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.
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.
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.
In a submission to the Ministerial Expert Panel appointed by the WA Minister for Health, Roger Cook, to advise him on "fully informed and workable legislation, to ensure safe and compassionate processes for voluntary assisted dying" the Australian Care Alliance has pointed to eleven categories of wrongful death that any such scheme must address.
Vicki Walsh, who has a brain tumour, shudders at the thought of what could happen if euthanasia was made legal in New Zealand and she went to the doctors when having a bad day.
If I was to visit the doctor on one of those bad days and he was to offer me euthanasia as an option… that would be awful. It would be like handing nooses to people at a suicide clinic. It doesn’t make sense to me that we would even contemplate offering this as a medical choice… and quite frankly, I’d be scared stiff to go to any doctor who believed in this.
In a letter to the Sunday times (UK) a cross party group of nine MSPs (Members of the Scottish Parliament) have cosigned a letter opposing moves to legalise assisted suicide in Scotland.
The last bill that aimed at legalising assisted suicide was defeated in 2015 by a decisive vote of 82 to 36.
The MSPs ask in their letter "Have we really become a society that says the best answer we can provide to those suffering in end-of-life situations is to help them kill themselves? Is that really all we can offer?"