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An asset to be realised: Doctors warn of risks

 

Stephen Parnis, a former AMA Victorian president and vice-president of the federal AMA, has warned that under Victoria's assisted suicide law which will come into operation on 19 June 2019, many people managing terminal illnesses would seek out assisted suicide because they did not want to be a burden. “The fact is that we have some very vulnerable people in our society whose next of kin or nearest and dearest may regard them as an asset to be realised rather than someone who needs to be loved,” he told Joe Kelly from The Australian.


Children, the frail elderly, couples, the demented and the mentally ill: more Dutch deaths by euthanasia

Dutch deaths by euthanasia for 2018 include nine couples euthanased together; two persons with advanced dementia based on an advanced request; 205 elderly people with two or more problems of old age; 67 people with mental illness, including 10 aged between 18 and 40 years; and three children aged between 12 and 17.

 


Submission to Royal Commission into Mental Health

In a submission to the Royal Commission into Victoria's Mental Health System the Australian Care Alliance has presented evidence that assisted suicide and euthanasia, which are set to become legal in Victoria on 19 June 2019, pose an unacceptable risk to Victorians with mental health and that State funded and facilitated suicide undermines the universal  suicide prevention program and is discriminatory because it affirms that some Victorians would be better off dead.

Thanks to Second Thoughts Connecticut for this cartoon


New Canadian data shows increase in euthanasia deaths

The Canadian government has just released the fourth interim report covering euthanasia deaths from 1 Jan 2018-31 Oct 2018.

Like earlier interim reports it does not include any data from the Northwest Territories, Yukon or Nunavut as the numbers are apparently below the threshold for privacy (likely fewer than 7 cases each in each reporting period).

More significantly there is no data included from Quebec for 1 April-31 Oct 2018.


Assisted Suicide and Failure of Unconsciousness

As a nurse, I have seen patients assumed to be unconscious while in a coma or sedated on a ventilator later tell me about some memories and feelings during that time. This is why I always cared for such patients as if they were awake.

Now in a stunning February, 2019 Association of Anaesthetists article titled “Legal and ethical implications of defining an optimum means of achieving unconsciousness in assisted dying”, a group of international doctors explore the difficulty in ensuring unconsciousness to death in lethal injection capital punishment and assisted suicide/euthanasia. 

 

Guest blog by Nancy Valko RN, ALRC.

After working in critical care, hospice, home health, oncology, dialysis and other specialties for 45 years, Nancy Valko is currently working as a legal nurse consultant. This blog was originally published at: https://nancyvalko.com/ and is republished with permission.


Special rapporteur on disability rights criticises Canada

Catalina Devandas Aguilar, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, has criticised Canada for its failure to adequately protect the right to life of persons with disabilities.


Australian Care Alliance