Euthanasia / Assisted Suicide – Archive

California Governor Signs Assisted Suicide Bill

[Comment: Note the quote about why Governor Brown signed this bill after it was defeated 4 times in committee with weeks of deliberation: “”In the end, I was left to reflect on what I would want in the face of my own death,” the governor wrote. “I do not know what I would do if I were dying in prolonged and excruciating pain. I am certain, however, that it would be a comfort to be able to consider the options afforded by this bill. And I wouldn’t deny that right to others.” Unfortunately, it seems too many people base their judgements about physician-assisted suicide based on possible future self-interest rather than what the bill allows-medicalized suicide-instead of the terrible consequences on people at risk, medical ethics and society. N. Valko RN, 5 Oct 2015] California Governor Signs Assisted Suicide Bill Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill to allow doctors to help patients die.(Photo: Rich Pedroncelli, AP) California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a controversial bill Monday that allows for physicians to aid patients in ending their lives under certain circumstances. The new law, called the End of Life Option Act, allows adults to receive an aid-in-dying drug from his or her physician if the physician determines said patient is suffering from a terminal disease. Brown, who in his youth studied to become a Jesuit priest, wrote in a rare signing message for the bill that he considered the theological and religious perspectives that define any form of suicide as a sin. In his signing message, Brown said he discussed the matter with a Catholic bishop, two of his own...

Drug Used to Execute Georgia Woman is the Drug Used for Doctor-Prescribed Suicide

Perhaps you have heard about the execution within the past week of Kelly Renee Gissendaner, who had been the only woman on death row in Georgia. Did you know that the drug she received – pentobarbital – is one of the drugs commonly used in doctor-assisted suicides? http://www.patientsrightscouncil.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Drugs_used_-for_doctor-prescribed_suicide.pdf Does this seem like a “legitimate medical treatment” to you? Does it sound like “death with dignity” to you? [2 October 2015, Patients Rights Council e-mail...

Chancellor McCoy, Tennessee, and the Way of Wisdom

“If you can keep your head when all about you, Are losing theirs and blaming it on you . . .” (“If” by Rudyard Kipling) Yesterday’s decision in the case of John Jay Hooker, et al v. Tennessee, handed down by Chancellor Carol L. McCoy, is remarkable for its soundness and its clarity. The case was argued on 10 July in Chancery Court, with Hooker’s team seeking the right to have his physicians provide him with a lethal prescription, and not face charges for assisting a suicide. His legal team even used the term, “aid-in-dying” a now-favored euphemism employed by Compassion and Choices, the group once known as “The Hemlock Society.” Thankfully, Chancellor McCoy saw this assault on the state’s ban on assisted suicide for what it was. According to the decision (pp 19-20), the State identified six interests promoted by Tennessee’s Assisted Suicide Act, which are as follows: 1) preserving life 2) preventing suicide 3) avoiding the involvement of third parties and the abuse of arbitrary, unfair or undue influence over physically, emotionally, mentally, or medically-impaired individuals 4) protecting family members and loved ones 5) protecting the integrity of the medical profession 6) avoiding future movement toward euthanasia and other abuses It was the Defendant’s position that “the State is not required to devalue one’s life upon that person receiving a diagnosis of a terminal illness.” (p. 19) The Chancellor agreed, writing that the “Tennessee Supreme Court has held that there is a compelling State interest in protecting the life and promoting the health of its citizens.” (p. 20) The Plaintiffs (Hooker’s legal team) claimed that “the terminally...

Euthanasia: Theory and Reality

[Comment: Note especially the link to the euthanasia kits proposed for doctors in Canada. It describes the medications with the final one paralyzing the person’s respiratory muscles so that he/she can’t breathe. This is beyond chilling. N. Valko RN, 30 Sept 2015] On Feb. 6, 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada struck down Canada’s assisted suicide ban, opening the door to assisted death (Carter v. Canada). This is an incredibly complex topic, one fraught with moral and ethical issues. Canadians have been sold the theory that euthanasia can freely end one’s life at the time and place of their choosing. This theory assumes that euthanasia will be voluntary and that the decision and the act is controlled by the person who dies by euthanasia. The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition (EPC) contends that the theory of legal euthanasia and its practice are very different. Since euthanasia, by definition, means that the physician will cause the death of the patient, therefore misuse of the law resulting in a person’s death would normally be understood to be homicide. Euthanasia in practice A study published in March 2015 concerning end-of-life practices in 2013 in Belgium found that 4.6 per cent of all deaths were euthanasia. The same study also found that 1.7 per cent of all deaths were hastened without explicit request. [NEJM, 19 March 2015, Recent Trends in Euthanasia and Other End-of-Life Practices in Belgium, http://alexschadenberg.blogspot.ca/2015/03/new-study-euthanasia-represents-46-of.html ] This means that approximately 1000 people were intentionally killed without request in 2013. [http://alexschadenberg.blogspot.ca/2015/03/almost-1000-deaths-are-hastened-without.html ] The data indicates deaths that were hastened without request were more likely to occur when a patient was in a hospital...

Is the Netherlands Moving Toward Euthanasia-On-Demand?

A Dutch general practitioner is being sued for not approving the euthanasia of a 19-year-old woman. The tragic events surrounding the death of Milou de Moor could become an important legal precedent if action is eventually taken against the unnamed doctor. Ms de Moor lived in the small town of Zaamslag, near the Belgian border. She suffered from lupus, an autoimmune disease, from the age of 12. This was not only painful, but had severe psychological effects. She was subject to depression, mood swings, anger, and blackouts, apart from physical symptoms. At least three years ago she requested euthanasia, apparently with the support of her mother, father and twin sister. According to the story given to the media by her family and doctors, it appears that all the necessary people had agreed, in accordance with the Dutch law on euthanasia. A date was set for her death. However, at the last minute, the general practitioner reneged and said that she did not believe that euthanasia was appropriate. Then the hospital declined to go ahead, as well. When Ms de Moor heard the news, she rushed off in a panic and hanged herself in her family’s apple orchard. Now the family feels stabbed in the back and has filed a complaint with the Dutch Medical Regulatory Board to sue the doctor for refusing permission. “We don’t want the doctor to get away with it,” they say. “The bitter part is that the euthanasia had been approved. It was just a question of fixing the date when Milou would say goodbye,” says her mother. A hospital in Ghent, just over the...

Big Debate: Was Parliament Correct to Reject the Assisted Dying Bill?

On Friday, September 11, MPs decisively rejected the Assisted Dying Bill by 330 votes to 118. The bill would have allowed people with six months to live the option of being prescribed a lethal dose of drugs, providing two doctors and a High Court judge approved. But as Lyn Brown MP showed during a passionate speech in Parliament, the prospect of euthanasia is deemed too dangerous by many lawmakers, despite campaigners’ lobbying. So we asked: Was Parliament right to reject the Assisted Dying Bill? Stephen Timms, MP for East Ham On 11 September, Parliament debated Rob Marris’s Assisted Dying Bill. It would have legalised terminally ill people taking their own lives if expected to die within six months. Many MPs listened exceptionally carefully to the arguments – and didn’t decide until the last minute how to vote. I opposed the Bill. Rob Marris was well intentioned in tabling it, but I am worried about a major problem with any legislation along these lines. However strong the safeguards, there would be people who ended their lives because they didn’t want to be a burden to others, not because they wanted to die. The law should not put anyone in that position. Lyn Brown made one of the best speeches. She explained that her mother had been struck by cancer, and died within a few months. If state-assisted suicide had been available, she “would have tormented herself during her last months with the question of when she would ask for that button to be pressed… She would have worried about the stresses that my sister and I would have endured, she...

American College of Physicians Asks California Governor Jerry Brown to Veto Physician-Assisted Suicide Bill

On September 16, the American College of Physicians sent the following letter to California Governor Jerry Brown asking him to veto the End of Life Option Act (ABX2-15), which would legalize physician-assisted suicide. Dear Governor Brown, The American College of Physicians (ACP), the largest medical specialty organization and the second-largest physician group in the United States, writes to urge you to veto “The End of Life Option Act.” This is a physician-assisted suicide bill. ACP does not support the legalization of physician-assisted suicide (PAS) and does not support PAS as an appropriate action (see the ACP Ethics Manual and position paper). Terms such as “end of life option” and “aid-in-dying” used in the bill are confusing and obscure what is at stake when physicians are asked to facilitate suicide. We are deeply sympathetic to the concerns and fears patients and their families have at the end of life. However, PAS is not the answer and in fact, ACP sees it as abandonment of the dying patient. It is not the role of the physician to give individuals control over the cause and timing of death—the medicalization of suicide. The physician must always act in the best interests of the patient as healer, comforter and trusted advisor. PAS undermines trust in patient-physician relationships and trust in the profession of medicine. Proponents of PAS claim it is an act of compassion in keeping with the physician’s role as comforter. However, this argument incorrectly assumes that physicians can only provide comfort for certain patients through facilitating suicide. In fact, physicians can and do provide comfort to dying patients. It is a lack...

Journal of Palliative Medicine: ‘Clinical Criteria for Physician Aid in Dying’ (aka: physician-assisted suicide)

[Comment: Unfortunately, some groups and individuals against physician-assisted suicide still cite hospice as the simple solution to physician-assisted suicide while some of us who have experience in hospice have warned for years about the progression of corrupting changes in hospice philosophy and practice promoted by well-funded groups like Compassion and Choices and individuals like George Soros. For example, note the first line of the article’s abstract: “More than 20 years ago, even before voters in Oregon had enacted the first aid in dying (AID) statute in the United States, Timothy Quill and colleagues proposed clinical criteria AID.”     How many people are aware that Dr. Quill first became famous in 1991 when he wrote a medical journal article “”Death and Dignity — A Case of Individualized Decision Making” before becoming a plaintiff in the 1997 US Supreme Court case Vacco v. Quill on the constitutionality of physician-assisted suicide. He became president of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine from 2012-2013 and now the Academy has a position on physician-assisted suicide described as “studied neutrality”. Currently, we see our fears becoming reality. With the crucial help of the mainstream media, the public, the legal system and even medical organizations are being seduced into accepting that the so-called “right to die” must now include the “right” to be killed with medical assistance. It is not a coincidence that over 90% of assisted suicides victims in Oregon and Washington were enrolled in hospice. With California legalizing assisted suicide, I fear that it is only a matter of time before we see the US Supreme Court given the opportunity to follow...

Amending Medicare: Concerns About the Proposed Advance Care Planning AspectsRule

Comments on the Proposed Rule to Amend Various Aspects of Medicare re: Reimbursing Medicare Providers for Advance Care Planning Counseling Sessions Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Department of Health and Human Services Room 445-G Hubert H. Humphrey Building 200 Independence Avenue SW Washington, DC 20201 Attn: CMS-1625-P …we respectfully submit the following comments on the Proposed Rule to amend various aspects of the Medicare program. 80 Fed. Reg. 39840 (July 10, 2015). Our comments relate specifically to the proposal to reimburse Medicare providers for Advance Care Planning counseling sessions. See id.at 39882-83. Background [We have] no objection to encouraging patients to consider treatment decisions that may have to be made in the future, in light of their personal values and medical condition, in case they become unable to communicate their wishes. On the contrary, [there is] a long and rich tradition on the parameters for such decision making, providing concepts and distinctions that have long played an important role in secular medical ethics as well. We hold that each human life, at every stage and in every condition, has innate dignity, and that acts or omissions directly intended to take an innocent life are never justified. We also recognize that the moral obligation to preserve one’s life has limits, particularly when the means offered for supporting life may be useless or impose burdens that are disproportionate to their benefits.1. Accordingly, … and other organizations have actively participated in the nationwide debate on end-of-life decision making and on the pros and cons of various “advance directives.” Many state … conferences have even provided their own advance directives that conform...

Assisted Suicide: 4 Articles (2015)

California and Colorado Proposals Push Assisted Suicide Without Any Limits or Accountability http://www.lifenews.com/2015/09/01/california-and-colorado-proposals-push-assisted-suicide-without-any-limits-or-accountability/   Elder Abuse Rates Rising in Oregon After State Legalized Assisted Suicide http://www.lifenews.com/2015/10/22/elder-abuse-rates-rising-in-oregon-after-state-legalized-assisted-suicide/   Father Sues to Keep His Daughter Alive, Hospital Threatens to Pull the Plug Without Consent http://www.lifenews.com/2015/12/07/father-sues-keep-his-daughter-alive-hospital-threatens-to-pull-the-plug-without-consent/   Shocking Video Shows Patient Begging to Stay Alive, But Hospital is Trying to Kill Him If you’re ailing and in a Texas hospital, who should decide if you have the right to live: you or a committee of hospital administrators? Right now, an American hero is fighting for his right to make that decision from his hospital bed at Houston Methodist Hospital. David Christopher “Chris” Dunn is one of countless Texans who have been victimized by the draconian Texas Advance Directives Act (TADA), enacted by the Texas Legislature in 1999....

Many Canadian Doctors Will Not Provide Assisted Dying (Assisted Suicide)

Canadian doctors remain deeply divided over whether and how to provide medical aid in dying, and what is required of those who refuse to assist in ending a patient’s life. Earlier this year, the Supreme Court of Canada unanimously ruled that patients who face intolerable suffering from a “grievous and irremediable medical condition” have a constitutional right to doctor-assisted suicide. The decision overturned a previous ban; now federal legislators must regulate the practice by Feb. 6, 2016. Exactly how physicians should respond to this new legal reality, dominated discussion at the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) General Council in Halifax on Aug. 25. “The debate of whether it’s good or not is over,” said Jean-Pierre Ménard, a speaker at the meeting and chair of the expert legal panel that recommended in 2013 that Quebec allow medical aid in dying. “Now we have to see how this new right for citizens will be managed and addressed.” According to results of a CMA member survey presented at the meeting, many doctors remain opposed to assisting in a patient’s suicide. Only 29% of those surveyed said they would consider providing medical aid in dying if requested by a patient, 63% would refuse outright and 8% were undecided. Of those who would consider providing assistance, fewer would do so in cases of non-terminal illness (43%) or psychological suffering (19%). The online survey, which received 1407 responses, also revealed a diversity of opinion about what physicians should be required to do if they reject a patient’s request for medical aid in dying. More than one in four members (29%) said they shouldn’t have to do...

Final Exit Network Fined Nearly $33,000 After Found Guilty of Violating Minnesota Law Against Assisting Suicide

[Comment: While getting a ruling against assisting suicide is good, the fine seems rather puny to me and without some jail time, I don’t think this will even slow down Final Exit or other pro-assisted suicide groups. N. Valko RN, 24 August 2015] The following statement may be attributed to Scott Fischbach, Executive Director of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL): Today’s sentencing of Final Exit Network by Dakota Co. Judge Christian S. Wilton sends a very clear message that assisting suicide is illegal in our state, and that violations of our law will be punished. We commend Dakota Co. District Attorney James Backstrom and his counsel for having the courage to prosecute this violation. Final Exit Network purposely came into our state, broke our law and assisted in the suicide of a vulnerable person who needed care, not suicide. Our law protecting Minnesotans from suicide predators like Final Exit Network and other assisted suicide advocates has been in place since 1992 and has served all of us well. Final Exit Network and other groups seek to legalize assisted suicide, which can lead to: Abuse: Abuse of people with disabilities, and elder abuse. An heir or abusive caregiver may steer someone towards assisted suicide, witness the request, pick up the lethal dose, and even give the drug. Mistakes: Diagnoses of terminal illness are too often wrong, leading people to give up on treatment and lose good years of their lives. Carelessness: People with a history of depression and suicide attempts have received the lethal drugs. Contagion: Assisted suicide is a contagion and can increase suicide rates for all populations....

Statement of Solidarity to Better Observe Suicide Prevention Month

September is suicide prevention month, and grim though it may be, the disability, aging, and veterans communities are among the most likely populations to feel pressure to end their lives and, sadly, do so. In an effort to re-claim conversations about quality of life and to highlight the deficits in our nation’s current healthcare and long-term services systems that often foster feelings of desperation, we’ve written a Statement of Solidarity in Observance of Suicide Prevention Month, affirming the values of dignity, diversity, and full participation. Please review the Statement and consider signing on in solidarity as an organization and sending it out over your networks and to any chapters or affiliates you may have. To sign on, send us an email to [email protected] and note your organization’s name as you’d like it to appear, and the state in which you are located. We would prefer you send your sign-on as quickly as possible, but we will be receiving sign-ons until close of business, September 25, 2015. Please feel free to forward this to other interested individuals and organizations, as we’re hoping to generate a large list of those who stand in solidarity with the values of suicide prevention: Statement of Solidarity in Observance of Suicide Prevention Month Affirming the Importance to People with Disabilities of Access to Services, Real Choices, and Self-Determination September is suicide prevention month, and during its observance, we, the undersigned, express our sincere sorrow that any human ever experiences a level of despair or hopelessness that results in a choice to end one’s own life. The concern of the disability, military and veterans, and aging...

A Doctor-Assisted Disaster for Medicine

[Comment: The last time there was a good op-ed on assisted suicide, I was surprised to see that the subsequent letters to the editor were almost all from the pro-assisted suicide side. If you would like to write a letter to the editor of the Wall Street Journal, please send it to [email protected] or consider going to the article link to make a comment in the comments section of this article. N. Valko RN, 18 Aug 2015] As a physician in Oregon, I have seen the dire effect of assisted-suicide laws on patients and my profession Since the voters of Oregon narrowly legalized physician-assisted suicide 20 years ago, there has been a profound shift in attitude toward medical care—new fear and secrecy, and a fixation on death. Well over 850 people have taken their lives by ingesting massive overdoses of barbiturates prescribed under the law. Proponents claim the system is working well with no problems. This is not true. As a professor of family medicine at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, as well as a licensed physician for 35 years, I have seen firsthand how the law has changed the relationship between doctors and patients, some of whom now fear that they are being steered toward assisted suicide. In one case a patient with bladder cancer contacted me. She was concerned that an oncologist treating her might be one of the “death doctors,” and she questioned his motives. This was particularly worrying to her after she obtained a second opinion from another oncologist who was more positive about her prognosis and treatment options. Whichever of the consultants...

California Ban On Doctor-Assisted Suicide Upheld In San Francisco Court

[Comment: Note this quote: “Goldsmith Friday said he felt that by granting the petition he would be creating a judge-made law without input from constituents.” Emphasis added. However, pro-assisted suicide supporters insist that they will never give up the fight for legalized suicide/euthanasia. And we will never give up opposing them. N Valko RN, 16 Aug 15] California Ban On Doctor-Assisted Suicide Upheld In San Francisco Court Christy O’Donnell, who is dying of cancer, speaks outside San Francisco Superior Court after a judge rejected her challenge to a state ban on physician-assisted suicide, August 14, 2015. (Megan Goldsby/CBS) A San Francisco Superior Court judge Friday upheld the enforcement of California laws dating back 141 years barring physician-assisted suicide after hearing arguments in a lawsuit filed by several terminally ill patients. Several plaintiffs including Christy O’Donnell and her Bay Area doctor, Robert Brody, brought the San Francisco lawsuit asking that doctors be allowed to provide such treatment to patients who are mentally competent without fear of prosecution. O’Donnell, who was in the courtroom Friday, cried openly outside the courtroom after Judge Ernest Goldsmith made his decision, but said she doesn’t want her tears to be misinterpreted as hopelessness. “I am not hopeless,” said O’Donnell, a mother and former police officer and civil rights attorney who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. She added that she is even more confident now that the law will change in California. She said she doesn’t want other terminally-ill patients to be forced to endure slow, painful deaths while their families watch. Defending the law, California Attorney General Kamala Harris’ office wrote in recent court...

California Assisted Suicide Bill Died a Peaceful Death

California assisted suicide bill SB 128 has died a peaceful death in the California House after Democrat legislators opposed it based on opposition from the disability community and the Latino community. The assisted suicide lobby has organized more than 25 attempts to legalize assisted suicide in States this year with all of them failing. These campaigns were financed with the money raised by the assisted suicide lobby through the Brittany Maynard assisted suicide campaign last year. http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-AYTtqdAL3_E/VZyNhqer6CI/AAAAAAAAVk8/LXg4FE_LQDo/s200/Freddie%2BRodriguez.jpg Reuters news reported that Democratic Assemblyman Freddie Rodriguez, who is on the health committee, said his opposition stemmed from his background in healthcare. To me it’s not what healthcare is about. For me to go back on everything I’ve done and give that option, so to speak, is something I’m not comfortable with. Disability rights advocates united in opposition to SB 128. Anthony Orefice is one of many disability rights activists who are speaking up against the California assisted suicide bill. He and others are concerned that: depression and incorrect prognoses may lead people with serious disabilities to end their lives prematurely. Marilyn Golden, the senior policy analyst at Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund, argues that the assisted suicide bill poses “considerable dangers” to people with new disabilities who may have suicidal thoughts. Golden states that: “many people who initially received terminal diagnoses have ‘lived full lives (for) years or even decades’ longer than expected. http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-DkVASsM4xSk/VZwwUMH5JeI/AAAAAAAAVkk/SzxioWmkCbM/s1600/Disability%2Brights%2Bcalifornia.jpg Deborah Doctor, a legislative advocate for Disability Rights California, wrote in a letter to State Senator Lois Wolk: disabled people are vulnerable to abuse and could be coerced by family members not acting in the...

Elderly Being Pressured Into ‘Choosing’ Euthanasia, Wife Tells Husband ‘Die or Go to Nursing Home’

Netherlanders are pressured into ‘choosing’ euthanasia, reads the story. I’m not surprised. This has been true for many years. For example, in the first edition of my Forced Exit, I reported on a story in which a wife told her husband to die or be put in a nursing home. But now, with euthanasia numbers rising–and the categories of people killed by doctors growing–more attention is being focused on people being pushed by relatives or ancillary circumstances to die. From the DutchNews.nl story, quoting Theo Boer, who studied euthanasia reports: ‘What surprises me is that nobody is making any serious attempt to treat this as a problem,’ said Boer, who teaches ethics at Groningen’s Protestant Theological University. ‘It seems inarguable to me that the law has led to a rise in incidences.’ Asked how often he saw evidence of pressure from the family, he said: ‘It’s hard to say, but at a rough estimate I would say the family is a factor with one in five patients. The doctor doesn’t want to put it in the dossier; you need to read between the lines. ‘Sometimes it’s the family who go to the doctor. Other times it’s the patient saying they don’t want their family to suffer. And you hear anecdotally of families saying: “Mum, there’s always euthanasia”.’… For remainder of article, visit link below. [7 July 2015, Wesley Smith, Amsterdam,...

Colombia Joins Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg in Letting Doctors Euthanize Patients

Colombia’s first legal euthanasia has just been carried out. That makes four countries with currently legal euthanasia; Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Colombia. Canada will soon join that list once the Supreme Court’s imposition goes into effect next year. The Province of Quebec currently allows euthanasia. Switzerland does not technically allow euthanasia, but does permit non-medical assisted suicide and suicide clinics. Three U.S. states allow assisted suicide by statute, Oregon, Washington, and Vermont. Montana’s status is in doubt thanks to a muddled state Supreme Court ruling, and one county in New Mexico permits it, due to a trial court ruling now on appeal. Meanwhile, back in Colombia–the regulations of which impose medical martyrdom–the Catholic Church has issued a portentous warning. From the BBC story: Colombia’s Catholic Church has said euthanasia is morally unacceptable and it has threatened to close its hospitals across the country. That’s not only the right approach, it is the only moral course. No one should be forced to be complicit in the intentional taking of human life. The obvious solution is comity: Objecting doctors and institutions should be able to opt out without penalty. If countries that permit medicalized killing continue to move toward forcing doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other medical professionals to participate in the intentional ending of human life, expect civil disobedience and/or the closing of Hippocratic and faith-based professional offices and medical institutions. LifeNews.com Note: Wesley J. Smith, J.D., is a special consultant to the Center for Bioethics and Culture and a bioethics attorney who blogs at Human Exeptionalism. [7 July 2015, Bogota, Colombia, http://www.lifenews.com/2015/07/07/colombia-joins-netherlands-belgium-luxembourg-in-letting-doctors-euthanize-patients/...

Glamorize Death, and Copycat Suicides Follow (Commentary, 2015)

[Comment: Two people I know attempted suicide after my daughter Marie died by suicide using an assisted suicide technique she read about. N. Valko RN] Mount Mihara in Japan: the government had to erect a fence to discourage suicide jumpers like Kiyoko Matsumoto. Kiyoko Matsumoto is well represented on the Internet. She died on Feb. 12, 1933, at the tender age of 21, and apparently had lived a rather uneventful life. Her single claim to fame rests on one desperate action. This young student jumped into the volcano of Mount Mihara from an observation point overlooking the molten lava. She left behind a note to her closest friend that read, “Dearest, I am bewildered to distraction by the perplexities of maturing womanhood. I can stand the strain no longer. What shall I do? I should like to jump into a volcano.” The location of her leap, on the island of Izu Oshima, 70 miles south of Tokyo, has been called “The World’s Most Romantic Death Spot.” Kiyoko’s heart-rending suicide note quickly made her a media sensation across Japan, as newspapers turned her into an instant celebrity. As a result, before the year was over, 944 people imitated Kiyoko’s final act, 804 men and 140 women. The Tokyo Bay Steamship company set up daily excursions to what became known as “Suicide Point.” Thousands more made the fatal trip until the 1950s, when it was made a criminal offense to purchase a one-way ticket to the island. Two points are of particular interest here: 1) That it is possible for the media to glamorize suicide; and 2) Such glamorization of death...

Canadian Doctors Want No Limits on Their Ability to Kill Patients in Euthanasia (2015)

[Comment: The CMA draft can be found at…   https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=Principles+Based+Approach+to+Assisted+Dying+in+Canada This draft is not only frightening to read, it does not bode well for Canadian doctors (and nurses) or potentially US medical professionals in the future. Only a resounding “no” will save the medical and nursing professions from violating their most important duty-not to kill their patients. N. Valko RN] The Canadian Medical Association has, in short course, gone from resisting euthanasia to being enthusiastic collaborators with the culture of death. Its draft “principles” have no limits to which patients can be killed by doctors. Indeed, there isn’t even a mention of an objective illness, disability, or other malady at all. From the draft, “Principles Based Approach to Assisted Dying in Canada:” Patient qualifications for access to medical aid in dying 1.1 The patient must be a competent adult. 1.2 Capacity: The attending physician must be satisfied that: – the patient is mentally capable of making an informed decision at the time of the request(s) – the patient is capable of giving consent to medical aid in dying – communications include exploring the priorities, values and fears of the patient, providing information related to the patient’s diagnosis and prognosis, treatment options including palliative care interventions and answering the patient’s questions. 1.3 Voluntariness:… 1.4 Informed decision: The attending physician must disclose to the patient information regarding their health status, diagnosis, prognosis, the certainty of death upon taking the lethal medication, and alternatives, including comfort care, palliative and hospice care, and pain and symptom control. This utter abdication of Hippocratic professionalism is even more radical than in the Netherlands and Belgium, which...