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UK: Patients at end of life face a postcode lottery doctors warn

by Andrew Gregory, Daily Mirror, 14 January 2016 Ensuring everyone has access to high-quality palliative care when they need it is not easy, but it is essential. We can, and should, always strive to do better. A review of end of life care services in the United Kingdom (conducted by the British Medical Association and social research agency… Read more »

Assisted Suicide Bill Dies in New Jersey Senate

by Diane Coleman, Not Dead Yet, 13 January 2016 Not Dead Yet, the American disability rights group that opposes euthanasia and assisted suicide, is celebrating the failure of an Oregon-type bill to pass in New Jersey. “A bi-partisan group of New Jersey Senators took the time to listen to the disability-rights community and to understand… Read more »

New suicide prevention resource from the Mental Health Foundation

Mental Health Foundation, 2 December 2015 The Mental Health Foundation (MHF) has released its newest resource – Are you worried someone is thinking of suicide? Advice for families, whānau and friends. “We all have a role to play in preventing suicide,” MHF chief executive Judi Clements says. “Family and friends are often the first to notice… Read more »

Doctor’s work helping others at the end of their lives recognised

by Georgia Forrester, Manawatu Standard, 31 December 2015 Dr Simon Allan of Palmerston North was made an officer of the Order of New Zealand in the New Years Honours list for his services over 40 years to the development of palliative care. While it was a field where a lot of people did not want… Read more »

Beware of Vultures: Senator Jennifer Fielder on Compassion & Choices

by Montana State Senator Jennifer Fielder, Sanders County Ledger, 21 December 2013 In 2013 Compassion & Choices Montana campaigned for a law that would have introduced Oregon-style assisted suicide. The bill failed. As your Senator one of my main duties is to sort out who wants your money, or a change in a law, and why…. Read more »

A behind the scenes look at Liz Carr’s Suicide the Musical

by Joe Turnbull, Disability Arts Online, 16 October 2015 Sometimes you’ve just got to laugh – and clap and sing along. British comedian (and disability rights activist) Liz Carr is working on a new show: Assisted Suicide The Musical. Musical theatre has become a metaphor in the piece, it’s almost a character in its own … Read more »

Campaign for ‘last wish’ pills

Southland Times, 8 January 2016 The Dutch Society for a Voluntary End Of Life is now campaigning for suicide pills to become available automatically to everybody over 70 on the basis of a request to a doctor or pharmacist. Doctors are concerned that medically assisted killing is increasingly seen as a consumer right and they… Read more »

Matthew Parris: Some day soon we’ll all accept that useless lives should be ende

by Matthew Parris, The Spectator, September 2015 Matthew Parris – the London-based writer and commentator, and regular Radio New Zealand correspondent – is an advocate of legalising assisted suicide. His ideas are worth sharing because he makes explicit the threat to vulnerable people – the elderly, the disabled, the poor – who in his view take more than they… Read more »

Thinking again about palliative care

by Karen Hitchcock, The Monthly, July 2014 Australian doctor Karen Hitchcock reflects on the end of life experience of her grandmother. We seek ways to make things in the last months and years neat and pre-determined and (dare I say it) cost-effective. But no algorithm or flow chart can accommodate the messy intricacies of dying…. Read more »