Steven Drake of the disability rights group Not Dead Yet has written two great articles reacting to the news of 45 year old deaf twins who were “voluntarily” euthananized in Belgium because they were going blind. The men were not terminally ill, yet they met the Belgian legal criteria for euthanasia because of the "grave and incurable suffering" they experienced from knowing … [Read more...] about More on Blindness and Deafness as Reasons Not to Live
On Friday, January 11, 2013, the New York Times ran a wonderful story about a nurse who spent the last weeks of her life teaching student nurses about dying, answering their questions and letting them both observe and care for her until nine days before she died of pancreatic cancer. The article, which can be read at … [Read more...] about Hospice Does Not Equal Good Pain Relief (And Other Thoughts)
We were on vacation when newly re-elected governor Peter Shumlin made a widely-reported statement last week that he believes so-called "death with dignity" legislation will pass in Vermont in the next legislative session (http://www.vermontpressbureau.com/pot-decrim-and-death-with-dignity-according-to-shumlin-were-going-to-get-them-done/). The same article reported that … [Read more...] about Shumlin Notwithstanding, Vermonters Will Not Allow Assisted Suicide to Pass in 2013
Ira Byock, director of palliative care at Dartmouth, has spoken out again against assisted suicide in Massachusetts (http://commonhealth.wbur.org/2012/10/paliiative-care-assisted-suicide#more-23626). In a guest post on CommonHealth, the health blog of Boston radio station WBUR, he writes: We’ll still require terminally ill patients to give up treatment for their disease … [Read more...] about “It will quite literally be easier to get a lethal prescription in Massachusetts than to have hospice care through the end of your life.”
The article below, from the Lynn, Massachusetts newspaper, The Daily Item, is interesting for its reporting on a physician's insight that the top three reasons the Oregon reports say people request assistance in suicide--"loss of control, loss of enjoyment and feeling like a burden to others"--are all symptoms of treatable depression. It is also good to read that minds are … [Read more...] about Doctor: the top three reasons terminally ill patients choose to end their lives are all symptoms of clinical depression that leads to suicide, and all can be treated.