It is unlikely to derail activists, but the drug of choice for assisted suicide activists is being described as “untested, [and] potentially dangerous, and could well result in a torturous execution” of an Oklahoma man on death row. The state has run out of thiopental sodium, which is used for lethal injections in the US. Hence it want to use pentobarbital – also known as Nembutal – which is used for putting down animals. But John David Duty’s lawyers claim that this could constitute cruel and unusual punishment. It may not thoroughly anaesthetise prisoners and may cause them severe pain.
This puts an interesting twist on euthanasia rhetoric. “I wouldn’t let a dog suffer like that” is a familiar argument for assisted suicide activists like Philip Nitschke, of Exit International, or Ludwig Minelli, of Dignitas. So they offer their clients Nembutal. Now, however, it turns out, Nembutal might make you suffer like the proverbial dog. ~…
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New Zealanders have been outraged by the news that at least two patients at a small government hospital in the city of Palmerston North had been given do-not-resuscitate orders without consent from them or from their next of kin.
The chief medical officer of the local health board, Ken Clark, contended that the incidents did not highlight a lack of training, and that the doctors acted in good faith. However, complaints have been made and the cases are being investigated.
One of the patients involved, Mrs Juanita Wallace, is frail and bed-ridden, but definitely wants to live on. A former nurse, she was less detached about her experience. It was horrible, she said. Her son Tim told the Manawatu Standard that he was appalled to see how many patients in his mother's ward appeared to have DNR orders on their files.
Here's a modern moral dilemma for you. You
pay a visit to your aged parents and find them unconscious. You ring the
ambulance. But then you find a note explaining that it was a suicide
what do you do then?
This was the dilemma faced by two sisters
in the Australian state of New South Wales last month.
The sisters visited their parents, aged in
their 80s, last month in their retirement village. They found them in a
and close to death, so they called 000. Ambulance officers arrived, but
time the sisters had found notes by their parents requesting not to be
The daughters are alleged to have then engaged in an altercation with
Police are debating whether to charge them
with hindering ambulance officers. The elderly couple are in hospital in
serious condition. ~
Morning Herald, Nov 7
The cast of the black comedy about Dignitas, Please Kill Me.
A Belgian black comedy about assisted suicide has taken away the top prize at the Rome Film Festival. The Hollywood Reporter predicts that Please Kill Me will become a “cult hit” on the art house circuit.
The black and white film is obviously inspired by Dignitas, the Swiss suicide clinic. The absurdist comedy centres on Dr Kruger, who runs a state-financed clinic where a number of very strange characters go to seek help in committing suicide. He is clearly modelled on Ludwig Minelli, the director of Dignitas and even proposes the same ideals: "one day suicide will be a human right".
The founder of controversial Swissassisted-suicide clinic Dignitas, Ludwig Minelli, has said that anyone whoseterminally ill partner commits suicide should also be assisted in dying – evenif they are in perfect physical health. Minelli wants the drug prescribed tohis clients to be available to partners of patients who suffer dementia. Underpresent Swiss law it is only legal to assist the terminally ill in dying.
He said: “A change in the law is requiredto give dementia sufferers and their families more opportunities. The partnershould be allowed to have a prescription for these drugs even when they are notterminally ill. In such cases the partners are often a similar age and one doesnot want to remain without the other.”
The human rights lawyer and activist spokeafter a case last fortnight in which a 64-year-old man strangled his wife of 30years who was affected by Alzheimer’s. He described the act as one “ofdesperation”. Zurich public prosecutor Andreas Brunner denied Mr Minelli’sproposal…
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France has just awarded the Légion d'honneur to a woman who has been a locked-in quadriplegic for 30 years. Maryannick Pavageau received the distinction for her battle against euthanasia. A resident of Sainte Nazaire, on the Atlantic coast, she gave an interview about her life to the local newspaper after this week’s award:
"I was 30 years old when I was struck down by this syndrome after a stroke. The disease was little known at the time, but Jean-Dominique Bauby has described it in his book The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. It is a paralysis of the limbs, sometimes more, but you retain consciousness. I was one of the first to survive. After three months in a coma, I woke up to the amazement of the doctors! I started speech therapy and I spent 32 months in the hospital."