Thursday, July 16, 2009

Legalize assisted suicide? Be careful what you wish for

Results from today’s Globe poll:

The Dutch and Belgian practises have become a horror story:
"Over the past two decades, the Netherlands has moved from assisted suicide to euthanasia, from euthanasia for the terminally ill to euthanasia for the chronically ill, from euthanasia for physical illness to euthanasia for psychological distress and from voluntary euthanasia to nonvoluntary and involuntary euthanasia." Herbert.Hendin MD
Some statistics from this report on the Netherlands:
2,300 people died as the result of doctors killing them upon request (active, voluntary euthanasia).
400 people died as a result of doctors providing them with the means to kill themselves (physician-assisted suicide).
1,040 people (an average of 3 per day) died from involuntary euthanasia, meaning that doctors actively killed these patients without the patients' knowledge or consent.
14% of these patients were fully competent.
72% had never given any indication that they would want their lives terminated.
In 8% of the cases, doctors performed involuntary euthanasia despite the fact that they believed alternative options were still possible.
In my opinion, if you want to kill yourself, go right ahead. But it should remain a crime for anyone to "assist". The state’s involvement (outside of criminalizing it) will eventually lead to legalized murder. The Dutch experience proves that. And in our country the medical system is a highly politicized state monopoly - a monopoly that is perpetually looking for ways to cut costs. Allowing the state the option of killing patients is highly dangerous. And I know, I know, this already happens in many (if not all) hospitals but let's not give them legal cover to expand the practice "Dutch style".


Anonymous said...

Only if we start with the Feminists,NDP,CUPE members,Tamil Tiger supporters,and the Pro-Hamas islamists in Canada.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
JR said...

The above deleted comment was an anonymous unsupported accusation that a named individual is a psychopathic murderer. While it is possibly true, it is also possibly slander which is not permitted on this blog.

Anonymous said...

certainly is a slippery slope. what is to stop someone from offing their comatose parents just to get inheritance?


JR said...

Slippery indeed. Under the Dutch system it's not unlikely that many were euthanized for various nefarious reasons including greedy impatience.

Ref the above deleted comment, to be precise, the correct term is "libel" not "slander".

Anonymous said...

JR, here are some local experts in voluntary euthanasia, nonvoluntary and involuntary euthanasia."

Law turns deaf ear when elderly beg to die
May 23, 2009

The cancer
patient’s wife
Mark Handelman BA LLB MHSc (Bioethics)
The Beneficial Role of a Judicial Process When "Everything" Is Too Much?
Mark Handelman and Bob Parke

"Who Decides? Substitute Consent at the End of Life - No More Myths, Ands or Buts"
SPEAKERS: Kyle Anstey, Bioethicist, TWH / Mark Handelman, Vice Chair, Consent & Capacity Board of Ontario

Xanthippa said...

Of course, this leaves out the consideration of the person who has deteriorated so much, they are unable to 'help themselves die' - but who honestly wish to.

Living with pain is not a nice thing.

Now, imagine living in 'ever-increasing' pain.... and, suddenly, you are hit by a car, and break your hip - and are put into a hospital. Your other pain keeps the point where you DO want to die, because staying alive is a torture.

What do you do???

Is it acceptable to keep a person who is suffering (or not) and who HONESTLY WISHES to end their it acceptable to keep that person alive?

This really boils down to the philosophical question: WHO is the OWNER of one's life? Is it the Monarch? Is it God? Is it 'society'? Or, is it the person who is living that life?!?

I am NOT supporting EITHER side in this. What I AM saying is that this is much more complex an issue than either 'side' of the debate would like to admit.

What we first need to do is to agree on WHO is the OWNER of one's life. Then, we need to draft laws that will adequately (nothing is EVER perfect - 'adequate' is the best we can hope for from a government) protect THAT course of action from abuse!

Anonymous said...

Xanthippa said...
Is it acceptable to keep a person who is suffering (or not) and who HONESTLY WISHES to end their it acceptable to keep that person alive?

This really boils down to the philosophical question: WHO is the OWNER of one's life? Is it the Monarch? Is it God? Is it 'society'? Or, is it the person who is living that life?!?
I just hate to burst your bubble but in this day and age "will to live" can easily be "regulated" by the use or misuse of psychotropic drugs.

Over last decade the great many sucides commited in Canada and US every year are simply medicalised murders.

One way to kill people with their own hands is to apply to them "Zyprexa pump and dump" pseudo-medical treatment where subject of that experiment is kept at psycho ward and is frequently forced to take massive doses of Zyprexa for two to three months period. Zyprexa drug plugs serotonin receptors in the brain of the victim and is destabilising brain's ability to naturally produce serotonin. Subsequrntly victim is dumped on the street. Zyprexa woshes out of the system, serotonin receprots get unblocked and absorb all serotonin still left in the brain and cause rapid onset of serotonin deficit syndrom. What follows is very rapid onset of very severe depression and suicide.

This is plain but perfect murder.
Suicide statistics following release from psycho wards are staggering check link below and scroll half way down thru presentation.

As of today, police forces in Canada and US are sitting on the greatest case of mass murder in North American history and have no clue what to do about it.

JR said...

Xanthippa, I agree that the issue is ethically, morally and in general philosphically complex - that's why there's so much debate about it.

As for who owns one's life - it's fairly clear, at least in free societies, that one's single most important freedom is the control of one's own body. So certainly not the state, not society (who is that anyway?) and not even God (did He not grant us free will?). Though the nanny state, arguing healthcare costs and safety, etc, is enabling the erosion of our freedom.

It seems we've gotten along reasonably well up to now without legalizing assisted suicide so there should be no rush to start sliding down that dangerous slope.

But I also agree that in the unfortunate event there's a decision to risk legalizing assisted suicide, it's important to prevent abuse. We should hope the process keeps second and third parties, especially the state, as far from the actual suicide decision as possible; and that there's every possible check to ensure that the decision is the free, rational choice of a terminally ill patient.

Anonymous said...

You are not paying attention.

Risk Factors for Suicide (OR OR’s): s):
The Question of Risk Resolution?
Qin & Nordentoft, 2005; Cheng et al, 2000, Shaffer et al, 2000

􀂄Discharge from psychiatric hospitalization
Discharge hospitalization
– Last week 278 x
– Last month 133 x
– Last year 34 34-61 x
􀂄Prior attempt (adoladol) 22.5 x
􀂄Substance abuse (adoladol) 7 x
􀂄Firearm in home 5 x
􀂄Chronic renal failure ––dialysis 14.5 x
􀂄On disability/unemployedOn unemployed2-6 x
Chronic renal failure and constant need for visiting hospital to have dialysis increases risk of suicide 14.5 times.
Discharge from psychiatric hospitalization increases risk of suicide 278 times during first week when psychodrugs are washing out.

This table is based on mortality statistics so we are talking many, many medical murders disguised as suicides.

These are people who are well enough to walk out of psycho wards on their own two feet.
If that is what happens to people who can walk on their own forget about terminally ill people who get killed in Ontario hospitals every day if nobody visits them.

Even if you do visit your sick mother or a father every day doctors can force your hand by calling on people at Ontario Consent and Capacity Board who will make "end of life" decision regarding your sick mother or a father against your will.

JR said...

Hello Mr/Ms Anonymous,

“Not paying attention”? Wouldn’t be the first time:)

But to briefly review what I think you are saying:

(1) patients can be medicated in a way that greatly increases the likelihood they will attempt suicide. This makes legalizing assisted suicides much more dangerous; but more importantly it is being deliberately practiced now - ie you believe patients are being murdered.

(2) doctors, with and without the support of “Consent & Capacity Boards”, are actively ending the lives of terminal patients without the patient’s or close relative’s consent.

I wouldn't be surprised. But if you are aware of specific cases, you should go to the police, officially complain to hospitals and/or otherwise attempt to get the issues aired in public.

Anonymous said...

I am glad you are getting it. I have contacted Police on many occasions, over many years and cops cannot do anything about it.

I put togeter whole file listing victims and their murderers and nothing gets done about it.

More on “Zyprexa pump and dump”

Dr. David Craig's victims;

Dr. Mary-Anne Marshal

Dr. Stanley Yaren’s recent victims:

Anna Maciocha





This article shows what justice system is doing about murders disguised as suicides;

Dr. Stanley Yaren covers up for cops and jail guards

Dr. Stanley Yaren covers up for pedophiles;

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