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Are People Being Deceived about Euthanasia?

Alex Schadenberg - Tue, 2017-09-19 22:54
This article was published by HOPE Australia on September 20, 2017
Many euthanasia and assisted suicide proponents frame their arguments around “facts” and declarations that there is a majority of citizens who support such legislation. Yet, when you take a closer look, their “strong” basis for support is based on misconceptions about such legislation – and misconstrued facts!

John Buchanan highlights some of the major discrepancies between what euthanasia and assisted suicide advocates consider to be a strong basis for their campaign, and what the true facts of the matter are:
Myth 1: Public polls are reliable, and a decision about assisted suicide must accord with their results.

Reality: a poll about any matter is only useful to the extent that the question asked is realistic, and those polled have some knowledge about the matter…. Is it clinically realistic to ask a question like “Are you in favour of assisted suicide if someone has uncontrollable pain, and is terminally ill?”

A reading of the 1037 submissions to the Victorian parliamentary committee shows that such scenarios have occurred in the past (before palliative care was available) but should not be the case in 2017, now that modern palliative care is available – if people will use it. Good pain control measures are now possible if used properly. 
Myth 2: Pain is the main issue.

Reality: Recent research with people in Canada who requested assisted suicide shows that pain is not the main issue. The main reason given was a desire for control of personal circumstances.

This means that the “uncontrollable pain” issue has been used somewhat as a selling point, and the assertion of ‘autonomy’ is the main underlying issue. However, an assisted suicide process is not really autonomy, since others would be involved, and to exercise such choice would require a major change to medical ethics.
Myth 3: Doctors can tell you how long you have to live.

Reality: Doctors can give five-year survival rates. No doctor can tell you how long a person has to live. Such comments are guesswork. A guideline for PAS involving a 12-month prognosis is an illusion.
Myth 4: Assisted suicide would affect that individual only.

Reality: A law change affects everyone in the community. Hence there is a need to evaluate the effect of PAS law on the common good and medical practice. The fact is that in The Netherlands, and Belgium, the criteria have slipped to include not just people who appear terminally ill, but those with psychiatric illness who are physically well, and those who state they suffer in some way (but who are not assessed for any possible treatment).

Myth 5: Families are always benign and caring.

Reality: Evidence is that elder abuse is most likely from those close to a person, especially family. It is also a reality that when a person is seriously ill, many family members find it very stressful, and have quite mixed feelings about the ill person: part of you wants them to go on; part of you wants the whole experience over asap. I have experienced this myself. It makes a seriously ill person vulnerable to coercion from family to go down the assisted suicide path.

Myth 6: Likely guidelines are adequate safeguards.

Reality: The guidelines set out by the Victorian Ministerial Advisory Panel do not provide for any medical assessment of palliation at all. They do not provide for a genuinely independent medical opinion and do not attempt to detect coercion of the person. The door to elder abuse is left wide open.
Myth 7: The standard of future healthcare will not be affected.

Reality: As has become apparent overseas, healthcare economists soon realize that it is likely cheaper for the bureaucracy to offer a ‘comfort medication’ (suicide pill) than to pay for palliative care or chemotherapy. It is therefore very likely that assisted suicide legislation will distort future health care delivery – and that conclusion is drawn without even considering the expense of future dementia care.

These myths and misconceptions can have (literally) deadly consequences. Before any decisions or even debate takes place, all citizens have the right to fully understand what effects potential euthanasia and assisted suicide legislation could have, AND what other options exist.

Prematurely killing people as a means to escape pain and fear is not the answer. Instead, we can focus on making care and life better for all citizens, at all ages and for any condition.

We can live without euthanasia and assisted suicide.
Categories: Discussion

WATCH: At least 44 dead after earthquake strikes Mexico

ABC (USA) - Tue, 2017-09-19 22:51
The earthquake caused extensive damage to Mexico City.

Strong quake kills over 100 in Mexico on anniversary of 1985 disaster

Times of India - Tue, 2017-09-19 22:45
A magnitude 7.1 earthquake rocked central Mexico on Tuesday, killing at least 55 people as buildings collapsed in plumes of dust and thousands fled into the streets in panic.
Categories: Media

7.1 magnitude quake kills 61 in Mexico on anniversary of 1985 disaster

Times of India - Tue, 2017-09-19 22:45
A magnitude 7.1 earthquake rocked central Mexico on Tuesday, killing at least 55 people as buildings collapsed in plumes of dust and thousands fled into the streets in panic.
Categories: Media

Triple success for The Age at 2017 Australian Football Media Association awards

Sydney Morning Herald - Tue, 2017-09-19 22:41
The Age has won three major categories at the Australian Football Media awards on Tuesday night in Melbourne.
Categories: Media

RAF pilots stop ISIS public execution

Daily Mail - Tue, 2017-09-19 22:38
Secret strikes by RAF warplanes against jihadists in Iraq and Syria have stopped a series of home-grown terror attacks, a top commander reveals today.
Categories: Media

Tata and ThyssenKrupp 'agree' first stage of merger deal

BBC News - Tue, 2017-09-19 22:33
Tata and ThyssenKrupp owns steelworks across the UK including the largest site in Port Talbot.
Categories: Media

Just bluster? UN wonders about threat to 'totally destroy' N Korea

CNN - Tue, 2017-09-19 22:32
President Donald Trump's threat to "totally destroy North Korea" if it moves against the US or its allies raised questions about the administration's approach to the growing nuclear threat from Pyongyang.
Categories: Media

Earthquake levels buildings, leaves dozens dead

CNN - Tue, 2017-09-19 22:29
A magnitude-7.1 earthquake struck the central Mexican state of Puebla leveling buildings as far away as the capital, about 75 miles away. CNN's Brian Todd reports.
Categories: Media

Doubts over WikiLeaks' release of Russian surveillance system files

Sydney Morning Herald - Tue, 2017-09-19 22:20
​WikiLeaks has released documents that it claims offer details of how Moscow uses state surveillance to spy on Internet and mobile users.
Categories: Media

WWI German U-boat found off Belgian coast

CNN - Tue, 2017-09-19 22:19
A sunken German WWI U-boat has been discovered in the North Sea off the coast of Belgium.
Categories: Media

Mother-of-two describes being allergic to exercise

Daily Mail - Tue, 2017-09-19 22:17
No one ever believes that Sarah Manning Norton, 47 from Massachusetts, (pictured, right with her husband, Bill) is telling the truth about her allergy, but her attacks started when she was just 17.
Categories: Media

Trump Russia amb. pick: 'No question' Russia interfered

Daily Mail - Tue, 2017-09-19 22:16
Jon Huntsman, the president's nominee for ambassador to Russia, says there's 'no question' that the Kremlin was behind a plot last year to meddle in the presidential election.
Categories: Media

Nine stray elephants electrocuted in Botswana

Daily Mail - Tue, 2017-09-19 22:16
The herd is believed to have broken out of the north-eastern Makgadikgadi Pans Game Reserve and strayed into a nearby village of Dukwi.
Categories: Media

Adorable white dog gets dirty while digging in a mud pit 

Daily Mail - Tue, 2017-09-19 22:12
An adorable white dog named Zeus was shocked to discover his favorite hole was filled with water. He frantically digs and splashes himself with mud and quickly gets very dirty in Orange Park, Florida.
Categories: Media

England women 6-0 Russia women

BBC News - Tue, 2017-09-19 22:12
England begin their World Cup qualifying campaign with a 6-0 thrashing of Russia at Prenton Park.
Categories: Media

'Rapid intensification' is fueling these major Atlantic hurricanes

CNN - Tue, 2017-09-19 22:09
It usually takes several days to a week for a tropical storm to grow into a hurricane. But if conditions are just right, a powerful major hurricane can develop in just hours.
Categories: Media

The six ingredients for a longer, happier life

Sydney Morning Herald - Tue, 2017-09-19 22:07
Often, when we discuss health and longevity, we talk about the individual parts rather than the harmony of the whole. 
Categories: Media

Viewers dismayed as Dr Foster romps with cheating ex

Daily Mail - Tue, 2017-09-19 22:05
He betrayed her by having an affair with a woman almost half her age. But Dr Gemma Foster’s hatred for ex-husband Simon did not stop her stripping down for a passionate sex session with him.
Categories: Media

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