Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Louisiana Assisted-Suicide Ban Strengthened


The Associated Press

Published: Tuesday, April 24, 2012 at 8:37 a.m.

BATON ROUGE -- The House unanimously backed a proposal Monday to strengthen Louisiana’s ban on euthanasia and assisted suicide.

House Bill 1086 by Rep. Alan Seabaugh, R-Shreveport, would spell out that someone authorized to approve medical procedures for another person may not approve any procedure that would be considered assisted suicide. That prohibition also would be extended to include surgical or medical treatment for the developmentally disabled or nursing home residents who may be unable to make their own medical decisions.

Louisiana already has a prohibition in criminal law against euthanasia and assisted suicide. But Seabaugh said he wanted to make sure it was clear in the state’s medical consent law.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

NY Times: Assisted Suicide: A Recipe for Elder Abuse

April 10, 2012

Margaret DoreMargaret Dore, a lawyer in Washington State where assisted suicide is legal, is the president of Choice is an Illusion, a nonprofit organization opposed to assisted suicide.

Assisted suicide means that one person provides the means or information for another person to commit suicide. In Oregon and Washington, assisted-suicide laws were passed by ballot measures. No such law has made it through the scrutiny of a legislature despite more than 100 attempts.

The Oregon and Washington acts apply to "terminal" patients, defined as patients predicted to have no more than six months to live. Doctor prognoses, however, can be wrong. Moreover, treatment can lead to recovery. My friend Jeanette Hall was adamant that she would "do" Oregon's act. She had been diagnosed with cancer and was given six months to a year to live. Her doctor convinced her to be treated. That was nearly 12 years ago.

Proponents tout assisted suicide as providing "choice" over the timing of one's death. But choice under the Oregon and Washington acts cannot be assured. For example, neither act requires witnesses at the death. Without disinterested witnesses, the opportunity is created for an heir, or someone else who will benefit from the patient's death, to administer the lethal dose to the patient without his consent. Even if he struggled, who would know?

Assisted suicide is a concept contrary to public safety and a recipe for elder abuse.  Americans are right to be skeptical of these laws.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Canadian Debates: Vancouver this coming Thursday!

Dr. Will Johnston, Chair of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, BC, will be debating Wanda Morris, Executive Director, Dying with Dignity Canada, this coming Thursday!  See below:

Vancouver: April 12, 2012
Time: 7:00 pm
Location: Simon Fraser University
Venue: SFU-Harbourside Campus Room 1900;
515 West Hastings Street, V6B 5K3

Dr. Johnston and Ms. Morris are both skilled debaters.  It will be an interesting program.  Please show up to give Dr. Johnston your support!

More information:

The debate is the second in a series of debates to be held across Canada over the next few months.  The debate coordinator is the Centre for Inquiry.  Future debates are scheduled for Kamloops, Kelowna, Calgary, Saskatoon and Toronto.  Specifics:

Kamloops: April 18, 2012
Time: 7:00 pm
Location: 900 McGill Road, Kamloops B.C.
Venue: Irving K. Barber Centre, Thompson Rivers University
Debaters:  Margaret Dore, President of "Choice is an Illusion," vs Wanda Morris, Executive Director of Dying with Dignity Canada

Kelowna: April 19, 2012
Time: 7:00pm
Location: Mary Irwin Theatre, at the Rotary Centre for the Arts
Venue: 421 Cawston Avenue, Kelowna, BC, Canada
Debaters:  Margaret Dore, President of "Choice is an Illusion," vs Wanda Morris, Executive Director of Dying with Dignity Canada

Calgary: April 22, 2012
Time: 3:30 pm
Location: Science Theatre Bldg, Room ST140
Venue: University of Calgary, 2500 University Dr. N.W., Calgary
Debaters:  Dr. Will Johnston, Chair of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, BC vs Wanda Morris, Executive Director of Dying with Dignity Canada

Saskatoon: May 3, 2012
Time: 7:00 pm
Location, etc.: To be determined 

Toronto: June 6, 2012
Time: 7:00 pm
Location, etc.: To be determined.

For more up to date information, contact the debate host and coordinator,  the Centre for Inquiry, or the individual speakers.  Dr. Johnston can be reached at  604 220 2042.  Margaret Dore can be reached at 206 697 1217.
Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The ASA Conference: Choice is an Illusion on Top!

Vender index, ASA Conference
Thanks to the magic of alphabetical order, Choice is an Illusion came out on top at last week's American Society on Aging Conference in Washington DC.  See photo.

Special thanks to the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition for its financial support to make this possible.  Thanks also to our volunteers!