Monthly Archives

July 2012

Euthanasia backers cite fear of burdening others

By | Recent News | No Comments

ONE News 27 July 2012
Healthy pro-euthanasia pensioners would rather cut their lives short than be a financial drain on society, a study shows.
Auckland University researchers interviewed 11 healthy men and women aged between 69 and 89 on why they supported voluntary euthanasia.
Reasons included not wanting to be a burden on their families and healthcare resources and fears of losing their independence and dignity…
One woman, who looked after her dying mother more than 50 years ago, said: “I was the last one to get married so she lived with me . . .
“I just feel that I don’t want to be a burden on my children. And when I get old, I don’t want them to have to look after me; it’s too hard for them . . .” …
Anti-euthanasia group Family Life International said passing a law to legalise voluntary euthanasia would open a “gigantic Pandora’s box” for the sick and disabled. “Euthanasia preys on the vulnerable members of society who feel obliged to die rather than impact on the lives of others,” spokesman Brendan Roberts said.
All participants of the study were European and members of the Voluntary Euthanasia Society, which supports legal medical assistance in dying.
Six had no religious affiliation and the others identified as atheist, Baptist, Quaker or agnostic Christian. The study, ‘I wouldn’t want to become a nuisance under any circumstance’, is published in the New Zealand Medical Journal today.
http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/euthanasia-backers-cite-fear-burdening-others-4989465

Euthanasia deaths rising in Netherlands – Lancet

By | Recent News | No Comments

Lifesite News 17 July 2012
The long awaited 2010 nationwide examination of the euthanasia law in the Netherlands was published in The Lancet on July 11, 2012. The study found that:
* the number of euthanasia deaths has grown significantly since 2005 (4050 in 2010, 2425 in 2005) * the under-reporting of euthanasia in the Netherlands has grown since 2005 (23% in 2010, 20% in 2005) * there is a growth in deaths by terminal sedation (12.3% in 2010, 8.2% in 2005) * the percentage of requests for euthanasia being fulfilled has increased (45% in 2010, 37% in 2005) * the number of deaths without request or consent has decreased (300 in 2010, 550 in 2005)
The media decided to ignore the significant growth in the number of euthanasia deaths since 2005, by reporting that the current percentage of euthanasia deaths in the Netherlands is similar to the percentage of euthanasia deaths in 2001, before it was officially legalized.
Historical facts: Euthanasia in the Netherlands was first legalized through court decisions in the Netherlands. In 1984, the Supreme Court in the Netherlands established a set-of-criteria that should be followed for a physician to cause the death of a person by euthanasia without fear of prosecution.
From 1984 to 2002 a series of legal decisions led to a widening application of euthanasia.  The courts allowed euthanasia for people living with chronic depression (mental pain), to children who were born with disabilities, and other vulnerable groups.
In 2001, the Netherlands parliament officially legalized euthanasia along the guidelines that were approved by the successive court decisions. The law officially came into effect in April 2002. Therefore euthanasia and assisted suicide were common before being legalized in the Netherlands.
Significant growth in Euthanasia: In 2003, the first full-year of legal euthanasia in the Netherlands, there were 1815 reported cases of euthanasia in the Netherlands. In 2010, there were 3136 reported cases of euthanasia. There is an approximate (20 – 23%) rate of under-reporting, nonetheless, based on the reported number of euthanasia deaths there has been a 73% increase in euthanasia deaths since 2003.
The rate of increase of reported euthanasia deaths has accelerated over the past few years with a 19% increase in 2010 and a 13% increase in 2009.
The continued increase in the number of euthanasia deaths may be partly explained by the increase in the number euthanasia deaths that are carried out after request. In 2005 37% of requests for euthanasia were fulfilled while in 2010 45% of requests were fulfilled.
There has also been a 50 percent increase in the number of deaths by terminal sedation since 2005. Terminal sedation is usually done by sedating a person and withdrawing fluids and food. Palliative sedation is different than terminal sedation because with palliative sedation the intention is to allow natural death to occur. Terminal sedation is viewed by some people as an alternative to euthanasia. When a person is not otherwise dying, the act of terminal sedation is more accurately a form of euthanasia and should be referred to as “slow euthanasia.”
The media reports: The Medical Daily reported that: Rates of Euthanasia are steady since 2002 legalization. Fox News reported: Little change in Dutch euthanasia post-legality. And ABC.net.au reported: Euthanasia number remain the same after legalization – study.
Clearly, the media bought into a common position based on the press release from the Lancet, rather than reading the study to uncover significant concerns. A thorough response was written by Dr. Peter Saunders, Campaign Director for the Care Not Killing Alliance in the UK. Saunders’ article focused on the incredible shift towards the use of Deep Continuous Sedation (Terminal Sedation) in order to keep the number of euthanasia deaths officially low.
Euthanasia in the Netherlands: The rate of euthanasia in the Netherlands has increased by 73% in the last 8 years (1815 reported deaths in 2003, 3136 reported deaths in 2010) and even more important, the rate of euthanasia has increased by almost 35% in the past two years (2331 reported deaths in 2008, 3136 reported deaths in 2010). Combined with the growth in the use of terminal sedation for people who are not otherwise dying, “slow euthanasia”, and the slight increase in the number of unreported euthanasia deaths, one must conclude that there are abuses occurring in the Netherlands.
On March 1, a euthanasia clinic in the Netherlands launched six mobile euthanasia teams in the Netherlands. The NVVE, euthanasia lobby in the Netherlands, announced that they anticipate that the mobile euthanasia teams would complete 1000 euthanasia deaths per year.
The mobile euthanasia teams plan to fill unmet demand for euthanasia for people with chronic depression (mental pain), people with disabilities, people with dementia/Alzheimer, loneliness, and those whose request for euthanasia is declined by their physician. In 2010 45% of all euthanasia requests resulted in death by euthanasia.
Similar to the previous euthanasia reports (1990, 1995, 2001, 2005) the 2010 report uncovers significant concerns related to the practice of euthanasia in the Netherlands. Legalizing euthanasia and assisted suicide is not safe and the safeguards that are devised to control euthanasia do not protect the dying, but rather they protect the doctor.
http://www.lifesitenews.com/blog/the-lancet-proves-euthanasia-deaths-are-rising-in-the-netherlands

Street’s euthanasia bill untimely and unclear

By | Recent News | No Comments

NZDoctor.co.nz 11 July 2012
It is concerning that Maryan Street said she took up the bill because ‘she could not think of a reason not to’.
Though she says the Bill is ‘predominantly to do with terminal physical illness’, part of the Bill refers to ‘end of life directives’ for those that suffer from an irreversible medical or mental condition that, in their view, renders their life unbearable. Including both medical and mental conditions could well lead to confusion.  Dr Hutchison says euthanasia and assisted suicide are complex areas where there are grey zones in law and in practice.  However, modern care and knowledge, along with significant advances in technology, provide huge help.
”In April ‘Hospice New Zealand’ has published a ‘Quality Review Programme and Guide 2012? of standards for palliative care.  It describes the unique and interwoven roles of primary care services and specialist palliative care services to provide high quality palliative care and end of life care to all people in New Zealand.
”I vividly remember Peter Brown’s private members bill which was narrowly lost in the Parliament in 2003.  Peter spoke passionately and sincerely regarding the awful time his late wife had during her terminal illness.
However, on talking to him, I couldn’t help think that if he and his wife had received the skilled services that are available today, their suffering could well be far less.”
http://www.nzdoctor.co.nz/un-doctored/2012/july-2012/11/street%E2%80%99s-euthanasia-bill-untimely-and-unclear.aspx