Thursday, November 30, 2017

Health Canada approves assisted suicide drug with side effects.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Joan Bryden recently reported in the Toronto Star that Health Canada approved Secobarbital for assisted suicide. Secobarbital is an old drug that had several uses, but was known for causing accidental overdose deaths. According to the Toronto Star article:
"It's kind of the barbiturate of choice because (its) quicker onset and duration is such that the dying period is reduced," said Dr. Stefanie Green, president and co-founder of the Canadian Association of MAID Assessors and Providers.
The Toronto Star article Secobarbital has side effects:
In general, orally ingested drug cocktails present some difficulties that are not associated with those injected intravenously: they taste bad, they can induce nausea and vomiting, the patient can fall asleep before the entire dose is consumed, which can ultimately cause it to be ineffective.
Last Feburary Kaiser Medical News published a warning concerning problems with assisted suicide drugs.

Ontario nurse suspended for withdrawing life support without permission

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition


Joanna Flynn
CTV News reported that the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) suspended nurse, Joanna Flynn, for five months after pleading guilty to professional misconduct for withdrawing life-support without permission. She was previously found not guilty of manslaughter.

According to the CTV News report by Adam Ward:

In its ruling, the committee said Flynn “contravened the standards of practice of the profession and engaged in dishonourable and unprofessional conduct by discontinuing life support for a client without the required medical authorization and failing to record that medical authorization to discontinue life support had been refused by the responsible physician.” 
In March 2014, Flynn removed Deanna Leblanc from life support at Georgian Bay General Hospital. She did so without the permission of a doctor, which she testified was allowed under the guidelines laid out by the CNO.
It is likely that Flynn also withdrew life-support without proper consent. The CTV News report stated: 
A point of contention in her manslaughter trial was whether she coerced Leblanc’s husband for consent. 
Last June, Ontario nurse, Elizabeth Wettlauffer, was sentenced to 25 years in prison after confessing to killing 8 people.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Ontario MPP introduces Palliative Care bill


Sam Oosterhoff, MPP for Niagara West-Glanbrook introduced Private Member’s Bill 182, The Compassionate Care Act on Nov 27, 2017. 

The first debate on the bill will take place on December 14, 2017. The Compassionate Care Act will ensure that the government develops a framework, which will lead to improved access to and education about hospice palliative care in Ontario.

An Act providing for the development of a provincial framework on hospice palliative care

Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario, enacts as follows:

Provincial framework on hospice palliative care
1. (1) The Minister of Health and Long-Term Care shall develop a provincial framework designed to support improved access to hospice palliative care, provided through hospitals, home care, long-term care homes and hospices, that, among other things,

(a) defines what hospice palliative care is;

(b) identifies the hospice palliative care training and education needs of health care providers as well as other caregivers;

(c) identifies measures to support hospice palliative care providers;

(d) promotes research and the collection of data on hospice palliative care;

(e) identifies measures to facilitate consistent access to hospice palliative care across Ontario; and

(f) takes into consideration existing hospice palliative care frameworks, strategies and best practices.
Consultation
(2) The Minister shall develop the provincial framework in consultation with hospice palliative care providers, any other affected ministries, the federal government and any other persons or entities that the Minister considers appropriate in the circumstances.
Same
(3) The Minister shall initiate the consultations referred to in subsection (2) within six months after the day on which this Act comes into force.
Report to Assembly
2. (1) The Minister of Health and Long-Term Care shall prepare a report setting out the provincial framework on hospice palliative care and shall lay the report before the Assembly within one year after the day on which this Act comes into force.
Publication
(2) The Minister shall publish the report on a Government of Ontario website within 10 days after the day on which the report is tabled in the Assembly.
Report re state of hospice palliative care in Ontario
3. (1) Within five years after the day on which the report referred to in section 2 is tabled in the Assembly, the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care shall prepare a report on the state of hospice palliative care in Ontario and shall cause the report to be laid before the Assembly on any of the first 15 days on which that Assembly is sitting after the report is completed.
Publication
(2) The Minister shall publish the report on a Government of Ontario website within 10 days after the day on which the report is tabled in the Assembly.
Commencement
4. This Act comes into force on the day it receives Royal Assent.
Short title
5. The short title of this Act is the Compassionate Care Act, 2017.
Link to the website promoting the Compassionate Care Act.

Doctors urge Western Australia not to legalize euthanasia.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

In the past few weeks, New South Wales Australia defeated a euthanasia bill while Victoria Australia Senate just passed a bill to legalize euthanasia.

Michael Gannon, President
Australian Medical Association.
The Australian Medical Association (AMA), which opposes euthanasia, warned Western Australia to not follow Victoria's lead. Sophia Moore with News.com.au reported:
AMA president Michael Gannon told reporters on Monday that the focus should be on improving access to palliative care, rather than legalising euthanasia. 
Dr Gannon said international experience showed there would be attempts to extend euthanasia laws to people with dementia, mental illness and other forms of chronic disease. 
In the Netherlands, single women over the age of 50 with cancer or chronic illness were the primary group to seek euthanasia, and voluntary-assisted dying is available to children in Belgium. 
A 2015 AMA survey found the majority of Australian doctors oppose voluntary-assisted dying. 
"It goes to the heart of our code of ethics," he told reporters.
Moore then reported that the Western Australian Health Minister supports euthanasia. 
But WA Health Minister Roger Cook said international research done by the Victorian select committee would benefit WA's own investigation into euthanasia. 
"I personally supported euthanasia, in principle," he said.
A WA parliamentary committee investigating end of life choices has received more than 700 submissions, with a final report due in August.
  • Australian Medical Association (AMA) opposes bill to legalize euthanasia.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Québec doctors 'Complete' Suicides

This article was published by National Review online on November 27, 2017

Wesley Smith
By Wesley J. Smith

Euthanasia costs lives. Not only do doctors kill people who ask to die–generally without even attempting suicide prevention services–but the ethics-altering values of euthanasia/assisted suicide devalue despairing lives generally. 

For example, several years ago, a woman named Kerrie Woolterton in the UK swallowed anti-freeze and called an ambulance, the latest of several such suicide attempts. But she pinned a note to her blouse refusing treatment. Despite the medical ability to save her–which had succeeded with Woolterton on previous occasions–doctors honored her “choice” and just let her die (painfully) over a 24-hour period. 

In Quebec, which has legalized lethal injection euthanasia, some doctors have been letting people who attempt suicide die without treatment–even though they could be saved–thereby “completing” their suicides. From the National Post story
Quebec’s College of Physicians has issued an ethics bulletin to its members after learning that some doctors were allowing suicide victims to die when life-saving treatment was available.  
The bulletin says the college learned last fall that, “in some Quebec hospitals, some people who had attempted to end their lives through poisoning were not resuscitated when, in the opinion of certain experts, a treatment spread out over a few days could have saved them with no, or almost no, aftereffects.” 
How many of those people would have been glad their lives were saved, as sometimes happens when suicides fail? We’ll never know because they are dead. 

Even as they take action to save some suicidal patients, the College abandons others: 
From a moral point of view, this duty to act to save the patient’s life, or to prevent him from living with the effects of a too-late intervention, rests on principles of doing good and not doing harm, as well as of solidarity,” it reads. “It would be negligent not to act.” 
It says treatment should be withheld only in cases where a physician has “irrefutable proof” of a patient’s wishes in the form of an advance medical directive or a do-not-resuscitate order. 
Oh. In other words, another group of people abandoned to suicide, in addition to those whom doctors personally kill when asked due to illness or disability. 

Euthanasia corrupts everything it touches, including the basic ethics of medicine and common human decency.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Canada Legalized Euthanasia. Will Parents Be Able To Kill Disabled Children?

This article was written by Rohan Sharma published by Pagalparrot on November 22, 2017

According to a survey conducted by the Canadian Paediatric Society (CPS), paediatricians are already increasingly being asked by parents to euthanize disabled or dying children and infants.

American anti-euthanasia activist Wesley Smith wrote in the National Review, 

“Once euthanasia consciousness is unleashed, it never stops expanding. I guess Robert Latimer–a Canadian farmer who murdered his daughter because she had cerebral palsy–was a visionary.”
The CPS survey noted, 
“such consultations may be rare, minors in Canada are contemplating MAID-related concepts and approaching healthcare providers with MAID-related questions. Given the evolving legislative landscape, it is reasonable to anticipate that such questions will increase in the near future.”
The executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition added: 
“All this is very problematic. Why do you want to allow them to suffer? So the idea is, well, this isn’t fair, the law has an inequality because you’re allowing adults who are capable of requesting this, but not children or mature minors.” 

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Fatal Flaws Film: Legalizing Assisted Death (Early preview).


By Kevin Dunn, Director - Fatal Flaws Film

Today we launch the fundraising campaign for our new film FATAL FLAWS. Over the past two years, my crew and I have logged over 50,000 kms in the air and on the road to ask one of the most fundamental philosophical questions of our time:
Should we be giving doctors – or anyone – the right and law to end the life of another human – and how do these laws affect society over time?
Kevin Dunn in the Netherlands
As a producer/director with over 30 years experience, my work has been seen on broadcasters like the Discovery Channel, History UK, ARTE France and Germany, SBS Australia, CTV, CBC and Global TV in Canada. Over the years I’ve produced a number of independent “passion” projects, but none to the size and scope of Fatal Flaws. I’m about to tell you why.


Just over a year ago, my country (Canada) passed laws that allow for an assisted death under certain criteria. Within months these laws have been challenged, arguing that they were too restrictive. I had heard about the ever expanding euthanasia laws in Belgium and The Netherlands which now include euthanasia for children, for people with psychiatric problems – and just as disturbing – a report that over 1000 people in Belgium were euthanized without consent in 2013. And it was all on public record. So why weren’t we hearing about these things in the media on this side of the pond? Shouldn’t these facts be raising alarm bells?

Kevin at Dutch euthanasia clinic
Some 20 years after these laws were introduced, even some of the most staunch supporters of assisted dying are questioning where these laws are taking us. The grandfather of euthanasia in the Netherlands, Dr. Boudewijn Chabot speaks of a ‘worrisome culture shift’ and that euthanasia is ‘getting out of hand’ – especially as it relates to patients with psychiatric issues.

I asked a prominent author and journalist in The Netherlands if there’s anyone telling the other side of the story. He paused and said, “no one”. I decided then and there that this film had to be made.

In what was the most surreal 7 days of my life, my crew and I traveled to The Netherlands for their annual “Euthanasia Week.” Yes there is such a thing. As part of the week long events, they had a conference for seniors and – believe it or not – a youth conference to discuss euthanasia related issues. Much of the discussion was around a government bill called “The Completed Life” where otherwise healthy people who are ‘tired of life’ could ask for a lethal prescription. To me it all sounded like a futuristic novel. Except it’s happening now and in real time.

Fatal Flaws filming in Washington
We’ve all heard the tragic and much publicized stories of people who have asked for an assisted death here in North America. Heartbreaking cases. Some of these cases have made their way to the top courts of the land to overturn longstanding criminal laws on what used to be classified as homicide. Since 1998, five countries and six US states have laws making an assisted death legal under certain criteria. Victoria, Australia is the most recent jurisdiction to adopt such a law – one that passed by two votes. Almost every country in the world is discussing some form of legalization and America is “at a tipping point”.


I’ve traveled around the globe learning about the rationale behind these laws from people on both sides of the issue. I’m told that it’s about personal autonomy and choice, however if you ask others I’ve interviewed in the film, they will tell you that ‘choice’ is an illusion and that these laws are an invitation to abuse. People have come forth with stories of elder abuse, coercion by family members, by doctors and nurses. Some of these stories have led to death by lethal injection or assisted suicide. I’ve interviewed people with a disability whose ‘quality of life’ was deemed unworthy of living by doctors who have a severely warped sense of compassion. These stories trouble me deeply.



Time for a disclaimer. This film is not out to demonize doctors, advocates – or anyone for that matter. In fact, most doctors want nothing to do with assisted death. However a small minority do, and the number is growing. Rather, this film is about the growing adoption of a new cultural philosophy, one that has the potential to wreak havoc on society’s vulnerable. And let’s face it, we are all vulnerable.

The film will endeavour to be fair to both sides. However, I will make no apology for showing the ugly reality of the ramifications of these laws. While some feel these laws are progressive, others bear witness to the irreversible emotional scars on individual lives and families. It’s high time the world heard both sides of the story.


PLEASE MAKE THIS FILM A REALITY

Between The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, and my own contributions through DunnMedia & Entertainment, we’ve been able to take the film this far. We have a few more shoots in the USA and then it’s on to writing, editing, paying for music and footage rights and of course distribution around the world. 

We need just under $100,000 to complete the film. 

Please consider making a donation by clicking HERE!

Victoria Australia parliament consents to euthanasia

This article was published by Mercatornet on November 23, 2017

By Michael Cook
If consent is so often manipulated in sexual matters, why not in ‘voluntary assisted dying’?
The Australian state of Victoria will soon legalise assisted suicide and euthanasia. On Wednesday, after a marathon 28-hour debate, the bill was finally approved in the upper house. A few amendments need to be ratified by the lower house next week, but that is expected to be a mere formality.

So, from June 19, 2019, just 18 months away, patients who have a life expectancy of less than six months, whose illness is incurable and causes intolerable suffering, are over 18 and live in Victoria will be able to request “voluntary assisted dying". 

Legalisation in Victoria has ominous implications for other Australian states and territories. Similar bills have failed only by the narrowest of margins in South Australia, Tasmania and New South Wales. The “dying with dignity” lobby will be strengthened everywhere.

Premier Daniel Andrews has consistently argued that the new law is the safest and most conservative scheme in the world.


Whether that is true or not, the law can always be amended to make it less restrictive at some stage in the future. Its six-months life expectancy requirement can be amended to 12 months; its lower age limit of 18 can be changed to 12; its exclusion of mental illness as grounds for assisted dying can be waived. Australia’s most notorious euthanasia activist, Dr Philip Nitschke, has already complained commented that the law is far too conservative.
“It’s one of the world’s most unworkable end-of-life laws, which really won’t address the needs of a growing number of people who want control at the end of life. It’s not going to change the growing demand by elderly people to have access to their own choice.”
The cornerstone of safe “voluntary assisted dying” laws everywhere is consent. “Conservatives” like Daniel Andrew insist on consent. “Radicals” like Philip Nitschke insist on consent. All supporters are sure that people who take advantage of the law will make a rational, fully informed decision to choose to die.

But there is another area of life where the notion of rational, dispassionate, fully informed consent is being shredded – sex. For decades the fundamental rule of sexual encounters between men and women was clear: women had to consent. Non-consensual sex was rape and was clearly criminal.
What the Weinstein saga shows is that powerful men easily manipulate consent; there are vast grey areas in which Yes and No lose their clarity. Actress and former investment banker Brit Marling, who was molested by Weinstein, penned an perceptive analysis for The Atlantic in an article titled “Harvey Weinstein and the Economics of Consent”:

The things that happen in hotel rooms and board rooms all over the world (and in every industry) between women seeking employment or trying to keep employment and men holding the power to grant it or take it away exist in a gray zone where words like “consent” cannot fully capture the complexity of the encounter.

Because consent is a function of power. You have to have a modicum of power to give it. In many cases women do not have that power because their livelihood is in jeopardy ...

Can anyone seriously believe that consenting to dying will be less complex than consenting to sexual encounters? No one is more vulnerable than the seriously ill, not even the Hollywood starlets victimised by Weinstein.

You have to take into account their depression, their demoralisation, their greedy relatives, their sensation of being a burden, their poor or non-existent palliative care, their social isolation, their bullying carers and a host of other pressures.

And despite the fact that the “casting couch” had been joked about for decades, the full horror of how powerful men in Hollywood manipulated “consent” did not emerge until now. Women were too afraid or ashamed to talk about it.

How long will we have to wait for similar stories to emerge from the legalisation of “voluntary assisted dying”?

Even longer? At least Weinstein’s victims are still alive to voice their complaints. The victims of euthanasia no longer have voices.

Michael Cook is editor of MercatorNet.

Belgian psychiatrists, psychologists and academics demand debate on euthanasia for psychological suffering.

This article was published on the HOPE Australia website on November 20, 2017

On October 31, 43 Belgian psychiatrists, psychologists, and academics published an open letter demanding national debate on the issue of euthanasia and mental illness. These experts in the field state that the current law is too vague, and is resulting in many uncalled-for deaths.

Wim Distelmans, the head of the Belgian euthanasia commission, has said that prominent psychiatrist Lieve Thienpont has approved the requests for assisted suicide from many patients on the basis of psychological suffering, allowing patients to be euthanised illegally. The issue did not get much exposure in Belgium until international sources began reporting it.

Thienpont denied the claims, blaming her patients:
These patients are very desperate, stressed. They say things that are not always correct.
The letter from psychiatrists, psychologists and academics came out in response to Theinpoint and those who approve euthanasia for psychological suffering, noting that there cannot be a real objective test when it comes to the assessment of what constitutes “unbearable” psychological suffering:
Euthanasia because of unbearable and futile psychological suffering is very problematic. It is about people who are not terminal and, in principle, could live for many years. Therefore, extreme caution is appropriate both clinically and legally. The essence of the case seems to us that in estimating the hopelessness of one's suffering, the subjective factor cannot be eliminated ...
The solution, say the advocates, is more stringent and specific regulations to protect at-risk Belgians:
The law does not indicate the exact criteria for unbearable and psychological suffering. Any complaint about any carelessness in this area will only end in a legal ‘no man’s land.’ 
More and more, no matter how many criteria there are, it depends simply on how an individual psychiatrist interprets or tests them, aided by the doctor's own assumptions and the patient's account of his symptoms.
The legalisation of assisted suicide in Belgium has put psychiatrists and other physicians in a difficult position in terms of their relationship with their patients. How can a doctor vow to preserve life while at the same time allow for assisted suicide? How can a medical professional whose role is to treat mental illness also deem it as a reason someone should be given lethal drugs? One experienced psychiatrist described the extraordinary tension the law places on their profession:
Strangely enough, people with less severe and readily treatable mental disorders-such as borderline personality disorders-request euthanasia more often than seriously ill patients. The offer really creates the questions. Euthanasia has become a new symptom. Often it’s a cry for help: 'Am I still worth living, or are you giving up on me?' But it is a symptom with particularly dangerous consequences... 
If you refuse to take the euthanasia question seriously, you put the relationship with the patient at risk and lose your trust... 
Since the euthanasia law there has been some kind of madness in our work. After the threat of suicide, for which you must be constantly on guard as a psychiatrist, there is now the threat of euthanasia.
If mental health professionals are confused about how they must discharge their obligations to a patient requesting euthanasia, how can anyone be clear about the law surrounding assisted suicide for psychological suffering?

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Diane Coleman's letter to the Victoria Legislature Opposing Assisted Suicide

This letter was published by Choice Is An Illusion on November 20, 2017

Diane Coleman
I am writing behalf of Not Dead Yet, a national disability rights group in the U.S. that opposes legalization of assisted suicide. We understand that a proposal in Victoria would pertain specifically to neuromuscular disabilities. This letter will focus on misdiagnosis and the uncertainty of terminal predictions by doctors, as well as the significance of breathing support for those of us with these conditions. My own experience illustrates the issues.

At the age of six I was misdiagnosed as having muscular dystrophy and my parents were told that I would die by the age of 12. A few years later I was re-diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy, a progressive neuromuscular condition which has a longer lifespan. Since age eleven, I have used a motorized wheelchair. Beginning 17 years ago I have used breathing support at night. The type of support I need is called a BiPAP. Over the years, the pressures required to sustain my breathing increased.

I am now age 64. Four years ago, the doctors determined that I do not have spinal muscular atrophy, and I am now diagnosed with another neuromuscular label, congenital myopathy. About two and a half years ago, I went into respiratory failure. Since then I have used breathing support most of the day as well as at night. If I did not use this support, I would likely have respiratory failure within a few days at most. Under most definitions, I qualify as "terminal," even though I have already lived two and a half years this way.

Throughout my adult life, I have worked full time, first as an attorney and then directing nonprofit disability related organizations. Over the last two years, I have continued to run Not Dead Yet, which has four staff and numerous volunteers across the country. I have spoken at conferences, published articles, been interviewed by at least 20 press outlets, submitted testimony in legislatures, and provided the day-to-day management an organization requires.

As a severely disabled person who depends on life-sustaining treatment, I would qualify for assisted suicide at any time if I lived where assisted suicide is legal. If I became despondent, for example if I lost my husband or my job, and decided that I wanted to die, I would not be treated the same as a nondisabled and healthy person who despaired over divorce or job loss. Where assisted suicide is legal, I would be treated completely differently due to my condition.

This is just one example of how slippery the definition of terminal really is. Under assisted suicide policies, many people with disabilities would qualify for assisted suicide and be denied the suicide prevention and other supports that nondisabled people could take for granted if they expressed a desire to die. Assisted suicide laws are inherently discriminatory against old, ill and disabled people.

We urge you to vote no on the assisted suicide bill. The dangers of mistakes and abuse are simply too high, not only for people like me, but for everyone.

Diane Coleman, JD, MBA
President/CEO
Not Dead Yet
497 State Street
Rochester, NY 14608
www.notdeadyet.org

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Victoria euthanasia Bill: "Offence to Induce Self-administration of a Voluntary Assisted Dying Substance" Is an Oxymoron and Unenforceable

This article was published by Choice is an Illusion on November 20, 2017

Oxymoron
By Margaret Dore, Esq., MBA

In the Victoria Australia euthanasia bill, Clause 86, contains the "offence to induce self-administration of a voluntary assisted dying substance." The Clause states:
A person must not, by dishonesty or undue influence, induce another person to self-administer a voluntary assisted dying substance in accordance with a self-administration permit.
This clause is too vague and uncertain to be enforced for the following reasons. 

The terms, "dishonesty" and "undue influence" are not defined in the bill. The clause, itself, is an oxymoron, i.e., a combination of contradictory and incongruous words ("dishonesty" or "undue influence" to induce another person to administer a "voluntary" substance "in accordance" with a "self-administration" permit). The offence is simply unenforceable.

Persons who assist a suicide can have an agenda

This article was published on the Choice is an Illusion website on November 18, 2017


Tammy Sawyer
By Margaret Dore, Esq., MBA

Persons assisting a suicide can have an agenda. Consider Tammy Sawyer, trustee for Thomas Middleton in Oregon. Two days after his death by assisted suicide, she sold his home and deposited the proceeds into bank accounts for her own benefit. [1]

In other US states, reported motives for assisting suicide include: the “thrill” of getting other people to kill themselves; a desire for sympathy and attention; and “wanting to see someone die.” [2]

Medical professionals too can have an agenda, for example, to hide malpractice. There is also the occasional doctor who just likes to kill people, for example, Michael Swango, now incarcerated. [3]

Footnotes

[1] KTVZ.com, “Sawyer Arraigned on State Fraud Charges,” 07/14/11.
[2] Associated Press for Minnesota, “Former nurse helped instruct man on how to commit suicide, court rules,” The Guardian, 12/28/15 (“he told police he did it ‘for the thrill of the chase’”); “Woman in texting suicide wanted sympathy, attention, prosecutor says,” CBS News, June 6, 2017; and Ben Winslow, “Teen accused of helping friend commit suicide could face trial for murder,” (Deputy Utah County Attorney argued that the defendant “wanted to see someone die”).

[3] CBSNEWS.COM STAFF, “Life in Jail for Poison Doctor, July 12, 2000; Bill Vourvoulias, Blind Eye: How the Medical Establishment Let a Doctor Get Away With Murder and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Swango

Monday, November 20, 2017

Medical Society of Delaware re-affirms its opposition to assisted suicide.

At the 228th meeting of the Medical Society of Delaware, delegates to the convention re-affirmed their opposition to assisted suicide. The summary of the meeting stated:

Dr. Prayus Tailor is President of the Medical Society. He says one of the issues on the table was an update to the society’s policy regarding physician assisted suicide. 
“We really feel that the way that we should be empowering our patients at the end of life is to provide the best care that we can to palliate and alleviate pain and suffering. We feel physician assisted suicide is fundamentally inconsistent with our role as physicians and healers,” said Tailor.
The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition supports caring for and not killing people.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

New South Wales Australia defeats euthanasia bill.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition



Congratulations to HOPE Australia and all of the caring people who are standing for the protection of vulnerable Australians.

The New South Wales (NSW) Australia euthanasia bill was defeated by a vote of 20 to 19 in the Upper House of parliament.

ABC News reported that MP's in NSW were given a free conscience vote on the euthanasia bill. According to ABC News:

Christian Democrat Fred Nile said legalisation was a dangerous move. 
"How will such a bill, once passed, impact on how we see value in life?" he said. 
Liberal backbencher Taylor Martin argued euthanasia was comparable to re-introducing the death penalty. 
"One of the main reasons why Australia stopped the barbaric practise of capital punishment is because it is so final," he said. 
"We must consider this bill through a similar lens."
Similar to the experience in the United States, when elected representatives examine the language of the legislation, they will often change their minds and vote against the bill. 

Lawyer, Margaret Dore, from Choice is an Illusion wrote an excellent evaluation of the NSW euthanasia bill.

The euthanasia bill in Victoria Australia is being debated in the Senate. I HOPE that the Senators in Victoria will examine the language of the bill and vote against it.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Assisted Suicide Is a Prescription for Abuse

Nancy Elliott
I am a former three-term State Representative in the state of New Hampshire USA. I was alarmed to see that Victoria may be close to passing a bill to legalize assisted suicide.

Four years ago, the New Hampshire House of Representatives voted down a similar bill in a bipartisan vote. The vote was an overwhelming 3 to 1 defeat, 219 to 66.*

Many representatives who initially thought that they were for the law, became uncomfortable when they studied it further. Contrary to promoting “choice” for older people, assisted suicide laws are a prescription for abuse. They empower heirs and others to pressure and abuse older people to cut short their lives. This is especially an issue when the older person has money. There is NO assisted-suicide bill that you can write to correct this huge problem.

Do not be deceived.

Nancy Elliott
Amherst, New Hampshire USA

Swiss assisted suicide deaths increase by 30% in 2015

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

The Swiss statistics office reported that there were 965 reported assisted suicide deaths in 2015 up from 742 in 2014. Earlier media reports suggested that there were 999 Swiss assisted suicide deaths in 2015. There were 86 reported assisted suicide deaths in 2000.

The Swiss statistics indicate that 539 women and 426 men died by assisted suicide compared to 279 woman and 792 men who died by suicide (not assisted). There were 67,606 total Swiss deaths in 2015.


According to Expatica.com news the number of assisted suicide deaths in Swiss nursing homes, by the Exit suicide clinic, increased from 10 deaths in 2007 to 92 in 2015. The news service reported that the Swiss association for ethics and medicine found this trend alarming and stated:
“To end lives in this way gives it [the practice of assisted suicide] an institutional seal of approval.”
In August 2015 a healthy depressed British woman died by assisted suicide in Switzerland.

Pietro D'Amico
In April 2013, Pietro D’Amico, a 62-year-old magistrate from Calabria Italy, died by assisted suicide at a suicide clinic in Basel Switzerland. His autopsy showed that he had 
a wrong diagnosis.

A 2014 Swiss assisted suicide study found that 16% of the people who died at Swiss assisted suicide clinics had no underlying illness.

In February 2014, Oriella Cazzanello, an 85 year-old healthy woman died at a Swiss suicide clinic. The letter she sent her family stated that she was unhappy about how she looked.

In May 2014, the Exit suicide clinic extended assisted suicide to healthy elderly people who live with physical or psychological pain. This decision has led to an increase in assisted deaths.

The Swiss assisted suicide statistics prove that when assisted suicide is accepted then deaths by assisted suicide will continue to increase and the reasons for assisted suicide expand.

Fatal Flaws Film: "She was euthanized without consent (in the Netherlands). They decided."


The Fatal Flaws film (Spring 2018) questions the long term effects of assisted death laws on society.

Australia is currently debating the legalization of euthanasia. Political leaders and decision makers need to see this film clip.

The most shocking story in Fatal Flaws comes from Margreet whose mother was euthanized in the Netherlands without consent. Please watch and share this film clip.



Kevin Dunn traveled to the Netherlands, throughout the United States and Canada to interview people with personal stories concerning euthanasia and assisted suicide laws.

The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition needs donations to complete this important film project (Donation link).

The first video, The Euthanasia Deception, continues to be an incredible success. We need you to enable Fatal Flaws to also be an incredible success.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Suicide prevention leader opposes legalizing euthanasia/assisted suicide in Australia.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition



Warwich Baines, a board member of a suicide prevention charity in Australia, wrote a letter that was published by Central Western Daily on November 12, 2017 under the title: Euthanasia bill enables killing of adults

Baines writes from a straight forward point of view. He states:
THE euthanasia/assisted suicide legislation currently before parliaments in Victoria and NSW are the latest in a long line of attempts to legalise the killing of adults in Australia. 
If that sounds jarring that’s because it is. 
Irrespective of the euphemism – ‘voluntary assisted dying’ is currently in vogue – what is actually being sought is a dystopian two-tier society: those whose lives we want to preserve and those to whom we are effectively saying ‘you are better off dead’.
Baines then expresses his support for improvements in palliative care, but he states:
Yet high quality palliative care does not satisfy advocates. Why? According to the NSW parliamentary working group “the fundamental principle behind the call for legislating to allow for assisted dying is to provide dignity to people who wish to pass peacefully on their own terms”.
Baines then refers to the cultural trends:
In our increasingly individualistic society, emotional appeals to absolute autonomy over our own lives are attractive. 
But we are not islands. The choices we make have consequences for others. 
It will be the weak – the lonely and the isolated – who will be vulnerable, who will find it difficult to withstand the pressure to relieve others of the burden of their existence. 
That is the reality where euthanasia has already been introduced, despite so-called safeguards. 
I am a board member of an Orange-based suicide prevention charity that seeks to care for vulnerable people. 
Please, let’s not make them even more vulnerable.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Patient's recovery convinces doctor to fight euthanasia laws.

This article was published by The Australian on November 11, 2017, link, for pdf, link.

By Cameron Stewart


Dr. Kenneth Stevens
When American doctor Kenneth Stevens heard about Victoria’s plan to introduce assisted dying for the terminally ill he couldn’t help but recall the story of his patient Jeanette Hall.

Hall, then 55, came to Stevens in 2000 after being diagnosed with inoperable colon cancer in Portland, Oregon, a state that in 1997 introduced laws enabling doctors to prescribe fatal pills to the terminally ill. 
She walked into Stevens’ office and told him she wanted to die, but Stevens, a cancer specialist, disputed the diagnosis of her original doctor.

“I told her that I believed this was potentially curable but she said ‘Dr. Stevens, you don’t understand, I voted for the law and I don’t want to go through all the treatment, I don’t want to lose my hair, I don’t want to go through all that’,’’ Stevens says.

The specialist delayed her ­request to write a prescription for the fatal drugs and instead tried to talk her out of it.


Jeanette Hall
I learned she had a son who is in the police academy and I said, ‘wouldn’t you like to see him graduate, wouldn’t you like to see him get married’ and eventually she realized she really did have something to live for,” Stevens says.

Hall, a bookkeeper and a single mother, agreed to have radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Within months, Stevens says her tumor “just melted away.” “She’s still alive 17 years later with no evidence of any recurrence of the cancer and one of her favourite phrases is ‘it’s great to be alive’,” he says.

Hall’s unusual story turned Stevens from being merely an opponent of assisted suicide into an activist against it. 
A professor emeritus and a former chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology at the Oregon Health & Sciences University in Portland, he has treated thousands of patients with cancer.

He says he came to oppose assisted suicide from his observations as a doctor, rather than from any religious standpoint.


“Actually, my first wife died 35 years ago of cancer so I’ve seen it not only from the professional side but also from the family side,” he says. 
“I continue to be against because I don’t feel that is the role of a doctor to kill a patient or to order them to die.

Hall, now 72, no longer wants to speak to the media about her story because of the attention it has garnered after it was co-opted by campaigners against assisted suicide.

But several years ago she wrote of her experience. “I did not want to suffer,” she wrote. “I wanted to do our law and I wanted Dr Stevens to help me. Instead, he encouraged me to not give up and ultimately I decided to fight the cancer. I had both chemotherapy and radiation. I am so happy to be alive.” “If Dr. Stevens had believed in assisted suicide, I would be dead. Assisted suicide should not be legal.”

When Stevens read about Victoria’s proposed assisted suicide laws he wrote to The Australian in a letter published this week.

“With the legalisation of assisted suicide, Oregon’s health plan has been empowered to offer patients suicide in lieu of treatments,’’ he wrote. “Don’t let legal assisted suicide come to Victoria.”

Victorian politicians say they have closely followed the Oregon model for the state’s voluntary assisted dying scheme, which will go before the upper house for a final vote next week.

The scheme’s authors say they were drawn to the Oregon model because after 20 years it was still regarded internationally as one of the most conservative schemes. 


Cameron Stewart is also US contributor for Sky News Australia.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Euthanasia deaths in the Netherlands increasing quickly.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition



The Guardian News published an article by Daniel Boffey concerning the increasing number of euthanasia deaths at the Levenseindekliniek (euthanasia clinic) in the Hague and in the Netherlands in general. According to the article, the number of euthanasia deaths will exceed 7000 in 2017 representing, at least, a 67% increase in deaths since 2012.
Boffey interviewed Steven Pleiter, the director of the euthanasia clinic who is hiring more staff for his death clinic. From the article:
Steven Pleiter, director at the clinic, said that in response to growing demand he was now on a recruitment drive aimed at doubling the number of doctors and nurses on his books willing to go into people’s homes to administer lethal injections to patients with conditions ranging from terminal illnesses to crippling psychiatric disorders.
Pleiter stated that he has 57 doctors on call and he may soon require 100 doctors.
“It’s the first time,” Pleiter said of the recruitment drive, sitting in his bright and airy office near the centre of The Hague, where the clinic’s neighbours include legal firms and a kindergarten. “Until today we rarely needed to search for doctors. That is changing now. We need a dramatic growth in doctors as the numbers have changed so much... 
“We ask the doctors to work eight to 16 hours a week for this organisation. A full-time job involved in the death of people is probably a bit too much, and ‘probably’ is a euphemism.”
Theo Boer
In response to Pleiter, Boffey interviewed Professor Theo Boer, who is a past member of a regional euthanasia review committee and now believes that the law has gone too far.

“Starting from 2007, the numbers increased suddenly,” Boer said. “It was as if the Dutch people needed to get used to the idea of an organised death. I know lots of people who now say that there is only one way they want to die and that’s through injection. It is getting too normal.” 
“In the beginning, 98% of cases were terminally ill patients with perhaps days to live. That’s now down to 70%.
The Guardian article brought forth interesting information, but the article fails to look deeper into the Netherlands euthanasia law.

The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) (August 3, 2017) published the data from a Netherlands euthanasia study entitled: End-of-Life Decisions in the Netherlands over 25 years.
The data from the study indicates that in 2015 there were 7254 assisted deaths (6672 euthanasia deaths, 150 assisted suicide deaths, 431 terminations of life without request) and 18,213 deaths whereby the medical decisions that were intended to bring about the death in the Netherlands.

The Netherlands 2015 euthanasia report stated that there were 5561 reported assisted deaths in 2015 and yet the data from the study indicates that there were 7254 assisted deaths in 2015.

Therefore, according to the data from the study, in 2105, 1693 (23%) of the assisted deaths were not reported and 431 assisted deaths were without request.

Since the Netherlands euthanasia law uses a voluntary self-reporting system, meaning the doctor who lethally injects the patient also submits the report and since people do not self-report abuse of the law, therefore the law enables doctors to cover-up "abuse" of the law.

Is it actually possible to know how many people are dying by euthanasia in the Netherlands? Is it actually possible to determine how many  involuntary euthanasia deaths occur in the Netherlands?

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