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Belgium Acquits Three Doctors in Landmark Euthanasia Case – The New York Times

A Belgian court on Friday acquitted three doctors who had been charged with manslaughter by poisoning, in a landmark case that for the first time charged health professionals criminally under Belgiums euthanasia law.

Euthanasia has been legal in Belgium since 2002. It also is legal in the Netherlands and Luxembourg, but has long been debated in European countries. While certain forms of assisted suicide are practiced in France and Switzerland, the Belgian law goes further.

Belgium allows euthanasia if an individual who is incurably ill and encounters unbearable physical or psychological pain, makes a voluntary, well-considered and repeated request, without external pressure. Since 2014, minors can also request euthanasia under certain conditions.

The three doctors were facing life-imprisonment sentences over accusations that they had unlawfully poisoned a 38-year-old woman in 2010.

The woman, Tine Nys, requested euthanasia under the law in 2009, according to Joris Van Cauter, the lawyer for Sophie Nys, one of her two sisters, who said Tine Nys had suffered from depression and heroin addiction and had tried to commit suicide several times. A few months later, the lawyer said, she was diagnosed with autism by a psychiatrist.

She received a lethal injection on April 27, 2010, in the company of her parents and her two sisters.

But Sophie Nys later argued that Tine Nys had not received sufficient advice, and that doctors had not tried to treat her mental illness. She filed a complaint, saying Tine Nys had not been incurably ill, as the Belgian euthanasia law requires.

A minority of euthanasia requests are granted in Belgium when the patient has psychological issues. Sophie Nyss complaint was initially rejected by a court but later permitted on appeal.

It makes you wonder about medicine and how you make life or death decisions, the lawyer, Mr. Van Cauter, said about the three doctors who were standing trial. My client asked, How can you say that you tried to treat her?

Mr. Van Cauter added that his client and her family had not wanted the doctors to go to prison; instead, they wanted an official acknowledgment that euthanasia should not have been administered under the circumstances.

Its a bit disappointing, the lawyer said of the decision, adding that the way Tine Nys was treated was very sad.

After a two-week trial and eight hours of final debate, a 12-person jury in the criminal court of Ghent, in northwestern Belgium, cleared the three practitioners the doctor who made the lethal injection, the general practitioner and a psychiatrist.

Walter Van Steenbrugge, the lawyer of one of the doctors, Joris Van Hove, said a conviction would have established a dangerous precedent for professionals practicing euthanasia. He said he and his peers had received dozens of letters from worried doctors who said they had halted euthanasia procedures for fear of legal consequences.

My client is very relieved, Mr. Van Steenbrugge said. There was a lot at stake, not only for Belgium but for Europe in general.

More than 2,350 people were permitted euthanasia in Belgium in 2018, according to the latest public figures.

In the Netherlands, a doctor was acquitted in September after having been accused of failing to secure proper consent from a 74-year-old patient who suffered from Alzheimers and had been administered euthanasia by the doctor.

In France, a 42-year-old nurse who had been in a vegetative state for more than a decade died in July, after doctors had stopped feeding him artificially, following years of legal battles.

The case that received the most attention in recent years in Belgium was 40-year-old Paralympian champion Marieke Vervoort, who was suffering from an incurable degenerative muscle disease, and who died last October, 11 years after having signed the papers paving the way to her death.

In Tine Nyss case, Mr. Van Steenbrugge said the acquittal had sent a strong, reassuring message to doctors. It was not manslaughter, it wasnt a crime, he said. It was euthanasia.

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Belgium Acquits Three Doctors in Landmark Euthanasia Case - The New York Times

Why Asheville animal lovers are outraged over Brother Wolf’s euthanasia rate | OPINION – Citizen Times

Joelle Warren, GUEST COLUMNIST Published 6:00 a.m. ET Jan. 31, 2020 | Updated 9:37 p.m. ET Jan. 31, 2020

Need more cuteness in your life? Brother Wolf Animal Rescue is seeking foster support for kittens in the Asheville area.

Dogs and cats are being euthanized at Brother Wolf at an alarming rate and the community is outraged. The new leadership is using terms like warehousing and aggression as a fear tactic in an attempt to justify their actions in the public eye. Animal rescue professionals, like myself, have heard these excuses before.

The term warehousing was first noted in the late 90's when a couple of 'rescues' were busted with hundreds of dogs living in filth, stacked upon one another, with neither physical nor behavioral needs met. That realization became the fuel to reform animal sheltering. California even passed law during this time period, deeming it illegal for any shelter to euthanize a pet that had a rescue group willing to save them. Leaders in the movement created the path for transparency and accountability. Dogs and cats housed in shelter and rescue facilities were to be given the fivefreedoms:

Freedom from hunger and thirst; Freedom from discomfort; Freedom from pain, injury or disease ; Freedom to express normal behavior; Freedom from fear and distress.

BWAR was created with these concepts in mind.

Background: We know change at Brother Wolf Animal Rescue is hard. Here's why it's necessary

In 2008 in Hendersonville, a group called All Creatures Great and Small, was busted for warehousing pets. Animals were being co-housed with little to no medical care, fighting, breeding, and some even died. It was sad and disgusting. Many area rescue groups, including BWAR, pulled animals from this facility when it was shut down by the state and helped several animals escape the horror.

I do not believe animals at Brother Wolf are being warehoused. Warehousing pets is when you have given up on providing enrichment for them. It is not simply determined by length of stay. Warehousing is when you have given up hope. Its a term to hide behind when youve run out of creative solutions to save pets and you no longer possess the experience or resources to advocate for them.

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During my eight years as the Director of Operations at BWAR, animals were given every chance at life. We had a behaviorist on staff, sometimes more than one, that trained a team of dedicated volunteers. We provided the most at-risk dogs with their own enrichment team. These volunteers trained, walked, hiked, played with and took the dogs on appropriate outings. This is how we kept the dogs from experiencing kennel stress or going kennel crazy." We also had highly trained adoption counselors that knew what to look for in potential adopters.

They counseled them on ways to set up their newly adopted pets for success and discussed management strategies to overcome behavior challenges. We also provided post-adoption behavioral support from our behaviorists for dogs with various issues, including bite histories. In my time at BWAR, there was not a single time that any liability issues arose regarding the marginal dogs that were adopted.

I will acknowledge that this strategic programming did not completely eliminate the fact that some animals could not be rehabilitated. Some dogs could not handle shelter life, and didnt have rescue or sanctuary opportunities. Some had aggressive tendencies that made them unsafe to be handled by staff or other experienced people.I had to make this decision only three times in eight years.Seventeen dogs have been killed at Brother Wolf in less than a year.

Opinion: This is why Brother Wolf made a tough decision for 2 Asheville dogs

More: Brother Wolf signals mission change, shift away from animals with history of aggression

You must remember, BWAR is a limited intake, private facility, built and supported by our community. With this comes the luxury of time and space. The animals entering their care were promised every chance at a live outcome. I do not feel that the 90% No Kill statistic applies to limited intake facilities. They have the ability to select which animals enter their system and choosing to euthanize healthy dogs for manageable behavior issues is like scoffing at the 1,979 open intake, no-kill municipal shelters which have fought tooth and nail to save over 90% of the lives entering their system.

Katarina Brown, right, poses with Zurich.(Photo: Courtesy photo)

In January alone, eight Brother Wolf dogs have been killed. For weeks prior to these recent deaths, the animal rescue community rallied together to see if we could save some of the dogs that were in danger. I asked to take Zurich, who had an adopter, a former staff member, whom Zurich loved. I asked for my rescue, Mountain Pet Rescue Asheville, to assume full liability of Zurich. I offered to hire a behaviorist to work with the adopter and said I would be her mentor, helping with any back up care needed. I was refused. I pled to personally adopt him and work him in with my pack, two of which are BWAR dogs with similar behavior issues. Again, no. We asked for the evaluations from the alleged multiple certified behaviorists, who supposedly deemed these dogs un-adoptable and were never provided this information. Another dog, Piper, had a previous employee of the BWAR behavior team that wanted to adopt her, but her plea was declined.

This is not conscious sheltering. This is unnecessary killing. This is turning your back on the community that built and supported you. People understand the need for behavioral euthanasia when there are no other options. Adopting out dangerous dogs into the public is not a tenet of no-kill, and that is not what we are asking for. We want answers. We want a chance. And we keep getting denied and ignored as animals are being killed. This dismissive behavior, is why the community is so upset.

Joelle Warren(Photo: Courtesy Photo)

The main tenets of the no-kill philosophy are transparency, open dialogue, honest and genuine communication, with consideration given to partnering rescues and those with experience.

Terms can be discussed, expectations addressed, along with follow-up and support. Additionally, foster and volunteer programs, pet retention resources, and spay/neuter education is what is needed to explore every option for a viable, live outcome. This is how responsible animal rescue is done.

Joelle Warren co-founded Brother Wold Animal Rescueand is a native of Asheville.Warren left the organizationin 2015 andwenton to co-found Mountain Pet Rescue Asheville.

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Why Asheville animal lovers are outraged over Brother Wolf's euthanasia rate | OPINION - Citizen Times

Why legal euthanasia results in sick, elderly being pressured to die – Lifesite

February 3, 2020 (El Debate de Hoy) Jeanne Delpierre requested euthanasia. She did not have advanced cancer, nor any other serious and incurable disease, a requirement required by Belgian law. Her incurable disease was old age (88 years) and the multiple pathologies associated with it: osteoarthritis, loss of sight and hearing

Jeanne Delpierre was killed.

In Holland, Senator Brongersma was killed in a case that received significant media coverage in 1998 because he had been one of the first to request euthanasia for psychological suffering. In his case, it was loneliness: No one is left alive that interests me.

In Benelux (Belgium/Netherlands/Luxembrug), a beacon of euthanasic progress, there are more and more people who ask for and obtain death to avoid simple emotional disorders, or to prevent future suffering (for example, people who are diagnosed with cancer or Alzheimers disease but are still in the early stages).

In our aging societies, the number of elderly people facing physical and mental decline, depression, and loneliness will grow rapidly: the generation that started during the family-sexual revolution in the 60s is reaching old age, with its sequelae of divorces and low birth rates. Many Baby-Boomers have had no children, or have had very few: a very sad old age awaits them in hospices or empty homes. The burden they represent to the economic and health care systems is grave, indeed.

Lets say it bluntly: there is a definite risk, more or less subtle, that more and more of the elderly will be pushed toward euthanasia. It will be enough to convince them that the final stretch of life, with all of its difficulties, is lebensunwert, unworthy of being lived (yes, it is the term that Nazi legislation used to justify the extermination of the deficient in the Aktion T4 program). They will also be pressured with the idea that they are a drag on young people. When the notion that the dignified choice is not to impose ones own decay on others is incorporated into the cultural environment, the burden of proof will fall on the one who wishes to continue living beyond a certain age.

Our progressive government is willing to embark society on this formidable advance. Of course, it will say euthanasia is going to be allowed only in extreme cases of incurable and unbearable suffering... This is what the government has already done with abortion. Experience shows that, once the principle of inviolability of life is demolished, public opinion and jurisprudential drift lead to an increasingly lax interpretation of legal requirements. Inevitably, it leads to a reform of the law, to accommodate the permissive praxis that is a fait accompli. The slippery slope is confirmed time and again in bioethical matters.

The Netherlands has already served as a laboratory for euthanasia for 40 years (tolerated by the courts since the 70s and regulated since 2001), and Belgium for 20 years (regulated in 2002). The evolution in both countries is the one synthesized by Herbert Hendin in Seduced by Death: From euthanizing terminally ill patients they have progressed to euthanizing those with chronic illnesses; from accepting euthanasia for physical illnesses they have evolved to euthanizing people with psychological illnesses; from allowing euthanasia only for voluntary cases, it is now accepted practice to euthanize people without their express permission. Therefore, the number of cases shoots upward like an arrow: in Belgium, from about 200 annually at the beginning to about 2,500 today. In the Netherlands, it has been estimated that 15% of deaths are already caused by euthanasia. The control is ex post facto: doctors must inform the Control Commission...when the patient has already been passported. In addition, the commission consists mostly of supporters of euthanasia.

The alternative to euthanasia is not horrible agony. We live in a time when almost all sufferings can be attenuated by legitimate medicine. Supporters of euthanasia try to muddle everything, confusing it with palliative care within the blurry concept of a dignified death. But palliative care seeks not to cause death, but to improve the quality of life in the final phase of a painful disease. Nor should terminal sedation be confused with euthanasia: it seeks not to cause death, but to lessen the agony of death.

But palliative care is very expensive. In Spain, which is a pioneer in this field, investment in palliative care has been frozen for decades. Although the Bologna Plan provided for European universities to develop palliative care as another specialty of medical studies, only 6 of 43 Spanish medical schools teach it on a mandatory basis. There is a national palliative care strategy that has clearly been given up for dead since the commission has not met for three years, and the national plan has not been created. In Spain alone, some 75,000 patients are in need of palliative care and cannot receive it.

The culture of death, with its 100,000 abortions a year and the substitution of family stability for a libertine lifestyle, has led us to senile societies, with an inverted demographic pyramid. Every aging society must decide whether to invest in palliative care and health care for the elderly or euthanasia. Our socialist-communist government seems to have decided that the progressive way is the second. In the Happy World of Aldous Huxley, there is no old age.

Editors note: Francisco Jos Contreras is a lecturer in legal philosophy at the University of Seville and is a representative in the Spanish congress from the conservative VOX party.

This article was first published at El debate de hoy. It is republished here by permission.

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Why legal euthanasia results in sick, elderly being pressured to die - Lifesite

Vet Shares What Pets Experience When Facing the End of Life Alone – Our Community Now at Maryland

Photo by Catherine Heath on Unsplash

When it comes to facing the end of life for a furry friend, most people will report that it's a heartbreaking process. For some pet owners,it's one of those deeply impactful experiences that stay with them forever, just as the grief of losing a human family member will. Butthe grief of owners is just one part of the picture. What's often not talked about is what our four-legged family member experiences in their last moments.

Holding an aged, sick, and dying pet in your arms, watching the vet approach with the needles, calming them as they express their fear and pain, and ushering them into peaceful rest while tears flow freely, this is the experience many pet parents know. This is not the experience all pets have, however. Some are left to face those final moments in a vet's office, with people they do not know.

In a blog post shared by Hillcrest Veterinary Hospital & 24-hour Emergency Service in South Africa, a local vet shared the heart-wrenching loneliness of pets who face euthanasia without the loving arms, faces, scents, and voices of their two-legged family nearby. The post has been shared over 130,000 times and explains that oftentimes when making the transition from life into death, pets will search for their ownerssometimes, frantically, as they near the end of life.The veterinarian explains that they search every face inthe room for their lovedone, not understanding why they have been left behind.

As the post says, these animals need the comfort of their owners, just as we seek the comfort of our loved ones.Though losing a pet may be hardand watching as they become still and pass on is scary, sobering, and full of sadnessthey, too, need comfort, especially in those last few moments.

The American Animal Hospital Association(AAHA) has some tips and guidance for pet owners facing the death of a pet. Euthanasia can be a final act of love and often is the only way to end a pets suffering. Humane euthanasia is a peaceful process and can help pet owners with grief, as they help and watch their pet stop suffering.

Veterinarian Jennifer Coates of Pet MD weighed in about whether or not pets know they're going to die. While her article was not able to answer that specific question, it did point out that helping them through those final moments with love and grace is the ultimate act of love.

Well probably never be able to definitively answer the question of whether pets know when they are going to die. What is vital, however, is that owners and veterinarians recognize when the end is near so that we can provide all the love and care necessary to make their last days as good as they possibly can be.

When a pet dies, we often wonder what we could have done to give them a better life, and as the vet who wrote this post reminds us, simply being with them to the very end means more than any new toy, bone, or chew. When that unfortunate time comes, they will look to us for the final okay to go. Most areas have veterinarians who will come to the home to perform the procedure, allowing the pet to be in their own space and not anxiously being placed on a table or vet office floor.

This one pulled on the heartstrings and reminded us of all the fur babies we have loved and lost. We want to hear from you on this subject. How have you faced the inevitable situation of when a pet is ready to pass on? Let us know in the comments, and share any pictures of your beloved pets with us.

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Vet Shares What Pets Experience When Facing the End of Life Alone - Our Community Now at Maryland

In this nation, 10000 folks have sought euthanasia from the federal government, the stunning reality revealed in analysis – Sahiwal Tv

Who doesnt wish to reside and lengthy life. If the folks affected by critical sickness are ignored, then normally everybody desires that they reside life to the fullest. But theres a nation on the planet the place persons are asking for a want of dying from the federal government. The identify of this nation is Netherlands.

Here in Parliament just lately, the nation's Health Minister and Dutch MP Christian Democrat Hugo Di Jong quoted a report that 10 thousand folks of the nation have expressed their want to the federal government that they wish to finish their lives.

->All these folks needs to be allowed this. All these persons are greater than 55 years of age. All these persons are affected by their critical diseases. So I wish to finish my life. The Health Minister mentioned that this determine is 0.18 p.c of the whole inhabitants of the nation.

Actually, all these persons are affected by critical ailments and wish to finish their lives on their very own. Health Minister Di Jong has expressed concern on this problem. He has to say that theres a critical matter. The authorities ought to assume those that are searching for euthanasia. Why has he develop into upset along with his life. These folks ought to assist to search out the suitable that means of life and encourage them once more. The authorities must take a call on this. Also, you must assist such folks, whove given up hope of residing. Another Member of Parliament of the Netherlands mentioned that she is going to introduce a invoice for euthanasia for greater than 75 folks, so that individuals can finish their lives in a peaceable and dignified approach. How a lot have you ever misplaced? That is why you will need to go for a snowflake.

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In this nation, 10000 folks have sought euthanasia from the federal government, the stunning reality revealed in analysis - Sahiwal Tv

The pro-life position on Tinslee Lewis is to take her off life support and end her suffering – NBC News

As a newcomer to pro-life activism in 1975, I was captivated along with the nation by the case of Karen Ann Quinlan. Quinlan had been hospitalized after suffering an event that deprived her of oxygen for a prolonged period and led doctors to diagnose her as being in a persistent vegetative state. She was placed on a respirator and provided with a feeding tube, but her parents wanted the respirator removed because they felt it was "extraordinary care" keeping her alive artificially rather than allowing her to live or die "in God's time." The hospital refused, however, because, it said, that would violate New Jersey's homicide law. Her landmark legal case went all the way to the Supreme Court, which found in the Quinlans' favor.

Unfortunately, some in our movement have shifted from simply protecting ordinary care to pushing to establish extraordinary care as the new standard.

The decision was important for me and others in the pro-life community for confirming the standard of ordinary versus extraordinary care. Our position has always been to protect the maintenance of ordinary care deemed to be food, water and oxygen but not extraordinary care; it was never the movement's position that there was a right to such treatment but rather that doctors should not hasten death.

Forty-five years later, it's important to remember this foundational pro-life principle. Unfortunately, some in our movement have shifted from simply protecting ordinary care to pushing to establish extraordinary care as the new standard. They want unlimited care interventions even when futile, inappropriate or outright harmful and in violation of doctors' consciences and their oath to do no harm.

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Tragically, they are pushing for this treatment in the case of Tinslee Lewis, a 1-year-old born in my home state of Texas with a severe heart defect. Her doctors say she is suffering with no hope of improvement and should be taken off life support, but the family and some right-to-life advocates have appealed to the courts to block the decision. An important hearing in her case is being held Tuesday.

This new position is especially troubling, because conscience is a central ethic of medicine, and to strip doctors of their right to conscience would enslave them to the whims of the state, society and patient surrogates. In fact, conscience protections were some of our first pro-life victories. Laws enacted in the 1970s protected medical providers who refused to participate in abortions or sterilizations. In 1996, we further protected medical students who didn't wish to train to perform abortions. Many state protections have been sought and won since.

The recent March for Life at the end of January, the pro-life community's largest annual national rally, for the first time featured the current U.S. president as a speaker. This should be a time for unity and reaffirmation of the central tenets of the movement. Instead, we face a division that not only splinters our advocacy, but also has terrible real-world consequences for those enduring fates similar to those of Quinlan and Tinslee.

Trinity Lewis, Tinslee's mom, has expressed hope through her attorneys and advisers at Texas Right to Life that her daughter can transition home for palliative care, and she has sued to demand that the hospital keep her daughter on her ventilator and resuscitate her multiple times a day indefinitely. The alternative is a transfer to another facility, but no facility has been willing to take her. Sworn testimony from doctors and nurses who have cared for Tinslee her entire life suggests Lewis is being misled that her daughter has any hope for a better outcome.

As a mother myself, I can only imagine Lewis' pain, and I understand deeply why she holds out such hope. Which is why it's so crucial that the medical establishment be respected for its expertise and guidance and that the laws put in place to make the best decision for patients in these circumstances be followed. Unfortunately, what we have seen in the media from attorneys, family and advisers for Tinslee constitutes a distortion of the patient's condition, the law at the heart of the lawsuit and the historic pro-life positions regarding euthanasia and end-of-life care. In fact, several other key organizations, including Texas Alliance for Life and the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops, support the position of my group, Texans for Life.

Tinslee, who has a nurse dedicated solely to her care 24/7, struggles to survive any agitation, including diaper changes, leading to "dying events" on a daily basis. The medicines help control her breathing and her pain, but they keep her in deep sedation and a state of paralysis to minimize those dying events. No one can reasonably argue that the care Tinslee receives is ordinary.

To deal with heart-wrenching scenarios such as these, the state has a carefully constructed law respectful of pro-life concerns about end-of-life treatments and interventions, which balances the need to protect life, patient dignity and the conscience rights of providers. The law, the Texas Advance Directives Act, allows doctors and hospitals to give families like the Lewises a deadline to seek treatment elsewhere when they no longer believe interventions are appropriate. It was signed by a Republican governor in consultation with a large number of pro-life organizations.

But Tinslee's advocates complain that the law is unconstitutional because it deprives patients of due process before they are deprived of their right to life, as the 10 days the law allows to find an alternative facility is not enough time to complete a transfer. In fact, Tinslee's hospital has been looking for alternative facilities for months. According to the doctors we've consulted with on this case, a typical hospital transfer takes only three to four days.

The mounting health care costs that would result from mandating extraordinary care, regardless of the futility, risks a renewed push and acceptance of euthanasia.

Worse yet, the pro-life group that's helping to bring this legal challenge is trying to change the concept of what constitutes euthanasia. The idea that anything less than a full-court press until every cell is dead somehow constitutes euthanasia is new and dangerous. The mounting health care costs that would result from mandating extraordinary care, regardless of the futility, risks a renewed push and acceptance of euthanasia, as we have seen in other countries.

More than rhetoric or distortions, the law or a movement, this case is about Tinslee, her family and the caregivers who have worked so hard to save her life. But if the court tramples on the carefully constructed legal mechanisms to safeguard her best interests and empowers groups like Texas Right to Life to redefine euthanasia and diminish doctors' conscience rights, we will all be damaged.

Kyleen Wright is the president of Texans for Life. Follow her on Twitter @kyleenwright or @prolifetexans.

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The pro-life position on Tinslee Lewis is to take her off life support and end her suffering - NBC News

Catholic bishops urge Trudeau to scrap changes to assisted dying legislation – National Post

OTTAWA The president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has written to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to voice very serious concern about proposed changes to medical assistance in dying legislation.

Archbishop Richard Gagnon says in a letter on Friday the governments attempt to expand assisted death to include advance directives, as well as extending it to situations where death is not reasonably foreseeable, is deeply troubling.

Trudeaus government is working to comply with a Superior Court of Quebec ruling that concluded it is unconstitutional to allow only Canadians who are already near death to seek medical help to end their lives.

Gagnon says his organization is disappointed and concerned that the federal government has refused to appeal the ruling and it objects to an online questionnaire recently conducted by the Department of Justice.

The questionnaire asked people to consider safeguards to prevent abuse if the foreseeable-death requirement is removed from the law, but Gagnon says its inappropriate to use a survey to address grave moral questions.

Our Government recognizes that medical assistance in dying is a complex and deeply personal issue

In his letter, Gagnon says bishops agree in principle with consulting Canadians, but a survey that was available online for only two weeks is insufficient.

In a statement late Friday night the Department of Justice said the recent online consultation focused on responding to the issues raised in the Truchon ruling.

It further noted that the government received nearly 300,000 responses from the public, demonstrating just how engaged Canadians are with this deeply significant issue.

Our Government recognizes that medical assistance in dying is a complex and deeply personal issue, the statement said. We remain committed to protecting vulnerable individuals while protecting the Charter rights of all Canadians.

But Gagnon, who is the Archbishop of Winnipeg, says the survey also failed to give attention to the fears and concerns of elderly people and those with disabilities.

The churchs ministry of healing and accompanying the sick involves national and regional networks of parishes and health-care institutions on which vulnerable Canadians and their families rely for support and care, he says.

We visit the elderly who are lonely, isolated, abandoned, and insufficiently supported by health care and community services. We listen to those who, gripped by a physical or psychological crisis, see no reason for going on.

All these people are endangered by assisted death and need advocacy, support and the protection afforded by the very safeguards the government is trying to overturn, he argues.

Experience has shown that patients are more likely to request help in dying when their pain is not properly managed or when they are lonely or socially marginalized, Gagnon adds.

He says palliative care has yet to become fully realized and accessible in Canada, even though it seeks to alleviate the pain, loneliness, fear and despair that can lead to the tragic failure of assisted death.

Gagnon urges the government to hear from parents of children with mental illness, health-care providers who do not wish to administer assisted death and elderly or disabled patients who have been abused by caregivers.

We, as bishops of the Catholic faithful in Canada, call on the government to engage in a more rigorous, impartial and prolonged study of the problems inherent in euthanasia/assisted suicide by involving those whose experiences offer a different perspective and even present inconvenient truths.

We call on the government to engage in a more rigorous, impartial and prolonged study of the problems inherent in euthanasia/assisted suicide

Trudeaus government has been considering how to amend the law in a way that safeguards against abuse.

Justice Minister David Lametti has said hed like to have a bill before the House of Commons as soon as possible.

Lametti has not ruled out requesting an extension to the March 11 deadline imposed by the court, but hes said he would first like to see what level of consensus exists in the House.

Dying with Dignity Canada has warned against applying more hurdles that could wind up unfairly depriving people of their right to an assisted death and being shot down again by the courts.

Requiring consultation with medical specialists, for instance, could create real barriers to access, especially for people living outside big cities, the organization has argued.

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Catholic bishops urge Trudeau to scrap changes to assisted dying legislation - National Post

Sick and tired of pain, Kenyans fly out to procure aided suicide – Daily Nation

By STELLA CHERONOMore by this Author

The epitaph on her grave reads, To Live is Christ and to Die is Gain. It is somewhat a representation of how she lived and died.

Diana Elga Akinyi drafted the epitaph just days before she chose to die to free herself from excruciating pain and the numbing effects of medicines.

Long before she chose to die, Diana had had to bring herself to terms with her doctors verdict; that she had just a few days to live, because her malignant cancer had metastasized. But death was not coming, and her days were only filled with pain that only saw her use drug after drug.

In a corner of her room was a table laden with painkillers: Morphine oxycodone, fentanyl and others.

Her sister says that although these are the strongest painkillers, at some point they seemed not to help much. She was in so much pain.

She used to cry a lot, said the sister, who prefers anonymity in order to discuss the issue freely.

And so Diana continued waiting for death. When it was not coming eight years on, she made up her mind. She would fly out and have someone assist her to end her life.

This is Dianas tragic story.

She was involved in an accident that resulted in a spinal injury, which saw her confined to a wheelchair for six years after two years in a hospital bed.

My sister had an accident in 2009, narrated her sister sombrely. She was driving with her boyfriend on Ngong Road in the evening when their vehicle was hit head-on by another speeding car. The boyfriend died but she was injured.

Diana, she said, was taken to Kenyatta National Hospital and later transferred to Kijabe Hospital. For close to two months, she was in the High Dependency Unit and then transferred to the ward. She would stay in hospital for close to two years.

Doctors ruled out the possibility of her ever walking again and when she was discharged, she could only use a wheelchair.

She could not walk. We used to bathe her and clothe her. She wore diapers. We had to employ people to take care of her. None lasted a month. Initially, the forex bureau she used to work for sent her salary to her account for some time but stopped, I guess, because they lost hope in her ever going back to work, the sister said.

As Diana was undergoing treatment for spinal injury, she was diagnosed with liver cancer after she developed some persistent abdominal pain. Doctors said the cancer was in advanced stages and because she was already taking painkillers, it had not manifested itself.

The diagnosis made her condition worse. The doctors had to change her prescription and she had to undergo chemotherapy. She could not eat, her condition was pathetic Her skin was hideous, she lost weight, her voice disappeared, and she cried night and day. Her lips were red. When she could, she took out her frustrations on Facebook, where she shared her story, with her pictures, before and after the diagnosis. At some point, she was so weak she just wanted to die, her sister said.

On July 27, 2017 Diana wrote: I have lived all I could. I created friends. God gave me a family. They have done all they could. Life cannot be anymore; death nears yet so far. To live is Christ and to die is gain.

Two days later, she called all her family members to a meeting and had a simple request: she wanted assisted suicide.

She said she had researched about euthanasia online and she was going for it. By then her hospital bill had accumulated to Sh8.4 million and she knew that no matter how much we spent on her, she would still die. We refused and told her about the sanctity of life. We told her a miracle could happen; that euthanasia was illegal in Kenya That no hospital could agree to that. We refused although we knew her organs had failed.

Later, her condition got worse and we took her to a Nairobi hospital. Sometimes she would writhe in pain and, in her very frail voice, she asked every doctor to switch off the ICU machines. She wanted death so much. One day when my elder brother was alone with her, she asked that we take her to a country where euthanasia is legal. She said she had done research online and was ready to die. She was persistent, her sister said.

The family agreed to fly her to a European country that they prefer not to name and on October 16, 2017, she bid farewell to her brother, mother and sister.

The sister says Dianas last words to her were, thank you.

Wasnt it expensive flying all the way to Europe to die?

We spent less than half a million on travel, like Sh430,000 in total. The actual procedure was paid for by some activists my sister had met on social media. Apparently, she had joined some groups on Facebook and the members paid the hospital directly, she said.

They airlifted the body back to Kenya and buried it at the Langata Cemetery.

Dianas story is just one of many that illustrate the growing trend among Kenyans to seek mercy killings abroad in the face of laws banning the practice. Article 26 of the Constitution sanctifies life, making mercy killing illegal. The law states that no one should be deprived of their life intentionally, save for the extent authorised by the Constitution or any other written law.

However, several families have told the Saturday Nation that they have overseen assisted suicides and mercy killings of their kin who had endured a lot of pain, with no hope of being healed as the cost of medication skyrocketed with every passing hour.

Although the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board says mercy killing is not acceptable, some Kenyans have confessed to the Saturday Nation that they subjected their kin to passive euthanasia, where they asked doctors to pull the plug or switch off the dependency machines in hospital after they realised that there was no hope of recovery.

A radio presenter confessed that when their four-year-old daughter who was born with mild methemoglobinemia, a blood disorder in which an abnormal amount of methemoglobin is produced, was later diagnosed with Leukaemia which affected her organs, they agreed as a family to just end her life.

Our baby was suffering, her hospital bill had accumulated to Sh3.6 million and that is after we sold our land to pay part of the bill. She had spent almost half of her life in hospital. She was in and out of ICU and we could feel her pain. One day, we just told her doctor to switch off the machines and let her die peacefully because her small body had endured so much pain. It was painful, because every parent wants their baby to be healthy. But ours was suffering and to deny her death meant prolonging her suffering, she said.

Asked whether she sometimes feels guilty for ending her daughters life, she said, No, she was suffering and there were no hopes at all. Her organs had failed and there was never going to be a miracle about that.

Assisted death and euthanasia in Kenya are classified as murder but, just like abortion, they are happening in secret. Nakuru-based criminal lawyer David Mongeri asserts that assisted suicide is simply murder.

Even when someone has requested you or consented to it, it is simply a crime, he told the Saturday Nation.

Article 43(2) also provides that a person shall not be denied emergency medical treatment. Similar provisions are also contained in international and regional human rights instruments, such as the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights, both of which Kenya has ratified.

Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board chief executive officer, Dr Daniel Yumbya, says that the Code of Professional Conduct and Discipline that guides medical practitioners does not permit assisted suicide in whatever form.

Euthanasia in Kenya is illegal and doctors found conducting it should be prosecuted. It is criminal and unethical, he said, adding that there have been no formal complaints against any doctor in Kenya.

In April last year, the High Court in Narok sentenced a couple, Emmanuel Kiprotich Sigei, 25, and Irene Nalomuta Sigei, 23, to 15 years in jail for killing their one-and-half-year-old baby because she was sickly. The couple, residents of Nasitori in Narok South Sub-county, on February 6, 2014 bought a chemical used to spray livestock from an agrovet shop and gave it to baby Brenda Chepkorir.

Justice Justus Bwonwonga, while sentencing them, said: The duty of the accused as parents was to take care and protect the deceased. Instead, they murdered her. Even if the accused thought this type of killing was a form of euthanasia, since the child was crawling and sickly due to flu, it is still an offence.

Kenyans, and Africans in general, would traditionally rather have a person die naturally, even when there was no chance of survival, yet, since time immemorial, euthanasia has been practised, albeit under the tag of taboo.

Among the Nandi, for instance, the elderly who got tired of living would travel to Nandi and take their own lives by plunging down 150-metre cliffs overlooking Lelmokwo at Koigaro Falls into Chepteon River.

A resident of the area, Jeremiah Kosibon, said that in the olden days, those who courted death would hold hands, stand in line and then hunker backwards down the cliff.

This was a sure way of dying. There was the alternative of drowning in a river, but no one wanted to conduct this. It was easier this way, Mr Kosibon said.

The closest Africa has gone towards legalising euthanasia is when a South African court recently ruled that a terminally ill man, Robin Stransham-Ford, could have a doctor assist his death by lethal injection or lethal medication. But still, South Africa has not legalised euthanasia and, in fact, last year, it sentenced leading pro-euthanasia activist Sean Davison to three years in prison after he was found guilty of premeditated murder for helping three people to kill themselves.

In some countries such as Netherlands, euthanasia is permitted, but the law only allows it to be done on persons who are experiencing unbearable physical or mental suffering without possibility of cure.

A lot of paper work is done prior to euthanasia, which must be done under the supervision of a medical practitioner.

Other countries where euthanasia is legal are Belgium, Colombia, Luxembourg and Canada. Assisted suicide is also permitted in Switzerland, Germany and the Netherlands.

In America, states like Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Hawaii, Vermont, Montana, Maine, New Jersey and California have legalised euthanasia.

My abilities have been in decline over the past year or two, my eyesight over the past six years I feel I have lost my dignity and self-respect I no longer want to continue living. Im happy to have the chance tomorrow to end it, Dr Goodall told the media in Switzerland before his death. He remains one of the most cited examples in global discourses on euthanasia.

There has been a push in Kenya for its legalisation but it has not really gained momentum. Ann Ngigi, an advocate of the High Court of Kenya once wrote: Kenya should legalise euthanasia and/or physician-assisted suicide for deserving cases. Without legal guidance, it is difficult to know when to cease life support if a patients condition will not improve.

There have been several debates in Parliament, at medical practitioners conferences, among lawyers and other fields. But religious leaders have been categorical that euthanasia should not be allowed.

Reverend Canon Peter Karanja, the former secretary of the National Council of Churches of Kenya, says that the Bible forbids killing.

Life is therefore of God. He gives, and he takes. We have no right whatsoever to take life, as the Fifth Commandment orders, he said.

He, however, separates the killing of someone who is sick from turning off machines in hospital, saying the latter is not killing.

There are instances when the family and the doctors are well aware that without the machines assisting life, a person will die. In this case, I think there is no need to hold on just because technology is available. I am however against instances where someone is subjected to a lethal injection, suffocation and the likes, simply because they are suffering from ill-health, he said.

Human rights crusader Abdimajid Mohamed Ali says that even though euthanasia happens, it is wrong.

It is bad. I will never advocate it. It is God who gives life and he is the one who takes it, why do you want to terminate it?

He says that according to the Koran, life is sacred.

In the Koran 17:33, Allah says in the Koran You shall not kill any person - for God has made life sacred, he said.

Sociologist Salmona Oketch observes that many people opt for mercy killing or assisted suicide after they lose hope in good health.

There are people who would rather die than subject their families to a lot of problems. Some of them would rather not see their dignity fade way so they go for what I would call premature death. I see nothing wrong with that, only that it is illegal here, she said.

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Sick and tired of pain, Kenyans fly out to procure aided suicide - Daily Nation

Opinion: Understanding the link between physical and mental health – UI The Daily Iowan

The two can affect each other, especially when one of them goes ignored.

The Psychological and Brain Sciences building is seen on Friday, January 24, 2020. (Wyatt Dlouhy/The Daily Iowan)

Wyatt Dlouhy

The Psychological and Brain Sciences building is seen on Friday, January 24, 2020. (Wyatt Dlouhy/The Daily Iowan)

Wyatt Dlouhy

Wyatt Dlouhy

The Psychological and Brain Sciences building is seen on Friday, January 24, 2020. (Wyatt Dlouhy/The Daily Iowan)

Ally Pronina, Columnist February 4, 2020

Mental and physical illness are often talked about as separate concepts, but this is not as simple a division as some think.

People with terminal physical illnesses may experience depression. For example, panic-attack symptoms are both mental and physical, with someone experiencing a racing heart, sweating, and trouble breathing.

I spoke with Emily Kroska, clinical assistant professor in the University of Iowa Psychological and Brain Sciences Department, to learn more.

We dont have data to indicate causality, but there is quite a bit of data suggesting the two [physical and mental health] are related, Kroska said. I have studied how childhood trauma impacts mental health, somatic symptoms, as well as problematic or risky health behaviors. If persistent, risky health behaviors can lead to long-term negative physical health consequences.

Fortunately, psychologists can work at medical clinics which treat physical illnesses.

Integrated care is one model of incorporating psychologists into medical systems that is becoming increasingly more common, especially in VA health-care systems, Kroska said. Psychologists are in-house, where they are able to work with patients and providers. Many of the patients presenting to medical clinics are experiencing mental-health systems, and whether these symptoms are caused by a physical or mental illness, psychologists can often be helpful.

Mental and physical illnesses can affect a person simultaneously. Psychologists should always, not just often, be integrated.

Critics might argue this would make health care too expensive. A research report from psychologists Linda Carlson and Barry D. Bultz contradicts this concern.

Studies of cancer patients perceptions of needs find that they feel under-served in many areas, including the provision of treatments for these high levels of psychological and emotional distress, the report said.

The case of euthanasia is a good hypothetical. What if someone living with severe physical problems wanted to end their life via euthanasia? Mental-health screenings are required for that. Would that treatment their mind?

Critics of this idea might also argue people with physical illnesses can find treatments themselves if needed. Sure, but it would be nice if on top of their mental and physical problems, they would not need to worry about finding care.

Plus, not everyone in that situation is going to admit, or even realize, they need mental-health services. Oncology patients might argue their lack of energy and lack of interest in activities is a result of cancer. New mothers say crying and being irritable results from a lack of sleep and the stress of taking care of a newborn. Yet, all these peoples symptoms could actually be caused by a mental illness such as depression.

Not everyone who has a physical illness has a mental one as well, though it could happen. People in these situations should have their mental health checked and given options for mental-health treatment if necessary.

Columns reflect the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board, The Daily Iowan, or other organizations in which the author may be involved.

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Puppy mill legislation dies over concerns for Colorado pet stores – OutThere Colorado

A bill to stop puppy and kitten mills died Monday over concerns for Colorado pet stores.

House Bill 1084 originally would have blocked pet stores from selling dogs and cats. While that was amended out, the legislation still had teeth: requiring stores to use state-licensed breeders, limiting the number of litters per dog and ensuring those animals are treated humanely.

In the end, it wasnt enough. The bill died on a 6-5 vote before the House Rural Affairs Committee, with Democrats Reps. Bri Buentello of Pueblo and Donald Valdez of La Jara voting with Republicans to can the bill. Lawmakers asked for more work to weed out bad breeders and good ones who supply small businesses that sell pets.

Proponents in the hours-long hearing described pet stores as the pipeline for mass breeding operations.

Rep. Monica Duran, D-Denver, said the choice to amend the bill to exclude pet stores was tough, but she didnt want to lose the improvements she thought she could get, from veterinarians, dog breeders and legislators sympathetic to pet store owners.

Im disappointed and heartbroken at what we had to give up, she said before the losing vote.

Duran said she would continue to push to end puppy and kitten mills.

She said more than 4,000 puppies were sold in pet stores in Colorado last year, and some came from breeders with hundreds of dogs and a long list of egregious animal welfare violations.

The bill doesnt affect hobby breeders or others who dont need a state license now. It also doesnt apply to service animals, livestock or dogs used in hunting. Exemptions for county fairs and educational events were carved out of a ban on outdoor sales.

Pet store owners and employees said abusive breeders do not represent the industry, whose operators stake their licenses on operating reputably, and whether theyre being pushed out by animal welfare groups to make way for retail rescue operations that turn a profit.

Pet store owners told the committee that drastically amending the operations of licensed, taxpaying, small businesses would only drive up the prices of pets and steer determined customers to unlicensed and out-of-state suppliers, decreasing both the quality and quantity of pets.

Animal rights advocates urged the committee to protect animals in breeding operations by toughening state laws, including cutting off the high-volume breeding operations that supply pet stores.

Aubyn Royall, an attorney and state director for The Humane Society of the United States, said the decision to take out the ban on pet store sales was not made lightly.

This bill, as amended, demonstrates our willingness to compromise on even the most essential provisions in an attempt to move the needle in the right direction for dogs living in puppy mills, she said.

Mike Morgan, owner of Just Pets in Lone Tree and Centennial, recounted the taxes he pays to state and local governments. He said limiting breeders to 25 dogs is counterintuitive.

Professional breeders have full-time staff tending the animals, including veterinary care, whereas those with fewer than 25 are probably part-time breeders with other jobs.

Ive had breeders with less than 25 dogs, but I dont have them anymore because their quality was not there, Morgan said. The 25-dog limit is a backdoor pet-store ban, thats all it is.

Dr. Jackie Christakos, president-elect of the Colorado Veterinary Medical Association, said her organization supports the overall intent of healthier dogs from good breeders, but thinks more work and more science needs to be put into the bill.

The CVMA opposed the bill. Christakos said the bills limit of 25 cats or dogs per breeding facility doesnt address quality of care by focusing on quantity of animals. She pointed to provisions that arent based in science or veterinary medicine, including limiting the number of litters, having a veterinarian to determine if an animal could have healthy offspring and making euthanasia the vets call.

CVMA is very much in favor of healthy breeding practices, but we cannot support this bill as drafted or with the proposed amendments we have seen, Christakos said. We recommend postponing this bill and engaging stakeholders in order to make (shelter standards) more effective for the citizens and animals of Colorado.

We are driven by our deep respect for our environment, and our passionate commitment to sustainable tourism and conservation. We believe in the right for everyone - from all backgrounds and cultures - to enjoy our natural world, and we believe that we must all do so responsibly. Learn More

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Puppy mill legislation dies over concerns for Colorado pet stores - OutThere Colorado

The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe hosts ‘Pooch Smooch’ dog adoption event on Feb. 16 – Rancho Santa Fe Review

Find true love at The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe at its Pooch Smooch adoption event on Valentines Day weekend.During Moradas Sunday brunch on Sunday, Feb. 16 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., guests can cozy up to eligible canines up for adoption in the hopes of making a perfect match.

For the adoption event, The Inn is collaborating with SPOT (Saving Pets One at a Time), a volunteer organization advocating for homeless dogs and cats in San Diego County that are at risk for euthanasia. SPOTs mission is saving treatable, trainable, manageable and misdiagnosed animals from San Diego shelters by providing a system of transport, training, fostering and adoption. SPOT also supports spay and neuter programs and TNR (trap, neuter, release) programs for feral cats.

As part of the event, there will be a Pooch Smooch kissing booth where 100 percent of the proceeds will benefit SPOT. For more information on the adoption application process, please visit spotsavespets.org

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The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe hosts 'Pooch Smooch' dog adoption event on Feb. 16 - Rancho Santa Fe Review

Maryland lawmaker aims to reduce euthanasia in animal shelters – WTOP

The bill, sponsored by Del. Mark Chang, would require shelters to take a series of steps to reunite animals found as strays with their owners when possible.

A bill pre-filed by a Maryland House member would set standards for animal shelters, with the goal of reaching a save rate of 90%.

The bill, sponsored by Del. Mark Chang, would require shelters to take a series of steps to reunite animals found as strays with their owners when possible.

The bill would require shelters to make an attempt to identify an animal by checking for license tags or microchips within 24 hours of housing the animal. They would also have to prominently post their hours and the process for owners to recover pets who end up there.

When a shelter decides it must euthanize a pet, the bill would require a series of steps, including checking with other facilities that may have room, or making reasonable attempts to find foster care when permanent placement isnt available.

The proposal would also bar shelters from banning the transfer of an animal based on its breed.

Maryland lawmakers will head back to Annapolis for the General Assembly session on Jan. 8.

Like WTOP on Facebook and follow @WTOP on Twitter to engage in conversation about this article and others.

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Maryland lawmaker aims to reduce euthanasia in animal shelters - WTOP

Seeing How Shelter Animals Celebrated the Holidays Will Inspire You to Adopt in 2020! – One Green Planet

Lifeline Animal Project is an organization aiming to end the euthanasia of healthy and treatable dogs and cats in metro Atlanta shelters. They also run a private animal shelter, where during the holiday season they made sure the animals felt loved and happy! Thankfully, theyve shared videos and photos of the shelter animals enjoying themselves and were hoping it inspiresyou to adopt an animal in need!

The pups and kittens at Lifeline are lucky to have been rescued and in a safe place for the holidays, but theyre in need of furever homes. Lifeline shared the video above of the dogs joyously opening their presents with the caption: These happy pups cant wait to meet you at the LifeLine Community Animal Center! They are all crossing their paws in hopes that they will find their perfect match in time for the new year.

The cats werent left behind either. They also enjoyed toys and treats brought to them by kind volunteers.

By adopting a pet, you are not just saving an animals life but you are doing yourself many favors. There are plenty of benefits to taking care of a pet. For instance, walking a dog keeps the heart healthy, having a companion is always a plus, and more importantly youll be taking an ethical stance against the cruelty of breeding.

Puppy and kitten mills are cruel places where the animals are kept in wire cages for their entire lives, forced to breed and give birth only to wean the babies and then repeat the process. Disease runs rampant in those places and when the dog or cat is no longer of use to the breeder, they are killed.

Save money and a life by adopting instead. Or maybe you cannot adopt right now. Well, dont worry, you can also donate to organizations like Lifeline, enabling them to continue their amazing work!

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Seeing How Shelter Animals Celebrated the Holidays Will Inspire You to Adopt in 2020! - One Green Planet

Archbishop Paglia: never euthanasia, assisted suicide and abandoning the sick – Vatican News

The President of the Vaticans Pontifical Academy for Life comments on the Message of Pope Francis for the annual World Day of the Sick. In it, the Pope reiterates the Churchs respect for life from conception to its natural end.

By Luca Collodi

In your work, may you always strive to promote the dignity and life of each person, and reject any compromise in the direction of euthanasia, assisted suicide or suppression of life, even in the case of terminal illness.

Pope Francis makes this appeal to healthcare professionals in his message for this years World Day of the Sick on 11 February. Life must be welcomed, protected, respected and served from its beginning to its end, says the Holy Father in his message released on Friday.

According to Bishop Vincenzo Paglia, the president of the Vaticans Pontifical Academy for Life, it is a stand that is taking on an increasingly inter-religious and even secular dimension.

In an interview to Vatican Radio, he noted that in October, the representatives of the Abrahamic monotheistic religions had handed over to the Pope a signed common document, which condemned euthanasia and assisted suicide, and encouraged accompanying the sick and palliative care everywhere and for everyone.

Around the same time, he said, a secular institution like the World Medical Association, had also expressed its stand against euthanasia and assisted suicide.

Archbishop Paglia said that it is very important for medicine and doctors to rediscover their duty. In this regard, the Pope calls for a personalized approach to the sick, not just of curing but also of caring, in view of an integral human healing. Even when we cannot heal, the fundamental action is to remain close to the sick, never abandoning them, especially those in the most difficult or weakest situations.

The 74-year old archbishop said that we must flee the temptation of an omnipotent medicine that, when it fails and cannot heal, it must withdraw. This is a technical position based on efficiency that is detached from the humanistic perspective.

Regarding Pope Francis support for conscientious objection regarding issues such as euthanasia and assisted suicide, Archbishop Paglia said that his contacts with the World Medical Association have been positive, because a doctors healthy conscience has been formed to heal, not to eliminate.

Archbishop Paglia said that palliative care is promoted in all countries because of the fear and terror of pain and loneliness. But if all this is defeated, the strong desire to shorten ones life will be done away with. Palliative care, the archbishop said, wants to accompany and surround the life of the weakest with the cloak of love.

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Archbishop Paglia: never euthanasia, assisted suicide and abandoning the sick - Vatican News

Pope Francis: Human Life Must Be Respected from Its Beginning to Its End – Breitbart

ROME Pope Francis urged healthcare workers to defend the inviolable right to life from conception to natural death, urging them this weekend to resist euthanasia, abortion, and other crimes against life.

In your work, may you always strive to promote the dignity and life of each person, and reject any compromise in the direction of euthanasia, assisted suicide or suppression of life, even in the case of terminal illness, the pope told healthcare workers in his annual message for the World Day of the Sick.

As part of their vocation to life, doctors, nurses, and medical personnel are called to bear witness to the value of human life, even resorting to conscientious objection when pressured to act in any way contrary to life, the pontiff suggested.

Let us remember that life is sacred and belongs to God; hence it is inviolable and no one can claim the right to dispose of it freely, Francis said. Life must be welcomed, protected, respected and served from its beginning to its end: both human reason and faith in God, the author of life, require this.

In some cases, conscientious objection becomes a necessary decision if you are to be consistent with your yes to life and to the human person, he said. Your professionalism, sustained by Christian charity, will be the best service you can offer for the safeguarding of the truest human right, the right to life.

Healthcare workers play a key role in the effort to offer care and renewal to their sick brothers and sisters. Thanks to their expertise, they can make patients feel the presence of Christ who consoles and cares for the sick, and heals every hurt, the pope said.

When confronted with the limitations and even failures of medical science before increasingly problematic clinical cases and bleak diagnoses, you are called to be open to the transcendent dimension of your profession that reveals its ultimate meaning, he said.

What is needed is a personalized approach to the sick, not just of curing but also of caring, in view of an integral human healing, the pope said. In experiencing illness, individuals not only feel threatened in their physical integrity, but also in the relational, intellectual, affective and spiritual dimensions of their lives.

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Pope Francis: Human Life Must Be Respected from Its Beginning to Its End - Breitbart

Online advertising reviewed ahead of 2020 election – Newsroom

JANUARY 6, 2020 Updated 14 minutes ago

technology

Political advertising policies at Facebook and Twitter have been reviewed - and here's how they'll apply to this year's general election.

Facebook started in 2004 as a way for Harvard students to rankgirls by "hotness". Just over a decade later, it was being blamed for altering the course of a United States presidential election.

After Brexit, after Trump, after Cambridge Analytica, Facebook has had enough. In 2018, it launched a platform that allowed the public to see almost exactly how much money American political parties spent on ads, who they targeted and who ended up seeing them. The policy is mandatory in some countries and voluntary in others - including New Zealand, where only ACT and the Green Party have opted in.

On Twitter, political ads - including advertisements referencing a ballot issue like the upcoming referendums on voluntary euthanasia and legalising recreational cannabis - will be banned entirely, CEO Jack Dorsey announced in October.

The online ad landscape

Facebook's ad library allows the public to see a handful of details related to any given active ad, including from non-political groups or individuals and on non-political causes. For those political parties which sign up to increased transparency, a wider range of data is shared and inactive ads, or those that have already run their course, are included as well.

For example, the Green Party ran an ad from December 9 to 13 inviting people to meet with MP Jan Logie in taki. Less than $100 was spent and the post received between 2,000 and 3,000 impressions. More women saw the ad than men, a 61 percent to 36 percent. 56 percent of the people who saw it were based in the Manawatu-Wanganui region and 43 percent were in the Wellington region.

By comparison, an active ad on the page of a political party that hasn't opted in merely displays the ad itself and the date it started running.

"For us, signing up to ad library report was an obvious step. We believe in a strong democracy where people can see where information is coming from, who is paying for it, and how its being used," Green Party spokesperson Pete Huggins said.

"As social media becomes more and more powerful, we think its important for political parties to be transparent about the information they are putting out."

ACT confirmed to Newsroom that both the party page and party leader David Seymour's page are or soon will be signed up to the ad library.

A National Party spokesperson said only that the party is "considering it, and well make a decision in due course". Labour and New Zealand First did not respond to a request for comment and neither are currently signed up to the ad library.

A Facebook spokesperson also told Newsroom that the platform will announce "specific integrity products for NZs 2020 election" next year.

Facebook and Twitter diverge

While Facebook has strived for increased transparency on political ads, it has come under fire for not vetting ads based on content. When fake news articles are shared on the website, it will often attach a tag alerting readers that the content may be unreliable. However, if false claims are part of a political ad, no such tag is added and the advertisement is not taken down.

President Trump has already put more than a million US dollars into Facebook advertising for his reelection campaign, putting up hundreds of ads that often contain falsehoods. To protest against inaction by the tech platform, Democratic candidate Elizabeth Warren ran a political ad falsely claiming that Zuckerberg had endorsed Trump.

In order to circumvent the tricky role of choosing what political speech to allow and what political speech to ban, Twitter has simply banned promoting political advertising outright. In response to a request for comment, Twitter directed Newsroom to the new policy, which states that "Twitter globally prohibits the promotion of political content. We have made this decision based on our belief that political message reach should be earned, not bought."

The platforms definition of political content is broad and would cover ads related to the referendums on legalising recreational cannabis and voluntary euthanasia. "We define political content as content that references a candidate, political party, elected or appointed government official, election, referendum, ballot measure, legislation, regulation, directive, or judicial outcome," the policy states.

"Ads that contain references to political content, including appeals for votes, solicitations of financial support, and advocacy for or against any of the above-listed types of political content, are prohibited under this policy."

However, promoting posts on Twitter rarely has a major impact and, under the new policy, regular non-promoted political tweets will still be allowed. This means parties and politicians can continue to tweet out their messages, they just won't be able to pay for those messages to be promoted to people who don't follow them.

It is unclear whether Facebook's transparency policies would also apply to referendums. A Facebook spokesperson did not respond to multiple requests for further comment.

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Online advertising reviewed ahead of 2020 election - Newsroom

Pope calls on all governments to ensure access to health care | TheHill – The Hill

Pope FrancisPope FrancisPope calls on all governments to ensure access to health care Pope apologizes for hitting hand of woman who grabbed him Obama, Trump tied for most admired man: Gallup MORE called on governments around the world to ensure that their people have access to health care in hisannual papal message for the World Day of the Sick.

Francis said health institutions and government leaders should not neglect social justice out of preoccupation for financial concerns.

Jesus does not make demands of those who endure situations of frailty, suffering and weakness, but offers his mercy and his comforting presence. He looks upon a wounded humanity with eyes that gaze into the heart of each person. That gaze is not one of indifference; rather, it embraces people in their entirety, each person in his or her health condition, discarding no one, but rather inviting everyone to share in his life and to experience his tender love, Francis wrote in the message.

Dear healthcare professionals, let us always remember that diagnostic, preventive and therapeutic treatments, research, care and rehabilitation are always in the service of the sick person; indeed the noun person takes priority over the adjective sick. In your work, may you always strive to promote the dignity and life of each person, and reject any compromise in the direction of euthanasia, assisted suicide or suppression of life, even in the case of terminal illness, he continued.

Francis offered thoughts for health care workers serving in some contexts of war and violent conflict, adding in some areas, too, political authorities attempt to manipulate medical care for their own advantage, thus restricting the medical professions legitimate autonomy. Yet attacking those who devote themselves to the service of the suffering members of society does not serve the interests of anyone.

It is my hope that, by joining the principles of solidarity and subsidiarity, efforts will be made to cooperate in ensuring that everyone has access to suitable treatments for preserving and restoring their health, he continued.

The message came a day after the pope shared a video on Twitter calling for reconciliation and fraternity among all people of varying faiths in the new year.

pic.twitter.com/MSxotMPlTi

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Pope calls on all governments to ensure access to health care | TheHill - The Hill

The Week Unwrapped podcast: Medals, magazines and mercy killing – The Week UK

Olly Mann and The Week delve behind the headlines and debate what really matters from the past seven days.

In this weeks episode, we discuss:

Reports are circulating that president Emmanuel Macron intends to bestow France's highest award, the Legion d'honneur, on the city of London, for providing a base to the leader of the French Resistance, Charles de Gaulle during the Second World War. Is it a meaningless gesture, eighty years too late? Or one that could serve to remind both nations of their shared history in a post-Brexit world?

Belgium and the Netherlands are considering extending their already liberal euthanasia laws to give dementia sufferers the right to die. The move is supported by liberal parties in both countries, as well as the majority-Catholic Flanders region in Belgium. But following some controversial deaths by euthanasia, right-wing parties are calling for a review of existing laws.

People across New Zealand have been filming themselvesturning over magazinesfeaturing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on the front cover, posting their videos to social media and hashtagging them#TurnArdern. The protesterscomplains that the PM should spend more timefixingthe countrysproblemsand less time doingphoto shoots. Is Arderns star on the wane?

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The Week Unwrapped podcast: Medals, magazines and mercy killing - The Week UK

With gay marriage and abortion enshrined, Irish to tackle euthanasia next – Lifesite

December 19, 2019 (Live Action News) Irish pro-lifers have been embattled ever since the repeal of the pro-life Eighth Amendment last year, which legalized abortion. Now pro-lifers in the country are readying themselves for a fight on a new life issue, as a poll by the Journal shows that three in five Irish support legalizing euthanasia.

The president of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC)lamentedthe creeping erosion of pro-life protections in the Republic of Ireland:"We have witnessed dreadful changes in Ireland in recent years in relation to abortion. Now we are seeing a further threat to innocent lives looming on the horizon. We need to combat these threats by exposing the reality of assisted suicide. Evidence from around the world shows that the so-called right to die quickly becomes the duty to die."

The recent media spotlight on euthanasia comes from Vicky Phelan, who is known in Ireland for herexposure of massive deficienciesin a government cervical cancer screening program. Because of these mistakes, she missed a critical diagnosis window and is currently suffering from terminal cervical cancer. Now, 45-year-old Phelan has emerged as the latest face of the euthanasia movement in the country. According to the Journal, the mother of two told the Irish Mail on Sunday that she would avail herself of the procedure, and that she would campaign for others who want it. Euthanasia and assisted suicide are currently illegal in Ireland.

As reported byExtra.ie, Phelan explained that she believes she only has two years left to live. "I would be pro-euthanasia, definitely. I would hate to be in a position where I was in a lot of pain or lingering, as can happen a lot, that people are waiting for four or five days for somebody to die," she said. She portrayed terminal illness as intolerable for both family and patient: "It's terrible for the patient. It's terrible for the family having to sit and watch their loved one [dying in pain]. It's not a nice sight to see people when they're dying."

Unfortunately, Phelan isn't a minority here. According to a poll conducted by theJournal, 63% are in favor of assisted suicide or euthanasia, making it the next major pro-life target in Ireland. Just 16% reported they wouldnotsupport the legalization of euthanasia in Ireland.

What Phelan and supporters don't understand is that legalizing euthanasia always ends up hurting society's most vulnerable. In countries likethe Netherlands, euthanasia legalization nearly two decades ago initially began with hard cases like Phelan's in mind. But the slippery slope of legalizing euthanasia has led to the endangerment of those with mental illness, the elderly, and even children. It's why former euthanasia activists like Dutch ethicistTheo Boerso ardently warn other countries to avoid going down this path.

A similarcasebefore the high court failed in 2013, but the conversation has since re-emerged, and with major countries like New Zealand putting it on the table, it could force the issue in Ireland.

Published with permission from Live Action News.

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With gay marriage and abortion enshrined, Irish to tackle euthanasia next - Lifesite

Tupac Euthanasia Record Label Plans And Why It Never Happened – O4L Online Network

Kendrick Wells, Tupacs former personal assistant talks about Tupac Euthanasia record label that didnt get to happen.

euthanasia

After Nipsey Hussles passing many felt that Nipsey did more for his community, and Tupac on the hand only spoke about what he wanted to do. This argument isnt much of a fair argument given the fact that Tupac passed at the age of 25. News didnt travel as quickly or frequently as it does today with social media and smart phones. All of which did not favor Tupac, not too mention Tupac always wanted to keep things he did off camera.

One of those positive things Tupac was trying to do doesnt get much attention. Kendrick Wells in an interview with Cam Capone News touched on Tupacs vision of a record label called Euthanasia. Pac really wanted to do some stuff. His reputation changed. Hes a boss millionaire, hes doing everything flamboyant. He really wants to start a label called Euthanasia to help kids and mothers.

All he told me was it was gonna be community based. He was gonna give back. He was start a record label to bring up and sign positive artist, to pretty much do what his originally intentions were. Like I told you before, his original intentions were panther power, explains Kendrick.

Also read: Tupacs Former PA Confirms Suge Knight Bailed Him Out, NOT Interscope

That was gonna be positive. It was gonna be connected to community things. He really saw himself going on the edge as an artist this way. So, he wanted to give back this way.

Money would be an issue in making Tupacs vision a reality. It is well known at the time of Tupacs passing he did not have much money. He had owed a lot of money to Death Row records which included studio time, cars, homes, and other expenses. Whatever the reason, and however the money was being managed or rather mismanaged Tupac had a hard time funding his label.

Kendrick Wells still till this day doesnt know exactly why, but he did find it weird that Tupac wasnt able to fund his label. He really wanted to do some positive stuff. And, to fund this label he really had to get some of his advancements, or some of his money from Suge. And, It was weird when wed go get the money, the money wasnt coming. Like heres some money in your pocket, that money came fast. But when I went to go get money for this label, this new label, it was hard going. We had to kinda get that going from scratch.

Kendrick Wells contributed in helping get things moving with his own money. A lot of my money, out of my pocket, to move people, and do things. And, this apartment we turn into an office for him, says Kendrick. He really wanted to start this label called Euthanasia records.

Listen to: Young Noble Presents: Outlaw Nation Vol 6, Free Download

Yaki Kadafis mother, Yaasymn Fula, also contributed to the label. We got her out here. She moved into that office, says Kendrick. We didnt get any Death Row funding. She moved in and started working. I hired another girl to help her, and they started moving and stuff. They started to get things off the ground but it never came to fruition.

Kendrick Wells recalls the times he would go over to the Death Row office to collect money for the Euthanasia label, and would end up getting the run around. When it was just money for Tupac to spent or whatever, Id go to the office and Here you go Kendrick, envelope, soon as I walk in the door. But, When we was trying to get the Euthanasia stuff together, I go to the office and it be like I didnt know you was coming.

Also watch: Boosie Badazz Says If Tupac Was Alive He Would Have Called Him!

There had been many speculations in the past that Suge Knight wasnt happy Tupac was starting a label. Those around at the time denied ever hearing or seeing any concrete evidence of Suge being upset. One can image from a business perspective someone like a Suge, a label owner himself, wouldnt be too happy of his top artist leaving. From a business stance I could understand. Some things Suge did was genius, as a older man I look at that sh*t. Some of it was kinda foolish.

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Tupac Euthanasia Record Label Plans And Why It Never Happened - O4L Online Network


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