expose the truth that, once these laws are passed, the impact of euthanasia cannot be controlled. Belgium has set itself on a trajectory that, at best, implicitly tells the most vulnerable that their lives are not worth living,” said Robert Clarke, Deputy Director of Advocacy for ADF International, who represents Tom Mortier before the Court. Article, More on Tom Mortier case.

Belgium – Anthology of behind-the-scenes observations from professionals

The Springer website, publisher of many medical journals has released a downloadable copy: Searching for the Full Story: Experiences and Insights of Belgian Doctors and Nurses. Euthanasia, though legal in Belgium, is opposed by some healthcare professionals. This collection of essays contains insights and thought provoking stories from the authors’ professional experience. The testimonies reported in this book of professionals do not believe that euthanasia can be a medical or a caring act, neither can it be a neutral option. In essence, euthanasia does not complement palliative care, it ends it; it is not the pinnacle of care and support for the patient, it discontinues it; it does not relieve the patients, it takes their lives. This open access book has been written by ten Belgian health care professionals, nurses, university professors and doctors specializing in palliative care and ethicists who fear that euthanasia have become normalised and trivial. More

USA – Euthanasia expands to telehealth

During the Covid-19 pandemic telehealth was initiated and now a new bill is before the US Senate seeking to extend the use of telehealth. The 2019 New Mexico bill and the 2020 Hawaii bill included such provisions so this is nothing new. This would mean that a person with difficult health issues who feels like a burden on others, or is experiencing depression or distress, could commit suicide by telehealth without ever seeing a physician. People with unidentified psychological issues or suicidal ideation is of concern as well. A 2016 study published in the British Medical Journal showed that medical error is the third leading cause of death in the US, euthanasia by telehealth is expected to exasperate the problem. More, more

LIFEalerts – Euthanasia

Euthanasia

Canada – Appeal to lawmakers considering legalizing euthanasia

In a 3-minute video presentation, Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director of Euthanasia Prevention Coalition appeals to lawmakers to first examine the Canadian experience before legalizing euthanasia & assisted suicide. Hidden in the euthanasia debate are the stories of pressure and coercion. The following represent a sample of many stories from Canada…

Canada – Canadian Medical Health Association concerned about Euthanasia

In response to the Canadian government’s recent decision to permit Medical Aid in Dying (MAiD) for people with mental illnesses, the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) issued a statement expressing deep disappointment. According to CMHA, until the health care system adequately responds to the mental health needs of Canadians, assisted dying should not be an option. This they also testified before the Senate in November of 2020. CMHA points out that it is “not possible to determine whether any particular case of mental illness represents “an advanced state of decline in capabilities that cannot be reversed.” And the CMHA “know that cases of severe and persistent mental illness that are initially resistant to treatment can, in fact, show significant recovery over time. Mental illness is very often episodic. Death, on the other hand, is not reversible. In Dutch and Belgian studies, a high proportion of people who were seeking MAID for psychiatric reasons, but did not get it, later changed their minds.” More

Australia – Nurse loses license to practice

Maura Kathryn Bannister, 60, an Australian nurse who referred to herself as the “angel of death” lost her nursing license on March 19 but will unlikely face criminal charges. Civil And Administrative Tribunal of the nursing and midwifery board of Australia, in the Bannister case decided to: disqualify her from applying for registration as a health practitioner for a period of two years from the date of this decision, and prohibit her from providing any health service for a period of two years from the date of this decision. This follows because she administered an unprescribed dose of morphine to an elderly and frail family friend who was receiving palliative care at home after a fall. Knowing the woman had already taken one dose or morphine that morning, Ms Bannister then gave another dose “greater than that prescribed, without any direction from the general practitioner to do so”.

The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) in August 3, 2017, published a Netherlands study titled: End-of-Life Decisions in the Netherlands over 25 years. This study uncovers abuse of the law. In 2015 there were 150 assisted suicide deaths, 431 terminations of life without request in the Netherlands. The Netherlands euthanasia law did not prevent 431 terminations of life without request. The euthanasia lobby will argue that legalizing euthanasia and assisted suicide will regulate and prevent these types of deaths, but in fact it normalizes it as an acceptable medical practice and makes it impossible to prevent or even censure someone who carries out similar acts. More

Media Release: Before South Africa Decides to Permit Euthanasia, Consider the Evidence that often Get Glanced Over.

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Media Release

Embargo: Immediate release                    Enquiries:    Doctors For Life Int.

Date:       21 May 2021                               Telephone:   032 481 5550

  • Human Rights Organisation expressed concern over impact euthanasia law will have.
  • Canadian Medical Health Association concerned about Euthanasia
  • New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) published a study which uncovers abuse of the Euthanasia law.
  • Canadian pressure stories reveal how doctors often pressure patients into choosing euthanasia even after they showed no interest.

Since South African courts will again hear attempts to legalize euthanasia or Assisted Suicide, Doctors For Life (DFL) felt it necessary to highlight some key points from countries that have gone ahead and have valuable lessons for us to learn from, and to avoid exposing South African families to the same thing.

In January this year, the United Nations Human Rights Organisation (Office of the High Commissioner) published a statement on their website titled: Disability is not a reason to sanction medically assisted dying. In it, the UN Experts expressed concern about the growing trend to legalize euthanasia for people with disabilities and said that “when life-ending interventions are normalised for people who are not terminally ill or suffering at the end of their lives, such legislative provisions tend to rest on – or draw strength from – ableist assumptions about the inherent ‘quality of life’ or ‘worth’ of the life of a person with a disability.” They also said that “Disability should never be a ground or justification to end someone’s life directly or indirectly.”

In February this year, the Canadian Medical Health Association (CMHA) responded to the Canadian government’s recent decision to permit Medical Aid in Dying (MAiD) for people with mental illnesses expressing deep disappointment. According to CMHA, until the health care system adequately responds to the mental health needs of Canadians, assisted dying should not be an option. This they also testified before the Senate in November of 2020. CMHA points out that it is “not possible to determine whether any particular case of mental illness represents “an advanced state of decline in capabilities that cannot be reversed.” And the CMHA “know that cases of severe and persistent mental illness that are initially resistant to treatment can, in fact, show significant recovery over time. Mental illness is very often episodic. Death, on the other hand, is not reversible. In Dutch and Belgian studies, a high proportion of people who were seeking MAID for psychiatric reasons, but did not get it, later changed their minds.”

In August 2017, the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) published a Netherlands study titled: End-of-Life Decisions in the Netherlands over 25 years which uncovered abuse of the law. In 2015 there were 150 assisted suicide deaths, 431 terminations of life without request in the Netherlands. The Netherlands euthanasia law did not prevent 431 terminations of life without request. The euthanasia lobby will argue that legalizing euthanasia and assisted suicide will regulate and prevent these types of deaths, but in fact it normalizes it as an acceptable medical practice and makes it impossible to prevent or even censure someone who carries out similar acts.

One of the things that are hidden in the Euthanasia debate is the stories of pressure and coercion, DFL will only mention one of the many examples. In 2015-2016 euthanasia was sold to Canadians as legislation with safeguards that would only be for terminally ill people who were suffering and nearing death. In 2016, it was implied that requests for euthanasia would be made by the patient and not suggested by medical professionals. In August 2016, Candice Lewis (25) who was born with multiple disabilities was pressured by a doctor to ask for euthanasia. Candice was very sick and receiving treatment. The doctor asked her mother if she knew that assisted death was legalized – her mother said no.  The doctor said that he was in support of euthanasia and wanted to help her. The doctor was told that they were not interested in euthanasia and then the doctor told Candice’s mother that she was being selfish and he challenged Candice by saying: “do you know how sick you are?” Candice eventually recovered but just imagine, if the doctors advise was trusted and they made a decision based on that. More such examples can be referred to but this gives us just a glimpse of what South Africa can expect if Dr Suzanne Walters and her patient get their way and manage to persuade the court to legalize euthanasia in South Africa. Even though the UN Human Rights experts concern pertained to the disabled and euthanasia for them would amount to normalising and ableism, DFL reckons that the same is true for any other form of euthanasia.

References:

Canadian Medical Health Association: https://cmha.ca/news/statement-on-medical-assistance-in-dying-maid

Human Rights Statement: https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=26687&LangID=E

New England Journal of Medicine: https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc1705630?query=featured_home

Article on SA attempt to legalize Euthanasia: https://www.groundup.org.za/article/atheists-go-court-over-right-die/

Stories of pressure & Coercion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tN4IgIlzDdE

Canadian Medical Health Association concerned about Euthanasia

Euthanasia

In response to the Canadian government’s recent decision to permit Medical Aid in Dying (MAiD) for people with mental illnesses, the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) issued a statement expressing deep disappointment. According to CMHA, until the health care system adequately responds to the mental health needs of Canadians, assisted dying should not be an option. This they also testified before the Senate in November of 2020.  

CMHA points out that it is “not possible to determine whether any particular case of mental illness represents “an advanced state of decline in capabilities that cannot be reversed.” And the CMHA “know that cases of severe and persistent mental illness that are initially resistant to treatment can, in fact, show significant recovery over time. Mental illness is very often episodic. Death, on the other hand, is not reversible. In Dutch and Belgian studies, a high proportion of people who were seeking MAID for psychiatric reasons, but did not get it, later changed their minds.”  

Source CMHA

LIFEalerts – Euthanasia

Euthanasia

South Africa – Medical doctor and patient wants doctors to kill their patients

A medical doctor and her patient, both terminally ill, are giving evidence in their bid to legalise euthanasia in South Africa. The actual legal challenge will only be heard in the Johannesburg High Court later this year but have been giving their evidence during virtual proceedings chaired by retired Judge CJ Claassen. The Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA), the Justice Minister, and the National Director of Public Prosecutions are opposing the application. The HPSCA has argued that palliative care in South Africa is sufficient enough to alleviate suffering. They also claim that assisted suicide could be abused by unscrupulous doctors and families who want to benefit from hastening a patient’s death. The Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS) will be bringing expert evidence from Oregon, Colombia, Canada, and the Netherlands where the right to die is legal. More

Portugal – Constitutional Court Rejects Euthanasia

Portuguese Parliament had earlier this year voted to legalize assisted suicide and euthanasia, comfortably approving five “right-to-die” bills. Now, Portugal’s Constitutional Court has rejected the parliament-approved bill seeking to legalize euthanasia, declaring that its text presented a threat to the principle of “inviolability of life.” The ruling noted the “excessively imprecise nature of the concept of unbearable suffering” contained in the bill, as well as lack of clarity on “the concept of severe irreversible damage.” As a result, the bill will now return to parliament, where the governing Socialist Party reportedly promised to simply reword the bill and attempt to pass it once more. For now, though, Portugal has avoided legalized euthanasia once more.

Catherine Robinson, a spokesperson for U.K. based Right to Life noted that “This is typical of euthanasia legislation and could eventually lead to its expansion. Why, after all, would we limit euthanasia only to those who are terminally ill and over 18 if they are otherwise in ‘unbearable’ pain? Children and adults can be in ‘unbearable’ pain without being terminally ill. If the justification for euthanasia lies in being in ‘unbearable’ pain then, it seems unfair to limit euthanasia to only those who are terminally ill.” Robinson also pointed to a report conducted by the Oregon Health Authority, which revealed that “only slightly more than a quarter of those who died by assisted suicide in Oregon listed ‘inadequate pain control, or concern about it’ as one of their end of life concerns. Far more significantly a full 94.3% of patients were concerned with being ‘less able to engage in activities making life enjoyable’. 93.1% were concerned with ‘losing autonomy’ and ‘loss of dignity’ was a concern of 71.8% of patients.” More

Latvia – Rejects Euthanasia Initiative

After a long debate, the Latvian Saeima rejected a citizen’s initiative to legalize euthanasia by a vote of 49 to 38. Opposition MP Viktors Valainis said euthanasia would be the easiest way for severely ill people to escape intolerable pain, yet it is “absolutely unacceptable” because it ignores a number of problems in palliative care. At the same time, the Member stated that he was prepared to do everything necessary to improve the medical sector in the country. Saeima deputy Anda Čakša recognized the topic of euthanasia as a call for help. She believes there are two important aspects – the accessibility of analgesia and palliative care and what are the people’s rights to refuse aggressive health treatment. However, the topic of euthanasia should not be on the table while the issue of palliative care remains unresolved. More

LIFEalerts – Euthanasia

Euthanasia

Netherlands – Surgeons develop domestic organ donation

An indignant letter to JAMA Surgery by two surgeons from a hospital in the Netherlands developed domestic organ donation after euthanasia as a “newly introduced, donor-friendly donation procedure”. The patient is sedated and intubated at home where he lapses from consciousness surrounded by his family. Then he is taken, unconscious, to the hospital in an ambulance, euthanised, and operated on. There is no clarity on how often this happens. So why are the surgeons indignant? Because a 2020 article in JAMA Surgery had suggested that the best-practice location for organ donor euthanasia is the hospital. More

LIFEalerts – Euthanasia

Euthanasia

Canada – Doctor realizes how disabled people are nudged to be euthanized

Corrina Iampen, a Canadian doctor-turned-patient after an accident left her paralyzed, who never opposed euthanasia, now feels very concerned about euthanasia and its practical application. For young and elderly patients who suddenly find themselves having to come to terms with a new disability which makes them vulnerable at this time, euthanasia can be overwhelmingly tempting, especially when good support is unavailable. Hospital staff can make disabled patients feel like a burden through their lack of interest to improve the quality of life before offering euthanasia. Corrina is also concerned about Bill C-7 which expands euthanasia in Canada especially for people with disabilities. Disability rights activists have criticized the bill calling it discriminatory to offer death to the disabled but not to people without disabilities.

She is not alone in her concerns about this expansion. In 2017, a 42-year-old man suffering from an incurable neurological condition spent more than 2 years at the London, Ontario, Hospital where he secretly recorded staff who repeatedly offering him euthanasia while his request for self-directed care were denied. In 2019, doctors were criticized for euthanizing a physically healthy but depressed 61-year-old British Columbia man. His family members said he was not of sound mind and begged him not to go through with the procedure. Another Canadian doctor, Naheed Dosani, a University of Toronto-affiliated palliative care specialist who cares for homeless people from a mobile unit, testified before the senate on February 1, saying that euthanasia is far easier to access than actual help to improve people’s lives. He said that people who’ve pursued euthanasia do so because they’ve experienced marginalization. More / Chronically ill man releases audio of hospital staff offering assisted death / Dr. Naheed Dosani Testifies at Senate on Bill C-7.

South Africa – High Court to hear terminally ill patient and doctor request for euthanasia

Susan Walter, a palliative care specialist and her patient Diethelm Harck have both been diagnosed with terminal diseases and hope to persuade Johannesburg High Court Judge Raylene Keightly to develop the law to allow euthanasia. The matter was heard on 22 February. They accuse the law as it stands and the HPCSA of impinging on their right to dignity and right to live and die as they choose. Stranger arguments have been heard in court before. The problem with their argument and accusation of Christian values being imposed is that the same values are held by the Islamic, Hinduism, and Buddhist culture, most people feel life is sacred. Usually people desperate to end their lives do not really waste time with court battles over their right to die. When looking to countries that have gone ahead of South Africa in legalizing euthanasia, it becomes clear that the practice is nothing more than legalized psychological abuse, because now the disabled, the elderly and the ones deemed to be “burdens” on a society are made to feel like they are better off dead by those grown cold at heart. Belgium’s nurses for example admit to euthanizing patients without their consent, and a wife from Texas lost her disabled husband to a doctor’s decision of euthanasia without her consent because the doctor said he wasn’t like “walking and talking people”. All this happened despite the so-called ‘safeguards’ promised by euthanasia advocates, that would prevent these concerns. If this is what happens in First world countries, what can a developing country like South Africa expect, worse? More / COVID-19 patient was black and paralyzed, so doctors decided his life wasn’t worth saving / Warning to Britain as almost half of Belgium’s euthanasia nurses admit to killing without consent

LIFEalerts – Euthanasia

Euthanasia

UK – Human Rights Experts alarmed at growing trend seeking euthanasia for the disabled

United Nations Human Rights experts expressed alarm at a growing trend to legalise euthanasia based largely on having a disability or disabling conditions, including in old age. They said that Disability should never be a ground or justification to end someone’s life directly or indirectly. This, the experts said, that normalizing euthanasia for the people who are not terminally ill or suffering at the end of their lives would give rise to discriminative assumptions about the inherent “quality of life” or “worth” of the life of a person with a disability. Such assumptions are grounded in ableism and associated stereotypes. Disability is not a burden or a deficit of the person. It is a universal aspect of the human condition. Article, UN Statement.

Belgium – New study finds euthanasia ethically broken in Belgium

A new study in The Journal of Medicine and Philosophy has argued that Belgian euthanasia is ethically broken, both administratively and legally. The study draws on thoroughly researched academic research over the past 20 years and the reports of the control commission itself. The authors three main assertions are; the scope of the Euthanasia Law

That has stretched from being used for serious and incurable illnesses to cover tiredness of life. Tiredness of life is not supported by Belgian law but doctors circumvent the law by diagnosing “polypathology”– a jumble of ailments which nearly every elderly person has. This represented 19.4% of all reported euthanasia cases in 2019 and a “staggering” 47% of all reported nonterminal cases.

“Second, the obligatory consultation of one or two independent physicians may fail to provide a real safeguard. Their tasks are quite limited, and, more importantly, their advice is not binding anyway. The final authority to perform euthanasia lies with the attending physician who can perform it even against the (negative) advice of the consulted physicians.” For example: If euthanasia is requested for a psychiatric condition, a psychiatrist should be consulted. However, if the patient has another condition, it can be redefined as “polypathology” and a GP can approve it, eliminating the need for a psychiatric consultation.

Third, “The Commission is unable to check the fulfilment of various legal criteria, and it has substantial authority to (re) interpret the Euthanasia Law as it sees fit.” In fact, “the Commission does not seem to act as a filter between physicians who perform euthanasia and the Public Prosecutor, but instead as a shield that prevents potentially problematic cases from being referred.”

Conflict of interest is baked into the composition of the 16-member evaluation committee. Eight of them must be doctors and many of them, including the chairman, Wim Distelmans, perform euthanasia regularly. So they end up checking each other’s files for irregularities. They are supposed to recuse themselves if one of their own cases comes up – but they don’t. The Commission’s track record illustrates its ineffectiveness. In 18 years of legalisation, only one case was referred to the Public Prosecutor and it was so obviously in breach of the law that referral was needed to keep up appearances. Article, study.

LIFEalerts – Euthanasia

Euthanasia

Spain – Signs death sentence for the weakest

Euthanasia or Physician-assisted suicide is already legal in Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Switzerland, several US states, and Western Australia and Spanish lawmakers are joining them. During the recent parliamentary debate in Madrid, some members saw this move as a step forward in civil rights bringing more liberty to citizens. On the other hand, it was said how euthanasia amounted to “signing death sentences for the weakest.” The law says that patients must be given full information about their condition, including palliative care & any other alternative options available. The request to commit suicide via a doctor must also be given in writing and then repeated 15-days later. Doctors are also permitted to refuse providing Euthanasia.

A poll showed the majority of Spaniards supported the right of someone to choose such a death, if only they knew what is taking place in countries that have gone ahead of them, the feeling would be different. In Belgium nurses admitted to euthanizing patients without their consent. A mother in Argentina wanted to kill her son who has cerebral palsy because she’s exhausted and fed up with caring for him. In the Netherlands, a woman seeking help, and not death, with post-traumatic stress disorder was told she met the criteria to be euthanized on her first appointment. In Canada, a wife lost a lawsuit to prevent her husband’s death by euthanasia, another incident described a psychiatrist in Oregon who determined that an elderly woman with dementia was mentally unable to consent to assisted suicide, and believed her daughter was pushing for it, but it happened anyway. In USA, Texas a disabled, 46-year old African American man named Michael Hickson, was euthanized without his consent or that of his wife. The doctor said it was better to euthanize Michael because he is paralyzed and not like “walking and talking people.” Studies on why the elderly is seeking Euthanasia reveal how fear of being a burden to the family, and depending on others, loss of quality of life are motivations for euthanasia. Another tragic incident where a Canadian elderly woman was euthanized because she feared the loneliness that comes with lockdown! If Spaniards knew the underreported and ignored cases like these, they would see that Euthanasia is not about helping people, it’s about pressuring them to die when their quality of life would get in the way of society

More:

Argentine mother seeks to euthanize son who has cerebral palsy

Wife Loses Lawsuit to Prevent Husband’s Euthanasia

COVID-19 patient was black and paralyzed, so doctors decided his life wasn’t worth saving

Dutch mental health patient angry at euthanasia offer

Warning to Britain as almost half of Belgium’s euthanasia nurses admit to killing without consent

Elderly Canadian woman euthanized because she feared loneliness during lockdown

Assisted dying round-up

Spanish Lawmakers Pass Bill Allowing Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide

Switzerland – Let’s vulnerable, healthy 87-year-old man die

Those who end up committing suicide are generally people who are clinically depressed, a biochemical dysfunction that can be treated. Suicide among people with serious handicaps are almost non-existent. Patients usually tell others their wish to die but whether they continue to feel this way and request or commit suicide is heavily influenced by the type of response they receive. Kees Kentie, an 87-year-old man, with the help of a new euthanasia organisation, died by euthanasia. He was not terminally ill, just frail, tired of life and feared increased decline of his health and sought to stay in control until the end. What if Kees waited? perhaps he would have met a group of encouraging friends who would not only help him if things got difficult but who would make him feel that life is indeed worth living for? What was it that made Kees so tired of life that he wanted to die hopeless? More

Netherlands – Factors that influence rates of euthanasia requests

An analysis of health insurance claims data, published online in the journal British Medical Journal Supportive & Palliative Care shows a 7-fold unexplained variation in rates of euthanasia across The Netherlands. Euthanasia has doubled and is on a continuous rise since the country legalized it fully in 2002. 85% of all euthanasia cases were carried out by family doctors. Age, church attendance, political orientation, income, subjectively assessed health, and availability of community volunteers all emerged as potentially influential factors. Euthanasia was at its lowest in regions with churchgoers and also in regions with high percentage of community volunteers. Progressive political views and higher household income and good self-reported mental and physical health were associated with higher rates of euthanasia, researchers suggest that the healthy may be more inclined to ask for assistance in dying when they do suffer. Article, Study.