Monthly Archives

November 2013

Belgium: Senate Panel Approves Measure Allowing Doctors to Euthanize Children

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LifeNews 27 November 2013
A Belgian Senate committee voted today to extend euthanasia to children with disabilities, in a move pro-life advocates worldwide had been fearing would come and expand an already much-abused euthanasia law even further.
The Belgian Senate committee voted 13-4 to allow minors to seek euthanasia under certain conditions and the measure also would extend the right to request euthanasia to adults with dementia. The bill still has legislative votes to clear before it becomes law and it now heads to the Senate , where it will be debated in a plenary meeting by all senators. There is still a chance to stop the bill in that chamber but, if approved, it goes to the House of Representatives.
According to Schadenberg:
The number of euthanasia deaths in Belgium is skyrocketing with an increase of 25% in 2012. Recent studies indicate that up to 47% of all assisted deaths are not being reported, 32% of all assisted deaths are being done without request and nurses are killing their patients, even though the law restricts euthanasia to doctors.
Some Belgian experts are supporting the extension of euthanasia to children with disabilities because they say that it is being done already. The same medical experts suggest that the extension of euthanasia will result in an increase of 10 to 100 euthanasia deaths each year.
The Belgian euthanasia law appears out-of-control. The Belgian Euthanasia Control and Evaluation Commission appear to be in a conflict of interest. The Commission supported the euthanasia deaths of: Nathan Verhelst (44) who was born as Nancy, Ann G who had Anorexia Nervosa and was sexually exploited by her psychiatrist, Mark & Eddy Verbessem, and at least one depressed woman. These are only the cases that we know about.
http://www.lifenews.com/2013/11/27/belgium-senate-panel-approves-measure-allowing-doctors-to-euthanize-children/

Death by doctor: Controversial physician has made his name delivering euthanasia when no one else will

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National Post 22 November 2013
Wim Distelmans is unusual among physicians: when one of his patients dies, it means his treatment was a success. A long-time crusader for euthanasia, which was legalized in Belgium in 2002, Dr. Distelmans has made his name delivering death.
In September, the 60-year-old physician gave a lethal injection to Nathan Verhelst, 44, depressed over a failed sex-change operation. Last year, he oversaw the double euthanasia of Marc and Eddy Verbessem, 45-year-old deaf twins who chose to die after learning they would lose their eyesight. Also last year, he euthanized a despondent Godelieva De Troyer, 64, whose children learned of her death after the fact. And he acknowledges there are many more “borderline” cases that the public never hears about.
To some, Dr. Distelmans has come to embody the dangers of legalized euthanasia. “What is he? Is he God or something?” Ms. De Troyer’s son, Tom Mortier, asked in a recent interview.
But while he has his critics, more Belgians see the charismatic Dr. Distelmans as a hero. On one Wednesday night last month, more than 300 people turned out in Zemst, north of Brussels, to hear Dr. Distelmans talk about dying. Dressed in jeans, a polo shirt and a black sweater, he explained how to request euthanasia in a two-hour presentation peppered with jokes. One audience member, 76-year-old Simone Vleminckz, hailed Dr. Distelmans as someone who has devoted his career to ending people’s suffering. “I think he knows the pain people feel,” she said. “You see it in his face.”
Polls here show broad support for euthanasia, and the number of cases has grown steadily every year, from 235 in 2003, the first full year it was legal, to 1,432 last year. While the Quebec government pushes forward on a euthanasia law modeled after Belgium’s — the province’s Bill 52 passed second reading last month and is now under study by a legislative committee — the current debate here in Belgium is about expanding the euthanasia law rather than restricting it. And Dr. Distelmans is on the front lines.
http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/11/22/death-by-doctor-controversial-physician-has-made-his-name-delivering-euthanasia-when-no-one-else-will/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+NP_Top_Stories+%28National+Post+-+Top+Stories%29

Paralysed woman: Don’t give up hope for the future

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Christian Institute 26 July 2010
A severely disabled woman has urged other disabled people who may feel like ending their lives not to abandon hope for the future. 
Marini McNeilly, who suffers from a condition known as ‘locked-in syndrome’, is paralysed and can only move her face, head and, very slightly, her fingers.
In an interview with The Times newspaper she calls for other sufferers not to give up hope, saying: “Hope is the last thing you should lose.”
Mrs McNeilly’s comments come in the wake of a legal challenge by Tony Nicklinson, who also suffers from ‘locked-in syndrome’, to force the Director of Public Prosecutions to issue guidance clarifying whether his wife would be prosecuted for murder if she kills him.
Mrs McNeilly, who taught English and Spanish, was left paralysed by a series of strokes two years ago, and was only able to move her eyes and her head slightly.
There were times in the first few months when Mrs McNeilly had little hope for the future and feared that she may never be able to communicate with people again.
http://www.christian.org.uk/news/paralysed-woman-dont-give-up-hope-for-the-future/

Springbok hero dying from MND

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Care Not Killing 29 August 2013
Joost van der Westhuizen is a name well known to rugby fans the world over.
It was the scrum half’s try-saving tackle on the towering All Black wing Jonah Lomu in the World Cup rugby final in 1995 which arguably won the tournament for South Africa.
He went on to win the Tri Nations in 1998 and captained the Springboks at the 1999 World Cup, when they were beaten in extra time in the semi-finals by eventual winners Australia.
The 42 year old is now dying of motor neurone disease (MND) which he contracted in 2011. Progressive muscular weakness has now left him in a wheelchair and barely able to speak.
Van der Westhuizen scored 38 tries in 89 Tests for the Springboks after making his international debut against Argentina in Buenos Aires in 1993.
He played his last match in the Green and Gold against New Zealand in Melbourne in November in 2003, retiring as South Africa’s most-capped player.
Since being diagnosed with MND, he has set up the J9 Foundation, which is a charity that raises awareness about the disease.
http://www.carenotkilling.org.uk/personal-stories/springbok-hero-dying-from-mnd/

There is always something to live for, says son soccer star who became 'locked in' after stroke

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Care Not Killing 16 August 2012
I believe a life is a life, no matter what state or condition a person is in. The people around them, whether that be family, friends, carers or medical staff, should remain positive and always remind the ill person that no matter what they may think, there is always something to live for.

Locked-in syndrome is best described as a condition of almost total paralysis apart from eye movements.
My dad, Gary Parkinson, has locked-in syndrome due to a stroke in September, 2010. I can’t talk on behalf of him or any other sufferer. I can talk as a family member directly affected by the illness.
My dad has made remarkable improvements but is a long way from a full recovery and regaining the quality of life he once had. That is not to say he can’t have an equally good one in the future. My dad was a fit, healthy sportsman with a football career spanning more than two decades.

The stroke struck early one morning. The night before he had been fine.
The next time I saw my dad was at Salford Royal Hospital.
http://www.carenotkilling.org.uk/personal-stories/son-comments-on-locked-in-dad/

A man declared brain dead makes incredible recovery

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Care Not Killing 8 May 2012
A man who was declared brain dead by four doctors made an amazing recovery after his parents got another opinion before their son’s life support was switched off.

Steven Thorpe was in a terrible car crash at 17. Doctors told his family that he was not going to recover and that they should think about donating his organs. But Steven’s father sought the help of a private GP, Julia Piper, and a second opinion.
Speaking about the event, Steven said, “My impression is maybe the hospital weren’t very happy that my father wanted a second opinion. I think the doctors wanted to give me three days on the life support machine and the following day they said they wanted to turn it off. I think if my dad would’ve agreed with tem then it would’ve been off in seconds. If my parents hadn’t asked for the second opinion, and if Julia hadn’t been there, I would be here today.”
Stephen is now 21 and training to be an accountant. He has had four operations to reconstruct his face. In a statement, University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust said, “The injury to Steven’s brain was extremely critical and several CT scans of the head showed almost irreversible damage. It is extremely rare that a patient having suffered such extensive trauma to the brain should survive.”
http://www.carenotkilling.org.uk/personal-stories/brain-dead-man-stuns-docs/

Locked-in syndrome survivor tells his story

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Care Not Killing 10 August 2012
Two days after he regained consciousness following a stroke, Richard Marsh did not want to die as doctors asked his wife, Lili, if they should turn off his life support machine. He could listen to every word but not tell them that he was still conscious.
The 60 year old did not want to die and was determined to walk out of the hospital and wanted everyone to know about his situation. But Marsh could not communicate his consciousness. The doctors thought he was in a persistent vegetative state and were about to make presumptions.
Marsh was aware and able to feel every touch to his body. He had full congnitive awareness, but an almost complete paralysis of all the voluntary muscles in his body. He began to recover first with his fingers. It is unknown why so many locked-in syndrome sufferers do not recover.
Locked-in syndrome affects around 1% of people who have a stroke. There is no treatment or cure. Around 90% die within four months of its onset. Amazingly, four months and nine days after a stroke, Marsh walked out of his long-term care facility.
http://www.carenotkilling.org.uk/personal-stories/man-did-not-want-to-die/

Paralysed man's first words in 19 years

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Care Not Killing 6 February 2012
A 37-year-old paralysed man has spoken for the first time in nearly 20 years – and told his mum “I love you”.
The news comes amidst pressure to change the law so that people in a similar position can have their lives ended by euthanasia.
Simon Ellis was told he would never talk again after being involved in a car accident in 1992.
He lost the use of his arms and legs, as well as suffering brain damage and two skull fractures.
But now, after being cared for at a Sue Ryder care home in Ipswich for 18 years, Mr Ellis has uttered his first words since the accident.
His mum, Diane Franklin, said: “We have been just using flash cards and we have been so pleased with the response.
http://www.carenotkilling.org.uk/personal-stories/mum-i-love-you/