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Michigan doctor with cancer planned own death, ‘shocked’ to be alive

By | Recent News

Detroit Free Press 21 October 2018
Family First Comment:  “Randy Hillard has travelled more in the past eight years than he has his entire life. South America. Dubai. Singapore. Sydney. But if he went through with his plan to go to Switzerland in 2010, those trips wouldn’t have happened. That’s because eight years ago, Hillard was determined to kill himself through an assisted-suicide organization overseas.” 
#rejectassistedsuicide 
www.protect.org.nz

Randy Hillard has traveled more in the past eight years than he has his entire life.

South America. Dubai. Singapore. Sydney.

But if he went through with his plan to go to Switzerland in 2010, those trips wouldn’t have happened. That’s because eight years ago, Hillard was determined to kill himself through an assisted-suicide organization overseas.

He was diagnosed with stage 4 stomach cancer just a few months before he went on a quest to kill himself. He suddenly realized he had become obsessive when he began planning his funeral.

“It was one rather pathetic way of asserting some control over my life,” said Hillard. “Cancer was going to kill me, and I did not intend to die yet.”

Hillard abandoned the idea after he heard about a drug called Herceptin. His oncologist at University of Michigan’s Rogel Cancer Center suggested he give it a try.

Back in 2010, the drug had just recently been approved for stomach cancer patients and promised a slightly longer life expectancy — 11 to 13 months longer. It was a long shot: Only 20 percent of cancer patients have the HER-2 protein surrounding the cancer cell targeted by the drug.

Hillard’s metastatic tumors had that specific protein. And eight years later, it still puzzles him … well, the statistics do. Stomach cancer at his stage has an 18-percent survival rate, and, not to mention, is one of the most uncommon cancers in America.

“I wake up every day shocked at how non-dead I am,” he said.
https://www.freep.com/story/life/2018/10/21/stage-4-stomach-cancer-randy-hillard-michigan/1674173002/

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Misdiagnosed: A cancer survivor shares her extraordinary tale

By | Recent News

NZ Herald 22 September 2018
Family First Comment: Just as well euthanasia isn’t available …. yet! A classic example of why we should say #rejectassistedsuicide
www.protect.org.nz

On June 10 2017, Killarney Jeffares’ life flashed before her eyes.

The words, “there’s nothing we can do” echoed around her brain and she was quickly moved into palliative care.

Wills were finalised, family were present and funeral plans were put into motion. Her death was imminent.

It had been six months since she was diagnosed with rectal cancer, but an operation found it had spread.

“I knew something was wrong because it was supposed to be a seven-hour surgery and I was out after two hours,” Jeffares said.

“It was horrific. We were mourning. My children from Australia came over to visit me and we started our grieving process.”

Her husband Robert was and still is the only person who was told by the surgeon the rough timeframe of how long his wife would live for.

“It really hit home,” he said. “I won’t tell anyone. That’s one man’s opinion.”

But four days later, she was told there had been a mistake. Her samples had come back she was told she actually had ovarian cancer and all hope was not lost.

“We can never get that time back. It was quite traumatic for all of us going through that process, so we were just speechless when they told us ‘oh no, we’ve got that wrong’, she said.
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/index.cfm?objectid=12121907&ref=twitter

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Forum On The Family 2018: Dr John Fox

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Dr John Fox has a PhD in English Literature from the University of Auckland. He has been an academic, worked in family and community restoration, public policy, and children’s and youth work. He is the uncle and brother of adopted children, a son, a disabled person with spastic hemiplegia, a human being, and an Anglican seminarian. He specialises in good coffee, teaching adults to read, music, and slow food.

As a representative of ELEVATE Christian Disability Trust, he shares his powerful Oral Submission made against David Seymour’s End of Life Choice Bill.

Helpful or harmful: euthanasia debate comes to Manawatū

By | Recent News

Stuff co.nz 23 August 2018
Family First Comment: The Select Committee are hearing the message loud and clear – reject assisted suicide. Reject Seymour’s bill.
www.Protect.org.nz

A Manawatū union organiser says proposed euthanasia legislation could force older, sick or mentally ill people into feeling pressured to end their lives.

Dion Martin, of Palmerston North, says the controversial End of Life Choice Bill, with its provision for “assisted dying”, is really about “dressed-up suicide”.

Martin has worked as a union organiser for 29 years and has witnessed vulnerable workers being pressured into doing things they didn’t want to.

“I think it can create a scenario where vulnerable people such as the elderly, the sick, those living with disability or mental health issues, yes, even young people who are currently having suicidal thoughts and feeling the anxiety of being isolated and have become very depressed – I believe they could feel coerced, under duress, feel under pressure to end their lives far, far too soon.”

He said the bill “opens a Pandora’s box”.

“If you normalise the so-called assisted dying, you create a whole lot of situations where it’s OK to take a life.”

Martin had experience with his elderly mother who thought she was a burden on the family and felt she was better off dead.
READ MORE: https://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/politics/106510733/Helpful-or-harmful-euthanasia-debate-comes-to-Manawat

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Disabilities Commissioner concerned about End of Life Choice bill

By | Recent News

Radio NZ News 17 August 2018
Family First Comment: Yet more legitimate concerns about a flawed and dangerous bill.
“A person under the bill could easily meet the threshold, but could be profoundly affected by things like depression or other factors, there’s no requirement for the physician to consider conditions that might affect the person’s judgement or decision making,” she said. As a result, she feared it would undermine the position of disabled people.”
www.Protect.org.nz

The Disabilities Commissioner says the End of Life Choice Bill is too broad to protect disabled New Zealanders.

The Justice Select Committee has neared the end of a nationwide tour, after hearing 3500 verbal and 35,000 written submissions.

Yesterday, lawyer Julian Gardner and disability advocate Tricia Malowney, who were members of the advisory panel which was convened before Victoria legalised assisted dying for the terminally ill, said https://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/2018658341/proposed-euthanasia-bill-in-nz-needs-tweaking

New Zealand’s bill needed tweaking.]

Disabilities Commissioner Paula Tesoriero said the Victorian legislation is only for those who have a terminal condition, which is likely to cause your death between six months and in some cases 12 months.

“In New Zealand that’s not the case, there’s no timeframe for a grievous and irremediable medical condition,” she said.

Ms Tesoriero said added safeguards in the legislation were woefully deficient.

“A person under the bill could easily meet the threshold, but could be profoundly affected by things like depression or other factors, there’s no requirement for the physician to consider conditions that might affect the person’s judgement or decision making,” she said.

As a result, she feared it would undermine the position of disabled people.
READ MORE: https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/364316/disabilities-commissioner-concerned-about-end-of-life-choice-bill

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No human dignity in killing or being killed

By | Recent News

Stuff co.nz 17 August 2018
Family First Comment: Well said, Carolyn (who also writes for Mercatornet) “‘Finishing people off’ may suit our current individualistic, utilitarian, impatient culture, but it will degrade us all in the end.”
www.Protect.org.nz

To ask ‘Should Kiwis have a right to die with dignity?’ demonstrates exactly what is wrong with the framing of this discussion by euthanasia activists, pollsters and the media.

Of course Kiwis should be able to die in circumstances consistent with their intrinsic human dignity.

The proper question is: Should Kiwis have the legal ‘right’ to be put to death when they are terminally ill – or for any other reason such as severe disability or hopelessness? Is this consistent with human dignity?

The answer is no. To kill oneself is not consistent with human dignity, and neither is it for someone else to kill you. There cannot be a ‘right’ in the proper sense of the term (something essential to human dignity) to have someone end your life, as official euthanasia regimes require.

To define euthanasia as a right is to put upon the state the duty to provide people to kill you. This is an abuse of state power.
And, as with abortion, there will be pressure on doctors who refuse to do this to at least refer people requesting euthanasia to a doctor who will give the lethal injection. There will be pressure on care homes and hospices to allow such terminations despite it going against their own ethos. Those who object will ultimately be forced out of their profession.

Nine years ago today my 78-year-old sister died peacefully after living for more than 50 years with Parkinson’s disease, and after 6 years in rest home/nursing home care. During the last three years she was visited every day and helped with her main meal. The last 8 months she was cared for at home by family members.

The answer to suffering, physical or mental, is affection and good care. This should come first and as far as possible from family and community, supported by institutions.

“Finishing people off” may suit our current individualistic, utilitarian, impatient culture, but it will degrade us all in the end.
READ MORE: https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/106357606/No-human-dignity-in-killing-or-being-killed

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Leyonhjelm’s assisted suicide bill narrowly defeated in Senate

By | Recent News

Sydney Morning Herald 15 August 2018
Family First Comment: Well done Australia. Great news!
Now it’s NZ’s turn.
www.protect.org.nz

A private member’s bill that would have cleared the way for assisted suicide to be legalised across Australia has been defeated.

The bill, introduced by Liberal Democratic Party senator David Leyonhjelm, was defeated by 36 to 34 votes after two days of impassioned debate in the Senate.

It was knocked down after Liberal senator Anne Ruston and Nationals senator Steve Martin were persuaded to vote against the bill, after initially leaning in favour of it.

“I cannot in good conscience offer my support to this bill which will provide the territories the ability to legislate in the area of voluntary euthanasia, certainly without ensuring that appropriate safeguards were in place,” Senator Martin told the Senate on Wednesday.

Politicians from both sides of politics rose to share divergent views, with many in support of the bill emphasising the rights of Australians who live in the territories to make their own laws.
READ MORE: https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/leyonhjelm-s-assisted-suicide-bill-narrowly-defeated-in-senate-20180815-p4zxps.html

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‘In this bill there are no consequences’ – Sir Bill English

By | Recent News

TVNZ One News 16 August 2018
Family First Comment: Sir Bill also spoke about youth suicide and the “hypocrisy” the bill could create. “I’ve seen youth suicide upfront. Young people have a nose for adult hypocrisy. How can we say to them, it’s a bad thing for a young person to think about taking their life, but a great, progressive thing for a sick old person to think about taking their lives?”
Exactly
www.protect.org.nz

Submissions were heard today from Sir Bill English, Dr Mary English and advocate Matt Vickers, on the opposing views of the proposed euthanasia legalisation.

Sir Bill spoke on his opposition to the bill, saying legalising euthanasia could allow, in some circumstances, people to “be able to kill and be exempt from the law”.

Matt Vickers described how for a person who was experiencing “extreme pain, despite their doctor’s best efforts, it might offer a true respite”.

ACT leader David Seymour’s End of Life Choice Bill is currently sitting in the Select Committee stage, after passing its first reading last year.

Sir Bill said the test for consent “was far too low”, and that “safeguards mean nothing if there are no consequences for breaking them”.

“In this bill there are no consequences. That is the track record of the jurisdictions around the world.”

“In effect the law asks us to look the other way. This bill is about all of us, not just those who choose euthanasia,” he told the Justice Select Committee.

He said the criteria as it stands, “are broad and subjective”.
READ MORE: https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/in-bill-there-no-consequences-sir-english-speaks-against-proposed-euthanasia-legislation-supporter-matt-vickers-wants-restrictions
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