Advice from Vermont

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True Dignity Vermont represents citizens opposed to the legalization of assisted suicide in their state. For a small site it packs a lot of punch, with well-reasoned posts. Check it out!

Here TDV lists six reasons why assisted suicide should not be supported:

1.It attacks the dignity and threatens the lives of people with disabilities who rely on the help of others to live.

2. It is a recipe for elder abuse. Current and proposed laws contain no protections at all for patients once they fill their lethal prescriptions, requiring no witnesses at the time the drugs are taken. There is nothing to prevent a person’s being pressured or even physically forced to take them. Without witnesses, even if the person struggled, who would know?

3.It presents suicide as a way to solve problems. No one commits suicide unless he or she… click here to read whole article and make comments


MONDAY, 20 JUNE 2011

Russian Orthodox church speaks out on euthanasia

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Euthanasia does not appear to be a very lively issue in Russia, although it has appeared in the media from time to time. Recently Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, a spokesman for the Moscow Patriarchate gave the position of the Russian Orthodox Church:

The Russian Orthodox Church has condemned euthanasia as a combination of murder and suicide. If a person is not ready to endure sufferings until the end, that’s not a position to be delinquent.

At the same time, we know many cases where people, who were not given any hope by their physicians, were cured by God, often by miracle. And that teaches us to keep hope till the very last moment, to obey the will of God and to continue fighting for life. And I think in this case it’s much more ethical in a way to maintain man’s life and to encourage a person… click here to read whole article and make comments


SUNDAY, 19 JUNE 2011

Catholic bishops in Australia and US slate assisted suicide

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The Catholic Church, one of the most consistent opponents of assisted suicide and euthanasia, has fired two broadsides in Australia and the US. In Sydney Cardinal George Pell, an Oxford PhD with a high profile, issued a letter denouncing euthanasia, as it is on the agenda in several Australian parliaments. He warned of a slippery slope:

One important part of the Catholic task today, which we share with clear-headed humanists and humanitarians, is to explain that just as winter follows autumn legislation to allow voluntary euthanasia or mercy killing would lead to widespread involuntary euthanasia, with many, perhaps a majority of those euthanized being subject to the procedure without their consent and often against their will.

In the US, Catholic bishops issued a long-anticipated statement on physician-assisted suicide. “To Live Each Day with Dignity” is more philosophical and ethical and theological. Its main targets are individualism, radical autonomy… click here to read whole article and make comments



20 things you might not know about assisted suicide in Europe

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The Sunday Times, in line with its new editorial policy, ran a typically effusive article last weekend about last night’s ‘documentary’ in which we saw a British man, Peter Smedley, kill himself on screen by drinking poison at the Dignitas suicide facility near Zurich.

Earlier this year I suggested that the BBC was acting in the role of cheerleader for assisted suicide through its partisan coverage of this issue; and I blogged earlier about how this particular programme was further evidence of BBC bias and would fuel more suicides by way of the Werther effect.

But I was also interested to see Mr Pratchett’s (brief) description in the Sunday Times about how the documentary came to be made in the first place.

‘Late last year the BBC, which had earlier transmitted my Dimbleby lecture on assisted dying, asked me to "learn… click here to read whole article and make comments



Is it ethical for the BBC to broadcast a suicide?

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Care Not Killing, an British alliance of over 40 organisations, has called on the Uk’s Secretary of State for Health and the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, to carry out an urgent investigation into the way assisted suicide is covered by the BBC and its link to English suicide rates.

The press release reads as follows:

A programme featuring celebrity author Terry Pratchett was shown on BBC2 on Monday night following a huge amount of advance media publicity. It breaches international guidelines on suicide portrayal and, as such, poses a significant risk to vulnerable people. There is a real risk that copycat suicides will follow the screening.

The WHO international guidelines on suicide portrayal refer to over 50 published studies, systematic reviews of which have consistently drawn the same conclusion, that media reporting of suicide can lead to imitative… click here to read whole article and make comments


MONDAY, 13 JUNE 2011

Belgian doctors are using organs from euthanased patients

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Using organs from euthanased patients seem to have become a well established procedure in Belgium, only nine years after it was legalized. A press release from a team at a hospital in Leuven announced last week that it had successfully transplanted lungs from four euthanased patients between 2007 and 2009.

In an article in the journal Applied Cardiopulmonary Pathophysiology, the authors observe that the quality of the lungs from euthanased patients is superior to those obtained from brain dead donors and donations after cardiac death.

“In contrast to these donors, euthanasia donors do not experience an agonal phase before circulatory arrest as seen in donors dying from hypoxemia or from cardiogenic or hypovolemic shock.”

A number of patients who request euthanasia want to donate their organs. However, since they often have cancer, the organs are not suitable. Three of the euthanased patients… click here to read whole article and make comments


FRIDAY, 10 JUNE 2011

Millions lack access to palliative care, says Human Rights Watch

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Tens of millions of people worldwide are denied access to inexpensive medications for severe pain, Human Rights Watch said in a report released earlier this month. The 128-page report, "Global State of Pain Treatment: Access to Palliative Care as a Human Right," details the failure of many governments to take even basic steps to ensure that people with severe pain due to cancer, HIV, and other serious illnesses have access to palliative care. As a result, millions of patients live and die in great agony that could easily be prevented, Human Rights Watch said.

Experts estimate that 60 percent of those who die each year in low- and middle-income countries - 33 million people - need palliative care. In these countries, most cancer patients are diagnosed when they already have advanced disease and can no longer be cured. The only treatment option is palliative care. In high-income countries, palliative care needs… click here to read whole article and make comments



BBC to broadcast Swiss suicide

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Sir Terry Pratchett

The BBC’s decision to screen a man's dying moments at the Dignitas suicide facility in a documentary fronted by Terry Pratchett has already come under heavy criticism. A five-minute sequence in the BBC2 programme, due to be shown on 13 June, shows celebrity author Pratchett witnessing Peter, a British man in his early 70s who has motor neurone disease, taking his own life at the controversial Swiss facility.

This is yet another blatant example of the BBC playing the role of cheerleader in the vigorous campaign being staged by the pro-euthanasia lobby to legalise assisted suicide in Britain.’

Having failed spectacularly in the House of Lords twice since 2006 to convince legislators that legalising assisted suicide is safe, and finding themselves blocked repeatedly by medical professional bodies, Dignity in Dying (formerly the Voluntary Euthanasia Society) is now using celebrity endorsement… click here to read whole article and make comments



Suicide hero Kevorkian dies at 83

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At the age of 83, after helping at least 130 people to commit suicide, medical pathologist Jack Kevorkian, has passed away in a hospital bed in Michigan. He died without "assistance". Mr – his licence to practice medicine was revoked in 1991 – Kevorkian was a lightning rod for the assisted suicide debate in the US for decades. He was prosecuted unsuccessfully four times for complicity in the deaths of his “patients”. Finally, in 1999, a Michigan jury found him guilty of the second-degree murder of a man with Lou Gehrig’s disease.

He sent a tape of the incident to CBS. The judge was not impressed: “You had the audacity to go on national television, show the world what you did and dare the legal system to stop you,” said Judge Jessica R. Cooper. “Well, sir, consider yourself stopped.”

Kevorkian was sentenced to 10 to 25 years in jail, but was released… click here to read whole article and make comments



London Times errs in backing assisted suicide

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The Times newspaper has this week devoted two whole pages and an editorial to the pro-assisted suicide cause just as Dignity in Dying (formerly the Voluntary Euthanasia Society) is launching its latest propaganda barrage on parliament with the mailing of a new booklet to all MPs and Peers.

The Times initially adopted a campaigning stance in support of legalising assisted suicide with an editorial titled “Life and Death” at the time of the unsuccessful Falconer amendment to the Coroners and Justice Bill back in 2009. Like the BBC it has been unbalanced in its coverage of the issue ever since. The pro-euthanasia lobby is indeed fortunate to have such a powerful press office assisting it.

DID is now escalating the push for a change in the law so that (in its own words) “terminally ill, mentally competent adults can have the choice of an assisted death” – but with the… click here to read whole article and make comments


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Careful! is MercatorNet's blog about end-of-life issues. We respect the dignity of each person from the beginning of life to its natural end. Leave your comments at the foot of our articles. The more the better! Write to us at

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