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Monday, December 12, 2016

Finally, some states are making medical assisted suicide a criminal act

Ohio passes bill making assisted suicide a felony.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition  (9 Decemer 2016)

Ohio Senate
Great news: The Ohio Senate passed HB 470 last night.

Ohio has become the Fifth State in the past few years to strengthen protections in law from assisted suicide.

The Ohio Senate voted on House Bill 470, a bill that would make assisting a suicide a felony in Ohio on Thursday December 8. HB 470 had previously passed in the Ohio House last May by a vote of 92 - 5.

Jeremy Pelzer, reported for  on November 7 before the vote that:
House Bill 470 ... would make knowingly assisting in a suicide a third-degree felony in Ohio, punishable by up to five years in prison. 
Currently, Ohio law only permits a court to issue an injunction against anyone helping other people to kill themselves. 
If the Senate passes the bill on Thursday - expected to be the last day of the legislative session - it would head to Gov. John Kasich for his signature. The measure passed the Ohio House 92-5 last May. 
State Sen. Bill Seitz, the Cincinnati Republican who authored HB 470, said the legislation mirrors Michigan's 1998 ban on assisted suicide, which was passed in response to Dr. Jack Kevorkian's well-publicized campaign.

This should be what we should be doing in Canada. Anyone who is hastening the death of another be it by assisting suicide or attaching a DNR on a patient without his consent should be thrown in jail. I still cannot get over how our government allowed Dr Dunne to put on DNR/DNT Orders on my husband, Randy Michael Walker, and when I complained the powers would not even remove Dr Dunne from being Randy's physician. Although I had a representation agreement on Randy, the powers decided that I should not be involved in this lethal discussion. I am sure Dr Ellen (Hemlock AID) is still doing euthanasia every day and causing her exhaustion from the vast tnumbers yet no comment comes forth. What kind of nation are we. The safeguards supposed safeguards can be easily circumvented to render them useless. Even the waiting period is a joke. 604.321.2276

Comment: Note this quote: “Mark's death underscores how little the world knows about real-life cases of euthanasia, as opposed to the sanitized versions which appear in politicians' speeches.”
Nancy V.
Netherlands offers euthanasia for alcoholics
It's certainly less bother than a 12-step program in Alcoholics Anonymous
Michael Cook | Nov 28 2016 | comment18
The ever-expanding circle of eligibility for euthanasia in the Netherlands now includes alcoholism. Writing in the Dutch magazine Linda, journalist Marcel Langedijk describes the grim life and death of his brother Mark, a hopeless alcoholic.
After eight years and 21 stints in hospital or rehab, Mark decided that he had enough. He had two children but his marriage had collapsed; his parents cared for him and he had plenty of family support, but he was unable to dry out.  
Finally he asked for euthanasia. Physically he was quite ill and psychologically he was suffering badly. He met the minimum criteria for euthanasia in the Netherlands. A woman doctor in a black dress and sneakers arrived to give him his lethal injection. She confirmed his decision and then gave him three doses. He died quickly. 
Mark's death underscores how little the world knows about real-life cases of euthanasia, as opposed to the sanitized versions which appear in politicians' speeches. Isn't this just another case of society giving up on a person who had given up on himself? What comes next? Will Dutch drug addicts be encouraged to take the cheapest drug rehabilitation program ever? Just one needle and you are "cured" forever...
Mr Langedijk is writing a book about his younger brother’s disease and his death through euthanasia which will be published next year. 
Michael Cook is editor of MercatorNet.

I wonder if her sneakers were black....

10:36 PM (6 hours ago)

Demand for medically assisted death continues to rise in Alberta

MONDAY, DECEMBER 12, 2016 10:55 PM MST

Sixty Albertans have received medical aid to end their lives this
year, as demand for the service continues to grow across much the

New statistics released Monday by Alberta Health Services show the
number of assisted deaths has essentially doubled in the past two
months, a trend that has confounded health leaders.

Instead of tapering off following an initial surge of interest, demand
appears to have grown stronger through the fall and into the start of
the holiday season — months after new federal legislation came into

“It’s still quite out there and people are aware of it and are
therefore thinking about it as an option,” said Dr. James Silvius,
AHS's lead for medical assistance in dying preparedness. “Whereas a
year from now when it’s not so prominent, people may not be thinking
about it the same away. At least, that’s my guess.”

The statistics show 90 per cent of the deaths have taken place since
June 17, when the new federal law removed the need to obtain a court
order to receive the service.

Silvius said the province had been averaging two to four deaths per
week from June to September, but that rate has since gone up to about
three to five per week.

In addition to the procedures that have been performed, 28 other
requests for medical aid in dying have been rejected because the
patients did not meet one or more legal criteria. Common reasons why
people are deemed ineligible include a having a mental health
diagnosis, a loss of capacity or competency, or failing to have a
condition where death is “reasonably foreseeable,” AHS said.

The higher-than-expected demand has put pressure on a small team of
nurses hired by the health authority to respond to the requests and
navigate patients through the process.

Silvius said one more position has recently been added to better
handle the workload, and extra nurses could be hired if the trend
continues to escalate.

“Obviously, it would be nice to have more but I don’t think we are
delaying anybody because of the number of navigators we have,” he

AHS has also been struggling to find additional doctors willing to
assist a patient’s death.

An initial survey of physicians earlier this year found 150 or more
who said they would be willing to provide the service, but far fewer
have come forward.

Silvius said AHS plans to send a new survey to doctors early in the
new year, in part to gauge the reasons for physicians’ reluctance.

“It also gets into what role would they be prepared to play. We will
ask, ‘Would you be willing to be a consultant, or an assessor? Or
would you be willing to actually be a provider?’”

Silvius said AHS will also reach out to Alberta’s 450 nurse
practitioners, after they received cabinet approval last week to
provide medical aid in dying.

Associate health minister Brandy Payne said the approval should
provide additional options for people wanting the service,
particularly patients in rural and remote areas of Alberta who may not
have regular access to a doctor.

Alberta’s demand appears to be roughly comparable with other
provinces, Silvius said. He said Alberta has been one of the best
prepared jurisdictions and the process has been working quite smoothly
overall, despite the higher-than-expected requests.

Close to half of Alberta’s assisted deaths (28) have occurred in the
Edmonton zone.

Cancer, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and multiple sclerosis are the
three most commonly cited conditions among the patients who have
received the service.

As of the end of November, six patients requesting medical aid in
dying have been transferred to AHS care from another health agency,
such as Covenant Health, Silvius said.

Covenant, the Catholic-based health organization, has said it will not
allow medical aid in dying to take place in any of its hospitals,
continuing care facilities or palliative care units.

By the Numbers: Medical Aid in Dying in Alberta

60: Total deaths that have taken place in 2016.

28: Deaths in the Edmonton zone.

19: Deaths in the Calgary and central zones.

8: Deaths in the south zone.

5: Deaths in the north zone.

6: Deaths that occurred between Feb. 6 and June 17, when a court order
had to be obtained.

41: Deaths that have taken place in a facility.

19: Deaths that have taken place in the community, including at home.

70: Average age of people who received the service in Edmonton.
What is the toll for BC

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