Monthly Archives

November 2017

Nitschke says Victorian euthanasia bill ‘unworkable’

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The Australian 22 November 2017
Family First Comment: Victoria makes a deadly decision – and even then, the supporters aren’t happy, because it doesn’t go far enough!
Philip Nitschke has described the Victorian government’s voluntary assisted dying bill as the “world’s most unworkable end-of-life law” as he warned the legislation would not satisfy all those seeking ¬assisted suicide. The country’s leading proponent for assisted dying and head of Exit International congratulated the Victorian government for passing the bill through the upper house, but warned the “conservative” bill was behind world standards… “It’s not going to change the growing demand by elderly people to have access to their own choice.”
…The former president of the Victorian arm of the Australian Medical Association Stephen -Parnis, who has led a public campaign urging the parliament to ¬reject the legislation, said he was concerned vulnerable people would not be inadequately protected. “I suppose not just for me, but the MPs, the doctors, the many community activists who oppose these laws, it’s a profound disappointment. Ultimately we weren’t successful,” he said. “This is going to become law and we hope that our fears for the system will ultimately be proved wrong. But time will tell. “I say to the Premier and Minister for Health: it’s incumbent on you to use all of the authority at your disposal to enhance the palliative care as a matter of urgency. Without that sort of system in place, people dying don’t have the choice you want to offer.’’ Victorian AMA head Lorraine Baker said she recognised the changes marked a “significant shift in medical practice in Victoria” that would cause anguish for members of the profession…
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/state-politics/nitschke-says-victorian-euthanasia-bill-unworkable/news-story/807a16f8cfbeacc3869afe8a1dd0b5ff

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Fatally flawed – Aussie state legalises euthanasia

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Historic euthanasia laws pass in Australian state of Victoria
Stuff co.nz 22 November 2017
Family First Comment: “The Australian Medical Association said the passing of the legislation marked a significant shift in medical practice in Victoria. “The outcome of this parliamentary vote will cause anguish for some members of our profession, as well as the public,” AMA Victoria president Lorraine Baker said.”
Voluntary euthanasia is set to become legal in the state of Victoria in Australia after historic laws passed the upper house, despite ferocious opposition from conservative MPs.
The bill passed the upper house with 22 votes to 18, after a marathon 28-hour sitting that began on Tuesday afternoon and ended on Wednesday afternoon.
There were emotional scenes in the upper house as MPs, who had debated the bill all night, wept in their seats or got up to embrace their colleagues.
Greens MP Colleen Hartland wept into her colleague Samantha Dunn’s shoulder as the final vote was declared.
Hartland, who is set to retire at the coming election, has been a long-time supporter of a voluntary euthanasia regime.
Although the bill has already passed the lower house with a strong majority, it must go back in its amended form for a final vote.
READ MORE: https://www.stuff.co.nz/world/australia/99153494/Historic-euthanasia-laws-pass-in-Australian-state-of-Victoria?cid=app-iPhone
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Extremist Victoria Says Yes, NSW Says No To Euthanasia

By | Media Releases

Media Release 23 November 2017
Family First NZ says that Victoria has gone against the worldwide trend and introduced a flawed and dangerous assisted suicide law – a week after the New South Wales upper house voted down a similar bill.

“Victoria is well known for its extremist laws, including its extreme abortion law which allows abortion on demand right up to birth. Ironically, Victoria’s euthanasia law has come under attack from a euthanasia supporter Philip Nitschke who believes in suicide as a human right and said that Victoria’s bill was the “world’s most unworkable end-of-life law and that it was not going to change the growing demand by elderly people to suicide as a right,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

“Safe euthanasia is a myth. Victoria’s 68 ‘safeguards’ will not provide any comfort. NSW Labour health spokesman Walt Secord said, during the NSW debate, “I have not yet seen it possible to develop adequate legislative safeguards to protect people from the misuse of these laws. I have not yet seen a legislative model in this area that cannot be exploited or manipulated. And I cannot support any gaps for exploitation when the consequences are so final.” New South Wales political leaders have realised this and voted accordingly, and New Zealand politicians should do likewise.”

Rejection of assisted suicide has been dominant throughout the world. An analysis of attempts in the USA to allow assisted suicide reveal an overwhelming failure rate associated with such legislation: fewer than 1% of all assisted suicide bills become law. Just this year, 46 bills to legalise assisted suicide in 27 states have been defeated, despite proponents of assisted suicide spending heavily. Between 2015-2017, legislation was also defeated in Scotland, United Kingdom, South Australia and Tasmania, with the only successes coming in Canada, and the three US states of California, Colorado and Washington, DC.

“The government report released earlier this year as a result of the Inquiry in NZ revealed that the level of opposition to euthanasia is no anomaly, and explains why a select committee comprising both proponents and opponents of assisted suicide could not endorse any change to the law.”

“It is time for New Zealand and David Seymour to move on from the current political push for assisted suicide, and to focus on what New Zealanders really need and want – a focus on providing the very best palliative care and support for vulnerable people, whether they are at the end of their life, or momentarily wishing they were at the end of their life.”
ENDS

Voluntary assisted dying bill defeated in NSW upper house

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Sydney Morning Herald 16 November 2017
Family First Comment: “I have not yet seen it possible to develop adequate legislative safeguards to protect people from the misuse of these laws. I have not yet seen a legislative model in this area that cannot be exploited or manipulated. And I cannot support any gaps for exploitation when the consequences are so final”.
Exactly – ‘safe’ euthanasia is a myth
www.RejectAssistedSuicide.nz
State MPs have voted down a bill to introduce voluntary assisted dying laws in NSW following a full day of emotional debate.
The bill was defeated in the Legislative Council by 20 votes to 19 in a vote that took place just after 11pm on Thursday.
It is a disappointing end for a campaign launched by a cross-party working group of MPs in a bid to convince the Parliament to support the bill based on similar laws in the US state of Oregon.
Advocates were hopeful the bill was sufficiently conservative to garner support of the upper house.
It proposed that terminally ill NSW residents over the age of 25 with less than 12 months to live be allowed to legally end their lives with medical assistance.
Safeguards included a requirement to consult two doctors, one a specialist in the illness, and a psychiatrist or psychologist.
READ MORE: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/voluntary-assisted-dying-bill-defeated-in-nsw-upper-house-20171116-gzn25g.html

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Defeat Of Assisted Suicide Law in NSW Welcomed

By | Media Releases

Media Release 17 November 2017
Family First NZ is welcoming news that the New South Wales upper house has voted down a bill on assisted suicide.

“Safe euthanasia is a myth. The Australian political leaders have realised this and voted accordingly, and New Zealand politicians should do likewise,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

NSW Labour health spokesman Walt Secord said, during the debate, “I have not yet seen it possible to develop adequate legislative safeguards to protect people from the misuse of these laws. I have not yet seen a legislative model in this area that cannot be exploited or manipulated. And I cannot support any gaps for exploitation when the consequences are so final.

The defeat in NSW follows a trend worldwide. An analysis of attempts in the USA to allow assisted suicide reveal an overwhelming failure rate associated with such legislation: fewer than 1% of all assisted suicide bills become law. Just this year, 46 bills to legalise assisted suicide in 27 states have been defeated, despite proponents of assisted suicide spending heavily. Between 2015-2017, legislation was also defeated in Scotland, United Kingdom, South Australia and Tasmania, with the only successes coming in Canada, and the three US states of California, Colorado and Washington, DC.

“The government report released earlier this year as a result of the Inquiry in NZ revealed that the level of opposition to euthanasia is no anomaly, and explains why a select committee comprising both proponents and opponents of assisted suicide could not endorse any change to the law. They understand that promotion of assisted suicide is a message that will be heard not just by those with a terminal illness but also by anyone tempted to think he or she can no longer cope with their suffering – whatever the nature of that suffering. This is the real risk to young and to vulnerable people, the disabled and elderly people if NZ follows the path of promoting – and allowing – assisted suicide.”

“It is time for New Zealand and David Seymour to move on from the current political push for assisted suicide, and to focus on what New Zealanders really need and want – a focus on providing the very best palliative care and support for vulnerable people, whether they are at the end of their life, or momentarily wishing they were at the end of their life.”
ENDS

Doctor Orders Family To Hold Down Patient For Lethal Injection (Netherlands)

By | Recent News

Independent 5 February 2017
Family First Comment: It just gets worse!
And add to that…..
“The Dutch Parliament is considering revising the euthanasia laws to allow anyone older than 75 who is “tired of life” to have the right to assisted suicide, widening the current restriction which limits the practice to the terminally ill.”
A Dutch doctor who ordered an elderly dementia patient’s family to hold her down as she was given a lethal euthanasia injection has been cleared of any wrongdoing.
The doctor at a nursing home in the Netherlands, where euthanasia is legal, was investigated following the death of the unnamed woman who had expressed a wish to die “when the time was right”.
The Catholic News Agency reported that the woman woke up despite the sleep-inducing drug she had been given in her coffee and tried to resist the procedure.
The doctor then asked the relatives of the woman, said to be aged “over 80”, to restrain her while she administered the lethal injection.
The senior doctor had determined the time was right because of a recent deterioration in the woman’s condition.
“I am convinced that the doctor acted in good faith, and we would like to see more clarity on how such cases are handled in the future,“ said Jacob Kohnstamm, chairman of the Regional Review Committee, which considered the case.
The case will be further examined by the Dutch courts to clarify the laws around euthanasia and determine whether doctors who carry out the procedure should be prosecuted if they are found to have acted in good faith.
The Dutch Parliament is considering revising the euthanasia laws to allow anyone older than 75 who is “tired of life” to have the right to assisted suicide, widening the current restriction which limits the practice to the terminally ill.
The Netherlands was the first country in the world to decriminalise euthanasia and assisted suicide in 2002, but has had several high-profile cases of doctor-assisted suicide in recent years.
In 2015, there were more than 5,000 euthanasia deaths in the country – which represents a leap of 50 per cent in the past five years. Only four of these 5,306 deaths were found by officials to have involved “irregularities”. Psychiatric patients can be put to death at their own request as can under 18s. Those aged between 12 and 16 wishing to die must also have the consent of their parents, but 16-18s can take the decision themselves.
READ MORE: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/doctor-netherlands-lethal-injection-dementia-euthanasia-a7564061.html

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Margreet: "She was euthanized without consent. They decided."

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In the new film “Fatal Flaws” (Spring 2018) filmmaker Kevin Dunn questions the long term effects of assisted death laws on society. One of the most shocking stories came from a woman named Margreet whose mother was euthanized without request. Margreet (The Netherlands) was on her way to the hospital to see her mother who was just admitted with a possible case of pneumonia. On her way there, she received a message from the emergency room doctor who told her not to worry about rushing to the hospital, as doctors had just induced a coma from which her mother would not awaken. Margaret’s full story is featured in the film “Fatal Flaws”, coming 2018 from DunnMedia and the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition along with donors like you. Please consider supporting this film at fatalflawsfilm.com

Terminally ill-groom drops a happy bombshell on his wedding guests

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NZ Herald 12 November 2017
Family First Comment: And this is the problem with euthanasia. Doctors can get it wrong – so we just can’t take the risk!
“A groom who had been told he had just weeks to live used his wedding to tell guests that he wasn’t dying and had actually been misdiagnosed.”
www.rejectassistedsuicide.nz
A groom who had been told he had just weeks to live used his wedding to tell guests that he wasn’t dying and had actually been misdiagnosed.

Jack Kane, 23, proposed to his girlfriend Emma Clarke, 23, after being told that he had a cancerous tumour on his spine.

He had been struggling with severe back pain and hypersensitivity in his legs, eventually finding that he could not move at all. He was later told he just weeks to live, according to The Telegraph UK.

Their wedding was arranged to take place in a ceremony at the James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough eight days after his emotional proposal.But in that time doctors discovered that the “terminal” cancer was actually a rare neurological condition called neuromyelitis optica, also known as Devic’s disease.

The couple told their immediate family but decided to keep it a secret from the rest of their 130 guests.

Mr Kane eventually told them during his speech. The moment was caught on video and shows Mr Kane sitting in his wheelchair. He begins to sob as he says: “The doctors have done some further tests and they came back positive – I am not terminal.”
READ MORE: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/index.cfm?objectid=11943130&ref=twitter

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Is euthanasia for psychological suffering changing Belgian medicine?

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MercatorNet 7 November 2017
Family First Comment: Disturbing to see what’s happening in Belgium.
“Death by euthanasia in Belgium is, generally, no longer regarded as an exception requiring special justification. Instead, it is often regarded as a normal death and a benefit not to be restricted to without special justification.”
Belgium’s debate over euthanasia for psychological suffering is heating up. Last week 42 psychiatrists, psychologists and academics published an open letter calling for a national debate on euthanasia and mental illness.
Euthanasia because of unbearable and futile psychological suffering is very problematic. It is about people who are not terminal and, in principle, could live for many years. Therefore, extreme caution is appropriate both clinically and legally. The essence of the case seems to us that in estimating the hopelessness of one’s suffering, the subjective factor cannot be eliminated …
The current law, the signatories say, is far too vague and flexible:
“The law does not indicate the exact criteria for unbearable and psychological suffering. Any complaint about any carelessness in this area will only end in a legal ‘no man’s land’.
“More and more, no matter how many criteria there are, it depends simply on how an individual psychiatrist interprets or tests them, aided by the doctor’s own assumptions and the patient’s account of his symptoms.”
Some people are dying unnecessarily, the signatories claim. To stand silently on the sidelines is a crime of neglect.
The danger inherent in euthanasia for psychological suffering is a topic which seems to bore the Belgian media. But it was jolted out of its slumber by an exclusive article (in English) from Associated Press which also appeared in the Washington Post. This prompted a number of articles in the local press.
READ MORE: https://www.mercatornet.com/mobile/view/is-euthanasia-for-psychological-suffering-changing-belgian-medicine

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World Medical Association reiterates strong opposition to physician assisted suicide

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World Medical Association 27 October 2017
Family First Comment: When the professionals who would have to implement a proposed law vehemently oppose it, there are serious questions to be asked about the merit of the law.
www.rejectassistedsuicide.nz
The WMA and its national member medical associations, which include the Australian Medical Association, have strongly reiterated their long-standing opposition to physician assisted suicide and euthanasia on the basis that they constitute the unethical practice of medicine.
The WMA calls on Australia’s Victorian Upper House to reject the Victorian Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill.
The Association cites its Declaration on Euthanasia which states: ‘Euthanasia, that is the act of deliberately ending the life of a patient, even at the patient’s own request or at the request of close relatives, is unethical’.
It also refers to its Statement on Physician Assisted Suicide which declares: ‘Physician assisted suicide, like euthanasia, is unethical and must be condemned by the medical profession. Where the assistance of the physician is intentionally and deliberately directed at enabling an individual to end his or her own life, the physician acts unethically’.
And further it quotes its Resolution on Euthanasia, which notes that the practice of euthanasia with physician assistance has been adopted into law in some countries and that ‘The World Medical Association reaffirms its strong belief that euthanasia is in conflict with basic ethical principles of medical practice, and strongly encourages all national medical associations and physicians to refrain from participating in euthanasia, even if national law allows it or decriminalizes it under certain conditions’.
Finally, the WMA has expressed its concern that should the Victorian Bill be passed into law, it will create a situation of direct conflict with physicians’ ethical obligations to patients and will harm the “ethical tone” of the profession. It also warns that vulnerable people will be placed at risk of abuse and that a precedent will be set that physician assisted suicide and euthanasia are ethically acceptable.
https://www.wma.net/news-post/world-medical-association-reiterates-strong-opposition-to-physician-assisted-suicide-and-to-australian-bill/

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