Skip to comments.‘Right’ to be Dehydrated Key Right to Die Strategy
Posted on 09/21/2006 1:51:58 PM PDT by wagglebee
TORONTO, September 20, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) At last weeks Toronto conference of the international Right to Die movement, speakers laid out the course of the movements strategy for legalization of euthanasia and assisted suicide around the world.
Of particular note is the emphasis on the right to be starved and dehydrated to death, especially for patients suffering from dementia or cognitive disabilities.
Seeing a catch-22 in the dementia and euthanasia problem, the Right to Die movement says the problem is that some, while unwilling to end life prematurely, know that it requires mental competence to take personal responsibility for choosing a peaceful death at the right time. The difficulty is that when a patient is incapacitated by dementia and unable to make his wishes known, family members may intervene to stop dehydration deaths.
Removal of nutrition and hydration tubes has become a key issue in the Right to Die movements campaign. Dr. Stanley Terman warned conferees that the wishes of the family, often manipulated by the religious right is a threat to securing the right to be killed by dehydration for dementia patients.
Dr. Terman, a psychiatrist specializing in end-of-life family counselling, said the solution is a plan that satisfies desires to avoid a life of dementia, and yet protects family members from having to take steps to end the patients life.
Terman also pointed to the increasing costs of keeping dementia patients alive, echoing the running eugenic theme of the conference in favour of euthanasia as a cost-cutting measure. Terman is the author of a book, The Best Way to Say Good-bye that explains how patients can ensure they will be dehydrated to death if experiencing dementia.
Terman, with a number of other speakers, pointed to Wesley J. Smith, the lawyer and writer on bioethics issues, as a force to be reckoned with in the euthanasia debate. He stated that if a patient wishes ensure that he will have food and fluids withdrawn then he needs to read his (Termans) book. If he wishes to prevent the withdrawal or withholding of food and fluids then he needs to read Wesley Smiths books.
Another major theme of the Right to Die strategy is the issue of autonomy as a criterion for deciding end of life questions. Robert Raben, a political organizer and advisor explained how the Right to Die movement was attempting to convince politicians that their position was politically positive.
Raben says he is convinced that their message must be: Who Decides? meaning that the decision to end or sustain life must be in the hands exclusively of the patient.
The autonomy issue, he said, will play well in the US culture of individualism and choice.
In modern bioethics thinking, autonomy is often given as a key indicator in the determination of personhood. Many bioethicists argued that because Terri Schiavos disability had reduced her autonomy that she was, in effect, already dead.
Another speaker, Steve Hopcraft, the political organizer for the recent California campaign to legalize assisted suicide, said that the movement must work to ban the word suicide from its lexicon.
Hopcraft explained the results of the polling data from the California campaign. He is convinced that even though they failed to get the bill passed into law, that in fact they were so successful it is inevitable they will pass a law.
Focus groups found that when the questions were framed as issues of suicide or assisted suicide, the public was less receptive. When they used terms such as aid in dying or end of life choices they gained 15% in their polling. Media, however, were not cooperative and refused to change the language.
Hopcraft said that at the next round, the movement would frame the debate on themes of patients rights, senior citizens issues, and the right to choose.
Conference speakers included a whos who of the euthanasia and right to die world, including George Felos, the lawyer who drove the court battles to kill Terri Schiavo; Derek Humphry, Chair of the Advisory Committee of the Final Exit Network USA; Lord Joel Joffe, a member of the British House of Lords, and sponsor of a bill allowing physician aid-in-dying which is currently before the UK Parliament; Dr. Rob Jonquière, a leader in the Right to Die Society of the Netherlands.
Also in attendance was Evelyn Martens, the British Columbia woman who was acquitted of two assisted suicides in 2004 and Lesley Martin, New Zealand's most notorious euthanasia advocate who was convicted of the attempted murder of her mother; and Dr. Philip Nitschke MD, founder and director of Exit International, Australia.
Excellent idea, because what they are now talking about is clearly MURDER!
More proof that the Culture of Death was using Terri Schaivo as a "test run" for their macabre agenda.
"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." -Manuel II Paleologus
Right to Die? Let's start with those who attended the conference and see if anyone changes their mind.
Just try to go two days with no water, coffee, pop, juice, tea .. whatever ... your mind screams to be watered.
I cannot even begin to express just how evil this agenda is.
But it's euphoric, don'cha know?
If this is too inhumane to do on terrorists, then why is it okay for everyone else. Dehydration is not a pleasant way to go.
Funny, I clearly remember being told how "euphoric" it was and how "beautiful" it made the person look./sarcasm off
The distinctive stench of evil.
No coincidence there. The precedent was set, and is now being aggressively invoked.
Nothing that happened in Largo, Florida, last year happened by accident. It was too purposeful, too orchestrated, too relentless and steamrolled with too much momentum over every good (and constitutional) principal to be by accident.
I can't say why, but somebody, somewhere, wanted that precedent set. Since there is no reasonable purpose for doing so, exactly what sort of mind(s) are are we dealing with?
Call it what you like. but I've never heard of a person whose actual preference was to be dehydrated to death slowly. Those who wish to be dispatched when their physical and/or mental condition reaches a certain point, want a lethal injection or other quick and guaranteed-painless means. It's appalling to me that legislators and courts are willing to authorize death-by-dehydration, but will not authorize death-by-injection. They're willing to say that in some cases it's appropriate to make a decision to stop keeping someone alive (which I happen to agree with), but then don't have the decency to see to it that it's done in a way which eliminates the possibility of any suffering on the part of the dying person, and minimizes the anguish of relatives of friends. Death is guaranteed either way -- why pretend that there's some ethical superiority to standing by passively and ensuring that it happens slowly?
If you take a terminally ill and apparently unconscious pet to the vet, having made the decision that it's life is no longer worth living, the vet does not have the legal option to just leave the animal lying in a cage without IV hydration/nutrition and just wait a few days until it dries up and dies. So why does anyone think it's okay to do that with people?
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