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Category Archives: Euthanasia

Should Quebec’s Alzheimer’s patients be eligible for euthanasia? – BioEdge

Posted: February 25, 2017 at 3:52 pm

Quebec is about to embark upon a debate on the involuntary euthanasia of demented elderly after a 55-year-old man in Montreal allegedly smothered his Alzheimers stricken wife and posted what he had done on Facebook. Michel Cadotte was charged with second-degree murder after his 60-year-old wife died in an assisted care facility.

He said on Facebook that he had “cracked” and “consented to her demands to help her die.” Although the facts are not clear yet, the media has reported that the woman requested medical aid in dying but was refused.

Under Quebecs 2015 law, euthanasia for the demented is specifically excluded. A person who makes a request for medical assistance in dying must be capable of consent, Jean-Pierre Mnard, a Montreal medical lawyer, told the Montreal Gazette. This means the patient must understand their state of health and can express their will. A patient with advanced Alzheimers no longer has the capacity to consent, no longer has the cognitive capacity to understand.

The Gazette reports that Quebec parliamentarians now want to open a public debate on legalizing euthanasia for persons unable to give informed consent. This debate about extending eligibility for euthanasia is happening just a bit more than a year after the law came into effect.

The Quebec Alzheimers Society contends that demented patients need to be protected. “It’s very difficult with the complexity of dementia to know for sure what a person with dementia would want today,” April Hayward, of the Society told CTV News. “They may have expressed a wish ten years ago and do we know for certain that’s what they would want today?”

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Ban on gas chambers for euthanasia at animal shelters passes Senate – Deseret News

Posted: at 3:52 pm

SALT LAKE CITY A bill that would ban the use of carbon-monoxide gas chambers in animal shelters was approved Friday by the Utah Senate.

SB56, sponsored by Senate Majority Assistant Whip Pete Knudson, R-Brigham City, passed by a 19-7 vote on the Senate floor. The bill would implement a policy of euthanasia by injection at animal shelters statewide.

“Being a true animal lover, I like to make sure even our smallest animals are treated with dignity and fairness, and that is what this bill will do,” Knudson said.

The bill now moves to the House for its consideration.

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Ban on gas chambers for euthanasia at animal shelters passes Senate – Deseret News

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APA Position on Medical Euthanasia – Psychiatric Times

Posted: at 3:52 pm

Early in December 2016, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) Board of Trustees passed an historic Position Statement that originated in the Assembly and was unanimously supported by the APA Ethics Committee:

The APA, in concert with the American Medical Associations position on Medical Euthanasia, holds that a psychiatrist should not prescribe or administer any intervention to a non-terminally ill person for the purpose of causing death.

This position is now one of the strongest of any medical organization in the world regarding the practice of physician-assisted suicide by prescription medication or euthanasia by lethal injection (PAS/E) for those with non- terminal conditions. This is not just a theoretical possibility that might occur along a slippery slope following legalization of PAS/E for terminal illnesses. People with non-terminal illnesses have been legally euthanized at their own request in several countries for nearly 15 years. This has included certain eligible patients who have only psychiatric disorders.

In 2002, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg removed any distinctions between terminal and non-terminal conditions, and between physical suffering and mental suffering, for legally permitted PAS/E. That was when patients with psychiatric disorders became eligible for this right in these countries. Independent consultants have to declare their condition untreatable, and the patient needs to declare it to be insufferable.

In the Netherlands, for example, for psychiatric-only cases, at least 1 consultant is required, but 3 are suggested. At least one should be a psychiatrist but does not have to be.

However, the patient can weigh in regarding the untreatable criterion as well. It is not based solely on what physicians have to offer, but on what the patient wishes to accept. For example, though potentially effective treatments may be offered, such as ECT, MAOIs, residential treatment, transcranial magnetic stimulation, and vagus nerve stimulation, competent patients may refuse these offers. That choice could make their case untreatable. So patients can rule on both the untreatable and insufferable axes; physicians can only opine on the former.

In the Netherlands, lethal injections are the most commonly used method to fulfill an approved patients death wish. This is often administered by the patients treating psychiatrist at home, in the office, or in specialized Levenseinde Klinieks (End of Life Clinics). Between 2008 and 2014, more than 200 psychiatric patients were euthanized by their own request in the Netherlands (1% of all euthanasia in that country): 52% had a diagnosis of personality disorder, 56% refused one or more offered treatments, and 20% had never even had an inpatient stay (one indication of previous treatment intensity). When asked the primary reason for seeking PAS/E, 66% cited social isolation and loneliness. Despite the legal requirement for agreement between outside consultants, for 24% of psychiatric patients euthanized, at least one outside consultant disagreed.

Some remarkable stories have been profiled in the Dutch media. For example, a woman was granted euthanasia for chronic PTSD due to childhood sexual abuse. The arguments based on personal autonomy to justify such access to PAS/E are being pushed even further in the Netherlands. Ministers of Health and Justice have proposed to their Parliament that criteria not be limited to medical conditions, but be extended to average citizens who feel they have lived completed lives.

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Once Euthanasia Voluntary, It’ll Become Irresistible, Ask the Dutch; Real Humility; and More! – National Catholic Register (blog)

Posted: at 3:52 pm

Click on Once Euthanasia Voluntary, Itll Become Irresistible, Ask the Dutch link to read more.

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Once Euthanasia Voluntary, It’ll Become Irresistible, Ask the Dutch; Real Humility; and More! – National Catholic Register (blog)

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Susan Dale Austen appears in court facing charges relating to … – Stuff.co.nz

Posted: at 3:52 pm

Last updated12:05, February 24 2017

TOM HUNT/Stuff.co.nz

Supporters of Susan Austen, facing charges related to importing a euthanasia drug, gather in support outside Wellington District Court.

Supporters ofExit Wellington co-ordinator Susan Dale Austen, 65, filled a Wellington District Courtroom when she appeared on Friday morning.

Austen faces one charge of importing the narcotic sedative pentobarbitone known as Nembutal between March 2012 and October 2016, and one of importing on September 30.

Austen was remanded on bail for a month after police asked for a postponement till March 24.

ROSS GIBLIN/FAIRFAX NZ

Placards were waved in support.

Judge Stephen Harrop endorsed the comments made by Austen’s lawyer, Donald Steven, QC, that publishing photographs of Austen could breach her fair trial rights.

READ MORE: * Many questions, few answers *Charges laid over importing euthanasia drug *Police admit using checkpoint to target euthanasia meeting attendees *We know where you’ve been, police tell 76-year-old who attended euthanasia meeting *Police door-knock elderly women who attended euthanasia meeting

Nembutal is a drug commonly used for Euthanasia, and Exit Wellington is a pro-euthanasia group.

ROSS GIBLIN/FAIRFAX NZ

Supporters of Susan Austen outside Wellington District Court on Friday.

The euthanasia debate has been in the headlines after police admitted that they used a checkpoint operation to identify people who had been to an Exit Wellingtonmeeting in early October.

The matter has beenreferred to the Independent Police Conduct Authority.

About 40 supporters of Austen’s, some with placards, gathered outside court to support her as she arrived on Friday with her husband and lawyer.

“A peaceful death is everyone’s right, which is really all it is about,” supporter Jan Rosie said outside court.

Voluntary Euthanasia Society – which is fighting to change New Zealand euthanasia laws – spokesman David Barber said two-thirds of New Zealand supported”end of life choice” but politicians were unwilling to touch it.

While most of the supporters outside court were middle-aged-or-older women, there were a few men and younger peopleamong the supporters.

“Young people will be facing the issue at some time,” Barber said.

Austen arrived at court with family and lawyers appearing relaxed.

She emerged afterwards and thankedand joked with the supporters but her lawyers said she would not comment publicly.

-Stuff

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Quebec Moves Toward Euthanasia for Alzheimer’s – National Review

Posted: February 24, 2017 at 7:02 pm

Our neighbor to the north demonstrates vividly how the logic of euthanasia consciousness spreads like a virus.

Once a society generally accepts killing as an acceptable response to human suffering, the killable categories expand exponentiallyclearly seen in the Netherlands and Belgium where psychiatrists kill the mentally ill, sometimes coupled with organ harvesting.

Abuses? What abuses?

Canada is driving that same road with the pedal to the metal. Quebec is now actively considering expanding euthanasia to include the mentally incompetent if they asked to be killed in an advance directive. From the Montreal Gazette story:

A consensus is emerging among Quebec parliamentarians to launch a public debate on the appropriateness of legalizing medically assisted suicide for persons unable to give informed consent, such as patients suffering from Alzheimers disease.

My mother died of Alzheimers, so I know what this disease is like.

I also know that it would have been wrong to allow herworst fears about what her life was going to belike when the illness beganto bite, to allow her to order herself poisoned to death when she lost capacity.

Even in my mothers very difficult final days, there were good moments in which she was able to receive and give love.

To say she would have been killable because she was so ill would have been to say that her loss of capacities rendered less than human. Not on my watch.

And that brings up an ironic point: At the same time in whichconcerted efforts are being undertaken to reduce the categories of animals killed by euthanasiaa worthy causesimilar efforts are underway where euthanasia is widely accepted to expand the number of people so killed.

That path leads to extreme moral peril.

The same progression we have seen in Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, and now Canada, will happen here if assisted suicide ever becomes widely accepted. Its only logical.

And heres the worst part: When that happens, people wont care because societys adherence to the equality/sanctity of human lifewill have been fundamentally subverted.

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Lessons from indigenous wisdom in the euthanasia debate – MercatorNet

Posted: at 7:02 pm

Lessons from indigenous wisdom in the euthanasia debate
MercatorNet
George's words came to mind as wise advice for those of us engaging in the legalization of euthanasia debate currently raging in Australia. They struck me as especially apropos in light of the fact that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island and First

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WA election: Euthanasia, Safe Schools hot topics as Liberal, Labor leaders face Christian voters – ABC Online

Posted: at 7:02 pm

Posted February 24, 2017 09:56:22

Colin Barnett and Mark McGowan have clashed over voluntary euthanasia and the Safe Schools program during a public question and answer session organised by the Australian Christian Lobby in the lead-up to the state election.

More than 500 people attended the event in Wangara on Thursday night to hear the WA Premier and Opposition Leader’s stance on issues ranging from Aboriginal youth suicide and prostitution reform to babies surviving abortions.

Unlike Wednesday night’s televised leaders’ debate that focused on debt, deficit and unemployment, neither leader took aim at the other’s credibility instead focusing on the social issues facing WA and drawing from personal experiences and anecdotes to help sell their case.

Two of the questions that raised a vocal reaction from the crowd were centred on euthanasia and the Safe Schools program.

Mr Barnett said while he had sympathy for people who had “painful and long deaths”, he did not support euthanasia.

“I think it is an issue that is left to the family at the time and to the doctors,” he told the crowd.

“I think palliative care and relying on professional moral ethics and religious standards and ethics is the way to go.”

He was at odds with his opponent Mr McGowan, who used his personal experience of the death of a relative to explain why he backed assisted dying.

“He should have been able to make his own decision in those circumstances on the time of his passing,” he said.

“Voluntary euthanasia, with appropriate safeguards, is something I personally support.

“My party has a position whereby it’s a conscience vote, so every member of my caucus gets to vote according to their own point of view if a bill came before the Parliament.”

Mr Barnett and Mr McGowan were also left at odds after being questioned about Safe Schools, a federally funded anti-bullying program designed to help educate students about sexual and gender diversity.

“Will your party commit to removing this highly controversial and sexualised program from all Western Australian schools?” a church leader asked.

Mr McGowan backed Safe Schools.

“A lot of young people who identify as gay are very likely to commit suicide. There are also problems with young people identifying as gay with being bullied at school,” he said.

“My understanding of the program is that it provides advice to teachers and assistance to teachers in dealing with children or young people who might identify as gay.

“A public high school in Western Australia that wants to access that program on the advice of their school board and school community, I think is reasonable, and they should be able to access that program.”

However, Mr Barnett disagreed.

“From my knowledge of it and I’ve never read the material but I’ve heard fellow members of Parliament describing it to me it encourages experimentation, promiscuity, to very young children,” Mr Barnett said.

“I don’t think that is any way what should happen in our school, and I don’t think you should have situations where boys’ could think … they’ve got the right to use the girls’ toilets.

“My view, and it’s not a directive, but my view to schools [is] I do not want to see that program in our schools.”

Mr Barnett said he believed fewer than 30 WA schools had incorporated the program into the curriculum.

Topics: elections, religion-and-beliefs, government-and-politics, schools, euthanasia, wa

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Adoption center works to reduce euthanasia – The Dominion Post

Posted: February 23, 2017 at 1:44 pm

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Police stance was to not answer questions over details of euthanasia checkpoint – Stuff.co.nz

Posted: at 1:44 pm

TOM HUNT

Last updated14:05, February 23 2017

FAIRFAX NZ

Wellington City area commander Chris Bensemann told staff not to release information as it would lead to more questions.

Police withheld information about a controversial operationbecause it would only open them up to further questions, emails reveal.

But the stance outlined in internal emails has been defended by police, because which say revealing too much information could jeopardiseongoing inquiries or future court cases.

In late2016 Police ran Operation Painter, which saw officers visiting peoplewho had considered euthanasia.

David Mariuz

Head of Exit International Philip Nitschke says the emails show a police culture of secerecy.

It later turned out police collected the names and addresses of many of the people, largely older women, by setting up a breath-testing roadblock down the road from a HuttValley euthanasia meeting.

READ MORE: *Police admit using checkpoint to target euthanasia meeting attendees *We know where you’ve been, police tell 76-year-old who attended euthanasia meeting *Police seize voluntary euthanasia advocate’s helium balloon kit *Police door-knock elderly women who attended euthanasia meeting

Now, an Official Information Act request shows Wellington’s top police officer, Wellington City area commanderChrisBensemann,emailed his media team telling them to withhold information requested by Stuff about the operation.

Questions emailed to police in the days beforeincluded a request for comment about claims police had set up an operation, codenamed Painter, and weretargeting Exit members.

The police media team emailed Bensemannin October, asking him if he wanted to add any comment more than confirmation one woman had been charged with importing aeuthanasiadrug.

Bensemannresponded: “I don’t see any merit in providing further comment at this point in time as it will only open us up to further questions, ie, each response would just create a whole new set of questions”.

He asked to be informed if “anything comes up that you see as a risk that we may be forced to [respond] to”.

Some details of the woman facing charges were withheld due to suppression orders, police said.

A police spokeswomanon Thursday said media had an important role in informing the public and ensuring transparency.

“Equally, however, Police have a duty to investigate thoroughly and carefully, and so are at times not in a position to answer specific questions while investigations and operations are ongoing, even if that information may be considered to be speculative, as further comment may jeopardise Police’s ongoing inquiries or potential future judicial proceedings.

“These considerations therefore dictate how we respond to each request we receive. ”

Later that month Bensemann confirmed that police had used the breath-testing checkpoint to target people who had attended an Exit International euthanasia meeting.

Police referred themselves to the Independent Police Conduct Authority, which is still investigating the operation.

Exit International director PhilipNitschke said the email trailshowed New Zealand police were “actively trying to dampen down public interest in their behaviour following their illegal fake road block”.

Bensemann’s instructions to provide no further comment was”particularly disappointing” and revealed “a culture of secrecy” within police, Nitschke said.

On Friday, Exit Wellington co-ordinatorSusanDaleAusten, 65, is due to appear in Wellington District Court facingone charge of importing the narcotic sedative pentobarbitone known as Nembutal between March 2012 and October 2016, and one of importing on September 30.

When she last appeared in court in October she was remanded without plea.

-Stuff

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