Discussion in 'Mainstream News Stories' started by Anonymous, Jan 21, 2003.
The sparkler just went out. RIP.
The 96 year old mother of one of my friends is in a nursing home now because she fell and broke both feet.
She's almost deaf, blind and incontinent and hardly moves from her bed. She prays that she will die soon.
My friend says she thinks it's cruel to keep her alive and although she will be sad when her mother dies she will also feel relief, and that she has put beloved pets to sleep because they were suffering.
Maybe if we could go out and buy a new mum it would be easier to put them down.
Philip Nitschke: I don’t judge people at all if they want to die
Nitschke’s obscure views on ‘rational suicide’ have left him with a destroyed medical licence, severe financial damage and many enemies, but he has no regrets
Sunday 27 December 2015 00.56 GMT
It took 25 years for the medical authorities to silence euthanasia advocate and former doctor Philip Nitschke.
But his withdrawal from media commentary and promotion of voluntary euthanasia was short-lived, lasting just four weeks.
Last month, in a public act of defiance against the Medical Board of Australia, Nitshchke, 68, burned his medical registration and ended his career as a doctor so that he would be able to continue running workshops for those over 50 about how to die peacefully.
Nitschke has pushed the boundaries of what the hippocratic oath allowed him to do as a doctor by arguing for voluntary euthanasia throughout his career and, in more recent years, by promoting rational suicide – the difficult idea that someone does not have to be terminally ill or depressed to want to die.
“You must be able to control the time at which you die,” he tells Guardian Australia.
“That should be an essential human right. In other words, you don’t have to be sick to qualify for voluntary euthanasia. Everybody qualifies. I see too many people now who want to die for social reasons, not medical reasons.
“They may not be my reasons. They may not be yours. But they are certainly the individual’s.”
In pushing this belief, Nitschke has drawn the ire of the authorities and his medical peers, particularly psychiatrists. This unease culminated in revelations last year that he did not refer Perth man Nigel Brayley, 45, to a psychiatrist after Brayley emailed him to say he wanted to die.
“He said, ‘Do you want a copy of my suicide note?’ and I said, ‘Yes please’,” Nitschke recalls.
Brayley died after taking the powerful barbiturate Nembutal, which Nitschke has written a handbook on how to obtain (it is illegal to possess or distribute the drug in Australia).
A series of emails between the two were revealed by the ABC’s 7.30 program in July last year. Pressed to explain why he did not refer Brayley to a psychiatrist, Nitschke said Brayley had not seemed depressed, and had made a rational decision to die, which he had no right to stand in the way of.
But the Medical Board of Australia disagreed, using their emergency powers to suspend Nitschke’s medical registration. They argued that Nitschke had an obligation to refer Brayley to a psychiatrist, even though Brayley was not his patient.
Nitschke, accustomed to controversy, expected some push-back. But he never believed the case against him would progress as far as it did.
“I certainly didn’t anticipate the use of their emergency powers,” Nitschke says. “The medical board, I have almost no respect for them. I can see them sitting around in their little board rooms and saying, ‘We better do something’. What for?
“Because I didn’t bloody send Nigel Brayley off to a psychiatrist.”
Nitschke says he did not know at the time of his correspondence with Brayley that Brayley was a suspect in the death of his former wife and disappearance of a former girlfriend.
Now he believes the prospect of going to jail was behind Brayley’s decision to die, which he says only adds to his argument that Brayley made a rational and informed choice – Nitschke believes all prisoners facing a life sentence without parole should be given the option.
Here's a status report on euthanasia in the Netherlands (the first nation to make it legal).
FULL STORY (with illustrative statistics from the cited review study):
There have been some rather troubling stories from the Netherlands, including the euthanasia of a depressed but otherwise healthy rape victim in her 20s and a case of an elderly women who had changed her mind but was nevertheless held down and killed by medical staff.
The Dutch seem to have gone way, way beyond the alleviation of terrible suffering in the last stages of a terminal illness and into some hideous dystopia where doctors decide whether you should live or die. It's rather changed my view of the whole debate.
Are you sure about those? Where did you read that?
Honestly, I can't recall exactly where I read about it now but it was on a "normal" news site. There was discussion about it but no one appeared to be disputing the facts.
Hmm. I am disinclined to search for anything like that but even without those stories, I find it very sad that so many people seem to want to die.
I worry more about the inevitable abuse of any such law if it was enshrined. I absolutely get that some want to end miserable and painful lives, either caused by some medical condition or simply the end of a long life, but it's a very dangerous step for wider society at the end of which is the 'euthanasia of those who are deemed of no use'.
As well as this, there are studies of (physically well) suicide survivors showing that a good number, as they hit what they think is the point of no return, change their mind. I think we need to be most careful about how we help those who are sure they want to die, with no physical imperative.
I'm in favour of leaving things as they are - perhaps give the law (the CPS maybe) more latitude to decide prosecution is not in the public interest (so for example that of a law-abiding person who helps a terminally ill spouse to end physical suffering) to prosecute some or alternatively, to prosecute nominally with nominal sanctions, by agreement with a plea (say). This treats those who are demonstrably altruistic, humane and compassionate, appropriately, while providing an impediment to those who wish to give that impression, but are 'named in the will'.
The Dutch rape victim story was in the spotlight circa May 2016, when a cluster of stories appeared on the 'Net. The actual assisted death apparently dates back to 2015.
Unfortunately, the posted articles tend to be long on spin and short on facts. Many simplistically described the patient as a rape victim with depression. She was a victim of an entire decade's childhood sexual abuse who had been struggling with full-blown PTSD for circa another decade.
One of the few news stories that went so far as to describe the young woman's situation stated the following:
Yeeess, that doesn't really make the story any less awful! Thanks for finding it though.
Understood ... My point was that this case didn't involve a victim of a one-time rape whose psychological malaise extended no farther than mere 'depression'. A number of the 'Net ambushers / pontificators seem to have gone out of their way to oversimplify the back story to make it appear the eventual euthanasia was a remarkably heavy-handed response to an all-too-common situation.
Deliberately taking a small child’s life is unlawful everywhere in the world, even when the child is terminally ill and asks a doctor to end his or her suffering once and for all.
There is an exception to this rule: Belgium. In 2014, that country amended its law on euthanasia, already one of the most permissive in the world, authorizing doctors to terminate the life of a child, at any age, who makes the request.
For a year after the law passed, no one acted on it. Now, however, euthanasia for children in Belgium is no longer just a theoretical possibility.
Between Jan. 1, 2016, and Dec. 31, 2017, Belgian physicians gave lethal injections to three children under 18.
The oldest of the three was 17; in that respect, Belgium was not unique, since the Netherlands permits euthanasia for children over 12.
Belgian doctors, however, also ended the lives of a 9-year-old and an 11-year-old. These were the first under-12 cases anywhere...
We do know the 11-year-old euthanized last year had cystic fibrosis. This congenital respiratory disease is incurable and fatal, but modern treatments enable many patients to enjoy high quality of life well into their 30s or even beyond. Median life expectancy for new CF cases in the United States is now 43 years, according to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
Last year, a member of the euthanasia commission resigned in protest because it refused to recommend prosecution when a woman with dementia who had not requested euthanasia was nevertheless put to death at her family’s request.
Just to increase my suspicion that the BBC news website is based on the contents of this forum, someone there, like me yesterday, obviously noticed the discussion a little further up this page about young mentally ill Dutch people being euthanised as there is a whole article on it today.
Without appearing over-melodramatic I'd bet a million pounds that this would never, ever, ever be allowed in Britain.
Yep, unthinkable. Like homosexual marriage, men being legally regarded as women...
There was a R4 programme about this just now.
You think homosexual marriage is the same as forced euthanasia?!
Depends on the individuals concerned. It might be.
I must have missed all those news reports of homosexuals dying by marrying one another.
I was just making a poor joke.
1. Read the item l cut and pasted.
2. Read what l actually wrote.
That's terribly sad, though I can only sympathise with the woman in question - to feel that way, that there's no other choice, is hard to imagine. Hard to comprehend, too, that there can't have been some other help available to her that wouldn't have improved and extended her life.
The story about euthanising chlidren who request it is, to me, just wrong. That 9-year-old is only just older than my granddaughter, and I can't possibly see how she could be deemed to give informed consent to such a heartbreaking decision.
I assume there was parental involvement although it was not mentioned.
Still none the wiser... you can be oblique at times.
Scargy opined that euthanasia would never be legal in the UK.
I used the metaphor of homosexual marriage to suggest that a practice can be regarded as unthinkable in a country, then become legalised, and all within a few decades.
l am hardly decrepit, yet when l was in my teens men could go to prison for homosexual activities; now they dan be married in church (by a woman vicar).
Ah, OK, but I still think there's a big difference between ending lives and legalised love. You could just as easily say they could bring back hanging since gay marriage was now legal, but the connection would remain tenuous.
Separate names with a comma.