Cassiopaea Forum

Fellowship of the Cosmic Mind => Fellowship of the Cosmic Mind (Public) => Topic started by: Anam Cara on July 18, 2013, 09:00:35 PM

Title: Euthanasia
Post by: Anam Cara on July 18, 2013, 09:00:35 PM
I currently work as a part-time social carer to a wonderful man ‘A’, who has recently expressed his desire to die. I won’t dwell on his personal case, but it is certainly challenging me, forcing me to question subjects like the right to die, death, suffering and free will. As I try to frame my thinking as much as possible in the context of life in a Soul Community, which is my aim, I thought it more appropriate to post this in the FOTCM section.

According to wikipedia, euthanasia “refers to the practice of intentionally ending a life in order to relieve pain and suffering.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euthanasia

In an article posted on SOTT earlier this year - France moves toward legalizing "assisted death" - generally confirms my own observations from talking to patients, family and carers.

“A report recently handed to the council found that there was widespread dissatisfaction among terminally ill patients and their families over a "cure at all costs" culture in the medical establishment.”

http://www.sott.net/article/258486-France-moves-toward-legalizing-assisted-death

From another article from 2011,

"Those Swiss politicians who want to change the rules on assisted suicide behave like moral apostles," said Margrit Weibel, president of Zurich-based suicide organization Ex International. "They are backward-looking people, entangled in the Christian belief that human beings don't have the right to make decisions on when to end their lives."

http://www.sott.net/article/221857-Suicide-Tourists-Make-Swiss-Uneasy-as-Terminally-Ill-Seek-Death


So who benefits from the present system of maintaining a “cure of all costs”? Well, in ‘A’s case, he had to sell his home in order to finance his long term care. The care home is privately owned, although at one time it was council run. Although it is staffed with lovely, professional carers and well managed - it is a profit making operation. Big Pharma obviously benefit from the medication that is administered too, from a legal context, they have an obligation to make profit for shareholders. So rather than actually ask folk what they want, in terms of treatment and care, there is a general assumption that keeping someone alive, irrespective of their wishes even, is ‘caring’.

As one of my daughters pointed out though, we all have the blues occasionally, so it is important to ascertain over a period of time, that a person can make a rational decision over their life choices. If a person is suffering and feels they no longer have any quality of life, and cannot take their own life despite that being their preferred choice - forcing them to live does not seem to honour their individual free will.



The C’s mention the following regarding suicide.


 Cs session: November 7, 1994

Q: (L) What happens to people who commit suicide?

A: Varies according to circumstance.

Q: (L) In a general sense, is there some negative karma involved in committing suicide?

A: There can be negative karma involved with many things.

Q: (L) What about the death penalty?

A: Specify.

Q: (L) Is putting a criminal to death the equivalent of reducing society to the level of the criminal?

A: You are all put to death.

Q: (L) What do you mean?

A: In one way or another.

Q: (L) Well, is there any negative karma on society, the judge, the jury, the executioner, if a criminal is brought to trial, found guilty of a heinous crime and then put to death?

A: What about war? What is better? This is open because all are murderers and suicides. It is the supreme lesson you all must learn before you can graduate to ethereal existence. Your thinking is too simplified.

Q: (L) Is there ever a situation where execution helps relieve the criminal of some of his karma that may be caused by the commission of the crime for which he is being executed?

A: No.


I understand (at least in theory) the Third Force principle, and that right or wrong (STO or STS) is dependant on the specific situation, and that may be what the C’s were implying.

After observing that our dog Colby was beyond help and was just needlessly suffering, I decided to have him put down. It seemed the most compassionate and responsible course of action. The night before, my girls and I all slept on the floor with him, and said our goodbyes. It remains one of the most tender, loving occasions I have experienced. I know a lot of folk on here can empathise with this scenario.

So what about other human beings who are needlessly suffering and can articulate their free will, their desire to die - whether family, friends or complete strangers?

Can there be euthanasia in a Soul Community? Personally, I would think so. What about in today’s society with the legal and moral constraints and conditioning? Apart from Strategic Enclosure and External Considering, the principle of Third Force must be so important I feel.

As I understand it, SEEing and Doing involves being responsible; even or especially when most folk around us shirk theirs - let the State make my decisions for me, as it were.

Apart from the individual lesson I have with ‘A‘, I am aware of the probability or perhaps inevitability of seeing widespread suffering (particularly in care homes initially), as the s**t hit’s the fan in the near future - cometry induced plague, food shortages, economic meltdown etc etc.

History shows us that the weakest and most vulnerable in our society are always first to suffer and any possible individual consideration invariably gives way to blatent psychopathic systematic solutions - a eugenics agenda often dressed up as ‘caring, and the state must come first’ (genocide).

The future may be ‘open‘, but for me there is enough circumstantial evidence (Laura’s work etc) to suggest that apocalyptic cometry shocks correlate directly to the lack of spiritual makeup of society.


So widespread death and suffering seems to be something, objectively speaking, to prepare for, and we may face issues, such as euthanasia, that really test us, perhaps particularly our knowledge and application of the Third Force principle.
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Jason (ocean59) on July 19, 2013, 05:06:48 AM
Why does he want to die?
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Anam Cara on July 19, 2013, 09:07:24 AM
Hi jason,

,A, had a routine hernia operation several years ago, and was given a drug which he maintains ruined his life - left him feeling very different inside, which he still has trouble explaining. Despite various tests, nothing abnormal was found (or possibly disclosed). He always led a full life, well educated and travelled, though he was born with cerebal palsy, which he never allowed to unduly lessen his life experiences.
Since taken that drug, he got very depressed and stopped looking after himself. Noone believed him, which made him more despondant. He is now in a care home for disabled folk, and is living a life that he hates, sitting in front of the tv (he never even owned a tv before).

He has seen various profesionals, who say he suffers from bouts of delusion, and prescribe more drugs. I found alot of euthanasia literature from four years ago when i cleared his house. So it is obviously something he has been considering.

He just keeps on saying he is tired of living, has no quality of life and if his father were still alive, he would put him out of his misery.

He is aware if the legal situation however. I am gathering info on ,living wills, (called advanced decisions now in the UK) for him which at least may give him some sense of self determination regarding not wanting medical intervention in the future, if he becomes ill enough.

Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Anam Cara on July 25, 2013, 05:04:42 PM
Some information pertaining to this topic (in the UK) is listed below. I couldn't find any information relating to euthanasia within the FOTCM Statement of Principles, but there is mention of "care of the elderly." I understand that it is a 'work in progress' of course, but if new Soul Communities were being set up, having a legal safeguard to protect ones spiritual intentions regarding this matter seems important. Of course I don't know what the stance of the FOTCM is on this issue, but I feel it would be based on compassion and honouring free will.

I see folk of all ages (certainly not just the elderly), coming down with strokes,  accidents etc, (and I feel quite a few may be suffering unduly and perhaps against their wishes) and so many (and their families) have a completely distorted view of what rights they have in a legal context, often until its too late. The onus is on 'keeping folk alive whatever quality that may be' - not really about informing them about possible alternatives. Most folk are so conditioned anyway and have 'blind faith' in the medical profession (and their families), so don't even ask (if they can) and the number of 'loving families' effectively abandoning their disabled/dying 'burdens' in Care homes is truly heartwrenching.

As well as talking with 'A' about Advance Decisions (see below) I am considering it also.

I am not a 'morbid' person by nature, but am just facing the issue of death and unnecessary suffering head on, trying to identify my own fears and ignorance.  :)



"End of life law and practice is confused, contradictory and constantly changing. Dignity in Dying can help you to understand the law and how it may affect you. This section sets out your rights in several common areas of concern.

Our guide to rights at the end of life was published in October 2008. It sets out people's rights and choices under common law, the Mental Capacity Act and the recently published End of Life Care Strategy.

You can download a copy of the Your Rights at the End of Life guide here.

Dignity in Dying receives many requests for information about the specifics of the law around assisted dying.

We do not provide information about how to end life but some of the most frequently asked questions are answered on the pages below.

Can you help me die?
Can a doctor help me die?
Can I help someone die?
Withholding and withdrawing treatment
Refusing treatment
Care at the end of life
Carers' rights
Please contact us on 020 7479 7730 if you need to talk to somebody, or use our free online contact form."

http://www.dignityindying.org.uk/your-rights.html


"Advance Decisions (formerly known as Living Wills) are fully compliant with the Mental Capacity Act. They allow you to refuse life-sustaining treatment should you no longer be able to communicate and this refusal is legally binding upon doctors. They also allow you to request life-sustaining treatment, no matter what your prospects of recovery, although doctors do not have to respect these requests.

Advance Decisions are available for free from our partner charity, Compassion in Dying. Visit their website for further information: www.compassionindying.org.uk."

http://www.dignityindying.org.uk/advance-decisions.html


Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on July 25, 2013, 09:31:51 PM
The following is the official point of view as displayed by the Government of The Netherlands on its own website:

Quote
There are various ways to intentionally expedite the end of life. Euthanasia is the most explicit and is performed only when the patient has clearly expressed the wish to die. The Netherlands has statutory rules and procedures for the termination of life on request.

Under Dutch law, any action intended to terminate life is in principle a criminal offense. The only exemption from criminal liability is where a patient is experiencing unbearable suffering with no prospect of improvement and the attending physician fulfills the statutory due care criteria.

Source:  _http://www.government.nl/issues/euthanasia

On said page three sub pages are mentioned which I will relay here directly for convenience:

_http://www.government.nl/issues/euthanasia/euthanasia-assisted-suicide-and-non-resuscitation-on-request
_http://www.government.nl/issues/euthanasia/palliative-sedation-a-normal-medical-procedure
_http://www.government.nl/issues/euthanasia/euthanasia-and-newborn-infants

Recently, one of the national broadcasting companies aired a 55 Minutes TV-documentary (on June 24, 2013) about the euthanasia of a young girl aged 25 suffering from a hereditary disease for which there exists no cure yet.
She gave herself euthanasia as a birthday present on her 26Th birthday, after attending a lavish farewell party the previous night.

It can be viewed here (Dutch only, with Dutch subtitles): 
_http://www.dichtbij.nl/amsterdam-noord/lifestyle/zorg-en-welzijn/artikel/2886736/positieve-reacties-na-documentaire-over-euthanasie-priscilla.aspx

Quote from: bing and google translation, modified
Positive reactions after documentary about euthanasia Priscilla
REGION | June 25, 2013 | comment | By Marte van den Brink, close editor

AMSTERDAM - The documentary 'Nightly Butterfly, the last days of Priscilla' was aired Monday night by the NCRV. In this moving documentary director Peter Bosch follows the last five days of the 25-year-old Priscilla suffering the same fatal hereditary illness from which her mother deceased at the age of 31 after a long illness. On her 26Th birthday Priscilla gives herself the gift of euthanasia, after the night before a party is organized for her.

When Priscilla was diagnosed at age 16, her immediate decision was that she got to celebrate life every single day. Therefore she was no stranger to the Amsterdam nightlife, where she affectionately is nicknamed 'nightly butterfly' , referring to her tattoo of a butterfly and her life as a party goer.

In Surprise bar at the Leidseplein, a large birthday/farewell party for Priscilla was organized the night before her euthanasia. The party, her funeral card, the funeral arrangements and her headstone, everything went along as the Amsterdam inhabitant had wanted it.

The documentary shows how Priscilla, in the days before her death, is assisted by her best friends, her boyfriend and her family. Everyone supports her choice for euthanasia.

Priscilla: "It's all gone as I wanted. And it's still going the way I want. This has been my way to say Goodbye to everyone today and to prepare to take my final rest. It could not have been nicer or more beautiful...."

Comments and reactions
The broadcast of Monday evening was viewed by almost 700,000 people. The repeat was on Tuesday morning, and on the watch again channel Uitzendinggemist the documentary was also viewed more than 20,000 times on Tuesday morning alone.

The Facebook page that was created by her relatives received many positive reactions from people seeing the documentary.
Many people who respond to the page have a lot of admiration and respect for her courageous decision.
During the broadcast time, the documentary was even briefly Trending Topic on Twitter. 

Watch the documentary:

Other documentation on this subject (Dutch only):
_http://www.filmfestival.nl/profs_nl/films/regie-over-eigen-leven-en-sterven
_http://www.nrc.nl/nieuws/2013/06/19/film-van-psychiater-chabot-toont-hulp-euthanasie/
_http://www.eenwaardiglevenseinde.nl/sterven-in-eigen-regie-ooggetuigen/

A related subject to euthanasia is the so called Suicide or Death Tourism:

_http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide_tourism
_http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/archive/Switzerland_-_death_tourism_capital.html?cid=2929738
_http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2210024/Switzerland-rejects-moves-clamp-assisted-deaths-suicide-tourism-popular.html
_http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2009/oct/28/swiss-consider-ban-assisted-suicide


Hope this helps a bit.
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Anam Cara on July 26, 2013, 03:53:05 PM
Thanks Palinurus for the info. I will watch the documentry about Priscilla soon.

I watched another documentary called 'Terry Pratchett - choosing to die' last night which I would recommend to anyone interested. I have posted the link below with additional info in the Movies section.

http://viooz.co/movies/17369-terry-pratchett-choosing-to-die-2011.html
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on July 31, 2013, 05:37:21 PM
From:  _http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-23506186

Quote
31 July 2013 Last updated at 13:32 GMT

Right-to-die campaigners Nicklinson and Lamb lose battle

The family of late locked-in syndrome sufferer Tony Nicklinson and paralysed road accident victim Paul Lamb have lost their right-to-die challenges.

The Court of Appeal upheld a ruling that Mr Nicklinson had not had the right to ask a doctor to end his life. His widow is planning a further appeal.

Mr Lamb who won a battle to join the Nicklinson case also plans to appeal.

But a third paralysed man won his case seeking clearer prosecution guidance for health workers who help others die.

The man, known only as Martin, wants it to be lawful for a doctor or nurse to help him travel abroad to die with the help of a suicide organisation in Switzerland. His wife and other family want no involvement in his suicide.

The director of public prosecutions, who would be required to clarify his guidance, is seeking to appeal to the Supreme Court against the decision in Martin's case.

Speaking by means of special computer software, Martin said he was "delighted" by the judgement.

"It takes me one step closer to being able to decide how and when I end my life. I am only unable to take my own life because of my physical disabilities.

"Almost every aspect of my daily life is outside of my control. I want, at least, to be able to control my death and this judgement goes some way to allow me to do this."



'Conscience of the nation'

In the Nicklinson and Lamb case, the decision centred on whether the High Court was right in originally ruling that Parliament, not judges should decide whether the law on assisted dying should change.

The three Court of Appeal judges unanimously dismissed Mrs Nicklinson and Paul Lamb's challenge.

In the judgement, the Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge said Parliament represented "the conscience of the nation" when it came to addressing life and death issues, such as abortions and the death penalty.

"Judges, however eminent, do not: our responsibility is to discover the relevant legal principles, and apply the law as we find it."

Mr Nicklinson was 58 when he died naturally at his home in Wiltshire last year. His widow Jane, who has continued his fight, told the BBC she was "very, very disappointed" by the ruling, but "not totally surprised".

She added: "We will carry on with the case for as long as we can so that others who find themselves in a position similar to Tony don't have to suffer as he did. Nobody deserves such cruelty.

"Although we lost, the legal team are quite pleased with the outcome - the appeal judges actually upheld a couple of points which the High Court rejected, which is a step forward."


'Too scared'

Paul Lamb wanted the law changed so any doctor who helped him die would have a defence against the charge of murder.

The 57-year-old from Leeds has been almost completely paralysed from the neck down since a car accident 23 years ago and says he is in constant pain.

"I was hoping for a humane and dignified end - this judgement does not give me that," he said.

"I will carry on the legal fight - this is not just about me but about many, many other people who are being denied the right to die a humane and dignified death just because the law is too scared to grapple with these issues."

Saimo Chahal, the solicitor acting for Mrs Nicklinson and Mr Lamb, said there was "no prospect of Parliament adjudicating on the issue any time soon" so Paul's only option was to try to persuade the courts that his concerns were "real and legitimate".

But Dr Andrew Fergusson, of the Care Not Killing campaign group, welcomed the Nicklinson and Lamb ruling, saying: "All three judges were very clear on legal, and I think ethical, grounds as well, that the law, if it's to be changed, must be changed by parliament alone. The courts cannot do it."

The British Humanist Association, which has supported Mr Lamb's case, described the matter as the "most important bioethical issue of our time".

It said it should not fall to people who have "already suffered enough" to fight legal case after legal case. Instead, Parliament and government should be putting the work in on changing the law.

Sarah Wootton, of the Dignity in Dying campaign, urged for some parliamentary debate and for MPs to look at the private members' bill tabled by Lord Falconer for the legalisation of assisted suicide for the terminally ill in England and Wales.


Campaigners for right to die:

*  The late Tony Nicklinson was paralysed from the neck down after suffering a stroke while on a business trip to Athens in 2005. After losing his High Court battle, he refused food and died, aged 58, a week later. His widow is continuing his fight.

*  Paul Lamb, 58, was paralysed from the neck down after a car accident in 1990. He says he endures pain every single day and does not want to keep living - but he has no way out.

*  The anonymous man - or "Martin" - suffered a massive stroke in August 2008, leaving him unable to speak and virtually unable to move. The 48-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, says his life is undignified, distressing and intolerable. 
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on July 31, 2013, 05:50:21 PM
Also found this:  _http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1132623/

You Don't Know Jack (2010)
TV Movie  -  134 min  -  Biography | Drama  -  24 April 2010 (USA)
A look at the life and work of doctor-assisted suicide advocate Jack Kevorkian.
Director: Barry Levinson
Writer: Adam Mazer
Stars: Al Pacino, Brenda Vaccaro, John Goodman 

Quote
Dr. Jack Kevorkian (1928 - 2011 ) in the 1990s, when he defies Michigan law assisting the suicide of terminally-ill persons. Support comes from his sister, a lab tech, the Hemlock Society president, and a lawyer. The child of survivors of the Armenian genocide interviews applicants: his sister video tapes them. He assembles a device allowing a person to initiate a three-chemical intravenous drip. The local D.A., the governor, and the Legislature respond. In court scenes, Kevorkian is sometimes antic. He's single-minded about giving dying individuals the right to determine how their lives will end. He wants the Supreme Court to rule. He picks a fight he can't win: is it hubris or heroism? 

Related info:

_http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voluntary_euthanasia
_http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Kevorkian
_http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/You_Don%27t_Know_Jack_%28film%29
_http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007Q35B8K/ref=atv_feed_catalog
_http://www.amazon.com/Kevorkian/dp/B00B193MJK/ref=pd_sim_mov_aiv_1/185-5865840-2018243
_http://www.hbo.com/movies/you-dont-know-jack/index.html
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Lindenlea on August 01, 2013, 10:54:57 AM
"The family of late locked-in syndrome sufferer Tony Nicklinson and paralysed road accident victim Paul Lamb have lost their right-to-die challenges."

This is very poignant in my life just now, as a few weeks ago I volunteered my time for 2 hours per week
helping the 'friends and family' of a man with Locked-in Syndrome (I'd never heard of it).  He apparently had a driving accident when he was 19 and he is now 42. We (a group of 4 or 5) work on a set of exercises to strengthen all of his muscles and help his breathing, for around 2 hours.  This is done 6 days a week by various volunteers.

Apparently his brain is ok and he can see and hear, though he seems to have difficulty focusing, the only reactions I have seen is a grimace if the exercise hurts a little, so we slow it down and ask him if we should continue with that particular exercise, he apparently can squeeze (small pressure) for a yes or no reply, though I sometimes think that could be wishful thinking on the requestor's side.

His parent's are very nice people, but in their 60's now and there will come a day when they can't look after his daily needs.  One of my first questions when I started was "would he be able to use a computer to convey his messages through his eyes, such as we see in medical documentaries", but it seemed to be a flat "no".

The setup in the home is phenominal in that it traverses 3 rooms of ceiling tracking with electrical switches to move him from bed to special wheel chair to massage tables etc., but sometimes I look at him and think 'do you really want to be here'.  This is the time I'd like to be able to converse with him telepathically, intead of him listening to our babble as we work on him.

I can't see a euthanasia system coming to Australian law anytime soon, in fact people have been threatened with charges if they were to assist in the suicide of their loved ones.  Having polical parties who's leaders are almost religiously rabid (IMO), it ain't going to happen.
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Loire on August 01, 2013, 11:54:07 AM
This article caught my attention because right now in South Africa where I live, there is a case of one famous and internationally known man by the name of Nelson Mandela who, at this time, is terminally ill in hospital and is being artificially kept alive by life-support machines. There have even been leaked report about him allegedly being in a permanent vegetative state. Whether these rumours are true or not, one thing remain for certain: all evidences indicate that the old man (who recently turned 95) will very likely never be able to normally function in the society again.

So now the million dollar questions become: why artificially prolong his life if it can no longer serve any purpose? Why shouldn't this lovely old man be allowed to rest in peace like every other dying person? Wouldn't it be better for his soul to be released from his body so it can proceed in its learning journey? Why try to delay his impending and inevitable death at all cost? Is forcing him to stay alive (in a Zombie-like state) a way of honouring his dignity and freewill, or is it just a sick obsession of those who like to use his influence for various social and political gains? These are some of the questions that very much disturb me vis-a-vis this case.

Before I never really gave much attention to this Euthanasia issue, but as I now begin to seriously consider all the rationales behind this practice, I find myself increasingly leaning toward favouring it. It now seems to me that everyone should be allowed to check out with dignity if their health state makes it impossible for their soul to express itself in their current body. It makes sense that the soul should be allowed to exit that body so it can begin to chose a new one in which to reincarnate.
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Anam Cara on August 01, 2013, 08:40:36 PM
Hi Lindenlea and Loire,

Lindenlea, there is a resident at the carehome I attend who has 'locked in syndrome' too, also from a road traffic accident. Like you, I wonder about the communication issue, but particularly if he or anyone in a similar position is ever asked "what do you really want or need?" The staff are fantastic at this care home, but I feel that 'true compassion and care' does not have to necessarily mean, keeping them comfortable and biologically 'alive'.

What does it really mean to be 'alive'? Under what situation would you choose to die?

The author Terry Prattchet, who has looked at attending a Swiss clinic that enable voluntary death said that for him, he would want to die when he can no longer communicate.

As you wrote Loire:

"So now the million dollar questions become: why artificially prolong his life if it can no longer serve any purpose? Why shouldn't this lovely old man be allowed to rest in peace like every other dying person? Wouldn't it be better for his soul to be released from his body so it can proceed in its learning journey? Why try to delay his impending and inevitable death at all cost? Is forcing him to stay alive (in a Zombie-like state) a way of honouring his dignity and freewill, or is it just a sick obsession of those who like to use his influence for various social and political gains? These are some of the questions that very much disturb me vis-a-vis this case."


Whether it is a respected international statesman like Nelson Mandela, a 'locked in syndrome' sufferer or anyone suffering needlessly contary to their wishes - they all deserve to pass on with dignity. We do it for our beloved 2D pets don't we?

 
Surely in a more humane world, we would honour the free will of others, and help them pass on with dignity and love. But then, just because someone asks to be helped to die - does not always mean they are always 'Asking'. The Cs say "give all to those who ask" and I am slowly leaning that there is no black/white, good/bad. It seems to come down to the Third Force again and the INTENT for that SPECIFIC situation.



I think we as a society (particularly Western) have been so conditioned to be fearful of death and disability, and this may explain why alot folk shy away from the subject. It would also explain why so many families do 'abandon' elderly and disabled into the 'care system'. It looks to me like traditional family values have been contantly eroded away over years and generations of the pathological PTB. Once having 3 generations living under the same roof was once normal, perhaps mostly from necessity; but it did give alot of opportunties for the natural development of caring and nurturing the most vulnerable in the family unit. Values which are quite obviously lacking in the wider society. But such values may have a place in a Soul Community perhaps, and is that not worth Working toward and striving to reach?


There are some small victories in the courts, but basically I don't see any chance of a radical legal shake up - why would the PTB do that? I do think however that a 'genocide program' dressed up as euthanasia is on the cards though, when food gets very scarce and prohibitively expensive and other systems possibly crash etc. Whats that saying - 'those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it'! Think nazi Germany or Romania under Nicolae Ceaușescu for such examples.
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: supriyanoel on September 03, 2013, 08:44:24 AM
Thank you Palinurus and Dreamrider for your considerate postings of this info. What touched me the most was the unselfishness and intentions of those who shared the most vulnerable and intimate passages from this world.To have access to this Swiss facility is also a privilege I think. 

 I have to say I had so many mixed emotions going on, but the biggest was the joy in my present breath, no matter how crummy I may feel, but to know there is always this option. I may be in a position where I may not be able to meditate myself into oblivion. The questions I have are, "Am I denying myself or others of necessary lessons?", should this come up personally. I suppose one cannot know til you know.

Its seems that yes, we are all put to death, but no matter, it is the lessons one learns. The one I had was renewed awareness of this moment and that what is unselfish is oftentimes hard, but with it comes an opening to a higher dimensional shift in consciousness, love. At least I experienced gratitude and it made me recall my selfishness at some of the instances where I could of assisted people more who were in pain with various diseases by being more present to their needs, rather than being less attentive. This one person , ME, was brought to a tearful and conscious awakening of my shortcomings and how I have the opportunity to love better. This was all about loving better and sharing intimacy and making decisions while not shutting loved ones out for me , at least at this time. I am glad it is being so brought out in the open, in the courts, and on this forum.
 
Some of the most majorly giving moments were when I worked with the dying, AIDS patients. I maybe received more that I gave, I don't know, but none ever voiced so adamantly about wishing for death. They voiced what hurt, thew tiredness, sadness, a gamut of emotion. Mostly what I gleaned was trust in the process.  Many were accepting, so it's really always different. Then again they didn't have the choice. Had they had it I think many would of gone. When it's not an option all sorts of processing and life continues. For ones with constant pain, I think it's common sense to leave. A lot of money is involved with illness, so it will never be legal without proving cruel and unusual punishment, and I think it will be very select. ALS and muscular distrophy, multiple sclerosis maybe. Alzheimer's? Not for ages. Too many people get it and too much money is made. Provides too many jobs. Remember where we are, so it might take a millennium. By then we won't need it.


It was also interesting to watch the process of decision making on the Terry Pratchett vid and watch the neverending chances at learning and being. Thanks again. Maybe this is why Switzerland comes to my mind so much!
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on September 03, 2013, 07:39:51 PM
Good literature on this specific subject seems scarce. Perhaps the following, although more general in scope, might be helpful:

A monograph (ca. 100 pages) entitled  The Loneliness of the Dying  written by Professor of Sociology Norbert Elias, published in 1985 and republished as a paperback in 2001.
Norbert Elias himself died in 1990.

Quote from: amazon
... this is a short meditation by a great old man on people relating to other people who are dying, and the need for all of us to open up.

Three reviews are available, with two of them suggesting other authors and titles worth reading.

Sources:
_http://www.amazon.com/Loneliness-Dying-Norbert-Elias/dp/0826413730/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top/186-8846049-255676

_http://www.amazon.com/Norbert-Elias/e/B001IQXA5M/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0
_http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norbert_Elias
_http://www.norberteliasfoundation.nl/

Hope this helps a bit.

Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: The Mechanic on September 17, 2013, 03:04:47 PM
Thanks for this topic, it brings up a lot of thoughts for me, especially about my late grandfather, who I know wanted to die because of his illness. He has even been quite mad at a couple of doctors once for resuscitating him, causing quite the stir in the family. Everybody was quite emotional over the fact that he didn't want to be resuscitated, which of course was quite the in your face indication that he wanted to die, which generated al kind of reactions like how awful it was for him to want that and how selfish it was of him, and how he wasn't thinking about the other family members and stuff like that. Then when he finally died at age 79 some family members were almost glad he died, because of the bad relationship they had had with him... I think I was one of the few persons in my family who understood him, and understood why he wanted out of it. He had severe reumatoid artritis, he had had it since he was 35 and was in constant suffering, with the disease progressively getting worse every year.



I know about one film that handles the subject, it's called "Simon" and is a Dutch movie from 2004. It's a 'normal' movie, not a documentary. I remember seeing it in a theater back then and being quite impressed by it.

_http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0393775/
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on September 17, 2013, 03:49:07 PM
Thanks for sharing your story with us, Mechanic.
People who want to die are often misunderstood by others, especially their next of kin, mostly for selfish or egotistical reasons according to my personal experience.

The film you mentioned caused quite a stir -- in a positive fashion, mind you.

It won four Dutch film awards (Gouden Kalveren, i.e. Golden Calves) for best movie, best actor, best direction and the audience award (publieksprijs).
It was also sent in as the Dutch contender at the Academy Awards (Oscars) of 2005 in the category Best Foreign Language Film but didn't make it into the nomination phase.
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Anam Cara on September 17, 2013, 06:10:08 PM
Thanks for the additional info and sharing experiences. The dutch film, Simon, sounds good.

Until i started to read such publications, such as End of Life Strategy (as referenced above) i did not realise just how few rights, especially when most vulnerable, we actually have. Even after being as informed as we can be, knowing our National or state current legal parameters, the onus is of course on 'Profit before People', and 'needless suffering before dignified dying'.

Supporting campaigners who challenge these legal systems, addressing our own fears about dying and death and perhaps considering dignified, compassionate alternatives may be positive steps i feel.
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on October 28, 2013, 07:43:31 PM
Today I suddenly remembered the title of another movie about this subject:  Whose Life Is It Anyway? (http://cassiopaea.org/forum/index.php/topic,31881.msg451424.html#msg451424)
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on December 14, 2013, 05:32:48 PM
_http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-25364745   and

http://www.sott.net/article/270111-Belgian-Senate-votes-to-extend-euthanasia-to-terminally-ill-children-who-are-in-great-pain-and-want-to-die

Quote from: BBC, emphases mine
Belgian Senate votes to extend euthanasia to children

13 December 2013 Last updated at 11:49 GMT

The Belgian Senate has voted in favour of extending its euthanasia law to terminally-ill children.

The Senate voted 50-17 in favour of the legislation, which is opposed by religious leaders in Belgium.

The bill seeks to allow children to ask for euthanasia if their illness is terminal, they are in great pain and there is no available treatment.

It will now go before the lower house of parliament, where correspondents say it is likely to be approved.

Belgium passed a law decriminalizing euthanasia for terminally-ill people over the age of 18 in 2002.

The latest bill proposes to make Belgium the first country in the world to remove any age limit on the practice.


But it stipulates a number of caveats on euthanasia:

*    It says the patient must be conscious of their decision and understand the meaning of euthanasia
*    The request must have been approved by the child's parents and medical team
*    Their illness must be terminal
*    They must be in great pain, with no available treatment to alleviate their distress

In November, 16 paediatricians urged lawmakers in Belgium to approve the legislation in an open letter.

"Experience shows us that in cases of serious illness and imminent death, minors develop very quickly a great maturity, to the point where they are often better able to reflect and express themselves on life than healthy people," said their statement.

During the Senate debate, supporters of the bill said it would empower doctors and terminally-ill children to make a difficult decision.

"There is no age for suffering and, next to that, it's very important that we have a legal framework for the doctors who are confronted with this demand today and for the minors, for the capable minors, who are suffering today, and who I think should have the freedom to choose how they cope with their suffering," said Senator Jean-Jacques de Gucht, of the Open Flemish Liberals and Democrats.

But opponents in the Senate said children were not capable of making such a decision.

"We think that children don't understand the character of death, they don't understand the irreversibility of death," said Els Van Hoof of the Christian Democratic and Flemish party. "They are also influenced by authority, by their parents, by the medical team. So, to take a decision which is a huge decision about their death we don't think that they are capable of doing it."

In 2012, Belgium recorded 1,432 cases of euthanasia in 2012, up by 25% from 2011. 
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Nienna on December 15, 2013, 12:52:37 PM
It's up here (http://www.sott.net/article/270111-Belgian-Senate-votes-to-extend-euthanasia-to-terminally-ill-children-who-are-in-great-pain-and-want-to-die) on SOTT.
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on December 15, 2013, 03:53:07 PM
Thank you Nienna. I already had that link incorporated though.   ;)
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Nienna on December 16, 2013, 12:09:10 PM
Thank you Nienna. I already had that link incorporated though.   ;)

So you did!   :)
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Anam Cara on December 18, 2013, 12:44:22 PM
Right-to-die challenge reaches Supreme Court

16 December 2013


Campaigners for the right to die are to have their arguments heard by the Supreme Court in the latest round of their legal battle.

It involves family of the late Tony Nicklinson of Wilts, who had locked-in syndrome, and Paul Lamb of Leeds, who was paralysed in a road crash.

They want the law changed so they can be allowed to die with the help of a doctor.

Judgement is likely to be issued at a later date.

The court will have to decide if the law prohibiting assisted suicide is incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights by denying Mr Lamb, and others like him, the right to choose the timing of their death.

There will be nine judges on the panel, rather than the normal five, overseeing the four-day hearing.

'Unanimously dismissed'
 
Paul Lamb, 57, has been almost completely paralysed from the neck down since a car accident 23 years ago and says he is in constant pain.

He has called for the law to be changed so any doctor who helped him die would have a defence against the charge of murder.

Tony Nicklinson was paralysed from the neck down after suffering a stroke while on a business trip to Athens in 2005.

After losing his High Court battle last year, he refused food and died naturally, aged 58, a week later at his home in Wiltshire. His widow Jane is continuing his fight.

Earlier this year, Mr Lamb joined forces with Mr Nicklinson's family to fight a joint legal battle.

'Conscience of the nation'
 
In their Appeal Court case, the decision centred on whether the High Court was right to rule Parliament, not judges, should decide whether the law on assisted dying should change.

The three Court of Appeal judges unanimously dismissed the Nicklinson and Lamb challenge.

In the judgement, the Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge said Parliament represented "the conscience of the nation" when it came to addressing life and death issues, such as abortions and the death penalty.

"Judges, however eminent, do not: our responsibility is to discover the relevant legal principles, and apply the law as we find it," he said.

At the same hearing a third paralysed man won his case seeking clearer prosecution guidance from the director of public prosecutions (DPP) for health workers who help others die.

The man, known only as Martin, wants it to be lawful for a doctor or nurse to help him travel abroad to die with the help of a suicide organisation in Switzerland. His wife and other family want no involvement in his suicide.

The Supreme Court will also deal with the DPP's appeal against the Court of Appeal's ruling in Martin's favour.




Analysis

Clive Coleman
 
Legal correspondent, BBC News
 
These cases raise some of the most profound ethical, moral and legal questions imaginable. Whilst it is not a crime to commit suicide, it remains a serious crime to assist someone to do so, punishable by up to 14 years imprisonment.

Paul Lamb's argument is that the current law represents a disproportionate and discriminatory interference with his right to a private and family life under Article 8 of the Human Rights Act, because it does not allow him to end his life at a time and in a manner of his choosing - with the help of a medical professional. To fix that, he wants there to be a defence available to any doctor who assists a severely disabled person to end their life. This would be subject to strict safeguards, and would have to be sanctioned by a court in each individual case.

However, the defence is known as 'necessity' and it is based on the idea that it is necessary to assist to end a life in order to end unbearable suffering. That is hugely controversial and whilst many people will have enormous empathy with Paul Lamb and others like him, they fear that any relaxation in the law governing assisted suicide or euthanasia, would expose vulnerable groups such as the elderly, those with dementia and the disabled to pressure to end their lives so as not to be a financial or emotional burden.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-25363947
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: l apprenti de forgeron on December 18, 2013, 11:02:06 PM
http://www.sott.net/article/270111-Belgian-Senate-votes-to-extend-euthanasia-to-terminally-ill-children-who-are-in-great-pain-and-want-to-die
Quote from: BBC, emphases mine
"Experience shows us that in cases of serious illness and imminent death, minors develop very quickly a great maturity, to the point where they are often better able to reflect and express themselves on life than healthy people," said their statement.
It is terrible to think in such children. I think it's the worse thing. But perhaps today we need have legislation that makes everyone more aware of the value of life. Because it's much more loving end a life without cure that the extension, which only prolongs the suffering (very "Christian" that extension only for suffering). We need such laws to our human life be mirroring as "terrible" and that often not politicians, doctors or gods can do anything. Learn to re-value. It would be a step forward. What moves me to tears is that often children are more mature than adults. And value life better. I think something was said in "Bringers of the Dawn"  like "when life is not worth prolonging it should not. Animals respect their quality of life, so if this is not present, they go. Instead humans not do this." I think that was the idea.
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on January 30, 2014, 05:14:55 PM
For archiving purposes, here's a link to a for this topic relevant SotT article:

http://www.sott.net/article/272881-New-Mexico-judge-affirms-right-to-aid-in-dying
Title: Re: Эвтаназия
Post by: Alvalsen on January 31, 2014, 12:26:51 PM
euthanasia - is a complex topic
I think if people want to get away from life, if he really is terminally ill and suffering, give him that opportunity - it humanely
but then he has to do it, he pressed "button" that would make lethal injection

so others will be calmer
nobody will blame themselves for someone's death

but it is difficult to give a definite answer
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Arwenn on February 02, 2014, 12:39:05 PM
....So now the million dollar questions become: why artificially prolong his life if it can no longer serve any purpose? Why shouldn't this lovely old man be allowed to rest in peace like every other dying person? Wouldn't it be better for his soul to be released from his body so it can proceed in its learning journey? Why try to delay his impending and inevitable death at all cost? Is forcing him to stay alive (in a Zombie-like state) a way of honouring his dignity and freewill, or is it just a sick obsession of those who like to use his influence for various social and political gains?
...It now seems to me that everyone should be allowed to check out with dignity if their health state makes it impossible for their soul to express itself in their current body. It makes sense that the soul should be allowed to exit that body so it can begin to chose a new one in which to reincarnate.


I was only having a conversation regarding this with a friend of mine this morning. I was making the comparison that a Vet treating an animal for which there was no hope of healing/recovery, would put the animal down as the most humane thing to do, so as to end its suffering rather than prolong it. Yet, the Medico-Legal System is all about prolonging lives at any cost, yet the cost is huge in terms of the suffering inflicted on everyone concerned. If there is no quality of life, and no hope of recovery why can't it be a person's choice as to when they leave 3rd density? The only benefits I can see are to Big Pharma, the Medical Mafia, and perhaps insurance companies who'd rather delay in paying out any Life policies.


Hi Lindenlea and Loire,
....
What does it really mean to be 'alive'? Under what situation would you choose to die?...
 Surely in a more humane world, we would honour the free will of others, and help them pass on with dignity and love. But then, just because someone asks to be helped to die - does not always mean they are always 'Asking'. The Cs say "give all to those who ask" and I am slowly leaning that there is no black/white, good/bad. It seems to come down to the Third Force again and the INTENT for that SPECIFIC situation.


I couldn't have said it better, Anam Cara. I too think that each case has its own specific conditions, that there can't be any black and white thinking here, and that it does indeed come down to the Third Force. BUT, it would be nice to have the option legally speaking.


I think we as a society (particularly Western) have been so conditioned to be fearful of death and disability, and this may explain why alot folk shy away from the subject. It would also explain why so many families do 'abandon' elderly and disabled into the 'care system'. It looks to me like traditional family values have been contently eroded away over years and generations of the pathological PTB. Once having 3 generations living under the same roof was once normal, perhaps mostly from necessity; but it did give a lot of op portunties for the natural development of caring and nurturing the most vulnerable in the family unit. Values which are quite obviously lacking in the wider society. But such values may have a place in a Soul Community perhaps, and is that not worth Working toward and striving to reach?



My small town where I have an optometric practice, has primarily an elderly demographic (ages  70+ years). Most seem desperately lonely, most live independently (without their extended families) or in aged care. My observations are that most (but certainly not all) seem fearful of dying, have terrible diets & multiple co-morbidities, & are on just about every drug. For the most part, they appear to live very superficial lives, which seem quite empty to me. This is what has been imposed on us by pathologicals as to what we should expect as we age, & how we should live. Yet in non-Western ethnic communities, people live as a close-knit extended family where there is always someone to help look after children, and the elderly have a purpose.

Reflecting on the whole Spirit Release Therapy and attachments from the Knowledge and Being videos by Laura, it would seem that indeed Western society and monotheistic religions have made us very fearful of the process of dying. Hence the attachments (they don't know how to transition to 5th D). The very institutions that are supposed to be a source of spiritual guidance through life and into death, have failed humanity miserably.
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on February 14, 2014, 04:24:44 PM
For archiving purposes:  _http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-26181615

Quote from: BBC
Belgium's parliament votes through child euthanasia

13 February 2014 Last updated at 18:57 GMT

Parliament in Belgium has passed a bill allowing euthanasia for terminally ill children without any age limit, by 86 votes to 44, with 12 abstentions.

When, as expected, the bill is signed by the king, Belgium will become the first country in the world to remove any age limit on the practice.

It may be requested by terminally ill children who are in great pain and also have parental consent.

Opponents argue children cannot make such a difficult decision.

It is 12 years since Belgium legalised euthanasia for adults.

In the Netherlands, Belgium's northern neighbour, euthanasia is legal for children over the age of 12, if there is parental consent.

[continued...] 

From another source:  http://www.sott.net/article/273804-Belgium-approves-assisted-suicide-for-minors
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Arwenn on February 14, 2014, 11:56:20 PM
Yup, this did make the news here yesterday - the announcement was followed by interviewing people vehemently opposed to the decision in Belgium (with dire warnings of the consequences for us all). It's the MSM's insidious way of controlling public opinion (as they certainly did not present both sides of the issue).
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Tripitaka on February 26, 2014, 11:21:57 AM
This is a great topic to talk about, as it is such a difficult subject to really have a definite yes or no opinion on, unless you have experienced the desire to do this yourself, majority of us have no room to talk really.
As everyone else I have my own opinions also. They are very split both ways, as i am sure most peoples will be on this topic.

Firstly I feel that as souls before cominig to earth we pre planned certain events to happen, or things we were born with etc, in order to learn a very specific lesson, like acceptance, patience, so on and so forth, so we agree to be for example paralysed from the neck down in this life in order to do this. My theory is that the more severe the handicap, pain etc the more we want to learn this lesson, as maybe it is a lesson that is taking lifetimes to achieve so putting ourselves in such a severe situation with our bodies, we have much more chance to finally learn this lesson...

Now if one chooses to die in some ways i feel they are avoiding the situation that they pre planned. And will just ave to repeat the cycle again until they learn what it is to learn being in whatever state they were in.
In a completely different way, if one conciously chooses to die, with total acceptance and awareness of what they are about to do and have peace in thier hearts, this may actually also be a lesson in choosing nobly when to die and when not to. Do they really have to live? Choosing to die I feel in some ways can be a noble act, with as many powerful lessons and choosing not to.

This is why it is so hard to have a straight opinion on this topic as it is actually impossible to when we do not know the whole truth spiritually speaking of the lessons each and every one of these souls came here to learn??

Ciou :)
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Felipe4 on March 09, 2014, 08:00:49 AM
Hi Anam Cara, I do not think taking one's life is entirely bad as it is said…
I'm referring to the spiritual sense rather than any medical ethic or whatever they want to call it….
The C's made mention in one of the sessions something interesting..


Quote
Session March 4 2012

Q: (L) Okay, the first question I have is that I have been contacted by this guy named Armando. His son died. The son was born on August 10, 1996, and died on October 7, 2011 in Santa Barbara, California. Now, he has some questions, and I'm making an exception to ask these questions for him because he's really quite distraught. So, his first question - and I'm gonna try to help out with these questions - as he wrote it is, "Did his son decide to go to the contemplation zone, or did he decide to stay here?"

A: It would not be a good thing to be earth bound. Sergio was confused for a bit, but his father's questions enabled him to move on.

Q: (L) Okay. His father asks, "Is there anything I can do to help him?"

A: His father is not in a position to help in any other way than to release and accept his son's choice.

Q: (L) Are you saying that his son chose to leave?

A: At one level, yes.

Q: (L) But it was a terrible accident. I mean, how can you choose by an accident?

A: At the level of the soul the decision is made to withdraw the awareness that normally prevents such occurrences.

Q: (L) So you're saying that when accidents happen, that at some level even if the specific accident isn't engineered or set up, that the soul can make a choice to withdraw the acute awareness of reality that permits an accident to be more possible or probable? Is that it?

A: Yes.

Q: (L) And is that what happened in this case?

A: Yes.

Q: (L) Why did his son make that choice?

A: He knew what was coming and chose to prepare for the next level of service.

Q: (L) His father asks, "Was his death caused by STS to generate pain and suffering on us and the community just to feed them?"

A: No.

Q: (L) Is there anything you can say to Armando to help him deal with his pain?

A: Death is just passing through a door that is not accessible to the living except on the mental planes. If his father wishes to fully honor his son and his choice, he might do well to use this event as motivation to develop himself in a more fully spiritual way. More than that, he could help others in lieu of his son for his son.

Q: (Ark) Well, once we are on this subject, I want to ask about these mathematicians. Yesterday I learned that from my mathematician friend in Poland about the death of - in our Kairos club - a young mathematician Branson. And apparently he was quite young and for no reason suddenly he died driving a car. (L) In an accident? (Ark) No, while he was driving. Now, he was a friend of the German mathematician who worked with Irving Segal, the young guy that drowned in Clausthal in the lake. There was a conference, and they went for a swim in the lake. People were on the shore watching, and he just sank in seconds and that was all. He was also like 20-some years old. Then we had this Pertti Lounesto, the same club, related to the same area of mathematics, who drowned in the sea a few months after we saw him at the conference {in Cookville, Tennessee}. Okay, and then we had the Russian mathematician who was doing also similar work, and he went to the Black sea for vacation and he drowned. All these young people died, and they are all mathematicians doing very abstract work. It's too many of them to have drowned just by accident. I mean, what kind of coincidence is it? Any comment?

A: It is not a coincidence. It is too bad that so many who are on the right track in so many ways do not have the advantage of knowing about those things that would shield them from frequency driven attacks; such things as diet changes that would protect them from direct manipulation; things such as awareness of other densities. But, of course this last item would have come to their notice.

Q: (L) Alright, while we're on the subject, one of my Facebook friends, Lindy, had a daughter named Arianna who died on my birthday. Which is kind of interesting because this young boy Sergio, Armando's son, died on my grandmother's birthday. So anyway, this Arianna died apparently in her sleep. She's had seizure disorders since she was young, and she tried to go on a gluten/dairy-free diet and so forth, but she couldn't leave the sugar alone. Any comment on this?

A: Arianna was waking and realized at the soul level that the body was no longer useful. She just "stepped out".


I wouldn't personally like to think that it is always the case, or maybe I should re phrase it and say that such choice is not always made at the same level of consciousness, and that such things as suicide, death and such are a choice that isn't bound to good and evil as much as the choices in front of you and the person's specific path…

I do remember where I personally got the idea of "suicide is evil" in the literal form of "If you kill yourself you go to hell" that my grandmother, a catholic raised woman and several other priests during my upbringing taught us and even made emphasis on, so for the most part, it comes from contemporary Christian doctrines and so on.   
 
I do know that the C's had also said something that I actually read yesterday on Laura's book "Facing the unknown" that "a person does not become an STO candidate by determining the needs of another", it is up to them to make such judgement and decision  , the question I have in regards to your situation would be of course, what if they can't make the jump themselves of course, that even though this person does not want to live, and is in intentional prolonged pain, like many people with paralyzes,  ME and more, suffer,  what to do then……? It isn't up to us to kill them neither to prolong their pain…...  I personally can't say…
it is indeed a difficult subject.
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Arwenn on March 10, 2014, 01:14:44 AM
Quote
A: Death is just passing through a door that is not accessible to the living except on the mental planes. If his father wishes to fully honor his son and his choice, he might do well to use this event as motivation to develop himself in a more fully spiritual way. More than that, he could help others in lieu of his son for his son.

There is so much (deliberate?) obfuscation around the topic of death, which creates so much fear, grief and sadness (all emotions that feed 4D STS from what I've read of Laura's work). As I mentioned in a post above
Quote
Reflecting on the whole Spirit Release Therapy and attachments from the Knowledge and Being videos by Laura, it would seem that indeed Western society and monotheistic religions have made us very fearful of the process of dying. Hence the attachments (they don't know how to transition to 5th D). The very institutions that are supposed to be a source of spiritual guidance through life and into death, have failed humanity miserably.


It would be so healing to the grieving process and the transitioning if we know what to expect and how to safely go to 5D when it's our time. If we had knowledge that death is transition, that the body is just a vehicle or an outfit that one needs to change every so often to learn, grow etc and that it is the Soul is what matters, things would be so different.
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: ? on March 11, 2014, 07:31:05 PM
I don't know if my post would help with something, but since I saw some movie recommendations here I would like to share this finding with you: the movie is called "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly", it was made in 2007 and the story is about
Quote
Elle editor Jean-Dominique Bauby who suffers a stroke and has to live with an almost totally paralyzed body; only his left eye isn't paralyzed.

This is a true story. This man created a way of communicating with a therapist which helped to write a book!
Link to movie info
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0401383/

Giving-up is a choice, but not until you have NOTHING left. My opinion on this.
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on April 16, 2014, 07:44:56 PM
The latest news on practical technicalities:  _http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2014/04/pharmacists_sometimes_refuse_t.php 

Note: the in article hyper links are Dutch only.

Quote from:  source slightly modified
'Pharmacists sometimes refuse to give doctors euthanasia drugs'

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Dutch pharmacists sometimes refuse to provide the drugs needed by people who have chosen to end their lives through euthanasia, the NRC reports (http://www.nrc.nl/nieuws/2014/04/16/apothekers-weigeren-soms-middelen-voor-euthanasie-te-leveren/) on Wednesday.

Euthanasia has been legal in the Netherlands since 2002 under strict conditions and if approved by two doctors.

More than half of doctors working for the independent euthanasia clinic say they have been refused the drugs on the grounds that pharmacists do not agree euthanasia is appropriate for a particular patient.

Most refusals concern ‘controversial’ cases, i.e. patients who have dementia, a psychiatric illness, or who consider their lives ‘complete’. Some pharmacists refuse on religious grounds, the NRC says.

Minister

The issue is the subject of the television program Altijd Wat Monitor (http://altijdwatmonitor.ncrv.nl/p/500/dokter-ik-wil-euthanasie/apothekers-weigeren-medewerking-euthanasie) which will be broadcast on Wednesday and which has already prompted MPs from the left-wing green party GroenLinks to ask for a debate with health minister Edith Schippers.

Although only doctors have the legal right to decide about euthanasia, pharmacists’ association KNMP thinks pharmacists have a right to their own opinions.

‘A pharmacy is not a shop where deadly drugs are just handed over’, an association spokesperson told the program.   

During the program one doctor complains that his painstaking and regulated preparations for euthanasia are sometimes blocked at the last minute by a pharmacist who ‘has never even seen the patient.’

Legal requirement

Although they have no official role in the euthanasia process, pharmacists are not legally obliged to make drugs available, the NRC says. According to KMNP’s Annemieke Horikx, controversial cases divide doctors as well as pharmacists.

‘If you don’t agree you can’t continue’, said Horikx who also claims that doctors call pharmacies at the last moment. ‘They say: "Get me the medication and be quick about it". That’s no way to request medication. These are matters of life and death we’re dealing with. We also hear from pharmacists that the doctors concerned are unknown to them’.

The KMNP wants pharmacists to become part of the euthanasia law. It should also be possible for pharmacists who do not wish to cooperate to refer a doctor to another pharmacy, the association told the program.

© DutchNews.nl
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Thor on April 16, 2014, 08:10:35 PM
Quote
A: Death is just passing through a door that is not accessible to the living except on the mental planes. If his father wishes to fully honor his son and his choice, he might do well to use this event as motivation to develop himself in a more fully spiritual way. More than that, he could help others in lieu of his son for his son.

There is so much (deliberate?) obfuscation around the topic of death, which creates so much fear, grief and sadness (all emotions that feed 4D STS from what I've read of Laura's work). As I mentioned in a post above
Quote
Reflecting on the whole Spirit Release Therapy and attachments from the Knowledge and Being videos by Laura, it would seem that indeed Western society and monotheistic religions have made us very fearful of the process of dying. Hence the attachments (they don't know how to transition to 5th D). The very institutions that are supposed to be a source of spiritual guidance through life and into death, have failed humanity miserably.


It would be so healing to the grieving process and the transitioning if we know what to expect and how to safely go to 5D when it's our time. If we had knowledge that death is transition, that the body is just a vehicle or an outfit that one needs to change every so often to learn, grow etc and that it is the Soul is what matters, things would be so different.

I remember my yogi talking about the process of dying. He made the point that just before we die our brains shut down and all the things we've learnt mentally don't having that much relevance any longer. However, what has a great influence on the process is our how we breathe in the final stages. If we practice breathing on a regular basis during our lives (pranayama, EE, etc.) the body will automatically employ a breathing profile that reduces stress and this has a hugely beneficial effect on the transition. Knowledge protects - and so does breathing  :)
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on July 13, 2014, 06:37:49 PM
About the current state of the official debate in the UK, see here:

http://www.sott.net/article/281851-Right-to-die-Justin-Welby-and-ex-Archbishop-Lord-Carey-clash-over-assisted-dying-issue
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Mikha'el on August 03, 2014, 09:43:29 PM
I can only relate how I feel about this topic personally as I don't have relevant worldly information to impart. Take it as you will.

We are all here to learn lessons, that is the ultimate goal of 3D life according to the C's and my personal experiences backs this up.

When is it up to us, as individuals, to determine when we have stopped learning these lessons? Do these lessons stop revealing themselves to us when our physical bodies become defunct? When is it determined that our experiences no longer teach others by example?

I personally feel that physical discomfort can be an excellent teacher, I have experienced some incredible pain and sickness in my life and I have always felt that I came out of those situations as a much stronger individual with a more refined sense of my place. The side point there is that I did come out of them relatively intact.

Again, all of life is a lesson and we rarely determine what the curriculum will be.

If a being has determined that they are no longer relevant to the world and that there are no longer any lessons worth learning, then it is up to them to look to others to help in determining if they should continue their existence in this density. Does their existence contribute to the world in any way? If so, then their personal journey in this density is not complete. Could more be learned from their death than from their life?

I believe that answering these questions in pure honesty should help in determining the correct path.

I am a firm believer in providence and that the Universe will always show us the correct path, if we are able to listen properly to Her suggestions. Put your faith in Her ability to show the proper path and you cannot go wrong.
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on August 22, 2014, 04:21:43 PM
A questionable pilot study comes up with new totals for 'suicide tourism' in Switzerland:

http://www.sott.net/article/284229-A-telling-sign-of-our-times-Number-of-suicide-tourists-goes-up-in-Switzerland
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on October 01, 2014, 09:04:23 PM
Source:  _http://www.nltimes.nl/2014/09/30/nearly-5000-chose-euthanasia-2013-15-increase/

Overview of latest 2013 euthanasia totals in the Netherlands -- trend upwards: 

Quote
Nearly 5,000 chose euthanasia in 2013; 15% increase

Posted on Sep 30, 2014 by Emma Rapaport

Doctors in the Netherlands assisted 4,829 people to commit suicide in 2013, representing a 15% percent increase over 2012. The vast majority of cases involved patients suffering with cancer or unbearable pain, according to a report published by the five regional review committees.

The report outlined how doctors working in 2013 performed the euthanasia procedure in almost all cases. The committee flagged doctors in five cases because they did not perform the procedure according to the guidelines. In two cases, doctors made mistakes in their methodology, prescribing a non-standard drug to make the patient comatose. In none of the five cases were the errors so severe that the Public Prosecutor had to be called in.

Of the 4,829 people who were assisted, almost 3,600 were suffering from cancer related illnesses, 42 people reported having the procedure due to severe psychiatric problems, and 97 due to dementia cases where the patents were able to communicate their wish to die.

Euthanasia has been legal in the Netherlands under strict conditions since 2002.

According to CBS (Central Bureau of Statistics) the sum total of all deaths in 2013 amounted to 141,245 persons.  Link (http://statline.cbs.nl/StatWeb/publication/?VW=T&DM=SLNL&PA=37979ned&D1=0-1,6-8,11,14,17,20-21,23-25,28-29&D2=0,5,10,15,20,25,30,35,40,45,50,57-l&HD=100614-1440&HDR=G1&STB=T)

So just about 3% of those were deaths via euthanasia in 2013.
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: The Mechanic on October 11, 2014, 12:10:51 AM
This article on sott is worth reading considering the topic discussed: http://www.sott.net/article/287019-Brittany-Maynard-Why-I-scheduled-my-death-for-November-1st , from the article:
Quote
I do not want to die. But I am dying. And I want to die on my own terms.

Death with dignity allows for people who are in the predicament of facing a lot of suffering that they can decide when enough is enough.

So just about 3% of those were deaths via euthanasia in 2013.

Wow, that's a lot more than I was aware of...
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: davey72 on November 03, 2014, 01:53:10 PM
Looks like Brittany Maynard died as she wanted to.
http://lm.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.people.com%2Farticle%2Fbrittany-maynard-died-terminal-brain-cancer&h=lAQGWzsgl&enc=AZOGHOuUGCJmycb8Egzwqf37BkCZy1MVqzv7ELqpuWdxcxGQFoeZSKogKQ7aOuKBOgQ&s=1-
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on November 03, 2014, 02:59:24 PM
Looks like Brittany Maynard died as she wanted to.
http://lm.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.people.com%2Farticle%2Fbrittany-maynard-died-terminal-brain-cancer&h=lAQGWzsgl&enc=AZOGHOuUGCJmycb8Egzwqf37BkCZy1MVqzv7ELqpuWdxcxGQFoeZSKogKQ7aOuKBOgQ&s=1- 

Yes davey72, thanks for posting. You just beat me to it. Impressive and sad story.

Additional info:

_http://public.health.oregon.gov/ProviderPartnerResources/EvaluationResearch/DeathwithDignityAct/Pages/index.aspx

_http://www.thebrittanyfund.org/
_https://www.compassionandchoices.org/
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on November 03, 2014, 04:11:15 PM
http://www.sott.net/article/288400-May-she-rest-in-Peace-Death-with-dignity-advocate-Brittany-Maynards-voluntary-death-confirmed
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on November 06, 2014, 10:12:39 PM
Here's a story about what can happen when nothing sensible is allowed:

http://www.sott.net/article/288575-72-year-old-man-charged-with-murder-in-mercy-killing-his-wife-of-37-years
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Anam Cara on December 01, 2014, 12:23:07 PM
An interesting article on SOTT:

Quote
We have seen the expansion of the concept of relieving a person's pain to apply to emotional and psychiatric problems. Recently, an 89-year-old retired art teacher took her life at Dignitas in Switzerland. In an interview given to the London Times, she stated that she couldn't adapt to modern life and found that other people were acting increasingly like "robots." She had no terminal illness.

Quote
There is a slippery slope through which assisted suicide is becoming acceptable for those with emotional rather than terminal physical pain. This incurs uncomfortable recollections of the treatment of psychiatrically ill people in medieval times. Modern medicine seemed to go a great distance to reverse the perceptions and fate of those who were mentally ill, only to have a contemporary pathway carved out for their termination, via "choice."

http://www.sott.net/article/289654-Assisted-suicide-and-the-slippery-slope-towards-eugenics
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Anam Cara on January 05, 2015, 11:30:54 AM
For another aspect of the euthanasia issue, check out this article on SOTT. What about the "unbearable" psychological suffering of his victims and their families? Surely his 'inhumane' acts ought to result in lifetime basic incarceration, at the very least, with his 'suffering' prolonged for as long as possible. Offering him an early check out, by euthanasia, is an appalling, obscene affront to his victims.

Quote
Frank Van Den Bleeken, a serial murderer and rapist, who has spent 30 years in prison, is set to be euthanized in Belgium on January 11. He has asked to die due to his "unbearable" psychological suffering, local media reports.

Fifty-year-old Frank Van Den Bleeken has been convicted of repeated rape and murder, and the "euthanasia will indeed be implemented" in the northwestern town of Bruges, a justice ministry spokeswoman told local De Morgen newspaper.

"Now the time has come," she said.

Van Den Bleeken's euthanasia request was approved in September, but no date for the procedure was set then.

He has reportedly refused to be considered for early parole, viewing himself as a threat to society. However, he found the conditions behind bars inhumane, AFP reported, citing Belgian media.

The country's government hasn't released any official statement on the matter yet.

Belgium made euthanasia legal in 2002. In 2013, the number of mercy killings carried out in the country stood at 1,807, according to the statistics cited by AFP.

The terms for euthanasia are quite strict: patients must be mentally capable, conscious, and have demonstrated a "voluntary, considered and repeated" demand to die.

http://www.sott.net/article/290901-Serial-murderer-rapist-to-be-euthanized-in-Belgium-over-psychological-suffering
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on March 18, 2015, 10:20:33 PM
Apparently, something has started moving in the legislation on this issue in France lately:

http://www.sott.net/article/294042-France-passes-law-allowing-doctors-to-put-terminally-ill-patients-into-deep-sleep-before-death
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on March 26, 2015, 10:11:19 PM
Recent new data about the situation in Belgium can be found in the New England Journal of Medicine (http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc1414527):

Quote
Correspondence
Recent Trends in Euthanasia and Other End-of-Life Practices in Belgium

N Engl J Med 2015; 372:1179-1181  March 19, 2015  DOI: 10.1056/NEJMc1414527

<snip>

The rate of euthanasia increased significantly between 2007 and 2013, from 1.9 to 4.6% of deaths. The overall increase relates to increases in both the number of requests (from 3.5 to 6.0% of deaths) and the proportion of requests granted (from 56.3 to 76.8% of requests made).

After a decrease from 3.2% in 1998 to 1.8% in 2007, the rate of hastening death without an explicit request from the patient remained stable at 1.7% in 2013.

After an increase from 8.2% in 2001 to 14.5% in 2007, the rate of use of continuous deep sedation until death decreased to 12.0% in 2013.

<snip> 
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on March 28, 2015, 05:57:27 PM
Political turmoil around aid-in-dying legislation in Massachusetts and Connecticut lately:

Quote
Catholic Church Poised For Pivotal Role In Aid-In-Dying Bill

By Daniela Altimari  March 22 2015  8.44 AM

Polls consistently showed broad support for a 2012 ballot initiative in Massachusetts to permit doctors to prescribe a lethal dose of medicine to terminally ill patients.

Then, just weeks before the vote, Catholic institutions and donors stepped in, spending tens of thousands of dollars on a sophisticated TV ad campaign aimed at persuading voters that "physician-assisted suicide" represents a dangerous devaluation of life that could harm society's most vulnerable.

The question was defeated by a scant 2 percentage points.

The political arm of the Roman Catholic Church in Connecticut is determined to quash the issue in this state, as well.

<snip>

"Massachusetts is a fascinating case study and a template for Connecticut,'' said Peter Wolfgang, executive director of the Family Institute of Connecticut and an outspoken opponent of aid in dying.

"Our opponents think there are people out there, like the big bad Catholic church, who want to keep people alive against their will and want them to suffer,'' Wolfgang said. "What we're really talking about is licensing doctors to prescribe a death cocktail and receive legal immunity for it.''

But supporters of the proposal have homed in on the church's high-profile role. In their view, efforts by Catholic leaders to prevent dying patients from exercising a profoundly intimate choice at the end of life echoes earlier struggles.

"This is the same organization that spent money to fight gay rights, the morning-after pill for rape victims, insurance coverage for contraception, civil unions and same-sex marriage,'' said Betty Gallo, a lobbyist for Compassion & Choices, a national group promoting aid-in-dying legislation in statehouses around the nation.

"Connecticut citizens overwhelmingly supported every one of those rights becoming law and they support aid in dying too. The Catholic Church has been on the wrong side of every social issue of our time and they are on the wrong side of this one, too," said Gallo, a veteran Capitol lobbyist for progressive causes such as gay rights and gun control.

The church is deeply invested in efforts to stop the legislation. It is sponsoring a multimedia public relations campaign that includes print and radio spots, as well as ads on buses. Letters were inserted into church bulletins and some parishes have sponsored forums on the topic. And the Catholic conference has retained two outside lobbying firms — Reynolds Strategy Group and Updike, Kelly and Spellacy — to advocate against the bill. 

<snip> 

Source:  _http://www.courant.com/politics/hc-aid-in-dying-battle-ct-20150322-story.html#page=1
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on July 08, 2015, 07:37:37 PM
Recent overview of latest issues in the Netherlands:

Quote
Rise in euthanasia requests sparks concern as criteria for help widen

July 3, 2015

Since 2002, euthanasia has been effectively decriminalized in the Netherlands, as long as certain criteria are met. The Dutch position is considered by many to be the blueprint for other countries struggling with right to die issues. Yet, as Gordon Darroch reports, there are concerns in the Netherlands itself about the rise in the number of cases and pressure on patients.

Ruben van Coevorden clearly remembers the first time a patient asked him to help her die. A woman in her 70s who had survived Auschwitz and outlived her husband, but knew she would not overcome lung cancer. ‘She was quite clear-headed about it: she felt she had had her share of suffering and was finished with life,’ says Van Coevorden, who has a medical practice in Amsterdam’s Buitenveldert district. ‘But this was in the days before euthanasia. So I gave her some sleeping pills, enough for an overdose, and stood by her as she took them.’ It was to avoid dilemmas like Van Coevorden’s that the Netherlands passed its euthanasia law in 2001, becoming the first country in the world where doctors were allowed to help their patients to die. ‘Technically, what I did – helping someone to take their own life – was illegal,’ Van Coevorden admits. ‘And it is still punishable, unless certain specific criteria are met.’

Law

The Termination of Life on Request and Assisted Suicide (Review Procedures) Act which health minister Els Borst steered through parliament, did not legalize euthanasia, but gave doctors protection from prosecution if a patient was suffering unbearably and without prospect of improvement (ondraaglijk en uitzichtsloos). The doctor must be satisfied that all alternative forms of treatment have been exhausted or discounted, and seek a second opinion from an independent professional, known as a SCEN doctor (‘support and consultation in euthanasia’). ‘It places a very heavy responsibility on doctors,’ explains Eric van Wijlick, a policy adviser for KNMG, the Dutch medics’ federation. ‘They don’t do it lightly. As a doctor, you’re trained to heal the sick, not to give someone an injection whereby the patient dies.’ In a survey by KNMG, more than half (57%) of doctors who had arranged euthanasia for a patient scored the emotional strain at eight out of 10 or higher. On top of that is the administrative burden: every assisted death case is investigated by one of five regional review committees, who must rule whether the doctor has acted diligently.

All-clear

If not, the prosecution service opens a case file and decides whether to bring criminal proceedings. ‘Most doctors only feel comfortable when the letter arrives, months later, from the review committee giving them the all-clear,’ says Van Wijlick. The Dutch approach to euthanasia has become a focal point for the right-to-die debate in other countries and is regularly invoked by supporters and critics alike, not always accurately. During the 2012 US presidential campaign, the Republican candidate Rick Santorum dramatically claimed that euthanasia accounted for 10% of deaths in the Netherlands, and that half of these were involuntary – the medically-sanctioned murder of elderly patients in hospital. In fact, euthanasia deaths make up just under 3% of the total and doctors need explicit consent from the patient. A more nuanced objection is that endorsing euthanasia in any form is the start of a process of normalizing medically-assisted dying, which will gradually spread into areas currently deemed taboo. Doctors argue that experience has discredited the ‘slippery slope’ argument: only around eight cases a year out of 5,000 are taken up by the prosecution service, and none has led to a conviction. ‘There is no abuse of the system in the Netherlands,’ says Van Coevorden.

Rise

What is inarguable, however, is that the number of euthanasia procedures carried out has risen considerably in 13 years. Initially the annual total hovered at around 1,900, but since 2006 it has increased by an average of 15% a year. In 2013 the number of euthanasia and assisted suicide cases stood at 4,829, nearly three times the 2002 figure. Altogether around 38% of requests are carried out and 20% refused, while in other cases the patient either changes their mind or dies before euthanasia can be arranged.

(https://www.dutchnews.nl/wpcms/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/euthanasia-statistics-560x378.png)

Theo Boer, who spent nine years on one of the regional evaluation committees, sees the rising trend as a cause for concern. Boer, who teaches ethics at the Protestant Theological University in Groningen, argues that the definition of euthanasia in Dutch law is too broad. ‘We don’t have enough specific criteria in the law,’ he says. ‘It doesn’t make any mention of terminal illness, or illness at all. You could have a situation in the Netherlands where somebody goes bankrupt and, knowing he will never get back up to the same level financially, argues he is suffering unbearably and puts in a request for euthanasia.’

Cancer

When the law came in, the overwhelming majority of those who chose euthanasia – nearly 90% – were terminally ill cancer patients. Latterly the proportion has dropped to nearer 75%. The parameters are steadily widening: last month the Dutch paediatrician association NVK called for the minimum age of 12 to be scrapped, arguing that some terminally ill children under that age are capable of deciding they want to die. Psychiatric patients, once never considered for euthanasia, are a small but growing subgroup, with 42 requests granted in 2013. There has been no fall in the suicide rate, as might be expected: in 2013 1,859 Dutch people took their own lives, an unprecedented number. ‘What surprises me is that nobody is making any serious attempt to treat this as a problem,’ says Boer. ‘It seems inarguable to me that the law has led to a rise in incidences. But nobody seems concerned. Even though palliative care has improved considerably, the euthanasia rate has gone up.’

Right to die

Compounding the issue, says Boer, is the fact that euthanasia, which was originally introduced to protect doctors, quickly came to be regarded as a patient’s right. ‘The debate has changed. Euthanasia is no longer a last resort. It was originally seen as a law that gave doctors rights rather than patients. But we very frequently hear it discussed in terms of a patient’s right to euthanasia.’ Boer argues that patients have become more assertive of their preferred way to die. He has been critical of phenomena such as ‘duo-euthanasia’, where the partner of a terminally ill patient asks to die with them because he or she cannot face life alone. ‘When someone has made up their mind they want to die, the first thing they ask is if the doctor can do it,’ he says. And the pressure is not just from patients: ‘In some instances there is pressure from the family.’ Asked to specify a figure from the 4,000 case files that have crossed his desk, Boer replies: ‘It’s hard to say, but at a rough estimate I would say the family is a factor with one in five patients. The doctor doesn’t want to put it in the dossier; you need to read between the lines. Sometimes it’s the family who go to the doctor. Other times it’s the patient saying they don’t want their family to suffer. And you hear anecdotally of families saying: “Mum, there’s always euthanasia”.’

Pressure

The KNMG survey appears to give substance to Boer’s fears on this point: it found that 70% of doctors who replied had felt under pressure to grant euthanasia, while 64% believed the pressure had increased in recent years. The survey did not ask where the pressure came from. Van Wijlick says it is difficult to judge without hard evidence whether there is a problem: ‘We’ve been aware since the early 1990s that pressure is an issue. It would be helpful to do some research into what kind of pressure there is and where it comes from.’ Van Coevorden believes Boer’s figure of one in five is ‘realistic’, adding: ‘I’ve come across it two or three times in my role as a SCEN doctor. There was one case where a woman was dying and had terrible stomach pains, her doctor was tearing his hair out, and when I turned up at the house the family practically pinned me to the wall and said: “You need to give mum the jab now, she’s in agony!” ‘I discovered that her treatment wasn’t working, she was on the wrong type of laxatives and was terribly constipated. I organized a palliative regime that made her more comfortable, and afterwards the family were extremely grateful. She was close to dying anyway, but it allowed them to say goodbye in a better way.’ Van Wijlick argues that the increase in euthanasia deaths shows the system is working. ‘Doctors see from experience that if they follow the procedure, they won’t have difficulties, and they feel reassured. That shouldn’t obscure the fact that doctors find it very hard to carry out. On average they do it once or twice a year and it’s very stressful.’

Aging population

Van Coevorden believes the rise in the number of euthanasia cases is partly due to the aging population. He acknowledges the criteria have widened, but not always in a negative sense, citing the example of a patient in his seventies who had noticed the early signs of dementia. ‘He could have lived several more years, but he’d seen his father decline and didn’t want to go the same way. He had no prospect of relief so he asked me for euthanasia and I agreed. It was clear to me he’d considered it thoroughly.’ What concerns Van Coevorden more is that patients reach for euthanasia too soon. ‘We’ve developed this idea that death can be arranged, but there are other ways to take the pain out of dying, such as palliative sedation, where death occurs naturally. Euthanasia is really the ultimate form of palliative care. But it’s a conflict of duties – the duty to care for a patient versus the duty to prevent their suffering. And it should only be for those exceptional cases.’ He says the Dutch euthanasia law has its roots in the country’s pragmatic instincts. ‘We’re sober-minded and Calvinistic people, we’ve taken the attitude that “this is happening anyway, let’s regulate it”. Dutch doctors don’t have to fear repercussions, they can’t be blackmailed, it’s dealt with openly. We don’t have the kind of situations you get in America.’

Global issue

Van Wijlick agrees: ‘In every country in the world doctors are confronted with the same problem, but there is no way to check if the doctor has acted diligently. We have a transparent system that can accommodate the various different points of view. That’s its strength. The doctor is never obliged to grant euthanasia: the patient has to convince him, and he has to be convinced.’ But Boer strikes a more skeptical note. Though he supports euthanasia in principle and has endorsed thousands of cases, he argues the boundaries should be tighter. ‘If back in the 1990s we had had the quality of palliative care and pain relief that we have now, I doubt whether we would have accepted this euthanasia law at all,’ he says. He regards the law being proposed in Britain by Lord Falconer, which would allow euthanasia only where a patient had a terminal illness, as a better option. ‘We made a number of serious mistakes when we drew up the law,’ says Boer. ‘The problem with being the first country is that you have no precedent. It’s good on some points, such as transparency and evaluation, but in general it’s nothing for us to be proud of. I worry that if death is seen too quickly as the solution, the value of life is reduced.’ 

Source:  _http://www.dutchnews.nl/features/2015/07/rise-in-euthanasia-requests-sparks-concern-as-criteria-for-help-widen/
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on July 26, 2015, 07:11:34 PM
Recent article on SOTT from The Independent (UK) about machine assisted suicide as a form of legal euthanasia:

http://www.sott.net/article/299410-Australian-right-to-die-doctor-will-gas-audiences-on-television-show-to-model-peaceful-and-reliable-means-of-death

Quote
<snip>
The new Destiny euthanasia machine is said to be much easier to use than its predecessor Deliverance.
Dr Nitschke said the change followed discussions during development in Michigan with Neal Nicol, the assistant of American euthanasia activist Dr Jack Kevorkian, jailed for his direct role in a case of voluntary euthanasia, who died in 2011.

"Suicide is not a crime in the UK, and assistance is not required to use Destiny, which is perfectly legal," Dr Nitschke told The Independent. "The gas that provides the peaceful death is not restricted. Neal Nicol was present at the deaths of over 50 people who died inhaling nine per cent monoxide, and in his opinion, this method is as peaceful and effective as the more difficult administration of intravenous drugs.

"The new Destiny euthanasia machine will provide people with a peaceful and reliable means of death. In Edinburgh I will ask for volunteers and point out that nitrogen only will be used, but as part of the machine display everyone will see the volunteer's cardiac trace projected - the gas can only be switched on if there is a cardiac trace, and switched off as soon as the trace flat-lines."

Deliverance helped four people die in Australia's Northern Territory between 1996-7 in accordance with a state law which came into effect in 1996, but that was overturned a few months later. The machine is now on display in the British Science Museum.

Dr Nitschke said the move to a microprocessor replacing the old laptop means that the new machine is much smaller and also has the ability to be used by people who are seriously disabled, such as quadriplegics, or patients seriously disabled by diseases such as motor neurone disease.

Destiny was initially commissioned after discussion with lawyers for Tony Nicklinson, the 58-year-old right-to-die campaigner who died three years ago having suffered from locked-in syndrome.

His widow Jane continued to fight for a right-to-die ruling but finally lost her case at the European Court of Human Rights last week. She spoke out after the Strasbourg court rejected the case brought by her family and a paralysed former builder, Paul Lamb, saying that the family still believed they would succeed in legalising assisted dying in the UK.

Dr Nitschke said: "What was wanted was a device that could be activated by eye movement, or speech as Tony had, and required minimal assistance to use. I provided the machine details to a recent gathering in San Francisco, including to Neal Nicol, and have now sent them on to two people in the US and New Zealand making enquires for their consideration. There will certainly be more interest when details about Destiny become better known."
<snip> 
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Anam Cara on July 28, 2015, 06:56:30 PM
Thanks for all your updates Palinurus.

This Sott article was posted today, which compliments the 'new Destiny euthanasia machine' article above.

http://www.sott.net/article/299501-Psycho-newspaper-columnist-calls-for-euthanasia-vans-as-Britain-has-far-too-many-old-people

Quote
..."We just have far too many old people," she said. "It's ridiculous to be living in a country where we can put dogs to sleep but not people."

"We need to accept that just because medical advances mean we can live longer, it's not necessarily the right thing to do."

Her solution to the problem? "Easy. Euthanasia vans - just like ice-cream vans - that would come to your home."

"It would all be perfectly charming. They might even have a nice little tune they'd play. I mean this genuinely. I'm super-keen on euthanasia vans," she said...

How long before such psychopathic thinking becomes more widespread, as resources diminish (due to environmental disaster/ economic collapse) and a fearful, ignorant populace demand an appropriate response from government authorities. Are these articles on euthansia a form of 'priming' for catastrophic times ahead? I think so. An agenda of eugenics will be invariably (at least initially) window-dressed as 'compassionate' euthansia - with the selfless sacrifice of scared, vulnerable, ill people deemed a 'noble act' for 'the greater good'.  :rolleyes:

The gentleman I work for 'A', whom I mentioned at the beginning of this thread, suffered a major stroke over 4 months ago now. He is now back in the care home after almost dying in the critical care unit, and then suffering depression as the effects of the stroke became apparent to him - he can no longer swallow, speak, dress or wash himself, nor walk unaided. Yet, he seems very much at peace with himself now, with acceptance of his new life. We still communicate - by hand signals and facial expressions, he still smiles a lot, and we are planning trips out to visit family and friends. I have learned many lessons from this incredibly humbling experience; a few observations are:

* Having spoken to many other stroke victims, the overriding consensus was "I did not appreciate what was truly important in my life, I am grateful for a second chance" and "the signs were there, but I was so stressed, I did not heed them"

* The NHS (National Health Service) is under severe pressure now, the staff who made most difference to 'A' and others, were the ones who could give them the therapy, support and care they desperately needed. The same poorly paid folk who are being pressured by the increasing levels of 'austerity' cuts!  :headbash:

* There are already many people living in the care home who feel they are a burden to their families and society. They feel worthless - primarily because that is how they are made to feel; despite the abundance of knowledge and love they have to share. Such folk have no voice in a sense, so sharing what we can about these issues is a form of speaking on their behalf.

* How would we feel in such circumstances? "There but for the grace of Divine Cosmic Mind go I" as the saying goes.  :)

It is also just another reminder of how deeply sick our present society really is - but it is important to keep fighting for truth, compassion and love, to strive to create another 'reality'.

This quote was in the comment box of the aforementioned article and is very apt I feel.

Quote
"Our society must make it right and possible for old people not to fear the young or be deserted by them, for the test of a civilization is the way that it cares for its helpless members."

Pearl Buck, My Several Worlds: A Personal Record (1954)

Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on August 11, 2015, 04:31:59 PM
From:  _http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/documentary-makers-expose-horror-for-new-zealand-woman-living-with-cruel-genetic-disorder/story-fneuzlbd-1227478089025

Quote
Documentary makers expose horror for New Zealand woman living with cruel genetic disorder

August 11, 2015 7:24AM

SHE lives in the dark with a blindfold over her eyes and headphones over her ears.

Sunlight and sound are too much for her fragile body.

A cruel genetic condition makes it impossible for her to use her voice and incredibly painful to move her limbs. She loves hugs but can’t hug back because of the agony it causes.

And her condition will only get worse.

New Zealand woman Gina, whose full name has been withheld, is in her mid 40s. She’s been suffering like this in a dark, silent room for more than a decade. The worst part: doctors don’t know exactly what’s wrong with her.

Gina has told her story for the first time to documentary makers, revealing she has nothing left to live for and just wants to die. The problem is, her government won’t let her.

‘SWAP PLACES WITH ME’

Gina has a simple message for people opposed to voluntary euthanasia: “Swap places with me.”

“I think a compassionate God would want people to have the option of a humane death,” she said.

Wendell Cooke co-directed the documentary Gina with Jeremy Macey. He said he wanted to open people’s eyes to the daily struggle for people living with terminal illnesses.

Speaking with Gina, he said he realised that she and only she should have the right to choose whether or not she goes on living.

“We didn’t go looking for the most extreme case that we could find,” Cooke told news.com.au from his home in Wellington.

“She was living with this atrocious condition. She was disempowered. It’s been really hard and continues to be. Mentally she’s all there, so basically she’s just spending a lot of time thinking.

In the documentary, Gina explains her condition. She uses a touch alphabet to communicate her message.

“I have a rare genetic disorder affected my eyes, ears, larynx and all my joints. I live in enforced darkness and almost silence as sound and light cause further damage to my eyes and ears. My muscles have wasted away. I have total voice loss.”

Cooke said he hoped the documentary would move along a debate that has stagnated in New Zealand following two failed attempts at legalisation.

“We felt that if we could just communicate this to an audience it would go right to the heart of why there needs to be a law change in New Zealand,” he said.

‘I’M NOT A HEARTLESS BASTARD’

Paul Russell is the director of HOPE, an Australian organisation against assisted suicide.

He told news.com.au he feels for Gina but worries that her case could be used to enact damaging legislation.

“It’s obviously difficult for her, she has an incredibly rare condition. I’m not a heartless bastard, I really do feel for these people (but) I can’t see a circumstance where you could enact legislation that would be free from risk for vulnerable people.”

He said the documentary was emotive but “I don’t personalise the issue at all”.

“I’ve got a son with a disability, I’ve been involved in the disability community. I question whether there’s something else that can be done for her (instead of euthanasia).”

Cooke said his film was about not simply “shrugging” and saying “the risks are too great”.

“Objections to legalising voluntary euthanasia seem to centre on the risk of the unknown, risk the that the law could be misused, or risk of the elderly feeling pressured, say by family members, to shorten their lives,” he said.

“These are absolutely valid concerns but my response to that line of argument is it’s not enough to simply shrug and say “the risks are too great” when people are already cruelly suffering under the status quo.

“We should be urging politicians to draft good laws that take these risks into account and manage them for the good of society, the same way we do with other risky endeavours such as driving a car or providing access to alcohol.”

SOME COUNTRIES MOVING, OTHERS STANDING STILL

Australia’s euthanasia laws remain the same as those in New Zealand. But this week the Victorian parliamentary inquiry into end of life choices is hearing from medical professional and palliative care providers about potential changes to Australia’s legislative framework.

Euthanasia is legal in some countries. In Germany and Switzerland it is legal for a doctor to assist in suicide in certain circumstances and in the Netherlands euthanasia was legalised in 2002.

In the US, doctors are allowed to prescribe lethal doses of medicine to terminally ill patients in five US states including Oregon, Vermont and Montana, the Guardian reports.

Gina hopes New Zealand joins that list. Asked how she wanted to die, she told Cooke her doctor would give her medicine and she would fall asleep. Then she would “die peacefully while I hold my sister’s hand”.

Photos, helpline and video omitted.
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on September 13, 2015, 06:14:57 PM
http://www.sott.net/article/301660-UKs-House-of-Commons-reject-Assisted-Dying-bill

Quote
The House of Commons has rejected the Assisted Dying bill by 330 votes to 118, a majority of 212, after an emotional debate Friday afternoon.

The bill proposed giving terminally ill patients the right to request a lethal injection from doctors if their case receive approval from two doctors and a judge.

But the controversial bill, which had been criticized by both the church and campaigners, was voted down on its second reading.

The free vote was the first time the Commons had voted on the issue since 1997.

Throughout the debate, MPs spoke about their personal experiences and used anecdotal evidence to make their case. Many arrived in the chamber saying they were not sure how they would vote.

The bill was based on Oregon law, which opponents said had led to a rise in assisted suicides in the US state since the law was introduced.

continued... 
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on September 13, 2015, 06:21:43 PM
http://www.sott.net/article/301666-Right-to-die-bill-passes-California-Senate-heads-to-Governor

Quote
The California State Senate has approved the so-called right-to-die bill following its passage in the State Assembly, despite opposition from religious and disability rights groups. The bill is now awaiting approval from California's Democratic Governor.

The Senate approved the End of Life Option Act in what co-author of the measure Senator Lois Wolk (D-Davis) called a "historic effort." Lawmakers approved the bill on a 23-14 vote after heated debates on Friday, the legislative session's final day.

The Senate has now sent the bill to Governor Jerry Brown. If signed into law, it would allow physicians to prescribe life-ending drugs to terminally ill Californians upon their request.

"Californians want us to act to eliminate the needless pain and prolonged suffering of those who are dying," Wolk told legislators, as cited by the Los Angeles Times.

Wolk predicted earlier that Brown, a lifelong Catholic, would "struggle with this issue" given that the bill has been widely opposed by the Roman Catholic Church and disability rights groups, as well as some doctors and politicians.

"Let's call this what it is. It's not death with dignity. It's assisted killing," said one of the opponents, Republican Senator Robert Huff of San Dimas, as quoted by the Times.

The bill's detractors insist that the legislation requires more work, as there are too many unanswered questions when it comes, for example, to preventing relatives from forcing patients to end their lives prematurely. There have also been concerns that the measure could pose dangers to vulnerable people and those with disabilities, as it could prompt premature suicides.

continued... 
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on October 06, 2015, 03:59:10 PM
Source:  _http://www.buzzfeed.com/adolfoflores/california-becomes-fifth-state-to-legalize-doctor-assisted-s#.dggAM98OM

Quote
California Becomes Fifth State To Legalize Doctor-Assisted Suicide

Originally posted on Oct. 5, 2015, at 10:28 p.m. Updated on Oct. 6, 2015, at 2:58 a.m.

Adolfo Flores  BuzzFeed News Reporter

California became the fifth state in the union to legalize physician-assisted suicide for terminally ill patients on Monday.

In signing the bill, Gov. Jerry Brown said in a statement (https://www.gov.ca.gov/docs/ABX2_15_Signing_Message.pdf) that he was “left to reflect on what I would want in the face of my own death.”

“I do not know what I would do if I were dying in prolonged and excruciating pain,” Brown said. “I am certain, however, that it would be a comfort to be able to consider the options afforded by this bill. And I won’t deny that right to others.”

The bill — approved by California’s legislature in September — allows doctors to prescribe lethal medication to patients suffering from a terminal illness. The new law is similar to those adopted by Oregon, Washington, and Vermont. A Montana Supreme Court ruling helps protect doctors from prosecution but no physician-assisted suicide laws have been passed.

California’s law has several requirements. Among them:

- That the patient be physically and mentally able to take the lethal drug themselves.

- That the patient make two oral requests, at least 15 days apart, and submit several written requests to their physician.

- The requests must be signed and dated in the presence of two witnesses, one of whom can’t be a family member.

The bill was controversial in part because it was approved during a special legislative session meant to address funding gaps in Medi-Cal coverage. It had previously stalled during the regular session.

Brown said he weighed the pleas from the family of Brittany Maynard, who moved to Oregon in order to take end her own life last year after being diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. The Governor, a former Jesuit seminary student, also listened to concerns from a Catholic bishop, two of his own doctors, and friends.

“ABx2 15 is not an ordinary bill because it deals with life and death,” Brown said in his statement. “The crux of the matter is whether the State of California should continue to make it a crime for a dying person to end his life, no matter how great his pain or suffering.”

The Catholic church was a vocal opponent of the bill, arguing that assisted suicide or euthanasia was unwise and flawed public policy. The group said it put vulnerable patients, particularly the elderly, at risk, and validates suicide as a response to personal mental health problems.

In a statement, Tim Rosales, spokesman for Californians Against Assisted Suicide, said Monday was a dark day for California and Brown’s legacy.

He also expressed concern that Brown’s decision to sign the bill was based on his personal background, which is very different from that of other Californians who don’t have the same access to healthcare.

“These are the people and families potentially hurt by giving doctors the power to prescribe lethal overdoses to patients,” Rosales said. “At this time, the coalition of organizations opposing assisted suicide is looking at all of its options moving forward.”

Adolfo Flores is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on October 07, 2015, 08:06:01 PM
Source:  _http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2015/10/euthanasia-death-total-rises-10-in-2014/

Quote
Euthanasia death total rises 10% in 2014

October 7, 2015

There was a 10% rise in the number of euthanasia cases in the Netherlands last year, taking the total to 5,306 according to the regional euthanasia monitoring board. The number of cases has risen by around 10% a year for some time. As in previous years, in almost three in four cases the patient had terminal cancer. A spokesman for the monitoring board told the paper [NRC] the increase in euthanasia cases may be related to growing social acceptance of euthanasia.

However, there is likely to be a sharp rise this year in the number of people being helped to die because they had severe psychiatric problems, the NRC says in its report. There were 41 such cases last year, but there are indications this could double in 2015 the NRC says, referring to figures from a special euthanasia clinic published in July (http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2015/07/sharp-rise-in-euthanasia-for-psychiatric-patients/). In the first six months of this year, 18 people with severe psychiatric problems were helped to die by the clinic, which was set up in 2012 to help people whose doctors are unwilling to grant euthanasia requests. This is more than double the 2014 total of 17. 
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on October 10, 2015, 06:05:34 PM
The story of the California legalization now on SOTT from a different source (The Anti Media, Josh Mur):

http://www.sott.net/article/303719-California-Assisted-suicide-bill-passes
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on November 14, 2015, 08:47:59 PM
Source:  _http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2015/11/voluntary-euthanasia-society-renews-calls-for-end-of-life-pill/

Quote
Voluntary euthanasia society renews calls for end-of-life pill

November 13, 2015

The Dutch voluntary euthanasia society [NVVE] is relaunching its campaign to have a pill made available to elderly people who wish to end their lives, the NRC [newspaper] said on Friday. The idea for such a pill was first launched at the beginning of the 1990s by senior judge and euthanasia campaigner Huib Drion and became known as ‘Drion’s pill’. He said the pill should be issued free of charge to everyone over the age of 70 but his initiative floundered on medical, ethical and legal grounds.

Now the NVVE is having a new attempt and this time says the pills should only be issued by pharmacists or family doctors. ‘This is important to make sure that the drugs cannot be used for suicide, abuse or murder,’ the organisation said. The NVVE now wants to discuss its ideas for an experiment with the health and justice ministries and with the Dutch doctors’ association KNMG. ‘We see that society wants such a pill, particularly among the babyboom generation which is not afraid to speak its mind,’ NVVE director Robert Schurink told the NRC. ‘They want control over the end of their lives.’

At the moment, the NVVE helps people who do not want to live any longer access foreign suppliers who can help them buy the pills to do the job, the paper said.

Euthanasia is not legal in the Netherlands but the legislation has given doctors protection from prosecution if a patient was suffering unbearably and without prospect of improvement. Last year, some 14,000 people in the Netherlands were helped to die, most of whom were suffering from cancer. 
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on January 05, 2016, 04:25:58 PM
Source:  _http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2016/01/doctors-should-have-the-right-to-refuse-euthanasia-requests-knmg/

Quote
Doctors should have the right to refuse euthanasia requests: KNMG

January 5, 2016

Dutch doctors must retain the right to refuse to help their patients to die, the doctors’ federation KNMG (http://www.dutchnews.nl/dictionary/knmg/) has told the NRC (https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=nl&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=nl&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nrc.nl%2Fnext%2F2016%2F01%2F05%2Fgeen-garantie-voor-de-dood-1574495&edit-text=&act=url).

While most doctors back euthanasia, or assisted dying, they should never be compelled to cooperate, Rutger Jan van der Gaag is quoted as saying. Euthanasia should not be something that can be forced on doctors, he said.

The Dutch voluntary euthanasia society [NVVE] last year relaunched its campaign to have a pill made available to elderly people who wish to end their lives.

Ethical grounds

The idea for such a pill was first launched at the beginning of the 1990s by senior judge and euthanasia campaigner Huib Drion and became known as ‘Drion’s pill’. He said the pill should be issued free of charge to everyone over the age of 70 but his initiative floundered on medical, ethical and legal grounds.

Now the NVVE is having a new attempt and this time says the pills should only be issued by pharmacists or family doctors. ‘This is important to make sure the drugs cannot be used for suicide, abuse or murder,’ the organisation said.

Euthanasia is legal in the Netherlands under strict conditions. For example, the patient must be suffering unbearable pain and the doctor must be convinced the patient is making an informed choice. The opinion of a second doctor is also required.

‘The doctor is currently an important safety catch who makes sure that reasonable alternatives [to euthanasia] are not ignored and that the drugs are not misused,’ Van der Gaag told the NRC. 

Similar story:  _http://www.nltimes.nl/2016/01/05/doctors-demand-right-to-refuse-euthanasia/
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on January 07, 2016, 05:03:21 PM
Source:  _http://www.nltimes.nl/2016/01/07/euthanasia-okd-for-dementia-patients-who-request-it-when-lucid/

Quote
Euthanasia ok’d for dementia patients who request it when lucid

Posted on Jan 7, 2016 by Janene Pieters

The Ministries of Public Health and Security and of Justice updated their “guide” on euthanasia to give people suffering from severe dementia the option of euthanasia, even if they are unable to express the wish themselves. This is only possible if the patient wrote a declaration with his wish for euthanasia while he was still clearheaded, broadcaster NOS (https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=nl&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=nl&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fnos.nl%2Fartikel%2F2079061-euthanasieregels-bij-dementie-verduidelijkt.html&edit-text=) reports.

The new guide states that patients with severe dementia often do not seem to be suffering unbearably under their dementia, but they do suffer under the physical conditions that go along with it, such as severe anxiety and pain. “In those cases a doctor may give euthanasia, even if a patient can not make it clear in words or gesture. But there has to be a written request for euthanasia, that the patient drew up earlier.”

The guide was updated to take away the uncertainty about the possibilities for euthanasia in dementia patients. According to the guide, doctors have given euthanasia to dementia patients with a previously written request a few times before. But if it is unclear whether such a request still exist at a time that a patient is unable to express himself, chances are that the doctor will not carry out euthanasia.

The guide includes a manual for drafting a euthanasia declaration. Patients are advised to to stay in discussion with their doctors about euthanasia to ensure that such a declaration is in place if they need it.

Earlier this week doctors federation KNMG demanded that doctors always have the ability to deny an euthanasia request. They do not want to be obligated to perform euthanasia whenever a patient requests it. 

Similar story:  _http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2016/01/euthanasia-rules-relaxed-for-people-with-serious-dementia/
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on January 20, 2016, 07:19:10 PM
Source:  _http://www.nltimes.nl/2016/01/20/euthanasia-rarely-approved-for-advanced-dementia-patients/

Quote
Euthanasia rarely approved for advanced dementia patients

Posted on Jan 20, 2016 by Janene Pieters

Euthanasia requests from people with advanced dementia are hardly ever honored, even if they drew up a written request when they were still lucid, according to a study done into the records of 26 legally incompetent dementia patients, news wire ANP reports.

The records were sent in to the Stichting Levenseindekliniek, End of Life Clinic Foundation in English, between March 2012 and May 2015. In each of these cases an authorized representative submitted a request for euthanasia.

The clinic did authorized none of these requests. In almost all cases the clinic concluded that there was no “unbearable suffering”, regardless of whether the patient previously called the situation unbearable. In addition to that, none of the patients could confirm the wish for euthanasia, although they were still able to communicate verbally or non-verbally.

The study, led by emeritus professor of medicine Arie Nieuwenhuijzen Kruseman, will be published in Medisch Contact this week, two weeks after the Ministry of Health published the “Guide to a written request for euthanasia”. The guide states that euthanasia may be granted to people with advanced dementia, if there is a written request prepared while the patient was still mentally competent, and their suffering is unbearable. 
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on February 04, 2016, 08:10:34 PM
Source:  _http://www.nltimes.nl/2016/02/04/assisted-suicide-to-remain-a-criminal-offense-in-many-cases/

Quote
Assisted suicide to remain a criminal offense in many cases

Posted on Feb 4, 2016 by Janene Pieters

Assisted suicide will remain illegal. It is not necessary to change the law on assisted suicide, the committee Schnabel concludes in its advisory report. The committee was asked to investigate whether people who feel that their life is done and want to die, need additional legal options, news wire ANP reports.

In the 243-page report (https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=nl&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=nl&ie=UTF-8&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.rijksoverheid.nl%2Fministeries%2Fministerie-van-volksgezondheid-welzijn-en-sport%2Fdocumenten%2Fkamerstukken%2F2016%2F02%2F04%2Faanbiedingsbrief-bij-rapport-voltooid-leven&edit-text=) [Dutch only] titled Voltooid Leven, Completed Life in English, the committee states that many of the assisted suicide cases involve an accumulation of old age complaints. And when family members and friends die around you, the elderly often come to the conclusion that their life is over. If these factors lead to “unbearable and hopeless suffering”, the person involved can request euthanasia from a doctor, according to the committee, which was chaired by Paul Schnabel.

The problem is that a wish to end your life can only become reality if a doctor agrees to euthanasia, something that doctors are not obligated to do. And not all doctors believe that a completed life equals unbearable and hopeless suffering. But the committee concluded that only a small group of people will be affected by this and the current Termination of Life Law offers enough room to overcome most of the problems.

The committee did add advice on how to prevent people feeling that their lives are over – prevent people from being lonely and increase self-reliance.

The Schnabel committee was formed in July 2014 at the request of the VVD. This follows a case involving Albert Heringastate. He helped his 99 year old mother commit suicide and was charged for it. The court found him guilty of assisted suicide, but imposed no punishment. On appeal he was completely acquitted.

The VVD requested the investigation on whether the law on assisted suicide needs to be changed. Parliamentarian Arno Rutte said to ANP in a reaction that if “people who weighed the options properly, without pressure or coercion, come to the conclusion that their life is completed”, they should be able to put an end to it. 

Similar coverage here: 
_http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2016/02/advice-group-says-no-to-relaxing-euthanasia-rules-to-cover-tired-of-life/


Other news:  _http://www.nltimes.nl/2016/02/04/suspect-confesses-to-murder-of-d66-politician-els-borst-over-euthanasia/

Quote
Suspect confesses to murder of D66 politician Els Borst over euthanasia

Posted on Feb 4, 2016 by Janene Pieters

Bart van U. confessed to killing former politician Els Borst in February 2014. In a statement he gave the court on Thursday (http://www.nltimes.nl/2016/02/04/suspected-dutch-politician-killer-to-break-silence-posb-confess/) he said that it was his “divine mission” to kill the person responsible for the euthanasia law, Els Borst in his eyes, according to AD reporter Victor Schildkamp, tweeting live from within the courtroom.

Van U.’s bizarre statement led the Public Prosecutor to demand another psychiatric examination in the Pieter Baan Center. According to his lawyer, Van U. does not want to go back to the center and he won’t cooperate. He has been through so many examinations that it is “driving him crazy” and another examination would be “too difficult”.

The judges convened and decided that Van U. will not have to go back to the Pieter Baan Center. According to them, he has been through enough examinations.

This is the first time Van U. said anything regarding the murder on Els Borst. But during his trial for the murder on his sister Lois, killed in January 2015, Van U. also mentioned euthanasia. He stated that he was scared of his sister and that he had to kill her. He felt she would do anything to have him committed and drive him to suicide. He also talked about their different political views and how Lois was “for euthanasia and abortion” (http://www.nltimes.nl/2015/07/22/accused-politician-murderer-says-hed-also-kill-sister-again/).

Van U. has to appear in court again for the substantive hearing in the Els Borst murder case on March 29th. Now that he’s confessed to the murder, the big remaining question is how accountable he is. 

Similar coverage here: 
_http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2016/02/man-accused-of-killing-former-minister-confesses-blames-euthanasia-legislation/
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on February 24, 2016, 11:29:52 PM
Source:  _http://www.nltimes.nl/2016/02/24/euthanasia-patient-saves-five-lives-with-organ-donation/

Quote
Euthanasia patient saves five lives with organ donation

Posted on Feb 24, 2016 by Janene Pieters

One man recently saved the lives of five other patients by donating his organs after euthanasia. He gave his last breath in an operating room at the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, while five other patients lay waiting in five other operating rooms, AD reports.

The man suffered from the effects of a stroke and therefore decided that he no longer wanted to live. He died in the operating room surrounded by his loved ones, Erasmus MC staff and a doctor from the Levenseindekliniek – the End of Life Clinic in English.

According to AD, almost everything about this case is exceptional. The fact that the man could donate five organs – including his liver, kidneys and pancreas – in itself is very special, usually only about three organs are suitable. The fact that the euthanasia was carried out by a doctor from the Levenseindekliniek in another hospital is unique. And donating organs after euthanasia is a rare occurrence in the Netherlands.

The first time someone donated their organs after euthanasia in the Netherlands was in 2012. Last year there were eight. A total of 15 Dutch people have made their organs available after their euthanasia.

The main reason that this is so rare, is that most people who decide on euthanasia suffer from cancer and their organs are therefore not viable. And not everyone wants to donate their organs as this would mean dying in an operating room, instead of at home, and family members only having about 5 minutes to say goodbye. Organs need to be transplanted immediately after death.
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on March 02, 2016, 09:24:50 PM
Source:  _http://www.dutchnews.nl/features/2016/02/a-huppekeeeuthanasia/

Quote
Dutch documentary awakens euthanasia debate about wider rules

February 29, 2016

A recent Dutch television documentary on euthanasia (http://www.npo.nl/2doc-levenseindekliniek/15-02-2016/VPWON_1248719) in which a 68 year-old woman suffering from semantic dementia was given a lethal injection may well herald a turning point in what many consider to be an increasingly broader – and unacceptable – interpretation of the rules. Hanneke Sanou assesses the reactions.


The documentary, broadcast by public broadcaster NTR in Feburary to mark the start of a week of discussions on euthanasia, followed three clients of the Levenseindekliniek, a clinic for people who want to end their lives but whose family doctor is unwilling to cooperate. Some cases include people with mental problems or dementia, and people who consider their lives to be complete.

Earlier this month an advisory commission rejected the norm ‘a life completed’ as grounds for euthanasia if the person requesting it does not also suffer from physical problems constituting ‘unbearable and hopeless suffering’, the basis on which Dutch law allows euthanasia to take place. All cases are reviewed by a committee which determines if doctors acted in accordance with due care.

Deterioration

The story of Hannie Goudriaan, a former health care worker, begins in 2008 when she starts to notice ‘something not right in the head’, as her husband Gerrit Goudriaan puts it. His wife turns out to be in the early stages of semantic dementia, a disease that gradually erases meaning from words and concepts.

She tells family doctor Gert Bloemberg that if she deteriorates to the point where she can’t recognise loved ones or is unable to communicate she no longer wants to live, a statement she also puts in writing.

Several years later, in 2014, Hannie decides the time has come but her first port of call, the family doctor, now doubts whether she is mentally competent enough to confirm her initial wish. The doctor, overwhelmed by the complexity of the case, decides that there are insufficient grounds.

Remco Verwer, the doctor in charge of her case at the Levenseindekliniek, to which the couple then turns, becomes convinced of her wish to die. Hannie, by this time, has lost much of her understanding of words and seems to use the word ‘Huppekee’ (something like ‘there goes’) as a substitute for the act to end her life.

Nothing left


Meanwhile Hannie is shown fit enough to drive a car and enjoy the occasional outing. According to the review committee’s report, which states that doctors had acted with due care, Hannie then has an unusually lucid moment during a talk with a SCEN doctor ( SCEN stands for Support and Consultation in cases of Euthanasia in the Netherlands) during which she ‘clearly and calmly’ repeats her wish to die because ‘there is nothing left’.

The final scenes show Hannie as she is given the injection, murmuring ‘terrible’.

Reactions to the programme were immediate, and mixed. In the NRC (https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=nl&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=nl&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nrc.nl%2Fhandelsblad%2F2016%2F02%2F18%2Fwat-bedoelde-ze-nou-met-huppakee-weg-deze-eutha-1593148&edit-text=&act=url) clinical ethicist Erwin Kompanje professed himself ‘gobsmacked’ and ‘worried’. ‘If she was able to clearly state that she was suffering and wanted to die while the point of the euthanasia was the lack of the ability to communicate, then there is a contradiction there. Especially when you consider that semantic dementia is a progressive illness which can’t suddenly improve.’ (..)

The fact that many health professionals had expressed similar doubts ‘could precipitate a discussion about the limits of euthanasia: ending the lives of people who can no longer confirm their wish by people who have no primary involvement, based on subjective interpretation of empty words and earlier living will should not admissible anywhere, including the Netherlands,’ he wrote.

Slippery slope

Professor of cognitive science Victor Lamme wrote in the Volkskrant (http://www.volkskrant.nl/opinie/euthanasiepraktijk-bevindt-zich-op-hellend-vlak~a4245747/) [in Dutch only] that euthanasia in the Netherlands is on a ‘slippery slope’ and that euthanasia is used to ‘solve other problems than putting an end to unbearable suffering.’

According to Lamme Hannie Goudriaan was ‘under pressure’ to keep to her declaration of intention even though ‘a person with dementia becomes a different person’. He also points to the societal pressure on the elderly. ‘Which problem is euthanasia supposed to solve? The elderly cost time, money and effort. Modern society is unwilling to provide all three,’ he wrote.

There were many who thought the documentary ‘touching and beautiful’. One Volkskrant reader said she thought she had been watching a ‘totally different documentary than many others’: ‘I saw a loving couple grieving because one of them was deteriorating more and more.’

Quick process

According to Volkskrant journalist Maud Efting who has written extensively about the subject of euthanasia, the ‘euthanasia process was shown in the documentary as relatively very quick'.

‘In twenty minutes Hannie Goudriaan came to her end,’ she wrote, implying that this is one of the reasons the film was criticised so vehemently. In her considered piece (http://www.volkskrant.nl/wetenschap/het-verhaal-achter-huppakee-weg-en-de-dood-van-hannie~a4247586/) [behind paywall, Dutch only] on the programme she quotes family doctor Gert Bloemberg as saying that Hannie Goudriaan’s suffering was perhaps not shown ‘sufficiently’.

Tragically the term ‘Huppekee euthanasie’ will now probably enter the language and this is doubly ironic when you consider that it was the lack of language that was at the heart of it. 
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on April 13, 2016, 06:32:18 PM
Source:  _http://www.nltimes.nl/2016/04/13/no-prison-time-in-murder-of-politician-over-euthanasia-law/

Quote
No prison time in murder of politician over euthanasia law

Posted on Apr 13, 2016 by Janene Pieters

Bart van U. is completely insane and can therefore not be held accountable for the deaths of his sister and former politician Els Borst, the court in Rotterdam ruled on Wednesday. With the “insanity” conclusion, Van U. can not be sentenced to prison. The court is however imposing mandatory treatment in a psychiatric prison on the man.

The court considers Van U. “extremely dangerous” and assumes that he will need “very long-term, years long” psychiatric treatment in an institution, according to RTL Nieuws reporter Jeroen Wetzels, tweeting live from within the courtroom.

The Public Prosecutor demanded that Van U. be sentenced to 8 years in prison (http://www.nltimes.nl/2016/03/30/sentence-man-who-killed-sister-els-borst-to-8-years-prosecutor/) and mandatory treatment in a psychiatric institution.

Bart van U. confessed (http://www.nltimes.nl/2016/02/04/suspect-confesses-to-murder-of-d66-politician-els-borst-over-euthanasia/) to killing both Els Borst and his sister Lois van U. During the trial he told the court that he killed Borst as part of a “divine mission”. God told him to kill those responsible for the euthanasia law.

He also stated that Lois bullied him, wanted him euthanized and was trying to drive him to suicide. The last straw (http://www.nltimes.nl/2016/03/29/suspect-stabbed-sister-over-snacks-he-didnt-like-god-made-him-kill-political-leader/) for him was when she offered him flat spongecake dessert treat called “eierkoeken”, while she knew he does not like it. 

Similar coverage here:  _http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2016/04/former-ministers-killer-detained-in-secure-psychiatric-unit/
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on April 19, 2016, 05:01:11 PM
Source:  _http://www.nltimes.nl/2016/04/19/politicians-killer-who-stabbed-sister-over-cookie-not-completely-insane/

Quote
Politician’s killer who stabbed sister over cookie not “completely insane”

Posted on Apr 19, 2016 by Janene Pieters

The Public Prosecutor wants prison time to be added to the sentence against Bart van U. for the murders of former politician Els Borst and his sister Lois. Last week the court declared Van U. completely unaccountable due to insanity and only imposed institutionalized psychiatric care (http://www.nltimes.nl/2016/04/13/no-prison-time-in-murder-of-politician-over-euthanasia-law/) on him.

According to the Public Prosecutor, Bart van U. is not completely insane, though he does have “strongly diminished accountability”, AD reports. A suspect with strongly diminished accountability can still be given a prison sentence. The prosecutor initially demanded 8 years in prison (http://www.nltimes.nl/2016/03/30/sentence-man-who-killed-sister-els-borst-to-8-years-prosecutor/) with mandatory institutionalized psychiatric care against the man.

Bart van U. confessed (http://www.nltimes.nl/2016/02/04/suspect-confesses-to-murder-of-d66-politician-els-borst-over-euthanasia/) to killing his sister in their home in Rotterdam in January 2015 and former Minister Els Borst in her home in Bilthoven in February 2014. According to Van U., Lois bullied him for his entire life and he decided to kill her when she offered him a cookie she knew he doesn’t like (http://www.nltimes.nl/2016/03/29/suspect-stabbed-sister-over-snacks-he-didnt-like-god-made-him-kill-political-leader/). And with Minister Borst, he was on a divine mission to kill those responsible for the euthanasia law.

The Public Prosecutor believes that Van U. also had real motives for killing the two women, a viewpoint supported by reports from the Pieter Baan Center, where Van U. was examined. The experts saw “islands of health” floating in between serious psychiatric illness, they said in the trial, according to the newspaper. 
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on April 27, 2016, 06:27:05 PM
Source:  _http://www.nltimes.nl/2016/04/27/euthanasia-cases-rise-four-percent-2015/

Quote
Euthanasia cases rise four percent in 2015

Posted on Apr 27, 2016 by Janene Pieters

The number of euthanasia cases increased by 4 percent last year. A total of 5,516 people died by euthanasia in 2015, according to the annual report by the five regional euthanasia review committees, ANP reports.

The most common reason for euthanasia to be requested was cancer. The number of granted euthanasia requests due to dementia increased from 81 in 2014 to 109 last year. And the number of requests granted due to another end-stage psychiatric disorder increased from 41 to 56.

There were four cases where the review committees believe the doctors involved acted negligently. These reports were forwarded to the monitoring bodies. 
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on May 16, 2016, 09:31:06 PM
From:  http://www.dutchnews.nl/features/2016/05/dutch-conference-on-euthanasia-discusses-controverial-reasons-such-as-depression/

Quote
‘With euthanasia, you can say goodbye and it can be a loving memory’

May 12, 2016   Senay Boztas

Chronic depression, tired of life, dementia… an Amsterdam conference discusses controversial reasons for euthanasia as Dutch cases rise 75% in five years, writes Senay Boztas.

The woman had a three year old daughter, and was just 34 years old. But after years of suffering with a personality disorder, PTSD and chronic depression, she didn’t want to live any more.

Because she was in the Netherlands, this woman did not commit suicide. Instead, she said goodbye to her loved ones and prepared a memorial for her daughter to open when she was older. Her euthanasia was administered by psychiatrist Paulan Stärcke at the End-of-Life clinic in The Hague.

‘I interviewed her parents the year after her death,’ says Stärcke. ‘They expressed gratitude that her life could end this way and not in a violent one. The contact between the father and [child’s] grandparents was repaired in the process of the euthanasia. They were sure, and I was as well, that her mother would die by suicide if I didn’t help her die.’

Beautiful

Stärcke, speaking at the Euthanasia 2016 conference (https://news.google.com/news/story?ncl=dBC3vpf0Vl5yBgMyf_6dhTuSWlujM&q=Euthanasia+2016+conference&lr=Dutch&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiN1peuqd_MAhWXHsAKHf4rAzUQqgIIIDAA) in Amsterdam on Thursday, intends to show delegates a video of this, and an interview with the son of an 84-year-old woman, who chose euthanasia due to chronic depression.

‘He felt the way his mother died, funny to say it, was rather beautiful,’ Stärcke says. ‘She was in the midst of her family. Her husband was in the throes of dementia and was very angry at first, but held her hand.’

Euthanasia is a controversial topic, not just in the Netherlands but also abroad. Canada is currently divided by a proposed assisted dying law. Reports of Dutch cases spark outrage in the UK, where it is a crime to help someone die, but one Briton a month travels to the Swiss Dignitas clinic for euthanasia.

Cancer

Although the vast majority of cases in the Netherlands are for cancer victims, those granted euthanasia for mental health problems has risen from just two in 2010 to 56 people last year – alongside a 75% rise in total euthanasia requests in this period, to 5,516 last year. Euthanasia represents 4% of the 140,000 annual deaths.

Earlier this week, Britain’s Daily Mail (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3589929/The-woman-killed-doctors-obsessed-cleaning-Horrifying-Yes-s-just-one-growing-numbers-Dutch-men-women-given-right-euthanasia-mental-not-terminal-illness.html) exploded at the publication of details on one Dutch sex abuse victim granted euthanasia in her 20s, suffering conditions including chronic depression, self-harming, and ‘therapy resistant’ anorexia.

It quoted Labour MP Robert Flello calling the case ‘horrendous’, and adding: ‘it almost sends the message that if you are the victim of abuse, and as a result you get a mental illness, you are punished by being killed.’

There are Dutch academics who are worried about growing numbers of euthanasia for mental health issues (1% of cases) and with dementia (2%): earlier this year, government guidelines said a ‘living will’ can represent the wishes of someone with advanced dementia even if they can no longer make these clear.

Unbearable suffering

But Dr Erwin Kompanje, assistant professor of clinical ethics at Erasmus University Medical Center, believes ‘unbearable suffering can no longer be measured in a patient with dementia’ and in a psychiatric patient it is ‘difficult to judge [if] everything has been tried in a therapeutic sense’.

Dutch euthanasia law, introduced in 2002, only allows doctors to administer euthanasia, and only under strict conditions.

These include a doctor being satisfied someone is voluntarily requesting a well-considered euthanasia, feels ‘unbearable suffering’ with no hope of relief, and consults at least one other physician (who does not need to agree). Children from 12-18 are covered by the law, and every case is assessed post-euthanasia by the RTE regional review commission. This body can refer those that didn’t meet ‘due care’ criteria to the public prosecutor and health inspectors.

Suicide

Recognition for psychiatric reasons for euthanasia has grown, campaigners say, after the award-winning 2014 documentary (in Dutch) by Elena Lindemans, ‘Mothers don’t jump from buildings’. (see video below) The wrenching film, scheduled at the conference, tells the story of her mother who jumped from a block of flats in 2002 because she was unable to persuade doctors to help her die.

‘There is more understanding in the Netherlands through this film,’ says Jeannette Croonen, co-founder of the campaigning Euthanasia in Psychiatry foundation. Her daughter, Monique, suffocated by tying a bag over her head in 2008, after being refused euthanasia for psychiatric reasons.

‘You feel powerless,’ she says. ‘You see your child in enormous suffering and you can’t help them. I know someone whose son had euthanasia three years ago, and her experience is very different. It grieves me every time I think of the manner of [Monique’s] death. So I keep doing this to stop other people having the same experience.’

Stärcke believes psychiatrists are ‘too hesitant’ about agreeing to requests from mental health patients and euthanasia is widely misunderstood abroad.

It is not execution, she says: ‘It is an execution of the wish of a patient. You can prepare for euthanasia, you can say goodbye and it can be a loving memory, not only hurt. Suicide is only hurt.’ 



https://youtu.be/vzaihJ0urNA
   
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on May 23, 2016, 08:02:49 PM
From:  http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2016/05/fresh-calls-for-end-of-life-pill/

Quote
Fresh calls for ‘end-of-life’ pill for elderly people refused euthanasia

May 23, 2016

Right-to-die organizations have made a fresh call for a ‘last will pill’ to be given to people who no longer wish to live but are turned down for euthanasia.

The Dutch Association for a Voluntary End to Life (NVVE) and centrist-liberal party D66 both say the medicine should be made available to elderly people who want to end their lives. D66 MP Pia Dijkstra told [TV-show] Nieuwsuur she planned to bring a private bill to parliament later this year allowing people over 80 to end their lives voluntarily.

‘There is no doubt that older people, with their experience of a long life, are in a better state than younger people to decide if their life is still worth living,’ she said.

The Last Will Co-operative (Coöperatie Laatste Wil) has gone further, calling for lethal prescriptions to be available for people over the age of 18 under strict conditions.

It highlighted the death of a 31-year-old woman who had suffered from psychiatric illness since the age of 12. Else de Gunst died after refusing food and water for two weeks, after her application for euthanasia was turned down.

Doctors agreed that Else de Gunst was suffering ‘unbearably’ and had no prospect of improvement – the two conditions for euthanasia under Dutch law – but disagreed about whether she was mentally fit to decide her own fate.

Pleaded to die

Else’s mother, Astrid, told Nieuwsuur how she had changed from a ‘happy, contented young girl into a girl we couldn’t reach any more’. Else constantly pleaded to be allowed to die despite the interventions of numerous doctors, psychiatrists and therapists.

The NVVE argues that a ‘last will pill’ should be an option for people over the age of 75 who have been refused euthanasia, if it is approved by their doctor. The Last Will Co-operative wants to trial a similar medicine for its members over the age of 18, without the involvement of a doctor.

The latter organization says Dutch pharmacies should be allowed to make up deadly prescriptions or dispense the ingredients for a ‘lethal cocktail’ to its members under strict conditions. ‘People can always take their own lives, but in the Netherlands you have to do it in an awful way or break the law by getting the materials from abroad,’ said spokesman Gert Rebergen. 

For similar coverage, see:  http://www.nltimes.nl/2016/05/23/calls-tests-end-life-pill-renewed/
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on June 19, 2016, 07:02:19 PM
For archiving purposes:  https://www.sott.net/article/320538-Canada-passes-assisted-suicide-bill-that-critics-say-will-still-trap-patients-in-intolerable-suffering

Quote
Canada has adopted a law permitting assisted suicide for terminally ill adults whose death is "reasonably foreseeable." Some critics say the law prevents those with degenerative conditions such as Alzheimer's from seeking medically-assisted death.

Caving in to pressure by Justin Trudeau's Liberal government after weeks of rigorous parliamentary debate, senators finally approved the so-called Bill C-14 in a vote of 44 to 28 on Friday. The Canadian Medical Association said it was "pleased that historic federal legislation on medical aid in dying is now in place."

The law was originally proposed after Canada's Supreme Court overturned a ban on doctor-assisted suicide in 2015. The court's decision extended to adults suffering from intolerable physical or psychological pain and untreatable medical condition.

Critics, including politicians, patients and human rights activists, have been up in arms over the new restrictive law, which allows the luxury of assisted dying exclusively to adults suffering from an "incurable'' disease or disability, "in an advanced stage of irreversible decline.''

"The government's bill will trap patients in intolerable suffering and takes away their hard-won charter right to choose assistance in dying," Josh Paterson, executive director the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association, told Canadian Press.

Many fear that the bill, which received royal assent less than two hours after the Senate vote, will fail to protect vulnerable Canadians.

"The biggest question is, can this bill as written right now actually protect somebody who is either depressed, having mental illness issues, or is incompetent," executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, Alex Schadenberg told LifeSiteNews. "And the answer is no."

He said that under Bill C-14, "the decision of the nurse practitioner or the doctor is only based on whether or not they are 'of the opinion' that you meet the criteria."

"This is, in fact, a very horrific bill as it's written. It is worse than the Belgian law; it is worse than the Netherlands," Schadenberg added.

Medically-assisted suicide is legal in the Netherlands, Switzerland, Albania, Colombia and Japan, as well as in the American states of Washington, California, Vermont, Montana, Oregon and New Mexico.

"Medical assistance in dying is a difficult, complex and deeply personal issue," Canada's Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould and Health Minister Jane Philpott acknowledged in a joint statement, adding that the legislation succeeded in striking "the right balance between personal autonomy for those seeking access to medically assisted dying and protecting the vulnerable."
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on July 14, 2016, 07:09:17 PM
Today SOTT carries a very sharp and in depth analysis of the current Dutch euthanasia practices and the dangerous long term developments therein, from free lance writer Flavia Dzodan:

https://www.sott.net/article/322109-A-Dutch-policy-of-eugenics-How-a-soft-death-is-forced-on-the-people-in-times-of-great-need

Main referenced scientific source article (JAMA Psychiatry. 2016;73(4):362-368. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2015.2887) (behind paywall):

Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide of Patients With Psychiatric Disorders in the Netherlands 2011 to 2014 (http://archpsyc.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=2491354)

Quote
ABSTRACT
Importance  Euthanasia or assisted suicide (EAS) of psychiatric patients is increasing in some jurisdictions such as Belgium and the Netherlands. However, little is known about the practice, and it remains controversial.

Objectives  To describe the characteristics of patients receiving EAS for psychiatric conditions and how the practice is regulated in the Netherlands.

Design, Setting, and Participants  This investigation reviewed psychiatric EAS case summaries made available online by the Dutch regional euthanasia review committees as of June 1, 2015. Two senior psychiatrists used directed content analysis to review and code the reports. In total, 66 cases from 2011 to 2014 were reviewed.

Main Outcomes and Measures  Clinical and social characteristics of patients, physician review process of the patients’ requests, and the euthanasia review committees’ assessments of the physicians’ actions.

Results  Of the 66 cases reviewed, 70% (n = 46) were women. In total, 32% (n = 21) were 70 years or older, 44% (n = 29) were 50 to 70 years old, and 24% (n = 16) were 30 to 50 years old. Most had chronic, severe conditions, with histories of attempted suicides and psychiatric hospitalizations. Most had personality disorders and were described as socially isolated or lonely. Depressive disorders were the primary psychiatric issue in 55% (n = 36) of cases. Other conditions represented were psychotic, posttraumatic stress or anxiety, somatoform, neurocognitive, and eating disorders, as well as prolonged grief and autism. Comorbidities with functional impairments were common. Forty-one percent (n = 27) of physicians performing EAS were psychiatrists. Twenty-seven percent (n = 18) of patients received the procedure from physicians new to them, 14 of whom were physicians from the End-of-Life Clinic, a mobile euthanasia clinic. Consultation with other physicians was extensive, but 11% (n = 7) of cases had no independent psychiatric input, and 24% (n = 16) of cases involved disagreement among consultants. The euthanasia review committees found that one case failed to meet legal due care criteria.

Conclusions and Relevance  Persons receiving EAS for psychiatric disorders in the Netherlands are mostly women and of diverse ages, with complex and chronic psychiatric, medical, and psychosocial histories. The granting of their EAS requests appears to involve considerable physician judgment, usually involving multiple physicians who do not always agree (sometimes without independent psychiatric input), but the euthanasia review committees generally defer to the judgments of the physicians performing the EAS. 
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on September 03, 2016, 08:43:19 PM
Today SOTT carries an RT article about euthanasia in Canada:

https://www.sott.net/article/327270-Over-120-Canadians-opted-for-euthanasia-since-law-passed-in-June

Quote
Some 120 people have opted for doctor-assisted death, or euthanasia, in Canada since the State Senate passed a controversial law, allowing patients to voluntarily end their lives. The actual number may be higher as the government has not started an official count.

According (http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/assisted-dying-tracking-numbers-1.3744347) to the broadcaster CBC News, which tried to obtain data from all 13 of Canada's provinces, most of the cases were recorded by coroners in Ontario (49) and British Columbia (46), with Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan reporting 27 medically assisted deaths between them.

However, the actual figures may be significantly higher, as the remaining eight provinces were unable or did not agree to share the information citing the possible "infringement of confidentiality or distress for families who may identify with the numbers."

Official figures have not been drawn up, as Canada's federal government has not started officially tracking assisted suicides. The authorities have also yet to come up with regulations as to what information should be recorded when a person demands a medically assisted death.

"These regulations could include specifying the kind of information to be provided, the body that would analyze the information, and how often reports would be published," a spokesperson for Health Minister Jane Philpott said.

The numbers obtained by CBC also allegedly show a mere 10 percent of cases in which Canadians have demanded medical help to end their lives since the procedure became legal on June 17.

continued... 
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on September 17, 2016, 06:04:51 PM
Source:  http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-37395286

Quote
Belgium minor first to be granted euthanasia

17 September 2016

A terminally-ill 17-year-old has become the first minor to be helped to die in Belgium since age restrictions on euthanasia requests were removed two years ago, officials say.

The head of the federal euthanasia commission said the teenager was "suffering unbearable physical pain".

Belgium is the only country that allows minors of any age to choose euthanasia.

They must have rational decision-making capacity and be in the final stages of a terminal illness.

The parents of the under-18 year olds must also give their consent.

Euthanasia commission head Wim Distelmans said the teenager was "nearly 18". He said doctors used "palliative sedation", which involves bringing patients into an induced coma, as part of the process,

"Fortunately there are very few children who are considered [for euthanasia] but that does not mean we should refuse them the right to a dignified death," he told the Het Nieuwsblad newspaper.

Mr Distelmans told Reuters news agency the case had been reported to his committee by a local doctor last week.

The case occurred in Flemish-speaking Belgium, reports RTBF (http://www.rtbf.be/info/societe/detail_un-mineur-euthanasie-pour-la-premiere-fois-en-belgique?id=9406720) (in French), the public broadcaster for Belgium's French-speaking community.

The Netherlands also allows euthanasia for minors, but they must be aged over 12 years old.

Belgium lifted the age restrictions in 2014. The law passed by parliament (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-26181615) said the child would have to be terminally ill, face "unbearable physical suffering" and make repeated requests to die before euthanasia is considered.

Many people, including church leaders and some paediatricians, questioned whether children would be able to make such a difficult choice.

Senator Jean-Jacques De Gucht said he was proud the legislation had passed.

He said having the possibility to ask about euthanasia "makes a big difference to many people".


Where is assisted dying permitted?

    The Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg permit euthanasia and assisted suicide
    Switzerland permits assisted suicide if the person assisting acts unselfishly
    Colombia permits euthanasia
    California last year joined (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-34450058) the US states of Oregon, Washington, Vermont and Montana in permitting assisted dying
    Canada passed laws allowing doctor-assisted dying in June of this year

How old must the patient be?

Only the Netherlands and Belgium permit euthanasia for patients under the age of 18.

In the Netherlands, a competent patient between the ages of 16 and 18 may request euthanasia or assisted suicide. The parent or guardian does not have a veto, but must be consulted. Competent patients aged between 12 and 16 may also qualify, but only if their parent or guardian consents.

In Belgium, a competent patient under the age of 18 may request euthanasia with parental consent. Additional scrutiny of the child's competence is required, and suffering based on a psychiatric disorder is excluded.

How many people take this option?

The rate of euthanasia in the Netherlands has remained fairly stable at 2.8% of all deaths (in 2010), according to Penney Lewis, Professor of Law at King's College London.

The most recent survey of doctors in the UK was in 2007-08. The rate of euthanasia was reported to be 0.21% of all deaths, and a similar rate has been reported in France (in 2009), even though euthanasia remains illegal in both countries.

In contrast, research carried out in Flanders, Belgium found the rate prior to legalisation was unclear, with separate surveys reporting rates of 0.3% of all deaths in the region (in 2001-02) and 1.1% (in 1998). The rate has risen steadily since legalisation in 2002 to 4.6% of all deaths in the most recent survey in 2013.

What do the different terms mean?

Euthanasia is an intervention undertaken with the intention of ending a life to relieve suffering, for example a lethal injection administered by a doctor

Assisted suicide is any act that intentionally helps another person kill themselves, for example by providing them with the means to do so, most commonly by prescribing a lethal medication

Assisted dying is usually used in the US and the UK to mean assisted suicide for the terminally ill only, as for example in the Assisted Dying Bills recently debated in the UK. 
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on September 18, 2016, 07:27:22 PM
Similar report on SOTT now (via RT):

https://www.sott.net/article/328555-17-year-old-euthanized-in-Belgium-in-1st-ever-underage-case
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on September 19, 2016, 09:24:06 PM
Source:  http://www.nltimes.nl/2016/09/19/expert-child-euthanasia-center-imminent-netherlands/

Quote
Expert: Child euthanasia center imminent in the Netherlands

Posted on Sep 19, 2016 by Janene Pieters

Within the next year a [research] center for [knowledge and expertise about] euthanasia in children will open in the Netherlands, professor of pediatrics Eduard Verhagen predicted to Dutch newspaper AD (http://www.ad.nl/gezond/kenniscentrum-euthanasie-bij-kinderen-in-de-maak~a846123a/) (in Dutch), who calls him the authority in the field of child euthanasia.

Under current Dutch legislation, euthanasia can be applied for infants up to a year old and kids over the age of 12, if they suffer unbearably. Kids between the ages of 1 and 12 years are considered incapable of making such an important decision for themselves and are not eligible for euthanasia.

But according to Verhagen, doctors are already investigating the practice of life-end decisions for kids between the ages of 1 and 12 years. “We think that some children under the age of 12 are well able to make such important decisions”, he said.

He adds that the Netherlands is keeping a close eye on Belgium for developments. “The Belgians have in their system given younger children a major say in the evaluations of [a] child psychologist or child psychiatrist. We are thus wondering what methodology is used to determine the mental competence.” 

Note: quote slightly modified [] for clarity and hyperlink added
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on October 13, 2016, 06:41:41 PM
New developments in, and re-uptake of long running discussion on assisted suicide for healthy people who consider their life to be completed.

Source:  http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2016/10/ministers-back-assisted-suicide-for-people-who-feel-their-life-has-been-completed/

Quote
Ministers back assisted suicide for people who feel their life has been completed

October 13, 2016

People who feel their ‘life has been completed’ should get the legal right to die with the help of a specialist care worker, health minister Edith Schippers and justice minister Ard van de Steur have told MPs in a briefing (https://www.rijksoverheid.nl/ministeries/ministerie-van-volksgezondheid-welzijn-en-sport/nieuws/2016/10/12/kabinet-ruimte-voor-hulp-bij-zelfdoding-bij-voltooid-leven) (in Dutch).

The proposal follows years of discussion in parliament and in society at large about the right of people who consider their lives have reached the end, to die peacefully.

In their briefing, the ministers say that ‘elderly’ people with a consistent and well-considered wish to die – whether ill or not – should be able to take a drug to end their lives. Family members would not be allowed to administer the drug.

All requests for help would be assessed by a specially trained care worker and an independent expert to make sure the patient is not acting on impulse or has come under undue pressure from his or her family, the ministers said.

Justice

The practice would not be considered euthanasia, in which the patient is said to be suffering unbearably, and in which doctors have an active role.

The change in the law would ‘do justice to a legitimate and growing wish in society in general’, the ministers said.

The cabinet believes that people who consider their life to be complete should have the autonomous right to ask for help to kill themselves, the ministers said in their letter.

Experts

The cabinet statement follows a report by an independent committee of experts earlier this year (http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2016/02/advice-group-says-no-to-relaxing-euthanasia-rules-to-cover-tired-of-life/) which said that euthanasia for people who consider their lives to be completed should not be allowed in law.

The committee was set up following the acquittal of a man who had helped his 99-year-old mother to die because she felt her life was at an end.

In November 2014, the voluntary euthanasia society (NVVE) relaunched its campaign to have a pill made available to elderly people who wish to end their lives.

Drion

The idea for such a pill was first launched at the beginning of the 1990s by senior judge and euthanasia campaigner Huib Drion and became known as ‘Drion’s pill’.

The NVVE says the pills should only be issued by pharmacists or family doctors. ‘This is important to make sure the drugs cannot be used for suicide, abuse or murder,’ the organisation said.

The ministers’ plan will require new legislation, separate from the current euthanasia legislation, which will outline the system of checks and balances to ensure there is no abuse. 


Similar story, with emphasis on the parliamentary decision process and the reactions of opposition politicians here:

http://www.nltimes.nl/2016/10/13/euthanasia-an-option-for-people-who-lived-full-lives-dutch-cabinet-mps-support-plan/
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on October 14, 2016, 05:25:56 PM
Archiving the follow-up on yesterday's development:

http://www.nltimes.nl/2016/10/14/socialist-party-links-govt-s-plan-assisted-suicide-poor-nursing-home-care-mps-outraged/
http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2016/10/door-opened-to-completed-lives-assisted-suicide-what-the-papers-say/
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on October 25, 2016, 05:11:41 PM
Source:  http://nltimes.nl/2016/10/25/fmr-parliamentarian-wife-commit-joint-suicide

Quote
Fmr. parliamentarian, wife commit joint suicide

By Janene Pieters on October 25, 2016 - 08:14

Former CDA parliamentarian Frans Jozef van der Heijden and his wife ended their lives together on Friday at the ages of 78- and 76-years respectively. They explain their decision to do so in an obituary published in newspaper AD on Tuesday.

"The discussion on a self-chosen end of life is still dominated by the question of whether people who think that they have completed their lives, may end that life", the obituary reads. "Most obvious is whether people who feel that their lives threaten to end in great suffering and burden (including due to severely degraded care) may end that life now that they not yet suffer and burden themselves and others."

The CDA does not find it appropriate to comment on the couple's suicide at this stage. "Our thoughts are with the relatives and we wish the family and friends a lot of strength", the party said. CDA party chairman Ruth Peetoom describes Van der Heijden as a passionate and authentic CDA member. "I am deeply touched and sad", she said, according to NU.nl.

Van der Heijden was member of the Rotterdam City Council from 1970 and CDA parliamentarian from 1982 to 1998. He was the spokesperson for Home Affairs, elderly policy, police and mental health care, among other things. In 1998 he left parliament, but returned to the Rotterdam City Council. He left the Rotterdam council in 2006. Van der Heijden was made a Knight in the Order of the Dutch Lion and Knight in the Order of Oranje-Nassau for his political merit.

Van der Heijden's wife Connie was also active in the Rotterdam municipal politics. The couple married in 1963.

According to AD, the couple's family will make no further statements on the obituary.

Assisted suicide at the end of a full or completed life has been a topic of debate over the past weeks. The government wants to amend the euthanasia law so that elderly people who believe their life is complete can qualify for euthanasia (http://nltimes.nl/2016/10/13/euthanasia-an-option-for-people-who-lived-full-lives-dutch-cabinet-mps-support-plan), under strict conditions. 
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on November 02, 2016, 08:15:28 PM
SOTT reports (via Washington Times, Ryan T. Anderson, Ph.D., an opponent) about the raging debate in Washington D.C. :

https://www.sott.net/article/332856-D-C-City-Council-approves-physician-assisted-suicide

Quote
Earlier today [i.e. October 19], the D.C. City Council voted to allow physician-assisted suicide. But the debate isn't over. The Washington Post reports (https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dc-politics/dc-council-approves-bill-to-let-terminally-ill-patients-kill-themselves/2016/11/01/1a1278fa-9fab-11e6-8d63-3e0a660f1f04_story.html) that "the council must still hold a final vote on the bill, possibly as early as Nov. 15," and that the mayor, Muriel Bowser, must decide if she'll sign or veto the bill.

The mayor should veto the bill. Physician-assisted suicide will change us all, for the worse—as I explain in a Heritage Foundation report, "Always Care, Never Kill: How Physician-Assisted Suicide Endangers the Weak, Corrupts Medicine, Compromises the Family, and Violates Human Dignity and Equality."
 (http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2015/03/always-care-never-kill-how-physician-assisted-suicide-endangers-the-weak-corrupts-medicine-compromises-the-family-and-violates-human-dignity-and-equality)
Too many people view physician-assisted suicide as a purely private matter between an autonomous adult who desires to die, and another autonomous adult who can provide medical assistance in death.

But no man is an island. Allowing doctors to prescribe deadly drugs to assist in the suicides of their patients is not simply a one-off interaction between two consenting adults. Changing the laws that govern how doctors operate will change the entire ecosystem of medicine. It'll change how doctors relate to their patients and how much patients can trust their doctors.

Ultimately, it will change how society views the weak and the marginalized and affect our family relationships—how we view our elders and our duties toward them.


continued... 
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on November 09, 2016, 08:08:24 PM
Source:  http://nltimes.nl/2016/11/09/supreme-court-advice-punishment-moms-assisted-suicide

Quote
Supreme Court advice: No punishment for mom's assisted suicide

By Janene Pieters on November 9, 2016 - 12:40

Albert Heringa should not be punished for helping his 99-year-old mother commit suicide, according to an Advocate General of the Supreme Court who studied the case. The court in Arnhem previously ruled that Heringa should not be punished. The Advocate General advises that the ruling be upheld, NOS reports (http://nos.nl/artikel/2142085-advies-geen-straf-voor-euthanasie-hoogbejaarde-moeder.html) (in Dutch).

In 2008 Heringa helped his mother end her life. She was staying in a nursing home, suffered from heart failure, severe back pain and was almost blind. Her doctor said that he would not perform euthanasia on her. Heringa decided to help his mother when he found out she had been collecting pills to commit suicide. The pills she collected would not work, so he gave his mother the pills that would. She took the pills voluntarily and ended her life.

When Heringa was first prosecuted, the court in Zutphen found him guilty of assisted suicide, but did not impose a punishment. The judges found he acted out of love and charity. The Public Prosecutor appealed (http://nltimes.nl/2015/04/14/prosecutor-targets-son-helped-mom-99-end-life). A court in Arnhem acquitted Heringa last year. The court found that Heringa rightly invoked a state of emergency, a form of force majeure, because the doctor refused to help. He felt morally obliged to help his mother have a painless, dignified death she wanted. According to the court, Heringa acted very carefully and transparently. He filmed everything.

The Public Prosecutor did not agree with this ruling and appealed to the Supreme Court. According to the Public Prosecutor, Heringa could not sufficiently motivate that there was an emergency.

The Advocate General examined the question of whether and when someone who isn't a doctor can call upon a state of emergency. She concluded that the court in Arnhem was right to rule that this was a "very exceptional situation". This ruling can not be used for general conclusions, and exceptional situations will have to be judged case by case, she added.

According to the Advocate General, Heringa gave his mother the drugs at her express request. She took the pills completely voluntarily and ended her life. She therefore advises that Heringa not be punished.

According to NOS, the advice of the Advocate General is always seriously considered. An Advocate General at the Supreme Court is sometimes asked for independent advice in ongoing proceedings. He or she is assisted by academic staff. While the advice is not binding, the Supreme Court ruling usually corresponds to the advice. The Supreme Court is expected to rule on this case in March.
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on November 30, 2016, 07:12:24 PM
Today SOTT carries a rather sad story (from The Mirror) about a Dutch alcoholic's euthanasia after all other treatment options had failed to bring a solution for his addiction:

https://www.sott.net/article/335239-Alcoholic-41-chose-to-be-euthanasied-because-he-saw-death-as-his-only-option
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on December 19, 2016, 08:23:58 PM
Source:  http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2016/12/assisted-dying-could-be-legalised-for-over-75s-who-have-had-enough-of-life/

Quote
Assisted dying could be legalised for over-75s who have had ‘enough of life’

December 19, 2016

Assisted suicide could be extended to anyone over the age of 75 who no longer wants to live, even if they are not ill, under a bill brought forward by D66 MP Pia Dijkstra.

The bill would make it legal to arrange the death of anyone with an ‘intrinsic and consistent’ wish to die. The request would be granted and carried by a registered end-of-life practitioner, which could be a doctor, nurse or psychologist, and they will have to seek a second opinion before deciding.

A number of safeguards are included in the proposed legislation. The wish to die must be confirmed in a second interview after the original request, with a gap of at least two months in between. The case will also be reviewed by an independent commission, as happens currently with euthanasia.

At the moment euthanasia is legal in the Netherlands only for patients who are experiencing unbearable suffering with no prospect of improvement. Cancer patients account for around 70% of euthanasia deaths, but the total number has increased by 70% in the last five years.

Dijkstra told Nieuwsuur (http://nos.nl/nieuwsuur/artikel/2149070-wetsvoorstel-d66-toestemming-hulp-bij-zelfdoding-bij-voltooid-leven.html) (Dutch only): ‘There are plenty of examples of people who say, “I’ve had enough of life, I have children and grandchildren, they’re all doing well, but I’m detached, I don’t play a role in their lives any more. The only thing waiting for me is decline and I don’t want to go through that.”’

Dijkstra said the conditions were designed to ensure that assisted suicide would only be granted to people who made the request ‘of their own free will, properly considered and without pressure from outside’ and who were mentally fit to make the decision.

The bill will be placed online so people can comment and respond before it is put before Parliament, which will not happen until after the general election next March, Dijkstra said.

Health minister Edith Schippers told Parliament in October (http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2016/10/ministers-back-assisted-suicide-for-people-who-feel-their-life-has-been-completed/) that the government was looking to legalise assisted suicide for elderly people who were ‘suffering from life’, but did not bring forward any firm proposals.

At the time her plan was criticised by opposition politicians who said the government should be concentrating on improving the quality of life for the elderly.

Gert-Jan Segers, leader of the ChristenUnie party, said: ‘In what kind of society do we want to live? What’s the answer to loneliness? I can’t accept that it’s giving someone a pill.’ 

EDIT: removed caption beneath image that wouldn't load permanently
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on January 02, 2017, 10:26:46 PM
SOTT today carries an article of an MD who reversed her stance on euthanasia in cases of mental illness from pro to con:

https://www.sott.net/article/338440-Euthanasia-is-not-the-last-stop-for-mental-illness

Quote
<snip>

I used to believe in euthanasia.

I thought it was short-sighted and cruel to force people to endure their tragically slow decline in health simply for the sake of appearances. To support the commitment that conventional medicine upholds to "never quit." Are people meant to be kept alive at all costs?

I used to think they should be allowed to die, with dignity, if their condition was hopeless.

If their condition was hopeless.

This is the operative term.

Now, with my awareness of documented cases of spontaneous remission, my knowledge of radically transformative healing paths, my work with Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez and his long-term care for the terminally ill, and my own cases of total reversal of mental illness diagnoses within the space of months, I no longer believe anything is hopeless.

With the right tools and the right mindset, the body is capable of negentropic feats of healing.

The failures of psychiatry are only a source of hopelessness if you don't believe there's another version of the story, another way, and a deep meaning to your struggle.
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on January 06, 2017, 06:00:46 PM
Source:  http://nltimes.nl/2017/01/06/euthanasia-rarely-approved-advanced-dementia-patients-despite-lucid-requests

Quote
Euthanasia rarely approved for advanced dementia patients, despite lucid requests

By Janene Pieters on January 6, 2017 - 10:49

Euthanasia is hardly ever approved for advanced dementia patients, despite the fact that the Ministries of Public Health and Security and Justice gave the go ahead that it can be given (http://nltimes.nl/2016/01/07/euthanasia-okd-dementia-patients-request-lucid) to dementia patients who requested it in a written declaration while they were still lucid. Since the euthanasia request declaration system was implemented end 2015, there's only been three known cases of it being used, the Volkskrant (http://www.volkskrant.nl/wetenschap/en-opeens-was-het-moment-voorbij~a4444440/) (Dutch only; behind paywall) reports based on information from the euthanasia review committees RTE.

According to the newspaper, many doctors are unclear about what is allowed and what isn't, due to conflicting rules in law and doctors' guidelines.

In 2012 doctors organization KNMG implemented its own rules on when to approve euthanasia. These rules were more strict than the legal requirements and stated that verbal or non-verbal communication with the patient was needed for euthanasia. End of 2015 the Ministries decided to clarify the matter by adding to the euthanasia guidelines that euthanasia can be approved for an advanced dementia patient if that patient made a declaration asking for euthanasia while the patient was still lucid, and if that patient is suffering unbearably.

According to Jacob Kohnsthamm, chairman of the RTE, the problem lies in determining whether a dementia patient has "hopeless and unbearable suffering". "The unbearable suffering can often not be identified in these patients. At a moment where a deep dementia patient sits quietly in a corner in a nursing home, that's impossible", he said to the newspaper.

Steven Pleiter, director of the End of Life Clinic which handles complex euthanasia requests, confirms this. "For our doctors it is not a matter of not wanting, but not being able to. Many patients change as the dementia progresses. Sometimes patients will suddenly go: I do not want euthanasia, how did you get that? With one single patient the suffering was visible. But in many others it's not." he said to the Volkskrant.

Robert Schurink, chairman of the Dutch association for voluntary end of life NVVE, calls it disappointing that nothing changed since the euthanasia declaration was given the go ahead in 2015. "People sign such a declaration with conviction. They think that it is settled. But as soon as they pass the time of mental competence, doctors suddenly don't want to anymore. The Minister [Edith Schippers of Public Health] wanted to solve this ambiguity in 2015 and indicated that it is allowed. But many doctors don't want to burn their fingers, even if there's visible suffering. They feel bound to the old standards of the KNMG and demand that the patient communicates himself." 

Similar, but shorter:  http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2017/01/doctors-still-unwilling-to-perform-euthanasia-on-serious-dementia-patients/
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on January 26, 2017, 06:52:42 PM
Source:  http://nltimes.nl/2017/01/26/euthanasia-controversy-doctor-rebuked-helping-uncertain-woman-die

Quote
Euthanasia controversy: Doctor rebuked for helping uncertain woman die

By Janene Pieters on January 26, 2017 - 11:35

For the first time in Dutch history a doctor in the Netherlands was reprimanded for giving euthanasia to a dementia patient while it was not conclusively established that euthanasia was what the woman wanted at that time, Trouw reports (http://www.trouw.nl/tr/nl/39681/nbsp/article/detail/4453850/2017/01/26/Onzorgvuldig-uitgevoerde-euthanasie-ligt-dat-aan-de-arts-of-aan-het-systeem.dhtml) (Dutch only). The implementation of euthanasia was also traumatic, the Regional Review Committee concluded, according to the newspaper.

The patient in question is a woman around the age of 80 years, suffering from dementia so far advanced that her husband could no longer cope with the care she needed. She had to be placed in a home. While the woman was still lucid she indicated that she definitely did not want to end up in a "home for demented elderly". She also stated in her will that she wanted euthanasia "when I myself find it the right time".

In the nursing home the woman spent her days frightened and angry. She wandered the halls of the home at night and missed her family. After a few weeks the doctor at the home determined that the woman was suffering unbearably and is no longer mentally competent, but that the declaration she gave in her will justifies euthanasia.

Euthanasia was preformed seven weeks after the woman was admitted into the nursing home. To calm the woman down, the nursing home doctor gave her a first dose of sedative in a cup of coffee. A second dose was injected into her. She seemed to fall asleep. But when the infusion was inserted she "pulled back", and while the doctor injected the euthanasia agent, she moved as if to get up. The doctor decided to continue while family members held the patient down. The woman died shortly afterwards.

The review committee determined that the woman's declaration in her will did not clearly state that she wanted to be euthanized after being admitted to a nursing home. The words "when I myself find it the right time" does not take into account a situation in which the woman was no longer mentally competent. The committee can understand how the doctor read it as a well-considered wish, but still feels that it was too broad an interpretation.

The committee also concluded that the doctor "crossed a line" by giving the woman the first dose of sedative secretly - hidden in a cup of coffee. And that the doctor should have stopped at the woman's movements at the end. Even though it is possible that the movements were purely physical reactions, it can not be certain.

On other points, including the presence of hopeless and unbearable suffering and consulting other doctors on the matter, the committee found the doctor acted correctly and according to the rules.

In January last year the Ministries of Security and Justice and Pubic Health gave the green light to allow euthanasia in advanced dementia patients (http://nltimes.nl/2016/01/07/euthanasia-okd-dementia-patients-request-lucid), provided that the patient left a written request for euthanasia while he or she was still lucid. Despite this, euthanasia is hardly ever granted (http://nltimes.nl/2016/01/20/euthanasia-rarely-approved-advanced-dementia-patients) to patients with advanced dementia. 
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on January 31, 2017, 04:27:01 PM
Source:  http://nltimes.nl/2017/01/31/dutch-politicians-social-organizations-team-aging-dignity-manifesto

Quote
Dutch politicians, social organizations team up in "aging with dignity" manifesto

By Janene Pieters on January 31, 2017 - 10:16

A number of Dutch political parties and civil society organizations teamed up in a manifesto calling for more effort to be put into making sure that elderly people can grow old with dignity. A coordinating minister for elderly policy and encouraging family care are two of the priorities in the manifesto, ANP reports.

The manifesto was initiated by ChristenUnie leader Gert-Jan Segers, director Jan Slagter of broadcaster MAX and director Manon Vanderkaa of elderly organization KBO-PCOB. Their plans are supported by political parties CDA, SP and several Dutch celebrities. It can be signed online.

The manifesto is titled "Aging with Dignity" and according to Segers, it is one way to make sure the quality of life for older people increases again in the Netherlands. He adds that opinions on how to improve quality of life for the elderly will continue to differ. "But where we can find each other politically and socially is in a commitment to a society in which older people are seen and appreciated."

Other calls in the manifesto include a call for the "acceptance and revaluation of old age", making volunteering more attractive and countering loneliness among the elderly. There should also be "life coaches", instead of death coaches, who can answer the elderly's life questions and can help where needed.

Last year the government presented a plan to help people die who feel their life has been completed (http://nltimes.nl/2016/10/13/euthanasia-option-people-lived-full-lives-dutch-cabinet-mps-support-plan). The CDA, SP and ChristenUnie are against this plan, feeling that effort should rather be put into preventing people from experiencing their life as already done. 
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on February 10, 2017, 06:07:41 PM
Source:  http://nltimes.nl/2017/02/10/dutch-doctors-euthanasia-advanced-dementia-patients

Quote
Dutch doctors against euthanasia for advanced dementia patients

By Janene Pieters on February 10, 2017 - 13:45

A group of 220 Dutch doctors took out an advertisement in NRC on Friday to show that they are against granting euthanasia to advanced dementia patients. The doctors believe it's wrong to give euthanasia based on a statement which the patient can no longer confirm.

"Our moral reluctance to end the life of a defenseless human being is too big", the ad reads. Among the signers are also doctors specialized in helping patients die.

The doctors want to restart the conversation about euthanasia for severely demented people, according to NOS (http://nos.nl/artikel/2157398-grote-groep-artsen-tegen-euthanasie-bij-demente-ouderen.html) (Dutch only). Since 2015 there were three cases of euthanasia granted (http://nltimes.nl/2017/01/06/euthanasia-rarely-approved-advanced-dementia-patients-despite-lucid-requests) to patients with advanced dementia. Initiator and geriatric doctor Boudewijn Chabot wants a court to decide whether these cases were carefully handled according to the rules.

The rules for euthanasia for elderly people with dementia were adjusted in December 2015. The Ministries of Public Health and Security and Justice changed the euthanasia guidelines to state that euthanasia can be granted to advanced dementia patients (http://nltimes.nl/2016/01/07/euthanasia-okd-dementia-patients-request-lucid) if they made a written declaration with this wish while they were still lucid. Before this adaption, a patient had to express the desire for death himself. But this is no longer required.

A Dutch doctor was recently rebuked for granting euthanasia to a dementia patient (http://nltimes.nl/2017/01/26/euthanasia-controversy-doctor-rebuked-helping-uncertain-woman-die), the first time in Dutch history that this happened. The Regional Review Committee concluded that the patient's wish for euthanasia was not clear enough. 

To give some perspective, the Netherlands has about 11,568 GP's (https://www.rabobankcijfersentrends.nl/index.cfm?action=branche&branche=Huisartsen) working in 5,045 medical practices. I couldn't find a sum total of all medical doctors (regardless of specialization or working stations) but that figure will undoubtedly be higher.
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: okiron on February 11, 2017, 11:54:17 AM
Quote
A: What about war? What is better? This is open because all are murderers and suicides. It is the supreme lesson you all must learn before you can graduate to ethereal existence. Your thinking is too simplified.
Quote
This is a great topic to talk about, as it is such a difficult subject to really have a definite yes or no opinion on, unless you have experienced the desire to do this yourself, majority of us have no room to talk really.
As everyone else I have my own opinions also. They are very split both ways, as i am sure most peoples will be on this topic.

Firstly I feel that as souls before cominig to earth we pre planned certain events to happen, or things we were born with etc, in order to learn a very specific lesson, like acceptance, patience, so on and so forth, so we agree to be for example paralysed from the neck down in this life in order to do this. My theory is that the more severe the handicap, pain etc the more we want to learn this lesson, as maybe it is a lesson that is taking lifetimes to achieve so putting ourselves in such a severe situation with our bodies, we have much more chance to finally learn this lesson...

Now if one chooses to die in some ways i feel they are avoiding the situation that they pre planned. And will just ave to repeat the cycle again until they learn what it is to learn being in whatever state they were in.
In a completely different way, if one conciously chooses to die, with total acceptance and awareness of what they are about to do and have peace in thier hearts, this may actually also be a lesson in choosing nobly when to die and when not to. Do they really have to live? Choosing to die I feel in some ways can be a noble act, with as many powerful lessons and choosing not to.

This is why it is so hard to have a straight opinion on this topic as it is actually impossible to when we do not know the whole truth spiritually speaking of the lessons each and every one of these souls came here to learn??

Ciou :)

 Life and death has not changed, nor has pain and suffering. This to me, displays that the lessons to be learned is still on going?  What i would like to know, are there any humans that have learned this "supreme lesson"? and what can they teach us about how they went about learning this "supreme lesson?" Is it possible to even have an answer?
 For me, it is the pain and suffering of others, as well as the pain and suffering i endure that got me to question about the purpose of life and death and it lead me to this journey at this point in time; I find myself not so fearful about death (had near death experience), pain in the physical body became my teacher, my suffering is always a choice one makes, it is not a given, osit. As long as I inhale of breath than exhale of breath is another lesson awaiting. FWIW

okiron 

Edit=Quote
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Solie on February 21, 2017, 06:55:22 PM
Just to add to the archive of the forum, I figure I should link the Sott Talk Radio Show that spoke about this very topic:


The Health and Wellness Show - 6 Nov 2015 - Death: No One Gets Out of Here Alive  (https://cassiopaea.org/forum/index.php/topic,39973.0.html)

Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on February 21, 2017, 08:59:19 PM
Excellent. Good idea. Thanks Solie.  :cool2:

Other links:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/sottradionetwork/2015/11/06/the-health-and-wellness-show--6-nov-2015--death-no-one-gets-out-of-here-alive

https://www.sott.net/article/307357-The-Health-Wellness-Show-Death-No-One-Gets-Out-of-Here-Alive   (with transcript included)
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on March 01, 2017, 11:00:30 PM
A high profile case of euthanasia is recently being reported from Italy:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/paralysed-italian-dj-fabiano-antoniani-euthaniasia-switzerland-clinic-forch-take-own-life-a7605151.html
(illustrations and hyperlinks omitted)

Quote
A paralysed DJ ended his own life with the press of a button in Switzerland after a fruitless campaign for euthanasia in his native Italy.

Fabiano Antoniani died at a euthanasia facility in Forch after reportedly triggering the lethal substance. 

The 40-year-old had campaigned for a change in the assisted suicide law in his homeland, but Italy's parliament had shelved the debate 11 times.

Former MEP and activist Marco Cappato, who traveled with Mr Antoniani to Switzerland, could face criminal charges after helping escort the musician to the facility.

Police have questioned him over the death, he said on Twitter.

Mr Antoniani was left blind and tetraplegic by car crash in 2014. The DJ dropped his phone while driving and smashed into the car in front of him as he tried to pick it up.

Also known as quadriplegia, Tetraplegia is paralysis caused by illness or injury that results in the partial or total loss of use of all four limbs and torso.

He appealed to Italy President Sergio Mattarella for the right to die, and shortly before his death, criticised the country for failing to pass laws allowing him to do so.

“Finally I am in Switzerland and, unfortunately, I got here on my own and not with the help of my country,” he said, in a message posted on social media shortly before his death.

“Fabo died at 11.40am. He decided to pass away, respecting the rules of a country which is not his own,” Mr Cappato wrote on Twitter, shortly after he died.

Roberto Saviano, an Italian journalist, who was a friend of DJ Fabo, also wrote: “We distinctly heard you ask for a dignified death. There is no possible justification for the silence that you’ve achieved in response.

“There is no possible justification for the lack of empathy, of attention, and humanity, from the European Parliament, and from the country, which by fate, you were born in.”

In one of Mr Antoniani’s last Facebook posts, he wrote: “F*** the boredom… f*** the problems… f*** the sickness.”

Euthanasia is illegal in Italy, a traditionally Catholic country, but the law upholds a patient’s right to refuse care.

A bill to clarify assisted suicide law has been postponed in Italy three times, but according to La Stampa, will be debated by the Chamber of Deputies this week.

Hundreds have travelled to Zurich to end their lives since the Dignitas organisation was set up in 1998.

The number of assisted suicides in Switzerland, according to statistics from Dignitas and Exit, stood at 416 in 2011 but 1,004 in 2015.

In the UK, a woman suffering from Crohn's disease last month said she will pay £10,000 to end her life in Switzerland because of social care cuts. 
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on March 02, 2017, 09:27:24 PM
Source:  http://www.lifenews.com/2017/02/20/washington-d-c-becomes-6th-place-in-the-u-s-to-legalize-assisted-suicide/

Quote
Washington D.C. Becomes 6th Place in the U.S. to Legalize Assisted Suicide

Micaiah Bilger   Feb 20, 2017   |   11:05AM    Washington, DC

A Washington, D.C. law allowing doctors to prescribe their patients lethal drugs to commit suicide went into effect Saturday after U.S. Congress failed to block the measure, the Washington Times reports (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/feb/18/dc-physician-assisted-suicide-law-goes-effect/).

The district is the sixth area in the U.S. to legalize the deadly procedure, following Oregon, Washington state, Vermont, California and Colorado. The D.C. council passed the law at the end of 2016 (http://www.lifenews.com/2016/12/20/washington-d-c-mayor-signs-bill-legalizing-assisted-suicide-will-target-blacks-and-lead-to-abuses/), despite wide-spread opposition from African Americans, people with disabilities, medical professionals, pro-lifers and religious groups.

U.S. Congressional leaders did take initial steps to overturn the D.C. law (http://www.lifenews.com/2017/02/14/house-committee-votes-to-strike-down-d-c-law-legalizing-assisted-suicide/), but their measures did not pass in time.

Here’s more from the report:

    Under the federal Home Rule Act, a disapproval resolution passed by both houses of Congress and signed by the president within 30 legislative days would have blocked the law from taking effect.

    The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform voted Monday to send a disapproval resolution to the House floor, but it never received a vote. A corresponding Senate resolution did not make
    it out of committee. …

    Congress can still neutralize the Death with Dignity Act by cutting off its funding through the appropriations process.

Supporters describe the law as “death with dignity” and say it only applies to terminally ill adult patients.

“The advocacy of D.C. residents and local officials is what won this victory,” said Jessica Grennan, spokeswoman for the euthanasia group Compassion and Choices, in a statement. “Democracy conquered the personal mindsets of paternalistic politicians whose opinions should not get in the way of people getting the medical relief they want and need.”

Opponents, however, say the law opens up a wide door for abuse of the elderly and those with disabilities.

“The Act is a recipe for elder abuse, it applies to persons who have years or decades to live and purported oversight is a sham,” said attorney Margaret Dore, president of Choice is an Illusion, in a release earlier this month. (http://www.choiceillusiondc.org/2017/02/choice-is-illusion-president-margaret_5.html)

Dore said the new law allows a patient’s heir who could financially benefit from their death to participate in requesting the lethal drugs. She said the law also does not require a doctor or any other unbiased witnesses to be present when the patient takes the drugs.

“But, it gets worse,” Dore continued. “The death certificate is required to list a medical condition as the cause of death, which prevents prosecution. The official cause of death is a medical condition (not murder) as a matter of law. For perpetrators, the death certificate is a ‘stay out of jail free card.’”

Many in the D.C. African American community also oppose the new law. As the Washington Post reported (https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dc-politics/right-to-die-law-faces-skepticism-in-us-capital-its-really-aimed-at-old-black-people/2016/10/17/8abf6334-8ff6-11e6-a6a3-d50061aa9fae_story.html) previously, D.C. residents are worried that the law will threaten the lives of poor and elderly residents, especially minorities.

“Because of Jim Crow laws . . . we didn’t have the opportunity to have the same jobs, to have the same insurance, the same retirement benefits,” community activist Leona Redmond told the news outlet. “It’s really aimed at old black people. It really is.”

Redmond, who worked to oppose the law, said they fear that, through the legislation, politicians will continue to make cost cuts a higher priority than healthcare for the poor and elderly.

In states where doctor-prescribed suicide is legal, sick people are being denied medical treatment coverage and offered assisted suicide instead (http://www.lifenews.com/2016/10/24/terminally-ill-womans-insurance-company-will-pay-for-her-assisted-suicide-but-not-for-chemo/). Most recently, Stephanie Packer (http://www.washingtontimes.com/topics/stephanie-packer/), a California wife and mother of four who was diagnosed with a terminal form of cancer, said her insurance company refused to cover the cost of her medical treatment.

When Packer asked her insurance company if it would cover doctor-prescribed suicide, the company told her, “Yes, we do provide that to our patients, and you would only have to pay $1.20 for the medication.”

Patients in Oregon reported similar experiences. The D.C. bill is modeled after the Oregon doctor-prescribed suicide law.

No DC Suicide (http://nodcsuicide.org/about/get-the-facts/), a coalition of groups opposed to the legislation, also has concerns. The group said the new law does not require patients to have a mental health screening, even though studies have found that depression is a key factor in suicide cases. 
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on March 14, 2017, 05:21:52 PM
Source:  http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2017/03/supreme-court-orders-retrial-for-man-who-helped-his-mother-die/

Quote
Supreme Court orders retrial for man who helped his mother die

March 14, 2017

The Dutch Supreme Court has ruled that a man found cleared of helping his 99-year-old mother to die in 2013 will have to stand trial again.

At the time the appeal court in Arnhem said Albert Heringa (74) had carried out sufficient checks that his mother was suffering both psychologically and physically and that she really wanted to die.

However, the Supreme Court has now ruled that euthanasia carried out by someone other than a doctor must be subject to ‘very strict rules’ and a different court, this time in Den Bosch, will have to determine whether or not Heringa should be punished for what he did. Heringa’s earlier appeal was ‘granted far too lightly’, judges said in a statement (https://www.rechtspraak.nl/Organisatie-en-contact/Organisatie/Hoge-Raad-der-Nederlanden/Nieuws/Paginas/Zeer-strenge-eisen-aan-hulp-bij-zelfdoding-door-niet-arts.aspx) (in Dutch).

The public prosecutor considers Heringa guilty and wants a suspended sentence of three months.

Heringa decided to help his mother die when doctors refused her request to administer a lethal dose of medication. He filmed his mother, who was almost blind and suffering from crippling back pains, as he helped her take the pills that would kill her. The footage featured in a documentary called De laatste wens van Moek (Mum’s final wish) which was broadcast in 2010.

Heringa was disappointed at the outcome of the case, which was expected to go in his favour. ‘I would have liked to have left this behind me but now it will all start again. It is clear that the problems surrounding people who consider their lives completed are not solved. It is back on the political agenda as well,’ Nu.nl quotes him (http://www.nu.nl/binnenland/4539618/hoge-raad-verwerpt-vrijspraak-hulp-bij-zelfdoding-99-jarige-moeder.html) (in Dutch) as saying. 
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on March 16, 2017, 05:23:14 PM
Source:  http://nltimes.nl/2017/03/16/dutch-politicians-killer-gets-8-years-euthanasia-revenge-killing

Quote
Dutch politician's killer gets 8 years for euthanasia revenge killing

By Janene Pieters on March 16, 2017 - 14:23

Bart van U. (http://nltimes.nl/tags/bart-van-u) was sentenced on appeal to 8 years in prison and institutionalized psychiatric care for the murders of politician Els Borst and his sister Lois. The sentence given by the court in The Hague on Thursday is equal to what the Public Prosecutor demanded (http://nltimes.nl/2017/02/17/prosecutor-demands-prison-time-politicians-sisters-murder).

Last year Van U. was only sentenced to institutionalized psychiatric care (http://nltimes.nl/2016/04/13/prison-time-murder-politician-euthanasia-law) for these murders. The court declared him insane. Van U. confessed to both murders. He said he killed his sister because she bullied him his entire life and that he had enough when she offered him a cookie that she knew he didn't like (http://nltimes.nl/2016/03/29/suspect-stabbed-sister-snacks-didnt-like-god-made-kill-political-leader). In the murder of Els Borst, Van U. claimed that he was on a divine mission to kill those responsible for the euthanasia law (http://nltimes.nl/2016/02/04/suspect-confesses-to-murder-of-d66-politician-els-borst-over-euthanasia/).

The Public Prosecutor appealed against the initial ruling. The prosecutor believes that Van U. has severely diminished responsibility, but is not completely insane (http://nltimes.nl/2016/04/19/politicians-killer-stabbed-sister-cookie-completely-insane). The prosecutor also argued that Van U. killed the two women in extremely violent ways - both died of numerous stab wounds.

The court in The Hague ruled in favor of the Public Prosecutor and found Van U. guilty of manslaughter. 
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on March 24, 2017, 05:31:45 PM
Source:  http://nltimes.nl/2017/03/24/dutch-gps-refer-rejected-euthanasia-requests-another-doctor-end-life-foundation

Quote
Dutch GPs should refer rejected euthanasia requests to another doctor: end of life foundation

By Janene Pieters on March 24, 2017 - 10:45

Doctors in the Netherlands should refer their patients to another doctor if they can not or do not want to grant a euthanasia request themselves, according to the foundation Levenseindenkliniek (End of Life Clinic), ANP reports (http://www.ad.nl/binnenland/eenvoudige-euthanasie-is-morele-verantwoordelijkheid-huisarts~a034737e/) (in Dutch).

As expertise center in the field of euthanasia, the clinic mainly wants to deal with complex euthanasia cases, such as when it involves patients with dementia or psychiatric disorders. Yet a relatively large number of the cases they receive involve so-called "non-complex" euthanasia requests - involving patients with a terminal illness. These requests can be handled by the patient's own doctor, or a colleague, according to the foundation.

The clinic therefore wants to arrange a meeting with the professional group for doctors to discuss the matter.

Doctors organization KNMG (https://www.medischcontact.nl/nieuws/laatste-nieuws/artikel/knmg-gaat-artsen-helpen-bij-verwijzen-euthanasieverzoek.htm) (in Dutch) also wants to support doctors in referring euthanasia requests. "If a doctor can not agree to a request for euthanasia due to personal reasons, it is important that he speaks to the patient about it in a timely manner and helps him find another doctor", chairman Rene Heman said. "It is not a legal obligation, but a moral and professional responsibility." 
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on March 30, 2017, 08:29:11 PM
Update on the matter signaled in Replies #75 and #76 (https://cassiopaea.org/forum/index.php/topic,31822.msg679470.html#msg679470).

Source:  http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2017/03/dutch-doctors-reject-separate-euthanasia-rules-for-completed-lives/

Quote
Dutch doctors reject separate euthanasia rules for ‘completed lives’

March 30, 2017

The Dutch doctors association KNMG (https://www.knmg.nl/contact/about-knmg.htm) is not in favor of drawing up specific euthanasia rules for elderly people who consider their lives [to] have been completed.

Although the wish of some people who are not physically ill to die is palpable, new legislation aimed specifically at such cases would be ‘undesirable’, the KNMG said in a statement (https://www.knmg.nl/actualiteit-opinie/nieuws/nieuwsbericht/knmg-voltooid-leven-wens-invoelbaar-maar-regeling-onwenselijk.htm) (Dutch only).

The KNMG says it has carried out extensive consultations with members and experts to draw up its standpoint. The position paper is in response to government moves to bring in special provisions to allow people who consider their lives are at an end to die peacefully.

Last October, health minister Edith Schippers and justice minister Ard van de Steur said in a briefing to MP's that ‘elderly’ people with a consistent and well-considered wish to die – whether ill or not – should be able to take a drug to end their lives.

The practice would not be considered euthanasia, in which the patient is said to be suffering unbearably, and in which doctors have an active role, and family members would not be allowed to administer the drug.

All requests for help would be assessed by a specially trained care worker and an independent expert to make sure the patient is not acting on impulse or has come under undue pressure from his or her family, the ministers said.

Autonomous right

The change in the law would ‘do justice to a legitimate and growing wish in society in general’, the ministers said. However, the cabinet position conflicts with the advice of an independent committee of experts earlier in 2016 which said that euthanasia for people who consider their lives to be completed should not be allowed in law.

The current legislation works well but support for it will be undermined if it is extended to include people who are not suffering physically, the KNMG said. ‘Age-related vulnerability, whereby people suffer from multiple medical and non-medical problems, can be deemed to be unbearable suffering’ and therefore fall under the euthanasia legislation, the organization points out.

However, separate legislation for people with ‘no medical grounds’ for the wish to die could have an undesirable social effect, by stigmatizing the elderly, the KNMG said. Instead, the government should invest in measures to make sure the elderly do not feel their lives are pointless.

The expansion of euthanasia rules are likely to become part of the current coalition government talks. D66 is the driving force behind the changes and the VVD have said they will support them. However, the Christian Democrats, who do not back change, are set to have a key role in the new government. 
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on April 12, 2017, 07:53:55 PM
Source:  http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2017/04/number-of-official-cases-of-euthanasia-rise-10-in-the-netherlands/

Quote
Number of official cases of euthanasia rise 10% in the Netherlands

April 12, 2017

The number of official cases of euthanasia in the Netherlands rose 10% last year to 6091 and euthanasia now accounts for 4% of total deaths, the regional monitoring boards said on Wednesday.

In 10 cases, the rules for euthanasia were not followed correctly, most of which involved a failure to properly consult a second doctor, the RTE annual report said. In one case (http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2017/01/doctor-reprimanded-for-overstepping-mark-during-euthanasia-on-dementia-patient/), a doctor was reprimanded for ‘crossing the line’ with a patient suffering from severe dementia.

Of the total, 87% of assisted deaths involved people with cancer, serious heart or lung problems or diseases of the nervous system such as ALS.

There were 32 more cases of assisted suicide involving people with dementia, most of whom were in the early stages of the disease. In addition, there were 60 cases involving people with severe psychiatric problems, a rise of four on 2015.

Demographics

Monitoring committee chairman Jacob Kohnstamm said it is not easy to determine why there has been a rise in overall cases. The demographic make-up of the Netherlands could be one reason for the increase, as could a change of opinion among doctors, he said.

Some 85% of euthanasia requests are carried out by the patient’s own doctor, usually at home.

Euthanasia is legal in the Netherlands under strict conditions. For example, the patient must be suffering unbearable pain and the doctor must be convinced the patient is making an informed choice. The opinion of a second doctor is also required.

Since the legislation was introduced in 2002, there have been a number of controversial cases, including a woman suffering severe tinnitus (http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2015/01/euthanasia-clinic-criticised-for-helping-woman-with-severe-tinnitus-to-die/) and a serious alcoholic (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-38166185). 

Relevant sources in Dutch:

_https://www.euthanasiecommissie.nl/actueel/nieuws/2017/april/12/jaarverslag-aangeboden
_https://www.euthanasiecommissie.nl/uitspraken/jaarverslagen/2016/april/12/jaarverslag-2016  (download links)

_https://www.knmg.nl/actualiteit-opinie/nieuws/nieuwsbericht/toetsingscommissies-euthanasie-weer-stijging-meldingen-euthanasie.htm
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on June 19, 2017, 09:01:57 PM
SOTT now carries a Daily Mail article (May 10, 2017) about a Dutch case from 2016 where a former victim of child sex abuse, then in her twenties, with severe PTSD and other ailments was administered euthanasia via lethal injection.

The article is meant to be part of the UK-discussion about possible euthanasia law(s):

https://www.sott.net/article/354087-Dutch-sex-abuse-victim-allowed-to-choose-euthanasia-after-doctors-decided-her-PTSD-was-incurable

Quote
<...>
The woman, who has not been named, began to suffer from mental disorders 15 years ago following sexual abuse, according to the papers released by the Dutch Euthanasia Commission. The timescale means she was abused between the ages of five and 15.

News of her death angered anti-euthanasia MPs and disability campaigners in Britain. One Labour MP said it meant sex abuse victims were now being punished with death.

It comes at a time of continued controversy over assisted dying in Britain. A steady flow of people from this country travel to die legally at the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland, and judges and the courts appear to be leaning in favour of making it legal to help someone to die.

Details of the Dutch case were released by authorities anxious to justify euthanasia laws and to demonstrate that mercy killings are carried out under full and correct medical supervision.

The papers said that the woman, who was killed last year, had post-traumatic stress disorder that was resistant to treatment. Her condition included severe anorexia, chronic depression and suicidal mood swings, tendencies to self-harm, hallucinations, obsessions and compulsions.

She also had physical difficulties and was almost entirely bedridden. Her psychiatrist said 'there was no prospect or hope for her. The patient experienced her suffering as unbearable'.

However, the papers also disclosed that two years before her death the woman's doctors called for a second opinion, and on the advice of the new doctors she had an intensive course of trauma therapy. 'This treatment was temporarily partially successful,' the documents said.

Treatment was abandoned last year after independent consultants were called in and said the case was hopeless.

The consultants also said that despite her 'intolerable' physical and mental suffering, chronic depression and mood swings, she was entirely competent to make the decision to take her own life.

The patient, they said, was 'totally competent' and there was 'no major depression or other mood disorder which affected her thinking'. A final GP's report approved the 'termination of life' order and the woman was killed by an injection of lethal drugs, the report said.

In Britain yesterday her case was condemned as 'horrendous' by Labour MP Robert Flello.

He said: 'It almost sends the message that if you are the victim of abuse, and as a result you get a mental illness, you are punished by being killed, that the punishment for the crime of being a victim is death.

'It serves to reinforce why any move towards legalising assisted suicide, or assisted dying, is so dangerous.'

Tory MP Fiona Bruce, chairman of the Parliamentary All-Party Pro-Life Group, said: 'This tragic situation shows why euthanasia should never be legalised in this country. What this woman needed, at a desperate point in her young life, was help and support to overcome her problems, not the option of euthanasia.'

Nikki Kenward, of the disability rights group Distant Voices, said: 'It is both horrifying and worrying that mental health professionals could regard euthanasia in any form as an answer to the complex and deep wounds that result from sexual abuse.' 
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on June 28, 2017, 06:29:43 PM
Source:  http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-end-of-life-act-20170627-htmlstory.html

Quote
111 terminally ill patients took their own lives in first 6 months of California right-to-die law

By Soumya Karlamangla  June 27,2017,  6:05 PM

UPDATES:  6:05 p.m.: This article was updated with reactions from experts and medical professionals and was rewritten throughout.
This article was first published at 1:30 p.m.

A total of 111 people in California took their own lives using lethal prescriptions during the first six months of a law that allows terminally ill people to request life-ending drugs from their doctors, according to data released Tuesday.

A snapshot of the patients who took advantage of the law mirrors what’s been seen in Oregon, which was the first state to legalize the practice nearly two decades ago. Though California is far more diverse than Oregon, the majority of those who have died under aid-in-dying laws in both states were white, college-educated cancer patients older than 60.

The End of Life Option Act made California the fifth state in the nation to allow patients with less than six months to live to request end-of-life drugs from their doctors.

Physician-assisted deaths made up 6 out of every 10,000 deaths in California between June and December 2016, according to state data. That’s much lower than the 2016 rate in Oregon, where lethal prescriptions accounted for 37 per 10,000 deaths.

But the findings have done little to calm the debate over whether allowing doctors to prescribe lethal medications is acceptable medical practice.

Supporters of the law pointed to data showing that 191 prescriptions were written, but only 111 patients had taken the pills as of the end of December.

                                                                                   Comparing California’s experience to Oregon’s

California, June 2016 — December 2016                                                                                              Oregon, January 2016 — December 2016

59% of those who died using a lethal prescription had cancer.                                                           79% of those who died using a lethal prescription had cancer.
46% of those who died were male                                                                                                       54% of those who died were male
90% who died were white, 3% Latino and 5% Asian                                                                           96% who died were white, 1.5% Latino and 1.5% Asian
58% who died had a bachelor’s degree or higher                                                                                50% who died had a bachelor’s degree or higher
57% who died had Medicare, Medicaid or another type of government insurance;                              70% who died had Medicare, Medicaid or another type of government insurance;
31% had private insurance; 4% were uninsured                                                                                 30% had private insurance; fewer than 1% were uninsured.
The rate of lethal prescription deaths was 6 per 10,000 total deaths in the state.                              The rate of lethal prescription deaths was 37 per 10,000 total deaths in the state.


Often patients have long-held values and beliefs about what makes a life worth living, and want the peace of mind of knowing that if their conditions worsen, their pain increases, or they become more dependent on others, they won’t have to endure it, said Dr. Tom Strouse, a psychiatrist and palliative care doctor at UCLA.

They “want the option of saying, ‘That’s not how I’m going to live,’” Strouse said. “It’s a contingency planning approach, really.”

Alexandra Snyder, an attorney with Life Legal Defense Foundation and critic of the law, said California is now effectively decriminalizing assisted suicide. There’s no way to determine whether a patient was coerced into taking the drug, she said.

“It’s really tragic that doctors are now thinking that the best they can do for a patient is to give them a handful of barbiturates and leave them to their own devices,” Snyder said of the numbers released Tuesday.

Experts say the low usage numbers in California last year aren’t surprising since patients and physicians are still learning about the new law. In the first year that Oregon’s law was in effect, there were only 15 physician-assisted deaths, though that number had grown to 133 last year.

“The state’s data show that even during the early months of the law’s implementation, the law was working well and terminally ill Californians were able to take comfort in knowing that they had this option to peacefully end intolerable suffering,” said Matt Whitaker, who works for Compassion & Choices, an advocacy group that fought for the law’s passage. The organization released a report this month saying it knew of 504 people who had received prescriptions for lethal medications between June 2016 and June of this year.

Writing the lethal prescriptions is completely voluntary for doctors and medical facilities, and some, including all Catholic and church-affiliated hospitals, have not allowed their physicians to prescribe such medicines.

But Whitaker said that even those groups in California are having an open dialogue about the law and that, generally, he’s been “pleasantly surprised” by how much more willing doctors are to talk about the practice than they were in the early years in Oregon.

“They have really approached the issue head on, and not just closed their eyes and hoped it would go away,” he said.

Similar laws are being considered by several other states. In November, Colorado voters legalized the practice, bringing the percentage of Americans who live in states where the practice is legal to 18%.

California’s law still faces opposition from some corners. A judge ruled this month that a suit to overturn the law will be allowed to go to trial.

Snyder, who filed the suit, said that because the deaths are not investigated, the law “takes away certain legal protections that were afforded people who were sick and elderly and otherwise vulnerable.”

Strouse pointed out that under the law, doctors cannot initiate conversations about aid in dying with their patients. The patient must ask for the medicines themselves.

He said that doctors who do end up writing such prescriptions believe that they are providing people with protections for their personal autonomy.

Some doctors are still uncomfortable with the practice, and many patients’ families reported struggling to find a doctor who would write such a prescription.

California’s data show that 173 physicians wrote the 191 prescriptions statewide.

Sherry Minor’s husband, John, was suffering with a painful terminal lung disease last year. The 80-year-old retired psychologist had lost 80 pounds and could barely eat or talk.

“He just thought he couldn’t go on,” she said.

But they struggled to find a doctor who would participate under the law, until they switched to Kaiser and ultimately got a prescription.

“It was an enormous relief,” said Minor, who lives in Manhattan Beach. “He just felt more comfortable with that mentally.”

John Minor, surrounded by his family, took the pills in September 2016.

“John did what was right for him,” Minor said. “He died peacefully, rather than in agony, and he was in control. He didn’t feel afraid or helpless.”

Copyright © 2017, Los Angeles Times

ALSO:

This terminally ill man says California's aid-in-dying law means he can end his life 'fully, thankfully and joyfully' (http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-death-attitudes-20160803-snap-story.html)

Fighting for her choice: ‘A more dignified and peaceful death’ (http://www.latimes.com/local/great-reads/la-me-c1-assisted-death-20150519-story.html)
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on July 19, 2017, 10:05:39 PM
The latest on SOTT (July 18, 2017):  https://www.sott.net/article/356815-Washington-DC-doctors-allowed-to-prescribe-life-ending-medications

Quote
Doctors and pharmacies in the nation's capital are now allowed to prescribe life-ending medications to terminally ill patients.

The Death with Dignity Act of 2016 became law with the signature of Mayor Muriel Bowser in December of 2016. Now the Bowser administration has announced the implementation of the law in the District.

The city said the law allows terminally ill D.C. residents over the age of 18 to legally obtain a physician's prescription for medications to end their lives in a humane and peaceful manner.

For a person to elect to end his life legally in the District, the individual must work with doctors and pharmacies licensed in D.C. that are willing to prescribe and dispense the lethal medications.

For doctors and pharmacies, participating in the Death with Dignity program is voluntary.

The city requires patients to make two oral requests to end their life to a doctor, with 15 days between each request. A written request on a city form must be given before the second oral request.

The guidelines also do not allow a person to take the life ending medications in a public place.

The District's Department of Health will oversee the program. Doctors and pharmacies must report to the department if a patient chooses to receive their fatal prescription.

Assisted suicide has long been a controversial issue in D.C. and around the nation. Supporters said it brings a humane end to an individual's suffering, while some opponents fear a person could be pressured into ending his or her life.

Even with its implementation, the law's future remains uncertain.

A spending bill passed by the Republican-led House Appropriations Committee has provision to block the funding of assisted suicides. An amendment introduced by Rep. Andy Harris, R-Md., would repeal the law.

The provision still needs to make it through the full U.S. House and Senate, and get the President's approval before it can take effect. 

SOTT comment reference (from October 8, 2014):  https://www.sott.net/article/287019-Brittany-Maynard-Why-I-scheduled-my-death-for-November-1st

Also recent (July 7, 2017) and relevant:   https://www.sott.net/article/355770-The-Health-Wellness-Show-Suicide-and-Euthanasia-A-valid-choice-or-the-easy-way-out
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on July 21, 2017, 04:20:44 PM
Source:  http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2017/07/sgp-leader-sounds-the-alarm-about-dutch-euthanasia-in-us-newspaper/

Quote
SGP leader ‘sounds the alarm’ about Dutch euthanasia in US newspaper

July 21, 2017

The Wall Street Journal has published an article by Kees van der Staaij, leader of the fundamentalist Dutch Protestant party SGP (http://www.dutchnews.nl/dictionary/sgp/), headlined ‘In the Netherlands, the Doctor Will Kill You Now.’

In the article (https://www.wsj.com/articles/in-the-netherlands-the-doctor-will-kill-you-now-1500591571?_sp=50c3bcc6-0b3e-4610-9a77-771b9507ed69.1500642255195), which is behind a paywall, Van der Staaij makes a plea for people in other countries to speak out against euthanasia and the way the boundaries of the law are being stretched in the Netherlands.

The Netherlands legalized euthanasia in 2002 for those suffering deadly diseases or in the last stages of life, Van der Staaij writes.

‘Not long after the legislation was enacted, eligibility was expanded to include those experiencing psychological suffering or dementia. Today pressure is mounting on the Dutch government to legalize a euthanasia pill for those who are not ill, but simply consider their lives to be ‘full’.

Van der Staaij is referring to draft legislation proposed by potential coalition partner D66 (http://www.dutchnews.nl/dictionary/d66/), which wants to introduce assisted suicide (http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2017/03/politicians-talk-about-assisted-suicide-for-under-75s-who-want-to-die/) for people who consider their lives to be complete. The measure, which is opposed by many doctors, is likely to be central in the ongoing coalition formation talks.

In the article, Van der Staaij goes on to refer to several controversial euthanasia cases in the Netherlands.

The article ends with a call to action. ‘The Dutch government often speaks out when human rights are under pressure in other countries,’ writes Van der Staaij. ‘Now the fundamental right to life is under pressure in the Netherlands, it is time for others to speak out against Dutch euthanasia practices.’

Fundamentalist

According to the Volkskrant (https://www.volkskrant.nl/binnenland/sgp-er-van-der-staaij-in-wall-street-journal-in-nederland-doodt-de-dokter-je-nu~a4507545/) [in Dutch], the Wall Street Journal describes Van der Staaij as an MP but does not mention that he is a member of the SGP.

Van der Staaij says on the party website (https://www.sgp.nl/actueel/sgp-luidt-noodklok-over-euthanasie-in-nederland/7054) [in Dutch] that he is thankful for being given such a platform in the US. ‘We want to show that the so-called ‘strong boundaries’ [around euthanasia] do not exist,’ he said. ‘The Netherlands is evidence of this. What was considered unthinkable by pro and anti campaigners 10 to 15 years ago has now become a reality… this is an alarm.’

Other languages

More articles in other papers are planned and the party has appealed on its website (https://www.sgp.nl/actueel/sgp-zoekt-vertalers/6819) [in Dutch] for translators into German, Spanish and French.

The Staatkundig Gereformeerde Partij is the most orthodox of Holland’s fringe Christian parties and has three seats in the 150-member parliament.

The party believes that the country should be governed ‘entirely on the basis of the ordinances of God as revealed in the Holy Scriptures’. The SGP does not believe women should play an active role in politics and is also against homosexual rights, abortion and euthanasia. 

Similar story here:  http://nltimes.nl/2017/07/21/christian-party-leader-tells-us-news-dutch-doctors-kill
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on August 08, 2017, 05:37:44 PM
Stumbled upon this honest piece in the New Yorker which is an excerpt from and an announcement for a book recently published.

http://www.newyorker.com/culture/personal-history/questions-for-me-about-dying

Don't think I can copy/paste the whole lot for copyright reasons, so just a few snippets.

Quote
This text was drawn from “Dying: A Memoir,” by Cory Taylor, which is out August 1st from Tin House Books.

Cory Taylor was the award-winning author of “Me and Mr. Booker,” “My Beautiful Enemy,” and “Dying: A Memoir.” She died on July 5, 2016.

(https://media.newyorker.com/photos/597f497674fb2f222e58e0b7/master/w_649,c_limit/Taylor-Questions-for-Me-As-Im-Dying.jpg)


Questions for Me About Dying

By Cory Taylor  July 31, 2017

A few months back, I was invited to take part in a program for ABC television called “You Can’t Ask That.” The premise of the show is that there are taboo subjects about which it is difficult to have an open and honest conversation, death being one of them. The producer of the program explained that I would be required to answer a number of questions on camera. She said questions had been sent in from all over the country, and the ten most common had been selected. I wasn’t to know what these were until the day I went into the studio for the filming.

[...]

The questions, as it turned out, were unsurprising. Did I have a bucket list, had I considered suicide, had I become religious, was I scared, was there anything good about dying, did I have any regrets, did I believe in an afterlife, had I changed my priorities in life, was I unhappy or depressed, was I likely to take more risks given that I was dying anyway, what would I miss the most, how would I like to be remembered? These were the same questions I’d been asking myself ever since I was diagnosed with cancer, back in 2005. And my answers haven’t changed since then. They are as follows.

[....]

Yes, I have considered suicide, and it remains a constant temptation. If the law in Australia permitted assisted dying I would be putting plans into place right now to take my own life. Once the day came, I’d invite my family and closest friends to come over and we’d have a farewell drink. I’d thank them all for everything they’ve done for me. I’d tell them how much I love them. I imagine there would be copious tears. I’d hope there would be some laughter. There would be music playing in the background, something from the soundtrack of my youth. And then, when the time was right, I’d say goodbye and take my medicine, knowing that the party would go on without me, that everyone would stay a while, talk some more, be there for each other for as long as they wished. As someone who knows my end is coming, I can’t think of a better way to go out. Nor can I fathom why this kind of humane and dignified death is outlawed.

No, it would not be breaking the law to go out on my own. The newspapers are full of options: hanging, falling from a great height, leaping in front of a speeding train, drowning, blowing myself up, setting myself on fire, but none of them really appeals to me. Again I’m constrained by the thought of collateral damage, of the shock to my family, of the trauma to whoever was charged with putting out the flames, fishing out the body, scraping the brains off the pavement. When you analyze all the possible scenarios for suicide, none of them is pretty. Which is the reason I support the arguments in favor of assisted dying, because, to misquote Churchill, it is the worst method of dying, except for all the others.

[....]

Yes, I’m scared, but not all the time. When I was first diagnosed, I was terrified. I had no idea that the body could turn against itself and incubate its own enemy. I had never been seriously ill in my life before; now suddenly I was face to face with my own mortality. There was a moment when I saw my body in the mirror as if for the first time. Overnight my own flesh had become alien to me, the saboteur of all my hopes and dreams. It was incomprehensible, and so frightening, I cried.

“I can’t die,” I sobbed. “Not me. Not now.”

But I’m used to dying now. It’s become ordinary and unremarkable, something everybody, without exception, does at one time or another. If I’m afraid of anything it’s of dying badly, of getting caught up in some process that prolongs my life unnecessarily. I’ve put all the safeguards in place. I’ve completed an advanced health directive and given a copy to my palliative-care specialist. I’ve made it clear in my conversations, both with him and with my family, that I want no life-saving interventions at the end, nothing designed to delay the inevitable. My doctor has promised to honor my wishes, but I can’t help worrying. I haven’t died before, so I sometimes get a bad case of beginner’s nerves, but they soon pass.

[....]

No, I am not unhappy or depressed, but I am occasionally angry. Why me? Why now? Dumb questions, but that doesn’t stop me from asking them. I was supposed to defy the statistics and beat this disease through sheer willpower. I was supposed to have an extra decade in which to write my best work. I was robbed!

Crazy stuff. As if any of us are in control of anything. Far better for me to accept that I am powerless over my fate, and that for once in my life I am free of the tyranny of choice. That way, I waste a lot less time feeling singled out or cheated.

continued...   

Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on August 15, 2017, 06:30:04 PM
Source:  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4788438/Dutch-couple-91-pass-away-rare-double-euthanasia.html   (two photographs and 119 comments omitted)

Quote
'Dying together was their deepest wish':
Dutch couple, both 91, pass away holding hands in rare double euthanasia after kissing each other goodbye


By Chris Pleasance for MailOnline
Published: 10:05 BST, 14 August 2017 | Updated: 11:35 BST, 14 August 2017

*  Nic and Trees Elderhorst, 91, died surrounded by family in Netherlands on July 4
*  Nic suffered stroke five years ago that left him debilitated and in constant pain
*  Trees had fatal form of dementia that meant she would be unable to care for him
*  Pair shared a final kiss before they passed away holding hands, daughters said


An elderly couple who were married for 65 years have died holding hands after their request for a double euthanasia was granted in the Netherlands.

Nic and Trees Elderhorst, both 91, passed away surrounded by family at their home in Didam, in the country's east, on June 4.

The pair made the request to die together because of Nic's failing health and Trees' inability to take care of her ailing husband.

Nic suffered a stroke five years ago which greatly reduced his mobility and left him in constant pain.

The stroke had caused numerous health complications and meant he required constant care and antibiotics to keep him alive.

The burden of caring for her husband meant Trees' health had also begun to decline to the point where she felt unable to give him adequate care.

Her memory had been badly affected and only with the help of neighbours, friends and healthcare workers did the couple manage keep going.

Both feared that if one of them were to die, the one left behind would be left to deteriorate in a nursing home.

After Nic's stroke in 2012, the couple signed a special euthanasia will and studied, with the help of their children, the laws involved in ending their lives.

The Netherlands introduced a euthanasia law 17 years ago, and since then more than 5,500 people have chosen ended their lives.

After a specialist diagnosed Trees with vascular dementia, a progressive and lethal form of dementia, the conditions to file a euthanasia request were met for both.

One of the couple's daughters told local media: 'It soon became clear that it could not wait much longer.

'The geriatrician determined that our mother was still mentally competent. However, if our father were to die, she could become completely disorientated, ending up in a nursing home, something which she desperately did not want.

'Dying together was their deepest wish.'

It took half a year for the 'End of Life clinic' to deal with the request, in what was described as 'an intensive period' by the couple's daughters.

Two teams, one for each senior, had to determine if Nic and Trees had an individual wish to die independent from each other.

After both teams determined that all conditions had been met, they worked with the couple and their family to pick a date on which they wanted to die.

Nic and Trees Elderhorst told all their friends and neighbours about their decision, for which they said they got a lot of support.

They then spent time saying goodbye to everyone and made arrangements for their funeral.

One of their daughters said that when the day came, they said some final sweet words to each other before they died.

The daughter said: 'They gave each other a big kiss and passed away confidently holding hands. According to their own wish.'

According to Dutch media, the euthanasia of Nic and Trees Elderhorst is exceptional as not many couples with a joint death wish get final authorisation.

Dick Bosscher of the Dutch Association of Voluntarily Life Ending said: 'It must be a coincidence when both people meet the demands for euthanasia at the same time.

'Dual requests are therefore rarely honoured.'

Spokesman Koos van Wees of the End of Life clinic explained that 'the difficulty is that both of the married people have to be more or less in the same situation with their illness', which according to him is 'very rare'.

Van Wees said: 'It happens more often that one is further in the process. The other then wants to join because they do not see a future alone. That is often not enough for the request to be granted.'

The Netherlands has been debating a proposed extension of euthanasia laws which would give all over-75s the right to assisted suicide.

Liberal parties publicly advocate the extension, although no law has yet been filed after the May 15 elections failed to produce a new government.

According to the political parties led by the left-liberal D66 Party, a few conditions would have to be met first, including a 'sustainable, well-considered and intrinsic' wish to die.

A specially trained 'life-ending consultant' would give their verdict about the death wish, which has to be seconded by another consultant or checking committee.

The life-ending consultant would have at least two interviews with the OAP, with at least two months between, to make sure the person knows what they are deciding and that they are not being pressured by their environment. The life-ending consultant could be a doctor, a nurse, a psychologist or a psychotherapist.

But three Christian parties, as well as the Socialist Party (SP), have vowed to stop any such law.

MP Renske Leijten of the SP said: 'Elderly care is not in order, a lot of OAPs are lonely and then they are making the ending of life easier?'

Gert-Jan Segers, an MP for the Christian Union, also attacked the plan.

He said: 'The proposal relies on the myth that this is an individual choice, but relatives, society and care workers are also involved.'

His party said the law would contradict with the duty of government to care for and protect the elderly, especially those in a vulnerable position. 


Other news in politics:

http://nltimes.nl/2017/08/15/compromise-reached-medical-ethics-issues-dutch-govt-formation-talks-report
http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2017/08/dutch-coalition-negotiations-compromise-reached-on-ethical-issues/

http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2017/08/leaks-about-euthanasia-deal-damaging-to-dutch-coalition-talks/
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on September 22, 2017, 04:44:57 PM
Archiving from SOTT (Matt Reynolds New Scientist Mon, 18 Sep 2017):

https://www.sott.net/article/362588-End-of-life-chatbot-can-help-you-with-difficult-final-decisions

Quote
<large snip>

[The developer] Bickmore says the chat-bot could be particularly helpful for people that are socially isolated and otherwise wouldn't be having difficult end-of-life conversations at all.

"It's hard for humans to be non-judgemental when they're having these kinds of conversations," says Rosemary Lloyd from The Conversation Project (http://theconversationproject.org/), a charity that encourages people to have conversations about their end of life care. "So some people might find it easier to talk to a chat-bot about their thoughts."

Harriet Warshaw at The Conversation Project says a chat-bot would be a good first step towards talking about end-of-life decisions with a loved one.

We've also long known that talking about difficult topics with automated agents is oddly comforting (https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22830460-600-can-mental-health-apps-replace-human-therapists/), whereas talking about your end-of-life decisions with people who will be most affected by them is particularly emotionally fraught.

Writer and film-maker Avril Furness (http://www.avrilfurness.com/) agrees that technology can be a useful way to help people start having difficult conversations about death.

Furness, who has explored the subject of assisted suicide, says Bickmore's chat-bot system is another good way to get people thinking about the end of their life, helping them work through their feelings without worrying what someone else thinks. "This chat-bot isn't going to judge you." 
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on September 28, 2017, 04:57:14 PM
Source:  http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2017/09/public-prosecutor-investigates-euthanasia-of-woman-with-dementia/

Quote
Public prosecutor investigates euthanasia of woman with dementia

September 28, 2017

The public prosecution department has opened a criminal investigation into a doctor who performed euthanasia on a woman who had severe dementia.

It is the first time since the law legalizing euthanasia came into effect in 2002 that there has been a formal criminal probe into a doctor’s actions. The doctor has already been formally reprimanded for breaking euthanasia guidelines.

The case centers on a 74-year-old woman, who was diagnosed with dementia five years ago. At the time she completed a living will, saying she did not want to go into a home and that she wished to die when she considered the time was right.

After her condition deteriorated, she was placed in a nursing home where she became fearful and angry and took to wandering through the corridors at night. The nursing home doctor reviewed her case and decided that the woman was suffering unbearably, which would justify her wish to die.

The doctor put a drug designed to make her sleep into her coffee which is against the rules. She also pressed ahead with inserting a drip into the woman’s arm despite her protests and asked her family to hold her down, according to the official report on the death. This too contravenes the guidelines.

Once the public prosecution department has finished its investigation it will decide whether or not the doctor, a specialist in geriatric medicine, should face criminal charges.

Severe dementia

Last year, the justice and health ministries relaxed the guidelines for performing euthanasia on people with severe dementia a little so that patients can be helped to die even if they incapable of making their current feelings known. However, they do have to have signed a euthanasia declaration with their family doctor before they became seriously ill to be considered for help in dying.

Euthanasia is legal in the Netherlands under strict conditions. For example, the patient must be suffering unbearable pain and the doctor must be convinced the patient is making an informed choice. The opinion of a second doctor is also required.

In 2015 some 5,500 people, mainly cancer sufferers, were helped to die under the euthanasia legislation. Of them, 109 were suffering dementia and were in the early stages of the disease. Since the legislation was introduced in 2002, there have been a number of controversial cases, including a woman suffering severe tinnitus and a serious alcoholic. 
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on October 07, 2017, 06:12:14 PM
Archiving the latest from SOTT (Yahoo News  Fri, 06 Oct 2017 15:51 UTC):

https://www.sott.net/article/363834-Oh-Canada-Nearly-2000-people-completed-doctor-assisted-suicide-in-the-year-since-bill-was-passed
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on October 28, 2017, 08:00:32 PM
Source:  http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2017/10/specialist-euthanasia-clinic-is-unable-to-cope-with-demand/

Quote
Specialist euthanasia clinic is unable to cope with demand

October 27, 2017

The number of requests for euthanasia made to a special clinic (https://www.levenseindekliniek.nl/en/) for people whose doctors won’t help is rising so quickly that the organization is looking for some 50 new members of staff.

In 2016 the clinic received some 1,800 requests, of which around 500 led to euthanasia being carried out. This year, the clinic expects 2,500 requests, of which 750 will lead to euthanasia, the clinic’s director Steven Pleiter told the Volkskrant (https://www.volkskrant.nl/wetenschap/levenseindekliniek-kan-de-vraag-niet-aan-en-zoekt-tientallen-nieuwe-artsen~a4523754/) (in Dutch).

Pleiter said the 59 doctors now working for the foundation are unable to cope with the additional volume of requests and the clinic will need more than a hundred doctors next year.

The clinic also needs more psychiatrists because some 25% of requests are made by patients with psychological complaints.

The Dutch voluntary euthanasia society established the clinic in 2012. Pleiter said the rise in the number of requests for euthanasia is due to the fact that more people want to choose how they die,. ‘The taboo is disappearing. Many people feel the need to take to control themselves,’ he said.

VU university researcher Bregje Onwuteaka-Philipsen, who specializes in end-of-life care, told the Volkskrant requests for euthanasia have risen from around 13,000 in 2011 to 18,000 last year. One reason may be that the current generation approaching old age is less religious, she said.

Official cases

According to the Dutch law patients must be experiencing unbearable suffering without perspective of improvement in order to be eligible for euthanasia. The number of official cases rose 10% last year to 6091 and euthanasia now accounts for 4% of total deaths, according to government figures.

In 10 cases, the rules for euthanasia were not followed correctly, most of which involved a failure to properly consult a second doctor, the RTE annual report said. Of the total, 87% of assisted deaths involved people with cancer, serious heart or lung problems or diseases of the nervous system such as ALS. 

Similar story here:  https://nltimes.nl/2017/10/27/euthanasia-clinic-needs-50-doctor-keep-demand
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on October 28, 2017, 09:32:43 PM
Archiving the latest from SOTT (Leonardo Blair  The Christian Post  Sat, 28 Oct 2017 13:01 UTC):

https://www.sott.net/article/365714-Christian-hospital-group-in-Belgium-to-face-Vatican-for-defiantly-granting-euthanasia-to-mentally-ill-patients

Quote
[...]
Brother René Stockman, worldwide leader of the Rome-based Brothers of Charity who opposes euthanasia, had warned its Belgian arm this summer (https://www.wsj.com/articles/catholic-hospital-group-grants-euthanasia-to-mentally-ill-defying-vatican-1509096600) that the group would lose the right to call themselves Catholic if they didn't abandon its defiant euthanasia policy adopted in March. He told The Wall Street Journal that the chain of hospitals could lose buildings that belong to the Catholic Church. He said that despite inviting the board to Rome to explain their position on euthanasia, the Vatican will be making no compromise on their stance against it.

Despite Pope Francis' open condemnation of euthanasia and the Catholic Church's defense of the inviolability of life, the board of the Brothers of Charity, Belgium's largest single provider of psychiatric care, insisted last month that it is more Christian to allow people who are in "hopeless mental suffering" to choose if they want to live or die than tell them that euthanasia isn't an option.

[...]
In the past year, 12 patients at the Brothers of Charity which was founded in 1807 in Ghent, Belgium, have asked for euthanasia. Two were transferred offsite to get fatal injections.

Brothers of Charity is considered the most important provider of mental health care services (http://catholicherald.co.uk/news/2017/08/09/pope-orders-belgian-brothers-of-charity-to-stop-euthanasia/) in the Flanders region of Belgium the Catholic Herald says. They serve 5,000 patients annually.

When they opted to change their euthanasia policy in March, they said they wanted to be in line with Belgian law. The decision explains the Catholic Herald also came a year after a private Catholic rest home in Diest, Belgium, was fined $6,600 for refusing euthanasia to a 74-year-old woman suffering from lung cancer.


continued... 
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on December 04, 2017, 05:26:46 PM
Update on Reply #79 (https://cassiopaea.org/forum/index.php/topic,31822.msg684638.html#msg684638) (November 09, 2016) and Reply #92 (https://cassiopaea.org/forum/index.php/topic,31822.msg706738.html#msg706738) (March 14, 2017), the Albert Heringa case re-trial.

Source:  http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2017/12/man-who-helped-mother-99-to-die-should-be-jailed-says-prosecutor/

Quote
Man who helped mother (99) to die should be jailed, says prosecutor

December 4, 2017

An elderly man who helped his 99-year-old mother to die seven years ago should be given a three-month suspended jail sentence, the public prosecution department said on Monday.

Albert Heringa (75) was earlier cleared on all charges but the Supreme Court in March said there should be a retrial because euthanasia carried out by someone other than a doctor must be subject to ‘very strict rules’. In addition, his earlier appeal was ‘granted far too lightly’, the court said.

Heringa decided to help his mother die when doctors refused her request to administer a lethal dose of medication. He filmed his mother, who was almost blind and suffering from crippling back pains, as he helped her take the pills that would kill her.

The footage featured in a documentary called De laatste wens van Moek (Mum’s final wish) which was broadcast in 2010.

The public prosecutor told the court in Den Bosch that while it did not doubt Heringa had the best of intentions, he should be punished for going his own way.

‘Assisted suicide can only be carried out without punishment by a doctor,’ the prosecutor said. ‘The suspect is not a doctor and cannot therefore claim exclusion from prosecution on the grounds of the euthanasia legislation.’

In 2013, Heringa was found guilty but went unpunished and the appeal court in 2015 found him not guilty. The case was then referred to the Supreme Court which this year called for a retrial. 
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on December 10, 2017, 08:08:05 PM
Stumbled upon this article that --at least partly-- reads like an advertorial of sorts:

https://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/high-tech-suicide-machine-makes-death-painless-peaceful-optimal-way-go

Quote
News & Politics
High-Tech Suicide Machine Makes Death a Painless, Peaceful, Optimal Way to Go

The Sarco is a state-of-the-art death machine.

By Kali Holloway / AlterNet  December 3, 2017, 12:56 PM GMT

(https://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/screen_shot_2017-12-01_at_3.54.51_pm.png?itok=OnfBPa5i)

In a world filled with chaos, a new “suicide machine” allows people to exit life in an orderly, peaceful manner. The Sarco is a technological marvel, resembling some kind of futuristic sleeping chamber, that aids in voluntary assisted dying. Australian doctor Philip Nitschke, whom Newsweek identifies as the "Elon Musk of assisted suicide,” (https://tinyurl.com/yacpbqjx) unveiled the new apparatus earlier this week, just days after lawmakers in the state of Victoria voted to legalize euthanasia. The device simplifies what Nitschke dubs “rational suicides,” ensuring that the process is painless and easy—an optimal way to go.

The Sarco was developed by Nitschke’s organization, Exit International, which bills itself as an “aid-in-dying” organization. The machine includes a base topped by a translucent chamber perfectly proportioned to comfortably fit a human. After settling in the pod, the user will push a button and the chamber will start to “fill up with liquid nitrogen to bring the oxygen level down to about 5 percent.” Around the minute mark, the user will become unconscious, experiencing almost no pain, according to the Newsweek report. (The doctor describes the changes as akin to “an airplane cabin depressurizing.”) After death comes, which is fairly swift, the chamber can be used as a coffin. The base, just FYI, is reusable.

In a press release, Exit International notes the Sarco “was designed so that it can be 3D printed (https://exitinternational.net/docs/SarcoIxx.pdf) (PDF-file) and assembled in any location” and that blueprints “will be free, made open-source, and placed on the Internet.” While accessibility is a major selling point, there is one hurdle would-be users will need to clear: a “mental questionnaire” that’s available online. Once a client has established mental health, they’re given a 4-digit code that opens the capsule door, the first in a series of steps to “a peaceful death...in just a few minutes.”

(https://www.alternet.org/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/screen_shot_2017-12-01_at_3.55.27_pm.png?itok=sU9I5BBi)

According to Newsweek, a few suicide clinics in Switzerland have expressed interest in licensing the Sarco for use. There are also likely to be takers in other spots around the world. In addition to the new Victoria law, assisted suicide is now legal in Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, where it’s become an increasingly popular choice (https://www.cbsnews.com/news/euthanasia-assisted-suicide-deaths-netherlands/). In the U.S., only terminally ill patients can opt for assisted suicide, and in many states, at least two doctors must verify the legitimacy of the request. State-specific legislative nuance (https://healthcare.findlaw.com/patient-rights/death-with-dignity-laws-by-state.html) governs "death with dignity" laws in California, Colorado, Oregon, Vermont, D.C. and Washington. All that said, support for the right to choose when and how one dies is on the rise. In 2016, 69 percent of Americans said, “doctors should be allowed to end a patient's life by painless means (https://news.gallup.com/poll/193082/euthanasia-acceptable-solid-majority.aspx).” That number increased to 73 percent this year (https://news.gallup.com/poll/211928/majority-americans-remain-supportive-euthanasia.aspx).

Philip Nitschke, who advocates for euthanasia to be a legal option for anyone over 70 (https://www.facebook.com/SkyNewsAustralia/videos/10154989667501728/), continues to push for assisted suicide as a civil right. He says that the gray wave washing over Baby Boomers has helped create a sea change in thinking.

“These are people who are used to getting their own way, running their own lives,” Nitschke told the Big Smoke earlier this year (https://thebigsmoke.com.au/2017/09/21/dead-right-philip-nitschke-condemns-euthanasia-laws/). “A lot of the women have gone through political battles around abortion rights, feminism, the Pill. They don’t want to be told how to live or how to die. The idea that you can pat these people on the head and say ‘there, there, let the doctors decide’ is frankly ridiculous...People’s lives are people’s lives. Death is a part of that, and so it should be up to them to make the decisions.”


Kali Holloway is a senior writer and the associate editor of media and culture at AlterNet.
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on January 15, 2018, 11:20:21 PM
Source:  https://theconversation.com/how-does-assisting-with-suicide-affect-physicians-87570   (three photographs omited)

Quote
How does assisting with suicide affect physicians?

January 8, 2018 3.57am GMT   

Ronald W. Pies
Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry, Lecturer on Bioethics & Humanities at SUNY Upstate Medical University; and Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Tufts University School of Medicine, Tufts University


When my mother was in her final months, suffering from a heart failure and other problems, she called me to her bedside with a pained expression. She took my hand and asked plaintively, “How do I get out of this mess?”

As a physician, I dreaded the question that might follow: Would I help her end her life by prescribing a lethal drug?

Fortunately for me, my mother tolerated her final weeks at home, with the help of hospice nurses and occasional palliative medication. She never raised the thorny question of what is variously termed “medical aid in dying” [MAID] or “physician-assisted suicide.” (https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/885866#vp_2) [PAS]

As a son and family member who has witnessed the difficult final days of parents and loved ones, I can understand why support for MAID/PAS is growing (http://news.gallup.com/poll/183425/support-doctor-assisted-suicide.aspx) among the general public. But as a physician and medical ethicist, I believe that MAID/PAS flies in the face of a 2,000-year imperative of Hippocratic medicine: “Do no harm to the patient.”

Studies point out that even many doctors who actually participate in MAID/PAS remain uneasy or “conflicted” (https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/187854%5D) about it. In this piece, I explore their ambivalence.


Assisted suicides

In discussing end-of-life issues, both the general public and physicians themselves need to distinguish three different approaches.

MAID/PAS involves a physician’s providing the patient with a prescription of a lethal drug that the patient could take anytime to end life.
In contrast, active euthanasia or “mercy killing” (http://www.bbc.co.uk/ethics/euthanasia/overview/introduction.shtml) involves causing the death of a person, typically through a lethal injection given by a physician.
Finally, the term “passive euthanasia” refers to hastening the death of a terminally ill person by removing some vital form of support. An example would be disconnecting a respirator.


Increasing international acceptance

In the U.S. some form of legislatively approved MAID/PAS (but not active euthanasia) is legal (https://euthanasia.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000132) in five states and the District of Columbia. In my home state – following a passionate debate – the Massachusetts Medical Society recently decided to rescind its long-held opposition (http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2017/12/mass_medical_society_rescinds.html) to the practice. MMS has taken a position of “neutral engagement,” which it claims will allow it to “serve as a medical and scientific resource … that will support shared decision making between terminally ill patients and their trusted physicians.”

In a few countries, MAID/PAS has grown increasingly common. In Canada, for example, MAID/PAS was legalized in 2016 (http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/06/18/482599089/canada-legalizes-physician-assisted-dying). In Belgium and the Netherlands, both active euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide (https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/europes-morality-crisis-euthanizing-the-mentally-ill/2016/10/19/c75faaca-961c-11e6-bc79-af1cd3d2984b_story.html?utm_term=.94c68af85b89) are permitted by law, even for patients whose illnesses may be treatable, as with major depression; and whose informed consent may be compromised, as in Alzheimer’s disease. In the Netherlands, a proposed “Completed Life Bill” (http://thefederalist.com/2017/06/30/netherlands-considers-euthanasia-healthy/) would allow any persons age 75 or over who decide their life is “complete” to be euthanized – even if the person is otherwise healthy.


U.S. physician response

Among U.S. physicians, MAID/PAS remains controversial, but national data point to its increasing acceptance. A report published in December 2016 found 57 percent of doctors agreed that physician-assisted death (http://www.healthleadersmedia.com/physician-leaders/poll-many-doctors-have-wished-patient-had-right-die) should be available to the terminally ill – up from 54 percent in 2014 and 46 percent in 2010.

Perhaps this trend is not surprising. After all, what sort of physician would want to deny dying patients the option of ending their suffering and avoiding an agonizing, painful death?

But this question is misleading. Most persons requesting PAS are not actively experiencing extreme suffering or inadequate pain control. Data from the Washington and Oregon PAS programs show that most patients choose PAS (http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMsa1213398) because they fear loss of dignity and control over their own lives.


Some physicians feel conflicted

Physicians who carry out assisted suicide have a wide variety of emotional and psychological responses. In a structured, in-depth telephone interview survey (https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/187854) of 38 U.S. oncologists who reported participating in euthanasia or PAS, more than half of the physicians received “comfort” from having carried out euthanasia or PAS.

“Comfort” was not explicitly defined, but, for example, these physicians felt that they had helped patients end their lives in the way the patients wished. However, nearly a quarter of the physicians regretted their actions. Another 16 percent reported that the emotional burden of performing euthanasia or PAS adversely affected their medical practice.

For example, one physician felt so “burned out” that he moved from the city in which he was practicing to a small town.

Other data support the observation that MAID/PAS can be emotionally disturbing to the physician.

Kenneth R. Stevens Jr. (http://www.ohsu.edu/xd/education/schools/school-of-medicine/departments/clinical-departments/radiation-medicine/about/faculty-staff/kenneth-stevens.cfm), an emeritus professor at Oregon Health and Science University, reported that for some physicians in Oregon, participation in PAS was very stressful (http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/20508549.2006.11877782?needAccess=true). For example, in 1998, the first year of Oregon’s “Death with Dignity Act,” 14 physicians wrote prescriptions for lethal medications for the 15 patients who died from physician-assisted suicide.

The state’s annual 1998 report observed that:

    “For some of these physicians, the process of participating in physician-assisted suicide exacted
    a large emotional toll, as reflected by such comments as, ‘It was an excruciating thing to do … it
    made me rethink life’s priorities,’ ‘This was really hard on me, especially being there when he took
    the pills,’ and ‘This had a tremendous emotional impact.’”


Similarly, reactions among European doctors suggest that PAS and euthanasia often provoke strong negative feelings (http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/20508549.2006.11877782).


Why the discomfort?

As a physician and medical ethicist, I am opposed to any form of physician assistance with a patient’s suicide. Furthermore, I believe that the term “medical aid in dying” allows physicians to avoid the harsh truth that they are helping patients kill themselves. This is also the view of the very influential American College of Physicians (http://annals.org/aim/fullarticle/2654458/ethics-legalization-physician-assisted-suicide-american-college-physicians-position-paper).

I believe that the ambivalence and discomfort experienced by a substantial percentage of PAS-participating physicians is directly connected to the Hippocratic Oath – arguably, the most important foundational document in medical ethics. The Oath clearly states (http://www.greekmedicine.net/whos_who/The_Hippocratic_Oath.html):

    “I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody if asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect.”

In 5th century BC Greece, Hippocrates was something of a revolutionary in this respect. As the classicist and medical historian, Ludwig Edelstein (https://academic.oup.com/jhmas/article-abstract/XXI/2/173/699618?redirectedFrom=PDF) has pointed out (https://books.google.com/books?id=ehQgAQAAMAAJ&focus=searchwithinvolume&q=hippocrates) some non-Hippocratic physicians probably did provide poisons to their dying patients, in order to spare them protracted suffering. Hippocrates opposed this practice, though he did not believe that terminally ill patients should be exposed to unnecessary and futile medical treatment.

Palliative care specialist Ira Byock (http://irabyock.org/about-ira-byock/) has observed (https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/article/the-shadow-side-of-assisted-suicide/) that:

    “From its very inception, the profession of medicine has formally prohibited its members from using their
     special knowledge to cause death or harm to others. This was – and is – a necessary protection so             
     that the power of medicine is not used against vulnerable people.”


Indeed, when patients nearing the end of life express fears of losing control, or being deprived of dignity, compassionate and supportive counseling (https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/2482333) is called for – not assistance in committing suicide.

To be sure, comprehensive palliative care, including home hospice nursing, should be provided to the subset of terminally ill patients who require pain relief. But as physician and ethicist Leon Kass (https://www.aei.org/scholar/leon-r-kass/) has put it (https://www.firstthings.com/article/1996/08/dehumanization-triumphant):

    “We must care for the dying, not make them dead.”   


Disclosure statement

Ronald W. Pies does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

EDITED:  to add that some of the hyper links are inaccessible here as well as in the original article
Title: Re: Euthanasia
Post by: Palinurus on January 31, 2018, 07:54:42 PM
Update on Reply #108 above (https://cassiopaea.org/forum/index.php/topic,31822.msg742772.html#msg742772), the Albert Heringa case.

Source:  https://nltimes.nl/2018/01/31/suspended-sentence-son-helped-mother-99-commit-suicide

Quote
Suspended sentence for son who helped mother, 99, commit suicide

By Janene Pieters on January 31, 2018 - 16:10

The court in Den Bosch found 76-year-old Albert Heringa guilty of assisting his 99-year-old mother in committing suicide and gave him a conditionally suspended prison sentence of six months. The sentence is three months higher than what the Public Prosecutor demanded. This was the fourth time this case appeared in court, NOS reports (https://nos.nl/artikel/2214666-hogere-straf-heringa-wegens-hulp-bij-zelfdoding.html) (in Dutch).

On June 7th, 2008 Heringa mixed 130 pills into his 99-year-old mother's custard. She ate it, drank a Martini and died peacefully. Everything was done at his mother's express request and Heringa helped his mother because she no longer wanted to live, he always said. The case received a great deal of public attention, because Heringa filmed everything and it was made into a documentary a year and a half after his mother's death.

When Heringa was first tried in 2013, the court in Zutphen found him guilty of assisted suicide, but imposed no punishment. The Public Prosecutor appealed (https://nltimes.nl/2015/04/14/prosecutor-targets-son-helped-mom-99-end-life). In 2015 the Arnhem court of appeal acquitted him completely. The court found that Heringa rightly invoked a state of emergency, a form of force majeure, because the doctor refused to help. He felt morally obliged to help his mother have a painless, dignified death she wanted. According to the court, Heringa acted very carefully and transparently

The Public Prosecutor did not agree with this ruling, and filed cassation with the Supreme Court. A year later, the Advocate General of the Supreme Court recommended that the cassation be rejected because of force majeure (https://nltimes.nl/2016/11/09/supreme-court-advice-punishment-moms-assisted-suicide). But the Supreme Court referred the case back to the court of appeal, now in Den Bosch. In December last year, the Public Prosecutor acknowledged that Heringa's motives were pure, but added that only doctors are allowed to assist with suicides. The Prosecutor demanded a three month suspended prison sentence against him.

The court in Den Bosch now ruled that Heringa is guilty of assisted suicide, and could not invoke force majeure. The court counted against Heringa that he left his mother alone after she had taken the deadly mixture, and that he did not immediately report what happened.

Heringa himself is disappointed (https://nos.nl/artikel/2214709-heringa-na-veroordeling-hof-kijkt-alleen-naar-regels-niet-naar-de-samenleving.html) (in Dutch) about the verdict, but told the court that ten years later he still does not regret what he did, because otherwise he would have felt that he betrayed his mother.

The Dutch association for a voluntary end of life NVVE is "enormously disappointed and bewildered", according to NOS. The association believes Heringa had no choice but to help his mother and his help should not be called a crime. The NVVE will continue to support Heringa if his legal battle continues.

The practice of assisted suicide in the Netherlands changed considerably in the years since Heringa's mother died. In 2011 doctors' association KNMG acknowledged that loneliness and an accumulation of old-age complaints can also cause hopeless and unbearable suffering, thereby no longer only allowing assisted suicide for people with a serious physical condition. If these rules were already in force in 2008, Heringa may have been able to find a doctor willing to help his mother with euthanasia.

Similar coverage here:  http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2018/01/man-who-helped-mother-99-to-die-gets-suspended-jail-term/