Month: November 2018

Suicide Machine Some Call a Glorified Gas Chamber

Opponents of euthanasia have expressed concern at the creation of a “suicide machine”, which has been developed by Dr Philip Nitschke. The well-known advocate of individuals’ right to die has regularly caused controversy by assisting what he calls “rational suicides”. Having developed machines in the past that could be used by individuals to inject themselves with …

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Open Letter To American Medical Students Concerning Assisted Suicide

Over the years, I’ve had a number of opportunities to provide presentations on disability related topics to university medical students. Instructors invited me to speak because they saw a problem in the fact that medical education included very little training on disability and independent living. That always struck me as odd considering the higher need …

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Caring for Dying Patients Without Assisted Suicide

If there is any doubt that the legalization of assisted suicide has changed the ethos of medicine, that question should be settled by Craig and Dzeng’s article, “How Should Physicians Care for Dying Patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis?” As psychiatrists and ethicists, we appreciate Craig and Dzeng’s attempt to highlight some central ethical issues involved …

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69 Year-Old Man Convicted of Aiding Wife’s Suicide for 1.4 Million Dollar Insurance Policy

Cases like Graham Robert Morant illustrate how patients are put at risk of coercion and abuse when assisted suicide becomes legal. “Graham Robert Morant was last month found guilty on two charges — counseling suicide and aiding suicide.  The court heard there had been no conviction or comparative sentences for the counseling charge in any …

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The Slippery Slope of Assisted Suicide Continues as Canada Considers Expansion of the Law to Children

Three years after Canada’s top court decriminalized doctor-assisted suicide, the federal government is about to wade into an emerging controversy: How to respond to requests from children for medical assistance in dying, or MAID. Canada’s largest children’s hospital has already gotten a taste of this thorny issue. “We had discussed that there may be a …

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Two Misleading Myths Regarding “Medical Aid in Dying”

“Assisted Dying,” “Medical Aid in Dying” (MAID), “Physician Assisted Suicide”(PAS)—by whatever label we attach to it controversy continues to swirl around the practice of prescribing a lethal drug for a patient with a putatively terminal illness.1,2 (For now, let’s leave aside the point that physicians are notoriously bad in predicting when a patient will die, …

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November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month

  If we care for patients properly at the end of life, then there really wouldn’t be a desire for assisted suicide.  Matthew Vallière, Executive Director of the Patients Rights Action Fund  explained, “The policy fight against assisted suicide is quite imperative as a hand-in-hand with things like increasing access to palliative care. Physicians in …

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