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Meesa gonna kill you!

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Saturday, July 04, 2015

Euthanasia and the Slippery Slope (links)

The role of nurses in physician-assisted deaths in Belgium - "By administering the life-ending drugs in some of the cases of euthanasia, and in almost half of the cases without an explicit request from the patient, the nurses in our study operated beyond the legal margins of their profession."
Slippery slope is a logical fallacy, they said.
Amusingly, some people claim that because in almost half of cases there was some form of discussion of the patients' or relatives' wishes, involuntary euthanasia is not an issue

Physician-assisted deaths under the euthanasia law in Belgium: a population-based survey - "208 deaths involving the use of life-ending drugs were reported: 142 (weighted prevalence 2.0%) were with an explicit patient request (euthanasia or assisted suicide) and 66 (weighted prevalence 1.8%) were without an explicit request"

Euthanasia: the horrifying slippery slope - "In Belgium, which legalised euthanasia in 2002, there has been a 500% increase in euthanasia deaths over ten years between 2003 and 2012. High profile cases include Mark and Eddy Verbessem, the 45-year-old deaf identical twins, who were euthanised by the Belgian state, after their eyesight began to fail; then there is Nathan/Nancy Verhelst, whose life was ended in front of TV cameras, after a series of botched sex-change operations. His mother said she hated girls, found her child 'so ugly' at birth and did not mourn his death. And then there is Ann G, who had anorexia and who opted to have her life ended after being sexually abused by the psychiatrist who was supposed to be treating her for the life-threatening condition... Already in parts of Belgium one in three cases of euthanasia is involuntary and half go unreported. And there has been not one prosecution for abuses in the last ten years – perhaps because the one of the lead euthanasia practitioners – Distelmans – chairs the very committee that is meant to regulate his activity... Dignitas has attracted much criticism in recent years over accounts of discarded cremation urns dumped in Lake Zurich, reports of body bags in residential lifts, suicides being carried out in car parks, the selling of the personal effects of deceased victims and profiteering with fees approaching £8,000 per death... notable are two people with cancer – Randy Stroup and Barbara Wagner – who were told that the Oregon Health Authority would not pay for their chemotherapy but would happily pay for their assisted suicide – which was of course much cheaper... We have seen this already with abortion. We began with a very strict law which allowed it only in limited circumstances. Now there are 200,000 cases a year... And only one conviction for illegal abortion in 45 years."

Boer: I was wrong — euthanasia has a slippery slope - "In 2007, I wrote that “there doesn’t need to be a slippery slope when it comes to euthanasia. A good euthanasia law, in combination with the euthanasia review procedure, provides the warrants for a stable and relatively low number of euthanasia.” Most of my colleagues drew the same conclusion. But we were wrong — terribly wrong, in fact... Under the name End of Life Clinic, the Dutch Right to Die Society NVVE founded a network of travelling euthanizing doctors. Whereas the law presupposes (but does not require) an established doctor-patient relationship, in which death might be the end of a period of treatment and interaction, doctors of the End of Life Clinic have only two options: administer life-ending drugs or send the patient away... Whereas in the first years after 2002, hardly any patients with psychiatric illnesses or dementia appear in reports, these numbers are now sharply on the rise. Cases have been reported in which a large part of the suffering of those given euthanasia or assisted suicide consisted of being aged, lonely or bereaved. Some of these patients could have lived for years or decades. Whereas the law sees assisted suicide and euthanasia as an exception, public opinion is shifting toward considering them rights, with corresponding duties on doctors to act. A law that is now in the making obliges doctors who refuse to administer euthanasia to refer their patients to a “willing” colleague. Pressure on doctors to conform to patients’ (or in some cases, relatives’) wishes can be intense"

Belgian serial rapist will not be euthanised - Telegraph - "The Belgian serial rapist and murderer will not be killed later this week after doctors pulled out of of the euthanasia procedure. Frank Van den Bleeken was to be granted his wish to die by a medical euthasia procedure in the infirmary of Bruges prison on Sunday until doctors withdrew, it is thought, on legal grounds... Following Van den Bleeken’s successful demand for euthanasia on the grounds that his life sentence was causing him “unbearable psychological suffering” Belgium is to introduce a special institution for long stay prisoners... It is known that 15 other Belgian prisoners had also demanded euthanasia on the same grounds... Belgium has seen a fast growth in the number of cases of euthanasia, and has expanded the practice beyond terminally ill adults. It can now be used in cases of intense pain and psychological distress, while last February the right to euthanasia was extended to terminally ill children, as long as their parents gave consent. In 2013, the last year for which full records have been published, the number of euthanasia cases in Belgium rose to 1,807, up 27 per cent on the year before. More than a third of euthanasia cases are in those under 60, and although the vast majority of approvals are given to those in unrelievable physical pain or terminally ill, 67 cases last year cited psychological grounds, including dementia and psychosis"

Belgium’s insane right-to-die laws - "We have here a peculiar inversion of Joseph Heller’s Catch-22. In the novel, a self-diagnosis of insanity demonstrated sanity; in Van Den Bleeken’s case, though he was declared insane and therefore not responsible for his actions, his wish to kill himself is somehow seen as sensible and reasoned. This is despite the fact that he himself argues that he is too mentally ill ever to be freed from prison. Carine Brochier, a project manager with the Brussels-based European Institute of Bioethics, is surely right to say that if the original sentence was correct, Van Den Bleeken should not be allowed to die but should instead receive proper treatment... What does it say about the Belgian justice system when prisoners may singlehandedly overturn the will of parliament, which has decided that particular sentences fit particular crimes? The motivation behind supporting Van Den Bleeken is ostensibly compassion, but the outcome of Belgium’s liberal experiment is death on demand – for anyone, and for any reason. Even if you’re clinically insane! Because once you admit that death is an appropriate treatment for some, how can you deny it to others? Jaqueline Herremans, president of Belgium’s right-to-die association and government-appointed member of Belgium’s euthanasia commission, said of Van Den Bleeken’s request: ‘Regardless, he’s a human being; a human being who has the right to demand euthanasia.’ So slippery is the slope, it seems, that euthanasia has become a right to be extended to all human beings. The problem at the base of these disturbing events is the collapse of authority in Belgium. As the German daily Die Welt noted after the decision to extend euthanasia to children of any age, Belgium is now a ‘failed state’. A handful of moral entrepreneurs have pushed at an open door allowing situations whereby a prisoner – who has been declared insane and still insists he is insane – both diagnoses himself as incurable and pronounces his own sentence, overturning a ban on executions implemented by parliament. Prepubescent children, whose parents ordinarily tell them what clothes to wear, can now decide they wish to die, and, if they can argue for it consistently, they, too, will be executed."

Quarter of Dutch doctors would provide assisted suicide to those 'tired of living' - "Almost 20% would consider the request even if the patient had no medical grounds for suffering, apart from their lack of enthusiasm for life"

GPs back euthanasia for old people 'tired of life' - "ONE in three GPs in major cities believe people older than 70 who feel "tired of life" should have the right to professional help in ending it, according to a poll conducted for Philip Nitschke's Exit International. More than 33 per cent of 500 doctors surveyed in Sydney (35 per cent), Melbourne (36 per cent) and Adelaide (43 per cent) agreed with the provocative question. In Perth, 28 per cent endorsed it, according to The Australian."

Agra dad wants euthanasia for 6 kids suffering from rare neuro disorder - "In a rare case of a debilitating neurological disorder affecting six kids in the same family, a 42-year-old man, unable to afford treatment for his children, has written to the district collectorate requesting that he be allowed to end the lives of his kids, aged between 8 to 18 years. The daily wage labourer, who earns Rs 5,000 per month, says that even though doctors have told him the disease is curable, he can't afford the expensive treatment and is therefore contemplating the extreme step for his children."
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