March 7, 2014
Connecticut voters back assisted-suicide bill almost 2-1
(NBC Connecticut) – Connecticut voters support allowing doctors to legally prescribe lethal drugs to help terminally ill patients end their own lives, a Quinnipiac University poll released today finds. “Public support for allowing assisted dying in Connecticut is a very personal issue, crossing partisan, gender and age lines,” Douglas Schwartz, director of the Quinnipiac University poll, said in a statement.
February 27, 2014
Event: Imposed Death 2014: A Conference on Stealth Euthanasia
The First National Symposium on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide
Euthanasia Prevention Coalition and Pro-life Healthcare Alliance
May 2 and 3, 2014
See here for more information.
February 25, 2014
Man walks free after attempting to kill mother
(Independent) – A 47-year-old Waterford man has been given a suspended three-year sentence for attempting to murder his elderly mother in an attempted mercy killing, after the judge ruled that his motivation was entirely compassionate. Veronica (Vera) Vollrath (83) was pronounced dead on January 9, 2012 at Killure Bridge Nursing Home, Killure, Co Waterford. Her death was expected but her son admitted holding a pillow over her face while keeping vigil by her death bed, and the Austrian resident was charged with her murder.
February 24, 2014
Italian woman, 85, ends her life at Swiss euthanasia clinic because she was upset about losing her looks
(Daily Mail) – A healthy Italian woman paid a Swiss right-to-die clinic to take her life because she was ‘unhappy about losing her looks’. Oriella Cazzanello, 85, travelled to a clinic in Basel, Switzerland, where she paid €10,000 for an assisted suicide. The elderly woman, who was in good mental and physical health, disappeared from her home in Arzignano, near Vicenza in northern Italy, without telling her relatives where she was going.
February 20, 2014
More educated people from wealthier areas, women, more likely to die from assisted suicide
(Medical Xpress) – Researchers in Switzerland, where assisted suicide is legal, have conducted a study – published online in the International Journal of Epidemiology today – that shows assisted suicide is more common in women, the divorced, those living alone, the more educated, those with no religious affiliation, and those from wealthier areas.
February 17, 2014
Euthanasia: The dilemma of choice
(The Japan Times) – Euthanasia is an emotionally charged issue for people on both sides of the debate. Proponents of euthanasia argue that a person suffering from terminal illness should be given the freedom to choose how and when they die. Such discourse is given weight by the Japanese term for the practice — anrakushi, which literally means “peaceful death.” On the other hand, opponents generally argue that euthanasia is nothing short of murder, and the use of palliative care can often give a terminally ill person a more comfortable, dignified death.
Belgium surprised at international euthanasia backlash
(Reuters) – Belgian media expressed rank incomprehension over foreign criticism of the country’s extension of euthanasia to children, portraying legislation as humane and dismissing any notion of sick children being pressed to their deaths. Thursday’s vote, the first to extend such provisions to children without any age limit, passed as easily as 2002 legislation allowing euthanasia for adults that had backing from 75 percent of Belgians. It created only minor ripples of dissent in the country, but a wave of interest and fury abroad.
February 14, 2014
Barbara Mancini: Innocent of assisted suicide: Nurse accused of aiding father’s death has case thrown out
(Huffington Post) – A Pennsylvania judge threw out an assisted suicide charge Tuesday against a nurse accused of handing her 93-year-old terminally ill father a bottle of morphine, a decision that brought elation and relief to the defendant and her family one year to the day after his death. The Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office failed to prove a crime occurred and based its case against Barbara Mancini on speculation and guesswork, Schuylkill County Judge Jacqueline L. Russell said in a 47-page opinion.
February 12, 2014
Belgium set to extend right-to-die law to children
(Washington Post) – Belgium, one of the very few countries where euthanasia is legal, is expected to take the unprecedented step this week of abolishing age restrictions on who can ask to be put to death — extending the right to children for the first time. The legislation appears to have wide support in the largely liberal country. But it has also aroused intense opposition from foes — including a list of pediatricians — and everyday people who have staged noisy street protests, fearing that vulnerable children will be talked into making a final, irreversible choice.
February 11, 2014
Canada establishes ‘Death Panel’ for specific end-of-life decisions
(Medical Daily) – A recent Canadian Supreme Court ruling establishes for specific end-of-life medical decisions what American conservatives refer to derisively as a “death panel.” The high court ruled in October that doctors cannot unilaterally choose to withdraw a comatose patient from life support against a family’s wishes. Rather, medical care providers must apply to a federal “Consent and Capacity Board” when family members oppose pulling the plug. The decision was the final appeal from family members of Hassan Rasouli, 61, who has been on life support since 2010.
February 10, 2014
‘Aid in Dying’ movement takes hold in some states
(New York Times) – Helping the terminally ill end their lives, condemned for decades as immoral, is gaining traction. Banned everywhere but Oregon until 2008, it is now legal in five states. Its advocates, who have learned to shun the term “assisted suicide,” believe that as baby boomers watch frail parents suffer, support for what they call the “aid in dying” movement will grow further.
January 31, 2014
Event: Disability Rights Leadership Institute on Bioethics
Sponsors: National Disability Leadership Alliance, Autistic Self Advocacy Network, Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, Not Dead Yet
Disability Rights Leadership Institute on Bioethics
April 25 and 26, 2014
Crystal City Marriott
See here for registration information.
A New Edition of The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics is Available
The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics (Volume 41, No. 4, Winter 2013) is now available online by subscription only.
- “Is Inclusive Education a Human Right?” by John-Stewart Gordon
- “Disability and Capability: Exploring the Usefulness of Martha Nussbaum’s Capabilities Approach for the UN Disability Rights Convention” by Caroline Harnacke
- “Human Rights, Civil Rights: Prescribing Disability Discrimination Prevention in Packaging Essential Health Benefits” by Anita Silvers and Leslie Francis
- “Disability, ‘Being Unhealthy,’ and Rights to Health” by Jerome Bickenbach
- “Subversive Subjects: Rule-Breaking and Deception in Clinical Trials” by Rebecca Dresser
- “Another Look at the Legal and Ethical Consequences of Pharmacological Memory Dampening: The Case of Sexual Assault” by Jennifer A. Chandler, et al.
- “Adherence to the Request Criterion in Jurisdictions Where Assisted Dying Is Lawful? A Review of the Criteria and Evidence in the Netherlands, Belgium, Oregon, and Switzerland” by Penney Lewis and Isra Black
- “Predictive Genetic Testing of Children and the Role of the Best Interest Standard” by Lainie Friedman Ross
January 27, 2014
Official: ‘Right-to-die’ ruling may face appeal
The attorney general of New Mexico has said he will likely appeal a ruling in a landmark lawsuit that terminally ill patients can seek a physician’s aid in dying. Attorney General Gary King was considering the appeal after Santa Fe Archbishop Michael J. Sheehan urged the action during a breakfast with lawmakers, King told the Santa Fe New Mexican in a story Wednesday. (Houston Chronicle)
January 23, 2014
A New Edition of The Journal of Medical Ethics is Available
The Journal of Medical Ethics (Volume 40, No. 2, February 2014) is now available online by subscription only.
- “Challenging accepted ethical beliefs” by Julian Savulescu
- “Is prostitution harmful?” by Ole Martin Moen
- “The harms of prostitution: critiquing Moen’s argument of no-harm” by Anna Westin
- “How can bedside rationing be justified despite coexisting inefficiency? The need for ‘benchmarks of efficiency’” by Daniel Strech and Marion Danis
- “Rationing, inefficiency and the role of clinicians” by Kristin Voigt
- “Ethical decision making in intensive care units: a burnout risk factor? Results from a multicentre study conducted with physicians and nurses” by Carla Teixeira, et al.
- “Medical expertise, existential suffering and ending life” by Jukka Varelius
- “‘Existential suffering’ and voluntary medically assisted dying” by Robert Young
- “A simple solution to the puzzles of end of life? Voluntary palliated starvation” by Julian Savulescu
- “Does professional orientation predict ethical sensitivities? Attitudes of paediatric and obstetric specialists toward fetuses, pregnant women and pregnancy termination” by Stephen D Brown, et al.
- “A study of consent for participation in a non-therapeutic study in the pediatric intensive care population” by Kusum Menon, et al.
- “Altruism in organ donation: an unnecessary requirement?” by Greg Moorlock, et al.
Government should not legalise assisted suicide, warns Sunderland academic
Governments around the world should not legalise assisted suicide, a Sunderland academic has warned in a new book. Assisted Suicide: The Liberal, Humanist Case Against Legalisation, written by Dr Kevin Yuill, Senior Lecturer in American History at the University of Sunderland, details the arguments for and against legalisation of euthanasia and assisted suicide. (News-Medical)
January 22, 2014
Dr. Daniel Ubani sues Cambridgeshire victim’s son
A doctor who killed a Cambridgeshire man with a lethal dose of diamorphine is suing his victim’s son over remarks made at a conference. German Dr Daniel Ubani injected 10 times the safe dose into David Gray, 70, during a locum shift in 2008. Mr Gray’s sons want Dr Ubani, who was given a nine-month suspended sentence for death by negligence, struck off in Germany. Dr Ubani has lodged a claim for 3,398 euros (£2,806) against Rory Gray. (BBC)
January 20, 2014
Supreme Court of Canada will hear B.C. couple’s appeal of assisted dying case
The Supreme Court of Canada will hear a B.C. couple’s appeal of a law that makes physician-assisted dying illegal. As is its custom, the high court gave no reason for its decision Thursday, and dismissed an application to expedite the case. (Vancouver Sun)
January 17, 2014
Daughter helped elderly parents take lethal drugs and watched them die
A woman who helped her elderly parents to die told an inquest how she gave them glasses of poison and watched in stunned silence as they died. Georgina Roberts, 59, ordered the lethal drug over the internet and prepared it for them after her parents had been rejected for assisted suicide in Switzerland and failed at one attempt to kill themselves, an inquest in Newbury, Berkshire heard. (The Guardian)
January 16, 2014
A New Edition of Medical Law International is Available
Medical Law International (Volume 13, No. 2-3, June 2013) is now available online by subscription only.
- “Sex selection and sex-selective abortion: Lessons to be learnt from a comparison between the United Kingdom and the North Indian state of Punjab” by Mandeep Dyal
- “Comparative reflections upon the Assisted Dying Bill 2013: A plea for a more European approach” by Samantha Halliday
- “Delivering proportionate governance in the era of eHealth: Making linkage and privacy work together” by Nayha Sethi and Graeme T. Laurie
Some families would consider terminal sedation for kin in a permanent vegetative state
The families of some very severely brain injured patients believe that once all treatment options are exhausted, allowing their relatives to die with the help of terminal sedation would be a humane and compassionate option, research carried out by the University of York and Cardiff University has revealed. The study, based on interviews with the families of patients in a vegetative or minimally conscious state, found some relatives believed euthanasia by sedation would be preferable to withholding or withdrawing treatment. (Medical Xpress)