Monthly Archives

June 2012

Mercy-killing plan’s net will widen – campaigner

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NZ Herald 28 June 2012
Permitting mercy-killing of people with terminal illnesses would inevitably lead to the killing of newborns with disabilities and the elderly, an anti-euthanasia campaigner says. The head of the Canada-based Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, Alex Schadenberg, will speak in Auckland on Saturday at a conference organised by the Euthanasia Debate group.
He arrives as Labour MP Maryan Street prepares to put her assisted-suicide bill in the ballot for private members’ bills. “It allows people who have a terminal illness or who are suffering from an irrecoverable condition to determine how and when they wish to die,” she said. “It’s not just for terminal illness. It is also for those who have a condition where their quality of life is so diminished they don’t want to live any longer.”
In the Netherlands, doctors are permitted, under strict conditions and at a patient’s request, to end the person’s life or assist their suicide.
….The Netherlands physicians federation says non-medical factors such as “loss of function, loneliness and loss of autonomy” can be part of the evaluation of suffering, and that the law can apply to patients with psychiatric conditions or dementia.
Dutch paediatricians writing in a leading US medical journal in 2005 described the legal protocol under which euthanasia of newborns, typically those with severe forms of spina bifida, can be permitted. “When both the parents and the physicians are convinced that there is an extremely poor prognosis, they may concur that death would be more humane than continued life.”
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10815895

Court strikes down Canada’s ban on assisted suicide

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Lifesite News 15 June 2012
The B.C. Supreme Court has ruled that Canada’s ban on assisted suicide is unconstitutional. Justice Lynn Smith issued a 395-page ruling in the Carter v. Canada case Friday morning, determining that the ban discriminates against the disabled.
The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, which intervened in the case, immediately urged the Crown to appeal Smith’s decision to the BC Court of Appeal and to seek an order that stays the effect of the decision until such time as that appeal is heard.
Given that suicide is legal in Canada, Justice Smith argues that the ban violates the equality provision in section 15 of Canada’s Charter because it prevents the disabled from getting the help they may need to kill themselves.
The case centres on Gloria Taylor, who was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease or ALS in 2009. Taylor says she does not currently wish to kill herself, but wants to have assurance that she could receive help to commit suicide in future.
Justice Smith argues that the ban “perpetuates disadvantage” because it “is felt particularly acutely by persons such as Ms. Taylor, who are grievously and irremediably ill, physically disabled or soon to become so, mentally competent and who wish to have some control over their circumstances at the end of their lives.” Ironically, Justice Smith also argues that the ban violates the right to life under section 7 of the Charter because it could lead someone to commit suicide earlier than they might otherwise, while they are still physically able to do it themselves.
http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/b.c.-supreme-court-strikes-down-ban-on-assisted-suicide