Alex Schadenberg

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Updated: 11 min 2 sec ago

New South Wales Australia defeats euthanasia bill.

Thu, 2017-11-16 13:45
Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Congratulations to HOPE Australia and all of the caring people who are standing for the protection of vulnerable Australians.

The New South Wales (NSW) Australia euthanasia bill was defeated by a vote of 20 to 19 today.

ABC News reported that MP's in NSW were given a free conscience vote on the euthanasia bill. According to ABC News:
Christian Democrat Fred Nile said legalisation was a dangerous move. "How will such a bill, once passed, impact on how we see value in life?" he said. Liberal backbencher Taylor Martin argued euthanasia was comparable to re-introducing the death penalty. "One of the main reasons why Australia stopped the barbaric practise of capital punishment is because it is so final," he said. "We must consider this bill through a similar lens."Similar to the experience in the United States, when elected representatives examine the language of the legislation, then they will often change there minds and vote against the bill. 
Lawyer, Margaret Dore, from Choice is an Illusion wrote an excellent evaluation of the NSW euthanasia bill.
The euthanasia bill in Victoria Australia is being debated in the Senate. I HOPE that the Senators in Victoria will examine the language of the bill and vote against it.
Categories: Discussion

Assisted Suicide Is a Prescription for Abuse

Thu, 2017-11-16 03:28
Nancy ElliottI am a former three-term State Representative in the state of New Hampshire USA. I was alarmed to see that Victoria may be close to passing a bill to legalize assisted suicide.

Four years ago, the New Hampshire House of Representatives voted down a similar bill in a bipartisan vote. The vote was an overwhelming 3 to 1 defeat, 219 to 66.*

Many representatives who initially thought that they were for the law, became uncomfortable when they studied it further. Contrary to promoting “choice” for older people, assisted suicide laws are a prescription for abuse. They empower heirs and others to pressure and abuse older people to cut short their lives. This is especially an issue when the older person has money. There is NO assisted-suicide bill that you can write to correct this huge problem.

Do not be deceived.

Nancy Elliott
Amherst, New Hampshire USA
Categories: Discussion

Swiss assisted suicide deaths increase by 30% in 2015

Wed, 2017-11-15 22:05
Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
The Swiss statistics office reported that there were 965 reported assisted suicide deaths in 2015 up from 742 in 2014. Earlier media reports suggested that there were 999 Swiss assisted suicide deaths in 2015. There were 86 reported assisted suicide deaths in 2000.
The Swiss statistics indicate that 539 women and 426 men died by assisted suicide compared to 279 woman and 792 men who died by suicide (not assisted). There were 67,606 total Swiss deaths in 2015.

According to Expatica.com news the number of assisted suicide deaths in Swiss nursing homes, by the Exit suicide clinic, increased from 10 deaths in 2007 to 92 in 2015. The news service reported that the Swiss association for ethics and medicine found this trend alarming and stated:
“To end lives in this way gives it [the practice of assisted suicide] an institutional seal of approval.”In August 2015 a healthy depressed British woman died by assisted suicide in Switzerland.

Pietro D'AmicoIn April 2013, Pietro D’Amico, a 62-year-old magistrate from Calabria Italy, died by assisted suicide at a suicide clinic in Basel Switzerland. His autopsy showed that he had a wrong diagnosis.
A 2014 Swiss assisted suicide study found that 16% of the people who died at Swiss assisted suicide clinics had no underlying illness.

In February 2014, Oriella Cazzanello, an 85 year-old healthy woman died at a Swiss suicide clinic. The letter she sent her family stated that she was unhappy about how she looked.

In May 2014, the Exit suicide clinic extended assisted suicide to healthy elderly people who live with physical or psychological pain. This decision has led to an increase in assisted deaths.

The Swiss assisted suicide statistics prove that when assisted suicide is accepted then deaths by assisted suicide will continue to increase and the reasons for assisted suicide expand.
Categories: Discussion

Magreet: "She was euthanized without consent (in the Netherlands). They decided."

Wed, 2017-11-15 15:09
The Fatal Flaws Film (Spring 2018) questions the long term effects of assisted death laws on society.

Australia is currently debating the legalization of euthanasia. Political leaders and decision makers need to see this film clip.

The most shocking story in the Fatal Flaws Film comes from Margreet whose mother was euthanized in the Netherlands without request. Please watch and share this film clip.




Kevin Dunn traveled to the Netherlands, throughout the United States and Canada to interview people with personal stories concerning euthanasia and assisted suicide laws.

The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition needs donations to complete this important film project (Donation link).

The first video, The Euthanasia Deception, continues to be an incredible success. We need you to enable the Fatal Flaws Film to also be an incredible success.
Categories: Discussion

Suicide prevention leader concerned about legalizing euthanasia/assisted suicide in Australia.

Mon, 2017-11-13 18:15
Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition


Warwich Baines, a board member of a suicide prevention charity in Australia, wrote a letter that was published by Central Western Daily on November 12, 2017 under the title: Euthanasia bill enables killing of adults

Baines writes from a straight forward point of view. He states:
THE euthanasia/assisted suicide legislation currently before parliaments in Victoria and NSW are the latest in a long line of attempts to legalise the killing of adults in Australia. If that sounds jarring that’s because it is. Irrespective of the euphemism – ‘voluntary assisted dying’ is currently in vogue – what is actually being sought is a dystopian two-tier society: those whose lives we want to preserve and those to whom we are effectively saying ‘you are better off dead’.Baines then expresses his support for improvements in palliative care, but he states:
Yet high quality palliative care does not satisfy advocates. Why? According to the NSW parliamentary working group “the fundamental principle behind the call for legislating to allow for assisted dying is to provide dignity to people who wish to pass peacefully on their own terms”.Baines then refers to the cultural trends:
In our increasingly individualistic society, emotional appeals to absolute autonomy over our own lives are attractive. But we are not islands. The choices we make have consequences for others. It will be the weak – the lonely and the isolated – who will be vulnerable, who will find it difficult to withstand the pressure to relieve others of the burden of their existence. That is the reality where euthanasia has already been introduced, despite so-called safeguards. I am a board member of an Orange-based suicide prevention charity that seeks to care for vulnerable people. Please, let’s not make them even more vulnerable.
Categories: Discussion

Patient's recovery convinces doctor to fight euthanasia laws.

Sat, 2017-11-11 05:00
This article was published by the Australian on November 11, 2017, link, for pdf, link.

By Cameron Stewart

Dr Kenneth StevensWhen American doctor Kenneth Stevens heard about Victoria’s plan to introduce assisted dying for the terminally ill he couldn’t help but recall the story of his patient Jeanette Hall.

Hall, then 55, came to Stevens in 2000 after being diagnosed with inoperable colon cancer in Portland, Oregon, a state that in 1997 introduced laws enabling doctors to prescribe fatal pills to the terminally ill.

She walked into Stevens’ office and told him she wanted to die, but Stevens, a cancer specialist, dis­puted the diagnosis of her original doctor.

“I told her that I believed this was potentially curable but she said ‘Dr Stevens, you don’t understand, I voted for the law and I don’t want to go through all the treatment, I don’t want to lose my hair, I don’t want to go through all that’,’’ Stevens says.

The specialist delayed her ­request to write a prescription for the fatal drugs and instead tried to talk her out of it.

Jeannette Hall“I learned she had a son who is in the police academy and I said, ‘wouldn’t you like to see him graduate, wouldn’t you like to see him get married’ and eventually she realised she really did have something to live for,” Stevens says.
Hall, a bookkeeper and a single mother, agreed to have radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Within months, Stevens says her tumour “just melted away”.

“She’s still alive 17 years later with no evidence of any recurrence of the cancer and one of her favourite phrases is ‘it’s great to be alive’,” he says.

Hall’s unusual story turned Stevens from being merely an opponent of assisted suicide into an activist against it.

A professor emeritus and a former chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology at the Oregon Health & Sciences University in Portland, Stevens has treated thousands of patients with cancer.

He says he came to oppose assisted suicide from his observations as a doctor, rather than from any religious standpoint.

“Actually, my first wife died 35 years ago of cancer so I’ve seen it not only from the professional side but also from the family side,” he says.

“I continue to be against because I don’t feel that is the role of a doctor to kill a patient or to order them to die.”

Hall, now 72, no longer wants to speak to the media about her story because of the attention it has garnered after it was co-opted by campaigners against assisted suicide.

But several years ago she wrote of her experience. “I did not want to suffer,” she wrote. “I wanted to do our law and I wanted Dr Stevens to help me. Instead, he encouraged me to not give up and ultimately I decided to fight the cancer. I had both chemotherapy and radiation. I am so happy to be alive."

“If Dr Stevens had believed in assisted suicide, I would be dead. Assisted suicide should not be legal.”

When Stevens read about Victoria’s proposed assisted suicide laws he wrote to The Australian in a letter published this week.

“With the legalisation of assisted suicide, Oregon’s health plan has been empowered to offer patients suicide in lieu of treatments,’’ he wrote. “Don’t let legal assisted suicide come to Victoria.”

Victorian politicians say they have closely followed the Oregon model for the state’s voluntary assisted dying scheme, which will go before the upper house for a final vote next week.

The scheme’s authors say they were drawn to the Oregon model because after 20 years it was still regarded internationally as one of the most conservative schemes.Cameron Stewart is also US contributor for Sky News Australia
Categories: Discussion

New study casts doubt on effectiveness of euthanasia regulation in the Netherlands

Fri, 2017-11-10 17:03
This article was published by Mercatornet on November 9, 2017Review committees struggle to judge if patients are eligibleBy Xavier Simons
“Strict”, “scrupulous” and “rigid”. These are some of the words that have been used to describe the regulation of euthanasia in the Netherlands. But how closely are doctors actually monitored?

A new study by researchers from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) suggests that the Dutch euthanasia review committees (RTE) struggle to judge whether doctors have correctly applied criteria, and are ultimately dependent on the transparency with which physicians report cases of euthanasia.

The study, authored by David Miller and Dr Scott Kim from the NIH’s bioethics department, analyses 33 cases from 2012-2016 in which the RTE committees deemed that doctors had failed to meet due care criteria.

The results are revealing. In light of the “open-ended” and “evolving” nature of the Dutch criteria for euthanasia, the RTE committees focus primarily on whether doctors have followed procedural regulations, rather than whether the patient was actually eligible for euthanasia.“Evaluating patient’s [euthanasia] requests requires complicated judgements in implementing criteria that are intentionally open-ended, evolving and fraught with acknowledged interpretive difficulties. Our review suggests that the Dutch review system’s primary mode of handling this difficult is a trust-based system that focuses on the procedural thoroughness and professionalism of physicians”.The study found that out of 33 cases reviewed, 22 failed to meet only the procedural due care criteria (i.e., due medical care and consulting an independent physician). “These criteria are more clearly operationalised than other criteria”, the authors observe.

In seven of the cases, the committee deemed that the consulting physician was not sufficiently independent from the euthanasia physician. In 14 of the cases, physicians were found not to have followed “due medical care”. The authors write that “this criterion was most commonly not met because physicians incorrectly used drugs, dosing regimens (too low), rout of administration (intramuscular instead of intravenous) or order of administration of EAS drugs (eg, paralytic before sedative).”

Even when substantive criteria were at issue, the authors write that: “the RTE’s focus was generally not on whether the physician made a ‘correct’ judgement, but on whether the physician followed a thorough process (ie, whether the physicians should have consulted specialists or evaluated the patient further, but not whether the patient should have received EAS)”.In six of the cases, the RTE found that the euthanasia physician had not been thorough enough in applying the “unbearable suffering” criterion.

Xavier Symons is Deputy Editor of BioEdge, which is also published by New Media Foundation. He is doing a PhD in bioethics at Australian Catholic University in Melbourne. This article has been republished from BioEdge.
Categories: Discussion

Euthanasia deaths in the Netherlands increasing quickly.

Thu, 2017-11-09 23:47
Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition


The Guardian News published an article by Daniel Boffey concerning the increasing number of euthanasia deaths at the Levenseindekliniek (euthanasia clinic) in the Hague and in the Netherlands in general. According to the article, the number of euthanasia deaths will exceed 7000 in 2017 representing, at least, a 67% increase in deaths since 2012.
Boffey interviewed Steven Pleiter, the director of the euthanasia clinic who is hiring more staff for his death clinic. From the article:Steven Pleiter, director at the clinic, said that in response to growing demand he was now on a recruitment drive aimed at doubling the number of doctors and nurses on his books willing to go into people’s homes to administer lethal injections to patients with conditions ranging from terminal illnesses to crippling psychiatric disorders.Pleiter stated that he has 57 doctors on call and he may soon require 100 doctors.
“It’s the first time,” Pleiter said of the recruitment drive, sitting in his bright and airy office near the centre of The Hague, where the clinic’s neighbours include legal firms and a kindergarten. “Until today we rarely needed to search for doctors. That is changing now. We need a dramatic growth in doctors as the numbers have changed so much... “We ask the doctors to work eight to 16 hours a week for this organisation. A full-time job involved in the death of people is probably a bit too much, and ‘probably’ is a euphemism.”Theo BoerIn response to Pleiter, Boffey interviewed Professor Theo Boer, who is a past member of a regional euthanasia review committee and now believes that the law has gone too far.
“Starting from 2007, the numbers increased suddenly,” Boer said. “It was as if the Dutch people needed to get used to the idea of an organised death. I know lots of people who now say that there is only one way they want to die and that’s through injection. It is getting too normal.” “In the beginning, 98% of cases were terminally ill patients with perhaps days to live. That’s now down to 70%.The Guardian article brought forth interesting information, but the article fails to look deeper into the Netherlands euthanasia law.
The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) (August 3, 2017) published the data from a Netherlands euthanasia study entitled: End-of-Life Decisions in the Netherlands over 25 years.The data from the study indicates that in 2015 there were 7254 assisted deaths (6672 euthanasia deaths, 150 assisted suicide deaths, 431 terminations of life without request) and 18,213 deaths whereby the medical decisions that were intended to bring about the death in the Netherlands.

The Netherlands 2015 euthanasia report stated that there were 5561 reported assisted deaths in 2015 and yet the data from the study indicates that there were 7254 assisted deaths in 2015.
Therefore, according to the data from the study, in 2105, 1693 (23%) of the assisted deaths were not reported and 431 assisted deaths were without request.
Since the Netherlands euthanasia law uses a voluntary self-reporting system, meaning the doctor who lethally injects the patient also submits the report and since people do not self-report abuse of the law, therefore the law enables doctors to cover-up "abuse" of the law.
Is it actually possible to know how many people are dying by euthanasia in the Netherlands? Is it actually possible to determine how many  involuntary euthanasia deaths occur in the Netherlands?
Categories: Discussion

German nurse may have killed more than 100 patients.

Thu, 2017-11-09 22:00
Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Niels HögelA Reuters News article is reporting that Niels Högel's, the German nurse who was convicted of killing 2 patients between 2000 - 2005, is now suspected to have killed at least 102 people. According to Reuters:
He has confessed to some killings, but police said in August that he could not remember all the details of his actions, prompting them to exhume the remains of 134 people with links to Niels H. to identify further victims. The investigation has now turned up evidence leading authorities to suspect Niels H. killed 38 people at a clinic in the northern German city of Oldenburg and 62 at one in nearby Delmenhorst, Oldenburg police and the city’s public prosecutor’s office said in a statement on Thursday. That is in addition to two counts of murder for which an Oldenburg court sentenced him in 2015.In August, German police indicated that Högel's was responsible for at least 86 deaths, Reuters suggests that the death count may continue to rise.

If anyone thinks that Högel's murders could have been prevented if assisted death was legal and regulated in Germany, think again.

None of the euthanasia laws have a mechanism to prevent this type of abuse of the law and all of the euthanasia laws require doctor who lethally inject a person to self-report the death.
A recent Netherlands study indicated that in 2015, 431 assisted deaths were done without explicit request while a Belgian study indicated that in 2013, at least 1000 assisted deaths were done without explicit request.
Medical killing is a world-wide phenomenon.
Suspected medical abuse/murder cases are usually not reported since the medical system lacks effective oversight. When abuse is uncovered, they rarely report the problem to the legal authorities based on fear of lawsuits as in the Elizabeth Wettlauffer case in Ontario.
In December 2016, in Italy, an emergency room anaesthetist Leonardo Cazzaniga, 60, and nurse Laura Taroni, 40, were arrested for the deaths of at least five patients but prosecutors were examining the medical files of more than 50.

Charles Cullen, a nurse who was also a medical serial killer in the United States. known as the 'Angel of Death' murdered at least 40 patients to become one of America's worst serial killers spoke from prison to chillingly claim: 'I thought I was helping.'


  • Dr Michael Swango is believed to have killed 35 - 60 patients, and similar to Cullen, he was simply asked to resign, or moved to another medical center. Aino Nykopp-Koski is a nurse who was convicted of killing 5 patients in Finland. In March, 2013 Dr Virginia Soares de Souza was arrested in Brazil and is suspected of killing 300 patients. Then there is Dr Harold Shipman, who was convicted of killing 15 people in England but is suspected to have killed between 250 and 400 of his patients. Then there is the case of William Melchert-Dinkel, the Minnesota nurse who was convicted of 2 counts of assisted suicide for counselling depressed people to commit suicide.

    Categories: Discussion

    Belgium refuses to prosecute doctor who killed depressed woman, son heads to top European court

    Wed, 2017-11-08 17:57
    STRASBOURG, France – ADF International filed an application with the European Court of Human Rights Tuesday on behalf of Tom Mortier, who wasn’t informed of his mother’s death until the day after a doctor killed her for being depressed. The case, Mortier v. Belgium, focuses on the right to life and the right to family life, which are both protected under the European Convention on Human Rights.
    Belgian authorities have refused to pursue Mortier’s case, which opens the door for him to apply to the top court in Europe and is now his only opportunity to obtain justice for the loss of his mother. The court’s findings on doctor-prescribed death will impact 800 million Europeans in 47 countries if the court agrees to take the case.Tom Mortier"The big problem in our society is that we have apparently lost the meaning of taking care of each other,” said Mortier. “My mother had a severe mental problem. She had to cope with depression throughout her life. Psychiatrists treated her for years, and eventually the contact between us was broken. A year later, she received a lethal injection. Neither the oncologist who administered the injection nor the hospital had informed me or any of my siblings that our mother was even considering euthanasia. I found out a day later when the hospital contacted me to ask me to take care of the practicalities.”When Belgium first legalized euthanasia, officials made promises that it would be well regulated with strict criteria; however, 15 years later, the number of cases each year has increased 780 percent from when it was first legalized. Belgium went further in 2014 by legalizing child euthanasia.

    Cases of worsening eyesight, hearing, and mobility have been considered “unbearable suffering” for the purposes of qualifying patients for euthanasia in Belgium. Lawmakers have proposed limiting freedom of conscience and silencing doctors who are opposed to carrying out the killing of such patients. Most recently, in the Netherlands, a proposed bill would allow euthanasia simply for being “tired of life.”“We will be judged as a society by how we care for our most vulnerable,” said ADF International Director of European Advocacy Robert Clarke, who represents Mortier before the European court. “International law has never established a so-called ‘right to die.’ On the contrary, it solidly affirms a right to life—particularly for the most vulnerable among us.” “The slippery slope is on full public display in Belgium, and we now see the tragic consequences,” Clarke added. “More than five people per day are killed in this way, and that may yet be the tip of the iceberg. Belgium has set itself on a trajectory that, at best, implicitly tells its most vulnerable that their lives are not worth living.”ADF International, a global human rights organization advocating for respect of the right to life and for freedom of conscience, offers more information through a white paper titled “The Legalization of Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide.” It documents the harmful consequences of existing euthanasia laws and practices, showing that no so-called “right to die” exists in international law. The white paper aims to equip those involved in the debate on euthanasia and assisted suicide across the world and is a part of the Affirming Dignity campaign.
    Mortier v. Belgium
    Description: Oncologist Wim Distelmans killed Godelieva De Troyer, a Belgium citizen who was not terminally ill, because of “untreatable depression” in April 2012 after receiving consent from three other physicians who had no previous material involvement with her care. De Troyer’s doctor of more than 20 years had denied her request to be euthanized in September 2011, but after a 2,500 EUR donation to Life End Information Forum, an organization that Distelmans co-founded, he carried out her request to die because of the depression. The donation gives rise to an apparent conflict of interest. No one contacted Mortier before his mother’s death even though, Mortier says, her depression was not only largely the result of a break-up with a man, but also due to her feelings of distance from her family.
    Categories: Discussion

    South Dakota assisted suicide voter initiative fails.

    Tue, 2017-11-07 13:44
    Alex Schadenberg
    Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

    Great News: The assisted suicide lobby failed to collect 13,781, the number of signatures that were needed to get assisted suicide on the ballot in 2018. This is a great victory for the Citizens Against Assisted Suicide in South Dakota and everyone in South Dakota.

    The Citizens Against Assisted Suicide stated on their facebook page that:
    The difficulty Ms. Mentele had collecting enough signatures both last election cycle and this one is pretty good evidence the vast majority of South Dakotans don’t support suicide... They didn’t lose by not trying, they lost because they were trying to sell what people didn’t want to buy.South Dakota citizens will continue to be protected from assisted suicide.
    Categories: Discussion

    Is euthanasia for psychological suffering changing Belgian medicine?

    Mon, 2017-11-06 20:26
    This article was published by Bioedge on November 4, 2017

    By Michael Cook
    Belgium’s debate over euthanasia for psychological suffering is heating up. On Tuesday 42 psychiatrists, psychologists and academics published an open letter calling for a national debate on euthanasia and mental illness.
    Euthanasia because of unbearable and futile psychological suffering is very problematic. It is about people who are not terminal and, in principle, could live for many years. Therefore, extreme caution is appropriate both clinically and legally. The essence of the case seems to us that in estimating the hopelessness of one's suffering, the subjective factor cannot be eliminated ...The current law, the signatories say, is far too vague and flexible:
    "The law does not indicate the exact criteria for unbearable and psychological suffering. Any complaint about any carelessness in this area will only end in a legal ‘no man's land’. "More and more, no matter how many criteria there are, it depends simply on how an individual psychiatrist interprets or tests them, aided by the doctor's own assumptions and the patient's account of his symptoms."Some people are dying unnecessarily, the signatories claim. To stand silently on the sidelines is a crime of neglect.

    Euthanasia for psychological suffering is not a topic which greatly interests the Belgian media. But it was jolted out of its slumber by an exclusive article (in English) from Associated Press which also appeared in the Washington Post. This prompted a number of articles in the local press.

    Lieve ThienpontThe article in the Washington Post highlighted a conflict between Wim Distelmans, the head of the federal euthanasia commission, and Lieve Thienpont, a psychiatrist who has processed a number of patients who wanted euthanasia on the basis of psychological suffering. According to the AP’s report, Distelmans believed that she had allowed patients to be euthanised who did not fulfill the criteria set down by Belgium’s euthanasia legislation.

    Thienpont denied this and blamed some of her patients for misrepresenting her. “These patients are very desperate, stressed,” she said. “They say things that are not always correct.”

    This week Ignaas Devisch, a bioethicist at Ghent University, questioned the argument put forward by Thienpont.
    Talk about paternalism! Suddenly, people who were previously able to achieve full self-determination and who just requested euthanasia, were no longer able to articulate their thoughts in an appropriate way. This argument reveals a gigantic problem: if a psychiatrist who deals with requests for euthanasia due to a psychiatric disorder doubts at the same time whether those same people can make a clear judgment about themselves, that is so much as saying that their euthanasia request is a highly problematic case.A long feature in the magazine Knack this week illustrates some of the difficulties that Belgian psychiatrists now find themselves in. One experienced psychiatrist complained that it had changed her relationship with her patients, even though she supports the idea of euthanasia.
    "Strangely enough, people with less severe and readily treatable mental disorders – such as borderline personality disorders – request euthanasia more often than seriously ill patients. The offer really creates the question. Euthanasia has become a new symptom. Often it's a cry for help: 'Am I still worth living, or are you giving up on me?' But it is a symptom with particularly dangerous consequences... "If you refuse to take the euthanasia question seriously, you put the relationship with the patient at risk and lose your trust... "Since the euthanasia law there has been some kind of madness in our work. After the threat of suicide, for which you must be constantly on guard as a psychiatrist, there is now the threat of euthanasia. "
    Categories: Discussion

    American Association of Suicidology Betrays some suicidal people.

    Sat, 2017-11-04 04:00
    This article was published by Wesley Smith on November 3, 2017

    Wesley SmithBy Wesley J Smith
    Assisted suicide advocacy corrupts everything it touches; medical ethics, our views about the worth of the dying–even suicide prevention. 
    The latter corruption usually comes in suicide prevention campaigns that ignore assisted suicide advocacy as a cause of some suicides–I believe of some who are not ill as well as those who are. 
    But now, the American Association of Suicidology has ideologically determined that when a terminally ill person commits suicide with poison obtained from a doctor’s prescription, it isn’t really suicide. 
    The statement gets into different motivations and the like–all of which are highly debatable and refutable–but that would take pages. 

    So for here, I want to demonstrate how–a supposedly suicide prevention organization–seems to have begun the process of normalizing suicides of the ill and disabled. From its statement, “Suicide is not the Same as Physician Aid in Dying:” Nor does the fact that suicide and PAD [physician aid in dying] are not the same indicate that some cases identified as suicides may not be deaths that have a great deal in common with PAD. especially those in which poor health is a precipitating factor. Although such cases are typically labeled ‘suicide’ if the person initiated the causal process leading to death, medical conditions associated with suicide risk in potentially terminal illness—including (among the best studied) cancer, cardiovascular disease, COPD, Huntington’s, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, ALS, Parkinson’s, renal disease, and Alzheimer’s—may arise from the motivation to avoid a protracted, debilitating, and potentially painful bad death. Did you get that? Do you see the game that is afoot? 

    The AAS statement is softening the ground for expanding supposedly not suicide “aid in dying” laws to include situations that “have a great deal in common with PAD,” e.g., people with disabilities, chronic illnesses, and progressive conditions

    Which makes sense since advocates never intended to limit assisted suicide to the terminally ill. Indeed, one of the contact persons on the statement, Margaret P. Battin, has been an advocate for “rational suicide” and euthanasia for decades. Frankly, she has as much business speaking for a suicide prevention organization as I do on behalf of a euthanasia advocacy group. 

    And get this: 
    While many forms of end-of-life care may be helpful, including palliative and hospice care, a patient’s choice of PAD that satisfies legal criteria is not an appropriate target for “suicide” prevention. That’s an utter corruption of hospice philosophy! Indeed, the great Dame Cecily Saunders, who founded hospice, believed that suicide prevention was a key hospice service that protected the equal dignity of her patients. 

    Indeed, to assert that the dying (for now)–and eventually sick and disabled patients–don’t deserve the same life-protecting suicide prevention services as other suicidal people is a crass betrayal of those the AAS was created to serve and protect. Shame!
    Categories: Discussion

    Judge grants injunction to continue treatment for Toronto Jewish man.

    Thu, 2017-11-02 21:54
    Alex Schadenberg
    Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

    The family of a Toronto man won a court challenge when a Toronto Judge issued an interim injunction ensuring that Shalom Ouanounou (25) will not have his ventilator withdrawn.
    According to the Canadian Jewish News:
    Ouanounou, 25, is breathing with the help of a respirator, after suffering a cardiac arrest brought on by an asthmatic attack on Sept. 27. Doctors say he is brain dead and want to remove him from life support. A death certificate has already been issued. Ouanounou’s family say he is breathing, his heart is beating and that “Shalom and traditional Orthodox Judaism does not accept brain death as death.” “Under Jewish law, and in accord with Shalom’s beliefs, Shalom is alive and the application of the brain death criteria expressly violate Shalom’s religious beliefs and thus discriminate against him based on his religion,” read a statement provided by Max Ouanounou, the young man’s father.Hugh ScherHugh Scher, the lawyer for the Ouanounou family, told the National Post:
    Laws allowing loved ones to demand continued treatment of the brain-dead for religious reasons already exist south of the border in New Jersey, New York state, California and Illinois, he said. And it does not matter that there is a difference of opinion on the issue among Jewish leaders and scholars; what is important under human-rights law is an individual’s convictions.Mark Handleman, a lawyer for the Ouanounou family told the National Post:
    “We do many things in our multicultural society to reflect the firmly held beliefs of all members,” “Now you have a person at his most vulnerable moments. Why is that different than any other accommodation?”The Judge ordered the hospital to continue providing medical treatment until a full hearing can be heard. The timeline for that hearing is unknown. The hearing will consider the deference that should be granted to a patient's religious beliefs concerning the definition of brain death.
    Hugh Scher is also representing the family of Taquisha McKitty (27) who was declared brain dead by doctors at the William Osler Health system in Brampton Ontario. McKitty's family are arguing that Taquisha was prematurely declared brain dead, and is in fact, still alive.
    The Vaad Harabonim of Toronto and the League for Human Rights of B’nai Brith Canada and the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition are planning to intervene in the case.
    Categories: Discussion

    Is a Toronto Jewish man dead or alive?

    Wed, 2017-11-01 16:02
    Alex Schadenberg
    Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
    The Canadian Press reported that the family of a Toronto man is challenging Ontario's brain death guidelines because based on the Jewish faith, their son is not dead, but alive. The Canadian Press reported:
    Shalom Ouanounou’s family is asking the court for an injunction to keep him on a ventilator and feeding tube while it pushes to have his death certificate revoked. A notice of application filed by Ouanounou’s father and substitute decision-maker shows he seeks to challenge the Canadian guidelines on brain death on grounds that they do not accommodate religious beliefs. The document says those guidelines define death as the irreversible cessation of brain function and of the capacity to breathe. It says that Orthodox Judaism, the faith Ouanounou practises, considers death to be complete cardiac and respiratory failure. The application argues that disregarding those beliefs would represent a serious assault on Ouanounou’s human dignity and religious liberty. It says the matter raises a “serious constitutional issue.”Shalom Ouanounou, 25, had an asthma attack at home on September 27 and was taken by ambulance to Humber River Hospital, where he was intubated and placed on a respirator. Three days later doctors declared Ouanounou as brain dead and issued his death certificate.The case is being heard in a Toronto court today. The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition is considering intervenor standing in this case.
    Categories: Discussion

    Québec Euthanasia Report from the Commission on end-of-life care

    Tue, 2017-10-31 16:59

    This article was written by Amy Hasbrouck and published by the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition on October 31, 2017.

    The number of euthanasia deaths continue to increase, compliance with the law remains questionable.

    Link to the euthanasia report that was submitted to the Québec’s National Assembly on Thursday, October 26, 2017
    Summary of information:
    • 37% of forms/reports from doctors, and an unnamed percentage of reports from institutions, needed more information. Some doctors openly refused to provide the additional information requested by the Commission.
    • The most frequent compliance problem is a lack of independence of the second doctor. Québec solved this problem by eliminating the requirement that the second doctor be independent. Footnote a. of table on page 22 (translated) reads: “Since February 2017, the Commission has adapted its assessment of this criterion in the light of ongoing work in partnership with the MSSS [Ministère de santé et services sociaux] and the CMQ [Collège des Médecins du Québec]. These cases would now be considered compliant, as long as the other criteria are met.”  
    • The Commission on End-of-life care has a backlog of 138 cases that have not been examined or ruled on.  
    • Forms/reports are not submitted in a timely manner by doctors.  
    • Confusion and inconsistency exists between euthanasia figures offered by the various sources; the “number of forms received and examined“ by the commission, the reports of the institutions, and the reports from the Collège des médecins du Québec.
    • A 5% or 7% error rate (with 3% undetermined) would not be acceptable where lives depended on the effective application of safeguards (e.g. the airline industry).  
    • The three cases in which the safeguards were clearly violated (two where the person did not have a “serious and incurable illness” and one where the person was not at the “end of life”) were not addressed as the crimes that they are. 
    • If people are not given information necessary to make a “free and informed” decision, this is another serious breach of the safeguards.
    Data for the period of June 10, 2016 to June 9, 2017   
    Statistics from institutions and the College des médecins
    • Continuous Palliative Sedation - (817)
    • Euthanasia requests - (992)
    • Euthanasia administered - Institutions (618)
    • Euthanasia administered - College des médecins (638)
      [June 10, 2016 - June 27, 2017]
    • Euthanasia not provided - (377)
    Reasons why euthanasia was not done
    • Person not eligible/no longer eligible - (159)
    • Person died before euthanasia administered - (107)
    • Person withdrew request - (79)
    • Person was still in the process of being evaluated - (15)
    • Person returned home or transferred to another institution - (10)
    • Person was in distress and had a rapid decline - (5)
    • The request was suspended pending the person's choosing date - (2)
    Number of forms/reports Examined - (634)
    • More information was needed on 37% of the forms - (237) 
    • Decisions were rendered on (579) forms  
    • Unexamined and undecided cases – (55)  
    • 92% of cases respected the law.
    19 cases (3%) where Commission couldn’t reach a decision on compliance with the law,
    • 12 cases – supplemental information was still insufficient 
    • 4 cases – the commission did not receive the supplementary information requested  
    • 3 cases – the doctor refused to provide the supplementary information requested.
    Non-respect of the law = 5% of the cases (31)
    • 20 cases – second physician wasn’t independent 
    • 7 cases – doctor who administered euthanasia did not have a conversation with the person to verify:
      • That the request was free and informed 
      • That suffering was persistent  
      • The consistency of the wish to die
    • 2 cases – the request was signed by a witness who wasn’t a recognized professional 
    • 1 case – person did not have a serious and incurable illness.  
    • 1 case – Person’s health insurance had expired.
    Cumulative total data - December 10, 2015 - June 27, 2017
    Forms/reports Examined = 786 but total of Institutions + College des médecins = 805

    • Cases ruled on = 648 
    • Unexamined and undecided – 138
    • 19 forms/reports appear to be missing.
    90% of cases respected the law 
    • 3% insufficient information to make a determination 
    • 7% of cases did not comply with the law. (43)
    Reasons why the case did not comply with the law:
    • Second doctor was not independent (29)* 
    • Doctor who administered euthanasia did not speak to the person to verify that: The request was free and informed, that suffering was persistent, the consistency of the wish to die. (7) 
    • The request was signed by a witness who wasn't a medical professional (2) 
    • The person did not have a "serious or incurable illness" (2) 
    • The person was not at the end-of-life (2) 
    • The person did not have health insurance (1)
    * As of February 2017 these cases do not violate the law.

    Data from institutions and the College des médecins Dec 10, 2015 - June 9, 2017
    • Continuous Palliative Sedation - (1080) 
    • Euthanasia requests - (1245) 
    • Euthanasia administered Institutions - (784)
    • Euthanasia administered - College des médecins - (805)
      [December 10, 2016 - June 27, 2017]
    • Euthanasia not done - (462)
    Reasons why euthanasia was not done
    • Person not eligible/no longer eligible - (195) 
    • Person died before euthanasia administered - (128) 
    • Person withdrew request - (103) 
    • Person was still in the process of being evaluated - (18) 
    • Person returned home or transferred to another institution - (10) 
    • Person was in distress and had a rapid decline - (5) 
    • The request was suspended pending the person's choosing date - (3)
    Amy Hasbrouck is the founder of the disability rights group: Toujour Vivant - Not Dead Yet and the President of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
    Categories: Discussion

    Margaret Dore: Analysis Opposing Victoria Australia Euthanasia Bill

    Mon, 2017-10-30 18:35
    Margaret DoreI. Introduction

    I am an attorney in Washington State USA where assisted suicide is legal.[1] I am also president of Choice is an Illusion, a nonprofit corporation opposed to assisted suicide and euthanasia. Last year, I met with a parliamentary delegation from the Legal and Social Issues Committee, Parliament of Victoria, to discuss Oregon’s law and related issues.

    Washington’s law is based on Oregon’s law. Both laws are similar to the proposed bill, titled the “Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill.” The bill, however, is not limited to voluntary deaths or to people near death. I urge you to reject this measure.

    II. Definitions

    Assisted suicide occurs when a person provides the means or information for another person to commit suicide, for example, by providing a gun or lethal drug. If the assisting person is a physician, a more precise term is “physician-assisted suicide.”[2]

    “Euthanasia” is the direct administration of a lethal agent to cause another person’s death.[3] Euthanasia is also known as “mercy killing.”[4]

    III. Assisting Persons Can Have An Agenda


    Persons assisting a suicide can have an agenda. Consider Tammy Sawyer, trustee for Thomas Middleton in Oregon. Two days after his death by assisted suicide, she sold his home and deposited the proceeds into bank accounts for her own benefit.[5]

    In other US states, reported motives for assisting suicide include: the “thrill” of getting other people to kill themselves; a desire for sympathy and attention; and “want[ing] to see someone die.”[6]

    Medical professionals too can have an agenda, for example, to hide malpractice. There is also the occasional doctor who just likes to kill people, for example, Michael Swango, now incarcerated.[7]

    IV. Push-back Against Assisted Suicide


    Several US states have strengthened their laws against assisted suicide. These states include Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho and Louisiana.[8]

    Last year, the Supreme Court of the State of New Mexico overturned a decision recognizing physician aid in dying, meaning physician assisted suicide.[9] Physician-assisted suicide is no longer legal in the State of New Mexico.

    V. Few States Allow Assisted Suicide

    Oregon and Washington State legalized assisted suicide through ballot measures in 1997 and 2008, respectively. Since then, just three US states and the District of Columbia have passed similar laws.[10] In the fine print, these laws also allow euthanasia.


    VI. How The Victoria Bill Works

    The Victoria bill has an application process to obtain the lethal dose, which may be administered by the patient.[11]

    In the case of administration by a patient, there is no required oversight.[12] No witness, not even a doctor, is required to be present at the death.[13]

    VII. The Bill Applies To People With Years To Live

    The bill applies to people with a “disease, illness or medical condition,” which is expected to cause death in less than twelve months.[14] Such persons may, in fact, have years to live. This is true for three reasons:
    A. Treatment Can Lead to Recovery. In 2000, Jeanette Hall was diagnosed with cancer in Oregon and made a settled decision to use Oregon’s law.[15] Her doctor convinced her to be treated instead, which eliminated the cancer.[16] Her declaration states:
    It has now been 17 years since my diagnosis. If [my doctor] had believed in assisted suicide, I would be dead.[17]
    B. Predictions of Life Expectancy Can Be Wrong Eligible persons may also have years to live because predictions of life expectancy can be wrong. This is true due to actual mistakes (the test results got switched) and because predicting life expectancy is not an exact science.[18]

    Consider John Norton, diagnosed with ALS at age 18.[19] He was told that he would get progressively worse (be paralyzed) and die in three to five years.[20] Instead, the disease progression stopped on its own.[21] In a 2012 affidavit, at age 74, he states:
    If assisted suicide or euthanasia had been available to me in the 1950's, I would have missed the bulk of my life and my life yet to come.[22] C. If Victoria Follows Oregon, the Bill Will Apply to People With Insulin Dependent DiabetesThe bill applies to people expected to die in less than twelve months due to a “disease, illness or medical condition.”[23] Oregon’s law applies to people expected to die in less than six months due to a terminal disease.[24]

    In practice, Oregon’s law is interpreted to include chronic conditions such as “diabetes mellitus,” better known as diabetes.[25] These conditions qualify for assisted suicide when there is dependence on medication, such as insulin, to live. Oregon doctor, William Toffler, explains:
    [P]eople with chronic conditions are “terminal” [such that they qualify for assisted suicide] if without their medications, they have less than six months to live. This is significant when you consider that a typical insulin-dependent 20 year-old will live less than a month without insulin.[26]Dr. Toffler adds:
    Such persons, with insulin, are likely to have decades to live.[27]If Victoria enacts the proposed bill and follows Oregon practice, the bill will apply to people with insulin dependent diabetes. Such persons, with insulin, can have decades to live.
    VIII. The Bill Applies To Older People

    According to government statistics from Oregon and Washington State, most people who die under their laws are elders, aged 65 or older.[28] This demographic is already an especially at risk group for abuse and financial exploitation. This is true in both the US and Australia.
    A. Elder Abuse and Financial ExploitationElder abuse and exploitation perpetrators are often family members.[29] They typically start out with small crimes, such as stealing jewelry and blank checks, before moving on to larger items or to coercing victims to sign over deeds to their homes, to change their wills or to liquidate their assets.[30] Amy Mix, an elder law attorney in the US, explains why older people are especially vulnerable:
    The elderly are at an at-risk group for a lot of reasons, including, but not limited to diminished capacity, isolation from family and other caregivers, lack of sophistication when it comes to purchasing property, financing, or using computers . . . .  [D]efendants are family members, lots are friends, often people who befriend a senior through church . . . . We had a senior victim who had given her life savings away to some scammer who told her that she’d won the lottery and would have to pay the taxes ahead of time. . . . The scammer found the victim using information in her husband’s obituary.[31]
    B. Elder Abuse and Financial Exploitation Are Sometimes FatalIn some cases, elder abuse and financial exploitation are fatal. More notorious cases include California’s “black widow” murders, in which two women took out life insurance policies on homeless men.[32] Their first victim was 73 year old Paul Vados, whose death was staged to look like a hit and run accident.[33] The women collected $589,124.93.[34]

    Consider also, People v. Stuart in which an adult child killed her mother with a pillow, allowing the child to inherit. The Court observed:

    Financial considerations [are] an all too common motivation for killing someone.[35]
    C. Victims Do Not Report
    In both Australia and the US, victims do not report abuse. For example, in Victoria, it is estimated that there are more than 20,000 unreported cases of abuse, neglect and exploitation each year and approximately 100,000 in Australia nationwide.[36] Meanwhile, in the US, it’s estimated that only 1 in 14 cases ever comes to the attention of the authorities.”[37] In another study, it was 1 out of 25 cases.[38] Reasons for the lack of reporting include:

    Many who suffer from abuse . . . don’t want to report their own child as an abuser.[39]

    IX. The Bill Creates The Perfect Crime
    A. “Even If a Patient Struggled, Who Would Know?”The bill allows a patient to administer the lethal dose in private, without a witness or doctor present.[40] In addition, the drugs typically used are water and alcohol soluble, such that they can be injected into a sleeping or restrained person without consent.[41] 

    Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director for the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, puts it this way:
    With assisted suicide laws in Washington and Oregon [and with proposed bill], perpetrators can . . . take a “legal” route, by getting an elder to sign a lethal dose request. Once the prescription is filled, there is no supervision over administration. Even if a patient struggled, “who would know?” (Emphasis added).[42]
    B. The Cause of Death Will Be Registered as a “Disease, Illness or Medical Condition,” Which Will Prevent Prosecution for MurderThe bill amends the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1996, by requiring a death under the bill to be registered as a “disease, illness or medical condition.” The amendment states:
    The Registrar, on being notified by a doctor of a death under section 37 and in accordance with section 67 of the Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2017, must register the death in the Register by making an entry about the death that records the cause of death as the disease, illness or medical condition that was the grounds for a person to access voluntary assisted dying. (Emphasis changed).[43]The significance of requiring a disease, illness or medical condition to be listed as the cause of death is that it creates a legal inability to prosecute. The official legal cause of death is a disease, illness or medical condition (not murder) as a matter of law.

    X. Patients Otherwise Lack Protection

    A. Participants in a Patient’s Death Are Merely Required to Act in “Accordance” With the Bill, Which Renders Patient Protections UnenforceableThe bill has page after page of patient protections, including that the co-ordinating medical practitioner “must” refer the person to another registered medical practitioner for a consulting assessment and that the person’s final request “must” be according to a specified time frame.[44]

    The bill also holds medical practitioners and other participants in a patient’s death to an “accordance” standard.[45] Indeed, the bill uses the term nearly 50 times.[46]

    The bill does not define accordance.[47] Dictionary definitions include “in the spirit of,” meaning “in thought or intention.”[48] With these definitions, a participant’s mere thought or intention to comply with the bill is good enough. Patient protections are not enforceable.
    B. In an Orwellian Twist, the Term, “Self-Administer,” May Allow Someone Else to Administer the Lethal Dose to the PatientThe bill repeatedly describes the lethal dose as being “self-administered” by the patient, a term which is not defined.[49] The term or a variation thereof is used in the bill at least 50 times.[50]

    The bill does not define “self-administer.”[51] In Washington State, the term is specially defined to allow someone else to administer the lethal dose to the patient. Washington’s law states:
    “Self-administer” means a qualified patient’s act of ingesting medication to end his or her life . . . (Emphasis added).[52]Washington’s law does not define “ingest.” Dictionary definitions include:
    [T]o take (food, drugs, etc.) into the body, as by swallowing, inhaling, or absorbing. (Emphasis added).[53]With these definitions, someone else putting the lethal dose in the patient’s mouth qualifies as self-administration because the patient will be “swallowing” the lethal dose, i.e., “ingesting” it. Someone else placing a medication patch on the patient’s arm will qualify because the patient will be “absorbing” the lethal dose, i.e., “ingesting” it. Gas administration, similarly, will qualify because the patient will be “inhaling” the lethal dose, i.e., “ingesting” it.

    With the bill’s failure to define “self-administer,” and given Washington’s definition, the bill may be determined to allow someone else, such as a family member, to administer the lethal dose. Family members are common abusers.[54] Patients will not necessarily be in control of their fate.

    XI. Other Considerations
    A. The Swiss Study: Physician-Assisted Suicide Can Be Traumatic for Family MembersA European research study addressed trauma suffered by persons who witnessed legal physician-assisted suicide in Switzerland.[55] The study found that one out of five family members or friends present at an assisted suicide was traumatized. These people,
    experienced full or sub-threshold PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) related to the loss of a close person through assisted suicide.[56]
    B. My Clients Suffered Trauma in Oregon and Washington StateI have had two cases where my clients suffered trauma due to legal assisted suicide. In the first case, one side of my client’s family wanted her father to take the lethal dose, while the other side did not. The father spent the last months of his life caught in the middle and torn over whether or not he should kill himself. My client was severely traumatized. The father did not take the lethal dose and died a natural death.

    In the other case, my client’s father died via the lethal dose at a suicide party. It’s not clear, however, that administration of the lethal dose was voluntary. A man who was present told my client that his father had refused to take the lethal dose when it was delivered, stating: "You're not killing me. I'm going to bed." The man also said that my client’s father took the lethal dose the next night when he (the father) was already intoxicated on alcohol. The man who told this to my client subsequently changed his story.

    My client, although he was not present, was traumatized over the incident, and also by the sudden loss of his father.
    C. In Oregon, Other Suicides Have Increased with Legalization of Physician-Assisted SuicideGovernment reports from Oregon show a positive correlation between the legalization of physician-assisted suicide and an increase in other (conventional) suicides. This correlation is consistent with a suicide contagion in which legalizing physician-assisted suicide encouraged other suicides. Consider the following:

    Oregon's assisted suicide act went into effect “in late 1997.”[57]
    • By 2000, Oregon's conventional suicide rate was "increasing significantly."[58] 
    • By 2007, Oregon's conventional suicide rate was 35% above the national average.[59]
    • By 2010, Oregon's conventional suicide rate was 41% above the national average.[60]
    • By 2012, Oregon's conventional suicide rate was 42% above the national average.[61]
    For a more detailed discussion of suicide contagion in Oregon, see Margaret Dore, “In Oregon, Other Suicides Have Increased with Legalization of Assisted Suicide.”[62]
    D. The Oregon Statistics Provide Little, If Any, Support for the Idea That the Passage Is Needed Due to Physical PainI am not aware of any case in which Oregon’s law has been used for physical pain. According to Oregon’s most recent annual report, there were 47 people who died under the law in 2016 who expressed the following concern:
    Inadequate pain control or concern about it. (Emphasis added).[]With use of the word, “or,” the total number of persons who had inadequate pain control could be zero. In the alternative, the total number could be as high as 47.

    If, for the purpose of argument, all 47 had inadequate pain control, this would be 47 people out of approximately 35,000 deaths in Oregon, which is far less than one percent (.127%) and/or not statistically significant.

    The Oregon statistics provide little, if any, support for the idea that passage of the bill is needed due to physical pain. The argument is not supported by the evidence.

    XII. Conclusion
    The bill allows administration of the lethal dose to occur in private without a doctor or witness present. Even if a patient struggled, who would know? The death record will list a “disease, illness or medical condition” as the legal cause of death, which will prevent prosecution for murder. The bill, if enacted, will create the perfect crime.

    Elder abuse and financial exploitation are already a problem in Victoria. Passage of the bill will make a bad situation worse. People with years or decades to live will have their lives ended due to the desires, wants and greed of other people.

    I urge you to reject the proposed bill seeking to legalize assisted suicide and euthanasia.

    Respectfully Submitted,

    Margaret Dore, Esq., MBA
    Law Offices of Margaret K. Dore, P.S.
    Choice is an Illusion, a nonprofit corporation
    www.margaretdore.com
    www.choiceillusion.org
    www.margaretdore.org
    1001 4th Avenue, Suite 4400
    Seattle, WA USA 98154
    001 206 697 1217

    Endnotes

    [1] For more information, see my CV at this link: https://choiceisanillusion.files.wordpress.com/2016/04/dore-cv-04-22-16.pdf
    [2] See e.g., The American Medical Association Code of Medical Ethics, Opinion 5.7 (defining physician-assisted suicide).
    [3] Id., Opinion 5.8, “Euthanasia,” (lower half of the page).
    [4] “Mercy killing” - The Free Legal Dictionary
    [5] KTVZ.com, “Sawyer Arraigned on State Fraud Charges,” 07/14/11, at https://choiceisanillusion.files.wordpress.com/2016/10/sawyer-arraigned-a-63.pdf
    [6] See: Associated Press for Minnesota, “Former nurse helped instruct man on how to commit suicide, court rules,” The Guardian, 12/28/15 (“he told police he did it ‘for the thrill of the chase’”) a; “Woman in texting suicide wanted sympathy, attention, prosecutor says,” CBS News, June 6, 2017; and Ben Winslow, “Teen accused of helping friend commit suicide could face trial for murder,” (Deputy Utah County Attorney argued that the defendant “wanted to see someone die”). Available at https://www.aol.com/article/news/2017/10/12/teen-accused-of-helping-friend-commit-suicide-could-face-trial-for-murder/23241619/
    [7] See: CBSNEWS.COM STAFF, “Life in Jail for Poison Doctor, July 12, 2000, at https://www.cbsnews.com/news/life-in-jail-for-poison-doctor; James B. Stewart, “Blind Eye: The Terrifying Story of a Doctor Who Got Away With Murder,” Simon and Schuster, copyright 1999; and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Swango
    [8] See Margaret Dore, Alabama: Assisted Suicide Ban Act to Go Into Effect,” http://www.choiceillusion.org/2017/07/alabama-assisted-suicide-ban-act-to-go.html; Kansascity.com, “Brewer signs bill targeting assisted suicide,” available http://www.choiceillusion.org/2014/05/arizona-strengthens-its-law-against.html; Georgia General Assembly printout 06/08/15; Margaret Dore,“Idaho Strengthens Law Against Assisted-Suicide,” July 4, 2011, at http://www.choiceillusionidaho.org/2011/07/idaho-strengthens-law.html; and Associated Press, “La. assisted-suicide ban strengthened,” April 24, 2012.
    [9] Morris v. Brandenburg, 376 P.3d 836 (2016). See also “New Mexico Upholds Assisted Suicide Prohibition,” July 1, 2016 at http://newmexicoagainstassistedsuicide.org/2016/07/new-mexico-upholds-assisted-suicide.html
    [10] Vermont, California and Colorado.
    [11] Bill Clause 45 (allowing a patient to “use and self-administer” a lethal substance). The bill also allows a medical practitioner to administer the lethal dose. See Clause 46 (allowing a “co-ordinating medical practitioner” to administer a lethal substance to cause the person’s death).
    [12] See the bill in its entirety, available at http://www.legislation.vic.gov.au/domino/Web_Notes/LDMS/PubPDocs.nsf/ee665e366dcb6cb0ca256da400837f6b/D162E1F2FCC3F7C3CA2581A1007A8903/$FILE/581392bi1.pdf
    [13] Id.
    [14] The bill, Clause 9(1)(d), states:
    [T]he person must be diagnosed with a disease, illness or medical condition that -
    (i) is incurable; and
    (ii) is advanced, progressive and will cause death; and
    (iii)is expected to cause death within weeks or months, not exceeding 12 months ...
    [15] Affidavit of Kenneth Stevens, MD, Hall declaration, in the appendix at A-33
    [16] Id.
    [17] Affidavit of Jeanette Hall, ¶ 4.
    [18] Cf. Jessica Firger, “12 million Americans misdiagnosed each year,” CBS NEWS, 4/17/14, and Nina Shapiro, “Terminal Uncertainty — Washington's new 'Death with Dignity' law allows doctors to help people commit suicide — once they've determined that the patient has only six months to live. But what if they're wrong?,” The Seattle Weekly, 01/14/09.
    [19] Affidavit of John Norton, 08/18/12
    [20] Id., ¶ 1
    [21] Id., ¶ 4
    [22] Id., ¶ 5
    [23] Bill Clause 9(1)(d).
    [24] Oregon’s law states: “Terminal disease” means an incurable and irreversible disease that has been medically confirmed and will, within reasonable medical judgment, produce death within six months. Or. Rev. Stat. 127.800 s.1.01(12)
    [25] “Diabetes mellitus” is listed as a qualifying terminal disease in Oregon government reports. See Declaration of William Toffler, MD, pp. A-14 to A-15, ¶¶ 2-4, and report excerpts at A-17 & A-18.
    [26] Toffler Declaration at A-15, ¶ 5.
    [27] Id., ¶ 6
    [28] Appendix, at A-34 and A-35
    [29] See Met Life Mature Market Institute, Broken Trust: Elders, Family and Finances,” March 2009, https://www.metlife.com/assets/cao/mmi/publications/studies/mmi-study-broken-trust-elders-family-finances.pdf and Facts on Elder Abuse - Australia, at http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/OlderPersons/Submissions/ElderAbusePreventionAssociation.pdf
    [30] Metlife supra, at p.14.
    [31] Kathryn Alfisi, “Breaking the Silence on Elder Abuse,” Washington Lawyer, February 2015. https://www.dcbar.org/bar-resources/publications/washington-lawyer/articles/february-2015-elder-abuse.cfm
    [32] See People v. Rutterschmidt, 55 Cal.4th 650 (2012) and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Widow_Murders
    [33] Rutterschmidt, at 652-3.
    [34] Id. at 652.
    [35] 67 Cal.Rptr.3d 129, 143 (2007).
    [36] Facts on Elder Abuse-Australia, available at http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/OlderPersons/Submissions/ElderAbusePreventionAssociation.pdf
    [37] Nat’l Center on Elder Abuse, http://www.ncea.aoa.gov/Library/Data/
    [38] Id.
    [39] “Adult Abuse,” District of Columbia, Department of Human Services, as of April 5, 2016. See also http://dhs.dc.gov/service/adult-abuse
    [40] See the bill in its entirety, at http://www.legislation.vic.gov.au/domino/Web_Notes/LDMS/PubPDocs.nsf/ee665e366dcb6cb0ca256da400837f6b/D162E1F2FCC3F7C3CA2581A1007A8903/$FILE/581392bi1.pdf
    [41] The drugs typically used in Oregon and Washington State include Secobarbital, Pentobarbital and Phenobarbital, which are water and/or alcohol soluble. See excerpt from Oregon’s and Washington’s most recent annual reports, in the appendix at A-44 & A-45 (listing these drugs). See also http://www.drugs.com/pr/seconal-sodium.html, http://www.drugs.com/pro/nembutal.html and https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2977013
    [42] Alex Schadenberg, Letter to the Editor, “Elder abuse a growing problem,” The Advocate, Official Publication of the Idaho State Bar, October 2010, page 14, available at http://www.margaretdore.com/info/October_Letters.pdf
    [43] The Bill, Clause 117.
    [44] Id., Clauses 22 and 38.
    [45] See, for example, the Bill, Division 2, “Protection from liability for those who assist, facilitate, do not act or act in accordance with this Act.” (Emphasis added). See also Bill Clause 79, which states:
    A person who in good faith does something or fails to do something
    (a) that assists or facilitates any other person who the person believes on reasonable grounds is requesting access to or is accessing voluntary assisted dying in accordance with this Act; and
    (b) that apart from this section, would constitute an offence at common law or under any other enactment-does not commit the offense.
    [46] See the bill in its entirety
    [47] Id.
    [48] See definitions in the appendix at A-57 and A-58.
    [49] See the bill in its entirety
    [50] Id.
    [51] Id.
    [52] RCW 70.245.010(12), in the appendix at A-67.
    [53] www.yourdictionary.com, in the appendix at A-59.
    [54] Facts on Elder Abuse-Australia, p. 2, in the appendix at A-49, "Victimisation Facts” (“Among known perpetrators of abuse and neglect, the perpetrator is a family member in 90 percent of the cases. Two-thirds of the perpetrators are adult children or spouses. The offender is most commonly a close relative ....”)
    [55] “Death by request in Switzerland: Posttraumatic stress disorder and complicated grief after witnessing assisted suicide,” B. Wagner, J. Muller, A. Maercker; European Psychiatry 27 (2012) 542-546, available at http://choiceisanillusion.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/family-members-traumatized-eur-psych-2012.pdf (Cover page in the appendix at A-60)
    [56] Id.
    [57] Oregon’s assisted suicide report for 2014, first line, at http://public.health.oregon.gov/ProviderPartnerResources/EvaluationResearch/DeathwithDignityAct/Documents/year17.pdf
    [58] See Oregon Health Authority News Release, 09/09/10. ("After decreasing in the 1990s, suicide rates have been increasing significantly since 2000"). (Attached in the appendix at A-61).
    [59] Report excerpts in the appendix at A-62 & A-63.
    [60] Oregon Health Authority Report excerpts, attached in the appendix at A-64 & A-65.
    [61] Oregon State Report attached in the appendix at A-66
    [62] And http://www.choiceillusionsouthdakota.org/2017/06/in-oregon-other-suicides-have-increased_18.html (a different version)
    [63] Oregon report excerpt for 2016 in the appendix at A-68. To view the entire 2016 report, click here
    [64] See Oregon’s report for 2016 attached in the appendix at A-69 (listing 35,709 Oregon resident deaths in 2015).
    Categories: Discussion

    World Medical Association speaks out against euthanasia bill in Australia.

    Mon, 2017-10-30 15:07
    This statement was released by the World Medical Association on October 27, 2017

    The WMA and its national member medical associations, which include the Australian Medical Association, have strongly reiterated their long-standing opposition to physician assisted suicide and euthanasia on the basis that they constitute the unethical practice of medicine.

    The WMA calls on Australia’s Victorian Upper House to reject the Victorian Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill.

    The Association cites its Declaration on Euthanasia which states: ‘Euthanasia, that is the act of deliberately ending the life of a patient, even at the patient’s own request or at the request of close relatives, is unethical’. It also refers to its Statement on Physician Assisted Suicide which declares: ‘Physician assisted suicide, like euthanasia, is unethical and must be condemned by the medical profession. Where the assistance of the physician is intentionally and deliberately directed at enabling an individual to end his or her own life, the physician acts unethically’. And further it quotes its Resolution on Euthanasia, which notes that the practice of euthanasia with physician assistance has been adopted into law in some countries and that ‘The World Medical Association reaffirms its strong belief that euthanasia is in conflict with basic ethical principles of medical practice, and strongly encourages all national medical associations and physicians to refrain from participating in euthanasia, even if national law allows it or decriminalizes it under certain conditions’.

    Finally, the WMA has expressed its concern that should the Victorian Bill be passed into law, it will create a situation of direct conflict with physicians’ ethical obligations to patients and will harm the “ethical tone” of the profession. It also warns that vulnerable people will be placed at risk of abuse and that a precedent will be set that physician assisted suicide and euthanasia are ethically acceptable.
    Categories: Discussion

    Never enough euthanasia in Canada.

    Sun, 2017-10-29 22:58
    This article was written and published by Wesley Smith on October 28, 2017
    Wesley SmithBy Wesley Smith
    The ink is barely dry on Canada’s expansive right to euthanasia and there is already much talk of expanding the killing to new categories–such as children
    Now, after more than 600 sick people were put down in Quebec 2016-2017–if we are going to reduce medical ethics to veterinary standards, let’s use the proper lexicon–provincial leaders are talking about expanding the lethality to those who cannot decide to be killed. From the Toronto City TV News story: Veronique Hivon of the Parti Quebecois said “a lot of people” approach her about modifying the law to allow family members with degenerative illnesses such as Alzheimer’s access to the procedure…  “There is a very clear desire within the population to debate expanding the legislation. We need this debate to happen.”  Quebec Health Minister Gaetan Barrette said in a statement the government is putting together a committee of experts to look into the “complex question” of expanding the law to have it apply to people who are deemed “legally and clinically unfit” to give consent to the procedure. The law was always going to be expanded. Indeed, that was the plan. Because there can never be enough euthanasia
    Categories: Discussion

    Canadian Paediatricians consider euthanasia for newborns, minors and teens.

    Thu, 2017-10-26 17:01
    Alex Schadenberg
    Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
    For countries, such as Australia, that are debating the legalization of euthanasia, they need to realize that once Canada legalized "assisted death" that tremendous pressure now exists to expand the scope of the law.

    Link to the Canadian Paediatric Society report.
    Kathryn Blaze Baum wrote an article for the Globe and Mail concerning a recent report from the Canadian Paediatric Society that appears to feed the demand to expand euthanasia, in Canada, to teens, minors and even newborns. 
    According to the Globe and Mail report the CPSP report found that:
    Of the 1,050 pediatricians who participated in the survey, 118 said that over the course of a year, they had MAID-related discussions with a total of 419 parents; most of the minors in question were children under the age of 13. When it came to explicit MAID requests, 45 doctors said they dealt with a total of 91 parents. Nearly half of the requests related to infants less than one month old. The survey also found that 35 doctors had exploratory conversations with a total of 60 minors, and nine pediatricians reported getting explicit MAID requests from a total of 17 minors. The vast majority of the minors in both scenarios were aged 14 or older.Dr. Dawn Davies, the survey's principal investigator and a pediatrician specializing in palliative care described possible cases including euthanasia of newborns with disabilities. 
    brain-damaged babies who cannot breathe on their own or swallow their saliva; children with neuro-degenerative diseases that attack their body and brain; and teenagers with advanced cancer who say they would rather end it all than go on this way.Blaze Baum also interviewed (Alex Schadenberg) for the article:
    The executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, which opposes MAID altogether, said minors – as with some elderly people and those with a severe mental illness – are highly dependent on others and particularly vulnerable to outside influences. "The question remains, are they fully autonomous?" said Alex Schadenberg. "This is a very difficult question, and I would say it's one that should be left closed."Health Canada recently released its report indicating that there were 1982 "MAiD" deaths in the first full year of legal lethal injections in Canada.
    Amy Hasbrouck, the founder of the disability rights group, Toujours Vivant - Not Dead Yet wrote that the more important information (in the report) is what’s missing.

    The lesson from Canada is don't legalize euthanasia and/or assisted suicide.
    Categories: Discussion

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