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Fatal Flaws Screening in Channel Islands (Guernsey) Helps Defeat Assisted Suicide proposal.

Fri, 2018-05-18 21:03
Kevin Dunn with Dr Carmen Wheatley“During the government debate there was a moving moment when Deputy Graham McKinley, after announcing he had seen the Fatal Flaws film on Alderney, and how moved he was by it, bravely explained why he was abandoning the Requete.” – Dr. Carmen Wheatley, Executive Director, Assisted Living, Guernsey (UK)By Kevin Dunn
Director of Fatal Flaws
I had always hoped this film would be a game-changer. Looks like it’s happening.

I’ve just returned from The Channel Islands, UK where we had two screenings of Fatal Flaws: Legalizing Assisted Death. One in Guernsey and another in Alderney. These screenings happened just prior to a three day debate and vote on assisted suicide. According to The Guardian, “if the Requete had passed, Guernsey would have become the first place in the British Isles to offer euthanasia for people with terminal illnesses.” Instead they voted to improve palliative care on the island.

Newspaper ad promoting Fatal FlawsThe sponsor of the screening, Dr. Carmen Wheatley, Orthomolecular Oncology Medical Researcher and Executive Director of Assisted Living, Guernsey, reached out to me a few weeks ago and asked me if I would come to the Island before the vote. 
In an email Dr Wheatley sent me today, she told me that during the debate, a Deputy for Alderney revealed to all that he had seen your film there, had become very moved by the content, listened to the Alderney folk, and changed his mind. The other Requeteers were not expecting this final coup de grace. In a more formal statement, she wrote “In spite of misrepresentations of the film by campaigners, who refused to view it, and a mysterious blockade on TV and radio interviews from the one person on Guernsey, Kevin Dunn, who not only lives in a country, Canada, with such death legislation, but has been to no less than 6 jurisdictions/countries, interviewing doctors, patients, families on both sides of the divide, this documentary deeply impressed those few Deputies and the larger public who saw it.” She went on to say, 
“To the extent that the 1 of 2 Alderney representatives, who had originally, – and probably against his better judgement, been one of the signatories of the Requete, found the courage shortly before the decisive vote to publicly and dramatically renege on his allegiance to the Requete, thus adding to the strength of the decisive final No vote.”In the film, I asked journalist Gerbert Van Loenen from The Netherlands, “who is telling the other side of the story?” He said, “I’m afraid no one.” Through the testimonies of so many brave and passionate people in this film, we were able to do just that: tell stories of a highly underrepresented group of people and shine a light on a dark corner of the political and medical landscape. 
What could be more important than saving the lives of the vulnerable?

Kudos to the entire FF team.

Kevin Dunn, Director
Categories: Discussion

Swiss assisted suicide clinic founder charged with profiteering

Fri, 2018-05-18 20:39
Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

LMinelli at the Dignitas clinicudwig Minelli, the founder of the Dignitas assisted suicide clinic, has been charged for profiteering in the deaths of his clients. Accusations that Minelli charges inappropriate fees at the Dignitas clinic have circulated for years.
The Swiss media have reported that prosecutors are basing their case on two key cases. According to the Swiss Local:
In one of the cases, Minelli allegedly in 2010 charged a mother and daughter pair around 10,000 francs each instead of the usual cost of some 5,000 to 6,000 francs. In the second case, Minelli is alleged in 2003 to have taken advantage of an 80-year-old woman who was sick but not terminally ill. He approached four doctors before finally finding one who was willing to aid to woman to commit suicide. Prosecutors argue his persistence in this second case was based on the fact the woman had promised a 100,000-franc donation to Dignitas on her death. They also argue the woman gave power of attorney to Minelli, allowing him to transfer 46,000 francs to a Dignitas account when she died.Swiss law permits assisted suicide as long as it is not done for “self-serving” motives. Breaking the law could result in a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
Soraya WernliSeveral years ago, Soraya Wernli, a former Dignitas employee, told the Daily Mail that  Minelli was selling the personal effects of his dead clients at pawn shops and he was charging some of his clients exorbitant fees. Wernli also told the Daily Mail about the horrific death of Peter Auhagen. According to the article:The gruesome 70-hour death of Peter Auhagen was the case that ended Wernli’s career with Dignitas and caused her to agree to be a secret informer for the police who were investigating Minelli. Usually Minelli used a lethal dose of barbiturates to assist suicides but in the case of Auhagen, Minelli decided to test a “suicide machine” that the patient controlled the administration of drugs. Wernli said that: ‘the machine had a fault which meant it couldn’t pump all the poison into his system. The man was partially poisoned, in agony and thrashing around in a coma, frothing at the mouth and sweating. ... It was a terrible thing to witness, and I knew it could not go on. Wernli recounts that Auhagen was still alive. She called Minelli who then came by and after a heated discussion he told the family to go for a walk and then someone administered the drugs by injection. Wernli claims that Minelli kept a supply of drugs in his personal office in case of an emergency.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.
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 August 2015 a healthy depressed British woman died by assisted suicide in Switzerland.
Minelli also accused of dumping human remains into Lake Zurich.
Sadly, if convicted, prosecutors appear to be only seeking a fine.
Categories: Discussion

Assisted suicide bill overwhelmingly defeated in Guernsey

Fri, 2018-05-18 16:46
Guernsey ParliamentAlex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

More incredible news: The Guernsey parliament, today, defeated a proposal to legalize assisted suicide in the British Island state by a vote of 24 to 14.

This is incredible news considering the resources that the assisted suicide lobby invested into passing assisted suicide in Guernsey, that they viewed as a possible "opening" to the legalization of assisted suicide in the UK.

Guernsey newspaper ad.According to the Guardian the assisted suicide proposal was based on the Oregon model.
The proposal sought to adopt the Oregon model, meaning that euthanasia would be restricted to people with a diagnosis of terminal illness with less than six months to live and full mental capacity.A coalition of groups formed to defeat the bill included disability rights groups - Not Dead Yet UK, and the Guernsey Disability Alliance, also the British Medical Association, and the Care Not Killing Alliance in the UK. 

Carmen, from Assisted Living in Guernsey booked Kevin Dunn, producer of the film - Fatal Flaws - to address a audience after the screening of Fatal Flaws in Guernsey. We are happy to state that several members of the Guernsey parliament attended the screening of Fatal Flaws and one member changed their position on assisted suicide after watching Fatal Flaws.

Dr Peter SaundersPeter Saunders, campaign director for the Care Not Killing Alliance was reported in the Shropshire Star as stating:
“We welcome this strong rejection of this dangerous proposition by the elected Deputies on the Island. “Parliamentarians across the UK have rightly rejected attempts to introduce assisted suicide and euthanasia ten times since 2003 out of concern for public safety, including in 2015 when the House of Commons overwhelmingly voted against any change in the law by 330 votes to 118. “We know the Deputies in Guernsey will now turn their attention to the real issues facing disabled people and the terminally ill on the island, ensuring equality of access to the very best health care available and how to fund this.”Recently the Finland parliament rejected euthanasia and a California court struck down the California assisted suicide law as unconstitutional.
Categories: Discussion

Lawyer: Canada's euthanasia law is unconstitutional.

Fri, 2018-05-18 04:02
Ken Berger: "persons with disabilities are being assisted to their death rather than being assisted with life"Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Roger FoleyKen Berger, the lawyer representing Roger Foley, a man who is stuck in a London, Ontario hospital for two years, told CTV news that has urged Canada’s justice minister to halt all medically assisted deaths until the government can ensure that all necessary services are first proved to patients to live.

  • Canadian man wants assisted life not assisted death.

  • According to CTV news, Berger sent a letter to Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, requesting the “immediate moratorium” and a public inquiry on all assisted deaths provided in the country so far. Berger wrote:
    “Persons suffering with severe disabilities require necessary health care, assistance and compassion, These crucial services are not always provided at times of most need or in such a way that relieves suffering; instead, persons with disabilities are being assisted to their death rather than being assisted with life.”Foley lives with cerebellar ataxia, an incurable neurological disease, recently filed a landmark lawsuit against a London hospital, several health agencies, the Ontario government and the federal government. He alleges that health officials will not provide him with an assisted home care team of his choosing, instead offering, among other things, medically assisted death. CTV news reported that:
    according to his statement of claim, the only two options offered to him have been a “forced discharge” from the hospital “to work with contracted agencies that have failed him” or medically assisted death. Refusing to leave the hospital and unwilling to die by a doctor’s hand, Foley claims he has been threatened with a $1,800 per day hospital bill.Berger told CTV news that he believes that his client is not alone in his suffering and frustration.
    “There are many individuals that are not being offered alternatives They are not being supported or not having the necessary services put in place in a way that relieves their suffering.”According to CTV news, Berger wrote in his letter to the Justice Minister that: “all necessary health services are provided before persons are misled into premature and inappropriate deaths because of their belief that they are a burden to society with no alternative to death.”The CTV news continued:Berger and Foley argue the current assisted death legislation violates the Charter’s right to “life, liberty and security of the person” when assisted death is offered before other care options. “(Foley) is substantially suffering,” Berger said. “He is going to fight this, not only to protect his own constitutional rights, but also the constitutional right of all Canadians.”Trudo LemmensTrudo Lemmens, a professor and Scholl Chair in Health Law and Policy at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law, told CTV news by email that Foley’s case should be taken seriously.
    “We focus too much on stories of empowered people who want to use medically assisted death, often with the message that access should be easier,”  “We rarely hear stories about (often unconscious) pressure and inappropriately conducted MAID (Medical Assistance in Dying), but that doesn’t mean this doesn’t happen.” “People who are dead don’t complain,”According to CTV news, Lemmens wants to see governments and other regulators institute clear procedures, better legal guidance, and greater oversight to ensure patients receive proper treatment and are not pressured into choosing death.

    Sign the petition: I support Roger Foley's plea assisted life not assisted death (Link).
    Categories: Discussion

    The Push Is on For Elderly Assisted Suicide

    Thu, 2018-05-17 21:35
    The following article was published by National Review online on May 14, 2018
    Wesley SmithBy Wesley Smith
    The assisted suicide in Switzerland of the aged scientist David Goodall — and the media swoon over the event — has pushed the assisted-suicide advocacy envelope beyond the dying to the elderly.

    A notable example is an article published at the Center for Science and Health, where an MD named Jamie Wells pushes the idea that elderly people should have access to assisted suicide even if they are not diagnosed with a terminal condition. From the article:Traditionally, arguments to enact these laws are fashioned around the notion of liberating a patient from terminal usually insufferable disease. But, the recent intentional death by 104-year-old scientist David Goodall via euthanasia brings to the forefront whether to deem deterioration from advanced aging as another reasonable consideration.This was always the plan: Get people softened up to the idea of assisted suicide with fear-mongering about excruciating terminal illnesses — generally a false premise and not the reason why the vast majority of assisted suicides are actually carried out — and then, once enough of society had accepted the idea, push the envelope to people who are not dying. It’s all been a big scam.

    Of course Wells thinks we should go there!In his final act, David Goodall challenges how we see aging and leaves a legacy that may not immediately change American laws but certainly starts an important conversation. The discussion, in general, has considerably advanced since the days of Jack Kevorkian. Society and the empathetic lens by which we see the world seems to be progressing, and that’s a good thing. . . . Whether we view aging as a terminal disease is up for debate; but, the question remains, if we choose how we live, some freely opting for daily imperilment while others are risk averse consumed with fear, then who is to say how we die?They always say, “start a conversation,” and when they win, they insist the conversation must stop.

    Think about this. We have a terrible elder-abuse crisis. Geriatric depression is a severe problem, which is often untreated or given short shrift. Then, there are the problems of loneliness and isolation. Legalizing assisted suicide for the elderly would be a disaster.

    Think about this too: If they are beginning to push elder assisted suicide before doctor-prescribed death for the dying is generally legalized throughout the U.S., imagine what will happen if it ever is. It won’t take long before those eligible for termination include people with disabilities, chronic illnesses, and the mentally ill — as now occurs in the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, and Canada — all places where euthanasia and assisted suicide have been popularly embraced.

    That is why we must prevent this agenda from advancing beyond the six states and D.C. that have legalized assisted suicide for the terminally ill. Lives are at stake — people who may want to die today for a wide variety of reasons, but who in weeks or months — given proper interventions — will be very glad they are still alive.

    P.S. The ACHS touts itself a “pro-science consumer advocacy organization.” Assisted suicide has nothing whatsoever to do with “science.” It is a question of ethics, morality, and determining public policy that best protects the general welfare.
    Categories: Discussion

    Brain death court cases becoming more common.

    Thu, 2018-05-17 20:36
    Alex Schadenberg
    Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

    Taquisha McKitty's daughterAs the family of Taquisha McKitty await the decision in the "brain death" case in Brampton Ontario, it is shocking to read how common brain death court cases are becoming.

    Based on the immenent release of the McKitty decision, CBC News interviewed Hugh Scher, the lawyer for the McKitty family. According to CBC news Scher stated:
    "It raises a serious question as to what is death in Ontario and in Canada. There is no statutory legal definition," said Scher on Metro Morning Tuesday. "We're hopeful this case will provide some guidance." Scher and the McKitty family say that beyond breathing and having a heartbeat, Taquisha shows other signs of life — like moving her legs — that prove she's still biologically alive. "She eats, she drinks, her organs function," said Scher, comparing her to "many other people with a severe neurological impairment."Hugh Scher was also the lawyer in the Shalom Ouanounou case in Toronto. 

    Areen Chakrabarti with motherMeanwhile a New Jersey hospital is embroiled in two cases. 

    Areen Chakrabarti, who is on the autism spectrum, ran upstairs during the confusion of an April 14 fire suffered severe smoke inhalation, Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia state that Areen is brain dead but his mother says that her son responds to her. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer:
    When Areen was admitted to CHOP on April 15, physicians urged his mother to consider removing him from life support. After more than a week, the hospital told her the boy would be removed from life support if tests revealed a complete lack of brain activity. Banerjee, who has maintained a near-constant bedside vigil at the hospital, says her son remains aware of her presence. She said when the boy’s blood pressure becomes elevated, it falls again when she speaks to him.Jayden Auyeung with motherSadly, there is a second case occurring at the same hospital. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer:
    Anna and Jonathan Auyeung, the parents of Jayden Auyeung, filed for a temporary restraining order in Common Pleas Court on Wednesday, their child’s 10th birthday. The Edison, N.J., boy, has a genetic motor neuron disease, couldn’t breathe after a mucus plug developed in his throat while he was at home on May 4, his mother said. Despite efforts to revive him, he had to be taken to Robert Wood Johnson Hospital in New Brunswick, N.J., where he was placed on life support. Two days later he was transferred to CHOP, which had treated him for ye. His mother does not accept that there is no hope of her son’s recovering. “When we touch him or talk to him, he moves his finger and moves his leg and moves his mouth,” Anna Auyeung said, but she was told not to see these as positive signs. “Doctors said it was spinal reflex,” she said.All of these cases are incredibly difficult but the question of brain death creates confusion. These people are biologically alive, are moving and reacting, and have been declared dead.
    There must be a better way to deal with these situations.
    Categories: Discussion

    California Assisted-Suicide Law Unconstitutionally Enacted

    Wed, 2018-05-16 19:18
    This article was published by National Review online on May 16, 2018
    Wesley SmtihBy Wesley Smith
    A California judge has invalidated the state’s assisted-suicide law as unconstitutionally enacted.

    Here’s the story. Opponents of assisted suicide had successfully blocked legislation in committee during the regular 2015 session. That was that for the year — until Jerry Brown called a special session to deal with Medicaid financing and related issues.

    Sensing an opportunity to pull an end run, the speaker of the Assembly had a new bill introduced to legalize assisted suicide during the special session — which was not germane to the purpose for which the special session had been called.

    To ensure it passed, he pulled the “no” votes out of the pertinent committee and stuffed it with known “yes” votes. The thing was then rushed through in two weeks — a dirty deal wholly lacking in honor and circumventing the usual democratic processes. Jerry Brown signed it anyway, saying he might want to to kill himself someday during a final illness.

    Life Legal Defense Foundation and others filed suit, claiming that the subject of the special session had nothing to do with assisted suicide, and hence, was wrongfully enacted under the California Constitution. The trial judge agreed. From the L.A. Times story:Superior Court Judge Daniel A. Ottolia said Tuesday that the California Legislature violated the law by passing the End of Life Option Act during a special session dedicated to healthcare issues, according to the plaintiffs in the case as well as advocates for the law . . . “This ruling affirms that assisted suicide advocates circumvented the legislative process,” Matt Valliere, executive director of the New York-based Patients Rights Action Fund, which opposes legalizing physician-assisted suicide, said in a statement. “It represents a tremendous blow to the assisted suicide legalization movement and puts state legislatures on notice regarding the political trickery of groups like Compassion and Choices.”Yes. An all too unusual affirmation that the rule of law still matters and that legislative procedures are not mere “technicalities” as Compassion and Choices (formerly, the Hemlock Society) groused in their instant fund-raising letter after the ruling — but crucial to our system of ordered liberty.

    What will happen now? I assume that the ever-more-radical legislature will try and pass a new law, if the current ruling stands on appeal. It would also not surprise me if an appeals court stays the ruling as many judges are results oriented.

    But doctors should pause in their lethal prescription writing, at least for now. Moreover, it allows opponents of assisted suicide the rare opportunity to present their arguments in a media that often ignores or misstates their views.

    Finally, this stumble for the suicide forces illustrates that their death agenda isn’t inevitable. Opponents will never stop fighting through every possible peaceful, legal, and democratic process. Yogi Berra once said, “It ain’t over ’till it’s over.” As far as we are concerned, it will never be over.

    The judge has not yet issued his written ruling. When he does, I will report on it here if there is any news to tell beyond what was reported above.

    Me? I’m drinking a toast to Judge Ottolia!
    Categories: Discussion

    Judge strikes down California's assisted suicide law.

    Wed, 2018-05-16 03:57
    Alex Schadenberg
    Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

    Judge Daniel Ottolia, of the Riverside County Superior Court, struck down California's assisted suicide law. Justice Ottolia agreed that the state legislature violated the state constitution by passing the assisted suicide law during a special session that was limited to healthcare issues.

    Harris Meyer reporting for Modern Healthcare news stated:
    Two groups and several physicians opposed to physician-assisted suicide for terminally ill patients had filed the suit to block the 2016 law, the California End of Life Option Act. Riverside County Superior Court Judge Daniel Ottolia issued an oral ruling saying the Legislature acted illegally in passing the law.

    He gave the state attorney general five days to file an emergency petition to stay his order while the ruling is appealed.Alexandra Snyder, with Life Legal Defense was also arguing that the assisted suicide law violates the right to equal protection under the law. Meyer reported:
    ...the California assisted-suicide law violates state equal protection provisions because people who are deemed terminally ill lose critical legal protections. Normally when there is a suspected suicide, authorities investigate the cause of death to see if the person was coerced, she said.

    "But that doesn't happen when someone requests aid in dying," Snyder said. "Then everything is considered above board and the doctors were acting in perfect faith. That's simply not true. The law doesn't provide adequate safeguards, and it doesn't require any mental health evaluation."It is tragic that the legal system moves so slow. This case was launched when the assisted suicide law came into effect and yet it took nearly two years to have this case heard by the court.
    Categories: Discussion

    Judge Rules California’s Assisted Suicide Law Unconstitutional

    Tue, 2018-05-15 23:02

    This media release was sent out by Life Legal Defense on May 15, 2018

    NAPA, Calif., May 15, 2018 — A California judge overturned the state’s assisted suicide law this morning, ruling that the legislature acted outside the scope of its authority when it enacted the End of Life Option Act.

    The Act’s sponsors introduced the bill in a special session of the legislature convened by Governor Jerry Brown to address Medicaid funding shortfalls, services for the disabled, and in-home health support services.

    Life Legal attorneys appeared in court this morning to argue that the End of Life Option Act, which decriminalizes physician-assisted suicide, is not related or even incidental to the stated purpose of the special session. Suicide is not health care.

    Riverside Superior Court Judge Daniel Ottolia agreed, holding that “the End of Life Option Act does not fall within the scope of access to healthcare services,” and that it “is not a matter of health care funding.”

    Life Legal filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings in March 2018, arguing that the law should be overturned because the manner in which it was passed is unconstitutional. We have argued from the outset that suicide has nothing to do with the provision of health services.

    California Attorney General Xavier Becerra opposed our motion, stating that legislation passed during special sessions is presumed to be constitutional. The Attorney General also argued that Life Legal’s plaintiff physicians do not have standing to challenge the End of Life Option Act.

    Alexandra SnyderJudge Ottolia ruled that doctors do have standing to bring challenges on behalf of their patients, especially in this case, as terminally ill patients would face significant difficulties filing their own lawsuits against the Act.

    “We are thrilled by today’s ruling, which reinstates critical legal protections for vulnerable patients,” said Life Legal Defense Foundation Executive Director Alexandra Snyder. “The court made it very clear that assisted suicide has nothing to do with increasing access to health care and that hijacking the special session to advance an unrelated agenda is impermissible.”

    Stephanie Packer, who has been diagnosed with a terminal illness, was present at the hearing. After the End of Life Option Act was implemented, Stephanie’s insurance company denied coverage of life-saving chemotherapy treatment, but said it would pay for “aid-in-dying” drugs, which would cost $1.20.

    Stephanie has spoken out against assisted suicide in California and other states, saying, “I am so grateful that California’s assisted suicide law was overturned today. The bill’s proponents tout dignity, choice, compassion, and painlessness. I am here to tell you that nothing could be further from the truth. Choice is really an illusion for a very few. For too many, assisted suicide will be the only affordable ‘treatment’ that is offered them.”

    It is anticipated that Attorney General Becerra will appeal today’s ruling.
    Categories: Discussion

    Court invalidates California assisted suicide law.

    Tue, 2018-05-15 22:57
    Alex Schadenberg
    Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

    Incredible News:

    The California assisted suicide law was invalidated this morning by Judge Daniel Ottolia of the Riverside County Superior Court. 
    Judge Ottolia agreed with the Attorneys from Life Legal Defense that the California state legislature violated the state constitution by passing the assisted suicide law during a special session that was limited to healthcare issues.
    According to their media release  Alexandra Snyder, Executive Director of Life Legal Defense Foundation argued that:
    California's assisted suicide law—the End of Life Option Act—should be declared unconstitutional because the state legislature acted outside the scope of its authority when it enacted the Act. In June of 2015, Governor Jerry Brown convened an extraordinary session of the legislature to address Medicaid funding shortfalls, services for the developmentally disabled, and in-home support services. While the California Constitution permits the Governor to issue proclamations to convene extraordinary legislative sessions, the Legislature is prohibited from enacting bills that are not the specific subject of the proclamation.

    The California Supreme Court has held that "The duty of the Legislature in special session to confine itself to the subject matter of the call is of course mandatory. It has no power to legislate on any subject not specified in the proclamation." The purpose of the End of Life Option Act is to decriminalize physician-assisted suicide, which is not related or even incidental to the stated purpose of the extraordinary session. Suicide does not improve health.

    Alexandra SnyderThe sponsors of the Act knew the Act would never pass through the normal legislative process, so they unlawfully exploited the extraordinary session to advance their agenda behind closed doors. Legislation allowing doctors to prescribe lethal drugs is highly controversial and opposed by many members of the state legislature, as well as disability rights groups, hospitals, physicians' groups, and the Life Legal Defense Foundation. "This flagrant and unlawful abuse of the legislative process cannot be permitted to stand. If the Attorney General has his way, virtually any special interest bill could be enacted by a select handful of legislators," said Life Legal Defense Foundation Executive Director Alexandra Snyder. "The California Constitution expressly prohibits such an outcome, as it violates the democratic process, which requires legislation to be approved by the full body of elected representatives."Congratulations to Life Legal Defense who have successfully protected California citizens from being abandoned by physicians who are willing to prescribe lethal drugs to a patient at the lowest time of their life.
    The Judge gave the state of California five days to appeal the ruling. This decision may go as far as the United Supreme Court.
    Categories: Discussion

    Fatal Flaws - Successful Ottawa Screening

    Mon, 2018-05-14 17:59
    Alex Schadenberg
    Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition.

    The Premiere Screening on May 8 in Ottawa of the film - Fatal Flaws was a tremendous success. More than 100 people attended the screening and most of the attendees stayed for the Round Table discussion that followed the film.

    The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition urges all of our supporters to organize a screening of Fatal Flaws in their community. Simply order a copy of the film Fatal Flaws and the Fatal Flaws pamphlets and promote the event. Speakers may be available upon request.

    Many attendees had seen the youtube video's promoting Fatal Flaws featuring the stories of Candice Lewis, a woman with disabilities in Newfoundland, who was pressured by doctors to ask for euthanasia, and Margreet from the Netherlands, whose mother died by euthanasia without consent.

    The audience were also moved by Helen's story, in the Netherlands, who saved her mom from euthanasia by pushing for a second opinion. People asked Helen why are you bothering, she's 94, Helen replied: 
    It's my mom, don't take her away from me.Nancy ElliottThe audience were also affected by the stories of love from Nancy Elliott and Dr Bill Toffler. 

    Nancy began to oppose assisted suicide as a three-term New Hampshire representative. The legislature of debating the legalization of assisted suicide while Nancy was also caring for her very ill husband. Nancy said:
    It was pretty clear that the legislation was clearly aimed at people like my husband, who, in their opinion, shouldn't be living.Nancy is now the Chair of EPC - USA.

    Dr Toffler spoke about the death of his wife. He states:
    If taking a massive overdose of medication to kill yourself is dignified, then what does it say for the majority of people who die naturally, like my wife, at home, peacefully with family surrounding her. She didn't take an overdose so that's not dignified?All prices for the DVD and pamphlets include taxes and shipping: All orders can be made online (Link).
    • DVD: $40 each, 3 for $100, or Pamphlets: $40 for 100, 300 for $100.
    Further Discounts: All orders can be made online (Link).
    • 1 DVD + 100 pamphlets for $75,
    • With any Fatal Flaws order, get The Euthanasia Deception documentary for $20.
    Further bulk orders are available upon request.
    Order the Fatal Flaws DVD with companion pamphlets online, email: or call EPC at: 1-877-439-3348.
    The Fatal Flaws Film will change the way the culture views assisted death.
    Categories: Discussion

    Fatal Flaws: A Canadian film chronicles the march of euthanasia.

    Mon, 2018-05-14 16:00
    This article was published by Mercatornet on May 14, 2018. (edited for length)

    By Denyse O'Leary
    I first became interested in euthanasia in 1972 when I unexpectedly received a letter from a Florida death with dignity group, in connection with a public plea for the euthanasia of a child who had Down syndrome.

    I recalled that letter while watching the international film premiere, in Ottawa on May 8, of Fatal Flaws, (promo on right) a film by Canadian broadcaster Kevin Dunn. As host and narrator, he asks, are euthanasia and assisted suicide laws leading society down a dangerous path? In partnership with the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, the film looks at selected cases from the Netherlands, Belgium, the United States, and Canada.
    The Netherlands is among the most advanced euthanasia countries. Dutch cases recounted in Fatal Flaws include an elderly woman who was pressured to accept euthanasia. But her daughter Helen heard of it and got a second medical opinion which revealed that her mother was not even in danger of dying of natural causes at that time. She passed away peacefully a year later, among family and friends.

    Margreet, (video on right) however, lost her mother to euthanasia without request. The circumstances made me wince. My own mother had had a similar illness, a virulent, fast-acting pneumonia, several years before euthanasia was legal in Canada. She recovered, with emergency treatment, and lived another reasonably pleasant five years. In a euthanasia-positive environment, her life might have ended that winter night.
    On a cheerier note, Newfoundlander  Candice Lewis, 26, (video on right) who lives with cerebral palsy, was pressured by her doctor to ask for assisted death. Her mother took her home instead and a whole Down East community pitched in to help, restoring her to her normal life. But, one is left to wonder, what is euthanasia doing to the medical profession?

    The most arresting case was Aurelia, the Dutch girl whose psychiatric problems included a fixation on dying. Despite Dunn’s (and others’) best efforts to help her, she was euthanized January 26, 2018, a poster child for euthanasia for psychiatric reasons. It’s hard to see how things could have turned out this way if lethal injection were not simply one of life’s many choices in the post-modern Netherlands.
    The death with dignity group that contacted me in 1972 and its many successors have achieved much but they are only just beginning. As Dunn puts it, “Almost every country in the world is discussing some form of legalization and America is “at a tipping point.” Now and then the euthanasia and assisted suicide campaigners face setbacks. Recently, the American Medical Association restated its objection to assisted suicide, rejecting the claim that it somehow isn’t “suicide,” a big talking point with the campaigners. Indeed, progress is stalling as Americans realize that the Netherlands is their future if the vote is yes.

    But medical acceptance of euthanasia is not only what American opponents most fear. They also fear a Supreme Court decision that sweeps aside all laws against assisting to kill another human being, where consent is offered. That has already happened in Canada. Not only are the numbers rising swiftly, but doctors are increasingly asked about child euthanasia. And according to one survey, most Quebec caregivers approve euthanasia for dementia patients without their consent. Given the sharp progressive tilt of the American bar and bench, the Americans interviewed have every reason to worry.

    Five percent of deaths in the Netherlands, we are told, are now attributed to euthanasia. Euthanasia for anyone on request is currently debated for all adults (“completion of life”). And why not? If death is a good or at least neutral thing, why should anyone be denied? Why should those who can’t consent be denied? Why shouldn’t doctors who are unwilling to kill, be compelled to refer for death, as they now are in Ontario, Canada?

    The Netherlands opposition, as recorded in the film, amounts to feeble, apologetic peeps from people with little influence in an emphatically post-Christian culture. I was unimpressed with the early campaigner for euthanasia, Boudewijn Chabot, who mumbles about a “worrisome culture shift” in which euthanasia is “‘getting out of hand.” Given the cultural drivers, there was no possibility that it would turn out any other way. He is partly responsible for the change, whether he chooses to embrace it or not. One struggles to remember that, during the Nazi occupation in World War II, 6,200 doctors went on strike against the “deportation of the insane and sick persons [to death camps] and the sterilization of healthy people.”

    And what of the other side in those days? Spencer Tracy, as judge Dan Haywood ) in Judgment at Nuremberg, ponders how the deaths of millions proceeded from the Nazi medical euthanasia program in the 1930s) in orderly steps. He says, “Herr Janning, it came to that the first time you sentenced a man to death you knew to be innocent.”

    Cultures can change fast and hard. No one watches that kind of stuff anymore. Opponents of euthanasia, as portrayed in the film, think and speak in a way that no longer communicates effectively. That is not their fault. It is hard to know how they could communicate effectively. They argue rationally, citing evidence and precedent, among people whose education has taught them to reject, as a matter of duty, the rigors of rational thinking and the demands of evidence and to do what feels right to them at given time.

    “Care, don’t kill” is the film’s urgent plea. But, to a post-modern, killing someone who seems to want or need it is the ultimate act of caring. And in that, post-moderns are consistent. If a woman can show her baby love by having the baby dismembered alive in an abortion, she can also show a surviving child love later by having him lethally injected if he has a disability.

    Fundamental assumptions about human life have changed in recent decades. Over 40% of Americans today believe that humans are not special. The cultural revolution that would overturn such an assumption is nowhere in sight. Quite the contrary. In the Western world, many are gradually losing touch with traditional reasons to avoid suicide or euthanasia, typically religion, philosophy, family, or lifelong friends, in favour of transient, fungible relationships. Are you old enough to remember when divorce was a legal problem? When people worried about the effect of daycare on infants? Or of promiscuity?

    As things unfold, opposition to euthanasia will likely come to be seen the way that opposition to abortion increasingly is: a sort of hate crime, an injustice against those who wish euthanasia for themselves or for a dependent person. Suicide hotlines will be pressured, if not compelled, to tell callers that they can have medical assistance in dying if they wish, just as pro-life pregnancy counselling services are pressured or required today in a number of jurisdictions to advertise abortion. In any event, many people will feel that they should not have to endure unpleasant, moralistic opposition to their possible choices.

    What to do? If more jurisdictions adopt the Ontario approach and eliminate conscientious objection, patients will soon lack local access to doctors unwilling to help kill them, in an age when a rising senior population is challenging public healthcare systems across the world. No-kill medical facilities in jurisdictions that are not answerable to the euthanasia lobby may eventually be the only hope for dissenters from death.

    The evening I went to the film, a New York Times article whistled past my desk, noting that states that inflict capital punishment are starting to use nitrogen gas rather than lethal injections because they are “hamstrung by troubles with lethal injection — gruesomely botched attempts, legal battles and growing difficulty obtaining the drugs.” Gruesomely botched attempts? We never hear about that in articles that promote euthanasia.

    Fatal Flaws notes that the Dutch doctor who forcibly injected a woman who was struggling against him was exonerated. I hadn’t heard that either. Later, we won’t hear about such things because they won’t be news. And, after a few decades of euthanasia, no matter what else happens, Western society will be very different, and — one suspects — more sparsely populated, at least by Westerners.

    Denyse O’Leary is an Ottawa-based author, blogger, and journalist.
    Categories: Discussion

    Finish parliament rejects euthanasia.

    Sun, 2018-05-13 18:31
    Finland RiksdagAlex Schadenberg
    Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

    The Finnish parliament (Riksdag) voted 128 to 60 to reject a citizens initiative calling for the legalization of euthanasia. 

    While rejecting euthanasia, the Riksdag approved the establishment of a committee to study legislation oriented to care in the final stages of life, palliative care and euthanasia. 
    The Finland newspaper Hufvudstadsbladet reported (google translated):
    With votes 128-60, the Riksdag decided to reject the citizenship initiative for euthanasia. However, the initiative contributed to the fact that care in the end of life is being subject to a comprehensive investigation. The vote was preceded by a debate during Thursday's plenary, where the complexity of the question became apparent, but where a consensus among the parties of the Riksdag was noted that the issue of care at the end of life requires the attention of the legislators. The social and health committee responsible for the consideration of the citizens' initiative had proposed in its opinion that the initiative be rejected, but put a squeeze on the setting up of a working group to investigate the legislative need for care in the final stages of life, for palliative care and for euthanasia. Starting an investigation was approved by the Riksdag.The issue has not ended. The citizens initiative collected more than 50,000 signatures.

    Categories: Discussion

    American Medical Association ethics committee resists pressure to kill.

    Fri, 2018-05-11 22:13
    This article was published by OneNewsNow on May 11, 2018.

    Alex Schadenberg
    An expert on doctor-assisted suicide is praising a medical association for taking a stand against it.

    Alex Schadenberg of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition says he was grateful to watch the American Medical Association this week take a stand on the controversial issue.

    Under pressure to examine the hot-button issue, the association established a study committee to debate changing the existing policy by supporting doctors' participation or by taking a neutral stance.
    "And the ethics committee, "Schadenberg reports, "has decided, no, that they should maintain their position against assisted suicide."A full vote by the AMA is coming in June.

    It's our hope," he tells OneNewsNow, "that the ethics committee is respected and that the position on assisted suicide will remain the same: that they oppose assisted suicide."

    Some state medical associations such as California's took a neutral stance and assisted suicide passed. In New York, which is considering legalization, the state medical association resisted pressure and is opposed to doctor-assisted suicide.

    Schadenberg says a doctor once told him that the AMA would oppose the practice if they were taking lives with the barrel of a gun.
    "But because it's being done in the cloak of medicine, and they're doing it with lethal drugs," he says, "suddenly that makes it okay."
    Categories: Discussion

    Testimony Against New York Bill A2383-A to Legalize Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia

    Wed, 2018-05-09 15:00
    This media release was published by Choice is an Illusion.
    New York City - Margaret Dore, president of Choice is an Illusion, issued the following statement in connection with her testimony today before the New York Assembly Health Committee in opposition to Bill A.2383-A.

    Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia

    “The bill is sold as ‘aid in dying,’ which is a traditional euphemism for assisted suicide and euthanasia,” said Dore. “The term is also misleading in the context of the bill, which is not limited to dying people.”

    Years or Decades to Live

    Dore explained, “The bill seeks to legalize assisted suicide and euthanasia for people who are ‘terminal,’ which is defined as a doctor’s prediction of less than six months to live. In real life, such persons can have years or decades to live.”

    “Doctors can be wrong about life expectancy, sometimes way wrong,” said Dore.“This is due to actual mistakes (the test results got switched) and the fact that predicting life expectancy is not an exact science. A few years ago, I was met at the airport by a man who at age 18 had been diagnosed with ALS and given 3 to 5 years to live, at which time he was predicted to die by paralysis. His diagnosis had been confirmed by the Mayo Clinic. When he met me at the airport, he was 74 years old. The disease progression had stopped on its own.”

    Assisting Persons Can Have an Agenda

    Margaret DoreDore added, “The bill is sold as an enhancement of individual choice and control. This claim ignores that persons assisting a suicide can have an agenda.” Dore explained,”Consider Tami Sawyer, trustee for Thomas Middleton in Oregon. Two days after his death by legal assisted suicide, she put his home on the market and once sold, deposited the proceeds into bank accounts for her own benefit.”

    A Perfect Crime

    “Consider also the language of the bill,” said Dore. "The patient's heir, who will financially benefit from the patient’s death, is allowed to actively participate in signing the patient up for the lethal dose. After that, no doctor, not even a witness, is required to be present at the death. If the patient objected or even struggled, who would know? The bill will create the perfect crime.”

    Other States Are Pushing Back
    "Other states are pushing back against assisted suicide,” said Dore. “This year, Utah passed a bill clarifying that assisted suicide is a crime. Last year, Alabama passed a bill banning assisted suicide. Two years ago, the New Mexico Supreme Court overturned assisted suicide: Physician-assisted suicide is no longer legal in New Mexico.”

    Reject the Bill

    “If the New York bill becomes law, there will be new lethal paths of abuse, which will be legally sanctioned,” said Dore. "People with years, even decades to live, will be encouraged to throw away their lives, or have their lives thrown away for them. I urge the New York Assembly Health Committee to reject the proposed bill.”

    For more information:

    1. Margaret Dore, Analysis of New York Bill A 2383-A, May 2, 2018, memo and appendix

    2. Margaret K. Dore, “Preventing Abuse and Exploitation: A Personal Shift in Focus. An Article About Guardianship, Elder abuse and Assisted Suicide,” The Voice of Experience, American Bar Association, Volume 25, No. 4, Winter 2014.
    Categories: Discussion

    Testimony of Anita Cameron Opposing New York Assisted Suicide Bill A2383A

    Sun, 2018-05-06 05:41

    Testimony of Anita CameronNot Dead Yet Director of Minority OutreachOpposing “Medical Aid In Dying Act”May 3, 2018
    Anita CameronThis testimony was published by Not Dead Yet.
    Good day. Thank you very much for allowing me to offer my thoughts to you today.

    My name is Anita Cameron. I am a 52-year-old with multiple disabilities, two of which are degenerative, and one which will take my life. I am testifying in opposition to the Medical Aid in Dying Act.

    I will not use the euphemism that is the name of this bill, but will refer to it by exactly what it is, and as the New York Court of Appeals also concluded – physician assisted suicide. It is very important to be up front, clear and honest about what this is. Couching it in pretty language and hiding the truth is disingenuous at best, and dangerous, at worst.

    As disabled people know very well, doctors often make mistakes about whether a person is terminal or not. In June, 2009, while living in Washington state, my mother was determined to be in the final stages of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and placed in hospice. Two months later, I was told that her body had begun the process of dying. My mother wanted to go home to Colorado to die, so the arrangements were made. A funny thing happened, though. Once she got there, her health began to improve! Almost nine years later, she is still alive, lives in her own home in the community and is reasonably active.

    Last year, I was among the scores of disability advocates dragged out of Congressional offices and hearing rooms and arrested for nonviolent civil disobedience in the fight to save healthcare. Our actions were detailed in a twenty minute segment of Rachel Maddow on MSNBC and countless other media. That these actions were necessary shows the brutal reality of today’s cost-cutting pressures in healthcare.

    I am here as Director of Minority Outreach for Not Dead Yet, a national disability rights organization opposed to physician assisted suicide and euthanasia as deadly forms of discrimination against people with disabilities, whether terminally ill or not. I live in Rochester, New York, but work with people of color and other marginalized communities around the nation.

    My primary reason for opposition to this bill and others like it is that disabled BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People Of Color) are at particular risk of being harmed by it.

    Our health care system is inherently racist. Studies show that Blacks and people of color receive inferior medical treatment compared to Whites. We are less likely to receive adequate treatment for heart conditions, diabetes, cancer and chronic pain.

    The lives of people with disabilities are largely devalued by doctors and society, in general. The lives of BIPOC with disabilities are even more devalued due to racism and stereotypes about our communities. If, in addition, one is from the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Trans (LGBT) community, as I am, that devaluation becomes exponential.

    As a Black Latina, I could never wrap my head around the assisted suicide phenomenon. I thought that it was some odd thing that privileged White people were into. My thoughts were confirmed when I learned that the Pew Research Center recently found that while 54% of Whites supported assisted suicide, 65% of Blacks and Latinos opposed it.

    Although assisted suicide requests in Oregon are lower among Blacks and people of color, that doesn’t mean that this won’t change in more diverse areas, especially as healthcare support lessens. Groups like Compassion and Choices (formerly the Hemlock Society) are already marketing the idea to minority communities.

    Another reason for my opposition is that doctors would be the gatekeepers of people’s lives, and can decide for you about your quality of life. Under these bills, doctors are the ones who decide whether someone is eligible for assisted suicide.

    Another frightening thing that isn’t told about this bill is that the definition of terminal is broader than one realizes. This was borne out in an email conversation between Fabian Stahle, of Sweden and Craig New, a Research Analyst with the Oregon Public Health Division. The Oregon law uses the same definition of “terminal” as the New York bill: “terminal disease” is defined as an incurable and irreversible disease that has been medically confirmed and will, within reasonable medical judgment (in the opinion of the patient’s attending physician and consulting physician), produce death within six months. Mr. Stahle asked whether this rule is interpreted as “without administration of life-sustaining treatment”?

    The Oregon Public Health Division answered in December, 2017:

    A. …your interpretation is correct. The question is: should the disease be allowed to take its course, absent further treatment, is the patient likely to die within six months?

    Stahle further asked, “If the doctor suggests, to an eligible patient, a treatment that possibly could a) prolong life, or b) transform a terminal illness to a chronic illness, or c) even cure the disease—and if the patient doesn’t give his/her consent to the proposed treatment is he/she still eligible to take use of the Act? If a patient with a chronic disease (for instance, diabetes) by some reason decides to opt out from the life-sustaining medication/treatment and by doing so is likely to die within 6 months, thereby transforming the chronic disease to a terminal disease—does he/she then become eligible to take use of the act?

    The Oregon response was “While this is not addressed specifically in the law, the answer in both cases is yes—those patients would qualify. The law is best seen as a permissive law, and states only that patients must have a terminal illness with six months or less to live. It does not compel patients to have exhausted all treatment options first, or to continue current treatment.”

    Then Stahle asked, what “if the patient’s health care provider/insurance company is not willing to pay for the proposed treatment—is the patient still eligible to take use of the Act?

    The state response was, “Patients suffering from any disease (not just those that typically qualify one for the DWDA) may not be able to afford some treatments or medication, and may choose not to pursue some treatments or take some medication for personal reasons. This is the patient’s decision and the law does not compel them to do otherwise. If the patient does not receive treatment or medication (for whatever reason) and is left with a terminal illness, then s/he would qualify for the DWDA. I think you could also argue that even if the treatment/medication could actually cure the disease, and the patient cannot pay for the treatment, then the disease remains incurable.”

    To say that this is frightening for people with disabilities, communities of color and poor people is an understatement! Under this proposed assisted suicide law, because of this climate we’re living in, more, not fewer people will fall prey to assisted suicide.

    Because of the racist, profit-driven nature of our health care system and the tendency of doctors to devalue the lives of disabled, people of color and the poor, assisted suicide has no place as an option in New York.

    Thank you for your attention.
    Categories: Discussion

    American Medical Association says NO to assisted suicide

    Sat, 2018-05-05 00:19
    This article was published by National Review online on May 4, 2018.
    Wesley SmithBy Wesley Smith
    The AMA was asked by legalization activists to revisit its decades-long opposition to legalizing assisted suicide, specifically, to distinguish between suicide and the the euthanasia movement’s favorite euphemism, “aid in dying.”

    Big mistake. The Ethics Committee reiterated its opposition to legalization in full, with some wisdom worth recounting here.

    First, the AMA rejects the nonsense that assisted suicide somehow isn’t suicide. From “Report of the Council on ethical and Judicial Affairs,” CEJS Report 5-A-18 (my emphasis):The council recognizes that choosing one term of art over others can carry multiple, and not always intended messages. However, in the absence of a perfect option, CEJA believes ethical deliberation and debate is best served by using plainly descriptive language.Exactly what I have been saying. But I digress:In the council’s view, despite its negative connotations, the term “physician assisted suicide” describes the practice with the greatest precision. Most importantly, it clearly distinguishes the practice from euthanasia. The terms “aid in dying” or “death with dignity” could be used to describe either euthanasia or palliative/ hospice care at the end of life and this degree of ambiguity is unacceptable for providing ethical guidance.Yes! But of course, those are the very reasons activists want to use the term.The opinion also notes that the “guidelines will prevent abuse” meme hasn’t exactly worked in Netherlands and Belgium:Although cross-cultural comparisons are problematic, current evidence from Europe present a cautionary tale. Recent findings from studies in Belgium and the Netherlands, both countries that permit euthanasia as well as physician-assisted suicide, mitigate some fears but underscore others. For example, research in the Netherlands has found that “requests characterized by psychological as opposed to physical suffering were more likely to be rejected…At the same time, however, among patients who obtained euthanasia or assisted suicide, nearly 4 percent “reported only psychological suffering.”That may be old news. Recently published data show that more than 80 mentally ill patients were euthanized in 2017 in the Netherlands, which happens in Belgium too.

    The report shows that oversight in Netherlands tends to be a rubber-stamp affair, which I assert also happens in Oregon.Studies have also raised questions about how effective retrospective review of decisions to provide euthanasia/assisted suicide is in policing practice. A qualitative analysis of cases that Dutch regional euthanasia committees determined had not met legal “due care criteria” found that such reviews focus on procedural considerations and do not “directly assess the actual eligibility” of the patients who obtained euthanasia. A separate study of cases in which psychiatric patients obtained euthanasia found that physicians’ reports “stated that psychosis or depression did or did not affect capacity but provided little explanation regarding their judgments” and that review committees “generally accepted the judgment of the physician performing EAS [euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide]” .The report notes that quality end-of-life care is unequally available in the country, and is a particular problem for poor populations.

    The report concludes:After careful consideration, CEJA concludes that in its current form the Code offers guidance to support physicians and the patients they serve in making well-considered, mutually respectful decisions about legally available options for care at the end of life in the intimacy of a patient-physician relationship. The Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs therefore recommends that the Code of Medical Ethics not be amended.Good. A doctor’s role is to heal, palliate, counsel, and treat. It should never be to help kill.
    Categories: Discussion

    Scientist (104 year-old) assisted suicide death campaign.

    Fri, 2018-05-04 16:07
    This article was published by OneNewsNow on May 4, 2018

    A death request from an Australian scientist may have the potential of setting a dangerous legal precedent.

    Renowned scientist David Goodall does not have a terminal illness, but he is traveling to Switzerland, where he is scheduled to be euthanized.

    At 104 years old, Goodall contends that he is just tired of living.

    Alex SchadenbergAlex Schadenberg of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition told OneNewsNow that Goodall is being used by certain leftist interest groups to promote euthanasia and assisted suicide.
    “And it's similar to what we experienced here in Canada before they legalized [euthanasia], where we were constantly inundated by different stories – different reasons why we should legalize euthanasia,” Schadenberg shared. “And if you consider the multiplicity of these types of stories, it wears down the resistance to the concept of doctors killing their patients.”Schadenberg noted that, there has apparently been no effort to provide Goodall what he really needs – which includes loving people being part of his life – not a date with death.
    “They've raised thousands and thousands of dollars now to send this guy to Switzerland – for lethal drugs,” he asserted. “To me, this is a real abandonment of a guy who is feeling that his life has lost [its] purpose, and maybe he's tired of living, but you know there are lots of people who feel that their life has lost purpose and they're tired of living. Should we now start a fundraising campaign for all of them to go to Switzerland?”Schadenberg said that this is the next step in the whole euthanasia-assisted suicide saga – the tired of living debate – which is now actually called “freedom to choose, autonomy.”

    Critics argue that what is really needed is a caring culture – rather than railroading and luring people toward a doomed fate with lethal drugs.
    Categories: Discussion

    Swiss suicide clinic is a profitable death business.

    Fri, 2018-05-04 03:57
    Alex Schadenberg
    Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
    In response to the latest assisted suicide campaign, whereby a healthy 104 year-old man is seeking to die by assisted suicide in Switzerland, the Swiss Local News published an article on how the Swiss assisted suicide law and clinics operate.

    One of the issues that the Swiss news investigated was - How much does assisted suicide cost? The article reported on the fees to die at the Dignitas clinic:
    Beyond the Dignitas membership costs (200 francs for a one-off joining fee, or 80 francs a year), people wishing to pursue assisted suicide must pay an upfront 4,000-franc fee, without any guarantee this suicide will go ahead. A further 1,000 francs must be paid for medical consultations and the writing of the prescription for medication required. Finally, if assisted suicide goes ahead, another 2,500 francs is charged to cover Dignitas costs, according to their website. Dignitas can also organise funerals and oversee administrative affairs. The total cost is therefore 7,500 francs without funeral and administrative services and 10,500 francs with those services – usually payable in advance. But is should be noted Dignitas can waive some or all costs for people in financial difficulties.The last comment, about waiving some or all of the costs to kill people in financial distress is questionable at best.

    Several years ago the Telegraph did an investigation into the Dignitas suicide clinic. The Telegraph reported how profitable Dignitas had become:
    Previously a human rights lawyer and an attorney at the Zurich bar, Mr Minelli had no taxable personal fortune registered when he set up his suicide clinic in 1998.

    A decade later, the Beobachter investigation found, he had an annual taxable income of £98,000 and a personal fortune of over £1.2 million, wealth that includes a luxury villa.

    Mr Minelli, who said he would take no salary from Dignitas when opening the clinic 12 years ago, has insisted that his wealth comes from an inheritance, left by his mother.

    But the cost of a simple suicide at Dignitas has risen from £1,800 in 2005 to £4,500, fuelling suspicions that the clinic may not be sticking to Swiss laws that are supposed to prevent people “selfishly” profiting from assisted suicide.

    The cost of the clinic’s full service, including funerals, medical costs and official fees, is as high as £7,000.

    ...Dignitas has faced criticism for accepting donations from suicide clients, one patient is said to have signed over more than £60,000.

    Soraya Wernli, a nurse employed by Dignitas between 2003 and 2005, has accused the organisation of being a “production line of death concerned only with profits”.The Dignitas assisted suicide clinic has promoted their business on a world-wide basis. They are not a non-profit corporation and I doubt they are offering free deaths for the poor.
    Categories: Discussion

    Pain Doctors Face Greater Scrutiny Than Death Doctors

    Fri, 2018-05-04 00:22
    This article was published by National Review online on May 3, 2018

    Wesley SmithBy Wesley Smith
    Our society often sacrifices law-abiding and productive people to protect the dysfunctional from themselves.

    The current attack on opioid addiction threatens more of the same. To prevent over-prescribing and pill-pushing, pain patients who need strong drugs to function are being pushed off their proper dosages. The result too often? Agony.

    Reason has a very good article on this problem in the current issue. I am not a believer in its libertarian approaches to drugs, but the article does a splendid job of describing how the well-being of legitimate pain patients are being sacrificed in the fight against opioid addiction. From, “America’s War on Pain is Killing Addicts and Leaving Patients in Agony“:
    Some physicians have decided the safest course is to stop prescribing opioids altogether. “There are many pain clinics flooded with patients who have been treated previously by their primary care physician,” says Jianguo Cheng, president-elect of the AAPM. These refugees include patients who “have been functional” and “responding well” to opioids for “many years.” Schnoll sees similar problems. “Pain is still undertreated, and unfortunately it’s getting worse because of the backlash that’s occurring,” he says. “I still get calls from patients whom I treated years ago, who were on stable doses of medication, doing very well, who have chronic pain conditions, and they can’t get medication to treat their pain. They’re being taken off medication on which they had done very well for years.” One such patient, a former cable company salesman named John, successfully used OxyContin to treat the back pain caused by injuries sustained during a mugging in 2011. Before he found a medication that worked for him, he recalls, “my wife was about to leave me, because I was a miserable bastard. When you’re in that much pain, you want to just go to sleep and not wake up.” After the CDC guidelines came out, John was told that his daily dosage had to be cut in half. “My whole life turned upside down in a matter of 30 days,” he says. “I’m back in bed now. I can’t really get up very much, and I’m right back where I started in 2011.”The story has other such awful examples of functional lives on pain medication ruined by doctors afraid to treat their patients’ adequately or abandoning them for fear of government scrutiny. It’s very worth your time reading.

    And here’s the thing: At a time when assisted-suicide pushers fear-monger about unrelieved pain as a reason to legalize doctor-prescribed death, physicians are so afraid of the feds they leave some pain patients in the lurch, thereby unintentionally pushing them toward suicide — assisted and otherwise.

    Making matters worse, doctors who intentionally prescribe lethal doses of opioids for use in assisted suicide have far greater legal protections than physicians who prescribe the same drugs responsibly to control pain.

    What, Wesley? How is that possible?

    Assisted-suicide laws merely require that doctors act in “good faith,” such a low standard of care that it is almost impossible to violate barring malicious intent.

    In contrast, drug laws hold pain-control doctors to a much stricter and detailed standard of care — which places the palliative clinician under greater legal risks for making mistakes.

    So, here’s where we are:
    • Legitimate pain patients are being abandoned to agony that could be relieved because the responsible are being swept up with the dysfunctional and criminal.
    • Doctors who practice the difficult specialty of controlling pain find themselves increasingly under a darkening cloud of suspicion and greater threat of government scrutiny.
    • Doctors who prescribe opioids to patients for use in assisted suicide are free to do so with without worry about oversight or accountability.
    Talk about a topsy-turvy world.
    Categories: Discussion