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Category Archives: Euthanasia

Amid Protests, Portugal Lawmakers Vote to Allow Euthanasia – The New York Times

Posted: February 27, 2020 at 1:01 am

LISBON, Portugal Portugals parliament voted Thursday in favor of allowing euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide for terminally ill people.

The landmark vote left Portugal poised to become one of the few countries in the world permitting the procedures. However, the country's president could still attempt to block the legislation.

The 230-seat Republican Assembly, Portugal's parliament, approved five right-to-die bills, each by a comfortable margin. Left-of-center parties introduced the bills, which had no substantial differences.

Before lawmakers voted, hundreds of people outside parliament building protested the measures. One banner said, Euthanasia doesn't end suffering, it ends life. Some protesters chanted Sim a vida! ("Yes to life!") and others held up crucifixes and religious effigies.

Inside the parliament building, underlining the historical weight of the moment, each lawmaker was called, in alphabetical order, to state their vote on each bill, instead of voting electronically. Such a lengthy method is usually used only for landmark votes, such as a declaration of war or impeachment.

After the five bills passed, some lawmakers took photographs with their smartphone of the electronic screen on the wall announcing the results. The bills were approved by margins of between 28 and 41 votes.

President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, who is known to be reluctant about euthanasia, could veto the new law, but parliament can override his veto by voting a second time for approval. The Portuguese president doesn't have executive powers.

The head of state also could ask the Constitutional Court to review the legislation; Portugal's Constitution states that human life is "sacrosanct," though abortion has been legal in the country since 2007.

Euthanasia when a doctor directly administers fatal drugs to a patient is legal in Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Switzerland. In some U.S. states, medically-assisted suicide where patients administer the lethal drug themselves, under medical supervision is permitted.

Ana Figueiredo, a math teacher, became a supporter of euthanasia after her 70-year-old father with terminal cancer killed himself with a gun almost six years ago.

He was conscious, in deep pain and ... he went on begging his doctors to take his pain away because he was in such a terminal state, Figueiredo said. It was very sad to see him begging for a dignified death without pain.

The Catholic church in Portugal has led opposition to the procedures, which currently are illegal and carry prison sentences of up to three years. Church leaders have urged lawmakers in vain to hold a referendum on the issue.

In a similar debate two years ago, lawmakers rejected euthanasia by five votes.

Most parties allowed their lawmakers to vote their conscience, with some diverging from their party line.

Socialist lawmaker Isabel Moreira said the aim of the bills was to let people make intimate choices, without breaking the law.

In recent years, the Socialist Party has also led successful efforts to permit same-sex marriages and abortion in Portugal.

Everyone can be the architect of their own destiny, as long they dont harm others, Moreira said during the debate.

Telmo Correia, a lawmaker from the conservative Popular Party, described euthanasia as a sinister step backward for civilization. He said none of the parties presenting the legalization proposals mentioned euthanasia in their platforms for Octobers general election.

The governing Socialist Party's bill, similar to the others, covers patients over 18 years of age who are "in a situation of extreme suffering, with an untreatable injury or a fatal and incurable disease."

Two doctors, at least one of them a specialist in the relevant illness, and a psychiatrist would need to sign off on the patient's request to die. The case would then go to a Verification and Evaluation Committee, which could approve or turn down the procedure.

The process is postponed if it is legally challenged, or if the patient loses consciousness, and health practitioners can refuse to perform the procedure on moral grounds. Oversight is provided by the General-Inspectorate for Health.

To discourage people from traveling to Portugal to end their life, the bills all stipulate that patients must either be Portuguese citizens or legal residents.

The Socialist-led coalition government in Portugal's neighbor Spain has also set in motion the legislative steps needed to allow euthanasia.


AP reporter Helena Alves contributed from Lisbon.

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Amid Protests, Portugal Lawmakers Vote to Allow Euthanasia - The New York Times

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Lap of Love veterinarians offer in-home euthanasia to give a final farewell in a place of comfort – FOX 13 Tampa Bay

Posted: at 1:00 am

Mobile vets in Bay Area offer in-home euthanasia

Walter Allen reports

LUTZ, Fla. - The worst thing about our dogs and cats is that they dont live nearly as long as wed want, wish, or hope for.There is a local organization that can step in when that time comes and make it the most peaceful and loving process all from your lap.

"I honestly wish that everyone did something that they got thanked for every day, Dr. Dani McVety told FOX 13. Very few people in this world that get thank-yous for everything that they do. Imagine if the person who bagged your groceries got a hug and a thanks.

Dr. McVety knew she wanted to be a veterinarian when she was little but it was where she found her calling was after the death of one of her dogs.

We took her to a very nice clinic, she recalled, and the euthanasia was done very well but it still wasn't what I wanted it to be. Again, even though the experience was good. It just wasn't everything it could have been.

Among other motivating factors, Dr. McVety started Lap of Loves veterinary hospice and in-home euthanasia.

The team of more than 130 vets in around 30 states will come to the home and put your animal to sleep.

"Pets navigate this world by smell more than they do by sight, McVety said. More of their brain is dedicated to that. So for them to be in their own surroundings, in their own bed, with their own smells...I just believe, and from my experience, that it keeps them much more calm.

FOX 13 was with the Villarini family the day they said their final farewell to Rocky, their Jack Russell terrier.

Its an honor to do this, McVety said. We love being a part of this memory. We love offering something that we might not be able to get anywhere else. Even if you do a peaceful euthanasia in a clinic, it might be beautiful and peaceful and great. But to have it done in the home is the most peaceful experience and the most peaceful environment that anyone including our animals can have.

For McVety, her days are filled with tissues and tears, but when her head hits the pillow every night, she knows shes making a difference.

Its the most raw thing you could ever experience that you can have as a doctor to visualize that, to witness that, and you get to see every piece of their life, she said. You witness the ending of this. Youre not only losing a pet but losing a person. To me, it is the most honorable thing I could ever do as a veterinarian.

LINK: You can learn more about the Lap of Love and the veterinary services provided by heading over to the organization's website.

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Euthanasia | American Medical Association

Posted: January 25, 2020 at 2:39 pm

Code of Medical Ethics Opinion 5.8

Euthanasia is the administration of a lethal agent by another person to a patient for the purpose of relieving the patients intolerable and incurable suffering.

It is understandable, though tragic, that some patients in extreme duresssuch as those suffering from a terminal, painful, debilitating illnessmay come to decide that death is preferable to life.

However, permitting physicians to engage in euthanasia would ultimately cause more harm than good.

Euthanasia is fundamentally incompatible with the physicians role as healer, would be difficult or impossible to control, and would pose serious societal risks. Euthanasia could readily be extended to incompetent patients and other vulnerable populations.

The involvement of physicians in euthanasia heightens the significance of its ethical prohibition. The physician who performs euthanasia assumes unique responsibility for the act of ending the patients life.

Instead of engaging in euthanasia, physicians must aggressively respond to the needs of patients at the end of life. Physicians:

(a) Should not abandon a patient once it is determined that a cure is impossible.

(b) Must respect patient autonomy.

(c) Must provide good communication and emotional support.

(d) Must provide appropriate comfort care and adequate pain control.

Code of Medical Ethics:Caring for Patients at the End of Life

Visit theEthics main pageto access additional Opinions, the Principles of Medical Ethics and more information about the Code of Medical Ethics.

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Euthanasia | American Medical Association

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Pressuring a Hospice to Kill – National Review

Posted: at 2:39 pm

(Pixabay)In Canada, government threatens to withdraw all funding from a facility that refuses to euthanize dying patients.

Should hospice professionals be forced to assist the suicides of their patients who want to die? Not too long ago, the answer to that question would have been an emphatic Of course not! Hospice is not about making people dead. Rather, it seeks to help terminally ill patients live well through intensive medical, spiritual, psychological, and social treatments to alleviate the pain and emotional suffering that dying people and their families may experience

Dont tell that to the provincial government of British Columbia. After the Supreme Court of Canada conjured a right for anyone diagnosed with a serious medical condition that causes irremediable suffering to receive lethal-injection euthanasia, British Columbia passed a law requiring all medical facilities that receive at least 50 percent of their funding from the government to participate in what north of the 46th parallel is known euphemistically as medical assistance in dying (MAiD). When Delta Hospice Society, in Delta, British Columbia, announced that it would adhere to the hospice movements founding philosophy by banning euthanasia in its facility, the provinces minister of health threatened to cut off all provincial funding. Delta has until February 3 to yield to the euthanasia imperative or face a catastrophic financial crisis.

The power of the purse can be very persuasive, but Delta has not surrendered. Instead, searching for a compromise, it has offered to cut from its annual budget, of $3 million (Canadian dollars), $750,000 of the $1.4 million that it currently receives from the province. That would reduce the portion of its budget that comes from public funding to a point below the 50 percent legal threshold, allowing Delta to continue serving dying patients while maintaining its philosophical integrity. As of this writing, the authorities have not responded to Deltas offer.

On the face of it, the governments heavy-handedness makes no logical sense. Everyone acknowledges that Delta provides a very valuable service to the community. And its not as if the small hospice, with a mere ten beds, has the power to materially impede access to euthanasia in British Columbia, a province of nearly 5 million people. Indeed, since euthanasia was legalized in 2016, only three Delta patients have asked to be killed and they were able to obtain their desired end by simply returning home or transferring to a hospital directly next door to the hospice. So, what gives?

Angeline Ireland, president of Delta, perceives a direct connection to socialism. When I asked her in an email interview why she thought the government was trying to force the hospices participation, she replied, I would only be speculating, but primarily, I think it is ideological and agenda driven. Our provincial government is currently run by socialists. The Left has never valued human life. In socialized medicine the state controls and is all powerful. She also believes there is a connection to the costs of health care. I also wonder how much of it is driven by economics. HPC [hospice palliative care] is far more expensive than euthanasia.

Delta is a secular facility, so what are its bases for refusing to kill? The administrators merely want the freedom to operate the facility according to the precepts of hospice moral philosophy. HPC and Euthanasia are diametrically opposed, Ireland tells me. Our health-care discipline has been practiced for 40 years in Canada and in that time has excelled in providing pain- and symptom-management to people. A patient can be stabilized to live out their life the best way possible. We have seen that people offered Hospice Palliative Care tend not to want euthanasia.

I asked how Deltas patients would be affected if the province agreed to cut its support of the hospice by $750,000. She told me that other programs, such as bereavement services for survivors and a layer of administration, would have to be cut until new sources of private or philanthropic funding could be found. But she was adamant that dying patients would not be affected, as Delta will focus exclusively on our hospice.

And if the government refuses Deltas compromise and terminates all financial support? Ireland identified a bitter irony. Over the last 20 years, we have subsidized the government healthcare system by raising $30 million and giving 750,000 voluntary labor hours directly into community healthcare, she notes. But she remains adamant: We will not provide euthanasia. If the government withdraws all its funding, we will try to operate on a privately funded downsized version. We will look for other partners to help us carry on our work.

Will Delta go to court in that circumstance? Yes. We have not done anything wrong, Ireland says. We have not defaulted on our contract. There is nothing in our contract which obliges us to perform euthanasia or have it provided on our premises. However, seeking justice is expensive. We could be on the right side of the law and the right side of history, but it will take $400 an hour to hire a lawyer to seek our remedy. Most not-for-profit organizations dont have the luxury of standing up against Big Government, who have at their disposal seemingly unlimited legal resources.

And what if all efforts at obtaining relief fail? While Ireland didnt say it, one presumes that Delta would close the hospice rather than yield to the governments orders to kill. Notably, the minister of health seems fine with that prospect.

Of course, this controversy isnt really about Delta. British Columbia is sending a clarion message to all health-care providers: resistance to the euthanasia imperative is futile. Ireland understands the stakes. We believe the nation is looking at our situation and [that it] will have a profound impact on other hospices. If the government can coerce us into killing our patients, they can force any hospice into doing it.

The Delta coercion has ramifications far beyond the hospice sector. Canada is in the process of expanding health categories that qualify for doctor-administered death. Quebec just opened the door to allowing those with mental illness that is deemed incurable to receive euthanasia. The country also seems on the verge of requiring that a person diagnosed with progressive dementia be able to sign a legally binding written directive that she be killed when she becomes incapacitated. Also being seriously debated is the legalization of pediatric euthanasia, perhaps without parental permission in the case of mature children. Meanwhile, euthanasia and organ-harvesting have already been conjoined in the country a utilitarian plum to society, celebrated and promoted in the media. If Delta can be compelled to board the euthanasia train, so too can psychiatric institutions, pediatric hospitals, nursing homes, memory-support facilities, and organ-transplant centers.

And it isnt just medical facilities that are feeling the heat. In Ontario, an ethics rule of the provincial medical association requires doctors to participate in euthanasia, by either doing the deed or finding a doctor who will. A court of appeals has ruled that the requirement is binding, even if it violates a doctors religious beliefs. If doctors dont want to be complicit in euthanasia, the court sniffed, they should either find another career or restrict their practices to such fields as podiatry, in which they wont be asked to administer death.

What can the United States learn from all this? First, single-payer health care socialized medicine allows the government to control the medical profession with an iron fist and harness the sector into advancing controversial social policies. Second, euthanasia is an aggressive social pathogen that brooks no dissent. Once a society widely accepts the underlying premise that killing is an acceptable answer to suffering, access to euthanasia eventually becomes a right that the government must guarantee at the expense of the freedom of conscience of medical practitioners. Finally, access to euthanasia comes to matter more than the ability to assure quality treatment, with the authorities willing to accept a brain drain from the health-care sector rather than allow conscientious objection.

Canada is our closest cultural cousin: We had better be careful, or the same thing could happen here. If we dont want that, we should reject assisted suicide and focus our national energies on caring instead of killing.

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Pressuring a Hospice to Kill - National Review

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Bishops call for resistance to expanded assisted suicide – The Catholic Register

Posted: at 2:39 pm

EDMONTON --The bishops of Alberta and the Northwest Territories are calling on Catholics to mobilize and oppose euthanasia and assisted suicide even as the federal government looks to make it easier to qualify for a medically-induced death.

We are absolutely opposed to euthanasia and assisted suicide and we disagree vehemently with its very existence in the country, said Edmonton Archbishop Richard Smith.

Naturally, we would be opposed to its expansion. The longer that something is in law, the longer people can think that, because its legal, its also morally permissible. Thats a stance that we cant allow to stand unchallenged.

We have a number of things in our country that might be allowed legally, that doesnt mean that they are morally permitted.

A pastoral letter signed by Smith and the bishops of Calgary, St. Paul, Grouard-McLennan, McKenzie-Fort Smith and the Ukrainian Eparchy of Edmonton, was shared at Masses on the Jan. 18-19 weekend.

The letter calls on all Canadians, and Catholics in particular, to press members of parliament to vote against any expansion of assisted suicide and euthanasia. It also calls on the federal government to expand palliative care and on health professionals to assert their right to refuse to participate in euthanasia and assisted suicide.

Canadians are being asked to weigh in on coming changes to the law as Ottawa seeks to amend the Criminal Code to permit greater access to a medical death. Survey responses are being accepted until Jan. 27. Approximately 200,000 people had responded to the governments online survey as of Jan. 20, according to the justice ministry.

The Liberal governments move to amend the law is in response to a September Quebec court decision that declared parts of the federal and Quebec laws on assisted dying unconstitutional. The court ruled that a requirement limiting assisted suicide to patients facing a reasonably foreseeable death violated their Charter rights.

If no new legislation is passed by March 11, the reasonably foreseeable provision in the law will be suspended in Quebec. But even without that court ruling, the law was facing review this year.

The federal government reports more than 6,700 Canadians have died by a medically-induced death since assisted suicide became legal in 2016.

Current eligibility requirements say candidates must be 18 or older, able to make health decisions for themselves and in grievous and irremediable medical condition to qualify.

The government is seeking input on such questions as whether people should be able to make an advance request for assisted suicide while they are healthy, and if it should be granted to people under 18 years old and people with psychiatric conditions.

The survey itself is disingenuous, says Dr. Thomas Fung, a Catholic physician in Calgary. He noted the survey is steered towards removing the reasonably foreseeable death criteria from the law while not explicitly asking whether Canadians favour removal at all.

It basically was kind of like a foregone conclusion that this was going to happen, Fung said. It really opens the doorway for suicide on demand essentially At some point, human suffering is a subjective experience, so its really hard to objectify who should qualify for MAiD when the near-death criteria is removed.

Smith said the bishops issued their pastoral letter because of a cultural trend that not only normalizes euthanasia and assisted suicide but now favours expansion.

It had always been up until now, a rock-solid conviction that medicine is dedicated to the preservation of life and to doing no harm, he said. Well, now we have medicine being used actually prematurely to end life, which turns the medical profession on its head.

Fung said the conscience rights of physicians who object to participating in the death of patients are also under fire.

Really were seeing discrimination at every level, Fung said.

Despite Canadian Medical Association code of ethics and other provincial association guidelines to protect conscientious objectors, there is really nothing legal that is helping us to advance our case in court. Were losing every time we go to court, and I think were seeing a pattern here.

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Nowak: Now that euthanasia has entered, it will be difficult to drive out – Grandin Media

Posted: at 2:39 pm

The life of a Christian was never meant to be easy. Even when Christ was walking among his disciples, He warned that whoever wished to follow Him would have to deny himself and take up his cross.

Yet it is often the uncertainty as to which choices He wishes for us to make and not the weight we carry which is most overwhelming. Having been directed to both beat our swords into ploughshares (Isaiah 2:4) and our ploughshares into swords (Joel 3:10), its unsurprising that we sometimes find ourselves holding a different implement than ourfellow neighbour in the pew.

Many undoubtedly felt such a conflict when the government asked Canadians to offer their opinion on future amendments to section 241.2 of the Criminal Code. The existing code provisions were only adopted in 2016, legalizing what the government euphemistically termed Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID).

Removing the political gloss and engaging Websters dictionary, we can colloquially refer to the legislative scheme as euthanasia. The very fact that the law resides in the Criminal Code is itself a clear indictment of our shifting cultural values: an action which was up until recently the subject of criminal sanction is now being portrayed as medical assistance.

The amendments to the Criminal Codes euthanasia provisions which are currently being explored arise as the consequence of a 2019 Quebec Superior Court decision which held that it was unconstitutional to restrict the availability of MAID to only those persons whose natural death has become reasonably foreseeable.

At first glance, it may seem that a consultation process should be welcomed by the many who are seriously concerned by the governments intention to expand the reach of the existing legislative framework. After all, theCompendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church reminds us that participation in community life is one of the pillars of all democratic orders and one of the major guarantees of the permanence of the democratic system.

As the Catholic Churchs teaching on the sacredness of life and how we ought to care for those whose lives are diminished or weakened is clear, wouldnt this seem like a circumstance where the need to participate is obvious? Perhaps, had the federal government indicated any willingness to retain and defend the legislation which it drafted, introduced, supported and passed.

However, while in 2016 Justin Trudeaus Minister of Justice had described the Criminal Code amendments as deliberately and carefully crafted (Hansard June 16, 2016), the federal government is now willing to see key provisions struck down and has indicated that it will decline its right to appeal the decision of the Quebec Superior Court.

Furthermore, while the presently impugned legislation was proposed after a Special Joint Committee met 16 times, heard from 61 witnesses (and) received more than 100 briefs before presenting a report to Parliament (Hansard May 2, 2016), the federal government is now only permitting a two-week online public consultation in relation to the current changes.

Even if the federal government were expressing a genuine desire to consider the views of Canadians, whether we ought to participate as faithful Catholics would still be unclear.

During the initial consultations preceding the current Criminal Code provisions, a marked difference of opinion arose between two prominent Catholic bioethicists, Sister Nuala Kenny and Moira McQueen. Both had been asked to sit on panels which were developing guidelines regarding physician-assisted death and each provided a dramatically different response.

Sr. Dr.Nuala Kenny, a Sister of Charity and professor emeritus of bioethics at Dalhousie University, decided to join the panel, stating: I decided to participate because I did not believe I had any other moral option.

My position is, its clearly that of minimizing harm, Kenny was reported as saying in an article published byThe Catholic Register. The harm has been done. After the Feb. 6, 2015 Supreme Court decision, assisted death, both physician-assisted suicide and physician-performed euthanasia are now legal.

Dr. Moira McQueen, director of the Canadian Catholic Bioethics Institute, took a dramatically different approach: When something is really seriously wrong in the first place Catholic teaching would call it intrinsically wrong how can you mitigate the harm? Its so wrong, no matter what follows from it is also wrong. I would call it formal co-operation.

So which of the two is right? Armed with a mere intellectual ploughshare, I feel ill-equipped to cut through the arguments. But I do feel that are there is a lesson that can be are more easily discerned from this morbid chapter in Canadas political history, one that weve been taught throughout salvific history and haveforgotten time and time again: once we permit an evil to enter, whether it be into our lives or our laws, we will have more difficulty in driving it out than we would have encountered had we resisted it in the beginning.

In 2015, Catholics across the country knew that revisions to the Criminal Code were being debated, yet euthanasia scarcely registered as a prominent issue for voters. That election was the moment when Catholics were called to speak out and voice their objections, yet too few did. The amendments being proposed by our Liberal government were predictable to those acquainted with the legal factors at play and will continue to stain our future as a tragic legacy of our political apathy.

Catholics will always struggle to weigh preferences and personal opinions regarding how to best structure our economy, systems of taxation and the various operations of government. There is much societal good which democratically elected representatives can pursue, with multiple approaches and strategies to obtain them.

Therein lies the challenge of casting a single ballot with the hope of best reflecting the entirety of Gospel values and the deposit of faith. However, if we determine our vote in a manner which compromises objective truths, then were handing a sword to the enemy and hoping we can defend ourselves with a ploughshare.

-Theodoric Nowak is the director ofsocial justice and outreach ministrieswith the Diocese of Calgary.

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Nowak: Now that euthanasia has entered, it will be difficult to drive out - Grandin Media

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Crusaders in the fight for animal rights | News – The Union-Recorder

Posted: at 2:39 pm

Camille and Brooklyn are Pam Peacock's "girls."

Both are pittie (pit bull) mixes that she adopted from the Baldwin County Animal Shelter.

Both had been abused. Both had been hit by a car. Both have the scars to prove it. Both were in a horrible situation.

Camille had a peg leg because a broken bone was allowed to heal incorrectly. Brooklyn had been a part of a puppy mill.

Peacock, one of the founders of Paws4Change-Baldwin a non-profit formed in 2018 by a group of animal advocates, said, "adopting Camille really opened my eyes to what's out there. My son saw her on the (shelter) Facebook page and she was getting toward euthanasia really close.

"He said, 'Mom, did you see this Camille?'

"I said, Yessss and I'm not going to let them put that dog down. I'm going to get her. She has the most soulful eyes."

Brooklyn was adopted by Peacock a year later.

"I can't imagine my world without those two," Peacock said. "People say not every one of them can be rehabilitated, and that's true some can't. But for the most part, they can. I'm going to tell you, I'm a big advocate for pit bulls. It just takes someone with experience and someone who knows the breed."


This past year brought a big breakthrough for Peacock and Judy Veal Lawrence, as well as other members of Paws4Change-Baldwin.

By writing letters to the editor, lobbying members of the county commission during the public comment period of the meetings, face-to-face talks with county officials, volunteering and fundraising, the group helped bring about many changes.

Among them:

(bullet) The old county jail was repurposed into a new animal shelter. At the dedication in December, Baldwin County Manager Carlos Tobar said it is "the equivalent of a $1.5 million shelter" even though "it only cost $220,000."

(bullet) The commissioners approved changes to the animal control ordinances, including the prohibition of chaining and tethering of dogs to a stationary point.

(bullet) Another new ordinance reads: Cruelty (to animals) is prohibited. As a result, at least two Baldwin County residents had warrants issued for cruelty to animals in late December and early January.

(bullet) In most cases, a panel of three must decide which animals will be euthanized. It used to be at the sole discretion of one person.


Paws4Change-Baldwin started with "kind of a vision that I had," Peacock said.

It's a 501(c) non-profit, "which means we are an IRS approved charity, and all donations to us are tax deductible," Peacock said. "We have 100 percent accountability in everything we do."

It's all volunteer. Nobody is paid.

Paws4Change-Baldwin is funded by donations and through special fundraisers, such as bake sales.

The funds are used to provide needs at the shelter that are not provided by the county, such as vaccines and supplies, according the Paws4Change-Baldwin mission statement. The organization also provides support to the Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF) and to the Baldwin County Jail Dog Program.

For example, there were a couple of cruelty cases that the shelter had, and they reached out to Paws4Change-Baldwin to do a fundraiser because both dogs needed leg amputations.

"Local fundraisers are a way for people to give back," Peacock said.

"They might not be able to volunteer, but they can help with their money," Lawrence said. "And we get good responses. There are a lot of people in Baldwin County who donate."

Their biggest focus now is on spaying and neutering for dogs and cats to prevent overpopulation and shelter overcrowding.

They are joining with Saving Animals from Euthanasia (SAFE), a reduced-cost mobile spay and neuter clinic, to help lower the unwanted litters of dogs and cats.

"We see the need to keep the animals out of the shelter, and the only way to do that is spay and neuter," Peacock said.

"We have to stop reproduction because nothing is going to change as long as there are so many animals being born," Lawrence said.

Two clinics have been held and plans are for the mobile clinic from Macon to be here quarterly.

Peacock and Lawrence have a plan to make sure every person who signs up pays their non-refundable desposit and that they show up. Paws4Change-Baldwin helps discount the fee.

"It's very limited availability," Peacock said. "We have 26 appointments. That's really a lot in one day."


So why do Peacock and Lawrence spend so much time, and frequently their own money, to help animals?

Peacock got started as a foster for dogs more than a decade ago. The adoption coordinators would want to get an animal out of the shelter and into a foster home until it was ready to go to its permanent family.

The first time she fostered a dog for only a weekend. Now, she has one who will be with her for several months until he is heartworm negative. Klaus, a white, American Bulldog mix, is deaf.

"He overcompensates" with his other senses, Peacock said. "Sometime he just stares at the floor, waiting for something to fall."

Lawrence has four dogs Buddy, Chet, Dixie and Pup who were adopted as strays. Her husband, Jay, says four dogs are too many, "but Dixie is the love of his life," Lawrence said. "One of us cooks breakfast for them every morning."

Peacock's husband, Terry, "loves animals. He's got a soft heart."

Long-time dog lovers, certainly, Peacock and Lawrence have a bond that grew stronger as they volunteered together at the old county animal shelter.

"Seeing how bad it was out there, seeing how bad it was for the animals," Peacock said. "Some people said they couldn't even go in that place."

They knew they had to take action.

Lawrence jokes that Peacock is the "brains" and that she is the "charmer, the clean-up crew."

Peacock and Lawrence both laughed.

"We don't have a life," Lawrence said.

No, we don't," Peacock said.

Above all, Peacock and Lawrence were a team in facilitating change.

Those two are the "best ladies in the world," said Charlotte Perrin, the manager of PetSmart and a member of the Paws4Change-Baldwin board.

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Salary-deprived teachers submit plea for euthanasia to Assam Governor & President of India – The Sentinel Assam

Posted: at 2:39 pm


LAKHIMPUR: Protesting against the lackadaisical attitude on the part of the State Government towards the regularization of their jobs, the submission of plea for euthanasia by thousands of salary-deprived teachers has created sensation across the State.

A delegation of such teachers, who have been serving in various schools but have been deprived of salary since 1991, submitted a plea of euthanasia to the President of India and to the Governor of Assam through the Deputy Commissioner of Lakhimpur district. These teachers were compelled to take this extreme decision after failing to make both ends meet due to non-payment of salary for a long period.

Notably, the Salary Deprived Working LP School Teachers Association of the State initiated various attempts to demand regularization of their jobs and release of the due salary for their service. They held talks several times with the Education Minister and high-level officers of the Education Department in the past days, appealing the resolve of the long-pending problems. But these attempts have not proved to be effective despite the promise from the Education Minister and department concerned with regard to their job regularization and release of their salary. As a result of it, they are facing severe pecuniary difficulties.

Meanwhile, the All Assam Unemployed Association has expressed strong reaction over the submission of plea for euthanasia by the salary-deprived teachers body of the State to the President of India and the Governor of Assam. In a press release, AAUA president in charge Dharmendra Deori and general secretary Jiban Rajkhowa stated that the BJP-led governments at the Centre and in the State had utterly failed to ensure engagement to the unemployed youths and to regularize the jobs of the salary-deprived teachers of the State.

As a consequence, the salary-deprived teachers of Lakhimpur and Sivasagar, who have been in service for a long period of 28 years, had to submit plea for euthanasia to the President of India and the Governor of the State. This development is considered to be a shameful issue for the State Government, the press release stated.

In this regard, AAUA demanded the State Government to regularize the jobs of all salary-deprived teachers and contractual teachers of the State. Further, the organization demanded the State government to pay its heed to the hunger strike initiated by the meter readers and bill clerks of the Electricity Departments at the Bijulee Bhavan premises in Guwahati demanding the regularization of their jobs.

Also Read: Teachers must ensure all-round development of students: Jagdish Mukhi

Also Watch:AASU Activists waved Black Flag at Assam Minister Pijush Hazarikas Convoy

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GOP candidates outline platforms in their first 14th District debate – DeKalb Daily Chronicle

Posted: at 2:39 pm

Seven Republicans looking to unseat Naperville Democrat Lauren Underwood in the 14th Congressional District used their first public debate Wednesday night to lay out their top priorities.

The ideas offered during the forum at McHenry County College ranged from social issues to political ideals and provided a contrast for GOP voters eyeing the March primary.

Two candidates, Jerry Evans of Warrenville and James Marter of Oswego, identified abortion as their top legislative priority if elected. Evans repeatedly said compassion is a cornerstone of his philosophy to governing.

We should never call it compassionate if we chop up a child and suck it through a tube, Evans said. I stand for life. I believe life begins at conception. We need to defund any form of taxpayer-funded abortion. The government should not be part of any form of euthanasia.

Marter said hes been attending anti-abortion marches and prayer vigils long before he got into politics. He went as far as to criticize his own party, specifically former Gov. Bruce Rauner, for making Illinois the abortion capital of the Midwest.

We need to defund Planned Parenthood, Marter said. We need to protect the most innocent lives from the moment of conception. We need to defend life from euthanasia and assisted suicide. We need to be the country that stands up for life.

Anthony Catella, who is from St. Charles, spoke in broad philosophical terms when identifying his top priority.

I believe in our national purpose and power, he said. I believe strongly in an educated citizenry. And I believe in the ideals of faith and freedom.

Ted Gradel, who lives in Naperville, said career politicians are at the root of whats wrong with the federal government. He said legislation locking in term limits for all members of Congress would be his top priority.

Weve seen in this state a tragic example of when a machine gets established, Gradel said. We have a ruling class that has enriched themselves at the expense of everyone else. We see politicians go to D.C., and they lose touch with who we are and the problems we have and the solutions we need.

Catalina Lauf, a Woodstock resident, adopted some of President Donald Trumps rhetoric in identifying draining the swamp as her top priority. She said legislation that focuses on securing the inherent freedoms of Americans would be her focus.

Government is too big, Lauf said. We need to ensure our rights are not being touched. Chief among them is the Second Amendment. And right along with that is the First Amendment. Why should we have to whisper if we supported President Trump in 2016? Why are we afraid to wear American flags on our T-shirts? We need to make sure freedom is at the forefront of everything we do as elected officials.

State Sen. Jim Oberweis of Sugar Grove said he would support term limits and solutions to illegal immigration. But he identified the federal budget and increasing federal deficit his main target if elected.

The most important thing we must do is provide a balanced-budget amendment, Oberweis said. The fact that we are stealing the future from our kids and grandkids has got to be stopped.

State Sen. Sue Rezin of Morris said the path for Republicans to take back the 14th District is to be strong on health care, the issue Underwood used in her campaign.

Im the only person on the stage who has passed legislation [at the state level], a year ago, that protects people with preexisting conditions, Rezin said. We wanted to repeal and replace [the Affordable Care Act], but didnt have a plan to replace it. That is my sole goal when I come to Washington, D.C., to come up with a plan that is affordable and accessible.

The sprawling 14th Congressional District includes parts of DeKalb, DuPage, Kane, Kendall Lake, McHenry and Will counties. The primary is March 17.

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Australian bushfires: government refutes misleading claims on social media that orphaned joeys will be euthanised – AFP Factcheck

Posted: at 2:38 pm

Misleading claims that first responders in Australia were advised to kill all orphaned koala and kangaroo joeys found duringdeadly bushfires have circulated on Facebook and Twitter. The posts, published in multiple languages, citea document from the government of the Australian state of Victoria. But the Victorian government has specified that only joeys deemed unlikely to survive should be euthanised; a veterinarian consulted on the governments report also told AFP that euthanasiacan be the humane choice for orphaned joeys.

The misleading claim was published in this Facebook post on January 8, 2020. It was shared more than 150 times alongside photos of a kangaroo and koala.

The posts lengthy caption states in part: First responders tackling bushfires in Australia are being advised to kill baby kangaroos and koalas who have been orphaned as a result of the crisis. The Victorian Response Plan for Wildlife Impacted by Fire directs that the rehabilitation of orphaned milk dependent joeys from these common species found in the fire zone is not supported.

Contrary to established practice, the plan urges against handing the animals to wildlife volunteers, stating these animals require significant long term care and cannot be successfully returned to the wild.

At least 28 people have died and as many as one billion animals may have perished during an unprecedented bushfire season in Australia, AFPreported here on January 20, 2020.

Similar misleading claims were shared thousands of times after being published here, here, here and here on Facebook; and here, here, here and here on Twitter.

The posts were shared in multiple languages, including here in Japanese and here in Greek, as well asin Polish; AFP's Polish fact-check team debunked those posts here.

A similar claim appeared in this online petition titled: Stop the killing of milk dependent kangaroo and koala joeys found in bushfires.

However, theseclaims are misleading. The government of Victoria has updatedits guidelines and made clear thatonly young marsupials deemed unable to survive should be euthanised.

Andy Meddick, a Victoria Member of Parliament from the Animal Justice Party, stated publicly that such misleading claims were "categorically untrue."

There's some rumours going around about how the Victorian Government plans on handling wildlife injured in the bushfire crisis -- stating that they all must be killed,"Meddick said on Facebookhereon January 7, 2020."I can confirm these posts going around on social media are categorically untrue and not government regulation."

Meddick added that the office of Victoria Premier Dan Andrewshas madeassurances that "their plan is to support the rehabilitation of wildlife and that any native animal that can be rescued will be rescued."

These untrue posts stemmed from a wildlife training manual published in 2017, which has since been replaced," he explained.

Thetraining manual cited by Meddick, theVictorian Response Plan for Wildlife Impacted by Fire, was published by Victorias Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP).

"This is about the welfare of the animal and we will not unnecessarily prolong pain or suffering of animals,"

-VictoriaDepartment of Environment, Land, Water and Planning

Wildlife Crew Teams will be deployed to undertake the on ground assessment of impacted wildlife, euthanasia or the capture and transportation of animals to a triage centre," the report reads.

Euthanasia of wildlife impacted by fire should be undertaken where the health and wellbeing of the animal is significantly compromised, invasive or long term medical intervention is required, survival with treatment is unlikely, or if the animal will be unable to survive if released back into the wild.

On page 26, the report also list conditions for euthanasia, which include excessiveburns, infectiousdisease, broken limbs and orphaned milk dependent pouch young, among others.

Following misleading claims and allegations, the DELWP clarified its guidelinessurrounding the euthanasia of orphaned pouch young on January 20, 2020.

The addendum, publishedhere,reads: Recent allegations that regulations exist to euthanise all surviving wildlife are incorrect. The current Wildlife Shelter and Foster Carer Authorisation Guide states that wildlife experiencing unreasonable and/or incurable pain, distress, trauma, sickness or injury; or marsupials that are un-furred with eyes closed and ears down should be euthanised.'"

The update adds "This is about the welfare of the animal and we will not unnecessarily prolong pain or suffering of animals. Our approach to caring for our wildlife has been developed in consultation with wildlife veterinary experts."

According to a veterinarian who was consulted for the DELWP manual, age is the main criterion in deciding whether a joey should be euthanised.

The animals that are euthanased are the equivalent of a 12 week (or less) human foetus -- these are joeys that are less than 40 per cent through their pouch life -- eyes closed, unable to control their temperature, immature lungs, kidneys do not work, brain not developed, stumps for limbs," the vet, who wished to remain anonymous, told AFP in an email onJanuary 15, 2020."Wildlife carers have tried for the last 50 year to get these animals to survive without success."

The vet also stated that such infant animals often "die a slow death over days from starvation, hypothermia and from diseases of immunocompromise," stressing that a more "compassionate euthanasia is to euthanase promptly to stop this suffering."

Theyadded that themisleading claims were unfair to the first responders and animal carers battling the raging bushfires and its aftermath.

The people on search teams are there to do the best job that they can do in terms of animal welfare, in what are trying and difficult conditions, the vet said.

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