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How are people assisted to die?

By Jennie Dear, The Atlantic, 22 Jan 2019

Some surprising facts cropped up when Jennie Dear, writing in The Atlantic early this year, investigated how people are actually assisted to die in the United States. She found that there is very little data about how to euthanise people. Obtaining such data requires governments and private corporations to organise studies.

Ingested drugs can take from an hour to many hours to work. Ingested drugs like chloral hydrate can cause painful side-effects like throat burns rather then providing relief. Injected drugs like secobarbital and pentobarbital are effective, but very expensive ($3,500 USD+) and largely unavailable in the United States.

How does this apply in NZ? Questions arise as to who would pay for these treatments, where they would be procured from, if purchasing euthanasia drugs using public money would takeaway funds for other drugs, and if public money wasn’t used, would only rich people be able to afford euthanasia?

View the article here.

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Expert euthanasia reviewer warns of difficulty containing euthanasia laws

Professor Theo Boer is a euthanasia expert. He testified to the New Zealand Parliament that he sat on a Euthanasia Review Committee for 10 years, and has reviewed over 4,000 cases of euthanasia, that’s an entire small NZ town. His submission to New Zealand’s Select Committee is here:

https://www.parliament.nz/…/863d921ba00bbc623090323d82a8da8…

In 2005 Professor Boer thought “the Dutch law was a sound law, and it was able to organise and contain euthanasia in a proper way.”

Unfortunately, Professor Boer “…discovered against all expectations and hopes that it becomes very very hard, once you have euthanasia law to contain it to the patients your originally intended it to be for.”

“The practice of the Netherlands shows…there will be an ever-widening practice and we still don’t know where it will end in the Netherlands.”

Euthanasia in any form is a foot in the door to inevitable expansion. It is impossible to limit, contain, or safeguard euthanasia by legislation. If it is unleashed on New Zealand, it will expand.

Listen to what Professor Boer has to say at the link below:

https://www.facebook.com/carealliancenz/videos/1259993947488370/

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Debating the End of Life Choice Bill and its implications in New Zealand

Click this link to watch the debate

SUPPORT: David Seymour and Gabe Rijpma

“We need to think about that in the context of those who do not have a voice. Who may not be here… People who are trapped in bodies that no longer function… This is about dignity…It’s about giving people the dignity and ability to make their own choice.” – Gabe Rijpma

OPPOSITION: Rt Hon Sir Bill English, Dr Kate Grundy

“A friend of mine in Canada who works in this field…was telling us that patients in hospitals, older patients, really sick patients, are now starting to refuse drugs for two completely contradictory reasons. One is, they are worried that if they take the drug, say significant pain killers, that they will be regarded as losing capacity and therefore not be able to choose euthanasia. The other reason is the opposite. They are worried the doctor might be giving a drug that’s going to kill them.” – Sir Bill English

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Dismay at a seismic shift in medical practice

By Douglas T Bridge, Sinead M Donnelly and Frank P Brennan, Medical Journal of Australia, 4 March 2019

As the peak physician organisation in Australasia, we urge the Royal Australasian College of Physicians to make an unambiguous statement to the general public, the medical profession and politicians that EAS is not part of health care; EAS should not require involvement of doctors; and EAS creates irreconcilable conflicts with our responsibilities to our patients.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE

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Understanding freedom of conscience

by Brian Bird, Policy Options, 2 August 2017

Conscience is about living in alignment with our moral judgments, regardless of where they come from.

If moral freedom is what freedom of conscience protects, why we protect this freedom boils down to the fact that conscience touches on core moral commitments that sustain our identity and integrity — who I am and what I stand for.  Professionals faced with a crisis of conscience have two unattractive choices: resign or violate these commitments. If they choose the latter, they commit a harmful act of self-betrayal.  The concept of “moral injury” has been studied in the context of military personnel who return home after committing acts on the battlefield that violated their moral compass. Moral injury can also occur in less harrowing circumstances.  A physician in Ontario, Natalia Novosedlik,  revealed in an interview that she violated her conscience by making an effective referral — a decision that, after the fact, caused a “really internally divisive experience” for her.

  • Click here to read the full article.
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Politicians wrestle with doctors’ consciences in Victoria

by Paul Russell, MercatorNet, 20 April 2017

Would it be an “obstruction” if a doctor actively attempted to dissuade a person away from assisted suicide or euthanasia – even if only for a short time – for the sake of trying a different approach to their illness or their pain management? The article is silent on this as I expect will be the report. Yet precisely that kind of ethical and moral disuassion saved the life of Janette Hall in Oregon who has survived her prognosis by 14 years after taking the sound advice of her doctor.

Could it not also be the case that even a doctor who held no such conscientious objection might not fall foul of “obstruction” by way of wise advice to the effect that maybe waiting for a little while – for a myriad of good reasons – might not be a better course of action?

  • Click here to read the full article.
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Palliative care experts say euthanasia goes against core belief that death and dying are ‘natural part of life’

by Hawke’s Bay Today, 19 May 2018

We don’t talk enough about dying and we need to change that. We think it would help if people knew a bit more about the actual process of dying and what to expect
We suspect a lot of the current debate is fueled by fear of the unknown, and a lack of information about what care is available and what actually happens when someone dies.

“In our experience a good safe death is peaceful, dignified and a natural process.

“People advocating for a law change talk about choice, compassion, and dignity, as if euthanasia were the only way to achieve these things. But these are the founding tenets of Hospice services: you can have choice, compassion, and dignity at the end of your life, and you don’t have to kill yourself for them, or have someone kill you to achieve this.”

  • Click here to read the full article.

 

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Judge Rules California’s Assisted Suicide Law Unconstitutional

by Life Legal, 15 May 2018

A California judge ruled that the California state legislature acted outside the scope of its authority when it enacted the End of Life Option Act, which allows physicians to prescribe lethal drugs to their patients.

Riverside Superior Court Judge Daniel Ottolia agreed, holding that “the End of Life Option Act does not fall within the scope of access to healthcare services,” and that it “is not a matter of health care funding.”

Stephanie Packer, who has been diagnosed with a terminal illness, was present at the hearing. After the End of Life Option Act was implemented, Stephanie’s insurance company denied coverage of life-saving chemotherapy treatment, but said it would pay for “aid-in-dying” drugs, which would cost $1.20.

  • Click here to read the full article.
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Leading Disability Rights Campaigner Warns Against the Introduction of Assisted Suicide

by Care for Life, 11 May 2018

Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson said that removing universal safeguards was dangerous and risked vulnerable and disabled people becoming “collateral damage” as no law was “perfect”.

Tanni was born with spina-bifida and is a wheelchair user. She is one of the UK’s most successful disabled athletes, winning 11 Paralympic gold medals and breaking 30 records.

In a deeply personal section she talked how it was possible for any of disable person to feel low and a burden on their friends and family. “The voices of disabled people, particularly matter on this subject of life and death. The simple truth is that there is no safe law for assisted suicide and disabled people are particularly vulnerable if such a law is passed. ”

  • Click here to read the full article and watch the full video of Baroness Grey-Thompson.