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  • PALLIATIVE CARE
    euthanasia Last November the lower house of the Dutch Parliament passed a bill that set various criteria but Dr Mount identifies many potential loopholes such as The criteria stipulate a patient s request for euthanasia must be voluntary and well considered However studies show Dutch doctors already end their patients lives without request in anywhere from 15 to 40 of cases As well half of all doctors in the country considered it appropriate to suggest euthanasia to their patients a fact which Dr Mount says is troubling as patients might feel obligated to opt for assisted suicide to save the health system money Patients must be in unremitting and unbearable pain Dr Mount writes the level of suffering is linked to the quality of palliative care which offers pain relief Palliative care in the Netherlands has lagged behind that of other countries In Holland he writes the cart continues to go before the horse in that EAS have been adopted as a solution before ensuring optimal integrated whole person care A doctor must get a second professional opinion before conducting euthanasia Dr Mount argues there are few doctors in the Netherlands qualified to assess whether a patient s request is voluntary and whether their pain is unbearable and hopeless Ultimately he suggests the focus should be on offering Canadian patients a chance to die pain free before assuming that there is a need to follow Holland s course Canada must no longer sit on the fence We need decision makers who recognize the unnecessary suffering experienced by dying Canadians and political leaders who refuse to hide behind federal provincial jurisdictional squabbling In an interview Dr Mount said Canadians have strongly held views on either side of the emotionally charged euthanasia debate The one thing we can all agree on is that if we can treat pain nausea and vomiting anxiety isolation and marginalization we have a moral responsibility to do it We can t possibly morally address the need for euthanasia until we ve made palliative care available to people Dr Mount s complaint reflects years of frustration from the health profession medical ethicists and patients over the unwillingness of governments to assign a high priority to palliative care In 1995 a Senate committee issued a report urging federal and provincial governments to jointly develop national guidelines and standards for palliative treatment improve palliative training of health care professionals and expand research into improved pain control techniques The committee said euthanasia should remain a criminal offence but called on the federal government to amend the Criminal Code to clarify when it is legally acceptable to use pain control medicines that may shorten life and when it s permissible to withhold or withdraw life sustaining treatment Last year another Senate committee held a five year review of the upper chamber s earlier report It found governments had virtually ignored all earlier recommendations The committee chaired by Sharon Carstairs a Liberal Senator urged governments last June to develop a five year national

    Original URL path: http://www.chninternational.com/palliative_care_pain_management.htm (2016-02-17)
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  • CHN Digest Online: Vol.1 No.5, February 2, 1996
    on ALS or Lou Gehrig s Disease Notably Not one ALS patient has choked to death The term choking is both inaccurate and inappropriate in describing the cause of death in motor neurone disease ALS and its use should be abandoned British Medical Journal 22 11 92 Vol 304 471 see also CHN FACTS BRIEF Jan 1993 2 CHN FACTS BRIEF April May 94 Issue No 7 page 4 Kevorkian s 27th victim was in no danger of an early death from multiple sclerosis rules medical examiner L J Dragovic Oakland County Medical Examiner said on Tuesday that the woman who died in assisted suicide activist Jack Kevorkian s latest case was in no danger of an early death from multiple sclerosis The medical official also said that Linda Hensless s heart and lungs were like the ones of a teenage person Hensless s death was caused by carbon monoxide poisoning and has been ruled by Oakland County Medical Examiner as a homicide Dragovic said Henslee showed signs of incontinence and had one bed sore on her back but otherwise was in good condition for a woman of her age with the disease and that her life was not in jeopardy for many many months years probably he said Kevorkian s lawyer Geoffry Fieger had not been reached by press time for comment Dragovic disputed with Fieger over the condition of one of Kevorkian s assisted suicides cases that occurred last November Fieger insisted that Patricia Cashman had cancer throughout her body But Dragovic said he only found evidence of microscopic cancer in her bones which was not yet terminal Patricia McDonald executive director of the Michigan Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society took issue Tuesday with Fieger s characterization Monday that the disease is a fatal one McDonald

    Original URL path: http://www.chninternational.com/chn1-5.htm (2016-02-17)
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  • Euthanasia Switzerland 2006
    on more recent ethical juridical and medical statements a possible prescription of Sodium Pentobarbital is not necessarily contra indicated and thus no longer generally a violation of medical duty of care However utmost restraint needs to be exercised It has to be distinguished between the wish to die that is expression of a curable psychic distortion and which calls for treatment and the wish to die that bases on a self determined carefully considered and lasting decision of a lucid person balance suicide which possibly needs to be respected If the wish to die bases on an autonomous the general situation comprising decision under certain circumstances even mentally ill may be prescribed Sodium Pentobarbital and thus be granted help to commit suicide Whether the prerequisites for this are given cannot be judged on separated from medical especially psychiatric special knowledge and proves to be difficult in practice therefore the appropriate assessment requires the presentation of a special in depth psychiatric opinion On Thursday the General Secretary of DIGNITAS Ludwig A Minelli explained that with the acknowledgement of the right to an accompanied suicide as an ECHR right all intentions to prevent with special rules people from other countries to come to Switzerland for an accompanied suicide to have no more grounds Article 14 of the Convention on Human Rights does not allow for discrimination Furthermore the legal security gained out this decision offers the basis that in the future physicians may help mentally ill who have capacity of judgment without the risk of a prohibition to practise their profession because upon presentation of a psychiatric expertise they may prescribe Sodium Pentobarbital Minelli is convinced that after some time in other European countries especially Germany Great Britain and France this decision will lead to a reconsideration of the dried up political position and enable a more liberal regime This would reduce the demand for this service in Switzerland significantly which certainly would be desirable February 2 2007 Source Mentally ill now included in Swiss assisted suicide laws Hospitals discuss changing euthanasia rules 20 December 2005 Swissinfo Leading Swiss hospitals say they are considering whether to allow assisted suicide to take place within their walls Lausanne University Hospital confirmed at the weekend that it would permit the practice under strict conditions from January 1 The hospital in western Switzerland said it would allow the voluntary euthanasia group Exit to help terminally ill patients who are unable to go home Patients wishing to take their own lives must have expressed a persistent wish to die be of sound mind suffer from an incurable disease and carry out the final act themselves On Monday other leading Swiss hospitals said they were debating whether to allow assisted suicide on their premises We are considering the issue Our ethics forum discussed it at their last meeting on November 30 Markus H hler spokesman for Bern University Hospital told swissinfo But the whole process will take some time because we have to make sure everyone is involved

    Original URL path: http://www.chninternational.com/euthanasia_switzerland%202006.htm (2016-02-17)
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  • Choosing Death Over Dependence
    for Suicidal Behavior Studies in Hamburg told Deutsche Welle In 2002 there were 3 534 people over 65 who took their own lives a increase of 5 percent the German newsmagazine Focus reported Linder however warned people not to equate the condition of Germany s elderly homes with senior suicide It is not possible to say there is a bad situation in old people s homes and therefore old people kill themselves he said The study revealed that elderly people often get better care at old people s homes than family members could provide But for many older Germans leaving home and moving into communal living arrangements is equivalent to losing their independence a feeling many elderly have never experienced and are unprepared for Linder said Politicians moving in to help Helping the elderly realize they can manage their new dependency and continue living fulfilling lives has become a political issue in Germany Politicians and civic groups seized on the Berlin study as evidence of the catastrophic care situation in Germany and pleaded for better quality controls for the 600 000 people mostly over 80 years old living in care facilities In recent years repeated reports of overworked staff and

    Original URL path: http://www.chninternational.com/choosing_death_over_dependence.htm (2016-02-17)
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  • Angel of Death
    I believed that I was acting in the interest of the patients and in the end for their own good she said in a statement read out by her lawyer I would like to ask the families for forgiveness After the lawyer had finished Irene B short haired and wearing glasses and an orange scarf stood up and said in a quiet voice In our world it s often not easy People get older and can keep on getting older With hindsight I regret that I intervened in people s fate I know that wasn t right that it was a crime I have to pay for State prosecutors accuse the nurse who worked in the cardiac intensive care unit of committing six murders and two attempted murders between the end of 2005 and October 2006 A desire for power The prosecution said in its opening statement that she was driven by a desire for power had acted as mistress over life and death and based her decision on her own view over which life was worth living and which wasn t The woman was arrested in October 2006 after staff at the hospital noticed an unusual increase in the incidence of deaths The son of one of the victims said he was upset by defense lawyers attempts to portray the nurse in a positive light This is about taking away life Wolfgang Arlt said as he arrived at court In my father s case it was a matter of hours but in others it was weeks months or years One witness a male nurse said Irene B had seemed burned out and had been gruff with her patients The witness named only as Gunnar F said he had seen how she turned over one patient very roughly and had

    Original URL path: http://www.chninternational.com/Germany%20angel_of_death.htm (2016-02-17)
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  • Woman used Net to find others for suicide pact
    year as in the United States which has more than double the population Last year Japan reported a record 34 427 recorded cases of suicide Woman used Net to find others for suicide pact by Yomiuri Shimbun A 34 year old woman who was found dead Tuesday after an apparent group suicide in Minanomachi Saitama Prefecture made two attempts to search for people on the Internet to kill themselves with her police said Wednesday The woman of Bunkyo Ward Tokyo was one of seven young people who committed suicide in a van that was discovered near Minoyama Koen park in the town Chichibu Police Station said adding that she had visited a suicide related Web site on the Internet on Sept 22 According to the police the woman had attempted suicide with three other women on the night of Oct 4 burning charcoal in a tent in Okutamamachi Tokyo Before the incident on Oct 4 the woman called one of her friends and said After receiving so many replies to my search on the Internet for someone to join me in committing suicide I ve decided to kill myself by a riverside On Oct 6 the woman posted another message on the same Web site again looking for someone to join her in the act The message said I want to commit suicide with a group of people male or female I ve failed once before so I think I know how to do it now Some of the seven people found dead Tuesday apparently had tied their arms and other parts of their bodies with string to the doors of the van The police believe the seven people may have followed a procedure that would ensure that they died Prosecutors sent suicide case YOKOHAMA The Kanagawa prefectural police will

    Original URL path: http://www.chninternational.com/woman_used_net_to_find_others_fo.htm (2016-02-17)
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  • Mexico introduces euthanasia leg
    s opposition to euthanasia in his homily on Sunday Euthanasia is one thing the cardinal said dying well is another The bill introduced by the Democratic Revolution Party would permit terminally ill patients to renounce every form of medical care to prolong life If the patient is unable to make the choice an immediate member of the family could decide on his behalf The legislation stipulates that there will be

    Original URL path: http://www.chninternational.com/mexico_introduces_euthanasia_leg.htm (2016-02-17)
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  • MEXICO and the push for euthanas
    Life Care Mexico Homepage IOELC IOELC provides an excellent overview of Mexico s palliative care medical ethics and more not posted on this page CHN highly recommends visiting their main Home index page link is International Observatory on End of Life Care for articles on palliative care euthanasia and end of life Cheryl Eckstein CHN Ethical Issues in Mexico The following ethical concerns in palliative care in Mexico have been mentioned in interviews conspiracy of silence amongst family and physicians and the withholding of information to patients lack of guidelines and legal framework for some medical practices conducted at the end of life such as terminal sedation or discontinuation of active treatments considering euthanasia as an option at the end of life without having enough knowledge of palliative medicine and without assessing its value and potential families misconceptions on the scope of palliative care frequently understood to be a practice close to euthanasia the futility of medically active treatments prescribed to terminally ill patients insufficient health resources allocated to end of life care Source http www eolc observatory net global analysis mexico ethical issues htm METRO MEXICO After the bill for gay couples was approved as well as the legalization

    Original URL path: http://www.chninternational.com/mexico_and_the_push_for_euthanas.htm (2016-02-17)
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