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Doctor support for assisted suicide drops radically after legalization

by HOPE: Preventing Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide

Prior to the legislation being passed, 48% of doctors surveyed indicated a willingness to participate in assisted suicide, with a further 30% saying they would do so with certain conditions being met, making a total of 78% of doctors supporting legalised killing.  After the legislation passed, these numbers inverted, with most doctors admitting that they were unable to stomach the idea of killing their patients:

77% refused to actively participate in their patients’ medical-aid-in-dying process, all of them using the conscientious objection clause, thus requiring a substitute physician be identified so as to provide the intervention required.

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How many botched cases would it take to end euthanasia of the vulnerable?

by Charles Lane, The Washington Post, 24 January 2018

As bioethicists David Miller and Scott Kim of the National Institutes of Health note in a recent paper , “Dutch physicians . . . report difficulty in applying the [euthanasia] laws,” especially when it comes to judging patients’ volition and deciding whether there is any “reasonable alternative” to euthanasia.

For now, these vulnerable people, and those in Belgium and the Netherlands who would protect them, are on their own.

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Dr John Fox: Assisted dying is not the right cure for suffering

by Dr John Fox, The New Zealand Herald, 31 January 2018

It is only disabled people who seem to be a category we cannot support; only the end of life as a society we cannot face. Because here is the reality: legalising euthanasia under the model on the table now does not simply apply to hard cases like Mr Rope’s father, people with strong minds and wills who know what they want.

To include not only the terminally ill, but people with incurable and severe conditions means me, and the vast majority of disabled people.

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My wife reversed her Do Not Resuscitate order – I can’t support euthanasia

by Name Withheld, Stuff, 27 December 2017

In early 2017 my wife received a double lung transplant. Her recovery was not straightforward.

On day 10 she had developed respirator acquired pneumonia. Doctors were hopeful for her recovery, but warned me that because her immune system was being suppressed (to prevent rejection of the new lungs), it was not certain.

On day 12, a Friday, I was told she almost certainly was not going to recover. I was warned that early the following week a decision about terminating life support would need to be made.

My wife’s doctor has since admitted that at that point the medical team believed she was going to die.

Despite this they did not stop assisting her fight for life. They tried two treatments they had previously been reluctant to attempt because they were high-risk. Over the next few days, my wife’s condition slowly improved. Now, eight months later, she is still in recovery but looking forward to an extended life span.

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Terry Dunleavy: MPs cannot pass the buck on euthanasia

by Terry Dunleavy, The New Zealand Herald, 29 January 2018

Euthanasia is one issue on which MPs cannot simply just pass the buck to the public. This is an issue which they, and they alone, should decide as a matter of conscience in the spirit of that memorable 1961 debate.

Already, euthanasia has been described as a “licence to kill”, and the start of a “slippery slope”. But, subjecting it to a binding referendum may also be the first step in a slippery slope to the death of parliamentary democracy.

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Peta Credlin: Euthanasia in Australia not the mark of a civilised society

by Peta Credlin, The Telegraph Australia, 26 November 2017

I think it’s a mistake to see it through a personal prism.

In fact, that’s an indulgence if you’re making laws because we should make laws for the most vulnerable in society; for the worst case scenario, not the best.

We must make laws for the lonely, the depressed, the mentally at risk, those who might be preyed upon, the very old and the very young.

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Assisted suicide laws are creating a ‘duty-to-die’ medical culture

by Helena Berge, The Hill, 17 December 2017

When it comes to assisted suicide, we see in states like Oregon, where assisted suicide has been legal for two decades, the percentage of Oregon deaths attributed to a patient’s reluctance to “burden” their families rose from 13 percent in 1998 to 40 percent in 2014.

This reveals that the right to die “option” for some vulnerable populations has quickly become more like a duty to die.

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Alastair Scott: End of Life Choice Bill will alter pillar of society

by Alastair Scott, The New Zealand Herald, 30 December 2017

The law should apply to those who have carefully and philosophically considered their choice, supported by family and professionals, with a clear view about their choice.

However, it would also apply to those disadvantaged by age, physical or mental disability, sickness and poverty, and sadly those without the compassionate support of family.

Ill health is known to affect mental health, happiness levels and the ability to see a future without pain or despair. In a depressed or affected state I believe that one’s ability to make a definitive choice of this magnitude is compromised. A positive state of mind is regarded by many health professionals as a factor in physical recovery.

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Terry Sarten: Quality end-of-life care should be nation’s priority

by Terry Sarten, The New Zealand Herald, 21 January 2018

Voicing the notion of “not being a burden” is often heard here in New Zealand from those who have serious life-threatening illnesses. We can shift that burden by acknowledging the value of quality end-of-life care and pressuring government to fund it effectively.

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Wendi Wicks: Justice committee members all voted for Seymour’s bill

by Wendi Wicks, The New Zealand Herald, 22 December 2017

This bill is literally a matter of life and death. It’s not a time to cut corners, or do backroom deals for procedural advantage. We need to ensure choice is not only a choice to die, and not make life for disabled and other at-risk people even more risky. It’s a time to take the time to listen and think very carefully.

 Is it going to be an open, transparent and fair hearing of all New Zealanders who want to have their say?

When you come from a 25 per cent majority constituency (disabled people) who are alarmed to be directly in the loosey-goosey eligibility criteria cross hairs of this bill, open fair and transparent select committee dealings are minimum standard.

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