By Michael Cook The current issue of the American Journal of Bioethics hosts a debate on whether withholding and withdrawing treatment are ethically equivalent. Intuitively most doctors feel that there is a difference between not using the “plug” and “pulling it out” – but should that “gut feeling” be respected? Most medical guidelines assume that …Continue reading "Prominent Bioethics Journal debates whether withdrawing and withholding treatment are equivalent"
By Nancy Valko When I first became a registered nurse in 1969, ICUs (intensive care units) were still new. The first one I worked was set up in the former visitors’ lounge and we learned how to read EKGs (heart tracings) by using a book. By the early 1970s, I worked in a surgical/trauma ICU …Continue reading "“We don’t want an advance directive that could be hazardous to our health!”"
By Michael Cook The Federation of Swiss Medical Doctors (FMH) has refused to include in its code of ethics new guidelines on end-of-life care proposed by the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences (SAMS). These provide that a physician may practice assisted suicide for patients presenting with “unbearable suffering” related to the symptoms of an incurable …Continue reading "Swiss doctors go head-to-head over liberal guidelines for assisted suicide"
By Nancy Valko Editor’s note. This appeared on Nancy’s blog and is reposted with permission. Back in the 1990s when I was a home health/hospice nurse, one of my most memorable patients was a woman I will call “Georgia”. When I was assigned to Georgia, I was told that she had terminal lung cancer but …Continue reading "The Power of Memories"
By Right to Life of Michigan This is the second in a five-part series contrasting the ways our society could handle end-of-life care moving forward. The right to die is an odd concept. Everyone will inevitably die. Many people fear what sort of condition they may be when they are older or suffering from a …Continue reading "“Right to Die?’ Oppose it"
By Nancy Valko An April 13 USA Today op-ed titled “Make an End-of-life plan or Lose your Money and Choices in your Dying Days” by Hattie Bryant begins with the statement “End-of-life care can bankrupt your family and rob you of choices. End the denial about dying. Make a plan in case you end up …Continue reading "You Don’t Want to be a Burden, Do You?"
By Michael Cook Editor’s note. This is excerpted from a post that appeared at Bioedge. After 30 years and 3000 attempts to propose amendments, an end-of-life bill was passed by the Italian Parliament this week which allows patients to end their lives by refusing to eat and drink. It also allows patients to express binding …Continue reading "Italy passes controversial end-of-life bill"
By Anne Fox, President Massachusetts Citizens for Life The Massachusetts Medical Society voted Saturday to drop its opposition to physicians giving lethal drugs to their patients. The resolution defines “medical aid in dying” as “the act of providing care — palliative, hospice, compassionate — to patients at the end of life.” Sounds okay but it …Continue reading "Massachusetts Medical Society drops opposition to doctor-prescribed suicide"
By Wesley J. Smith A disabled fourteen year-old girl named Jerika Bolen is being celebrated in the news. Why? Because she wants to stop medical treatment to die. From the USA Today story: Yet more than 1,000 people showed up for the party, with police and firefighters providing a motorcade. She received cards and gifts …Continue reading "Fame if Want to Die: Obscurity if Want to Live"
Another one-sided report on euthanasia, this time in the Australian state of Victoria By Paul Russell The Legal and Social Issues Committee of the Victorian Parliament handed down its long-awaited Report into End-of-Life Choices today. It makes some valuable comments and recommendations in respect to improvement in palliative care. It acknowledges that access to palliative …Continue reading "A sugar coated poison pill for Victoria"
By Wesley J. Smith David Christopher Dunn, whom Houston Methodist Hospital tried to deny wanted life-sustaining treatment, has died. Dunn authorized a constitutional attack on Texas’s odious futile care law. For the sake of future Chris Dunns, I hope that case is not mooted by his death and continues. Futile care permits hospitals to create …Continue reading "“Futile Care” Victim Dies in Texas"
By Dave Andrusko Nineteen days before she committed suicide on November 1, 2014, Brittany Maynard recorded a video demanding that California legislators endorse assisted suicide–an enormous public relations coup for Compassion & Choices. It was not the only video Mrs. Maynard recorded, however. In response to a prior video, Maggie Karner, who, like Brittany, suffered …Continue reading "A Genuine Profile in Courage: Maggie Karner, RIP"