Monday, September 24, 2012

Doctors say ‘do not resuscitate’ Down’s syndrome man

Doctors say ‘do not resuscitate’ Down’s syndrome man | News | The Christian Institute: A family is taking legal action after doctors placed a ‘do not resuscitate’ (DNR) order on a male patient who has Down’s syndrome. The man, who also suffers from dementia, was in hospital in Margate to have a feeding tube fitted. The family were unaware of the decision made by the doctors despite visits almost daily. The DNR form was only discovered when carers found it in a bag on the man’s return to his care home.

Related: Daily Mail article on abortion of IVF babies for Down’s syndrome reveals frightening attitudes to disability

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Aging population 'is leading to crisis in end-of-life care'

Ageing population 'is leading to crisis in end-of-life care' - Telegraph: Britain faces a growing crisis in its ability to care for people dying of cancer, dementia and other long-term diseases, doctors are warning.

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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Massachusetts religious communities divided over doctor-assisted suicide measure

Massachusetts religious communities divided over doctor-assisted suicide measure - News - In the broadest terms, the teachings of most forms of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam oppose ending life before natural death. Eight prominent Reform rabbis began circulating a letter to their colleagues Monday argu­ing in a gentle tone against the ballot question, which would allow a coherent patient who is expected to survive six months or less to ask a physician for life-ending medication. “Although Reform Judaism gives personal autonomy great weight, Judaism has always under­stood that life is a gift and that ultimately life belongs to God,” the letter says.

Opposition is not uniform. A few denominations, like the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations, with about 22,000 members in Massachusetts, officially support the concept. The Unitarians and other mainline Protestant denominations typically do not take positions on specific state proposals.

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Monday, September 10, 2012

Health minister says disabled should have help killing themselves

Health minister's assisted suicide comments condemned by SPUC Pro-Life: In an interview in The Times newspaper, Britain's new health minister Anna Soubry called it "ridiculous" that disabled and chronically-ill people are not given help to kill themselves in Britain."

Related: Italy "too Catholic" to legalize killing the disabled

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Euthanasia campaigner faces another challenge

Euthanasia campaigner faces another challenge - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation): An inquiry into Dr Nitscke's application to import the euthanasia drug nembutal was launched by the Australian Medical Board last year. He is now facing a second investigation, into his role in promoting and importing nitrogen cylinders that can be used for euthanasia, and his suitability to practice medicine.

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Friday, September 7, 2012

Dutch coma prince 'should leave UK so he can die' in Netherlands

Dutch coma prince 'should leave UK so he can die' in Netherlands - London - News - Evening Standard: Prince Friso, 43, has been in a coma for six months after he was caught in an avalanche while skiing in the Austrian resort of Lech. His wife Princess Mabel has been keeping a vigil at his bedside at the Wellington Hospital in St John’s Wood with his mother Queen Beatrice flying to London almost every weekend to be at his bedside.

Netherlands senator Heleen Dupuis said: “It’s questionable whether the prince will ever have a normal life again. Had the prince been sent to a Dutch hospital, doctors would probably have turned off the life support systems because there is such a slim possibility that he will ever recover.”

Editor: Yes, without a doubt, if the prince had been in the Netherlands they would have pulled the plug.

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DVDs available: Human Life Alliance conference on euthanasia

Human Life Alliance - Cart: Imposed Death: A Conference on Stealth Euthanasia 2012 exposes common misunderstandings associated with Living Wills and end-of-life decisions. This DVD Set documents society's progress down the "slippery slope" of assisted suicide and euthanasia to dehumanize the elderly, disabled, and medically vulnerable. Price: $20.00 each. Includes:

Talk 1 Alex Schadenberg: Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide; Let's Be Clear About What It Is
Talk 2 Ron Panzer: Stealth Euthanasia
Talk 3 Julie Grimstad: Health Care Decision Making-Part 1
Talk 4 Julie Grimstad: Health Care Decision Making-Part 2
Talk 5 Alex Schadenberg: Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia
Talk 6 Cristen Crebs: Hospice
Talk 7 Mary Kellett: Hospice and Euthanasia for Children
Talk 8 Questions and Answers

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Thursday, September 6, 2012

New test touted as a life-saver, but is it really?

The Telegraph headline read, "Blood test for Downs 'could avert 300 miscarriages a year'" because more invasive and dangerous tests could be avoided. But how many more children with Down syndrome will be killed as a result? The correspondent writes that Down syndrome affects about 750 babies a year. Presumably he's only talking about the UK.

The article cited Professor Kypros Nicolaides (of the Harris Birthright Research Centre for Foetal Medicine at King’s College Hospital in London) as saying, “For every 10,000 women, 30 carry foetuses with Downs.The current process picks up 27 but miss[es] the other three. With the new test, we will pick up all 30.”

Does that mean all 750 will be aborted? No. Current figures suggest anywhere from 67% to 85% (502 to 637) of babies diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted. So presumably 10% more Down syndrome babies would be detected before birth because of this "better" test, and none missed -- unless parents opt out of testing. Perhaps 10% more would be aborted.

Additional reading:

Euthanasia guides adopted in Netherlands

Euthanasia guides adopted in Netherlands - An agreement on joint guidelines on euthanasia was reached between the associations representing doctors and pharmacists in the Netherlands, officials said. The new guidelines replace those developed five years ago by the pharmacists, and not only contain technical information about the amount of a drug to be administered, but also explain for the first time why a certain method has been chosen.

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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Is brain death - death? New Canadian brain-death guidelines

ALEX SCHADENBERG: Is brain death - death? New Canadian brain-death guidelines.: There have been many concerns about whether organ donors are dead before their organs are removed, but the current Canadian guidelines appear to make it more likely that death occurs from the removal of organs rather than waiting for death to occur and then removing organs from a dead donor. National Post article; McGill Journal of Law and Health article

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Suicide Pushers Impact UK Statistics

Suicide Pushers Impact UK Statistics » Secondhand Smoke | A First Things Blog: "They must be so proud–the ghouls who give people moral permission to kill themselves and then teach them how to do it with helium. Now, enough people are doing themselves in with this method that the increase is reflected in UK death statistics."

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Debate over euthanasia in Australia

from the desk of Paul Russell: Paul and Philip Nitschke - debate in Adelaide: Pro-lifer Paul Russell recently debated Australia's Dr. Death. He said, "Euthanasia and assisted suicide legislation cannot be made safe. What we’re talking about is legislating to allow people to kill other people. Unless you’re posing a serious and present threat to my life, I can’t kill you. That’s a good thing. We all enjoy this protection in law equally, every one of us.
But, now we’re saying that it’s okay for someone else to kill you. That is the fundamental issue: we will be making an exception to the Criminal Code that changes the laws on homicide. That is serious stuff. We’d be creating a right for someone else to kill us or, to put it another way, a right to be killed."

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Mercy killings, suicide: 'Social challenges' to be faced as U.S. ages

Mercy killings, suicide: 'Social challenges' to be faced as U.S. ages - Murder or mercy killing? One story that dominated headlines this week raised that question in a particularly dramatic fashion: An Ohio man is accused of shooting to death his ailing wife of 45 years, possibly as part of a "death pact" promise to prevent her from suffering.

In the coming years, many other Americans will be wrestling with similar questions about how, and when, to end their own lives or the life of a loved one. "This is going to become one of the great social challenges of the next 20 years," predicted Arthur Caplan, one of the nation's foremost bioethicists.

Editor: In Our Neurotic Fear of Suffering, Wesley Smith notes that back when people "actually did die in agony, there was little agitation for euthanasia."

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Monday, August 27, 2012

No plans to establish Fiji death clinic

No plans to establish Fiji death clinic: Govt: Prominent Australian right-to-die campaigner Philip Nitschke said today he wants to set up an assisted suicide clinic in Fiji and that the government in Suva was seriously considering it. However, in a statement, government said there are no plans to establish such a facility in Fiji.

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Friday, August 24, 2012

Medical Journals Show Increasing Support for Euthanasia

Medical Journals Show Increasing Support for Euthanasia | The sacred trust of the doctor-patient relationship is being strained by a new ethical model. Physicians are being urged to place the “greater good” above the needs of their individual patients. A disregard for the sanctity of human life as well as a utilitarian philosophy that judges the value of a patient to society is becoming more mainstream in the medical profession. This is evidenced by the increasing number of articles in respected medical journals that call for approval of assisted suicide and euthanasia, euphemistically called “assisted dying.”

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Our Neurotic Fear of Suffering

Our Neurotic Fear of Suffering | First Things: Wesley J. Smith writes, "Thanks to tremendous breakthroughs in modern medicine, suffering has been pushed largely into the shadows. Surgeries no longer kill from the pain. Hospice and palliative care offer tremendous relief for even the most painful chronic and terminal diseases. The problem today isn’t primarily one of preventing agony, but rather, our sometimes inadequate delivery of efficacious and timely palliation.

"Ironically, our many medical triumphs and the consequential receding of serious suffering from everyday experience created a concomitant terror of travail that threatens the morality of society. For example, when people actually did die in agony, there was little agitation for euthanasia. Yet today, when writhing demises are entirely preventable—even if it occasionally requires sedation—many support voluntary killing as the best solution to incurable disease and disability.

"That paradox used to make me wonder: Why euthanasia now, when there is less 'need' for such drastic action than ever before in human history? "

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Beyond Suffering Online Courses

Joni and Friends: Christian Institute on Disability Have you ever suffered physically, emotionally or spiritually and wondered why? Do you have family members or friends with disabilities and struggle to know what to say or how to act around them? 

People with disabilities are considered one of the world's largest under-represented groups and the church is largely unprepared for the burgeoning disabled population. One of the primary goals of the Beyond Suffering Course is to address this issue by preparing leaders in ministry, education, medicine and science to become involved in this life-changing ministry. 

Beyond Suffering is now being offered online in three formats through the Christian Institute on Disability

1. A 16 Week Certificate Course (starting September 4, 2012), 
3. A 5 Day Training Seminar for students who have completed the Certificate Course and seek to become Certified Leaders of Beyond Suffering. 

Register today and become a beacon of hope for the disability community!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Mom fights Texas hospital’s removal of food and water from 12-year-old son

Zach McDaniel suffered a severe head injury two weeks ago when he was caught in the crossfire of an alleged drug dispute in Abilene, Texas. He was placed on life support under heavy sedation at Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth. McDaniel has been heavily sedated and reportedly has yet to regain consciousness, but was able to breathe on his own when the ventilator was removed.

Texas Right to Life Legislative Director John Seago told that Cook doctors had begun pressuring McDaniel’s family to consider allowing the boy’s organs to be removed only hours after his brain surgery commenced. But it was when Zach’s family was told in a possible miscommunication that part of his brain was missing - a fact later contradicted by brain imagery - that they became suspicious, Seago said, and “started slowing down the organ donation conversation.”

Is Your Life a Puzzle?

Is Your Life a Puzzle? | Blog | Joni and Friends: "I was a 19-year-old quadriplegic, and I was just beginning to dig into God's Word to try to figure out the puzzle of my suffering. What did my search of Scripture show me? Wisdom is not the ability to figure out the puzzle pieces of your life and how they fit. Rather, wisdom is trusting God even when things don't fit; even when lots of the pieces remain missing."

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Euthanasia Already Happening In NZ Hospitals, according to Prime Minister

Euthanasia Already Happening In Hospitals, Says... | Prime Minister John Key says euthanasia already happens in our hospitals - and if he was terminally ill, he would consider it. Doctors disagreed with him, saying his view of the situation was too simplistic.

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Caregiver burnout: 10 ways to recharge and refocus

A Better You | Helpful Tips | Caring for others can take so much time, work and effort that stress and anxiety can often get the best of you. Studies show that female caregivers, in particular, have more emotional and physical health problems.The key to avoiding burnout is using regular tools to keep yourself in check.

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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Man with locked-in syndrome 'amazingly happy', says wife

BBC News - Man with locked-in syndrome 'amazingly happy', says wife: Michael Cubiss has locked-in syndrome, which means he's paralysed and can't talk. A High Court decision not to allow doctors to end the life of fellow sufferer, Tony Nicklinson, without fear of prosecution had a profound impact on Michael and his wife Wendy. The Oxfordshire couple contacted BBC Breakfast because they wanted to show that living with locked-in syndrome can be positive.

Related: Right-to-die man Tony Nicklinson dead after refusing food

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Theology of disability devotional series

Daily Devotionals | Words of Hope: Steve Laman writes -- "Our disabilities and hardships can either drive us to the feet of Jesus or drive us away from him. I am grateful that my parents never turned their backs on the Lord when they learned that I was born with cerebral palsy. When I was old enough they began to teach me the hope that the Bible has for those of us who have disabilities and for all who suffer. In this series I pray that we can discover this hope." Follow this series August 1-16.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Help for Those in Pain or Depression

Help for Those in Pain or Depression | Blog | Joni and Friends: Joni says, "For years I've been longing to create something personal and powerful to help people dealing with pain or deep discouragement, and now, I'm so glad I can offer two brand-new resources – one is a DVD/Bible study called How Can God Help You Deal with Chronic Pain, Disability & Illness; the other DVD/Bible study is God's Comfort When You Are Discouraged and Fear the Future.

"These videos are from an interview I did on The John Ankerberg Show with Dr. Michael Easley, professor emeritus of Moody Bible Institute (he has degenerative disc disorder). I'm convinced these excellent DVDs and Bible studies will help anyone wrestling with pain or discouragement. So if you are struggling with pain, or you know someone who needs encouragement, these DVDs and studies are for you, 'For God hears the cry of the afflicted' (Psalm 10:17)."

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Muslim man's family in right-to-life hospital court battle

BBC News - Muslim man's family in right-to-life hospital court battle: Claire Watson, appearing for the trust, said his physical condition would deteriorate over time and he would develop wasting, skin sores and muscle tightening which would cause pain if he is capable of feeling. "Rather than there being the prolongation of life, there would be the prolongation of death and lack of dignity."

Patient L suffered severe brain damage following a third cardiac arrest in mid-July and relatives say it is too early to determine whether he is in a "permanent" vegetative state, arguing they have observed "some degree of responsiveness." A Do Not Resuscitate notice was placed in his notes without consulting the family in contravention of the trust's own policy.

Editor: Death is death. It can't be prolonged, as life can.  And "lack of dignity" is a judgment call.

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Monday, August 20, 2012

Obamacare’s Threat of Centralized Control

Obamacare’s Threat of Centralized Control » Secondhand Smoke | A First Things Blog: "I don’t like much about Obamacare. But most urgently, I oppose its imposition of anti-American centralized control–in the sense that it is the antithesis of the Founders’ governing philosophy–and hopeless complexity over a huge sector of the American economy, as much about the seizure of raw power as it is about restraining costs. That’s the NHS model.  No, not in the method of its funding but the flawed presumption that bureaucrats somehow know best."

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Users of Assisted Suicide are Seniors with Money

"Choice" Is An Illusion: Users of Assisted Suicide are Seniors with Money: Users of assisteds suicide are "overwhelmingly white, well educated and financially comfortable." They are also age 65 and older. In other words, users are older people with money, which would be the middle class and above, a group disproportionately at risk of financial abuse and exploitation.

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Friday, August 17, 2012

Grief Is Like a Boulder on My Chest

Grief Is Like a Boulder on My Chest - The Gospel Coalition: Nancy Guthrie says grieving does not mean we have lost our faith.

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Should the Autistic Be Denied Organ Transplants?

Should the Autistic Be Denied Organ Transplants? » Secondhand Smoke | A First Things Blog: An autistic man has been denied a heart transplant, apparently because of his mental disability. From the AP story:
In a letter, dated June 13, 2011, Dr. Susan Brozena wrote: “I have recommended against transplant given his psychiatric issues, autism, the complexity of the process, multiple procedures and the unknown and unpredictable effect of steroids on behavior.” His mother said she was taken aback by the decision and noted that her son, who is diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder, was upset by the decision, but optimistic that a transplant could come. “He just needs a fighting chance and the same rights to medical care as others his age,” she said in a statement. “Autism is not a terminal disease and we cannot allow it to become one.”
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