Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Letter to Nevada Committee: Assisted Suicide Bill Protections Are Unenforceable

Link to the original letter.
Margaret Dore
May 29, 2017
Nevada Assembly 
Committee HHS 
Re: Vote “No” on SB 261 (Assisted Suicide)  
The bill merely requires that actions be done in “accordance” with its provisions. This renders ALL patient protections (safeguards) unenforceable. 
Dear Members of the Committee: 

I am a lawyer in Washington State, where assisted suicide is legal. Our law is based on a similar law in Oregon. Both laws are similar to SB 261. 

SB 261 sets forth patient protections in sections 3 through 26.1 The bill also repeatedly says that actions are to be done in “accordance” with sections 3 through 26.2 For example, the bill states:
Death resulting from a patient self-administering a controlled substance that is designed to end his or her life in accordance with the provisions of sections 3 to 26, inclusive, of this act does not constitute suicide or homicide. (Emphasis added).3
The bill does not define “accordance.”4 Dictionary definitions include “in the spirit of,” meaning in thought or intention.5 A mere thought to comply with patient protections is good enough. Actual compliance is not required. More to the point, this situation renders all bill protections (“safeguards”) unenforceable. For this reason alone, the bill must be rejected. 

Sincerely, /s/ 
Margaret K. Dore, Esq. 
Unpaid Volunteer Lobbyist

1 SB 261, § 10.5.4, attached hereto at A-1.
2 Id., §§ 1.3, 22.1, 23.2, 29.2, 30.4, 36, and 37 (all use in “accordance”), attached at A-3 to A-8
3 Id., § 22.1, attached hereto at A-4.
4 See the bill in its entirety. 
5 See “accordance” definition attached hereto at A-9, “in the spirit” definition attached hereto at A-10.

Disability activists rally against assisted suicide at NY court of appeals

Press Release
For Immediate Release:

May 30, 2017
Diane Coleman 708-420-0539 dcoleman@notdeadyet.org
Adam Prizio 518-320-7100 (office) 603-518-4910 (cell) aprizio@cdrnys.org

Disability rights activists from across the state will rally as the New York Court of Appeals hears oral arguments Tuesday afternoon, May 30th in the Myers v. Schneiderman assisted suicide case.

Not Dead Yet led the filing of a Disability Rights friend-of-the-court brief in the Court of Appeals in support of the New York State Attorney General, and earlier rulings in the case by the Supreme Court and Appellate Division, both of which dismissed a case seeking to legalize physician assisted suicide.

Joining in the Not Dead Yet brief were ten other national and New York state disability rights organizations: ADAPT, the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, the Center for Disability Rights, the Disability Rights Center, the Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund (DREDF), the National Council on Independent Living, the New York Association on Independent Living, Regional Center for Independent Living and United Spinal Association, collectively referred to as the “Disability Rights Amici.”

New York attorney Adam Prizio handled the filing on behalf of the disability organizations. “Our basic position is that when some people get suicide prevention while other people get suicide assistance, and the difference is the person’s age, disability or health status, that’s unlawful discrimination,” said Prizio. “It’s a problem that certain people are being told that others not only agree with their suicide, which is bad enough, but will even help them carry it out. It’s a deadly form of discrimination and, as our brief says, it violates the Americans with Disabilities Act.”

Marilyn Golden, senior policy analyst with DREDF, summarizes concerns about a government authorized, medically administered public policy of assisted suicide as follows: 
“If assisted suicide is legalized, some people’s lives will be ended without their consent, through mistakes and abuse. No safeguards have ever been enacted or proposed that can prevent this outcome, which can never be undone.”
Disability advocates are often criticized by assisted suicide proponents who claim that assisted suicide is only for the terminally ill, not people with disabilities. Activists will distribute information which refutes that claim based on data from Oregon, where it is legal.

The brief also expresses concerns about the context of health care cost-cutting in which assisted suicide is being advocated. “Elders and people with disabilities too often face economic or other pressures to get out of the way,” said Diane Coleman, president/CEO of Not Dead Yet. 
“If assisted suicide becomes an accepted practice, coverage may be denied for more expensive healthcare, as we’ve already seen in Oregon and California. What is being promoted as a ‘right to die’ could very quickly become an expectation, even a duty to die in this climate.”

Monday, May 29, 2017

Belgian euthanasia promoter misleads New Zealand audience about euthanasia practice in Belgium.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Alex Schadenberg in Belgium (2013)
In November 2013, I debated Dr. Jan Bernheim in Brussels, Belgium concerning the practice of euthanasia.

During the debate I explained that data from studies proved that in the Flanders region of Belgium (2007) 32% of the assisted deaths were done without explicit request, assisted deaths were being done by nurses (the law limits the act to physicians) and 47% of the assisted deaths were not reported

The research indicated that assisted deaths, that are done "outside of the law" share a high co-relation with the demographic group of people who are over the age of 80, who are incompetent to make decisions, who usually die in a hospital and usually have an unpredictable end-of-life trajectory, representing a vulnerable patient group at risk of having euthanasia imposed upon them.

Since then recent Belgian studies concerning the practice assisted death in the Flanders region of Belgium (2013) found that 1.7% of all deaths, (more than 1000 deaths) were hastened without explicit request, and more than 40% of the assisted deaths were not reported. The practice of clandestine euthanasia was not improving in Belgium.

Bernheim is fully aware that there is significant abuse of the Belgian euthanasia law. After being challenged at the 2013 debate, Bernheim stated that "there are problems with the Belgian euthanasia law."

In an article by Mike Watson, published in the Stuff news, Bernheim is quoted as saying:
Uncontrolled, clandestine euthanasia practices to help the terminally ill to die could be avoided if New Zealand legislated to control physician assisted dying, a Belgian medical expert says. 
Professor Jan Bernheim​, an oncologist and founder of 'Not Necessarily Terminal', addressed a meeting in New Plymouth on Monday night attended by around 40 people.
New Plymouth was the second of eight meetings he will talk at during the next three weeks as a guest of the Voluntary Euthanasia Society for a series of nationwide public talks entitled 'Dying Well in Belgium'. 
"In Belgium we've put an end to the clandestine practice, and because of the openness of the whole process, abuse of the dying patient is much less probable now that it is legalized with strict controls and peer review in place." 
The law also protected caregivers from undue prosecution. 
Before the law changed in Belgium, dying patients who requested euthanasia with the knowledge of their families or nursing staff were less likely to get it because doctors were worried they could be charged with murder if someone who knew about the request objected to euthanasia, he said. 
Ironically, before the law, dying patients with intractable suffering who did not request euthanasia were more likely to get their suffering shortened paternalistically by doctors. 
The legislation put an end to this sad paradox, he said.
Whereas Bernheim is misleading his audience when he states that in Belgium they have put an end to the clandestine practice when the studies actually prove that the opposite is true. Bernheim also misled the public on his tour of Québec a few years ago.

Meanwhile the number of euthanasia deaths are increasing every year in Belgium with the practice of euthanasia extending to greater numbers of conditions and even to children.

Bernheim is a long-time euthanasia promoter who will willingly hide the facts at the altar of death.

Euthanasia and assisted suicide continue to be defeated.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Many media outlets are promoting the message that euthanasia and assisted suicide are being legalized everywhere and yet the reality proves that the opposite is true.

On Tuesday May 23 the Maine House defeated assisted suicide bill L.D. 347 in a bipartisan 85-61 vote and on Wednesday May 24 the Tasmanian parliament defeated euthanasia bill (Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill) by a vote of 16-8.

The Maine Press Herald reported that:
Maine legislature
The bipartisan 85-61 vote against the bill followed lengthy and oftentimes emotional debate among lawmakers sharing personal stories of watching loved ones battle terminal diseases. The so-called “death with dignity” bill had passed the Maine Senate by a single vote last week but faced a potential veto from Gov. Paul LePage even if it had passed the House. 
“My conscience tells me that this is the wrong direction for a variety of reasons,” said Rep. Gay Grant, D-Gardiner. “This is not a partisan issue. It is a human issue.”
Paul Russell, the Director of Hope Australia reported that:
Tasmanian legislature
In debate, Michael Ferguson MP criticised the euphemistic language of the bill, arguing that such a grave matter demands clarity: 
“We all agree it is a matter of life and death and if we cannot strip away the euphemistic language and discuss the reality of the matter then it will not be an honest debate and the public interest would not be served. 
“I ask those promoting this bill to be truly frank and honest in their descriptions, and for those listening to the debate today, if or when you hear those euphemisms, you need to remind yourself that the real words, however distasteful they are, are mercy killing and assisted suicide by a doctor.”
Many people will say, but Alex, that is only two jurisdictions. The fact is that in 2017 assisted suicide bills have been stopped or defeated in Hawaii, Utah, New Mexico, Nebraska, Minnesota, and Maryland while in several other states, assisted suicide bills were introduced but lacked support to even be debated.

This is an issue that is literally about life and death.

Legalizing euthanasia or assisted suicide gives physicians the right in law to kill their patients. 

Study: Euthanasia is not about ending uncontrollable pain.

This article was published by Wesley Smith on his blog on May 28. 2017

Wesley Smith
By Wesley Smith

The euthanasia movement fear mongers its agenda as a means of preventing an agonizing death in pain that cannot be controlled. It’s all a false pitch. That’s not why it’s actually done

Rather, existential anguish drives people to seek doctor-administered or prescribed termination. That has been experience in Oregon. Now too, Canada. From a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine
Those who received MAiD [medical aid in dying] tended to be white and relatively affluent and indicated that loss of autonomy was the primary reason for their request. 
Other common reasons included the wish to avoid burdening others or losing dignity and the intolerability of not being able to enjoy one’s life. 
Few patients cited inadequate control of pain or other symptoms. 
These are important issues that need to be addressed through vigorous suicide prevention and other mental health interventions.

But they are not provided. Instead, the desire to die for fear of being a burden or losing autonomy is validated with the lethal jab or the poison pills. And then, that type of death is pushed toward normalization.

Not providing vigorous interventions for existential anguish is like depriving a cancer patient of morphine, and then helping her die because she is in so much pain.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Conscience Rights Victory for Vermont health professionals after pro-suicide group drops appeal

This article was published by Alliance Defending Freedom on May 23, 2017

Rutland, Vt. – A pro-suicide group has dropped its appeal of a federal court’s decision which affirmed that a Vermont law can’t be interpreted to require pro-life health professionals to counsel or refer patients for assisted suicide. As a result, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit officially dismissed the appeal Monday, thus ending the case.

The withdrawal of the appeal by Compassion & Choices leaves in place a consent agreement between physician groups and the Vermont Attorney General’s office, which agreed that the court was correct in deciding that the state’s Act 39 does not force conscientious professionals to ensure all “terminal” patients are informed about the availability of doctor-prescribed death.
“Vermont health care workers just want to act consistently with their reasonable and time-honored convictions without fear of government punishment,” said ADF Senior Counsel Steven H Aden, who argued before the U.S. District Court for the District of Vermont in November of last year in Vermont Alliance for Ethical Healthcare v. Hoser. “Conscientious Vermont healthcare professionals are in agreement with the state that the law doesn’t force them to participate in this heinous process, and they are pleased that the nation’s foremost advocate of assisted suicide, Compassion & Choices, has abandoned its effort to force them to do so.”
Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys and ADF-allied attorney Michael Tierney represent the Vermont Alliance for Ethical Healthcare and the Christian Medical and Dental Association, groups of medical professionals who wish to abide by their oath to “do no harm.”

Act 39, Vermont’s assisted suicide bill, passed with a very limited protection for attending physicians who don’t wish to dispense death-inducing drugs themselves, but state medical licensing authorities construed a separate, existing mandate to counsel and refer for “all options” for palliative care to include a mandate that all patients hear about the “option” of assisted suicide. For that reason, the groups representing pro-life health professionals filed suit.

The court ruled that the groups lacked a legal right to bring the lawsuit because the law actually doesn’t force them to act contrary to their conscience—a finding that Compassion & Choices initially opposed. The dismissal of the appeal leaves Vermont healthcare professionals free to “do no harm” without fear of retaliation for their pro-life views.

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Do suicides increase where euthanasia is legal?

This article was published by Mercatornet on May 22.

The euthanasia debate is on the front-burner in Australia, especially in the states of Victoria and Tasmania. In one of the latest salvos, ethicist Professor Margaret Somerville claimed that suicide rates rise in jurisdictions where euthanasia and assisted suicide are legal. This prompted a blast from Neil Francis, a former President of the World Federation of Right To Die Societies and a leading campaigner for euthanasia in Australia. This is Professor Somerville’s response.
Margaret Somerville
y Margaret Somerville

Neil Francis is correct in criticizing me for a loose statement that "the general suicide rate has increased in every jurisdiction that has legalized assisted suicide." 

Although I believe that my statement will prove to be correct, at this point in time I should have left out the word "every." 

One problem in obtaining the required evidence, is that it’s difficult if not impossible to know how often physician-assisted suicide or euthanasia (PAS-E) is being used in countries where those interventions are legal to commit what we should view as “ordinary suicide”–if one can ever regard suicide as “ordinary”, but for want of a better term. 

“Suicide by police”–a suicidal person engages in conduct with the intention that the police will respond by shooting them - is a recognized phenomenon. Now we can consider “suicide by physician”. 

Two features of legalized PAS-E make “suicide by physician” seem likely: The percentage of deaths occurring from PAS-E, for instance, in The Netherlands and Belgium, is rising by approximately 10 per cent each year and is now around 4 percent of all deaths. And the conditions for access to PAS-E are expanding in both jurisdictions. If one is not terminally or physically ill, neither of which is a legal requirement in either country, is euthanasia “ordinary suicide”? And what about if a person wants PAS-E because they are just “tired of life” or feel they have a completed life as the Netherlands is now contemplating allowing or, as an elderly couple proposed on ABC’s Q&A, simply want to avoid going into a nursing home, should these be classified as “ordinary suicide” cases? 

Cases in which using PAS-E as a substitute means of suicide seems very likely have made headlines around the world. They include the deaf Belgian twins who were going blind; the young gender-dysphoric woman with the botched sex-change operation; the anorexic woman in her 20s; the depressed 34 year old Eva, whose death by euthanasia is focused on in real time in the documentary film, “End Credits”, made by Dutch pro-euthanasia advocates; the convicted rapist and murderer in the Belgium prison

Dutch Professor Dr. Theo Boer, a former member of one of Holland’s five Euthanasia Regional Review Committees (2005-2014) has undertaken a study which will be published shortly which, in his words, shows 
Theo Boer
the assumption that euthanasia will lead to lower suicide rates finds no support in the numbers. The percentage of euthanasia deaths of the total mortality rate tripled from 1.3% in 2002 to 4.08% in 2016. During that same period, the suicide numbers did not go down: From being 1,567 in 2002, they went up to 1,871 in 2015, a rise of 19.4%. The suicide rates reached a relative low of 1,353 in 2007, compared to which the 2015 numbers constitute a rise of 38.3%. This is even more significant given the fact that from 2007 on euthanasia started becoming available to people with chronic diseases–psychiatric diseases, dementia, and others. In terms of the percentage of the overall mortality of suicide deaths, the numbers went up from 1.01% in 2007 to 1.27% in 2015.  
…For the sake of comparison, I have looked at the suicide rates of some countries which are close to the Netherlands in terms of ethnicity, age, religion, and language but which, with the exception of Belgium, lack the option of euthanasia. If the suicide numbers in the Netherlands have gone up, one would expect, at least a similar increase in the suicide numbers would occur in countries without the option of euthanasia. However,…the Netherlands of all countries show the biggest increase in the suicide numbers.” 
Mr. Francis dismisses researchers David Jones' and David Paton’s report on suicide data in Oregon on which I relied to show a rise in the state’s suicide rates on the basis that it was “published in a minor journal”, the Southern Medical Journal. This claim is specious, even if it were a “minor journal”. For the record, it is a peer-reviewed medical journal indexed and abstracted in Index Medicus, Current Contents, Science Citation Index, and EMBASE which has published over 45,000 articles. I leave it to others to decide its status. 

Moreover, if Mr. Francis’ claim as to its status were correct and if Jones’ and Paton’s article were, as Mr. Francis describes it, “a wobbly econometric modelling study”, it stands to reason that the journal would be more accessible in terms of publishing rebuttals or questions about the article. To date, to my knowledge, no one has done so, not there, not anywhere. 

Mr. Francis’, at best, woolly statements about what Jones’ and Paton’s study found need clarifying. They write: 
[W]e found that legalizing PAS was associated with a 6.3% (95% confidence interval 2.70%–9.9%) increase in total suicides (including assisted suicides). This effect was larger in the individuals older than 65 years (14.5%, CI 6.4%–22.7%). Introduction of PAS was neither associated with a reduction in nonassisted suicide rates nor with an increase in the mean age of nonassisted suicide. (Emphasis added)  
Conclusions: Legalizing PAS has been associated with an increased rate of total suicides relative to other states and no decrease in nonassisted suicides. 
As Jones and Patton recall, pundits claimed at the time of the public debate in Oregon about legalizing physician-assisted suicide that having access to assisted suicide would reduce “nonassisted” or “ordinary suicide”, which it clearly did not. This is something Australian legislators should note. 

I will just mention California, which has very recently legalized physician-assisted suicide. There was concern that people who were involuntarily hospitalized because they were mentally ill and “dangerous to themselves (they were suicidal) or others” could not have access to physician-assisted suicide. This has now been “remedied” and a special process established to allow them to apply to have physician assistance in killing themselves. 

Popular articles against euthanasia and assisted suicide.

1. Margaret Dore: Physician-Assisted Suicide: A Recipe for Elder Abuse and the Illusion of Personal Choice - Feb 17, 2011.

2. Declaration of Hope – Jan 1, 2016.

3. Healthy 24 year old Belgian woman is scheduled for euthanasia - June 24, 2015.

4. Boycott Me Before You - "disability death porn" - May 26, 2016. 

5. Kitty Holman: 5 reasons why people devalue the elderly – May 25, 2010. 

6. Depressed Belgian woman dies by Euthanasia – Feb 6, 2013.

7. Emily “Laura” the healthy 24-year-old Belgian woman who was approved for euthanasia, has chosen to live. Nov 12, 2015.  

8.  Euthanasia is out-of-control in the Netherlands – Sept 25, 2012.

9. Kate Kelly: Mild stroke led to mother’s forced death by dehydration – Sept 27, 2011.

10. Belgian twins euthanized out of fear of blindness. – Jan 14, 2013. 

11.  The Euthanasia Deception documentary. - Sept 30, 2016.

12. Assisted suicide law prompts insurance company to deny coverage to terminally ill woman - Oct 20, 2016. 

13. Nitschke promotes lethal veterinary drugs – June 22, 2010.

14. South Africa Supreme Court rejects euthanasia - Dec 6, 2016.

15. Woman dies by euthanasia, may only have had a bladder infection - Nov 14, 2016. 

16. Opposing the Supreme Court of Canada assisted death decision - Feb 17, 2015. 

17. Belgium warns - Medical Assistance in Dying - Don't Go There - April 26, 2016.

18. Woman with Anorexia Nervosa dies by euthanasia in Belgium – Feb 10, 2013.

19. New Jersey Senate may vote on assisted suicide - Dec 16, 2014.

20. Netherlands euthanasia review committee decides that a euthanasia done on a woman with dementia was done in "good faith" -  Jan 28, 2017.

21. Petition: Stop euthanasia Bill in Quebec – May 24, 2014.

22.  Trisomy 18 is not a Death Sentence. The Lilliana Dennis story – May 29, 2012.

23. Oregon 2012 assisted suicide statistics: An analysis - Jan 25, 2013.

24. Dutch ethicist changed his mind - Assisted Suicide: Don't Go There - July 16, 2014.

25. Supreme Court of Canada euthanasia decision is irresponsible and dangerousFeb 7, 2015.

Become a member of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition ($25) membership.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Euthanasia Tyranny Against Doctors in Ontario

This article was written by Wesley Smith and published on his blog on May 18, 2017

Wesley Smith
By Wesley Smith

Ontario, Canada has passed a law formally legalizing lethal injection euthanasia. And it will force all provincial doctors to be complicit by either doing the deed themselves to all legally qualified patients who request to be killed, or by tasking them with procuring a death doctor. From the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care Website (my emphasis): 
In Ontario, health regulatory colleges are responsible for regulating their respective professions in the public interest. In doing so, colleges may establish policies and standards that their members must comply with, including policies and standards regarding medical assistance in dying. 
The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario requires that when physicians are unwilling to provide certain elements of care for reasons of conscience or religion, an effective referral to another health-care provider must be provided to the patient. An effective referral means “a referral made in good faith, to a non-objecting, available, and accessible physician, other health-care professional, or agency”. 
Think about this. Three years ago, it would have been a felony for doctors to kill patients, potentially landing them in prison. 

Now, refusing to participate in homicide could cost them their medical licenses. 

The question I am often asked is, “Why?” Why force a doctor to participate in killing against her moral or religious beliefs when a patient wanting to be lethally injected could easily find a death doctor through a pro-euthanasia organization or a list of willing MDs published by the government–as has been established in other provinces. 

Here’s what I think: 

First, a doctor refusing to kill sends a powerful message that the act is wrong morally and medically. That message must be silenced. 

Second, medicine is being weaponized as a means of turning culture away from the core principles of intrinsic human dignity and the equality/sanctity of life, into a society more focused on radical and atomistic individualism and utilitarian outcomes. 

Third, compulsory euthanasia complicity marginalizes the influence of religion in society and strengthens secularism. 

Fourth, this is a splendid way to cleanse orthodox religious believers, Hippocratic Oath-accepting doctors, and pro-lifers from the health professions–and dissuade those holding such beliefs from becoming physicians, nurses, and pharmacists. 

I am sure there are other forces at work. But this much I know: Conscripting doctors to be homicide facilitators as a condition of practicing medicine is tyranny.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Ontario doctors will leave the province if forced to participate in "assisted dying."

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Jeff Yurek
n May 18, the Ontario legislature rejected Bill 129, the Regulated Health Professions Amendment Act, a bill that was sponsored by Jeff Yurek (MLA) to provide conscience protection for health care workers in Ontario.

The Toronto Sun reported that a press conference organized by the Concerned Ontario Doctors and the Coalition for Healthcare and Conscience that:

Many Ontario doctors and nurses working in palliative care say their objection to playing a role in assisted suicides may force them to leave the medical profession. 
Many physicians "don’t want to make a referral that would result in the death of a patient,” 
Dr. Kulvinder Gill said, adding forcing medical workers to participate strips them of their conscience rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. “Access (to assist dying) must not depend on a physician having a role.”
Dr Kulvinder Gill (centre)
Dozens of medical professionals attended the press conference. The Toronto Sun article quoted some of the medical professionals as stating:

Dr. Jane Dobson said she is at a crossroads because she won’t make referrals for assisted dying.
“There are palliative-care providers who will be forced to leave (the profession) because of the conscience,” Dobson said. 
Pharmacist James Brown says he believes drugs should be used to treat diseases — not kill someone. 
“They’re never intended to take a patient’s life. Knowing a medication is meant to take a life goes against my core values,” Brown said.
Doctors, nurses and other medical professionals must never be forced to be complicit in acts of killing their patients.

Euthanasia: Truth is the first casualty

This article was written by Paul Russell and published on the HOPE website on May 18. 

Paul Russell
By Paul Russell

Euphemisms have consequences.

The Victorian Ministerial Advisory Panel charged by Premier Daniel Andrews with the task of developing a safe way to kill people and to help them to suicide, released its interim report yesterday.

Set up in December last year the 'expert panel' has conducted state-wide hearings and accepted submissions on precisely how to make a safe law.

The Panel's introductory discussion paper made it perfectly clear that their job was not to consider the ethical/moral concerns: "The purpose of this consultation is to ensure that parliament may debate the merits of voluntary assisted dying through well-informed and workable legislation."

How that outcome could be considered as 'values-neutral' is beyond comprehension. Any proposition that has supposedly been vetted and designed through what I am sure will be described as a 'lengthy and thorough process' would seem to have the 'tick of approval'. The 'merit' is loaded into the outcome as Health Minister, Jill Hennessy confirmed today:
“We have the very best medical and legal experts working on this to make sure that when the time comes, everyone in the Victorian parliament has the information, and assurances they need to make an informed decision about this important issue.”
In the 64 pages and in 29,143 words, the interim report uses the word euthanasia only once - and that in a quotation from a submission. Assisted Suicide is mentioned three times - again, only from quotations and suicide (separately); well, that's where matters become more interesting again.
"Some denominational submissions suggested it should not be called ‘voluntary assisted dying’ because it would obscure the role of medical practitioners in aiding suicide."
Why the mention of 'denominational'? In all of the quotes from various submissions and testimony, no mention is made about the name of the individual or organisation (given only a number), what is it about this reference that requires an identifier? It is difficult to come to any other conclusion than to observe that by the use of 'denominational' the report seeks to dismiss the concerns as being a 'religious objection' only.

The very next sentence amplifies the subterfuge:
"An alternative view was expressed that the language of suicide should not be conflated with voluntary assisted dying because of the person’s proximity to death due to illness."
Who expressed that view? Suicide is suicide; no amount of qualification changes that. But here's where the euphemism becomes really useful: Read the quote again and substitute 'suicide' for 'voluntary assisted dying' and the reasons for its use become clear. This is double-speak.

If any more proof was needed, the next occasion that the 'S' word appears is in the context of a discussion about record keeping and monitoring:
"It was noted that if information about those whose request was denied was linked to other data such as suicides, it would provide a greater understanding of how the framework was operating."
So, if a person gets access to the law, then it's 'voluntary assisted dying'; if they fail to qualify for some reason and end their life by other means it can be called suicide. The premise here, of course, is that 'assisted dying' will reduce the incidence of other forms of suicide. This has proven not to be the case in Oregon and any expectation that it might be the case in Victoria is supposition at best.

There's more! In a discussion about legal liability it is noted that, 'acting outside the proposed legislation, such as aiding and abetting suicide, would still be a criminal offence.'

Indeed. The death might be by precisely the same method under precisely the same conditions - even with full consent - yet if one condition identified in the law is not met, then it is assisted suicide! You couldn't make this stuff up!

But the final mention of 'suicide' is really where obfuscation and euphemisms are so blatantly evident:
"Life insurance 
"The impact of the listed cause of death on insurance eligibility was also highlighted in forums and submissions. It was noted that there should be no loss of insurance benefits as a result of exclusion clauses for suicide. This was one of the reasons many considered that voluntary assisted dying should not be listed on a death certificate. Others were of the view that it was clearly the underlying terminal illness or disease that was the cause of death so there should be no issues with insurance."
Like many other bills we've seen in Australia, this proposition would legislate further obfuscation and would make liars out of doctors by forcing them to falsify the cause of death. Insurance industry bodies have railed against this kind of inclusion previously and for good reason. They raised the same concerns in The Australian today. It opens up the possibility of someone signing up for a life insurance policy only months before their suicide for the benefit of their estate with a minimum of paid premiums. Think of the possibilities of 'inheritance impatience', otherwise known as Elder Abuse.

Further obfuscation came via Victorian Greens MLC, Colleen Hartland in the same article:
“It is the issue around ­insurance, and the reality is that the cancer or the neurological disease is what killed them, they have just allowed to die a bit ­earlier,” she said.
What kind of policy outcome are Victorians likely to gain from all of this if their elected representatives and appointed officials can't get past the fabricated expressions of the death dealing lobby?

Buddha is often quoted as having said that, "Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon and the truth." He never visited Victoria.

The final report is said to be due at the end of July.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval opposes assisted suicide bill.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition.

Governor Brian Sandoval
In 2017, the assisted suicide lobby has lost in every US state where they have introduced assisted suicide legislation. Recently, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval stated that he opposes Senate Bill 261, a bill that would legalize assisted suicide in Nevada ensuring that the bill will die.

Alison Noon, reporting for the Associated Press wrote:
The Senate Health and Human Services Committee took no immediate action on the (assisted suicide) measure, which faces an uphill battle. Gov. Brian Sandoval does not support the policy, spokeswoman Mari St. Martin said on Wednesday.
Several weeks ago, Maine Governor LePage said he would veto the Maine assisted suicide bill. Assisted suicide bills have been introduced in more than 20 US states this year.

Legalizing assisted suicide gives doctors the power to kill their patients.