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Disability Commissioner incredibly concerned about the euthanasia bill in New Zealand

Euthanasia is legal in Canada and a visiting expert says its very patient-driven, but our Disability Commissioner is concerned the Bill doesn’t protect the most vulnerable. Watch the debate from TV1, Breakfast, here:

The euthanasia debate is heating up as the End Of Life Choice Bill has its second reading in Parliament.

The euthanasia debate is heating up as the End Of Life Choice Bill has its second reading in Parliament. Euthanasia is legal in Canada and a visiting expert says its very patient-driven, but our Disability Commissioner is concerned the Bill doesn't protect the most vulnerable.

Posted by Breakfast on Sunday, 23 June 2019
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We can’t let voluntary assisted dying negate our commitment to the ill

By Natasha Michael, The Age, 22 May 2019

Palliative care doctor Natasha Michael discusses how euthanasia will impact palliative care from her personal experience with death, patients and palliative care.

The introduction of the voluntary assisted dying legislation in Victoria on June 19 will remind us of the occasional failure of medicine. Healthcare was designed with disease in mind, not people. The legislation introduces three major threats to healthcare: validating suicide as an acceptable choice; accepting substandard medical care by supporting the lack of rigour in defining eligibility; and finally, introducing into the healthcare curriculum the intentional ending of life as acceptable medical treatment. Hereby, a new generation of healthcare professionals abdicate their commitment to the sick.

For the patient, the convolutions of modern medicine, the uncertainty of therapeutics, the conundrum of multiple doctors across multiple sites bring an uncertain horizon and instil existential anguish. Their journey of illness is ultimately alienating and lonely. For many, it is the desperation for the restoration of dignity and the return of normality that drives the desire for death: “I want to die, let me die.” Not: “Kill me.”

Read full article here.
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Many in the dark on end of life

Care Not Killing, 14th May 2019

Public ignorance about dying increases fears about the pain and indignity associated with the event, senior medical academics say today. Large numbers of people get information from fictional events while the most common source of knowledge about dying is from family and friends, according to a survey conducted for the Academy of Medical Sciences. Some 20% say they have gained their knowledge from documentaries while just 22% have gained it from medical professionals.

When people are unfamiliar with the reality of the incredible care and support of which we are capable, and when campaigners can point to gaps in provision in order to sow the seeds of doubt and fear, acceptance of assisted suicide and euthanasia is less surprising.

Read the full article here.

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Palliative care experts say euthanasia not the answer

By Nick Butterly, The West Australian, 25 May 2019

Douglas Bridge — regarded as the leading palliative care expert in WA — said the introduction of laws allowing euthanasia would pose a huge ethical problem for medical professionals.

“Euthanasia and assisted suicide are not medical treatments and most emphatically not part of palliative care.”

“We reaffirm our commitment to our patients: we will continue to care for you to the best of our ability, guided by your choices, but we will not kill you,” Dr Bridge said.

Read the article here.
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Why I changed my mind on euthanasia

By Chris Ford, Newsroom, May 27 2019

Chris Ford explains why he’s now firmly in the ‘no’ camp on the voluntary euthanasia legislation.

The way in which society views disabled people is still largely negative and any introduction of euthanasia laws might further diminish our standing in the eyes of wider New Zealand society.

Wouldn’t the legislation be an effective weapon in a time of economic austerity when spending on social services would be even tighter than it is now? One could imagine that deeper future cuts to health and disability services, for example, would see many more disabled people placed under even greater pressure by both government and wider society to feel worthless and a burden.

Read the full article here.

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Twelve Myths About Physician Assisted Suicide

By Ronald W. Pies, MD and Annette Hanson, MD, MD Magazine, July 7 2018,

The case for PAS legislation rests on a number of misconceptions, as regards the adequacy, safety, and application of existing PAS statutes. The best available evidence suggests that current practices under PAS statutes are not adequately monitored and do not adequately protect vulnerable populations, such as patients with clinical depression.

Read 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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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.