Friday, March 23, 2018

Euthanasia lobby plans to open euthanasia clinic in Toronto.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

The euthanasia lobby is planning to open a euthanasia clinic in Toronto and they have asked the Ministry of Health to provide the funding.

In an article by Kelly Grant published in the Globe and Mail, Shanaaz Gokool the chief executive officer of the advocacy group Dying With Dignity Canada, and a member of MAIDHouse’s startup board of directors states:
“It’s a unique project. It’s the only one of its kind in the country,”

“I think it will really meet the needs of people who – for whatever reason – don’t want to die at home, but want a safe space where their friends and family can gather with them when they’re having an assisted death.”
The Globe and Mail reports that the executive director expects MAIDHouse to relieve the problem of overcrowding in Toronto hospitals. Thomas Foreman told the Globe:
he hopes the province can be persuaded to finance the project because of the money and space it might save the Greater Toronto Area’s chronically overcrowded hospitals.
“Providing MAID in hospital is very expensive, very inefficient and not entirely patient- and family-friendly,” 
Another purpose MAIDHouse could serve would be to welcome patients who have been asked to leave hospitals or nursing homes that forbid assisted deaths, usually for religious reasons.
According to the Globe and Mail report, between June 2016 and January 2018 the Office of the Chief Coroner of Ontario said that there were 1,146 assisted deaths completed in Ontario with 52 per cent taking place in hospital. (Of the total assisted deaths, 224 were in Toronto.)

Coffin leaving Dignitas
suicide clinic in Switzerland
Ms. Taylor who co-chaired the provincial-territorial advisory group on physician-assisted dying is also among the organizers who met with provincial officials to discuss the plan for MAIDHouse.
“We pitched this to the province as a pilot project that could start in Toronto, but then perhaps be adopted in other regions,”  
“If they say no to any funding, we’re going to have to get out there and fundraise ourselves and then that’s just going to make it that much more of a distant realization.”
Ms Taylor supported euthanasia for everyone, including children, in the Provincial-Territorial advisory group report, but her involvement with MAIDHouse confirms her connections with the euthanasia lobby.

The Dignitas assisted suicide clinic in Switzerland has created much controversy over the years. Nearly all of the controversial euthanasia death in the Netherlands and Belgium are done at the euthanasia clinics.

The Ministry of Health already pays for euthanasia, it should not be providing extra funding to help the euthanasia lobby open a euthanasia clinic.

Massachusetts assisted suicide bills die a natural death.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Massachusetts State House.
ongratulations to the many people who are working in coalition to defeat assisted suicide in Massachusetts. 

The Massachusetts Joint Committee on Public Health decided to send assisted suicide bills H.1194, and companion bill S.1225 to a study committee, effectively causing the natural death of both bills for this legislative session.

Special mention goes to the disability rights groups,  Second Thoughts Massachusetts and Not Dead Yet and the Massachusetts Alliance Against Doctor-Prescribed Suicide.

John Kelly with Second Thoughts Massachusetts wrote a great article that was published in the Boston Globe explaining - Why the Massachusetts legislature must say NO to assisted suicide.

Massachusetts physicians were concerned that these assisted suicide bills would force them to "do or refer" for assisted suicide. A similar assisted suicide bill in Wisconsin, that also died a natural death, also contained a provision to force doctors to "do or refer" for assisted suicide. In May 2017, a Vermont court upheld physicians conscience rights after Vermont physicians were pressured to "do or refer" patients for assisted suicide.

The assisted suicide ballot measure was defeated in Massachusetts in November 2012.

Disability and the Opioid Crisis

By Amy Hasbrouck and Taylor Hyatt
Toujours Vivant - Not Dead Yet.

Register for the weekly Tourjours Vivant-Not Dead Yet Vlog at (Link).

This week, we’re talking about the “opioid crisis” and its impact on people with disabilities. For many people, the first picture that comes to mind when hearing the term “opioid crisis” is a person who, addicted to doctor-prescribed pain medication, dies of an overdose of that medication.

The current “opioid crisis” is just the latest go-round of the repeating cycle of anti-drug hysteria that has marked drug policy in North America for a century. Earlier cycles focused on alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, psychedelics, and, of course, opioids. Some features of the anti-drug hysteria cycle:

  • Exaggerating the numbers of addicts 
  • Prohibition measures are increased  
  • Drug prices rise and people commit crimes to get money to buy drugs.  
  • Drugs are mixed with other substances and new drugs are developed, resulting in more dangerous compounds and more deaths.  
  • Governments use high crime rates to justify increasing penalties for drug offenses and law enforcement budgets, instead of providing addiction treatment services. Poor people and people of colour bear the brunt of criminal penalties, social and economic hardship.  
  • Scare publicity (drug prevention slogans, urban legends and exaggerated claims of risk) draws attention to the targeted drug, rather than warning people away, thus making the drug more popular. 
  • Law enforcement and organized crime benefit from increased funding and higher profits.
  • Eventually someone figures out (or remembers) that these policies have never worked and cause more problems than they solve. The publicity is toned down, and the severe drug laws may or may not be repealed. 

Thursday, March 22, 2018

This blog does not publish Anonymous comments.

During the last few days there have been many excellent comments posted to this blog. As the moderator I did not publish those comments because they were Anonymous.

I will only publish comments from people who give their name with their comment. Anonymous comments will not be published on this blog.

Also: comments that attack a person, have dangerous, illegal, or unethical content will also not be published on this blog.

Comments will be published when you provide your name with your comment. 

Alex Schadenberg

Nebraska speaking tour, a great success.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Thank you to the organizers of the three day speaking tour that I just completed in Nebraska. The Nebraska legislature has rejected "Oregon model" assisted suicide bills in 2016 and 2017. Senator Ernie Chambers is vowing to bring the assisted suicide bill back again.

The organizer of the tour enabled interviews with two TV news segments. 

Here is the link to the video of the KLKN news report in Lincoln Nebraska. Here is the report:
Alex Schadenberg of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition said many people who have been diagnosed with terminal illnesses are too emotionally distraught to know if asking a doctor to euthanize them is really the right thing for them--especially, he says, when their diagnoses were wrong. 
"You're taking somebody who's going through a down time in their life, when they're emotionally distraught by their situation," Schadenberg said. "And you're saying to them 'yes, you qualify for assisted suicide. We're going to help kill you.'" 
Schadenberg said there's no way to come back from a misdiagnosis when you've already died by assisted suicide. 
He said doctors should provide proper care and never be involved in causing someone's death. 
Schadenberg said Nebraska is one of 26 states that has debated assisted suicide. Sen. Ernie Chambers has introduced legislation in the past.
Alex Schadenberg is booking speaking engagements for the early summer and fall and we are encouraging groups and individuals to organize screenings of the Fatal Flaws film that will be released in May 2018.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Dutch prosecutors investigating assisted death group after 19-year-old dies.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

The public prosecutor in the Netherlands has opened an investigation into an assisted suicide group that is counseling and providing a "suicide powder."

The assisted suicide group made headlines when a 19-year-old woman died by assisted suicide with the alleged involvement of this group. According to Reuters:
Prosecutors had been looking at the Final Wish cooperative since September... 
Final Wish made headlines last week when the father of 19-year-old Ximena Knol said on television the group should be shut down after his daughter’s suicide using a powder believed to be the same “Substance X” the association promotes.
Recently the public prosecutor in the Netherlands announced that they are investigating abuse of the euthanasia law in 4 assisted deaths in 2017.

According to the recently released 2017 euthanasia report, there were 6585 assisted deaths were reported in 2017, up another 8% from 6091 reported assisted deaths in 2016. 

The DutchNL news also reported that the number of assisted deaths for dementia or psychiatric reasons increased in 2017 to 169 people dying by euthanasia for dementia (3 were advanced dementia) and 83 people dying by euthanasia for psychiatric reasons.

The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) (August 3, 2017) published a major Netherlands study titled: End-of-Life Decisions in the Netherlands over 25 years that uncovers abuse of the law that examined ending of life in the Netherlands. The study found that there were 7254 assisted deaths (6672 euthanasia deaths, 150 assisted suicide deaths, 431 terminations of life without request) in the Netherlands in 2015. Based on the data in the study 23% of all assisted deaths were not reported and 431 assisted deaths were done without request.

The death lobby is out-of-control in the Netherlands. Don't make the Netherlands mistake. Don't legalize euthanasia.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Connecticut assisted suicide bill would legalize euthanasia (homicide).

Please vote no on HB5417 which seeks to legalize assisted suicide and euthanasia in Connecticut.

Dear Committee Member,

Nancy Elliott
My name is Nancy Elliott. I am a former 3 term New Hampshire State Representative who served on the Judiciary Committee where I studied bills having to do with assisted suicide. I have been made aware of some disturbing issues with HB5417. I would like to bring to your attention a provision of HB5417 in Section 15 of the bill that would legalize euthanasia.

Sec. 15. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2018) (a) Nothing in sections 1 to 14, inclusive, of this act or sections 16 to 19, inclusive, of this act authorizes a physician or any other person to end another person's life by lethal injection, mercy killing, assisting a suicide or any other active euthanasia.

The HB5417 states in section 15a that this bill does not authorize mercy killing or assisting a suicide, yet what the bill is authorizing is the exact definition of assisting a suicide, a mercy killing and as the bill rightly equates as active euthanasia. This double talk seems to be reassuring us that mercy killing, assisting a suicide and active euthanasia will not take place yet we know by the bills content that mercy killing, assisting a suicide and active euthanasia will take place and is in fact the intent of the bill.

(b) No action taken in accordance with sections 1 to 14, inclusive, of this act or sections 16 to 19, inclusive, of this act shall constitute causing or assisting another person to commit suicide [meaning active euthanasia] in violation of section 53a-54a or 53a-56 of the general statutes.

The bill states in section 15b again that no action taken will be considered causing or assisting a suicide. We know as already stated that the bill is the exact definition of causing and assisting a suicide. It further rightly defines assisting a suicide as active euthanasia. So if the act of assisting a suicide is legalized by this bill (but not allowed to be called that) then wouldn't active euthanasia also be legalized (but not allowed to be called that). You've heard the expression “a rose by any other name…”. Just because double talk is used to redefine this it does not change that this bill legalizes Assisted Suicide and by the bills own definition euthanasia.

(c) No person shall be subject to civil or criminal liability or professional disciplinary action, including, but not limited to, revocation of such person's professional license, for (1) participating in the provision of medication or related activities in good faith compliance with the provisions of sections 1 to 14, inclusive, of this act and sections 16 to 19, inclusive, of this act, or (2) being present at the time a qualified patient self-administers medication dispensed or prescribed for aid in dying.

Section 15c states that no person can be sued, held criminally liable nor professionally disciplined nor lose their license for doing what is the definition of assisting a suicide or the definition of euthanasia. This bill therefore legalizes euthanasia. It also does not provide for any liability of any person involved in said assisted suicide or euthanasia. I respectfully ask that you reject HB5417.

Nancy Elliott
Former 3 term NH State Representative
Chair – Euthanasia Prevention Coalition - USA

Friday, March 16, 2018

Canadian man threatened by assisted death.

By Adrian Rhodes

We learned on March 16 2018 that Roger Foley, a 42 year old man diagnosed with various illnesses, who is disabled, has been experiencing abuse in home care and substandard care in hospital.
Roger Foley
The hospital abused him by threatening to charge him for his daily care; they also ‘offered medical aid in dying’ (sic). Foley did not ask to die, yet the hospital suggested it as an apparently good idea. From the source article

‘…administrators have tried to discharge him (Foley) from Victoria Hospital, have threatened to charge him the non-OHIP rate of $1800 a day to stay in a room and offered to refer him for a medically assisted death.’
Sign the petition: I support Roger Foley's plea assisted life not assisted death (Link).

Canadian man wants assisted life not assisted death.

Sign the petition: I support Roger Foley's plea assisted life not assisted death (Link).

Roger Foley
Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

CTV News reported that Roger Foley, who is lives with a cerebellar ataxia, a degenerative neurological condition, has launched a lawsuit naming the London Health Sciences Centre and the Southwest Regional LHIN, stating that they are offering him assisted death (MAiD) but they are not willing to provide him with an assisted life.

CTV News reported Foley as stating:
a government-selected home care provider had previously left him in ill health with injuries and food poisoning. Unwilling to continue living at home with the help of that home care provider, and eager to leave the London hospital where he’s been cloistered for two years, Foley is suing the hospital, several health agencies and the attorneys general of Ontario and Canada in the hopes of being given the opportunity to set up a health care team to help him live at home again -- a request he claims he has previously been denied.

“I have no desire to take up a valuable hospital bed,” Foley explained. “But at this point, it’s my only option.”
Foley has been offered euthanasia (MAiD), but Foley does not want to die - he simply wants to live at home. CTV News reported:
“I have been given the wrong medications, I have been provided food where I got food poisoning, I’ve had workers fall asleep in my living room, burners and appliances constantly left on, a fire, and I have been injured during exercises and transfers, When I report(ed) these things to the agency, I would not get a response.” 
“Unfortunately, the Ontario health-care system and the Ontario home-care system has broken my spirit and sent my life into a void of bureaucracy accompanied by a lack of accountability and oversight,”  
Foley has asked to manage his own home care team. Doing that is called “self-directed care,” and Ontario recently created an agency called Self-Directed Personal Support Services Ontario (SDPSSO) to help co-ordinate such activities. 
“I need self-directed funding in order to return to my home, I need to be able to hire my own workers to build my (home) care to work with me”
Foley's lawyer, Ken Berger, doesn't understand why they have not offered a solution for Foley. Berger stated:
the only two options offered to him have been a “forced discharge” from the hospital “to work with contracted agencies that have failed him” or medically assisted death. Refusing to leave the hospital and unwilling to die by a doctor’s hand, Foley claims he has been threatened with a $1,800 per day hospital bill, which is roughly the non-OHIP daily rate for a hospital stay. 
Foley’s statement of claim also alleges that his Charter rights “to life, liberty and security of the person” were violated when he was offered the above options without being given the chance to create a “safe and available self-directed assisted care option that would substantially alleviate his irremediable and intolerable suffering.”
Sign the petition: I support Roger Foley's plea assisted life not assisted death (Link).

 The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition supports Foley's case and all others who require assisted living not "assisted death." We believe in caring for people, not killing.

Behind the Curtain of Assisted Suicide Advocacy

This article was published by First Things on March 16, 2018

Wesley Smith
By Wesley Smith

The United States assisted suicide movement claims that it wants only a limited “reform” of law and medical ethics, restricting what it euphemistically calls “aid in dying” to competent adults with terminal illnesses for whom nothing else can be done to alleviate their suffering. But this claim isn’t true. Currently, no law permitting doctors to write lethal prescriptions mandates any objective medical determination that the patient is actually suffering. Indeed, a 2008 study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that patients sometimes receive lethal prescriptions even when they are not experiencing serious pain or other noxious symptoms.

The falsity of the “limited license” narrative is further demonstrated by current policies and legislative proposals that are likely to be instituted broadly, should the assisted suicide movement prevail nationally.

Assisted Suicide for the Mentally Incompetent: Legal assisted suicide is supposed to be available only to the mentally competent. But after California legalized doctor-prescribed death, the California State Department of Hospitals promulgated a regulation requiring state mental institutions to facilitate assisted suicides of institutionalized patients who are diagnosed with a terminal illness. As I have written previously, these are often people who have been involuntarily denied their freedom due to diagnosed mental illness, sometimes because of suicidal ideation. They are usually being treated with powerful psychotropic medications. In what universe could they possibly be deemed competent to make a reasoned decision in favor of assisted suicide?

California isn’t alone in opening the door to assisted suicide for the mentally incompetent. A pending bill to legalize assisted suicide in Delaware would allow the “intellectually disabled” who are terminally ill potentially to qualify for lethal prescriptions. Note how HB 160 defines the term:
“Intellectual disability” means a disability, that originated before the age of 18, characterized by significant limitations in both intellectual functioning and in adaptive behavior, which covers many everyday social and practical skills.
Such people can’t legally enter contracts. They can’t control where they live. They would require a guardian’s consent to receive most medical treatments. They can’t consent to getting a tattoo! But these same developmentally disabled people would be able to receive assisted suicide if a licensed clinical social worker wrote a letter to the lethally prescribing doctor confirming “that the patient understands the information provided.”

Expanding Assisted Suicide Beyond the Terminally Ill: The oft-repeated promise that assisted suicide is only for those who are already dying no longer holds overseas. Countries such as the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, and Canada don’t limit assisted suicide and euthanasia to the dying. It’s only logical: If eliminating suffering justifies eliminating the sufferer, there are many people with disabilities, chronic pain, dementia, mental illnesses, and so on who may experience far greater suffering, and for a longer time, than do the terminally ill. It should be no surprise that many countries have steadily expanded their laws’ killable categories over the years—including, in Belgium, joint lethal injections of at least three elderly couples who wanted to die for fear of the future suffering they expected would be caused by widowhood.

Advocacy for loosening the restriction has begun here, too. As the Washington Post recently reported, Oregon legislators are planning a push to eliminate the six-months-to-live rule, and to extend the option of euthanasia to people diagnosed with dementia. True, that bill is opposed by Compassion & Choices; but, at least in part, they oppose it because it “could give ammunition to critics and frustrate their efforts to bring the narrowly defined statute to as many states as possible.” In this regard, it is also worth noting that Compassion & Choices issued a press release applauding Canada’s Supreme Court for granting a very broad legal and positive right to receive euthanasia that extended far beyond the terminally ill—a press release subsequently scrubbed, one suspects, because it revealed how radical the organization’s views really are.

Child euthanasia: Assisted suicide advocates promise to limit medicalized killing to adults. But we have already seen that same promise broken in the Netherlands and Belgium. In the Netherlands, severely disabled and dying babies are subjected to infanticide under the “Groningen Protocol”—a bureaucratic baby euthanasia checklist—and children aged twelve and above can legally be given a lethal jab. Next door in Belgium, there are no age limits! Meanwhile, Canada is beginning to debate whether to expand its euthanasia laws to include at least “mature” children.

Child euthanasia has now received the imprimatur of one of this country’s most prominent euthanasia and assisted suicide advocates, professor and prolific author Margaret P. Battin. She recently wrote in the Dutch medical journal Pediatrics that there are “no good reasons” for failing to expand eligibility for assisted suicide to minors under age twelve, and she believes that many factors favor the expansion—including, notably, “the suffering of parents.” As far as I know, none of her colleagues in the movement have objected to or publicly criticized her radical proposal.

The assisted suicide movement pretends to have a very limited agenda. It pretends to advocate only a minor change—a “safety valve,” as they sometimes call it—in traditional medical ethics and public policy. But advocates sometimes give us glimpses of the more radical and extensive ultimate intentions behind their blithe assurances. For those who have eyes to see, let them see. 

Wesley J. Smith is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism and a consultant to the Patients Rights Council.