Friday, May 30, 2008

New York Doctor to testify in favor of Sustaining Life Support for Orthodox Jewish Man

A neurologist from New York has agreed to testify as a medical expert on behalf of the family of Samuel Golubchuk an Orthodox Jewish man from Winnipeg Canada.

Dr. Leon Zacharowicz agreed to work on the case pro-bono after being contacted by Agudath Israel of America. Dr. Zacharowicz is planning to go to Winnipeg sometime this summer to examine Golubchuk himself in preparation for the trial that is currently scheduled for November 2008.

Dr. Edward Reichman, a leading expert and lecturer in the field of medical ethics stated that according to Jewish ethics "If a person’s life is dependent on the ventilator, the decision to take them off the ventilator would be equal to homicide"

Dr. Reichman further stated to The Jewish Star that "The overwhelming majority of rabbinic authorities maintain that it would be prohibited to remove the respirator, if that would lead to the individual’s death."

Dr. Reichman predicts that "This case could be a real test case. It could become a terrible trend if it gets pushed through. It would be a tragedy, definitely for Orthodox Jews, but also for other patients. If it gets passed in Canada, it can succeed in the United States as well."

http://www.vosizneias.com/16520/2008/05/28/winnipeg-canada-ny-doctor-to-testify-in-favor-of-sustaining-life-support-for-orthodox-patient/

Euthanasia Bill passes California Assembly

Bill AB 2747 passed in the California Assembly by a vote of 42 to 34.
http://www.times-standard.com/localnews/ci_9424815

This bill is a thinly veiled attempt to remove opposition to euthanasia by omission in California and is promoted as a bill that promotes palliative care options and end-of-life care information.
http://www.sunherald.com/447/story/592749.html

Nobody opposes good palliative care initiatives and information, but this bill mandates that a person who is given a one year life-expectancy will be informed and given the medical support to be intentionally dehydrated to death by the means of terminal sedation and dehydration.

If a physician is morally opposed to terminally sedation and dehydration of a person who is not actively dying or experiencing uncontrolled physical pain (euthanasia by omission), that physician is mandated to refer the patient to a physician who is willing to intentionally dehydrate the patient.

Bill AB 2747 represents the new strategy for Compassion & Choices, the leading euthanasia lobby group in the US.

Compassion & Choices has worked tirelessly in the past few years to legalize assisted suicide in California without success.

By mandating that palliative care become abused by the promotion of terminal sedation and dehydration for those who are not actively dying or suffering uncontrolled pain, they will achieve a significant part of their final goal of legalizing euthanasia.

For more information go to
http://alexschadenberg.blogspot.com/2008/05/toward-honest-talk.html

To intentionally cause death by dehydration is not assisted suicide but rather euthanasia.

Assisted suicide means that a person knowingly provides the means for someone to kill themselves. Death by dehydration requires a direct and active involvement in the death of the person and not simply a provision of the means.

Bill AB 2747 is simply unnecessary. The use of terminal sedation for people who are actively dying or experiencing intractable pain is considered an ethical option by nearly everyone. Access to good palliative care information and services are not legislative issues but rather budgetary issues.

This bill is about mandating the right to die by dehydration for people who are not near to death and who are not suffering from intractable pain.

This means that people who want to legalize euthanasia are in fact settling for half of their final goal with the hope that once death by dehydration becomes a common procedure, people will then demand death by injection because it is in fact a more compassionate way to die.

Californians need to recognize what Bill AB 2747 represents and strenuously oppose it.

A similar bill is also being debated in Vermont.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Suicide Tourists dying at Dignitas clinic in Switzerland

The Dignitas suicide clinic in Switzerland helped to kill 335 suicidal people in the past two years with 85 percent of them being foreigners.

Ludwig Minelli, the director of the Dignitas suicide clinic in Zurich has recently released his statistics on the number of deaths at the Dignitias clinic.
http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article1216810.ece

The Dignitas clinic admits to charging approximately 5000 British pounds (approximately $10,000) to assist the suicide of their clients. One must first pay a membership fee to Dignitas before they will consider assisting a persons suicide. Of course it has nothing to do with money.

Minelli stated that 50 percent of the deaths are German suicide tourists with the British and the French making up the next two most common nationalities to die at the clinic.

Dignitas has been involved with suicides in vans, similar to the acts by Dr. Kevorkian, and they currently employ the plastic bag and helium method. They began the bag and helium method to avoid the need to receive approval from a physician who would write the lethal prescription.

Recently the Swiss court approved a case of assisting a suicide of a person who was chronically depressed and not physically dying.

Previous comments by Wesley
http://www.wesleyjsmith.com/blog/2007/04/dignitas-to-finish-hate-crime-with.html

http://discardedlies.com/entry/?15281_


Doctors in Switzerland have compared the methods used by Dignitas to those that were used by the Nazi’s.

Some say that this is not a fair comparison because the Nazi’s weren’t concerned about the choice of the victim, but since when have depressed and suicidal people freely chose death.

It is imperative that countries support suicide prevention strategies for their most vulnerable citizens whom Minelli and his Dignitas team are preying on.

We must recognize that a caring society protects its vulnerable citizens at their greatest time of need.

Japan looks to lower suicide rate

Japan is reviewing its guidelines aimed at reducing the number of suicides in Japan and hopes to reduce the suicide rate by 20 percent by 2016.
http://www.bloomberg.com:80/apps/news?pid=20601101&sid=a_2Lhi9MAfY0&refer=japan

Japan has been plagued by more than 30,000 suicide deaths each year over the past 10 years. According to the United Nations they have the 9th highest suicide rate in the world.

Recently the Japanese government asked internet providers to block websites that promote suicide and suicide methods, such as hydrogen sulphide on the internet after their was a rash of suicides committed using these techniques in the past few months. http://alexschadenberg.blogspot.com/2008/05/internet-providers-urged-to-remove.html

Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura said "It's outrageous that something that seems to promote suicide is widely available on the Internet. There is freedom of expression but it must be accompanied by responsibility. These things shouldn't go unregulated."

The Australian government passed a law prohibiting the promotion and counseling of suicide on the internet a few years ago in response to the work of Dr. Philip Nitschke, the Australian Dr. Death, who was providing suicide and counseling people to commit suicide via the internet.

All western nations need laws that protect vulnerable depressed and mentally incompetent people from falling victim to the euthanasia lobby who are promoting suicide (right to die) as a human right.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Families encouraged to let "unresponsive" loved ones die

The recent Australian guidelines on withdrawing medical treatment from people in a "unresponsive" state will not only encourage families to withdraw medical treatment from their family members but also to deny them basic care provisions. http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,23755540-952,00.html

The guidelines will encourage families to withdraw basic care such as tube feeding from their "unresponsive" loved one’s. When tube feeding is withdrawn from a person who is cognitively disabled and appears unresponsive, but who is not otherwise dying or nearing death, then the cause of death will be death by dehydration, or in other-words death by euthanasia by omission.

It should be considered optional to withdraw or withhold medical treatment that is risky, intrusive, destructive, exhausting, painful or repugnant or when the cost outweighs benefit or success, or when the treatment is literally futile.

But, medical care such as the provision of fluids and food by tube should be considered obligatory so long as the patient is physiologically benefitting from the care or until the person is imminently dying.

In order for everyone to be treated as an equal citizen, society needs to recognize the dignity of each human being, even when they: live with permanent physical or cognitive disabilities and unable to effectively communicate with others.

The new Australian guidelines encourage physicians and family members to treat people who are patients in post-coma unresponsiveness (PCU) and a minimally responsive state (MRS) differently than other people.

I think that this is a huge step towards future policies that will include the elimination of people with cognitive disabilities who will already be treated without equality and already viewed as expendable.

Monday, May 26, 2008

When does death occur?

The recent story of Val Thomas (59) who awoke after having no brain waves for 17 hours, experiencing two cardiac arrests, and Rigor mortis began to set in.

The Thomas case opens new questions as to when we can be certain that death has occured.

What is really interesting is that Thomas awoke 10 minutes after the family discussed the prospect of Thomas being an organ donor, they said their goodbyes and removed all the tubes.

Read more about the story and watch the video links at:
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,357463,00.html

Toward Honest Talk

I read an excellent article by Marilyn Golden in the Capitol Weekly online explaining why California's Bill AB 2747 that is sponsored by Patti Berg needs to be defeated.

Marilyn Golden is a Policy Analyst at the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF) which is the leading center on policy and law in relation to disability rights in the U.S.

Golden effectively explains how AB 2747 represents a change in strategy for the euthanasia lobby group compassion and choices (C & C). C & C have made several attempts to legalize assisted suicide since 2005.

Bill AB 2747 is designed to pave the way for the legalization of assisted suicide in California.

As a point of interest, there is a similar bill in Vermont that is also being sponsored by the euthanasia lobby groups.

Please go to the article by Golden at:
http://www.capitolweekly.net/article.php?_adctlid=v%7Cjq2q43wvsl855o%7Cx57q8rve5v4bj2&issueId=x4tyolqkrlw0m0&xid=x4u6470wbq8h4b

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Nazi doctor receives medical award

Dr. Hans-Joachim Sewering, a 92-year-old german physician has been honored for performing unequalled service in the cause of freedom of the practice and the independence of the medical profession, and to the nation’s health system by the German Federation of Internal Medicine.
http://www.canada.com/calgaryherald/news/story.html?id=267a801e-2b52-42d7-b06e-1d27f3dabf24

The Anti-Defamation League in the U.S. claims that Sewering sent up to 900 children to their death at a euthanasia centre. Sewering has admitted being a member of the SS, but he has denied being responsible for euthanasia deaths.

These cases are very important because they remind us that people are capable of doing horrific acts to other human beings.

Society likes to believe that these horrific acts only happened because of the Nazi regime that controlled Germany, but the reality is that Hitler wasn’t ordering these deaths, physicians were ordering these deaths. Hitler only gave them permission.

Whether Sewering is partly responsible for 900 deaths or not, it is clear that in the long-term, the primary victims of euthanasia will be people with disabilities and other vulnerable persons who will either be subtly coerced into accepting death or killed out of indifference.

People who lack equality, also will lack the necessary ability to effectively resist the culture of death.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

54 ill as new toxic fume suicide hits Japan

CNN news has reported about a suicide case in Japan that resulted in 54 people becoming sick from the toxic fumes related to the suicide concoction that was composed of a liquid pesticide.
http://edition.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/05/22/toxic.suicide/?iref=hpmostpop

Earlier this month a 24 year old man committed suicide by mixing laundry detergent and cleaning fluids.

In April, a 14 year old girl used the same method to commit suicide, resulting in 90 neighbors becoming sick from the toxic fumes.

CNN reported that:
"The suicides are seen as part of a spate of detergent-related deaths that experts say have been encouraged by Internet suicide sites since last summer.
Seiji Yoshikawa, deputy head of the Internet Hot Line, which operates under the guidelines of police, said the number of sites promoting detergent suicides soared in April.
"They are rife on the Internet. Writing examples include 'you can die easily and beautifully' and 'this is much easier than charcoal-burning suicide,'" Yoshikawa said, referring to a once-popular suicide method, The Associated Press reported.'

On May 1, I reported about a call for internet providers in Japan to block access to suicide websites in relation to the surge in suicides in Japan.
http://alexschadenberg.blogspot.com/2008/05/internet-providers-urged-to-remove.html

Governments on a world-wide basis need to enact laws to shut down websites that promote and counsel people to commit suicide in order to protect the vulnerable depressed and mentally ill people who are using these websites.

Websites that promote child pornography are effectively being shut down due to laws that have been enacted to protect children. In the same way we need to shut down websites that promote suicide.

Dr. Philip Nitschke, the Australian Dr. Death and the visible leader of the Right to Die lobby in Australia, has been involved in suicide counseling via the internet for many years. The Right to Die is not about dignity with dignity, it is about creating a universal "right to die".
http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewForeignBureaus.asp?Page=/ForeignBureaus/archive/200609/INT20060912a.html


http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,23633391-2,00.html

Latimer's 'cause' is a real threat

There was an article about Robert Latimer in yesterday’s National Post in Canada. http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=528343

Robert Latimer is the Canadian farmer from Saskatchewan who killed his 12 year-old daughter Tracy in 1993 because she was “suffering” from cerebral palsy. Latimer has become a media celebrity over the years.

He was recently released on day-parole and has decided to live in Ottawa where he can agitate for his cause with the government representatives.

Today a letter appeared in the National Post that is written by Deiren Masterson from Toronto, that truly puts the Latimer case in perspective. http://www.nationalpost.com/story.html?id=530493

Masterson writes
When Rebecca Beayni -- a 25-year-old living with cerebral palsy who is unable to talk or walk -- was awarded the city of Toronto Young Adult Award for Social Justice last year, there wasn't a mention of it in the Post. And to quote this article, Tracy Latimer “functioned at the level of a three-month-old.” So does this mean that three-month-olds are expendable too?

I have a friend, Michael, with Tracy's condition, a man with severe cerebral palsy whom doctors predicted wouldn't live past 10 -- he's now 36. He needs care in all aspects of life. He eats with a feeding tube. He has a particular love of music. Six years ago he danced for Pope John Paul II in front of an audience of millions. He's living a deeply meaningful life.

I’m able-bodied and able-minded, just like your reporters. With these tools I'm writing for my friends Rebecca and Michael, against the threat that Robert Latimer’s “cause" poses to them and those whom their lives represent. My message to your readers: Wake up!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Alleged suicide job shocks campaigners

A New Zealand news agency is suggesting that leaders on both sides of the euthanasia debate are surprised that an American woman using the name Susan Wilson was paid $12,000to fly to New Zealand and assist the death of a woman suffering from depression. http://tvnz.co.nz/view/page/1786504

As the long-time leader of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition in Canada and now the International chair, I am neither surprised or shocked by this news.

In September 2006, I attended the World Federation of Right to Die Societies bi-annual conference in Toronto. During the proceedings of that conference, it was apparent that the end-goal for the euthanasia lobby was the acceptance of the "last-will-pill" or the peaceful pill.

Dr. Rob Jonquiere, the moderate leader of the Right to Die movement in the Netherlands explained that by taking the law in their own hands that activists were making it more difficult for politicians to accept the final goal - the acceptance of the "last-will-pill". When you analyze the concept of a last-will-pill you must agree that there is no way to protect people who are depressed or mentally incompetent from killing themselves with this pill.

We already know that the Supreme Court in the Netherlands approved euthanasia for people who are experiencing chronic depression or chronic mental suffering.

Dr. Philip Nitschke, who is the maverick Australian leader of Exit International promoted the peaceful pill that allegedly could be available to anyone at anytime.

Several years ago Wesley Smith reported comments by Nitschke in an article titled "Noxious Nitschke" stating that the "peaceful pill" could be available to troubled teens. http://www.nationalreview.com/smithw/smith200411150826.asp

The question for the euthanasia lobby is not that they oppose euthanasia or assisted suicide for people who suffer depression, the question is how will the public knowledge of their support for these acts affect their campaign to legalize euthanasia or assisted suicide everywhere?

Finally, if there is nothing wrong with assisted suicide then why should assisting a suicide be done for free. Susan Wilson had to fly to New Zealand and accept the chance that she might be arrested for her actions.

Maybe the real shock is that someone would pay her $12,000 and the other members of the euthanasia lobby feel that they are being under paid.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Washington State lawmakers oppose assisted suicide

http://www.tdn.com/articles/2008/05/20/breaking_news/doc483318d29f55d128012543.txt

The Daily News Online serving the Lower Columbia in Washington state reported today on the widespread political opposition to Initiative 1000, the Washington state plebiscite to legalize assisted suicide.

Democrat State Senator Margarita Prentice stated “It has virtually no protection for low-income and vulnerable people from being pressured into prematurely ending their life,”

Prentice, a registered nurse and chairwoman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee believes that “This very dangerous initiative never would have passed the legislature”

Republican representative Lynn Schindler stated that “Voters should realize that 25 states around the country have rejected this kind of dangerous proposal.”

Schindler warned people that “Under Initiative 1000, persons who are ill could feel pressured by organizations to end their own lives to escape the financial burden”

19 republican and 4 Democrat law makers have united to oppose Initiative 1000.

Washington Governor Chris Gregoire also opposes the measure. She said: “I find it on a personal level very, very difficult to support assisted suicide.”

The Coalition Against Assisted Suicide is particularly concerned about two provisions in the initiative:
• It does not require terminally ill patients to undergo a mental health evaluation before obtaining lethal drugs; even those with depression can seek assisted suicide.
• The family members of the patient need not be given notice of the patient’s intent.

Sen. Prentice said there is a danger that “physicians can prescribe lethal drugs to patients who are depressed or mentally ill.

In 2007, according to the Oregon Department of Health, not one patient in Oregon, where assisted suicide was legalized by plebiscite, was referred for psychological counseling, a sure sign to me there is nothing to protect those suffering psychological distress.”

Friday, May 16, 2008

Euthanasia Advocates fail to distance themselves from Exoo.

On Monday, May 12, 2008 my blog covered the issue of George Exoo and the recent film that has been made about him by film maker Jon Ronson.
http://alexschadenberg.blogspot.com/2008/05/i-made-it-look-like-they-died-in-their.html

Ronson explained that he got the idea of making a film about Exoo after the death of Rosemary Toole. The Ronson exposeé proves that Exoo will assist the suicide of people who are depressed, mentally ill and not terminally ill.

Today Dr. Libby Wilson responded to the Exoo debacle in the guardian newspaper. Wilson explains that “it is by unfortunate associations that the member societies of the World Federation of Right to Die Societies are lumped together with loose cannons such as Rev George Exoo.”
http://www.guardian.co.uk:80/society/2008/may/15/mentalhealth.health

The reality is that the Rev George Exoo finds his victims through the member societies of the World Federation of Right to Die Societies.

In September 2006, I attended the World Federation of Right to Die Societies conference in Toronto. One of the speakers was Dr. Philip Nitschke. Nitschke was there to promote the idea of the “peaceful” pill that could be used by anyone when they are “tired of living”.

Maybe Nitschke is just another loose cannon but the member societies of the World Federation of Right to Die Societies didn’t distance themselves from his comments.

A volunteer with the Compassion & Choices client support program explained that she “believes the cost for medical technology is often a waste of money.” She said “She became a volunteer because she wants to hasten her own death.”

This woman was a mainstream volunteer for Compassion & Choices.

Exoo is more extreme than the other Right to Die lobby, but he is only more extreme by degree, not because of his actions.

The Right to Die lobby is a death cult.

The only really difference between the mainstream lobby and the work of George Exoo is the strategy they have set to achieve their agenda.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Oregon's Trojan Horse

Please go to http://www.internationaltaskforce.org/trojanhorse.htm to read the article written by Rita Marker, an attorney and the executive director of the International Task Force on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide.

This article explains why Oregon, the only State in the US to legalize assisted suicide, has not expanded the parameters of the law.

This article also explains why the I-1000 campaign to legalize assisted suicide by plebiscite in Washington State is so important.

This is a fabulous analysis and it should encourage you to support the Coalition Against Assisted Suicide in Washington State - http://noassistedsuicide.com/

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Physician-Assisted Suicide (PAS) in Oregon:

Dr. Herbert Hendin and Dr. Kathleen Foley have written a thorough report on the experience in Oregon after 10 years of legal assisted suicide.

Hendin is a Professor of Psychiatry and the Chief Executive Officer and Medical Director of Suicide Prevention International.

Foley is a Professor of Neurology, Neuroscience, and Clinical Pharmacology, Weill Medical College of Cornell University and the Medical Director, International Palliative Care Initiative of the Open Society Institute.

Hendin and Foley examine the Oregon experience based on case studies and research articles. They make recommendations to the Oregon Public Health Division (OPHD) as to how they could ensure that patients are properly protected under the law.

For instance, the case of Helen proved that the law is not effectively protecting patients when they are experiencing depression.

Helen’s personal physician refused to assist in her suicide but didn’t offer specific reasons. A second physician refused to assist Helen in suicide on the grounds that Helen was depressed.

Helen’s husband then called Compassion in Dying (now Compassion & Choices) who referred Helen to a physician who assisted her suicide.

Barbara Coombs Lee, then the executive director of Compassion in Dying stated “‘If I get rebuffed by one doctor, I can go to another...’”

The physician who assisted the suicide for Helen regretted his minimal communication with the physicians who refused to assist Helen’s suicide and stated “Had I felt there was a disagreement among the physicians about my patient’s eligibility, I would not have written the prescription.”

The article also examines the contention that palliative care has improved in Oregon since the implementation of assisted suicide.

Hendin and Foley provide information that contradicts this assessment. They state that
“A Study at the Oregon Health & Science University indicated that there has been a greater percentage of cases of inadequately treated pain in terminally ill patients since the Oregon law went into effect. However, among patients who requested PAS but availed themselves of a substantive intervention by a physician, 46% changed their minds about having PAS.”

Hendin and Foley bring up significant concerns about the correlation between depression and assisted suicide. They show that “researchers have found hopelessness, which is strongly correlated with depression, to be the factor that most significantly predicts the wish for death.”

A guidebook for health care professionals that is written by the Oregon University Center for Ethics advises physicians to refer all cases requesting assisted suicide for psychiatric evaluation, even though the physician is only required to refer patients that are suspected to be experiencing depression or mental a psychological disorder.

The reality is that only 13% of assisted suicide requests were referred for a psychiatric evaluation between 1998 - 2005 and no-one was referred for a psychiatric evaluation out of the 49 assisted suicide deaths in 2007.

It is also concerning that under the Oregon law the psychiatric assessment is only required to determine if the person has the capacity to decide. A person could be depressed and yet considered capable to consent to death.

The Oregon law doesn’t protect the person from being pressured. Kate Cheney’s case illustrates that even though Cheney was sent for a psychiatric assessment with the first psychiatrist suggesting that she was not capable of consenting, a second psychiatrist determined Cheney could consent even though it was noted that Cheney’s daughter appeared more interested in her suicide than Cheney herself.

Hendin and Foley suggest that this case questions what value Oregon’s prohibition on coercion really has.

Hendin and Foley also investigated the “lack of teeth” in the reporting system in Oregon. The OPHD have not addressed the issue of non-reporting, even though in the Netherlands and Belgium the issue of non-reporting is significant. The OPHD appear to be more concerned with patient-doctor confidentiality than with monitoring compliance or abuse.

The OPHD have admitted that they have no way of knowing how may assisted suicide cases are not reported.

The role of the assisted suicide advocacy group Compassion and Choices must be questioned. Compassion and Choices have been directly involved in 73% of all assisted suicide deaths in Oregon.

In 2006 Compassion and Choices lobbied the OPHD by threatening legal action if OPHD didn’t change the term assisted suicide to a term which was more palatable. The term assisted suicide has now been replaced by Death with Dignity.

How can the OPHD assure people that the law is being followed when the assisted suicide lobby group is also the referral agency for the majority of the assisted suicide deaths in Oregon.

Hendin and Foley conclude that “As the Oregon assisted suicide law is currently implemented, “Death with Dignity Act” is something of a misnomer.”

To receive a copy of the article - Physician-Assisted Suicide in Oregon: A Medical Perspective by Herbert Hendin and Kathleen Foley, simply contact Euthanasia Prevention Coalition at - 1-877-439-3348and request the article and we will send it to you.

http://www.spiorg.org/publications/HendinFoley_MichiganLawReview.pdf

Monday, May 12, 2008

'I made it look like they died in their sleep'

Jon Ronson is a film producer who supported assisted suicide and decided to make a film about assisted suicide campaigner George Exoo.

Ronson contacted Exoo to make a film about him, after it became known that Exoo had assisted the suicide of Rosemary Toole in January 2002 in Ireland. The Toole suicide created significant support for assisted suicide in Ireland.

The guardian published a story today about the experience Ronson had with interviewing and getting to know Exoo and his suicide "ministry" while producing the film about him.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2008/may/12/mentalhealth.health?gusrc=rss&feed=networkfront

This may be the most interesting story about the "inside" of the underground death culture that I have read. Exoo claims to have been directly involved in 102 suicide deaths. What is astounding is that most of his "clients" were not terminally ill but just depressed and in need of psychiatric help.

The prime example of an Exoo client is Pam Acre, a 59 year-old woman living on the outskirts of Baltimore.

Acre describes her disease as difficult because all the tests come back negative.

Exoo is not concerned about the mental condition of Acre, he is only interested in describing each method of suicide and determining which method Acre prefers.

Ronson was also interesting in finding out how Exoo met his clients.

Ronson interviewed Derek Humphry, the founder of the Hemlock society that has now morphed into the Compassion and Choices group in the U.S.

"Humphry said that the mainstream right-to-die groups will tell them (Exoo clients), "'We can't help you. It's not within our parameters because you aren't terminally ill.' But they pursue you. They call and call. And eventually someone will say, 'George Exoo will probably help you.' And that gets them off the phone and on to George."

What that means is that George Exoo is busy aiding, abeting and counseling suicide for people who are not terminally ill, and who simply need help for their depression and the mainstream "right to die" lobby is complicit by sending him their troubled callers.

The experience that Ronson has with George Exoo proves that when people learn about the right to die - suicide cult - they will change their mind about assisted suicide, like Ronson did.

The other inference that can be drawn from Ronson is that the only reason the mainstream right to die lobby won't "assist" people who are not terminal and only depressed because their goal is to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide and being associated with killing mentally ill and depressed people won't advance their goals.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Washington State: Becoming Two-Faced About Suicide

Wesley Smith has written a fabulous article about the connection between suicide and assisted suicide. The reference point for this article is Washington State which is currently having a debate around the legalization of assisted suicide by means of a plebiscite.

This article is a must read for anyone who is concerned about the most vulnerable people in our society

www.wesleyjsmith.com/blog/2008/05/washington-state-becoming-two-faced.html

A doctor's responsibility extends to society

Dr. Yoel Abells is a regular columnist in the national post.

Abells column from Wednesday, May 7 is a commentary of his re-reading of the book by Dr. Robert Lifton entitled Nazi Doctors: Medical Killing and the Psychology of Genocide.

This book was possibly the best attempt at explaining why doctors, who are traditionally committed to healing and not killing, could willingly become involved in the holocaust and euthanasia killings of the Nazi era.

Dr. Abells explains that he re-read's Dr. Robert Liftons' book in relation to the recent Holocaust Remembrance Day.

This article is worth reading. Abells asserts that doctors need to be the moral conscience in our society. I agree.

The only question is - Do doctors in a post-modern society have a collective moral conscience?

http://www.nationalpost.com/scripts/story.html?id=497286

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Oregon still stands alone: Ten years of physician-assisted suicide

The American Medical News has published an extensive article on Oregon’s Assisted Suicide law after 10 years.

The article covered several important concerns such as the fact that people who live with depression do not seem to be protected by the law anymore. The article stated:

“Numerous studies of patients in Oregon and elsewhere found that depressed patients are significantly more likely to seek physician-assisted suicide. Any person seeking a deadly prescription should receive a mental health consultation, according to a health care professionals guidebook prepared by a task force convened by Oregon Health & Science University’s Center for Ethics in Health Care.

Only 10% of patients who have died under the law were referred for psychiatric evaluation, which is legally required if the prescribing or consulting physician believes a patient may have depression or another mental illness. In 2007, no patients were referred for consultations.”

The article also pointed out that their have been flaws in the application of the act. The article stated:

“But use of the Death With Dignity Act has not been flawless. Though 94% of patients died without complications, 19 patients regurgitated the medication before dying. David Pruitt, a lung cancer patient, awakened 65 hours after taking the dose prescribed to kill him.

“What the hell happened?” he reportedly said after waking up. “Why am I not dead?”

Pruitt died of cancer two weeks later.”

The article also bought into some of the false ideas that are promoted by the euthanasia lobby group, Compassion and Choices. The article appears to state that legalizing assisted suicide has improved hospice/palliative care and other end of life care concerns. The article stated:

“Since Medicare began reimbursing hospice services in 1982, the number of patients choosing this end-of-life care option has grown steadily. One in three Americans now dies under the care of a hospice program, and the number of programs has grown almost 50% since 1997. In Oregon, overall hospice use has jumped 84% since the use of the Death With Dignity Act in 1998. Nearly six in 10 dying Medicare-age patients there received hospice care in 2005, the most recent year for which data are available. Oregon placed ninth among states on hospice utilization in 2005.”

It is a false comment to connect the increased utilization of hospice/palliative care with the introduction of assisted suicide in Oregon simply because in the same time-period hospice/palliative care has grown exponentially throughout the USA, not only Oregon.

The most important facts that the American Medical News and other articles fail to report is that 73% of all deaths by assisted suicide in Oregon are facilitated by the Compassion and Choices lobby group, who have a stable of physicians who are willing to prescribe death to their patients.

We will never know what is actually happening in Oregon when the reporting is done by the physicians who prescribe death and Compassion and Choices remains the primary provider of death in Oregon. The law remains covered in secrecy and these extensive reports are essentially numbers without real personal stories or truth connected.


Amednews.com - http://www.ama-assn.org:80/amednews/2008/05/12/prsa0512.htm

Monday, May 5, 2008

Nitschke 'hell-bent on assisted suicide'

Two Australian women have pleaded not guilty in a New South Wales Supreme Court to murdering Graeme Wylie by giving him a lethal dose of Nembutal on March 22, 2006.

Shirley Justins (59) the partner of Wylie for 18 years and their friend Caren Jennings (74) were supporters of the group Exit International, the euthanasia lobby group that is operated by Dr. Philip Nitschke.

Justins and Jennings have also pleaded not guilty to importing the barbiturate Nembutal into Australia from Mexico. Both women pleaded guilty to the lesser alternative charge of aiding and abetting suicide.

In November 2005, Wylie was turned down by the Swiss Suicide group Dignitas because they questioned his ability to consent.

Dignitas had asked Nitschke to visit Wylie and report back as to his mental condition. Nitschke visited Wylie but decided not to further assess Wylie condition because he wanted to support Wylie’s desire for assisted suicide.

“The court was told Dr Nitschke was "hell bent" on getting Mr Wylie on the program.”

“If Graeme Wylie was affected by dementia to the extent that he no longer had the capacity to make an independent, informed decision himself about whether or not to commit suicide then from the law's point of view it is as though he did not know that the poison was there,” Mr Tedeschi, the lawyer for the crown, told the jury.

“(Justins' and Jenning's) actions in taking nembutal to him amount to murder.” stated Tedeschi.

This case emphasizes two important issues.

The euthanasia lobby is not really concerned about consent. Even someone who is suffering from Alzheimer or dementia can be killed, even when consent is not possible.

The second point is that the euthanasia lobby is not concerned with the health of their victims. They are only concerned with a change in the law, and once the law is changed, they are really concerned with facilitating death.

The same is true in the State of Oregon where last years report showed that none of the 49 assisted suicide deaths in 2007 were first referred to a psychiatrist or a psychologist, which is required by the law when the doctor suspects possible depression or mental issues.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/05/05/2235928.htm
http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,23649575-5005961,00.html

Friday, May 2, 2008

Rudd explains why he opposes euthanasia

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd of Australia has stated that he opposes voluntary euthanasia but would allow a free-vote in parliament on the issue.

The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Prime Minister Rudd as stating "It's just my own personal view ... that if you changed the laws in this area, I do become concerned about the way in which these things can drift over time," he said.

"Particularly in the attitude taken by older people themselves, or people with terminal illnesses, who then conclude that they are being an increasing burden to their families and then conclude that it's in other people's interests, not their own best interests, to seek euthanasia."

On the question of the free vote in parliament Prime Minister Rudd stated "If it becomes a matter for vote in the federal parliament, people exercise their conscience differently."

Green party Senator Bob Brown has introduced legislation in Australia to restore the law that legalized euthanasia in the northern territory of Australia in 1995.

For more information, go to:
http://news.smh.com.au/rudd-explains-why-he-opposes-euthanasia/20080502-2a5z.html#
The Sydney Morning Herald - May 2, 2008

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Internet providers urged to remove 'suicide gas' instructions

The euthanasia lobby likes to talk about choice and the right of competent people to make decisions about their own autonomy.

The reality is that the euthanasia lobby is really about creating a “right to die” meaning that people would have the right to have someone else directly involved in their death at the time of their choosing.

The euthanasia lobby really doesn’t care that their utopian vision directly threatens the lives of vulnerable people.

The posting of specific suicide instructions on the internet has prompted a strong response from Japanese police.

The National Police Agency in Japan has asked ISPs, telecom firms and cable broadcasters for help after 48 people have died using homemade hydrogen sulphide to commit suicide in the past month alone. They are asking that instructions on how to produce hydrogen sulphide gas be removed from suicide websites.

Remember, choice is a euphemism that is used by the euthanasia lobby to push a radical agenda for an international “right” to die.

Victims of suicide do not choose death, but rather die out of an extreme feeling of hopelessness that is often related to depression, mental illness or breakdown.

For more information go to http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/news/stories/200805/s2232104.htm?tab=asia