Marlowe's Shade

Friday, October 28, 2005

Over 70 Subpoenas Served in New Orleans Euthanasia Investigation

From ScienceDaily

Louisiana has subpoenaed 73 people as part of an investigation as to whether euthanasia was used in a New Orleans hospital during Hurricane Katrina.

On the orders of Louisiana Attorney General Charles Foti, the subpoenas went to employees of Memorial Medical Center, which is owned by Tenet Healthcare, CNN reported.

A doctor and nurse manager had said that three days after Katrina flooded most of New Orleans Aug. 29, staff members at Memorial had repeated discussions about euthanizing patients they thought might not survive the ordeal.

After the allegations, Foti's office asked that autopsies be performed on all 45 bodies taken from the hospital after the storm.

Tenet said most of the 45 patients who died were critically ill, and about 11 patients died the weekend before the hurricane struck and were placed in the morgue.

This probe now involves 19 hospitals and nursing homes. I think many of the reports will prove to be explainable, but based on previous reports, the Memorial hospital case looks very suspicious. However it's still too early to jump to conclusions. I'm glad Louisiana AG is following up on this aggressively.
papijoe 7:49 AM |

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Support for Embryonic Stem Cell Research Based on Media Misdirection

Wesley J Smith posted this piece on his blog Monday, regarding a different sort of poll on ESCR.

This poll taken by the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) demonstrates that most people still oppose human cloning for biomedical research (and, of course, as a means of reproduction).

While majorities support embryonic stem cell research, which was sold successfully to the public as only involving the use of leftover IVF embryos due to be tossed out anyway. About therapeutic cloning, however, people are opposed. Even when the question is asked inaccurately, (leaving out the creation of a human embryo through cloning), a small majority opposes. "Do you favor or oppose using human cloning technology IF it is used ONLY to help medical research develop new treatments for disease?" The results were 43% support, 51% opposed.

So a small majority oppose the verbiage on cloning even when the whole process isn't spelled out. Here's the response when it is:

Notably, when the question is asked accurately, to wit: "Do you favor or oppose using human cloning technology IF it is used to create human embryos that will provide stem cells for human therapeutic purposes?" The support diminished and opposition increased: Thirty-four percent favored cloning under these conditions and 59 percent were opposed.

Although I still find it disturbing that about a third have no qualms even when the process is crystal clear, it is encouraging the how much opposition there is to ESCR when people are properly informed. The fact is despite the "spare embryo" smokescreen, ESCR is impossible as a therapy without using "therapeutic cloning" to create the millions of embryos needed to theoretically effect a cure. And the media has been doing such a bad job at highlighting this central issue in the debate that it can only be intentional.

And this poll shows why the sleigh-of-hand with the facts of the matter is so important to the proponents of ESCR.
papijoe 6:54 AM |

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Sponsor of UK Euthanasia Bill Speaks Out

The Guardian ran this puff piece on Lord Joel Joffe, the peer who is pushing the current euthanasia bill through Parliment. Although the blurb claims he tells the reporter "how the right to die became a lifetime's work" don't expect a lot of insight on his motives. However in his own words Lord Joffe does unintentionally expose some of the bill's biggest flaws.

Joel Joffe had just arrived on British shores, after being "exited" from South Africa, when he saw a leaflet offering life membership for the Voluntary Euthanasia Society for just 20 guineas.

The human rights lawyer, who once counted Nelson Mandela among his clients, decided to sign up. Forty years on, and now a cross-bench peer, his name has become inextricably linked with the controversial cause of legalising people's right to be helped to die.

Though he has a track record in the charity sector, Lord Joffe's energies for the past three years have been concentrated on this single issue.
"I have really not focused on anything else", he says with a smile. "It has taken up more of my time than I would care to mention."

That's about all we hear about Lord Joffe's motivation. But what ever his reasons, he is a persistant peer. This is the fourth time the bill has been proposed. One concession this time is to give up language allowing what is being defined as "voluntary euthanasia" where the doctor actively kills the patient with the patient's consent, and only allowing "physicial assisted suicide" where the patient takes his own life with the help of the doctor.

Despite the usually pleas for those in unbearable pain, the bill doesn't excluded those who are simply depressed or tired of their illness:

But the peer will not concede ground on another select committee recommendation, namely that the definition of unbearable suffering be replaced with "unrelievable" or "intractable" suffering or distress.

Lord Joffe is aware that his views are not widely shared among faith groups. Born Jewish, he describes himself as an agnostic who believes in many "religious values".

"The person who must be the judge of suffering is the patient," says Lord Joffe, pointing out that feeling that something is 'unbearable' varies with the individual.

Lord Joffe seems particularly unfamiliar with the pitfalls of the Dutch experiment, or if he is, he does not address them. And when he addresses the issue of patients who wish to die because they feel like a burden, it's hard to say if his response is a kind of moral myopia, or just insensitivity:

He counters claims made by the bill's detractors that many people with terminal illness may feel compelled to end their days prematurely to avoid being a further "burden" to their carers if the law were finally introduced.

"The key to it is that the sort of people who would ask for assisted dying are independent and used to making their own decisions in their own lives. You find carers mostly want the patients to carry on living, and the patient says: 'No, I don't want to be.' To pretend one is not a burden when one is dying of motor neurone disease is not facing up to reality.

"People are burdens and they do not want to be. The carers are the people who want to keep them alive. But it is not for the carers to decide. It is for the individuals.

"The underlying principle on which the whole bill is based upon is personal autonomy and people making decisions for themselves.

He cites the Oregon legislation at one point, but again ignores the flaw of a PAS-based law. The patient must commit the act while still able to do so himself, which creates enormous pressure on the patient to get on with it, as described in this heartrending case.

Lord Joffe has a similar blind spot regarding the concerns of the disabled:

He is bewildered by the "contradiction" within sections of the disability lobby, some of whom fear that the law will be used to discriminate against disabled people's quality of life and persuade them to end their lives instead. He returns to the fact that the law is only intended for terminally ill people, not those living with disability.

"Disabled people who have lived with disability all their lives and fight for equal rights are in a better position to withstand pressure. They have been discriminated against throughout their life. They have not capitulated to the pressure; why should they suddenly cap in the last six months of their lives?"

Lord Joffe needs to familiarize himself with the cases of Leslie Burke and Tracy Latimer. Not to mention the Groningen Protocols.

Lord Joffe does address palliative care and seems to support it as an alternative to euthanasia. What he doesn't address is that in jurisdictions where physical assisted suicide or euthanasia are allowed, palliative care is typically substandard such as in the Netherlands.

Lord Joffe is in many ways a more appealing advocate than many of his right-to-die "peers". Nowhere near as creepy as a Nitschke or Kevorkian, or as loony as a Felos. He doesn't have the puppetmaster vibe of a Soros, or the sneering distain of Dr Cranford. The Guardian piece doesn't really give us enough data points to say with any confidence what makes him tick, but he does seem to be defined by some ethical absences. All I can really say is that he seems to be a well intentioned moral cipher who leaves many of the key questions about his bill unanswered, apparently because he feels they just aren't worth addressing.
papijoe 6:49 AM |

Monday, October 24, 2005

Calling All Canadians!

LifeSite posted a link to this invaluable new site opposing Canadian euthanasia bill C-407. Every Canadian should be informed about what is one of the most poorly conceived pieces of legislation ever proposed to advance the right-to-die agenda. Basically it skips the slippery slope and goes directly to ethical free-fall.

The site has answers to your own questions about the bill, links to online petitions and links to other resource to help fight this bill. If you are a Canadian who values life or know one who does, spread the word.
papijoe 7:33 AM |

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Pet Peeves

I think Wesley J Smith is spot on in putting People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals in the vanguard of the Culture of Death. For those who believe that PETA is simply a Humane Society with good PR and nudity, Wesley has written what I think is the definitive indictment of their philosophy and agenda.

In a post this past Monday at his blog Secondhand Smoke he follows up on the story of two PETA employees who were indicted for euthanizing animals and illegally disposing of the bodies.

The two PETA workers who were charged with killing dogs and cats and dumping them in trash cans have been charged with more crimes. The biggest news is that these new charges include three counts of obtaining property under false pretenses. The property are cats and dogs. The false pretenses are, allegedly, that PETA would find them homes when the intent was always to kill them.

This story reveals the underbelly of PETA. Animal liberationists' ultimate goal is to eradicate all domesticated animals (not by killing them but preventing further breeding--which we might call doggie and kittie eugenics). This desire could explain why clearly adoptable animals have apparently been killed by PETA rather than found homes, which I wrote about here. (Yes, I know that PETA also has adopted out pets. But the group's kill to adoption ratio is much higher than local humane society shelters.)

It's ironic that the legions of pet owners that could provide the largest bloc of supporters for PETA would be the ones most opposed to it's real agenda. What is really a shock is how radical and foreign this vision is: not only does their definition of exploitation include keeping animals as pets, but the logical conclusion of this is no contact at all between humans and animals! How much advocacy do they expect for animals among a population that would never see one?

This kind of unbalanced thinking combined with their tacit approval of the eco-terrorist fringe of their movement makes PETA truly dangerous.
papijoe 7:06 AM |

Monday, October 17, 2005

UN Critical of Uganda's Successful Abstinence Program

Nothing like starting a Monday off with a smackdown of the UN courtesy of LifeSite:

The United Nations envoy to Africa, Canadian Stephen Lewis, is highly critical of an abstinence campaign that has downplayed the role of condoms but been hugely successful at reducing HIV transmission in Uganda. Population Researcher Institute's Joseph A. D'Agostino suggests that the success in combating AIDS in Uganda "isn't good enough for UN officials, whose love affair with condoms knows no bounds, and who are also angry with America for funding her own AIDS initiative in Africa instead of giving the money to them."

In addition to it's love of condoms, this is also consistant with the UN's distinct dislike for anything that saves lives in Africa.

D'Agostino hammers home his point that the UN would rather see people die than admit it's politically correct agenda has failed:

Uganda, whose abstinence campaign has been so successful as to be likened to a highly effective vaccine, has reduced HIV transmission rates from 18% to 5-7%. "No other nation in the world has achieved such success," writes D'Agostino. "Most sub-Saharan African nations, following the pro-condoms model, continue to suffer from rising HIV infection rates. Ugandan surveys show a reduction in premarital sexual activity among Ugandan youth and a reduction in extramarital activity among adults," D'Agostino added. "The result: less AIDS."

Lewis is highly critical of the US President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), which has drawn the focus of AIDS prevention away from condoms to the successful abstinence model adopted by Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni and his wife Janet. "There is no doubt in my mind that the condom crisis in Uganda is being driven by PEPFAR," Lewis said. "To impose a dogma-driven policy that is fundamentally flawed is doing damage to Africa."

"This is a bizarre inversion of the truth, and threatens to do grievous harm to the one HIV/AIDS prevention approach that has actually worked," writes D'Agostino. Even Ugandan Health Minister Jim Muhwezi denied there is no "shortage" of condoms. "There seems to be a coordinated smear campaign by those who do not want to use any other alternative simultaneously with condoms against AIDS," he said.

In 2003, the UN itself (United Nations AIDS agency - UNAIDS) admitted that condoms have a disconcerting failure rate. The study revealed that condoms are ineffective in protecting against HIV an estimated 10% of the time. The admission from the UN, which is far lower than some studies which have shown larger than 50% failure rates, is a blow to population control activists which have aggressively and misleadingly marketed condoms in the third world as 100% effective.

Again, it is hard to believe that a large humanitarian body like the UN could continue with a deadly program out of pique alone. Why doesn't anyone in the mainstream media notice the glaring conflict of interest in it's stated goal of eradicating AIDS with its other objective of reducing the population of the African continent?

"The UN's approach has failed, and its own statistics show it," D'Agostino emphasized. "HIV rates keep rising, to over 30% in some countries. Two decades of pornographic sex education and massive shipments of condoms have sent millions of young Africans to an early grave."

That's the UN's legacy to Africa in a nutshell: mosquito nets, condoms, and graves.
papijoe 10:00 AM |

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Katrina Euthanasia Reports Being Investigated

From CNN

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (CNN) -- Three days after Hurricane Katrina flooded New Orleans, staff members at the city's Memorial Medical Center had repeated discussions about euthanizing patients they thought might not survive the ordeal, according to a doctor and nurse manager who were in the hospital at the time.

The Louisiana attorney general's office is investigating allegations that mercy killings occurred and has requested that autopsies be performed on all 45 bodies taken from the hospital after the storm.

Orleans Parish coroner Frank Minyard said investigators have told him they think euthanasia may have been committed.

"They thought someone was going around injecting people with some sort of lethal medication," Minyard said. (Watch the report on possible euthanasia in New Orleans)

Dr. Bryant King, who was working at Memorial when conditions were at their worst, told CNN that while he did not witness any acts of euthanasia, "most people know something happened that shouldn't have happened."

If the report of Dr King is to be believed, it looks like this story is valid:

But King said he is convinced the discussion of euthanasia was more than talk. He said another doctor came to him at 9 a.m. Thursday and recounted a conversation with a hospital administrator and a third doctor who suggested patients be put out of their misery.

King said that the second physician -- who opposed mercy killing -- told him that "this other [third] doctor said she'd be willing to do it."

About three hours later, King said, the second-floor triage area where he was working was cleared of everyone except patients, a second hospital administrator and two doctors, including the physician who had first raised the question of mercy killing.

King said the administrator asked those who remained if they wanted to join in prayer -- something he said had not occurred at the hospital since Katrina ripped through the city.

One of the physicians then produced a handful of syringes, King said.

"I don't know what's in the syringes. ... The only thing I heard the physician say was, 'I'm going to give you something to make you feel better,' " King said.

"I don't know what the physician was going to give them, but we hadn't been given medications like that, to make people feel better, or any sort of palliative care," he said. "We hadn't been doing that up to this point."

King said he decided he would have no part of what he believed was about to happen. He grabbed his bag to leave. He said one of the doctors hugged him.

King said he doesn't know what happened next. He boarded a boat and left the hospital.

The question for me remains: Why weren't the critical patients evacuated? It's not like they didn' tknow the levees could break. And don't hospitals have generators for these kind of contingencies? This whole story screams mismanagement and neglect. And their conclusion was that the best thing they could do for the patients was to kill them?

Another point. I don't know what the ethnic background of those who were likely euthanized. But studies show that the concept of euthanasia is much less appealing to African-Americans and Latinos as it is to Caucasians. This could cause a major backlash against the right-to-die movement in those communities.

Our mentality has degenerated to the point that we see other humans as we would animals. There is compassion, but when push comes to shove, we take the easy way out and put them down.
papijoe 7:19 AM |

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

A Chorus of Opposition to Euthanasia in the UK

Leaders of different faiths have joined the outcry agains the euthanasia bill being proposed in Parliment.

Major faith groups in the United Kingdom published a joint letter to both Houses of Parliament on Friday in a bid to lobby against legalizing any forms of euthanasia ahead of this week’s debate on the proposed Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill in the House of Lords.

"We, the undersigned, hold all human life to be sacred and worthy of the utmost respect and note with concern that repeated attempts are being made to persuade Parliament to change the law on intentional killing so as to allow assisted suicide and voluntary euthanasia for those who are terminally ill," the letter read, according to the Church of England.

Nine leading figures from the six major faith groups in the U.K., representing millions of adherents, addressed all Members of Parliament and of the House of Lords concerning the moral crisis over such legislation.

The leaders include General Director of Evangelical Alliance UK Joel Edwards, Archbishop of Cardiff of the Catholic Church in Great Britain Peter Smith, Bishop of Southwark of the Church of England the Rev. Tom Butler, His Eminence Archbishop Gregorios of Thyateira and Great Britain, the Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks, Principal Muslim College and Chair Muslim Law Sharia Council Sheikh Dr M.A. Zaki Badawi and among others

Chief Rabbi Sacks was particularly eloquent in his defense of the sanctity of life:

Drawing a stark contrast between Yom Kippur when Jews ask for life and say it is G-d who decides who will die, the Chief Rabbi said: “On the face of it what could be more compassionate than to give someone wracked with pain the choice to bid life a gracious farewell? Yet there are times when the most honourable motive can't change a wrong into a right.”

Describing the pain of watching his father’s battle, he said: “He was a proud man who hated being a burden to others. How easy it would have been for him to spare us those final tormenting days. I can see him doing it. Yet he would have been so wrong – because, more than anything else, we wanted to be there with him in his suffering giving back some of the care he'd given us when we were young.

“He would have missed the last conversation we had, when I was able to tell him that our son, his eldest grandchild, had just got engaged, and he smiled, and the years fell away and for a moment he was like a young man again.”

Principled medical professionals have also put forth strong arguments against the bill, such as in this letter to The Guardian:

The bill to legalise assistance with dying, currently before the House of Lords, arises from the argument that to deny assistance is to deny the autonomy, or right to choose, of an individual. Proponents describe this denial as dehumanising, as though exercise of autonomy alone is the mark of human personhood. The humanising aspect of choice is its potential for nobility: as humans, we can reflect on our being and on the consequences of our choices. The right to choose to die with medical assistance, when placed in this context, must be weighed against the nobility of relinquishing this right if its commission would damage other, possibly more vulnerable, members of our society.
The person who is more vulnerable is the person with a terminal illness who acknowledges that the part of their life that is without suffering is over, but who is now afraid that other, powerful people may assume that they would prefer death to continuing to live in this way.

The current law presumes that life should not deliberately be ended. This protects thousands of dying people from any anxiety or uneasy self-doubt that they may be selfish not to opt for euthanasia and relieve their loved ones of a burden of care. It protects doctors from the accusation that we act to end life as we carefully adjust the doses of sedatives that are sometimes needed to control pain for terminally ill people.

To change the law so that euthanasia is permissible would immediately remove these protections, for the benefit of a small but vocal number of patients who would value their own autonomy above the protection of those even more vulnerable than themselves. This bill is clearly grounded in compassion, but it is compassion without clear vision. For the sake of the human dignity of those most vulnerable in our society, legalisation of assisted dying should not be permitted.
Dr Kathryn Mannix
Newcastle upon Tyne

We hope and pray the message gets across that better palliative care and spiritual support are the answer to the concerns of dying patients.
papijoe 7:01 AM |

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Debate on UK Euthanasia Highlights Abuse

One positive aspect of the debate that is occurring in the House of Lords, according to this Telegram op-ed piece, is that the abuses of euthanasia programs in Holland, Belgium and Oregon are being brought to light.

In Oregon, where assistance but not direct action to end a life is allowed, only one in 700 of the people who died in the state in 2003 availed themselves of the option. In Holland, however, where voluntary euthanasia was made legal in 2002 (though it had been practised for the previous 30 years), one death in 40 was attributed to a termination. There is evidence, too, that 1,000 deaths take place in Holland every year as a result of action by doctors for which no specific request has been given.

Guidelines that had been put in place in Holland to prevent this "medical decision at end of life" were soon ignored and doctors regularly commit involuntary euthanasia. The new law being discussed in Canada leapfrogs right over these guidelines. The UK has an opportunity, like the State of New York did a few years ago, to look at the results of these previous experiments and turn aside.

Some of the physicians opposing the legislation make their points elegantly:

Perhaps the most powerful argument in favour is the principle of autonomy: why should people not have control over their own deaths? But as Alan Johnson, emeritus professor of surgery at Sheffield University, pointed out, obeying the wishes of patients has never been an overriding ethical imperative for doctors. "If it were, I would have done many unnecessary operations and some harmful operations in my time as a surgeon," he told the committee. Timothy Maughan, professor of oncology at Cardiff University, said the Joffe Bill "clearly crosses a Rubicon". It would "remove a clear line where we do not kill people".

Most of Europe finds the utilitarian arguments of the right-to-die movement irresistable. Hopefully the UK will not be tempted, if not out of moral concerns, then based on a pragmatic understanding of the law of unintended consequences.
papijoe 7:36 AM |

Monday, October 10, 2005

Slip-sliding Away in the UK

Not long after the British Medical Association dropped it opposition to euthanasia, right-to-die advocates have been pushing ahead.

I've mentioned the Swiss euthanasia clinic "Dignitas" in previous posts as well as their connection with Dr Michael Irwin. Now they are opening an office in the UK:

A controversial Swiss clinic which has helped nearly 40 British people commit suicide is to open an office in the UK because of growing demand, The Independent on Sunday can reveal.

Zurich-based Dignitas has begun discussions about setting up a British branch, even though it is illegal here to help someone commit suicide. In the past three years, 37 Britons have killed themselves at its clinic. It claims to have hundreds more British members.

Despite the headline, I wouldn't assume they are immediately planning on euthanizing people in the UK. However they would be nice positioned if this debate in Parliment goes their way:

Peers are preparing to debate whether doctors should be allowed to help some terminally-ill people to die.
Anglican bishops are expected to be among the fiercest opponents to the measure, which is set to be contained in a private member's bill.

Lord Joffe said his bill would make it legal for doctors to prescribe drugs that a terminally-ill person could take to end his or her own life.

He said just having the prescription would take the pressure off patients.

The cross-bench peer previously introduced a bill proposing terminally ill people could choose "medical assistance to die".

That bill's wording proposed enabling "a competent adult who is suffering unbearably as a result of a terminal illness to receive medical assistance to die at his/her own considered and persistent request".

Lord Joffe introduced the bill in the House of Lords last year but it ran out of time in the last Parliament.

Peers are to debate the issue of assisted dying on Monday.

Lord Joffe has said he will introduce his Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill at the end of this month or in early November.

How quickly it all happens.
papijoe 7:01 AM |

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Euthanasia and the Supreme Court

As the Supreme Court of the United States heard arguments for Gonzales v. Oregon, two views of the court's response emerged. The Telegragh saw new Chief Justice John Roberts as defending the government's right to curb euthanasia. But in fact based on their quote, all he was defending was the right of the government to regulate the use of drugs:

Mr Roberts, 50, who was sworn in last week, dominated proceedings almost from their outset.

His principal argument was that to make Oregon an exception could undermine the federal regulation of addictive drugs including steroids and painkillers.

Even as Oregon's senior assistant attorney general, Robert Atkinson, was making his opening remarks, Chief Justice Roberts interrupted him to ask: "Doesn't that undermine and make enforcement possible?"

His performance won high marks from the American Right who saw it as an early sign that the court would be in good hands.

The article also had this interesting aside:

The case is particularly sensitive for the court as three of the nine justices have cancer and a fourth has a spouse who looks after children with terminal illnesses.

Overall it was more bad journalism which seems to be the rule in the UK press. Their bias towards the euthanasia agenda steamrolls over the fact that this case is about the rule of law.

From another perspective, The Family Research Council issed a press release expressing it's concern over the response of the more liberal judges in the Supreme Court.

"After hearing oral arguments in the U.S. Supreme Court today we are profoundly concerned that at least three members of the Court appear to be looking for a way to legalize euthanasia. Questioning from Justices Souter, Ginsberg, and Stevens indicated receptivity to arguments that would take America down this dangerous path," said Patrick Trueman, Senior Legal Counsel for Family Research Council (FRC).

"To pervert the medical profession so that it becomes one of killing rather than healing poses a danger to everyone, particularly the disabled. It is significant that protesters from the disabled community were out in force on the steps of the Supreme Court today," said Bill Saunders, FRC's Human Rights Counsel.

"The assistant attorney general for Oregon admitted, under skillful questioning from Chief Justice John Roberts, that Oregon's interpretation of the federal statute would permit a state to allow doctors to disburse morphine as a recreational drug. This statement undermines his case by demonstrating how absurd Oregon's view of the law is," said Trueman.

The case, Gonzales v. Oregon, concerns whether doctors in Oregon can use federally controlled drugs to kill patients. Family Research Council filed a brief with the high court arguing that the federal Controlled Substances Act gives the Attorney General of the United States the authority to stop the misuse of dangerous drugs.

FRC at least makes its bias clear, which is more than can be said of the MSM.
papijoe 5:59 AM |

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Two Stories

A Canadian Bishop speaks out against the pending euthanasia bill, and a Finnish party leader wants to take action against the Netherlands over the euthanasia of children.

An Ontario bishop has issued a pastoral letter warning that he is “deeply worried” about impending legislation to legalize euthanasia for Canada.

Describing euthanasia as “murder,” London Bishop Ronald Fabbro wrote, “Let me be clear: whether it is called euthanasia, or mercy-killing, or doctor-assisted suicide, the reality is that this Bill proposes to make murder legal in our country.”

Bishop Fabbro nails it. This Canadian bill is worse than the original Dutch guidelines.

And three cheers for the head of Finland's Christian Democrats:

Päivi Räsänen, leader of Finland's Christian Democrats, calls for the Finnish government to propose joint action against Holland to the other EU member countries. Ms Räsänen thinks other countries should intervene in Holland's plan to allow euthanasia also for incurably sick children.

According to the Dutch bill, doctors could, with consent from parents, decide whether or not to terminate a child's life. Holland is also contemplating extending euthanasia to people with congenital defects and to the demented elderly.
papijoe 6:21 AM |

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Kevorkian: No Remorse

From LifeSite

I've commented before on the media's infatuation with Jack Kevorkian.

In this recent interview, it's clear that despite his claims that he wouldn't kill again, he has lost none of his enthusiasm for euthanasia:

Euthanasia campaigner Dr. Jack Kevorkian, in an interview from prison, said he would not perform euthanasia if his 10-25 year second-degree murder conviction for killing a 52-year-old man in 1998 is commuted by Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm before he is eligible for parole in 2007.

Known as Dr. Death for his euthanasia of dozens of sick and disabled persons, Kevorkian demonstrated his recalcitrance describing the reason for his incarceration as a "so-called crime." When asked by MSNBC's Rita Cosby what he would say to the Michigan governor if he knew she was watching right now, he answered, "For the seriousness of my so-called crime, seven years is plenty." Kevorkian, 77, killed Thomas Youk, who had Lou Gehrig's disease, in 1998 and was convicted after video of the killing was aired by "60 Minutes."

"But as far as the activity goes, I have said publicly and officially that I will not perform that act again when I get out," he added from the Thumb Correctional Facility in Lapeer, Michigan. "What I'll do is what I should have done earlier, is pursue this from a legal standpoint by campaigning to get the laws changed."

One positive thing that can be said of Kevorkian is his inability to use the deceptive language of the right-to-die movement.

Commenting on Oregon's Assisted Suicide law, which will be before the US Supreme Court Wednesday, Kevorkian said the law does not go far enough. "Some patients can never use that service, because they cannot swallow," he said, criticizing the law because it does not allow active killing by physicians there.

Cosby asked Kevorkian about Terri Schiavo's death by starvation and dehydration: "Do you think after watching it that America has sort of changed its mood toward what you did?" Kevorkian responded, "If they're rational, I think they would." Adding a valid point that death by dehydration is inhumane, he continued by saying that he would have killed Terri had his [sic]husband asked him earlier. "After all that long period of time in a coma, I think she would qualify."

County officials are skeptical that his sentence will be commuted. I hope all of Kevorkian's remaining interviews will be from prison.
papijoe 5:38 AM |