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Euthanasia – Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Euthanasia is a word which describes a person who chooses to end his or her life because they have diseases that cause pain, which often make them suffer. This is different from assisted suicide, which is where someone helps another person to kill themselves. It is also different from murder, where the intent is not to end the person’s suffering, but to kill them for the killer’s own ends. Euthanasia can be voluntary, where the person who dies specifically asks for help in ending their life. There are cases, where the person is not able to say that they do, or do not, wish to die. These cases are usually called non-voluntary euthanasia. Involuntary euthanasia, where someone is killed against their will, is generally regarded as murder.

Euthanasia is illegal in most countries. It is permitted in a small number of countries, such as the Netherlands and Belgium. Where it is permitted it is very tightly regulated, and it is only permitted in cases where the patient is terminally ill.

When discussing euthanasia, euthanasia is generally separated into active and passive euthanasia, and voluntary, non-voluntary and involuntary euthanasia. Many people see important differences between these different types of euthanasia, so that they can accept some types but not others.

Passive euthanasia can be described as “letting die”. When passive euthanasia occurs, a terminally ill person is allowed to die, even though treatment could have allowed them to live longer. Examples of passive euthanasia include removing life support from a patient, (such as a ventilator which is being used to keep the person alive), or not providing a patient with food or water. Active euthanasia, on the other hand, involves deliberately acting to end a person’s life. This may occur through giving them an injection of a drug that will kill them, or by giving them pills that will result in their death.[1]

Some people see passive euthanasia as a more acceptable choice, because it does not involve a deliberate act to kill. However, others argue that once someone has decided to allow another person to die, they should make it as fast and as painless as possible, and act to bring about their death. Also known as mercy killing.[2]

If someone asks to be allowed to die, or if they ask to be killed, then they have asked for voluntary euthanasia. Voluntary euthanasia is often seen as the best by people who believe in euthanasia, because it is clear that the person wants to die. If the person can not say that they wish to die, but people think that they would ask to die if they could, then it is non-voluntary euthanasia. Non-voluntary euthanasia is sometimes a choice for people who are in a coma or who are very young, as they can not say what they want to do. Involuntary euthansia is when someone is killed even though they asked not to die, or when they could have asked to die but did not.[3] Many people do not think that this is euthanasia. Instead they think that it is murder.[4]

The types of euthanasia, active/passive and voluntary/non-voluntary/involuntary can be put together. If someone asks to die, and another person gives them an injection that will kill them, then it is active voluntary euthanasia. But if someone is in a coma and is only alive because of a ventilator, and the doctors turn the ventilator off and they die, then it would be passive non-voluntary euthanasia.[5]

Some people believe that euthanasia should be allowed, and some people think that it should not be allowed.

Even if euthanasia is not a bad thing, some people believe that allowing euthanasia will result in bad things happening. If euthanasia is allowed to happen for people asking to die, people might then think that it is ok to allow euthanasia for people who are very sick but are not able to ask to die. And if that was allowed, then maybe they would allow euthanasia for people who are very sick and will not recover, but do not want to die. This is called the “slippery slope” argument.[6]

People who believe in the slippery slope argument point to times when this seems to have happened. In Germany, Adolf Hitler allowed disabled children to be killed, and called it euthanasia. People today agree that what Hitler did was very wrong, but some people think that if euthanasia was allowed it would lead to similar things happening again. So they think that it would be too big a risk to allow euthanasia at all.[6]

Other people say that this is wrong. There is a big difference between killing someone who is very sick, in pain, and asks to die, and killing a child just because they have a disability. They say that it is not true that allowing euthanasia will lead to bad things. They also say that what Hitler did was not euthanasia, and did not happen because they allowed euthanasia.[6]

Palliative care is when people who are ill are given special care to make them more comfortable. In regard to euthanasia, palliative care can be given to patients who are dying. It may include hospice care, when the patient is sent to a special hospital that is just for people who are dying, and which is meant to make their death as comfortable as possible. Palliative care can involve pain relief and help for the patient and family to come to terms with death. In some cases, doctors will give patient drugs which make them stay asleep, so that they will not feel pain.[7][8]

Palliative care is not perfect, and so it is not always seen as a replacement for euthanasia. There is still some pain, and there can be other side-effects, where the patient can still feel very sick. Palliative care is not available for all people, and not all people who wish to die through euthanasia are sick so that they will die soon some people have healthy bodies, but they are suffering in other ways, and palliative care will not always help them.[6]

The principle of double effect was first described by Thomas Aquinas over 700 years ago. It says that it is sometimes ok to do something even if a bad thing will happen if a good thing also happens, and if it was the good thing that they wanted.[9] Aquinas used the example of self defense: sometimes when they are attacked a person will kill the attacker, but the death of the attacker was not what the person was trying to do. They only wanted to protect themselves. So even though killing someone is bad, what they wanted to do protect themselves was not.[10]

Some people say that doctors may treat a person in order to reduce the pain that they are suffering, but that as a result the person will die sooner. If the doctor gives the treatment in order to help the patient die, then it is euthanasia. But if the doctor gives the treatment in order to stop the pain, and does not intend for the patient to die, then it may not be euthanasia, even if the doctor knew that the treatment would kill the patient.[10]

Suicide is when a person kills themselves. Sometimes when a person is very sick they need help to die, and if someone helps them to kill themselves, it is called assisted suicide.[11] In some countries people are allowed to help someone to kill themselves, so long as they do not kill the person,[12] and it can be seen as a more acceptable option because it must be the person’s own decision.[11] Because a second person did not kill the other person, it is not always considered to be euthanasia, as some people see an important difference between someone killing themselves and someone killing another person, and they believe that euthanasia is only when a second person kills the first.[6]

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Euthanasia – Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Euthanasia | Definition of Euthanasia by Merriam-Webster

Euthanasia is a mass noun (or noncount noun), that is, a noun used only in the singular form.

The word comes from the Greek euthanatos, which means easy death. In English, euthanasia has been used in exactly this sense since the early seventeenth century, when Francis Bacon described the phenomenon as after the fashion and semblance of a kindly & pleasant sleepe. Nowadays, the word usually refers to the means of attaining such a death.

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Euthanasia | Definition of Euthanasia by Merriam-Webster

Euthanasia, Assisted Suicide & Health Care Decisions Part 1 …

Euthanasia, Assisted Suicide & Health Care Decisions: Protecting Yourself & Your Family

Table of Contents |Part 1 |Part 2

byRita L. Marker

INTRODUCTION

The words euthanasia and assisted suicide are often used interchangeably. However, they are different and, in the law, they are treated differently. In this report, euthanasia is defined as intentionally, knowingly and directly acting to cause the death of another person (e.g., giving a lethal injection). Assisted suicide is defined as intentionally, knowingly and directly providing the means of death to another person so that the person can use that means to commit suicide (e.g., providing a prescription for a lethal dose of drugs).

Part I of this report discusses the reasons used by activists to promote changes in the law; the contradictions that the actual proposals have with those reasons; and the logical progression that occurs when euthanasia and assisted suicide are transformed into medical treatments. It explores the failure of so-called safeguards and outlines the impact that euthanasia and assisted suicide have on families and society in general.

Withholding and withdrawing medical treatment and care are not legally considered euthanasia or assisted suicide. Withholding or withdrawing food and fluids is considered acceptable removal of a medical treatment.

Part II of this report includes information about practical ways to protect oneself and loved ones during any time of incapacity and a discussion of some of the policies that have led to patients being denied care that they or their decision-makers have requested. It concludes with an examination of the ethical distinction between treatment and care.

PART I

EUTHANASIA & ASSISTED SUICIDE

MOVING THE BOUNDARIES

In 2002, the International Task Force report, Assisted Suicide: Not for Adults Only? (1) discussed euthanasia and assisted suicide for children and teens. At that time, such concerns were largely considered outside the realm of possibility.

Then, as now, assisted-suicide advocates claimed that they were only trying to offer compassionate options for competent, terminally ill adults who were suffering unbearably. By and large, their claims went unchallenged.

A crack in that carefully honed image appeared in 2004 when the Groningen Protocol elicited worldwide outrage. The primary purpose of that protocol formulated by doctors at the Groningen Academic Hospital in the Netherlands was to legally and professionally protect Dutch doctors who kill severely disabled newborns. (2)

While euthanasia for infants (infanticide) was not new, widespread discussion of it was. Dutch doctors were now explaining that it was a necessary part of pediatric care.

Also in 2004, Hollands most prestigious medical society (KNMG) urged the Health Ministry to set up a board to review euthanasia for people who had no free will, including children and individuals with mental retardation or severe brain damage following accidents. (3)

At first, it seemed that these revelations would be harmful to the euthanasia movement, but the opposite was true.

Why?

Awareness of infanticide and euthanasia deaths of other incompetent patients moved the boundaries.

Prior to the widespread realization that involuntary euthanasia was taking place, advocacy of assisted suicide for those who request it seemed to be on one end of the spectrum. Opposition to it was on the other end.

Now, the practice of involuntary euthanasia took its place as one extreme, opposition to it as the other extreme, and assisted suicide for terminally ill competent adults appeared to be in the moderate middle a very advantageous political position and expansion of the practice to others had entered the realm of respectable debate.

This repositioning has become a tool in the assisted-suicide arsenal. In May 2006, an assisted-suicide bill, patterned after Oregons law permitting assisted suicide, failed to gain approval in the British Parliament. The bills supporters immediately declared that they would reintroduce it during the next parliamentary session.

Within two weeks, Professor Len Doyal a former member of the British Medical Associations ethics committee who is considered one of Englands leading experts on medical ethics called for doctors to be able to end the lives of some patients swiftly, humanely and without guilt, even without the patients consent. (4) Doyals proposal was widely reported and, undoubtedly, when the next assisted-suicide bill is introduced in England, a measure that would permit assisted suicide only for consenting adults will appear less radical than it might have seemed prior to Doyals suggestion.

Currently, euthanasia is a medical treatment in the Netherlands and Belgium. Assisted suicide is a medical treatment in the Netherlands, Belgium and Oregon. Their advocates erroneously portray both practices as personal, private acts. However, legalization is not about the private and the personal. It is about public policy, and it affects ethics, medicine, law, families and children.

A FAMILY AFFAIR

In December 2005, ABC News World News Tonight reported, Anita and Frank go often to the burial place of their daughter Chanou. Chanou died when, with her parents consent, doctors gave her a lethal dose of morphine. Im convinced that if we meet again somewhere in heaven, her father said, shell tell us we reached the most perfect solution.'(5)

The report about the six-month-old Dutch childs death was introduced as a report on the debate over euthanizing infants. A Dutch legislator who agrees that doctors who intentionally end their tiny patients lives should not be prosecuted said, Im certainly pro-life. But Im also a human being. I think when there is extreme, unbearable suffering, then there can be extreme relief. (6)

Gone was the previous years outrage over the Groningen Protocols. Infanticide had entered the realm of respectable debate in the mainstream media. The message given to viewers was that loving parents, compassionate doctors and caring legislators favor infanticide. It left the impression that opposing such a death would be cold, unfeeling and, perhaps, intentionally cruel.

In Oregon, some assisted-suicide deaths have become family or social events.

Oregons law does not require family members to know that a loved one is planning to commit suicide with a doctors help. (7) Thus, the first knowledge of those plans could come when a family member finds the body. However, as two news features illustrate, some Oregonians who die from assisted suicide make it a teachable moment for children or a party event for friends and family.

According to the Mail Tribune (Medford, Oregon), on a sunny afternoon, Joan Lucas rode around looking at houses, then she sat in a park eating an ice cream cone. A few hours later, she committed suicide with a prescribed deadly drug overdose. Grandchildren were made to understand that Grandma Joan would be going away soon. Those who were old enough to understand were told what was happening. (8

Did these children learn from Grandma Joan that suicide is a good thing?

UCLAs student newspaper, the Daily Bruin, carried an article favoring assisted suicide. It described how Karen Janoch who committed suicide under the Oregon law, sent invitations for her suicide to about two dozen of her closest friends and family. The invitation read, You are invited to attend the actual ending of my life. (9) At the same time Californias legislature was considering an assisted-suicide bill that was virtually identical to Oregons law, UCLA students learned that suicide can be the occasion for a party.

In Oregon, assisted suicide has gone from the appalling to the appealing, from the tragic to the banal.

During the last half of 2005 and the first half of 2006, bills to legalize assisted suicide were under consideration in various states and countries including, but not limited to, Canada, Great Britain, California, Hawaii, Vermont, and Washington. All had met failure by the end of June 2006. But plans to reintroduce them with some cosmetic changes are currently underway. A brief examination of arguments used to promote them illustrates the small world nature of assisted-suicide advocacy.

TWO PILLARS OF ADVOCACY

Wherever an assisted-suicide measure is proposed, proponents arguments and strategies are similar. Invariably, promotion rests on two pillars: autonomy and the elimination of suffering.

Autonomy

Autonomy (independence and the right of self-determination) is certainly valued in modern society and patients do, and should, have the right to accept or reject medical treatment. However, those who favor assisted suicide claim that autonomy extends to the right of a patient to decide when, where, how and why to die as the following examples illustrate.

During debate over an assisted-suicide measure then pending before the British Parliament, proponents emphasized personal choice. The bill, titled The Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill, was introduced by Lord Joel Joffe. Dr. Margaret Branthwaite, a physician, barrister and former head of Englands Voluntary Euthanasia Society (recently renamed Dignity in Dying (10)), called for passage of the Joffe bill in an article in the British Medical Journal. As a matter of principle, she wrote, it reinforces current trends towards greater respect for personal autonomy. (11)

The focus on autonomy was also reflected in remarks about a plan to introduce an assisted-suicide initiative in Washington. Booth Gardner, former governor of Washington, said he plans to promote the initiative because it should be his decision when and how he dies. He told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, When I go, I want to decide. (12)

The rationale is that when, where, why and how one dies should be a matter of self-determination, a matter of independent choice, and a matter of personal autonomy.

Elimination of suffering

The second pillar of assisted-suicide advocacy is elimination of suffering. During each and every attempt to permit euthanasia and assisted suicide, its advocates stress that ending suffering justifies legalization of the practices.

California Assemblywoman Patty Berg, the co-sponsor of Californias euphemistically named Compassionate Choices Act, (13) said the assisted-suicide measure was necessary so that people would have the comfort of knowing they could escape unbearable suffering if that were to occur. (14)

In an opinion piece supporting the failed 1998 assisted-suicide initiative in Michigan, a spokesperson for those favoring the measure wrote that the patients targeted by the proposal were those who were tortured by the unbearable suffering of a slow and agonizing death. (15)

In the United Kingdom, Lord Joffe said his bill would enable those who are suffering unbearably to get medical assistance to die. (16) Testimony before the British House of Lords Select Committee studying the bill noted that, where assisted dying has been legalized, it has done so as a response to patients who were suffering. (17)

The centerpiece of the 1994 Measure 16 campaign that resulted in Oregons assisted-suicide law was a television commercial featuring Patti Rosen. Describing her daughter who had cancer, Rosen said, The pain was so great that she couldnt bear to be touched. Measure 16 would have allowed my daughter to die with dignity. (18)

When an assisted-suicide proposal that later failed was being considered by the Hawaiian legislature in 2002, a public relations consultant who was working on behalf of the bill, e-mailed a template for use in written or oral testimony. The template suggested inclusion of the phrases agonizingly painful, pain was uncontrollable, and pain beyond my understanding. (19)

During consideration of an assisted-suicide bill in Vermont, the states former governor Philip Hoff said, The last thing I would want in this world is to be around and be in pain, and have no quality of life, and be a burden to my family and others. (20) Dick Walters, chairman of Death with Dignity Vermont, said the proposal would permit a person to peacefully end suffering and hasten death. (21)

Thus, the rationale given by euthanasia and assisted-suicide proponents for legalization always includes autonomy and/or elimination of suffering. However, the laws they propose actually contradict this rationale.

CONTRADICTIONS

When proposed, laws such as those now in existence in Oregon and similar measures introduced elsewhere include conditions or requirements limiting assisted suicide to certain groups of qualified patients. A patient qualified to receive the treatment of assisted suicide must be an adult who is capable of making decisions and must be diagnosed with a terminal condition.

If one accepts the premise that assisted suicide is a good medical treatment that should be permitted on the basis of personal autonomy or elimination of suffering, other questions must be raised.

If the reason for permitting assisted suicide is autonomy, why should assisted suicide be limited to the terminally ill?

Does ones autonomy depend upon a doctors diagnosis (or misdiagnosis) of a terminal illness? If a person is not terminally ill, but is suffering whether physically, psychologically or emotionally why isnt it up to that person to decide when, why and how to die? Does a person only have autonomy if he or she has a particular condition or illness? Is autonomy a basis for the law?

If assisted suicide is a good and acceptable medical treatment for the purpose of ending suffering, why should it be limited to adults who are capable of decision-making?

Isnt it both discriminatory and cruel to deny that good and acceptable medical treatment to a child or an incompetent adult? Why is a medical treatment that has been deemed appropriate to end suffering available to an 18-year-old, but not to a 16-year-old or 17-year-old? Why is a person only eligible to have his or her suffering ended if he or she has reached an arbitrary age?

And, what of the adult who never was, or no longer is, capable of decision-making? Should that person be denied medical treatment that ends suffering? Are euthanasia and assisted-suicide laws based on the need to eliminate suffering, or not?

Establishing arbitrary requirements that must be met prior to qualifying for the medical treatment of euthanasia or assisted suicide does, without doubt, contradict the two pillars on which justification for the practices is based.

The question then must be asked: Why are those arbitrary requirements included in Oregons law and other similar proposals? The answer is simple. After a series of defeats, euthanasia and assisted-suicide proponents learned that they had to propose laws that appeared palatable.

In April 2005, Lord Joffe, the British bills sponsor, acknowledged that his bill was intended to be only the first step. During hearings regarding the measure, he said that this is the first stage and went on to explain that one should go forward in incremental stages. I believe that this bill should initially be limited. (22)

He repeated his remarks a year later when discussing hearings about his bill. I can assure you that I would prefer that the [proposed] law did apply to patients who were younger and who were not terminally ill but who were suffering unbearable, he said and added, I believe that this bill should initially be limited. (23)

STEP-BY-STEP APPROACH

Proposals for euthanasia and assisted suicide have always emanated from advocacy groups, not from any grassroots desire. Those groups learned that attempting to go too far, too fast, leads to certain defeat.

After many failed attempts, most recently those in the early 90s in Washington and California when ballot initiatives that would have permitted both euthanasia by lethal injection and assisted suicide by lethal prescription were resoundingly defeated death with dignity activists changed their strategy. They decided to take a step-by-step approach, proposing an assisted-suicide-only bill which, when passed, would serve as a model for subsequent laws. Only after several such laws were passed, would they begin to expand them. That was the strategy that led to Oregons Measure 16, the Oregon Death with Dignity Act.

Those who were most involved in the successful Oregon strategy were not new to the scene.

Cheryl K. Smith, who wrote the first draft of Oregons law, had served as a special counsel to the political action group Oregon Right to Die (ORD). Smith had been the National Hemlock Societys legal advisor after her graduation from law school in 1989 and had been a top aide to Hemlocks co-founder, Derek Humphry. While a student at the University of Iowa College of Law, Smith helped draft a Model Aid-in-Dying Act that provided for childrens lives to be terminated either at their own request or, if under 6 years of age, by parental request. (24)

Barbara Coombs Lee was Measure 16s chief petitioner. At the time, she was a vice president for a large Oregon managed care program. After the laws passage, she took over the leadership of Compassion in Dying. (25) [Note: In early 2005, Compassion in Dying merged with the Hemlock Society. The combined organization is now called Compassion and Choices.]

Coombs Lees promotion of assisted suicide and euthanasia began prior to her involvement with the Death with Dignity Act. As a legislative aide to Oregon Senator Frank Roberts in 1991, she worked on Senate Bill 114 that would have permitted euthanasia on request of a patient and, if the patient was not competent, a designated representative would have been authorized to request the patients death. (26)

Upon passage of the Oregon law in 1994, many assisted-suicide supporters were certain that other states would immediately fall in line. However, that did not occur. Between 1994 and mid-2006, assisted-suicide measures were introduced in state after state.(27) Each and every proposal failed. All of the proposals were assisted-suicide-only bills and, with one exception, (28) every one was virtually identical to the Oregon law.

Among supporters of assisted suicide and euthanasia, though, the Oregon law is seen as the model for success and is referred to in debates about assisted suicide throughout the world. For that reason, a careful examination of the Oregon experience is vital to understanding the problems with legalized assisted suicide.

OREGON

Under Oregons law permitting physician-assisted suicide, the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) previously called the Oregon Health Division (OHD) is required to collect information, review a sample of cases and publish a yearly statistical report. (29)

However, due to major flaws in the law and the states reporting system, there is no way to know for sure how many or under what circumstances patients have died from physician-assisted suicide. Statistics from official reports are particularly questionable and have left some observers skeptical about their validity.

For example, when a similar proposal was under consideration in the British Parliament, members of a House of Lords Committee traveled to Oregon seeking information regarding Oregons law for use in their deliberations. The public and press were not present during the closed-door hearings. However, the House of Lords published the committees proceedings in three lengthy volumes, which included the exact wording of questions and answers.

After hearing witnesses claim that there have been no complications associated with more than 200 assisted-suicide deaths, committee member Lord McColl of Dulwich, a surgeon, said, If any surgeon or physician had told me that he did 200 procedures without any complications, I knew that he possibly needed counseling and had no insight. We come here and I am told there are no complications. There is something strange going on. (30)

The following includes statistical data from official reports and other published information dealing with troubling aspects of the practice of assisted suicide in Oregon. Statements from the 744-page second volume of the House of Lords committee proceedings are also included. None of the included statements from the committee hearings were made by opponents of Oregons law.

OFFICIAL REPORTS

Assisted-suicide deaths reported during the first eight years

Official Reports: 246 Actual Number: Unknown

The latest annual report indicates that reported assisted-suicide deaths have increased by more than 230% since the first year of legal assisted suicide in Oregon. (31) The numbers, however, could be far greater. From the time the law went into effect, Oregon officials in charge of formulating annual reports have conceded theres no way to know if additional deaths went unreported because Oregon DHS has no regulatory authority or resources to ensure compliance with the law. (32)

The DHS has to rely on the word of doctors who prescribe the lethal drugs. (33) Referring to physicians reports, the reporting division admitted: For that matter the entire account [received from a prescribing doctor] could have been a cock-and-bull story. We assume, however, that physicians were their usual careful and accurate selves. (34)

The Death with Dignity law contains no penalties for doctors who do not report prescribing lethal doses for the purpose of suicide.

Complications occurring during assisted suicide

Official Reports: 13 (12 instances of vomiting & one patient who did not die from lethal dose.)

Actual number: Unknown

Prescribing doctors may not know about all complications since, over the course of eight years, physicians who prescribed the lethal drugs for assisted suicide were present at only 19.5% of reported deaths. (35) Information they provide might come from secondhand accounts of those present at the deaths (36) or may be based on guesswork.

When asked if there is any systematic way of finding out and recording complications, Dr. Katrina Hedberg who was a lead author of most of Oregons official reports said, Not other than asking physicians. (37) She acknowledged that after they write the prescription, the physician may not keep track of the patient. (38) Dr. Melvin Kohn, a lead author of the eighth annual report, noted that, in every case that they hear about, it is the self-report, if you will, of the physician involved. (39)

Complications contained in news reports are not included in official reports

Patrick Matheny received his lethal prescription from Oregon Health Science University via Federal Express. He had difficulty when he tried to take the drugs four months later. His brother-in-law, Joe Hayes, said he had to help Matheny die. According to Hayes, It doesnt go smoothly for everyone. For Pat it was a huge problem. It would have not worked without help. (40) The annual report did not make note of this situation.

Speaking at Portland Community College, pro-assisted-suicide attorney Cynthia Barrett described a botched assisted suicide. The man was at home. There was no doctor there, she said. After he took it [the lethal dose], he began to have some physical symptoms. The symptoms were hard for his wife to handle. Well, she called 911. The guy ended up being taken by 911 to a local Portland hospital. Revived. In the middle of it. And taken to a local nursing facility. I dont know if he went back home. He died shortly someperiod of time after that. (41)

Overdoses of barbiturates are known to cause vomiting as a person begins to lose consciousness. The patient then inhales the vomit. In other cases, panic, feelings of terror and assaultive behavior can occur from the drug-induced confusion. (42) But Barrett would not say exactly which symptoms had taken place in this instance. She has refused any further discussion of the case.

Complications are not investigated

David Prueitt took the prescribed lethal dose in the presence of his family and members of Compassion & Choices. After being unconscious for 65 hours, he awoke. It was only after his family told the media about the botched assisted suicide that Compassion & Choices publicly acknowledged the case. (43) DHS issued a release saying it has no authority to investigate individual Death with Dignity cases. (44)

Referring to DHSs ability to look into complications, Dr. Hedberg explained that we are not given the resources to investigate and not only do we not have the resources to do it, but we do not have any legal authority to insert ourselves. (45)

David Hopkins, Data Analyst for the Eighth Annual Report, said, We do not report to the Board of Medical Examiners if complications occur; no, it is not required by law and it is not part of our duty. (46)

Jim Kronenberg, the Oregon Medical Associations (OMA) Chief Operating Officer, explained that the way the law is set up there is really no way to determine that [complications occurred] unless there is some kind of disaster. [P]ersonally I have never had a report where there was a true disaster, he said. Certainly that does not mean that you should infer there has not been, I just do not know. (47)

In the Netherlands, assisted-suicide complications and problems are not uncommon. One Dutch study found that, because of problems or complications, doctors in the Netherlands felt compelled to intervene (by giving a lethal injection) in 18% of cases.(48)

This led Dr. Sherwin Nuland of Yale University School of Medicine to question the credibility of Oregons lack of reported complications. Nuland, who favors physician-assisted suicide, noted that the Dutch have had years of practice to learn ways to overcome complications, yet complications are still reported. The Dutch findings seem more credible [than the Oregon reports], he wrote. (49)

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Euthanasia, Assisted Suicide & Health Care Decisions Part 1 …

Animal euthanasia – Wikipedia

This article is about mercy killing of animals. For compassionate death in humans, see Euthanasia.

Animal euthanasia (euthanasia from Greek: ; “good death”) is the act of putting an animal to death or allowing it to die by withholding extreme medical measures. Reasons for euthanasia include incurable (and especially painful) conditions or diseases,[1] lack of resources to continue supporting the animal, or laboratory test procedures. Euthanasia methods are designed to cause minimal pain and distress. Euthanasia is distinct from animal slaughter and pest control although in some cases the procedure is the same.

In domesticated animals, this process is commonly referred to by euphemisms such as “put down” or “put to sleep”.

The methods of euthanasia can be divided into pharmacological and physical methods. Acceptable pharmacological methods include injected drugs and gases that first depress the central nervous system and then cardiovascular activity. Acceptable physical methods must first cause rapid loss of consciousness by disrupting the central nervous system. The most common methods are discussed here, but there are other acceptable methods used in different situations.[2]

Unconsciousness, respiratory then cardiac arrest follow rapidly, usually within 30seconds.[3] Observers generally describe the method as leading to a quick and peaceful death.

Some veterinarians perform a two-stage process: an initial injection that simply renders the pet unconscious and a second shot that causes death.[citation needed] This allows the owner the chance to say goodbye to a live pet without their emotions stressing the pet. It also greatly mitigates any tendency toward spasm and other involuntary movement which tends to increase the emotional upset that the pet’s owner experiences.

For large animals, the volumes of barbiturates required are considered by some to be impractical, although this is standard practice in the United States.[4] For horses and cattle, other drugs may be available. Some specially formulated combination products are available, such as Somulose (Secobarbital/Cinchocaine) and Tributame (Embutramide/Chloroquine/Lidocaine), which cause deep unconsciousness and cardiac arrest independently with a lower volume of injection, thus making the process faster, safer, and more effective.

Occasionally, a horse injected with these mixtures may display apparent seizure activity before death. This may be due to premature cardiac arrest. However, if normal precautions (e.g., sedation with detomidine) are taken, this is rarely a problem.[5] Anecdotal reports that long-term use of phenylbutazone increases the risk of this reaction are unverified.

After the animal has died, it is not uncommon for the body to have posthumous body jerks, or for the animal to have a sudden bladder outburst.

Gas anesthetics such as isoflurane and sevoflurane can be used for euthanasia of very small animals. The animals are placed in sealed chambers where high levels of anesthetic gas are introduced. Death may also be caused using carbon dioxide once unconsciousness has been achieved by inhaled anaesthetic.[6] Carbon dioxide is often used on its own for euthanasia of wild animals.[7] There are mixed opinions on whether it causes distress when used on its own, with human experiments lending support to the evidence that it can cause distress and equivocal results in non-humans.[8] In 2013, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) issued new guidelines for carbon dioxide induction, stating that a flow rate of 10% to 30% volume/min is optimal for the humane euthanization of small rodents.[9]

Carbon monoxide is often used, but some states in the US have banned its use in animal shelters: although carbon monoxide poisoning is not particularly painful, the conditions in the gas chamber are often not humane.[10]Nitrogen has been shown to be effective, although some young animals are rather resistant[11] and it currently is not widely used.

Cervical dislocation, or displacement (breaking or fracturing) of the neck, is an older yet less common method of killing small animals such as mice. Performed properly it is intended to cause as painless death as possible and has no cost or equipment involved. The handler must know the proper method of executing the movement which will cause the cervical displacement and without proper training and method education there is a risk of not causing death and can cause severe pain and suffering. It is unknown how long an animal remains conscious, or the level of suffering it goes through after a correct snapping of the neck, which is why it has become less common and often substituted with inhalants.

When intravenous injection is not possible, euthanasia drugs such as pentobarbital can be injected directly into a heart chamber or body cavity.

While intraperitoneal injection is fully acceptable (although it may take up to 15 minutes to take effect in dogs and cats[6]), an intracardiac (IC) injection may only be performed on an unconscious or deeply sedated animal. Performing IC injections on a fully conscious animal in places with humane laws for animal handling is often a criminal offense.[12]

This can be an appropriate means of euthanasia for large animals (e.g., horses, cattle, deer) if performed properly. This may be performed by means of:

The reasons for euthanasia of pets and other animals include:

Small animal euthanasia is typically performed in a veterinary clinic or hospital or in an animal shelter and is usually carried out by a veterinarian or a veterinary technician working under the veterinarian’s supervision. Often animal shelter workers are trained to perform euthanasia as well. Some veterinarians will perform euthanasia at the pet owner’s homethis is virtually mandatory in the case of large animal euthanasia. In the case of large animals which have sustained injuries, this will also occur at the site of the accident, for example, on a racecourse.

Some animal rights organizations support animal euthanasia in certain circumstances and practice euthanasia at shelters that they operate.[15]

In the U.S., for companion animals euthanized in animal shelters, 14 states prescribe intravenous injection as the required method. These laws date to 1990, when Georgia’s “Humane Euthanasia Act” became the first state law to mandate this method. Before that, gas chambers and other means were commonly employed. The Georgia law was resisted by the Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture, Tommy Irvin, who was charged with enforcing the act. In March 2007, he was sued by former State Representative Chesley V. Morton, who wrote the law, and subsequently ordered by the Court to enforce all provisions of the Act.[16]

Many pet owners choose to have their pets cremated or buried after the pet is euthanized,[17] and there are pet funeral homes that specialize in animal burial or cremation.[18] Otherwise, the animal facility will often freeze the body and subsequently send it to the local landfill.[19]

In some instances, animals euthanized at shelters or animal control agencies have been sent to meat rendering facilities[20][21][22] to be processed for use in cosmetics, fertilizer, gelatin, poultry feed, pharmaceuticals and pet food.[23] It was proposed that the presence of pentobarbital in dog food may have caused dogs to become less responsive to the drug when being euthanized.[24] However, a 2002 FDA study found no dog or cat DNA in the foods they tested, so it was theorized that the drug found in dog food came from euthanized cattle and horses. Furthermore, the level of the drug found in pet food was safe.[25]

Read more:

Animal euthanasia – Wikipedia

Euthanasia – New World Encyclopedia

Euthanasia (from Greek: -, eu, “good,” , thanatos, “death”) is the practice of terminating the life of a human being or animal with an incurable disease, intolerable suffering, or a possibly undignified death in a painless or minimally painful way, for the purpose of limiting suffering. It is a form of homicide; the question is whether it should be considered justifiable or criminal.

Euthanasia refers both to the situation when a substance is administered to a person with intent to kill that person or, with basically the same intent, when removing someone from life support. There may be a legal divide between making someone die and letting someone die. In some instances, the first is (in some societies) defined as murder, the other is simply allowing nature to take its course. Consequently, laws around the world vary greatly with regard to euthanasia and are constantly subject to change as cultural values shift and better palliative care or treatments become available. Thus, while euthanasia is legal in some nations, in others it is criminalized.

Of related note is the fact that suicide, or attempted suicide, is no longer a criminal offense in most states. This demonstrates that there is consent among the states to self determination, however, the majority of the states argue that assisting in suicide is illegal and punishable even when there is written consent from the individual. The problem with written consent is that it is still not sufficient to show self-determination, as it could be coerced; if active euthanasia were to become legal, a process would have to be in place to assure that the patient’s consent is fully voluntary.

Euthanasia has been used with several meanings:

The term euthanasia is used only in senses (6) and (7) in this article. When other people debate about euthanasia, they could well be using it in senses (1) through (5), or with some other definition. To make this distinction clearer, two other definitions of euthanasia follow:

There can be passive, non-aggressive, and aggressive euthanasia.

James Rachels has challenged both the use and moral significance of that distinction for several reasons:

To begin with a familiar type of situation, a patient who is dying of incurable cancer of the throat is in terrible pain, which can no longer be satisfactorily alleviated. He is certain to die within a few days, even if present treatment is continued, but he does not want to go on living for those days since the pain is unbearable. So he asks the doctor for an end to it, and his family joins in this request. Suppose the doctor agrees to withhold treatment. The justification for his doing so is that the patient is in terrible agony, and since he is going to die anyway, it would be wrong to prolong his suffering needlessly. But now notice this. If one simply withholds treatment, it may take the patient longer to die, and so he may suffer more than he would if more direct action were taken and a lethal injection given. This fact provides strong reason for thinking that, once the initial decision not to prolong his agony has been made, active euthanasia is actually preferable to passive euthanasia, rather than the reverse (Rachels 1975 and 1986).

There is also involuntary, non-voluntary, and voluntary euthanasia.

Mercy killing refers to killing someone to put them out of their suffering. The killer may or may not have the informed consent of the person killed. We shall use the term mercy killing only when there is no consent. Legally, mercy killing without consent is usually treated as murder.

Murder is intentionally killing someone in an unlawful way. There are two kinds of murder:

In most parts of the world, types (1) and (2) murder are treated identically. In other parts, type (1) murder is excusable under certain special circumstances, in which case it ceases to be considered murder. Murder is, by definition, unlawful. It is a legal term, not a moral one. Whether euthanasia is murder or not is a simple question for lawyers”Will you go to jail for doing it or won’t you?”

Whether euthanasia should be considered murder or not is a matter for legislators. Whether euthanasia is good or bad is a deep question for the individual citizen. A right to die and a pro life proponent could both agree “euthanasia is murder,” meaning one will go to jail if he were caught doing it, but the right to die proponent would add, “but under certain circumstances, it should not be, just as it is not considered murder now in the Netherlands.”

The term “euthanasia” comes from the Greek words eu and thanatos, which combined means good death. Hippocrates mentions euthanasia in the Hippocratic Oath, which was written between 400 and 300 B.C.E. The original Oath states: To please no one will I prescribe a deadly drug nor give advice which may cause his death.”

Despite this, the ancient Greeks and Romans generally did not believe that life needed to be preserved at any cost and were, in consequence, tolerant of suicide in cases where no relief could be offered to the dying or, in the case of the Stoics and Epicureans, where a person no longer cared for his life.

The English Common Law from the 1300s until today also disapproved of both suicide and assisting suicide. It distinguished a suicide, who was by definition of unsound mind, from a felo-de-se or “evildoer against himself,” who had coolly decided to end it all and, thereby, perpetrated an infamous crime. Such a person forfeited his entire estate to the crown. Furthermore his corpse was subjected to public indignities, such as being dragged through the streets and hung from the gallows, and was finally consigned to “ignominious burial,” and, as the legal scholars put it, the favored method was beneath a crossroads with a stake driven through the body.

Since the nineteenth century, euthanasia has sparked intermittent debates and activism in North America and Europe. According to medical historian Ezekiel Emanuel, it was the availability of anesthesia that ushered in the modern era of euthanasia. In 1828, the first known anti-euthanasia law in the United States was passed in the state of New York, with many other localities and states following suit over a period of several years.

Euthanasia societies were formed in England, in 1935, and in the U.S., in 1938, to promote aggressive euthanasia. Although euthanasia legislation did not pass in the U.S. or England, in 1937, doctor-assisted euthanasia was declared legal in Switzerland as long as the person ending the life has nothing to gain. During this period, euthanasia proposals were sometimes mixed with eugenics.

While some proponents focused on voluntary euthanasia for the terminally ill, others expressed interest in involuntary euthanasia for certain eugenic motivations (targeting those such as the mentally “defective”). Meanwhile, during this same era, U.S. court trials tackled cases involving critically ill people who requested physician assistance in dying as well as mercy killings, such as by parents of their severely disabled children (Kamisar 1977).

Prior to World War II, the Nazis carried out a controversial and now-condemned euthanasia program. In 1939, Nazis, in what was code named Action T4, involuntarily euthanized children under three who exhibited mental retardation, physical deformity, or other debilitating problems whom they considered “unworthy of life. This program was later extended to include older children and adults.

Leo Alexander, a judge at the Nuremberg trials after World War II, employed a “slippery slope” argument to suggest that any act of mercy killing inevitably will lead to the mass killings of unwanted persons:

The beginnings at first were a subtle shifting in the basic attitude of the physicians. It started with the acceptance of the attitude, basic in the euthanasia movement, that there is such a thing as life not worthy to be lived. This attitude in its early stages concerned itself merely with the severely and chronically sick. Gradually, the sphere of those to be included in this category was enlarged to encompass the socially unproductive, the ideologically unwanted, the racially unwanted and finally all non-Germans.

Critics of this position point to the fact that there is no relation at all between the Nazi “euthanasia” program and modern debates about euthanasia. The Nazis, after all, used the word “euthanasia” to camouflage mass murder. All victims died involuntarily, and no documented case exists where a terminal patient was voluntarily killed. The program was carried out in the closest of secrecy and under a dictatorship. One of the lessons that we should learn from this experience is that secrecy is not in the public interest.

However, due to outrage over Nazi euthanasia crimes, in the 1940s and 1950s, there was very little public support for euthanasia, especially for any involuntary, eugenics-based proposals. Catholic church leaders, among others, began speaking against euthanasia as a violation of the sanctity of life.

Nevertheless, owing to its principle of double effect, Catholic moral theology did leave room for shortening life with pain-killers and what would could be characterized as passive euthanasia (Papal statements 1956-1957). On the other hand, judges were often lenient in mercy-killing cases (Humphrey and Wickett, 1991, ch.4).

During this period, prominent proponents of euthanasia included Glanville Williams (The Sanctity of Life and the Criminal Law) and clergyman Joseph Fletcher (“Morals and medicine”). By the 1960s, advocacy for a right-to-die approach to voluntary euthanasia increased.

A key turning point in the debate over voluntary euthanasia (and physician-assisted dying), at least in the United States, was the public furor over the case of Karen Ann Quinlan. In 1975, Karen Ann Quinlan, for reasons still unknown, ceased breathing for several minutes. Failing to respond to mouth-to mouth resuscitation by friends she was taken by ambulance to a hospital in New Jersey. Physicians who examined her described her as being in “a chronic, persistent, vegetative state,” and later it was judged that no form of treatment could restore her to cognitive life. Her father asked to be appointed her legal guardian with the expressed purpose of discontinuing the respirator which kept Karen alive. After some delay, the Supreme Court of New Jersey granted the request. The respirator was turned off. Karen Ann Quinlan remained alive but comatose until June 11, 1985, when she died at the age of 31.

In 1990, Jack Kevorkian, a Michigan physician, became infamous for encouraging and assisting people in committing suicide which resulted in a Michigan law against the practice in 1992. Kevorkian was later tried and convicted in 1999, for a murder displayed on television. Meanwhile in 1990, the Supreme Court approved the use of non-aggressive euthanasia.

Suicide or attempted suicide, in most states, is no longer a criminal offense. This demonstrates that there is consent among the states to self determination, however, the majority of the states postulate that assisting in suicide is illegal and punishable even when there is written consent from the individual. Let us now see how individual religions regard the complex subject of euthanasia.

In Catholic medical ethics, official pronouncements tend to strongly oppose active euthanasia, whether voluntary or not. Nevertheless, Catholic moral theology does allow dying to proceed without medical interventions that would be considered “extraordinary” or “disproportionate.” The most important official Catholic statement is the Declaration on Euthanasia (Sacred Congregation, Vatican 1980).

The Catholic policy rests on several core principles of Catholic medical ethics, including the sanctity of human life, the dignity of the human person, concomitant human rights, and due proportionality in casuistic remedies (Ibid.).

Protestant denominations vary widely on their approach to euthanasia and physician assisted death. Since the 1970s, Evangelical churches have worked with Roman Catholics on a sanctity of life approach, though the Evangelicals may be adopting a more exceptionless opposition. While liberal Protestant denominations have largely eschewed euthanasia, many individual advocates (such as Joseph Fletcher) and euthanasia society activists have been Protestant clergy and laity. As physician assisted dying has obtained greater legal support, some liberal Protestant denominations have offered religious arguments and support for limited forms of euthanasia.

Not unlike the trend among Protestants, Jewish movements have become divided over euthanasia since the 1970s. Generally, Orthodox Jewish thinkers oppose voluntary euthanasia, often vigorously, though there is some backing for voluntary passive euthanasia in limited circumstances (Daniel Sinclair, Moshe Tendler, Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, Moshe Feinstein). Likewise, within the Conservative Judaism movement, there has been increasing support for passive euthanasia. In Reform Judaism responsa, the preponderance of anti-euthanasia sentiment has shifted in recent years to increasing support for certain passive euthanasia.

In Theravada Buddhism, a monk can be expelled for praising the advantages of death, even if they simply describe the miseries of life or the bliss of the afterlife in a way that might inspire a person to commit suicide or pine away to death. In caring for the terminally ill, one is forbidden to treat a patient so as to bring on death faster than would occur if the disease were allowed to run its natural course (Buddhist Monastic Code I: Chapter 4).

In Hinduism, the Law of Karma states that any bad action happening in one lifetime will be reflected in the next. Euthanasia could be seen as murder, and releasing the Atman before its time. However, when a body is in a vegetative state, and with no quality of life, it could be seen that the Atman has already left. When avatars come down to earth they normally do so to help out humankind. Since they have already attained Moksha they choose when they want to leave.

Muslims are against euthanasia. They believe that all human life is sacred because it is given by Allah, and that Allah chooses how long each person will live. Human beings should not interfere in this. Euthanasia and suicide are not included among the reasons allowed for killing in Islam.

“Do not take life, which Allah made sacred, other than in the course of justice” (Qur’an 17:33).

“If anyone kills a personunless it be for murder or spreading mischief in the landit would be as if he killed the whole people” (Qur’an 5:32).

The Prophet said: “Amongst the nations before you there was a man who got a wound, and growing impatient (with its pain), he took a knife and cut his hand with it and the blood did not stop till he died. Allah said, ‘My Slave hurried to bring death upon himself so I have forbidden him (to enter) Paradise'” (Sahih Bukhari 4.56.669).

The debate in the ethics literature on euthanasia is just as divided as the debate on physician-assisted suicide, perhaps more so. “Slippery-slope” arguments are often made, supported by claims about abuse of voluntary euthanasia in the Netherlands.

Arguments against it are based on the integrity of medicine as a profession. In response, autonomy and quality-of-life-base arguments are made in support of euthanasia, underscored by claims that when the only way to relieve a dying patient’s pain or suffering is terminal sedation with loss of consciousness, death is a preferable alternativean argument also made in support of physician-assisted suicide.

To summarize, there may be some circumstances when euthanasia is the morally correct action, however, one should also understand that there are real concerns about legalizing euthanasia because of fear of misuse and/or overuse and the fear of the slippery slope leading to a loss of respect for the value of life. What is needed are improvements in research, the best palliative care available, and above all, people should, perhaps, at this time begin modifying homicide laws to include motivational factors as a legitimate defense.

Just as homicide is acceptable in cases of self-defense, it could be considered acceptable if the motive is mercy. Obviously, strict parameters would have to be established that would include patients’ request and approval, or, in the case of incompetent patients, advance directives in the form of a living will or family and court approval.

Mirroring this attitude, there are countries and/or statessuch as Albania (in 1999), Australia (1995), Belgium (2002), The Netherlands (2002), the U.S. state of Oregon, and Switzerland (1942)that, in one way or other, have legalized euthanasia; in the case of Switzerland, a long time ago.

In others, such as UK and U.S., discussion has moved toward ending its illegality. On November 5, 2006, Britain’s Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists submitted a proposal to the Nuffield Council on Bioethics calling for consideration of permitting the euthanasia of disabled newborns. The report did not address the current illegality of euthanasia in the United Kingdom, but rather calls for reconsideration of its viability as a legitimate medical practice.

In the U.S., recent Gallup Poll surveys showed that more than 60 percent of Americans supported euthanasia (Carroll 2006; Moore 2005) and attempts to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide resulted in ballot initiatives and legislation bills within the United States in the last 20 years. For example, Washington voters saw Ballot Initiative 119 in 1991, California placed Proposition 161 on the ballot in 1992, Michigan included Proposal B in their ballot in 1998, and Oregon passed the Death with Dignity Act. The United States Supreme Court has ruled on the constitutionality of assisted suicide, in 2000, recognizing individual interests and deciding how, rather than whether they will die.

Perhaps a fitting conclusion of the subject could be the Japanese suggestion of the Law governing euthanasia:

All links retrieved August 10, 2017.

Autopsy Brain death Clinical death Euthanasia Persistent vegetative state Terminal illness

Immortality Infant mortality Legal death Maternal death Mortality rate

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Euthanasia – New World Encyclopedia

Euthanasia Wisconsin Right to Life – wrtl.org

It has been said that if a fence is built around something, one should learn why the fence is there before dismantling it. For thousands of years, in virtually every culture, a legal fence has prohibited euthanasia and treated it as homicide.

Current trends indicate a willingness to dismantle this protective fence, picket by picket, fueled by the desire for patient self-determination, death with dignity, and the right to control the time of death.

The first picket for which removal is advocated is to allow someone to voluntarily choose death and have someone else administer it. What harm would there be, the argument goes, if the choice is freely made, strictly regulated, and achieves a good end namely, relief from suffering or choosing ones own time?

Perhaps you are persuaded by this reasoning. It is important for you to understand why this rationale is flawed and puts many vulnerable people at risk.

Shouldnt euthanasia be legal if a patient freely requests death?This argument might seem reasonable to you. Supporters of euthanasia argue that the right of a competent patient to make medical treatment decisions should include the right to request and receive death by lethal injection.

There are dangers, however, even when patients are allowed to freely request euthanasia:

Could we just legalize voluntary euthanasia and stop there?The answer is clearly NO for legal, moral and practical reasons.

Legal:Courts all over the United States have already moved from recognizing the right of competent patients to refuse medical treatment to granting that benefit to those unable or unwilling to make the decision for themselves. The same legal principles would apply if voluntary euthanasia were available. For example, if a person not in pain can request and receive a lethal injection, then how can a request be denied to a person with mental retardation perceived to be suffering? The law will not allow such an inequity to stand.

Moral:If killing a person because he or she is suffering is morally justifiable, then it is equally moral for someone else to make the decision for a person who is incapacitated and unable to do so.

Practical:Did you know that doctors in Nazi Germany killed up to 250,000 people who were deemed unfit? These doctors added more and more people into the unfit category, including those with mental retardation, mental illness, epilepsy, and bed wetters. The experience in the Netherlands has been the same. This country initially approved only voluntary euthanasia and assisted suicide which rapidly developed to include family members making death decisions for those who are incapacitated. The Netherlands recently adopted guidelines allowing parents to consent to direct killing of newborn infants with disabilities.

Shouldnt euthanasia be available for people who are in pain?No one wants to be in pain or see their loved ones in pain. This is a very real fear you may have. Fortunately, we live in a time when medicine has made great strides to manage pain. It is important to have a medical team who understands how to relieve pain.

The Wisconsin Cancer Pain Initiative has been working for many years to teach medical professionals how to relieve pain. Please clickhttp://aspi.wisc.edu/wpi/to visit their web site.

The Alliance of State Pain Initiatives (ASPI) has an excellent booklet with information for patients on how to discuss pain symptoms with their doctor. The booklet can be found atwww.aspi.wisc.edu/CPCBR.htm.

In Oregon, where assisted suicide is legal, the most important reasons people report for requesting suicide is not pain but loss of autonomy and fear of incapacity. We hope after reviewing this information that you will not use pain as a reason to support euthanasia.

What other reasons are promoted for using euthanasia? Make no mistake: while proponents of euthanasia sell the act by talking about people who are in severe pain, they have no intention of stopping at pain or even terminal illness.

A professor from Brown University, Jacob M. Appel, wrote in the May-June 2007 issue of the Hastings Center Report that assisted suicide should be available to people who suffer from repeated bouts of severe depression. This concept is finding support among mainstream commentators who favor assisted suicide, calling it rational suicide. They reason that mental suffering can be just as great as physical suffering so people should be able to avail themselves of death to relieve an unbearable life of mental suffering. These same arguments can be applied to euthanasia.

This rationale is known as the slippery slope. Once you open the door for killing of patients for one reason, it is nearly impossible to limit the right to that one circumstance. Jack Kevorkian, a Michigan doctor who assisted in the deaths of over 130 people, helped people to kill themselves even if they were not dying. In the Netherlands, legalized euthanasia for terminal illness has been followed by recognition that it is needed for mental illness. The Netherlands has also extended the euthanasia right to newborn infants with disabilities.

How would people be affected if euthanasia is legalized?You and your loved ones will certainly be affected. The practice of medicine would change because healing and killing would become equally valid goals of the medical profession. If death becomes a legal right, doctors will feel obligated to offer death as an option to all of their patients.

Those at risk of being killed without consent or against their own wishes would become fearful of seeing a physician, being hospitalized, or entering a nursing home. You would view medical professionals and even your own family members with suspicion, fearing that they will choose death by lethal injection without your consent or even against your wishes.

Who opposes legalization of assisted suicide and euthanasia?The driving force in opposition to legalization of euthanasia and assisted suicide has been medical and disability rights groups. The American Medical Association has an official position in opposition to legalization. Disability rights groups are opposed because they recognize that people with disabilities are potential victims of these practices.

In California, state and national Latino organizations worked with a coalition to defeat the proposed assisted suicide law there.

Right-to-life groups and major church denominations also worked to defeat these measures.

For more information on euthanasia, please visitwww.nightingalealliance.org.

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Euthanasia Wisconsin Right to Life – wrtl.org

Whitfield animal shelter allowing public into kennel area, changing method of euthanasia – The Daily Citizen

The covering on the fence has been taken down. Animal rescue groups and other members of the public can once again go into the kennel area.

It has been less than two weeks since Whitfield County Animal Control director Don Allen Garrett’s last day at the shelter and some of the controversial policies implemented in his final months have been reversed or significantly modified.

Former Murray County Animal Shelter director Diane Franklin, who also worked for several years at the Whitfield shelter, was brought in as interim director and has made a number of changes. For one, the public can now go back into the kennel area.

“I want to do what we can do to get these animals adopted in a positive way, and I think letting the rescue groups get back in there and see the dogs will help us do that,” said Franklin.

In May, the shelter barred the animal rescue groups, and the public, from going back into the kennels. Previously, dog owners and members of rescue groups could go back into the kennel area to look at the animals. County officials said that move was prompted by safety and liability concerns about having people so close to the dogs.

Franklin says there are still some safety concerns.

“That’s why we will require anyone going into the back to be accompanied by a staff member,” she said. “And we are working on some liability waivers they will have to sign.”

Board of Commissioners Chairman Lynn Laughter describes the new policy as a “modification” of the policy of not allowing people into the back, not a reversal.

“They can go in the back, but they have to be accompanied by a staff member. Previously, we were allowing them to go into the back unescorted. This strikes a good balance,” she said.

Jan Eaton of Tri State Pet Rescue in Blue Ridge had criticized the policy of not allowing rescue groups into the back, saying it made their work more difficult. She said she welcomed the new policy.

“I can only speak for myself. But I would prefer to have a staff member with me when I go into the back, so I can ask questions about the dogs,” she said.

The new policy seems to be similar to those in surrounding counties. Officials with animal shelters in Gordon County, Murray County and Walker County say they do allow members of rescue groups and pet owners back into the kennel areas but only when supervised by staff.

“I do have some concerns about people other than the staff being in the back,” said Commissioner Roger Crossen. “There is the possibility they can be bit. But I feel better that they are escorted by a staff member. I’m one of those people who thinks we should let our department heads do their jobs, and if she thinks this is a workable policy, I think we should let her implement it.”

Franklin has also taken down the covering that was placed on the shelter fence in July.

“I moved that to a pen that I am using,” she said. “If you want to come out here and adopt a dog you need to be able to interact with that dog. By putting the screen around that pen, we let the dog devote his attention to the person thinking about adopting it. But it is no longer blocking public view.”

Earlier this month, because of questions about training, the Georgia Department of Agriculture blocked shelter staff from euthanizing animals. County Administrator Mark Gibson says he expects the department to certify a staff member to perform euthanasia soon.

Gibson says that going forward the staff will only euthanize animals by giving them an intravenous (IV) injection. State law permits three methods to euthanize animals, in order of preference: IV, intraperitoneal injection (into the body cavity) and intercardial injection. In the past, animal welfare groups have criticized the shelter for over-reliance on intercardial injections, sometimes called the heart stick, the least preferred method.

“I am so glad to hear they are only going to use IV,” said Eaton. “We don’t want to see any animal euthanized. But if it has to be done, we want them to use the preferred method.”

Laughter says the shelter did not violate the law by using intercardial injections and it was done humanely.

“I have witnessed them doing it. The animal was asleep when it was done. It did not suffer,” she said.

But she added that if IV is what the state prefers that is what the shelter will use going forward.

Garrett retired earlier this month after some 25 years as animal control director. His last official day is Sept. 30, but officials say his last day actually at the shelter was Aug. 14. Gibson says Garrett is using unused paid time off until his official separation date. His retirement came less than two weeks after the state pulled the shelter’s ability to euthanize. But officials say he was not forced out.

Garrett could not be reached for comment, and he did not file a resignation letter. His personnel file shows he routinely received solid performance reviews from county administrators over the years. But it also shows that in 2014, Garrett was suspended for five days without pay after a dog at the shelter was mistakenly euthanized before the 10-day hold on the animal was up. And in May 2015, Garrett received a formal reprimand from Gibson for failing on several occasions to make weekly deposits of all funds received at the animal shelter as he had been instructed to do the previous August.

“In addition, although not reprimanded for this particular aspect of your job, you should post either animals eligible for adoption or animals that have been adopted on social media, namely Facebook, as well as on a section of our county website which is conspicuous as possible as determined by IT with my approval,” the reprimand states.

In the file, there is an August 2014 memo from Gibson to Garrett directing him to charge the same amount to everyone who picks up an animal at the shelter, develop a uniform fee schedule for services, to record all payments and to bring all receipts to the county finance department each week. There is also an April 2015 memo from Assistant Finance Director Melva Andrews to Finance Director Alicia Vaughn showing the dates that Garrett actually did make such deposits. It shows that he would sometimes go up to five weeks without delivering receipts.

Gibson says Franklin will serve as interim director until a permanent director is hired but says he does not know when that will be.

“As to a search for a permanent director, the board (of commissioners) will take up that issue as soon as we are able, but the immediate plan is to stabilize operations to provide the best service for taxpayers. When the board decides when the search begins, I don’t believe a time limit may be put on it at this time because we don’t want to limit ourselves by time in order to find just anyone able to perform the requirements of the position,” he said.

More here:

Whitfield animal shelter allowing public into kennel area, changing method of euthanasia – The Daily Citizen

‘We’re all gonna die’: Senior citizens weigh in on euthanasia – Newshub

Euthanasia is a subject with no definitive ethical consensus.

Despite two attempts to pass legislation to legalise euthanasia, the practice is still illegal in New Zealand.

But for many nations across the globe the right to decide when you die has been instantiated into law.

Newshub spoke to advocates from New Zealand on both sides of the argument, before heading to Eden Village to ask the elderly how they feel.

We spoke to advocates from New Zealand on both sides of the argument

Chris O’Brien is President of the Right to Life organisation

“Right to Life opposes the decriminalisation of both Euthanasia and Physician Assisted suicide for the following reasons:

“We believe that it is a watershed issue. Once decriminalised for any category of person then it becomes a right, in fact a human right. Human rights by their very nature are universal.

“So no matter what safeguards may be inherent in any legislation we can be sure that those safeguards will over time be breached.

“This is particularly obvious in the case of the The Netherlands where Euthanasia was decriminalised in 2002. The Dutch started with legislation that allowed Euthanasia only for those patients who were considered to be suffering unbearable pain and with no hope of cure.

“Since then an ever increasing number of conditions have been added allowing for persons who are eligible for euthanasia.

“Until we arrive at the situation today where the Parliament of that country is now seriously considering Euthanasia as an option for those who are not terminally ill, and in fact simply believe they have completed their lives.

“Here lies the danger. In far less than two decades look what they are proposing? Is this what we want for New Zealand? We we can be certain that regardless of all the good intentions in the world, euthanasia once decriminalised will become un-manageable.

“Right to Life believes that Euthanasia must never be decriminalized, there no exceptions. To do so would put at risk those who are vulnerable, especially the elderly, the disabled and those who have dementia or are mentally ill.

“There are no safeguards that can effectively protect the vulnerable from coercion and exploitation.

“We already have a significant elder abuse problem and the decriminalising of Euthanasia and allowing for Physician Assisted Suicide is going to make the elderly even more vulnerable, especially given our rapidly ageing population and rising health care costs.

“Two adages. Firstly; hard cases make bad laws. Secondly; the law is a powerful educator of the public conscience. If New Zealand goes down this path then what we are saying is that suicide is a solution to a problem.

“How can we, on one hand advocate for suicide prevention, while on the other, advocate suicide and euthanasia as a solution?

“This is particularly troublesome given the very high rate of youth suicide in New Zealand.

“Doctors are healers not killers and the fact that the NZMA and other medical groups oppose euthanasia should be enough to put a stop to this proposal.

“Right to Life believes that those who are pushing for Euthanasia are well resourced, well educated and are people who are used to autonomy and being in control of their lives. They want to maintain that control right up to arranging their own deaths.

“We ask when does their ‘right’ to have a doctor kill them trump the right of the many thousands of vulnerable people whose lives will be increasingly at risk, if decriminalisation occurs?

“Right to Life believes that instead of proposing that doctors should be able to kill their patients, greater efforts should be being put into ensuring that our palliative care systems and delivery continues to be world class and to develop and be available to all.”

David Barber represents the End of Life Choice organisation

“I have seen loved ones die in pain, with unbearable suffering and total loss of dignity, being reliant on carers to feed, wash, dress and toilet them.

“Waiting for a pain-racked death to end their suffering is I believe an intolerable situation no human should have to bear.

“Everyone should be able to end their lives painlessly and with dignity. We allow that for animals – why not humans?

“I would only stop campaigning for voluntary euthanasia or end-of-life choice if the law was changed to allow medical assistance to die for those who request it.”

With all this in mind we decided to ask the elderly at Eden Village what they felt about the matter.

Watch the video.

Newshub.

Read more:

‘We’re all gonna die’: Senior citizens weigh in on euthanasia – Newshub

Owner seeks lawyer as dog faces euthanasia – The Recorder

The Athol man whose dog was ordered by the Athol Selectboard to be euthanized said he is working on getting money to hire a Beverly-based law firm that defends dogs and their owners.

Eric F. Zewiey, 53, of 399 Unity Ave., said he wants to recruit the legal services of Jeremy Cohen of Boston Dog Lawyers, but there is a $5,750 fee required.

The Athol Selectboard voted last month to have Lillie, Zewieys pit bull, put down by a veterinarian, as allowed by state law, after the dog reportedly bit a woman on Feb. 11, 2016, and then a 15-year-old boy who was out jogging on June 12. The recommendation for euthanization came from Animal Control Officer Jennifer Arsenault, who said Lillie has also attacked several dogs.

The vote came three months after the Selectboard deemed the dog dangerous and ordered it to be restrained at all times.

Zewiey had until July 31 to file an appeal in Orange District Court. He insists he made the deadline, but Clerk Magistrate Joella E. Fortier disputes this. Clerks at the courthouse said there is no record of any appeal for a dog euthanization order. They add they found Zewieys check but didnt know what it was for and returned it by mail.

Zewiey said the court returned to him the $195 fee, but he didnt understand why. Fortier said it is because there is no appeal before the court.

Contending he filed the required paperwork with the check that was returned, Zewiey said the town and court have mishandled his situation.

This is a matter of life and death, he said, adding that courthouse employees have not been helpful. This isnt a (expletive) parking ticket.

Zewiey referred to Lillie as a family member.

See the rest here:

Owner seeks lawyer as dog faces euthanasia – The Recorder

Dutch Couple Chooses Euthanasia – Valley News – Valley News

Nic and Trees Elderhorst knew exactly how they wanted to die.

They were both 91 years old and in declining health. Nic Elderhorst suffered a stroke in 2012 and more recently, his wife, Trees Elderhorst, was diagnosed with dementia, according to the Dutch newspaper, De Gelderlander.

Neither wanted to live without the other, or leave this world alone.

So the two, who lived in Didam, a town in the eastern part of the Netherlands, and had been together 65 years, shared a last word, and a kiss, then died last month hand-in-hand in a double euthanasia allowed under Dutch law, according to De Gelderlander.

Dying together was their deepest wish, their daughters told the newspaper, according to an English translation.

The Netherlands became the first country to legalize euthanasia in 2002, allowing physicians to assist ailing patients in ending their lives without facing criminal prosecution.

Euthanasia, in which a physician terminates a patients life at his or her request, is legal in a few countries, including Belgium, Colombia and Luxembourg. Physician-assisted suicide, in which a doctor prescribes lethal drugs that a patient may take to end his or her life, is permitted in a few others, including in certain states in the United States, according to ProCon.org, a nonprofit organization that researches countries legislation on the issue.

We are pleased that we have in the Netherlands this humane and carefully executed legislation that allows the honorable wishes of these two people whose fate was painful and hopeless, Dick Bosscher, of the Dutch Association for a Voluntary End of Life (NVVE), said in a statement to The Washington Post. He said the Elderhorsts belonged to NVVE, a 165,000-member organization for euthanasia and assisted suicide in the Netherlands.

In recent years, apparent double-suicides and murder-suicides have been capturing worldwide attention amid an emotional right-to-die debate couples from Florida to Paris reportedly ending their lives together.

Assisted suicide has summoned up deep religious and ethical concerns among critics.

In the United States, the subject was widely debated in 2014, when a 29-year-old woman who had a fatal brain tumor moved from California to Oregon, where she could legally seek medical aid to end her life. California has since enacted its End of Life Option Act, joining a small number of states where it is legal.

Even in the Netherlands, according to Bosscher with NVVE, the Elderhorsts case is rare in that both of them were able to meet the criteria for euthanasia under the Dutch Termination of Life on Request and Assisted Suicide (Review Procedures) Act. Euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide can be carried out only when the patients request is voluntary and well thought-out, the patient is in lasting and unbearable suffering and there are no other solutions, among other things.

Research published this month in the New England Journal of Medicine revealed that euthanasia and physician-assisted suicides accounted for 4.5 percent of deaths in the Netherlands in 2015, up from 1.7 percent in 1990, before it was legal. The 25-year review found that most patients who received assistance had serious illnesses.

It looks like patients are now more willing to ask for euthanasia and physicians are more willing to grant it, lead author Agnes Van der Heide, of Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam, told the Associated Press.

However, Bosscher said that there are more than 15,000 requests for euthanasia each year in the Netherlands and that only about 6,000 of them are granted.

The Elderhorsts discussed their options and submitted requests for euthanasia, a year-long process their daughters called an intense time, according to De Gelderlander.

The couple, who had even planned their own funerals, died July 4.

Read the rest here:

Dutch Couple Chooses Euthanasia – Valley News – Valley News

Euthanasia, Assisted Suicide & Health Care Decisions Part 1 …

Euthanasia, Assisted Suicide & Health Care Decisions: Protecting Yourself & Your Family

Table of Contents |Part 1 |Part 2

byRita L. Marker

INTRODUCTION

The words euthanasia and assisted suicide are often used interchangeably. However, they are different and, in the law, they are treated differently. In this report, euthanasia is defined as intentionally, knowingly and directly acting to cause the death of another person (e.g., giving a lethal injection). Assisted suicide is defined as intentionally, knowingly and directly providing the means of death to another person so that the person can use that means to commit suicide (e.g., providing a prescription for a lethal dose of drugs).

Part I of this report discusses the reasons used by activists to promote changes in the law; the contradictions that the actual proposals have with those reasons; and the logical progression that occurs when euthanasia and assisted suicide are transformed into medical treatments. It explores the failure of so-called safeguards and outlines the impact that euthanasia and assisted suicide have on families and society in general.

Withholding and withdrawing medical treatment and care are not legally considered euthanasia or assisted suicide. Withholding or withdrawing food and fluids is considered acceptable removal of a medical treatment.

Part II of this report includes information about practical ways to protect oneself and loved ones during any time of incapacity and a discussion of some of the policies that have led to patients being denied care that they or their decision-makers have requested. It concludes with an examination of the ethical distinction between treatment and care.

PART I

EUTHANASIA & ASSISTED SUICIDE

MOVING THE BOUNDARIES

In 2002, the International Task Force report, Assisted Suicide: Not for Adults Only? (1) discussed euthanasia and assisted suicide for children and teens. At that time, such concerns were largely considered outside the realm of possibility.

Then, as now, assisted-suicide advocates claimed that they were only trying to offer compassionate options for competent, terminally ill adults who were suffering unbearably. By and large, their claims went unchallenged.

A crack in that carefully honed image appeared in 2004 when the Groningen Protocol elicited worldwide outrage. The primary purpose of that protocol formulated by doctors at the Groningen Academic Hospital in the Netherlands was to legally and professionally protect Dutch doctors who kill severely disabled newborns. (2)

While euthanasia for infants (infanticide) was not new, widespread discussion of it was. Dutch doctors were now explaining that it was a necessary part of pediatric care.

Also in 2004, Hollands most prestigious medical society (KNMG) urged the Health Ministry to set up a board to review euthanasia for people who had no free will, including children and individuals with mental retardation or severe brain damage following accidents. (3)

At first, it seemed that these revelations would be harmful to the euthanasia movement, but the opposite was true.

Why?

Awareness of infanticide and euthanasia deaths of other incompetent patients moved the boundaries.

Prior to the widespread realization that involuntary euthanasia was taking place, advocacy of assisted suicide for those who request it seemed to be on one end of the spectrum. Opposition to it was on the other end.

Now, the practice of involuntary euthanasia took its place as one extreme, opposition to it as the other extreme, and assisted suicide for terminally ill competent adults appeared to be in the moderate middle a very advantageous political position and expansion of the practice to others had entered the realm of respectable debate.

This repositioning has become a tool in the assisted-suicide arsenal. In May 2006, an assisted-suicide bill, patterned after Oregons law permitting assisted suicide, failed to gain approval in the British Parliament. The bills supporters immediately declared that they would reintroduce it during the next parliamentary session.

Within two weeks, Professor Len Doyal a former member of the British Medical Associations ethics committee who is considered one of Englands leading experts on medical ethics called for doctors to be able to end the lives of some patients swiftly, humanely and without guilt, even without the patients consent. (4) Doyals proposal was widely reported and, undoubtedly, when the next assisted-suicide bill is introduced in England, a measure that would permit assisted suicide only for consenting adults will appear less radical than it might have seemed prior to Doyals suggestion.

Currently, euthanasia is a medical treatment in the Netherlands and Belgium. Assisted suicide is a medical treatment in the Netherlands, Belgium and Oregon. Their advocates erroneously portray both practices as personal, private acts. However, legalization is not about the private and the personal. It is about public policy, and it affects ethics, medicine, law, families and children.

A FAMILY AFFAIR

In December 2005, ABC News World News Tonight reported, Anita and Frank go often to the burial place of their daughter Chanou. Chanou died when, with her parents consent, doctors gave her a lethal dose of morphine. Im convinced that if we meet again somewhere in heaven, her father said, shell tell us we reached the most perfect solution.'(5)

The report about the six-month-old Dutch childs death was introduced as a report on the debate over euthanizing infants. A Dutch legislator who agrees that doctors who intentionally end their tiny patients lives should not be prosecuted said, Im certainly pro-life. But Im also a human being. I think when there is extreme, unbearable suffering, then there can be extreme relief. (6)

Gone was the previous years outrage over the Groningen Protocols. Infanticide had entered the realm of respectable debate in the mainstream media. The message given to viewers was that loving parents, compassionate doctors and caring legislators favor infanticide. It left the impression that opposing such a death would be cold, unfeeling and, perhaps, intentionally cruel.

In Oregon, some assisted-suicide deaths have become family or social events.

Oregons law does not require family members to know that a loved one is planning to commit suicide with a doctors help. (7) Thus, the first knowledge of those plans could come when a family member finds the body. However, as two news features illustrate, some Oregonians who die from assisted suicide make it a teachable moment for children or a party event for friends and family.

According to the Mail Tribune (Medford, Oregon), on a sunny afternoon, Joan Lucas rode around looking at houses, then she sat in a park eating an ice cream cone. A few hours later, she committed suicide with a prescribed deadly drug overdose. Grandchildren were made to understand that Grandma Joan would be going away soon. Those who were old enough to understand were told what was happening. (8

Did these children learn from Grandma Joan that suicide is a good thing?

UCLAs student newspaper, the Daily Bruin, carried an article favoring assisted suicide. It described how Karen Janoch who committed suicide under the Oregon law, sent invitations for her suicide to about two dozen of her closest friends and family. The invitation read, You are invited to attend the actual ending of my life. (9) At the same time Californias legislature was considering an assisted-suicide bill that was virtually identical to Oregons law, UCLA students learned that suicide can be the occasion for a party.

In Oregon, assisted suicide has gone from the appalling to the appealing, from the tragic to the banal.

During the last half of 2005 and the first half of 2006, bills to legalize assisted suicide were under consideration in various states and countries including, but not limited to, Canada, Great Britain, California, Hawaii, Vermont, and Washington. All had met failure by the end of June 2006. But plans to reintroduce them with some cosmetic changes are currently underway. A brief examination of arguments used to promote them illustrates the small world nature of assisted-suicide advocacy.

TWO PILLARS OF ADVOCACY

Wherever an assisted-suicide measure is proposed, proponents arguments and strategies are similar. Invariably, promotion rests on two pillars: autonomy and the elimination of suffering.

Autonomy

Autonomy (independence and the right of self-determination) is certainly valued in modern society and patients do, and should, have the right to accept or reject medical treatment. However, those who favor assisted suicide claim that autonomy extends to the right of a patient to decide when, where, how and why to die as the following examples illustrate.

During debate over an assisted-suicide measure then pending before the British Parliament, proponents emphasized personal choice. The bill, titled The Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill, was introduced by Lord Joel Joffe. Dr. Margaret Branthwaite, a physician, barrister and former head of Englands Voluntary Euthanasia Society (recently renamed Dignity in Dying (10)), called for passage of the Joffe bill in an article in the British Medical Journal. As a matter of principle, she wrote, it reinforces current trends towards greater respect for personal autonomy. (11)

The focus on autonomy was also reflected in remarks about a plan to introduce an assisted-suicide initiative in Washington. Booth Gardner, former governor of Washington, said he plans to promote the initiative because it should be his decision when and how he dies. He told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, When I go, I want to decide. (12)

The rationale is that when, where, why and how one dies should be a matter of self-determination, a matter of independent choice, and a matter of personal autonomy.

Elimination of suffering

The second pillar of assisted-suicide advocacy is elimination of suffering. During each and every attempt to permit euthanasia and assisted suicide, its advocates stress that ending suffering justifies legalization of the practices.

California Assemblywoman Patty Berg, the co-sponsor of Californias euphemistically named Compassionate Choices Act, (13) said the assisted-suicide measure was necessary so that people would have the comfort of knowing they could escape unbearable suffering if that were to occur. (14)

In an opinion piece supporting the failed 1998 assisted-suicide initiative in Michigan, a spokesperson for those favoring the measure wrote that the patients targeted by the proposal were those who were tortured by the unbearable suffering of a slow and agonizing death. (15)

In the United Kingdom, Lord Joffe said his bill would enable those who are suffering unbearably to get medical assistance to die. (16) Testimony before the British House of Lords Select Committee studying the bill noted that, where assisted dying has been legalized, it has done so as a response to patients who were suffering. (17)

The centerpiece of the 1994 Measure 16 campaign that resulted in Oregons assisted-suicide law was a television commercial featuring Patti Rosen. Describing her daughter who had cancer, Rosen said, The pain was so great that she couldnt bear to be touched. Measure 16 would have allowed my daughter to die with dignity. (18)

When an assisted-suicide proposal that later failed was being considered by the Hawaiian legislature in 2002, a public relations consultant who was working on behalf of the bill, e-mailed a template for use in written or oral testimony. The template suggested inclusion of the phrases agonizingly painful, pain was uncontrollable, and pain beyond my understanding. (19)

During consideration of an assisted-suicide bill in Vermont, the states former governor Philip Hoff said, The last thing I would want in this world is to be around and be in pain, and have no quality of life, and be a burden to my family and others. (20) Dick Walters, chairman of Death with Dignity Vermont, said the proposal would permit a person to peacefully end suffering and hasten death. (21)

Thus, the rationale given by euthanasia and assisted-suicide proponents for legalization always includes autonomy and/or elimination of suffering. However, the laws they propose actually contradict this rationale.

CONTRADICTIONS

When proposed, laws such as those now in existence in Oregon and similar measures introduced elsewhere include conditions or requirements limiting assisted suicide to certain groups of qualified patients. A patient qualified to receive the treatment of assisted suicide must be an adult who is capable of making decisions and must be diagnosed with a terminal condition.

If one accepts the premise that assisted suicide is a good medical treatment that should be permitted on the basis of personal autonomy or elimination of suffering, other questions must be raised.

If the reason for permitting assisted suicide is autonomy, why should assisted suicide be limited to the terminally ill?

Does ones autonomy depend upon a doctors diagnosis (or misdiagnosis) of a terminal illness? If a person is not terminally ill, but is suffering whether physically, psychologically or emotionally why isnt it up to that person to decide when, why and how to die? Does a person only have autonomy if he or she has a particular condition or illness? Is autonomy a basis for the law?

If assisted suicide is a good and acceptable medical treatment for the purpose of ending suffering, why should it be limited to adults who are capable of decision-making?

Isnt it both discriminatory and cruel to deny that good and acceptable medical treatment to a child or an incompetent adult? Why is a medical treatment that has been deemed appropriate to end suffering available to an 18-year-old, but not to a 16-year-old or 17-year-old? Why is a person only eligible to have his or her suffering ended if he or she has reached an arbitrary age?

And, what of the adult who never was, or no longer is, capable of decision-making? Should that person be denied medical treatment that ends suffering? Are euthanasia and assisted-suicide laws based on the need to eliminate suffering, or not?

Establishing arbitrary requirements that must be met prior to qualifying for the medical treatment of euthanasia or assisted suicide does, without doubt, contradict the two pillars on which justification for the practices is based.

The question then must be asked: Why are those arbitrary requirements included in Oregons law and other similar proposals? The answer is simple. After a series of defeats, euthanasia and assisted-suicide proponents learned that they had to propose laws that appeared palatable.

In April 2005, Lord Joffe, the British bills sponsor, acknowledged that his bill was intended to be only the first step. During hearings regarding the measure, he said that this is the first stage and went on to explain that one should go forward in incremental stages. I believe that this bill should initially be limited. (22)

He repeated his remarks a year later when discussing hearings about his bill. I can assure you that I would prefer that the [proposed] law did apply to patients who were younger and who were not terminally ill but who were suffering unbearable, he said and added, I believe that this bill should initially be limited. (23)

STEP-BY-STEP APPROACH

Proposals for euthanasia and assisted suicide have always emanated from advocacy groups, not from any grassroots desire. Those groups learned that attempting to go too far, too fast, leads to certain defeat.

After many failed attempts, most recently those in the early 90s in Washington and California when ballot initiatives that would have permitted both euthanasia by lethal injection and assisted suicide by lethal prescription were resoundingly defeated death with dignity activists changed their strategy. They decided to take a step-by-step approach, proposing an assisted-suicide-only bill which, when passed, would serve as a model for subsequent laws. Only after several such laws were passed, would they begin to expand them. That was the strategy that led to Oregons Measure 16, the Oregon Death with Dignity Act.

Those who were most involved in the successful Oregon strategy were not new to the scene.

Cheryl K. Smith, who wrote the first draft of Oregons law, had served as a special counsel to the political action group Oregon Right to Die (ORD). Smith had been the National Hemlock Societys legal advisor after her graduation from law school in 1989 and had been a top aide to Hemlocks co-founder, Derek Humphry. While a student at the University of Iowa College of Law, Smith helped draft a Model Aid-in-Dying Act that provided for childrens lives to be terminated either at their own request or, if under 6 years of age, by parental request. (24)

Barbara Coombs Lee was Measure 16s chief petitioner. At the time, she was a vice president for a large Oregon managed care program. After the laws passage, she took over the leadership of Compassion in Dying. (25) [Note: In early 2005, Compassion in Dying merged with the Hemlock Society. The combined organization is now called Compassion and Choices.]

Coombs Lees promotion of assisted suicide and euthanasia began prior to her involvement with the Death with Dignity Act. As a legislative aide to Oregon Senator Frank Roberts in 1991, she worked on Senate Bill 114 that would have permitted euthanasia on request of a patient and, if the patient was not competent, a designated representative would have been authorized to request the patients death. (26)

Upon passage of the Oregon law in 1994, many assisted-suicide supporters were certain that other states would immediately fall in line. However, that did not occur. Between 1994 and mid-2006, assisted-suicide measures were introduced in state after state.(27) Each and every proposal failed. All of the proposals were assisted-suicide-only bills and, with one exception, (28) every one was virtually identical to the Oregon law.

Among supporters of assisted suicide and euthanasia, though, the Oregon law is seen as the model for success and is referred to in debates about assisted suicide throughout the world. For that reason, a careful examination of the Oregon experience is vital to understanding the problems with legalized assisted suicide.

OREGON

Under Oregons law permitting physician-assisted suicide, the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) previously called the Oregon Health Division (OHD) is required to collect information, review a sample of cases and publish a yearly statistical report. (29)

However, due to major flaws in the law and the states reporting system, there is no way to know for sure how many or under what circumstances patients have died from physician-assisted suicide. Statistics from official reports are particularly questionable and have left some observers skeptical about their validity.

For example, when a similar proposal was under consideration in the British Parliament, members of a House of Lords Committee traveled to Oregon seeking information regarding Oregons law for use in their deliberations. The public and press were not present during the closed-door hearings. However, the House of Lords published the committees proceedings in three lengthy volumes, which included the exact wording of questions and answers.

After hearing witnesses claim that there have been no complications associated with more than 200 assisted-suicide deaths, committee member Lord McColl of Dulwich, a surgeon, said, If any surgeon or physician had told me that he did 200 procedures without any complications, I knew that he possibly needed counseling and had no insight. We come here and I am told there are no complications. There is something strange going on. (30)

The following includes statistical data from official reports and other published information dealing with troubling aspects of the practice of assisted suicide in Oregon. Statements from the 744-page second volume of the House of Lords committee proceedings are also included. None of the included statements from the committee hearings were made by opponents of Oregons law.

OFFICIAL REPORTS

Assisted-suicide deaths reported during the first eight years

Official Reports: 246 Actual Number: Unknown

The latest annual report indicates that reported assisted-suicide deaths have increased by more than 230% since the first year of legal assisted suicide in Oregon. (31) The numbers, however, could be far greater. From the time the law went into effect, Oregon officials in charge of formulating annual reports have conceded theres no way to know if additional deaths went unreported because Oregon DHS has no regulatory authority or resources to ensure compliance with the law. (32)

The DHS has to rely on the word of doctors who prescribe the lethal drugs. (33) Referring to physicians reports, the reporting division admitted: For that matter the entire account [received from a prescribing doctor] could have been a cock-and-bull story. We assume, however, that physicians were their usual careful and accurate selves. (34)

The Death with Dignity law contains no penalties for doctors who do not report prescribing lethal doses for the purpose of suicide.

Complications occurring during assisted suicide

Official Reports: 13 (12 instances of vomiting & one patient who did not die from lethal dose.)

Actual number: Unknown

Prescribing doctors may not know about all complications since, over the course of eight years, physicians who prescribed the lethal drugs for assisted suicide were present at only 19.5% of reported deaths. (35) Information they provide might come from secondhand accounts of those present at the deaths (36) or may be based on guesswork.

When asked if there is any systematic way of finding out and recording complications, Dr. Katrina Hedberg who was a lead author of most of Oregons official reports said, Not other than asking physicians. (37) She acknowledged that after they write the prescription, the physician may not keep track of the patient. (38) Dr. Melvin Kohn, a lead author of the eighth annual report, noted that, in every case that they hear about, it is the self-report, if you will, of the physician involved. (39)

Complications contained in news reports are not included in official reports

Patrick Matheny received his lethal prescription from Oregon Health Science University via Federal Express. He had difficulty when he tried to take the drugs four months later. His brother-in-law, Joe Hayes, said he had to help Matheny die. According to Hayes, It doesnt go smoothly for everyone. For Pat it was a huge problem. It would have not worked without help. (40) The annual report did not make note of this situation.

Speaking at Portland Community College, pro-assisted-suicide attorney Cynthia Barrett described a botched assisted suicide. The man was at home. There was no doctor there, she said. After he took it [the lethal dose], he began to have some physical symptoms. The symptoms were hard for his wife to handle. Well, she called 911. The guy ended up being taken by 911 to a local Portland hospital. Revived. In the middle of it. And taken to a local nursing facility. I dont know if he went back home. He died shortly someperiod of time after that. (41)

Overdoses of barbiturates are known to cause vomiting as a person begins to lose consciousness. The patient then inhales the vomit. In other cases, panic, feelings of terror and assaultive behavior can occur from the drug-induced confusion. (42) But Barrett would not say exactly which symptoms had taken place in this instance. She has refused any further discussion of the case.

Complications are not investigated

David Prueitt took the prescribed lethal dose in the presence of his family and members of Compassion & Choices. After being unconscious for 65 hours, he awoke. It was only after his family told the media about the botched assisted suicide that Compassion & Choices publicly acknowledged the case. (43) DHS issued a release saying it has no authority to investigate individual Death with Dignity cases. (44)

Referring to DHSs ability to look into complications, Dr. Hedberg explained that we are not given the resources to investigate and not only do we not have the resources to do it, but we do not have any legal authority to insert ourselves. (45)

David Hopkins, Data Analyst for the Eighth Annual Report, said, We do not report to the Board of Medical Examiners if complications occur; no, it is not required by law and it is not part of our duty. (46)

Jim Kronenberg, the Oregon Medical Associations (OMA) Chief Operating Officer, explained that the way the law is set up there is really no way to determine that [complications occurred] unless there is some kind of disaster. [P]ersonally I have never had a report where there was a true disaster, he said. Certainly that does not mean that you should infer there has not been, I just do not know. (47)

In the Netherlands, assisted-suicide complications and problems are not uncommon. One Dutch study found that, because of problems or complications, doctors in the Netherlands felt compelled to intervene (by giving a lethal injection) in 18% of cases.(48)

This led Dr. Sherwin Nuland of Yale University School of Medicine to question the credibility of Oregons lack of reported complications. Nuland, who favors physician-assisted suicide, noted that the Dutch have had years of practice to learn ways to overcome complications, yet complications are still reported. The Dutch findings seem more credible [than the Oregon reports], he wrote. (49)

Continued here:

Euthanasia, Assisted Suicide & Health Care Decisions Part 1 …

Euthanasia – Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Euthanasia is a word which describes a person who chooses to end his or her life because they have diseases that cause pain, which often make them suffer. This is different from assisted suicide, which is where someone helps another person to kill themselves. It is also different from murder, where the intent is not to end the person’s suffering, but to kill them for the killer’s own ends. Euthanasia can be voluntary, where the person who dies specifically asks for help in ending their life. There are cases, where the person is not able to say that they do, or do not, wish to die. These cases are usually called non-voluntary euthanasia. Involuntary euthanasia, where someone is killed against their will, is generally regarded as murder.

Euthanasia is illegal in most countries. It is permitted in a small number of countries, such as the Netherlands and Belgium. Where it is permitted it is very tightly regulated, and it is only permitted in cases where the patient is terminally ill.

When discussing euthanasia, euthanasia is generally separated into active and passive euthanasia, and voluntary, non-voluntary and involuntary euthanasia. Many people see important differences between these different types of euthanasia, so that they can accept some types but not others.

Passive euthanasia can be described as “letting die”. When passive euthanasia occurs, a terminally ill person is allowed to die, even though treatment could have allowed them to live longer. Examples of passive euthanasia include removing life support from a patient, (such as a ventilator which is being used to keep the person alive), or not providing a patient with food or water. Active euthanasia, on the other hand, involves deliberately acting to end a person’s life. This may occur through giving them an injection of a drug that will kill them, or by giving them pills that will result in their death.[1]

Some people see passive euthanasia as a more acceptable choice, because it does not involve a deliberate act to kill. However, others argue that once someone has decided to allow another person to die, they should make it as fast and as painless as possible, and act to bring about their death. Also known as mercy killing.[2]

If someone asks to be allowed to die, or if they ask to be killed, then they have asked for voluntary euthanasia. Voluntary euthanasia is often seen as the best by people who believe in euthanasia, because it is clear that the person wants to die. If the person can not say that they wish to die, but people think that they would ask to die if they could, then it is non-voluntary euthanasia. Non-voluntary euthanasia is sometimes a choice for people who are in a coma or who are very young, as they can not say what they want to do. Involuntary euthansia is when someone is killed even though they asked not to die, or when they could have asked to die but did not.[3] Many people do not think that this is euthanasia. Instead they think that it is murder.[4]

The types of euthanasia, active/passive and voluntary/non-voluntary/involuntary can be put together. If someone asks to die, and another person gives them an injection that will kill them, then it is active voluntary euthanasia. But if someone is in a coma and is only alive because of a ventilator, and the doctors turn the ventilator off and they die, then it would be passive non-voluntary euthanasia.[5]

Some people believe that euthanasia should be allowed, and some people think that it should not be allowed.

Even if euthanasia is not a bad thing, some people believe that allowing euthanasia will result in bad things happening. If euthanasia is allowed to happen for people asking to die, people might then think that it is ok to allow euthanasia for people who are very sick but are not able to ask to die. And if that was allowed, then maybe they would allow euthanasia for people who are very sick and will not recover, but do not want to die. This is called the “slippery slope” argument.[6]

People who believe in the slippery slope argument point to times when this seems to have happened. In Germany, Adolf Hitler allowed disabled children to be killed, and called it euthanasia. People today agree that what Hitler did was very wrong, but some people think that if euthanasia was allowed it would lead to similar things happening again. So they think that it would be too big a risk to allow euthanasia at all.[6]

Other people say that this is wrong. There is a big difference between killing someone who is very sick, in pain, and asks to die, and killing a child just because they have a disability. They say that it is not true that allowing euthanasia will lead to bad things. They also say that what Hitler did was not euthanasia, and did not happen because they allowed euthanasia.[6]

Palliative care is when people who are ill are given special care to make them more comfortable. In regard to euthanasia, palliative care can be given to patients who are dying. It may include hospice care, when the patient is sent to a special hospital that is just for people who are dying, and which is meant to make their death as comfortable as possible. Palliative care can involve pain relief and help for the patient and family to come to terms with death. In some cases, doctors will give patient drugs which make them stay asleep, so that they will not feel pain.[7][8]

Palliative care is not perfect, and so it is not always seen as a replacement for euthanasia. There is still some pain, and there can be other side-effects, where the patient can still feel very sick. Palliative care is not available for all people, and not all people who wish to die through euthanasia are sick so that they will die soon some people have healthy bodies, but they are suffering in other ways, and palliative care will not always help them.[6]

The principle of double effect was first described by Thomas Aquinas over 700 years ago. It says that it is sometimes ok to do something even if a bad thing will happen if a good thing also happens, and if it was the good thing that they wanted.[9] Aquinas used the example of self defense: sometimes when they are attacked a person will kill the attacker, but the death of the attacker was not what the person was trying to do. They only wanted to protect themselves. So even though killing someone is bad, what they wanted to do protect themselves was not.[10]

Some people say that doctors may treat a person in order to reduce the pain that they are suffering, but that as a result the person will die sooner. If the doctor gives the treatment in order to help the patient die, then it is euthanasia. But if the doctor gives the treatment in order to stop the pain, and does not intend for the patient to die, then it may not be euthanasia, even if the doctor knew that the treatment would kill the patient.[10]

Suicide is when a person kills themselves. Sometimes when a person is very sick they need help to die, and if someone helps them to kill themselves, it is called assisted suicide.[11] In some countries people are allowed to help someone to kill themselves, so long as they do not kill the person,[12] and it can be seen as a more acceptable option because it must be the person’s own decision.[11] Because a second person did not kill the other person, it is not always considered to be euthanasia, as some people see an important difference between someone killing themselves and someone killing another person, and they believe that euthanasia is only when a second person kills the first.[6]

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Euthanasia – Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Animal euthanasia – Wikipedia

This article is about mercy killing of animals. For compassionate death in humans, see Euthanasia.

Animal euthanasia (euthanasia from Greek: ; “good death”) is the act of putting an animal to death or allowing it to die by withholding extreme medical measures. Reasons for euthanasia include incurable (and especially painful) conditions or diseases,[1] lack of resources to continue supporting the animal, or laboratory test procedures. Euthanasia methods are designed to cause minimal pain and distress. Euthanasia is distinct from animal slaughter and pest control although in some cases the procedure is the same.

In domesticated animals, this process is commonly referred to by euphemisms such as “put down” or “put to sleep”.

The methods of euthanasia can be divided into pharmacological and physical methods. Acceptable pharmacological methods include injected drugs and gases that first depress the central nervous system and then cardiovascular activity. Acceptable physical methods must first cause rapid loss of consciousness by disrupting the central nervous system. The most common methods are discussed here, but there are other acceptable methods used in different situations.[2]

Unconsciousness, respiratory then cardiac arrest follow rapidly, usually within 30seconds.[3] Observers generally describe the method as leading to a quick and peaceful death.

Some veterinarians perform a two-stage process: an initial injection that simply renders the pet unconscious and a second shot that causes death.[citation needed] This allows the owner the chance to say goodbye to a live pet without their emotions stressing the pet. It also greatly mitigates any tendency toward spasm and other involuntary movement which tends to increase the emotional upset that the pet’s owner experiences.

For large animals, the volumes of barbiturates required are considered by some to be impractical, although this is standard practice in the United States.[4] For horses and cattle, other drugs may be available. Some specially formulated combination products are available, such as Somulose (Secobarbital/Cinchocaine) and Tributame (Embutramide/Chloroquine/Lidocaine), which cause deep unconsciousness and cardiac arrest independently with a lower volume of injection, thus making the process faster, safer, and more effective.

Occasionally, a horse injected with these mixtures may display apparent seizure activity before death. This may be due to premature cardiac arrest. However, if normal precautions (e.g., sedation with detomidine) are taken, this is rarely a problem.[5] Anecdotal reports that long-term use of phenylbutazone increases the risk of this reaction are unverified.

After the animal has died, it is not uncommon for the body to have posthumous body jerks, or for the animal to have a sudden bladder outburst.

Gas anesthetics such as isoflurane and sevoflurane can be used for euthanasia of very small animals. The animals are placed in sealed chambers where high levels of anesthetic gas are introduced. Death may also be caused using carbon dioxide once unconsciousness has been achieved by inhaled anaesthetic.[6] Carbon dioxide is often used on its own for euthanasia of wild animals.[7] There are mixed opinions on whether it causes distress when used on its own, with human experiments lending support to the evidence that it can cause distress and equivocal results in non-humans.[8] In 2013, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) issued new guidelines for carbon dioxide induction, stating that a flow rate of 10% to 30% volume/min is optimal for the humane euthanization of small rodents.[9]

Carbon monoxide is often used, but some states in the US have banned its use in animal shelters: although carbon monoxide poisoning is not particularly painful, the conditions in the gas chamber are often not humane.[10]Nitrogen has been shown to be effective, although some young animals are rather resistant[11] and it currently is not widely used.

Cervical dislocation, or displacement (breaking or fracturing) of the neck, is an older yet less common method of killing small animals such as mice. Performed properly it is intended to cause as painless death as possible and has no cost or equipment involved. The handler must know the proper method of executing the movement which will cause the cervical displacement and without proper training and method education there is a risk of not causing death and can cause severe pain and suffering. It is unknown how long an animal remains conscious, or the level of suffering it goes through after a correct snapping of the neck, which is why it has become less common and often substituted with inhalants.

When intravenous injection is not possible, euthanasia drugs such as pentobarbital can be injected directly into a heart chamber or body cavity.

While intraperitoneal injection is fully acceptable (although it may take up to 15 minutes to take effect in dogs and cats[6]), an intracardiac (IC) injection may only be performed on an unconscious or deeply sedated animal. Performing IC injections on a fully conscious animal in places with humane laws for animal handling is often a criminal offense.[12]

This can be an appropriate means of euthanasia for large animals (e.g., horses, cattle, deer) if performed properly. This may be performed by means of:

The reasons for euthanasia of pets and other animals include:

Small animal euthanasia is typically performed in a veterinary clinic or hospital or in an animal shelter and is usually carried out by a veterinarian or a veterinary technician working under the veterinarian’s supervision. Often animal shelter workers are trained to perform euthanasia as well. Some veterinarians will perform euthanasia at the pet owner’s homethis is virtually mandatory in the case of large animal euthanasia. In the case of large animals which have sustained injuries, this will also occur at the site of the accident, for example, on a racecourse.

Some animal rights organizations support animal euthanasia in certain circumstances and practice euthanasia at shelters that they operate.[15]

In the U.S., for companion animals euthanized in animal shelters, 14 states prescribe intravenous injection as the required method. These laws date to 1990, when Georgia’s “Humane Euthanasia Act” became the first state law to mandate this method. Before that, gas chambers and other means were commonly employed. The Georgia law was resisted by the Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture, Tommy Irvin, who was charged with enforcing the act. In March 2007, he was sued by former State Representative Chesley V. Morton, who wrote the law, and subsequently ordered by the Court to enforce all provisions of the Act.[16]

Many pet owners choose to have their pets cremated or buried after the pet is euthanized,[17] and there are pet funeral homes that specialize in animal burial or cremation.[18] Otherwise, the animal facility will often freeze the body and subsequently send it to the local landfill.[19]

In some instances, animals euthanized at shelters or animal control agencies have been sent to meat rendering facilities[20][21][22] to be processed for use in cosmetics, fertilizer, gelatin, poultry feed, pharmaceuticals and pet food.[23] It was proposed that the presence of pentobarbital in dog food may have caused dogs to become less responsive to the drug when being euthanized.[24] However, a 2002 FDA study found no dog or cat DNA in the foods they tested, so it was theorized that the drug found in dog food came from euthanized cattle and horses. Furthermore, the level of the drug found in pet food was safe.[25]

Original post:

Animal euthanasia – Wikipedia

Euthanasia | Definition of Euthanasia by Merriam-Webster

Euthanasia is a mass noun (or noncount noun), that is, a noun used only in the singular form.

The word comes from the Greek euthanatos, which means easy death. In English, euthanasia has been used in exactly this sense since the early seventeenth century, when Francis Bacon described the phenomenon as after the fashion and semblance of a kindly & pleasant sleepe. Nowadays, the word usually refers to the means of attaining such a death.

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Euthanasia | Definition of Euthanasia by Merriam-Webster

Euthanasia – New World Encyclopedia

Euthanasia (from Greek: -, eu, “good,” , thanatos, “death”) is the practice of terminating the life of a human being or animal with an incurable disease, intolerable suffering, or a possibly undignified death in a painless or minimally painful way, for the purpose of limiting suffering. It is a form of homicide; the question is whether it should be considered justifiable or criminal.

Euthanasia refers both to the situation when a substance is administered to a person with intent to kill that person or, with basically the same intent, when removing someone from life support. There may be a legal divide between making someone die and letting someone die. In some instances, the first is (in some societies) defined as murder, the other is simply allowing nature to take its course. Consequently, laws around the world vary greatly with regard to euthanasia and are constantly subject to change as cultural values shift and better palliative care or treatments become available. Thus, while euthanasia is legal in some nations, in others it is criminalized.

Of related note is the fact that suicide, or attempted suicide, is no longer a criminal offense in most states. This demonstrates that there is consent among the states to self determination, however, the majority of the states argue that assisting in suicide is illegal and punishable even when there is written consent from the individual. The problem with written consent is that it is still not sufficient to show self-determination, as it could be coerced; if active euthanasia were to become legal, a process would have to be in place to assure that the patient’s consent is fully voluntary.

Euthanasia has been used with several meanings:

The term euthanasia is used only in senses (6) and (7) in this article. When other people debate about euthanasia, they could well be using it in senses (1) through (5), or with some other definition. To make this distinction clearer, two other definitions of euthanasia follow:

There can be passive, non-aggressive, and aggressive euthanasia.

James Rachels has challenged both the use and moral significance of that distinction for several reasons:

To begin with a familiar type of situation, a patient who is dying of incurable cancer of the throat is in terrible pain, which can no longer be satisfactorily alleviated. He is certain to die within a few days, even if present treatment is continued, but he does not want to go on living for those days since the pain is unbearable. So he asks the doctor for an end to it, and his family joins in this request. Suppose the doctor agrees to withhold treatment. The justification for his doing so is that the patient is in terrible agony, and since he is going to die anyway, it would be wrong to prolong his suffering needlessly. But now notice this. If one simply withholds treatment, it may take the patient longer to die, and so he may suffer more than he would if more direct action were taken and a lethal injection given. This fact provides strong reason for thinking that, once the initial decision not to prolong his agony has been made, active euthanasia is actually preferable to passive euthanasia, rather than the reverse (Rachels 1975 and 1986).

There is also involuntary, non-voluntary, and voluntary euthanasia.

Mercy killing refers to killing someone to put them out of their suffering. The killer may or may not have the informed consent of the person killed. We shall use the term mercy killing only when there is no consent. Legally, mercy killing without consent is usually treated as murder.

Murder is intentionally killing someone in an unlawful way. There are two kinds of murder:

In most parts of the world, types (1) and (2) murder are treated identically. In other parts, type (1) murder is excusable under certain special circumstances, in which case it ceases to be considered murder. Murder is, by definition, unlawful. It is a legal term, not a moral one. Whether euthanasia is murder or not is a simple question for lawyers”Will you go to jail for doing it or won’t you?”

Whether euthanasia should be considered murder or not is a matter for legislators. Whether euthanasia is good or bad is a deep question for the individual citizen. A right to die and a pro life proponent could both agree “euthanasia is murder,” meaning one will go to jail if he were caught doing it, but the right to die proponent would add, “but under certain circumstances, it should not be, just as it is not considered murder now in the Netherlands.”

The term “euthanasia” comes from the Greek words eu and thanatos, which combined means good death. Hippocrates mentions euthanasia in the Hippocratic Oath, which was written between 400 and 300 B.C.E. The original Oath states: To please no one will I prescribe a deadly drug nor give advice which may cause his death.”

Despite this, the ancient Greeks and Romans generally did not believe that life needed to be preserved at any cost and were, in consequence, tolerant of suicide in cases where no relief could be offered to the dying or, in the case of the Stoics and Epicureans, where a person no longer cared for his life.

The English Common Law from the 1300s until today also disapproved of both suicide and assisting suicide. It distinguished a suicide, who was by definition of unsound mind, from a felo-de-se or “evildoer against himself,” who had coolly decided to end it all and, thereby, perpetrated an infamous crime. Such a person forfeited his entire estate to the crown. Furthermore his corpse was subjected to public indignities, such as being dragged through the streets and hung from the gallows, and was finally consigned to “ignominious burial,” and, as the legal scholars put it, the favored method was beneath a crossroads with a stake driven through the body.

Since the nineteenth century, euthanasia has sparked intermittent debates and activism in North America and Europe. According to medical historian Ezekiel Emanuel, it was the availability of anesthesia that ushered in the modern era of euthanasia. In 1828, the first known anti-euthanasia law in the United States was passed in the state of New York, with many other localities and states following suit over a period of several years.

Euthanasia societies were formed in England, in 1935, and in the U.S., in 1938, to promote aggressive euthanasia. Although euthanasia legislation did not pass in the U.S. or England, in 1937, doctor-assisted euthanasia was declared legal in Switzerland as long as the person ending the life has nothing to gain. During this period, euthanasia proposals were sometimes mixed with eugenics.

While some proponents focused on voluntary euthanasia for the terminally ill, others expressed interest in involuntary euthanasia for certain eugenic motivations (targeting those such as the mentally “defective”). Meanwhile, during this same era, U.S. court trials tackled cases involving critically ill people who requested physician assistance in dying as well as mercy killings, such as by parents of their severely disabled children (Kamisar 1977).

Prior to World War II, the Nazis carried out a controversial and now-condemned euthanasia program. In 1939, Nazis, in what was code named Action T4, involuntarily euthanized children under three who exhibited mental retardation, physical deformity, or other debilitating problems whom they considered “unworthy of life. This program was later extended to include older children and adults.

Leo Alexander, a judge at the Nuremberg trials after World War II, employed a “slippery slope” argument to suggest that any act of mercy killing inevitably will lead to the mass killings of unwanted persons:

The beginnings at first were a subtle shifting in the basic attitude of the physicians. It started with the acceptance of the attitude, basic in the euthanasia movement, that there is such a thing as life not worthy to be lived. This attitude in its early stages concerned itself merely with the severely and chronically sick. Gradually, the sphere of those to be included in this category was enlarged to encompass the socially unproductive, the ideologically unwanted, the racially unwanted and finally all non-Germans.

Critics of this position point to the fact that there is no relation at all between the Nazi “euthanasia” program and modern debates about euthanasia. The Nazis, after all, used the word “euthanasia” to camouflage mass murder. All victims died involuntarily, and no documented case exists where a terminal patient was voluntarily killed. The program was carried out in the closest of secrecy and under a dictatorship. One of the lessons that we should learn from this experience is that secrecy is not in the public interest.

However, due to outrage over Nazi euthanasia crimes, in the 1940s and 1950s, there was very little public support for euthanasia, especially for any involuntary, eugenics-based proposals. Catholic church leaders, among others, began speaking against euthanasia as a violation of the sanctity of life.

Nevertheless, owing to its principle of double effect, Catholic moral theology did leave room for shortening life with pain-killers and what would could be characterized as passive euthanasia (Papal statements 1956-1957). On the other hand, judges were often lenient in mercy-killing cases (Humphrey and Wickett, 1991, ch.4).

During this period, prominent proponents of euthanasia included Glanville Williams (The Sanctity of Life and the Criminal Law) and clergyman Joseph Fletcher (“Morals and medicine”). By the 1960s, advocacy for a right-to-die approach to voluntary euthanasia increased.

A key turning point in the debate over voluntary euthanasia (and physician-assisted dying), at least in the United States, was the public furor over the case of Karen Ann Quinlan. In 1975, Karen Ann Quinlan, for reasons still unknown, ceased breathing for several minutes. Failing to respond to mouth-to mouth resuscitation by friends she was taken by ambulance to a hospital in New Jersey. Physicians who examined her described her as being in “a chronic, persistent, vegetative state,” and later it was judged that no form of treatment could restore her to cognitive life. Her father asked to be appointed her legal guardian with the expressed purpose of discontinuing the respirator which kept Karen alive. After some delay, the Supreme Court of New Jersey granted the request. The respirator was turned off. Karen Ann Quinlan remained alive but comatose until June 11, 1985, when she died at the age of 31.

In 1990, Jack Kevorkian, a Michigan physician, became infamous for encouraging and assisting people in committing suicide which resulted in a Michigan law against the practice in 1992. Kevorkian was later tried and convicted in 1999, for a murder displayed on television. Meanwhile in 1990, the Supreme Court approved the use of non-aggressive euthanasia.

Suicide or attempted suicide, in most states, is no longer a criminal offense. This demonstrates that there is consent among the states to self determination, however, the majority of the states postulate that assisting in suicide is illegal and punishable even when there is written consent from the individual. Let us now see how individual religions regard the complex subject of euthanasia.

In Catholic medical ethics, official pronouncements tend to strongly oppose active euthanasia, whether voluntary or not. Nevertheless, Catholic moral theology does allow dying to proceed without medical interventions that would be considered “extraordinary” or “disproportionate.” The most important official Catholic statement is the Declaration on Euthanasia (Sacred Congregation, Vatican 1980).

The Catholic policy rests on several core principles of Catholic medical ethics, including the sanctity of human life, the dignity of the human person, concomitant human rights, and due proportionality in casuistic remedies (Ibid.).

Protestant denominations vary widely on their approach to euthanasia and physician assisted death. Since the 1970s, Evangelical churches have worked with Roman Catholics on a sanctity of life approach, though the Evangelicals may be adopting a more exceptionless opposition. While liberal Protestant denominations have largely eschewed euthanasia, many individual advocates (such as Joseph Fletcher) and euthanasia society activists have been Protestant clergy and laity. As physician assisted dying has obtained greater legal support, some liberal Protestant denominations have offered religious arguments and support for limited forms of euthanasia.

Not unlike the trend among Protestants, Jewish movements have become divided over euthanasia since the 1970s. Generally, Orthodox Jewish thinkers oppose voluntary euthanasia, often vigorously, though there is some backing for voluntary passive euthanasia in limited circumstances (Daniel Sinclair, Moshe Tendler, Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, Moshe Feinstein). Likewise, within the Conservative Judaism movement, there has been increasing support for passive euthanasia. In Reform Judaism responsa, the preponderance of anti-euthanasia sentiment has shifted in recent years to increasing support for certain passive euthanasia.

In Theravada Buddhism, a monk can be expelled for praising the advantages of death, even if they simply describe the miseries of life or the bliss of the afterlife in a way that might inspire a person to commit suicide or pine away to death. In caring for the terminally ill, one is forbidden to treat a patient so as to bring on death faster than would occur if the disease were allowed to run its natural course (Buddhist Monastic Code I: Chapter 4).

In Hinduism, the Law of Karma states that any bad action happening in one lifetime will be reflected in the next. Euthanasia could be seen as murder, and releasing the Atman before its time. However, when a body is in a vegetative state, and with no quality of life, it could be seen that the Atman has already left. When avatars come down to earth they normally do so to help out humankind. Since they have already attained Moksha they choose when they want to leave.

Muslims are against euthanasia. They believe that all human life is sacred because it is given by Allah, and that Allah chooses how long each person will live. Human beings should not interfere in this. Euthanasia and suicide are not included among the reasons allowed for killing in Islam.

“Do not take life, which Allah made sacred, other than in the course of justice” (Qur’an 17:33).

“If anyone kills a personunless it be for murder or spreading mischief in the landit would be as if he killed the whole people” (Qur’an 5:32).

The Prophet said: “Amongst the nations before you there was a man who got a wound, and growing impatient (with its pain), he took a knife and cut his hand with it and the blood did not stop till he died. Allah said, ‘My Slave hurried to bring death upon himself so I have forbidden him (to enter) Paradise'” (Sahih Bukhari 4.56.669).

The debate in the ethics literature on euthanasia is just as divided as the debate on physician-assisted suicide, perhaps more so. “Slippery-slope” arguments are often made, supported by claims about abuse of voluntary euthanasia in the Netherlands.

Arguments against it are based on the integrity of medicine as a profession. In response, autonomy and quality-of-life-base arguments are made in support of euthanasia, underscored by claims that when the only way to relieve a dying patient’s pain or suffering is terminal sedation with loss of consciousness, death is a preferable alternativean argument also made in support of physician-assisted suicide.

To summarize, there may be some circumstances when euthanasia is the morally correct action, however, one should also understand that there are real concerns about legalizing euthanasia because of fear of misuse and/or overuse and the fear of the slippery slope leading to a loss of respect for the value of life. What is needed are improvements in research, the best palliative care available, and above all, people should, perhaps, at this time begin modifying homicide laws to include motivational factors as a legitimate defense.

Just as homicide is acceptable in cases of self-defense, it could be considered acceptable if the motive is mercy. Obviously, strict parameters would have to be established that would include patients’ request and approval, or, in the case of incompetent patients, advance directives in the form of a living will or family and court approval.

Mirroring this attitude, there are countries and/or statessuch as Albania (in 1999), Australia (1995), Belgium (2002), The Netherlands (2002), the U.S. state of Oregon, and Switzerland (1942)that, in one way or other, have legalized euthanasia; in the case of Switzerland, a long time ago.

In others, such as UK and U.S., discussion has moved toward ending its illegality. On November 5, 2006, Britain’s Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists submitted a proposal to the Nuffield Council on Bioethics calling for consideration of permitting the euthanasia of disabled newborns. The report did not address the current illegality of euthanasia in the United Kingdom, but rather calls for reconsideration of its viability as a legitimate medical practice.

In the U.S., recent Gallup Poll surveys showed that more than 60 percent of Americans supported euthanasia (Carroll 2006; Moore 2005) and attempts to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide resulted in ballot initiatives and legislation bills within the United States in the last 20 years. For example, Washington voters saw Ballot Initiative 119 in 1991, California placed Proposition 161 on the ballot in 1992, Michigan included Proposal B in their ballot in 1998, and Oregon passed the Death with Dignity Act. The United States Supreme Court has ruled on the constitutionality of assisted suicide, in 2000, recognizing individual interests and deciding how, rather than whether they will die.

Perhaps a fitting conclusion of the subject could be the Japanese suggestion of the Law governing euthanasia:

All links retrieved August 10, 2017.

Autopsy Brain death Clinical death Euthanasia Persistent vegetative state Terminal illness

Immortality Infant mortality Legal death Maternal death Mortality rate

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Euthanasia – New World Encyclopedia

Euthanasia – Learn | American Life League

When we talk about euthanasia, what exactly do we mean? Today, we usually hear about euthanasia in the health care context. For our purposes, euthanasia amounts to doing, or not doing, something to intentionally bring about a patients death. Because theres so much confusion surrounding the term, lets make sure we understand what euthanasia is not.

It is not euthanasia to administer medication needed to control painthats called good medical care. It is not euthanasia to stop treatment that is gravely burdensome to a patientthats called letting the patient exercise the moral option to refuse extraordinary medical means. It is not euthanasia to stop tube-feeding a patient whose diseased or injured body can no longer assimilate food and waterthats called simply accepting death.

In these circumstances, pain control, refusing extraordinary means, and stopping feeding may all allow death. Butand this is crucial to our understandingunlike euthanasia, their purpose and intent is not to bring about death.

Actually, euthanasia could be called a form of suicide, assisted suicide, or even murder, depending on the patients level of involvement and consent. To define euthanasia this way, though, seems to diminish its threat. After all, arent there laws or, at the very least, strong social taboos against suicide, assisted suicide, and murder?

Unfortunately, when it comes to the sick and disabled, this is no longer entirely true. And, the rationale and cultural forces behind the movement that brought this about threaten even more to tear down the legal and social barriers to killing.

Most of us know about Jack Kevorkian and his efforts to help ailing people commit suicide. Many of us may not realize, though, that Kevorkians maverick image masks a serious crusade that is building on emerging legal and cultural trends. Our society is poised to accept euthanasia on demandand worse. What we dont know about that could kill us.

In sum, it is vitally important to understand that everyones most basic rightthe right to lifeis in jeopardy when our law and collective morality no longer view all persons as equally worthy of life, solely on the basis of our common humanity. Not only is it the right thing to do, it is also in our own best interests to protect and cherish weak and vulnerable members of our human family.

In order to do that, we must educate ourselves and others about the growing threat of euthanasia, vigorously oppose its legalization, and pray for the wisdom and compassion to properly comfort, care for and dissuade those considering suicide.

The information on euthanasia is a PowerPoint Presentation (2007) prepared for American Life League by Julie Grimstad, Executive Director of Life is Worth Living, Inc.

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Euthanasia – Learn | American Life League

euthanasia – Wiktionary

English[edit] Etymology[edit]

First attested in 1606, from Ancient Greek (euthanasa), from – (eu-, good) + (thnatos, death)

euthanasia (usually uncountable, plural euthanasias)

Euthanasia is the most difficult part of a veterinarian’s job.

practice of killing a human being or animal

euthanasia

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euthanasia – Wiktionary

Euthanasia Wisconsin Right to Life – wrtl.org

It has been said that if a fence is built around something, one should learn why the fence is there before dismantling it. For thousands of years, in virtually every culture, a legal fence has prohibited euthanasia and treated it as homicide.

Current trends indicate a willingness to dismantle this protective fence, picket by picket, fueled by the desire for patient self-determination, death with dignity, and the right to control the time of death.

The first picket for which removal is advocated is to allow someone to voluntarily choose death and have someone else administer it. What harm would there be, the argument goes, if the choice is freely made, strictly regulated, and achieves a good end namely, relief from suffering or choosing ones own time?

Perhaps you are persuaded by this reasoning. It is important for you to understand why this rationale is flawed and puts many vulnerable people at risk.

Shouldnt euthanasia be legal if a patient freely requests death?This argument might seem reasonable to you. Supporters of euthanasia argue that the right of a competent patient to make medical treatment decisions should include the right to request and receive death by lethal injection.

There are dangers, however, even when patients are allowed to freely request euthanasia:

Could we just legalize voluntary euthanasia and stop there?The answer is clearly NO for legal, moral and practical reasons.

Legal:Courts all over the United States have already moved from recognizing the right of competent patients to refuse medical treatment to granting that benefit to those unable or unwilling to make the decision for themselves. The same legal principles would apply if voluntary euthanasia were available. For example, if a person not in pain can request and receive a lethal injection, then how can a request be denied to a person with mental retardation perceived to be suffering? The law will not allow such an inequity to stand.

Moral:If killing a person because he or she is suffering is morally justifiable, then it is equally moral for someone else to make the decision for a person who is incapacitated and unable to do so.

Practical:Did you know that doctors in Nazi Germany killed up to 250,000 people who were deemed unfit? These doctors added more and more people into the unfit category, including those with mental retardation, mental illness, epilepsy, and bed wetters. The experience in the Netherlands has been the same. This country initially approved only voluntary euthanasia and assisted suicide which rapidly developed to include family members making death decisions for those who are incapacitated. The Netherlands recently adopted guidelines allowing parents to consent to direct killing of newborn infants with disabilities.

Shouldnt euthanasia be available for people who are in pain?No one wants to be in pain or see their loved ones in pain. This is a very real fear you may have. Fortunately, we live in a time when medicine has made great strides to manage pain. It is important to have a medical team who understands how to relieve pain.

The Wisconsin Cancer Pain Initiative has been working for many years to teach medical professionals how to relieve pain. Please clickhttp://aspi.wisc.edu/wpi/to visit their web site.

The Alliance of State Pain Initiatives (ASPI) has an excellent booklet with information for patients on how to discuss pain symptoms with their doctor. The booklet can be found atwww.aspi.wisc.edu/CPCBR.htm.

In Oregon, where assisted suicide is legal, the most important reasons people report for requesting suicide is not pain but loss of autonomy and fear of incapacity. We hope after reviewing this information that you will not use pain as a reason to support euthanasia.

What other reasons are promoted for using euthanasia? Make no mistake: while proponents of euthanasia sell the act by talking about people who are in severe pain, they have no intention of stopping at pain or even terminal illness.

A professor from Brown University, Jacob M. Appel, wrote in the May-June 2007 issue of the Hastings Center Report that assisted suicide should be available to people who suffer from repeated bouts of severe depression. This concept is finding support among mainstream commentators who favor assisted suicide, calling it rational suicide. They reason that mental suffering can be just as great as physical suffering so people should be able to avail themselves of death to relieve an unbearable life of mental suffering. These same arguments can be applied to euthanasia.

This rationale is known as the slippery slope. Once you open the door for killing of patients for one reason, it is nearly impossible to limit the right to that one circumstance. Jack Kevorkian, a Michigan doctor who assisted in the deaths of over 130 people, helped people to kill themselves even if they were not dying. In the Netherlands, legalized euthanasia for terminal illness has been followed by recognition that it is needed for mental illness. The Netherlands has also extended the euthanasia right to newborn infants with disabilities.

How would people be affected if euthanasia is legalized?You and your loved ones will certainly be affected. The practice of medicine would change because healing and killing would become equally valid goals of the medical profession. If death becomes a legal right, doctors will feel obligated to offer death as an option to all of their patients.

Those at risk of being killed without consent or against their own wishes would become fearful of seeing a physician, being hospitalized, or entering a nursing home. You would view medical professionals and even your own family members with suspicion, fearing that they will choose death by lethal injection without your consent or even against your wishes.

Who opposes legalization of assisted suicide and euthanasia?The driving force in opposition to legalization of euthanasia and assisted suicide has been medical and disability rights groups. The American Medical Association has an official position in opposition to legalization. Disability rights groups are opposed because they recognize that people with disabilities are potential victims of these practices.

In California, state and national Latino organizations worked with a coalition to defeat the proposed assisted suicide law there.

Right-to-life groups and major church denominations also worked to defeat these measures.

For more information on euthanasia, please visitwww.nightingalealliance.org.

Read more from the original source:

Euthanasia Wisconsin Right to Life – wrtl.org

Elderly couple got ‘deepest wish’ to die together in rare euthanasia case – Washington Post

Nic and Trees Elderhorstknew exactly how they wanted to die.

They were both 91 years old and in declining health. Nic Elderhorst suffered a stroke in 2012 and more recently, his wife,Trees Elderhorst, wasdiagnosed with dementia, according to the Dutch newspaper,De Gelderlander.

Neither wanted to live without the other, or leave this world alone.

So the two, wholived in Didam, a town in the eastern part of the Netherlands, and had been together 65 years, shared a last word, and a kiss, then died last month hand-in-hand in a double euthanasia allowed underDutch law, according to De Gelderlander.

Dying together was their deepest wish, their daughters told the newspaper,according to an English translation.

[A terminally ill woman had one rule at her end-of-life party: No crying]

The Netherlands became the first country to legalize euthanasia in 2002, allowing physiciansto assist ailing patients in ending their lives without facing criminal prosecution.

Euthanasia, in which a physician terminates a patient’slife at his or herrequest, is legal in a few countries, including Belgium, Colombiaand Luxembourg. Physician-assisted suicide, in which a doctor prescribes lethal drugs that a patient may take to end his or her life, is permitted in a fewothers, including in certain states in the United States, according toProCon.org, a nonprofit organization that researches countries’ legislation on the issue.

We are pleased that we have in the Netherlands this humane and carefully executed legislation that allows the honorable wishes of these two people whose fate was painful and hopeless,Dick Bosscher, ofthe Dutch Association for a Voluntary End ofLife (NVVE), said in a statement to The Washington Post. He said theElderhorsts belonged toNVVE, a165,000-member organization foreuthanasia and assisted suicide in the Netherlands.

,,Ze gaven elkaar een dikke kus en rustig en zelfverzekerd zijn ze hand in hand ingeslapen.Via DG Liemers

Posted by De Gelderlander onThursday, August 10, 2017

In recent years, apparent double-suicides and murder-suicides have been capturing worldwide attention amid an emotional right-to-die debate couples from Florida toParisreportedlyending their lives together.

Assisted suicide has summoned up deep religious and ethical concerns among critics.

In the United States, the subject was widely debated in 2014, when a 29-year-oldwoman who had a fatal brain tumormoved from California to Oregon, where she could legally seek medical aid to end her life. Californiahas since enacted itsEnd of Life Option Act, joining a small number of states where it is legal.

Even in the Netherlands, according to Bosscher withNVVE, theElderhorsts’ case is rarein that both of them were able to meet the criteria foreuthanasia under the DutchTermination of Life on Request and Assisted Suicide (Review Procedures) Act. Euthanasiaand physician-assisted suicide can be carried out only when the patient’s request is voluntary and well thought-out, the patient is in lasting and unbearable suffering and there are no other solutions, among other things.

Researchpublished this monthin the New England Journal of Medicine revealed that euthanasia and physician-assistedsuicidesaccounted for 4.5 percent of deaths in the Netherlands in 2015, up from1.7 percent in 1990, before it was legal. The 25-year review found that most patients who received assistance had serious illnesses.

It looks like patients are now more willing to ask for euthanasia and physicians are more willing to grant it, lead author Agnes Van der Heide, of Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam, told the Associated Press.

However, Bosscher said that there are more than 15,000 requests foreuthanasia each year in the Netherlands and that only about 6,000 of them are granted.

The Elderhorsts discussed their options and submitted requests for euthanasia a year-long process their daughters called an intense time, according to De Gelderlander.

The couple, who had even planned their own funerals,died July 4.

Read more:

How Brittany Maynard may change the right-to-die debate

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Elderly couple got ‘deepest wish’ to die together in rare euthanasia case – Washington Post

‘We’re all gonna die’: Senior citizens weigh in on euthanasia – Newshub

Euthanasia is a subject with no definitive ethical consensus.

Despite two attempts to pass legislation to legalise euthanasia, the practice is still illegal in New Zealand.

But for many nations across the globe the right to decide when you die has been instantiated into law.

Newshub spoke to advocates from New Zealand on both sides of the argument, before heading to Eden Village to ask the elderly how they feel.

We spoke to advocates from New Zealand on both sides of the argument

Chris O’Brien is President of the Right to Life organisation

“Right to Life opposes the decriminalisation of both Euthanasia and Physician Assisted suicide for the following reasons:

“We believe that it is a watershed issue. Once decriminalised for any category of person then it becomes a right, in fact a human right. Human rights by their very nature are universal.

“So no matter what safeguards may be inherent in any legislation we can be sure that those safeguards will over time be breached.

“This is particularly obvious in the case of the The Netherlands where Euthanasia was decriminalised in 2002. The Dutch started with legislation that allowed Euthanasia only for those patients who were considered to be suffering unbearable pain and with no hope of cure.

“Since then an ever increasing number of conditions have been added allowing for persons who are eligible for euthanasia.

“Until we arrive at the situation today where the Parliament of that country is now seriously considering Euthanasia as an option for those who are not terminally ill, and in fact simply believe they have completed their lives.

“Here lies the danger. In far less than two decades look what they are proposing? Is this what we want for New Zealand? We we can be certain that regardless of all the good intentions in the world, euthanasia once decriminalised will become un-manageable.

“Right to Life believes that Euthanasia must never be decriminalized, there no exceptions. To do so would put at risk those who are vulnerable, especially the elderly, the disabled and those who have dementia or are mentally ill.

“There are no safeguards that can effectively protect the vulnerable from coercion and exploitation.

“We already have a significant elder abuse problem and the decriminalising of Euthanasia and allowing for Physician Assisted Suicide is going to make the elderly even more vulnerable, especially given our rapidly ageing population and rising health care costs.

“Two adages. Firstly; hard cases make bad laws. Secondly; the law is a powerful educator of the public conscience. If New Zealand goes down this path then what we are saying is that suicide is a solution to a problem.

“How can we, on one hand advocate for suicide prevention, while on the other, advocate suicide and euthanasia as a solution?

“This is particularly troublesome given the very high rate of youth suicide in New Zealand.

“Doctors are healers not killers and the fact that the NZMA and other medical groups oppose euthanasia should be enough to put a stop to this proposal.

“Right to Life believes that those who are pushing for Euthanasia are well resourced, well educated and are people who are used to autonomy and being in control of their lives. They want to maintain that control right up to arranging their own deaths.

“We ask when does their ‘right’ to have a doctor kill them trump the right of the many thousands of vulnerable people whose lives will be increasingly at risk, if decriminalisation occurs?

“Right to Life believes that instead of proposing that doctors should be able to kill their patients, greater efforts should be being put into ensuring that our palliative care systems and delivery continues to be world class and to develop and be available to all.”

David Barber represents the End of Life Choice organisation

“I have seen loved ones die in pain, with unbearable suffering and total loss of dignity, being reliant on carers to feed, wash, dress and toilet them.

“Waiting for a pain-racked death to end their suffering is I believe an intolerable situation no human should have to bear.

“Everyone should be able to end their lives painlessly and with dignity. We allow that for animals – why not humans?

“I would only stop campaigning for voluntary euthanasia or end-of-life choice if the law was changed to allow medical assistance to die for those who request it.”

With all this in mind we decided to ask the elderly at Eden Village what they felt about the matter.

Watch the video.

Newshub.

Go here to see the original:

‘We’re all gonna die’: Senior citizens weigh in on euthanasia – Newshub


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