Thursday, March 17, 2016

CBS and assisted suicide.

The above is a must see link.

The following is some insight by Nancy Valko to the above link.

CBS’s “60 Minutes” and the Selling of Physician-assisted Suicide

In the March 13, 2016 TV “60 Minutes” segment titled “Aid in Dying” (retitled “Should the terminally ill control how they die?” in the online transcript, the vaunted investigative news show crossed the line from presenting facts to enthusiastic advocacy.
The stage was set when medical correspondent Dr. John LaPook, an internist and son-in-law of liberal activist Norman Lear, opened the segment by stating:
This is not euthanasia, when a doctor gives a patient a lethal injection. That’s illegal in all 50 states. Aid-in-dying, or what opponents call “assisted suicide” and supporters call “death with dignity,” relies on people taking the medication themselves. Oregon became the first state to legalize it 18 years ago, but because a nurse or doctor is rarely present, it’s remained mostly a private affair, practiced behind closed doors. We wanted to hear from patients and family members who’ve experienced it and are fighting to make it legal nationwide. (Emphasis added.)
If you go to the link for the transcript, you will also see “related videos” with segment extras not included on the TV show.
One titled “ethical concerns” is an interview with Dr. Katrina Hedberg, state epidemiologist of the Oregon Public Health Division, to discuss “ethical concerns raised by her state sanctioning aid-in-dying”. Not surprisingly, Dr. Hedberg strenuously denies that assisted suicide is a danger for the “disenfranchised” or for medical economic or family burden reasons. Instead, she says “the opposite has happened” despite cases like Barbara Wagner’s.
In the segment extra “How does the medicine work?”, the assisted suicide doctor explains that the medicine simply just “shuts off the brain” starting “at the top” where consciousness is and then goes to “the bottom” of the brain where heartbeat and breathing occur. Not a very accurate or scientific explanation but designed to reassure the public.
In the televised segment, there was only a very short interview with Dr. William Toffler, National Director of Physicians for Compassionate Care  but only identified by Dr. LaPook as a doctor “who’s taken care of terminally ill patients for 40 years” and whose wife died of cancer in comfort and without physician-assisted suicide. Dr. Toffler’s practical and ethical concerns were ignored or dismissed by Dr. LaPook.
The rest of the segment involved interviews with people fighting for physician-assisted suicide for themselves or a relative and an assisted suicide doctor. The usual lethal overdose drug and the method for using it for suicide were described in detail.
A major portion of the segment were interviews with Brittany Maynard’s husband and Dr. Eric Walsh, the Oregon physician who prescribed the overdose for the 29 year old woman with a gliobastoma brain tumor whose countdown to assisted suicide became a media sensation in October, 2014.  Brittany’s suicide was described by her husband as Brittany just going to sleep and slowly stopping to breathe.  Not surprisingly, it was after Brittany’s suicide that most mainstream media then changed the usual term “physician-assisted suicide” to softer terms like “aid in dying” or “physician-assisted death”.
Ironically, 60 Minutes aired a segment on March 29, 2015-just 5 months after Brittany Maynard took her lethal overdose-titled “Killing Cancer  The segment followed patients in a year long clinical trial who had gliobastoma brain cancers like Brittany’s. Many of these patients saw their cancers disappear after being treated with a reengineered polio virus. This was touted as a great breakthrough by “60 Minutes” but went unmentioned in this segment.
Another interview was with a man in hospice who was being seen by Dr. Walsh but, as the segment stated:
Though usually extremely effective at keeping people comfortable, in rare instances, standard hospice care doesn’t work well enough. In those cases, Dr. Walsh says, one option is something called palliative sedation.
Dr. Eric Walsh: When the physician decides that suffering is intolerable, the physician prescribes a medication which puts the patient in a coma…The nurse administers it. It’s given until the person is asleep. The person sleeps for three days, five days. I’ve had someone live 10 days, still excreting, still breathing, with the family at the bedside wondering, “When is this going to end?”
When an assisted suicide doctor himself “decides that suffering is intolerable”, prescribes a intravenous continuous medication to be administered by a nurse to speed a patient’s death, how is that NOT euthanasia?
Sadly, the last interview with a woman dying of colon cancer illustrates the dangers of assisted suicide for so-called “altruistic” reasons that would also appeal to many non-terminally ill but debilitated or suicidal people:
Dr. Jon LaPook: And it sounds like from what you’re saying your decision to
perhaps take the medication will be a final act—
Elizabeth Wallner: Absolutely.
Dr. Jon LaPook: –of protecting your son.
Elizabeth Wallner: Absolutely. I just want him to remember me laughing and, you know, giving him a hard time, and telling him to brush his teeth, and knowing that I would– I would, you know, walk across the sun for him. (Emphasis added)
The public deserves a better and more comprehensive discussion about physician-assisted suicide. Such discussions have been occurring in state legislatures where physician-assisted suicide groups like Compassion and Choices relentlessly push for legalization and medical, disability, pro-life and other groups testify to the real facts and dangers.
There must be something to this opposition since so far this year 8 states have rejected physician-assisted suicide bills.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

There are daily reports about euthanasia on the blog, go to it. This is important so you can understand all the issues.  At my age, replicating this information limits my life experience.

My fear is about the dangers of euthanasia evidenced by my experience with DNRs without full informed consent or any consent. Randy would have died if I did not intervene on November 18 2013 and call 911 as GPC (VCH) would not because Dr. Dunn had a DNR on Randy. It was Randy's DNR not Dr. Dunn's. Dr. Dunn was told earlier (7:00 pm) to take off the DNR and he said he would consider it after he returned from Prince George.  So much for CHANGING YOUR MIND and who owns your body.  DNRs are no different than euthanasia, in reality, will you be able to change your mind? Each year DNRs cause more deaths than euthanasia ever will. A DNR tells staff not to give aggressive treatment to a patient.

Euthanasia is quick and painless while a DNR can dictate a death that can be long, very painful and terrifying.  A DNR is a red flag saying to staff not to treat you aggressively. Why would anyone want to look forward to a heart attack or torture by waterboard (unable to breathe) when euthanasia is much more inviting.

And guess what, you the consumer are blamed as you are the ultimate decision maker.

Randys anniversary of his death is rapidly approaching.  Every where I go and I see him.  I am not crying as  much but the pain is so regretful. I could have done more I keep telling myself.  .  But the circumstances of his death is causing me flashbacks and I cannot do very much. If I was not banned from seeing him by VCH.  VCH caused Randy and me irreparable and unforgivable pain.

Randy had a green burial under trees and a mountain cliff.  The day I buried him was cold but beautiful.  The trip home on the ferry from Victoria was fitting as it was a cold but a beautiful day.
I want to demonstrate downtown with my sign and little Owen, but I cannot.  I feel paralysed by grief.  I only want to stay home.  Perhaps, when spring comes, I will feel better.  The sign says:  If you cannot trust doctors to do a DNR, how can you trust doctors to do euthanasia.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Andrew Coyne: Society has lost its way

February 29, 2016

Canada is making suicide a public service. Have we lost our way as a society?

By Andrew Coyne

Assisted suicide has gone, in the space of a year, from a crime, to something to be tolerated in exceptional circumstances, to a public service

When the Supreme Court, overturning Section 241(b) of the Criminal Code, several votes of the House of Commons and its own previous ruling, legalized assisted suicide last year, it did so on a particular understanding of to whom and under what circumstances the new regime would apply.
It would permit a physician, normally obliged by the code of his profession to save life, to take a life instead, at the request of 1, an adult who is 2, mentally competent and 3, clearly consents, in cases of 4, a "grievous and irremediable" medical condition that imposes 5, suffering that is "intolerable to the individual."
On its own, this made it legal to assist in suicide in a much broader set of circumstances than had previously been contemplated. The emphasis in all previous discussion - the basis of the apparent widespread public support for legalization - had been on persons who suffered, not just from an irremediable, but a terminal condition, such that suicide would merely hasten the inevitable; who were in acute physical pain, rather than enduring subjectively "intolerable" suffering, which the court was clear could be physical or psychological; and who were, or feared they might become, physically unable to kill themselves on their own.
Assisted suicide was presented, paradoxically, as a way of extending life
Assisted suicide was thus presented, paradoxically, as a way of extending life, rather than shortening it, sparing patients from what the court called the "cruel choice" to which they would otherwise be subject: kill themselves while they were able, at the cost perhaps of several years of life, rather than endure the pain and indignity that might come with waiting for nature to take its course. Yet the court's decision did not depend upon this dilemma being present. It was enough that a competent adult was suffering, intolerably and irremediably, and wanted help killing himself. The necessity of the assistance was not at issue.
So the court not only opened the door to assisted suicide, but opened it a little wider than it had been asked to. Nonetheless, it remained confident that the door would open no further. Indeed, the ruling arguably depended on it. The Crown's case for retaining the prohibition, after all, had rested on the concern that the logic of assisted suicide would not permit it to be limited to the sort of narrow circumstances the court had in mind. Expert testimony was called on the experience in Belgium and other countries, where eligibility for assisted suicide has been extended to children, the mentally incompetent, and others.
The court found this sort of "anecdotal" evidence unpersuasive. These countries, it said, had a very different "medico-legal culture" than ours. In Canada, the "risks" of legalized killing could be limited "through a carefully designed and monitored system of safeguards."
That was a year ago. The court's ruling has not yet taken effect, and already we have the report of an all-party joint committee on "physician-assisted dying" recommending legislation that would go far beyond what the court prescribed.
To be sure, the report builds on the court's foundations. It would apply to both terminal and non-terminal conditions, physical and psychological, debilitating or otherwise. But its definition of a competent adult would not exclude people with mental illnesses - which is to say virtually all current suicides - nor people who had previously expressed the wish to be killed in the event they should later become mentally incompetent. Moreover, after a three-year trial period, it recommends extending the practice to what it calls "mature minors," a term left undefined.
Not only would "assisted dying" be legalized, under the committee's recommendation, it would be publicly funded.
Fred Dufour/Getty Images An all-party committee on assisted dying is recommending that it be publicly funded.
Not only would doctors be permitted to kill their patients on request, they would be obliged to, or provide "effective referral" to others who will. And while the committee suggests that those seeking assistance in killing themselves should be required to get two doctors to certify they met the criteria, the criteria are so open-ended it is hard to see in what circumstances they could say no. In any event: the consent of two doctors? Where have we heard that before? What if none are available? How long could it be before the Supreme Court rules on the inequity of denying "access" on these grounds?
Indeed, no sooner had the report been released than advocates were pushing to expand its bounds. For example, should eligibility be restricted to "mature" minors? Could it, in law or conscience? As Dr. Derrick Smith, chair of the physicians' advisory council of Dying with Dignity Canada, told the CBC, "obviously a five-year-old is not going to be able to give consent for something like that, but should we allow a substitute decision maker like the parent to say, 'Johnny's had enough suffering. I think it's time that we assist him to terminate the suffering.' "
Well, of course. Once you have normalized suicide, from a tragedy we should seek to prevent to a release from suffering we should seek to assist, it is logically incoherent - indeed, it is morally intolerable - to restrict its benefits to some, while condemning others to suffer interminably, merely on the grounds that they are incapable of giving consent. So it is that assisted suicide has gone, in the space of a year, from a crime, to something to be tolerated in exceptional circumstances, to a public service. Perhaps you see this as progress. But I cannot help feeling that a society that can contemplate putting children to death has somehow lost its way.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

1.7% of doctors

How can we trust doctors when they refused to fill out a survey on medical assisted death.  Only 1.7% of doctors in Canada filled out the Canadian Medical Association's survey.  Every single doctor should have filled out the survey with comments. Maybe then they would know what is going on.  I spoke to a doctor three weeks ago and he did not even know that euthanasia was on the table. 

Earlier this year, the CMA invited its 80,000 members to participate in an online survey about assisted death. Of the 1,407 members who responded, 29 per cent said they would consider providing assisted dying, while 63 per cent said they would not, the CMA reported.
With a report by CTV’s medical specialist Avis Favaro

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