By Kees van der Staaij
July 20, 2017 6:59 p.m. ET
In 2002 the Netherlands became the first country to legalize euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide for those suffering deadly diseases or in the last stages of life. Not long after the legislation was enacted, eligibility was expanded to include those experiencing psychological suffering or dementia. Today pressure is mounting for the Dutch government to legalize a “euthanasia pill” for those who are not ill, but simply consider their lives to be “full.”
Proponents of assisted suicide continue to claim that safeguards already built into Dutch law are sufficient to reduce the risk of abuse. They point out that medical professionals are required to assess whether a person’s suffering is indeed unbearable and hopeless.
Please read the entire article, WSJ.com July 20, 2017.
Another Charlie Gard Case? SHARE ARTICLE ON FACEBOOKSHARE TWEET ARTICLETWEET PLUS ONE ARTICLE ON GOOGLE PLUS+1 PRINT ARTICLE ADJUST FONT SIZEAA by WESLEY J. SMITH July 31, 2017 11:37 AM Another family in the UK is fighting to keep doctors from forcing their sick baby off of life support. From The Mirror story: Charlie Gard supporters are rallying round the family of a seriously ill little boy as his parents face a battle with medics to keep him alive. Tiny Alfie Evans in being treated at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool and suffers from a mystery condition staff are struggling to diagnose. The 14-month-old family are hoping to find pioneering treatment for their little boy abroad. Alfie has been in in a coma in the hospital’s intensive care ward since last December, and suffers regular seizures. As in the Charlie Gard case, doctors have warned they may have to take legal action as Tom will not let let them switch off Alfie’s life support. That’s a twist: Unlike in Charlie Gard’s case, there is no firm diagnosis. Why would doctors try to force a baby off of life support when they haven’t been able to determine the cause of his cognitive disability? But realize, as in all “futile care” cases, the treatment is unwanted by doctors because it is working. Hence, it isn’t the treatment but Alfie’s life that would be declared futile if the courts pulled another “Charlie Gard.” Half a dozen US hospitals may be willing to offer alternative care for the Alfie: Tom and Alfie’s mum, Kate James, have not yet faced a court battle like and are hopeful it will not come to that after more than a dozen American hospitals said they might be able to help. Tom said: “I’m pleading for help from anywhere now. I’ve been getting in touch with lots of hospitals, and I’ve had a particularly positive response from one in Miami, which has received Alfie’s details.” Hopefully, the international brouhaha over Charlie will make it more difficult in Alfie’s case for the authorities to impose another “futile patient” die-sooner-than-later outcome. P.S. Alfie’s parents have established an “Alfie’s Army” Facebook Page for those who may be interested.
AP August 3, 2017, 11:19 AM
Euthanasia deaths becoming common in Netherlands
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LONDON -- Euthanasia has become a common way to die in the Netherlands, accounting for 4.5 percent of deaths, according to researchers who say requests are increasing from people who aren't terminally ill.
In 2002, the Netherlands became the first country in the world that made it legal for doctors to help people die. Both euthanasia, where doctors actively kill patients, and assisted suicide, where physicians prescribe patients a lethal dose of drugs, are allowed. People must be "suffering unbearably" with no hope of relief -- but their condition does not have to be fatal.
"It looks like patients are now more willing to ask for euthanasia and physicians are more willing to grant it," said lead author Dr. Agnes Van der Heide of Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam.
Arguing for the legal right to die
Arguing for the legal right to die
The 25-year review published in Thursday's New England Journal of Medicine is based on physician questionnaires. The use of numerous methods to shorten patients' lives "to relieve end-of-life suffering has become common practice in the Netherlands," the authors said in the report.
The review shows that in 1990, before it was legal, 1.7 percent of deaths were from euthanasia or assisted suicide. That rose to 4.5 percent by 2015. The vast majority - 92 percent - had serious illness and the rest had health problems from old age, early-stage dementia or psychiatric problems or a combination. More than a third of those who died were over 80.
Requests from those who aren't terminally ill still represent a small share, but have been increasing, Van der Heide said.
"When assisted dying is becoming the more normal option at the end of life, there is a risk people will feel more inclined to ask for it," she said.
The Worst MDs can Become Death Prescribers SHARE ARTICLE ON FACEBOOKSHARE TWEET ARTICLETWEET PLUS ONE ARTICLE ON GOOGLE PLUS+1 PRINT ARTICLE ADJUST FONT SIZEAA by WESLEY J. SMITH August 6, 2017 12:38 PM
......But note, Zitter then points to a death doctor named Lonnie Shavelson as the epitome of committed death doctors that society should trust to do assisted suicide right. She describes Shavelson as an emergency room and primary care doctor. That overstates his credentials. For most of his medical career, Shavelson was a part time, contract ER doc. He also did some health clinic work for poor immigrants. But he is not a board certified specialist in providing ongoing care for cancer patients, kidney disease patients, diabetics, or indeed, other serious conditions. Indeed, until California legalized assisted suicide, he was mostly out of medicine, pursuing a career as a photo journalist and author. He certainly isn’t a specialist in caring for dying patients. He’s no hospice doc. When assisted suicide was legalized, he started “practicing medicine” again–as a death doctor, willing to help make people dead for $2000.
From: Annals of Internal Medicine 19 September 2017:
POSITION PAPERS |19 SEPTEMBER 2017
Ethics and the Legalization of Physician-Assisted Suicide: An American College of Physicians Position Paper FREE
Lois Snyder Sulmasy, JD; Paul S. Mueller, MD, MPH (*); for the Ethics, Professionalism and Human Rights Committee of the American College of Physicians
Article, Author, and Disclosure Information
Background and Brief Rationale
Appendix and Expanded Rationale: Ethics and the Legalization of Physician-Assisted Suicide—An American College of Physicians Position Paper
Calls to legalize physician-assisted suicide have increased and public interest in the subject has grown in recent years despite ethical prohibitions. Many people have concerns about how they will die and the emphasis by medicine and society on intervention and cure has sometimes come at the expense of good end-of-life care. Some have advocated strongly, on the basis of autonomy, that physician-assisted suicide should be a legal option at the end of life. As a proponent of patient-centered care, the American College of Physicians (ACP) is attentive to all voices, including those who speak of the desire to control when and how life will end. However, the ACP believes that the ethical arguments against legalizing physician-assisted suicide remain the most compelling. On the basis of substantive ethics, clinical practice, policy, and other concerns articulated in this position paper, the ACP does not support legalization of physician-assisted suicide. It is problematic given the nature of the patient–physician relationship, affects trust in the relationship and in the profession, and fundamentally alters the medical profession's role in society. Furthermore, the principles at stake in this debate also underlie medicine's responsibilities regarding other issues and the physician's duties to provide care based on clinical judgment, evidence, and ethics. Society's focus at the end of life should be on efforts to address suffering and the needs of patients and families, including improving access to effective hospice and palliative care. The ACP remains committed to improving care for patients throughout and at the end of life.
From National Review Online: Wesley J. Smith 2/20/2018
"Euthanasia in Belgium has gone completely out of the control — including as just two examples —doctors killing the mentally ill and conjoining the death procedure with voluntary organ harvesting, as well as joint euthanasia deaths of elderly couples who ask to die for fear of future widowhood."
Remember when euthanasia was about “choice” for adults? It was always baloney. The Netherlands has permitted infanticide of terminally ill and disabled babies — not technically legal, but so what? — for a long time. It also permits euthanasia down to age twelve.
Belgium has been even more zealous for euthanasia, removing all age limitations. Now a report shows that three children have been euthanized there in recent years. From the VOA story:
The minors were 9, 11 and 17 years old, according to the report. Their conditions ranged from muscular dystrophy to brain tumors to cystic fibrosis. The conditions of all three were determined to be terminal, and euthanasia was approved unanimously by the committee.
National Review Online July 27, 2018 Wesley J. Smith
National Review Online, 8/2/18
"Thousands of Euthanasia Killings in Canada
By WESLEY J. SMITH
August 2, 2018 10:04 AM
Canadian doctors and nurse practitioners have reported that they have killed almost 4,000 (3,714) patients since euthanasia was legalized in Quebec in December 2015 — after which it was legalized throughout the country by supreme-court fiat — an act of judicial hubris quickly formalized by Parliament.
Nearly 2,000 were killed in 2017, not including a few territories that did not report figures and assuming all euthanasia deaths were reported. All but one of these deaths resulted from a lethal jab — homicide — at the patients’ request. From the “Third Interim Report on Medical Assistance in Dying in Canada”: