A bureaucracy of medical deception

comment   | print |

In the first week of September, the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) was reported to be "seeking 'clarity'" about whether or not physicians who perform euthanasia should misrepresent the medical cause of death, classifying death by lethal injection or infusion as death by natural causes. The question arose because the Quebec College of Physicians was said to be "considering recommending" that Quebec physicians who provide euthanasia should declare the immediate cause of death to be an underlying medical condition, not the administration of the drugs that actually kill the patient.1  

In fact, the Collège des médecins du Québec and pharmacy and nursing regulators in the province had already made the decision. In August, the three regulators issued a Practice Guide directing Quebec physicians to falsify death certificates in euthanasia cases.

The physician must write as the immediate cause of death the disease or morbid condition… click here to read whole article and make comments



Reality TV for toffs: The Economist and euthanasia

comment   | print |

Because media coverage of suicide could easily lead to copycat suicides, in 2008 the World Health Organization issued a long list of guidelines for journalists. It advises them to: “Avoid language which sensationalizes or normalizes suicide, or presents it as a solution to problems”, “Avoid providing detailed information about the site of a completed or attempted suicide”, and to “Show due consideration for people bereaved by suicide”.

Campaigns for assisted suicide and euthanasia ignore this. In addition to sympathetic headlines, media organisations are producing YouTube videos which paint a glowing picture of assisted dying, illustrate clearly how it is carried out, and draw teary relatives into the story.

In recent months there have been numerous examples. A 29-year-old California woman, Brittany Maynard, made two videos (here and here) with the help of the assisted suicide lobby group Compassion & Choices which were seen by… click here to read whole article and make comments



Don’t manipulate Australia’s euthanasia debate

comment   | print |

Last night I attended a Q&A program on euthanasia hosted by Tony Jones on the ABC, Australia’s government-funded national network. I have an interest in medical ethics and was curious to attend a live panel for the first time in my life. At its conclusion I asked a friend who was sitting behind me, a specialist palliative care physician, to sum up the evening. His answer hit the bull’s-eye: it was “The Andrew Denton Show”.

Mr Denton was the star panellist and was described by Q&A as “one of Australian television's genuine creative forces”. After an eight-month study tour at home and abroad he is commencing a campaign for “voluntary assisted dying”. He spoke more often (11 times) and longer ( about 10.5 minutes) than anyone else and was allowed to interrupt and rebut other panellists. He speaks well and has a knack for funny lines, but I found some… click here to read whole article and make comments



Surely you’re joking, Mr Denton

comment   | print |

Andrew Denton   

In May 2015 Paul Russell, of Hope, an Australian coalition opposing euthanasia and assisted suicide, invited me to come to Adelaide to speak about my experiences with the Belgian euthanasia law. It is now well known that my physically healthy mother was killed by a lethal injection given by the Flemish euthanasia practitioner Dr Wim Distelmans.

At the conference, Paul told me that someone called Andrew Denton wanted to interview me. I had never heard of Mr Denton, but Paul told me that he was very famous and that it would be a good opportunity to talk with him. So I did. I don’t remember much from the interview, but he did ask searching questions.

I told him that a staff writer from The New Yorker was also working on a piece about the suicide of my mother. click here to read whole article and make comments



Doctor still knows best

comment   | print |

Dr Wim Distelmans  

The word control sums up the euthanasia debate. Patients want to control the end of their lives; society wants to control doctors who end lives. A book which omits either approach is a failure.

In Pursuit of a Dignified Life’s End, an apology for the Belgian model of legal euthanasia, by Wim Distelmans, is a serious disappointment. Dr Distelmans, an oncologist, knows more about euthanasia than anyone else in Belgium, perhaps in the world. He is the country’s leading practitioner of euthanasia, a man who is responsible for the deaths of hundreds, if not thousands, of patients, according to Der Spiegel. He is its leading publicist and has received numerous prizes and honours as a euthanasia champion. And he is the co-chairman of Belgium’s Federal Evaluation and Control Commission for Euthanasia, which determines whether euthanasia procedures have… click here to read whole article and make comments



Australia’s ‘Dr Death’ forced to stop promoting suicide

comment   | print |

The world’s foremost promoter of assisted suicide and euthanasia, Australia’s Dr Philip Nitschke, has agreed to cease his advocacy in exchange for retaining his medical registration.

Dr Nitschke has been in the crosshairs of Australia’s medical regulators for years. After a lengthy battle in the courts prompted by the suicides of a number of people whom he had advised or influenced, from the aged to the young, he has run up a white flag. In a deal struck with the Medical Board of Australia (MBA), he accepted 25 conditions in exchange for being allowed to continue as a medical practitioner.

The MBA said that these measures were necessary “to protect the public”. The agreement puts “an end to his involvement in providing any advice or information to any patient or member of the public about how to commit suicide. This includes workshops, the Peaceful Pill… click here to read whole article and make comments



‘Good for me’, but what about society?

comment   | print |

Right-to-die campaigner, Gloria Taylor, who suffered from Lou Gehrig’s disease, died in 2012.


A major post-election issue is what to do about the Supreme Court of Canada’s judgment in the Carter case last February, which struck down the Criminal Code’s prohibition of assisted suicide to allow physician-assisted suicide for certain people in certain circumstances. This ruling represents a seismic shift in foundational Canadian values of much greater import than what we decide about the niqab.

A central question in legalizing physician-assisted suicide is where the balance between respecting individual rights to autonomy and protection of the “common good” (protection of others and society, including its important values) should be struck. In this case, there was almost no such balancing.

Rather, both the trial court and the Supreme Court focused almost exclusively on the rights of individual persons, so that the factual findings and legal… click here to read whole article and make comments



Should euthanasia researchers declare their interests?

comment   | print |


When it comes to a moral issue like euthanasia, those who participate in the debate are going to be on one side or the other. It is improbable that medical experts, ethicists, researchers, lawyers and politicians who play a part, either by choice or duty, do not begin with a position on the matter – even if it subsequently changes.

In the normal course of events we find out. But not always, not even where it could make a material difference to the democratic process.

A parliamentary inquiry into “ending one’s life in New Zealand”, for example, is chaired by an MP who happens to oppose euthanasia in its various forms. Simon O’Connor, chair of the health select committee which has been given this task, has spoken against legalising it here. Can he still perform his duty as chairman impartially? Yes, if he follows the… click here to read whole article and make comments



How the assisted suicide lobby won in California

comment   | print |

Whose life, courage and character has transformed America the most this year? To speak in theological terms, who spoke to America as a “prophetic witness … a person with vision and deeply held values and beliefs who speaks about justice and mercy”?

Pope Francis, after his visit to Washington, New York and Philadelphia?

Um, no. Guess again.

According to Barbara Coombs Lee, the head of America’s leading assisted suicide lobby group, Compassion & Choices (C&C), it was Brittany Maynard, the just-married woman who drank a lethal dose of barbiturates on November 1 last year, a few weeks short of her 30th birthday. She died in Oregon because assisted suicide was illegal in her home state of California.

Brittany, who had an aggressive brain tumour, wanted to use her death to send a message pleading for the legalisation of assisted suicide. A C&C video about her did exactly that. On… click here to read whole article and make comments



Go west, old man! Go west!

comment   | print |

Governor Jerry Brown   

Ten percent of Americans now have access to assisted suicide after Jerry Brown, governor of California, approved Assembly Bill 15 yesterday. “This is the biggest victory for the death-with-dignity movement since Oregon passed the nation’s first law two decades ago,” said Barbara Coombs Lee, the head of America’s leading right-to-die group Compassion & Choices.

With assisted suicide now legal in California, Oregon, Washington, Montana and Vermont, as well as throughout Canada, other states are bound to follow. The pattern of the campaign for same-sex marriage – state-by-state conquest through the courts, followed by an appeal to the US Supreme Court – is an ominous template. 

Assisted suicide had failed in California six times since 1988. But exactly one year ago, on October 6, Compassion & Choices released a superbly-crafted video about Brittany Maynard, a winsome 29-year-old Californian… click here to read whole article and make comments


Page 1 of 24 :  1 2 3 >  Last ›

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

rss Subscribe to Careful RSS feed

Follow MercatorNet
subscribe to newsletter
Sections and Blogs
Family Edge
Sheila Reports
Reading Matters
Demography Is Destiny
Conniptions (the editorial)
contact us
our ideals
our People
Mercator who?
partner sites
audited accounts
advice for writers
New Media Foundation
Suite 12A, Level 2
5 George Street
North Strathfield NSW 2137
+61 2 8005 8605
skype: mercatornet
© New Media Foundation 2015 | powered by Encyclomedia | designed by Elleston