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 He stated that if a patient wishes ensure that he will have food and fluids withdrawn then he needs to read his (Termans) book.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?
To me, these are the defining issues of our times:
1- whose life is it, anyway? Yours, or someone else's?
2- an unaccountable Judiciary.
3- whose Country is it?
There are other vital issues, of course- but these three will determine just who we really are as a nation.
And Hitler was a dog owner!
I think the reporter might be the only person who'd like to have that right denied.
You're saying that my father had no right to make the decision to not eat or drink anything until he died?
Screw you, it was his decision and his right.
Oh my! Heaven forbid we don't extinguish those outdated ideas of individualism and self-determination! Don't they all know that they are to serve the hive and their life isn't their own?!?
According to the Founding Fathers, Rights were also sacred. If you make society the judge of what a Right is worth to an individual, what an individual should do or not do with his life, then you might as well start posting with the other Right-Grabbers on DU.
I'm curious what other compulsory behaviors you favor, besides living in agony. Perhaps you'd like to force people to join a church?
Love is also respecting a person's wishes, IMHO, and not reversing their life-end preferences based on one's own preferences just because they have become delusional and unable to stop you. In fact, I think such behavior is selfish and immoral.
BINGO! Many of these people who claim to know better how to run peoples' lives than the individuals themselves are not just arrogant, but they are very disrespectful of people being individuals and not just faceless "lives"... The Culture of DisrespectTM is loving to break down our personal rights and tell us we all must live (or keep our bodies going even after we're dead) for as long as medical technology can do so, because we are enslaved to "the good of society."
The claim that "euthanasia leads to disrespect for life" is a strawman created by lumping involuntary euthanasia with voluntary euthanasia/self-determination. Since when does self-determination and personal rights lead to a disrespect for life?
" 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."
This is so convoluted it's like mental torture just reading it.
To ENSURE that you will have the great good fortune to be dehydrated to death....???? These people are crazy and evil.
There is an agenda to push euthanasia in the courts and through the legislature just as with other issues the left pushes ie.divorce, homosexual marriage and abortion. Anyone who doesn't understand this reality is in complete denial.
There is and never has been "a right to die." This is completely a modern day phenomenon. People believing in furthering Euthanasia, have exploited the reality of technological advancements to promote their cause. Of those opposing the euthanasia movement, few if any would argue that people should be kept alive indefinitely by extraordinary means like heart and lung machines.
However, those pushing the death agenda, would prematurely and actively end the lives of certain people, who are not using extraordinary means, thus interfering with the natural death process. At NO time in the history of our country was this ever perceived as a "right." Such people place themselves above God. It doesn't get more ARROGANT than that.
So you are saying that the early Christians who hurled themselves off cliffs to join their Lord were time-travelers who got that idea from modern-day times? Oh-Kay...
Silly me....I had just thought they were doing that centuries before the Church changed positions and banned suicide! I suppose the saints who committed suicide (e.g., Saint Pelagia of Antioch) were also time-travelers? If so, then why did Augustine of Hippo go to such tortuous lengths to justify the saints' suicides?
However, those pushing the death agenda[...]
You bring up the "death agenda" as a strawman but don't address those who follow the "Rights Agenda."
"According to the Founding Fathers, Rights were also sacred."
Check out what the rights are, as stated by the Founding Fathers. The rights come from God, not man. The so called "right to die" is not one of them.
Unfortunately, the current fad these days is to label any licentious desire as a "right." We've got people playing god these days, demanding all kinds of counterfeit rights.
Yes, the right to die is one of the implied rights from the delineated right to life. Similarly, the right to NOT vote is implied from the right to vote. The right to NOT practice a religion is implied from the right to practice religion. The right to stay single is implied from the right to marry. The right to stay home from rallies is implied from the right to assemble. Or do you believe that people should be compelled to gather for rallies? to marry, to attend religious services, to vote? That's not my America.
That is, the right of self-determination is given by our Creator ("divine" in Thomas Jefferson's first draft of the DoI) and is not to be taken from us, no matter how much you want the government to rule our lives.
However, what is the "right" to die? Was Terri Schiavo allowed to exercise her rights? Why have anti-suicide laws never been ruled unconstitutional?
Love is not "respecting a person's wishes" when those wishes are harmful to them. It would be like telling a drug addict "Don't try to get off of heroin, I love you and respect your wishes".
If your spouse was trying to kill themselves, slowly or quickly, would you just sit by and watch them do it?
It is the implied right, given to us by our Creator, to choose not to exercise our delineated right (given to us by our Creator) of the right to live.
Was Terri Schiavo allowed to exercise her rights?
She was allowed to marry her husband, and by doing so, she transferred much of her parents' role to Mr. Schiavo, her spouse. I don't think that was done involuntarily.
I am not a lawyer, so I cannot comment on the legal aspects of what was done (though I have heard that some decisions were done on an ex post facto basis and that upsets me if true). But from a moral standpoint, "her husband, guardian, and the courts" seem to be the best way society could decide what she would have wanted.
There was an assault on the sanctity of marriage conducted during her life, and that's sad. That doesn't mean I believe a husband has a right to kill his wife, as some might twist my words...but it means that we really have no better way to tell what she would have wanted than the way it was done, in the absence of written documentation.
Why have anti-suicide laws never been ruled unconstitutional?
Are you serious?
What test case would there be? I think that many of those who feel most passionately about this subject are no longer with us. Many find the topic important only after they are in need of relief, and the courts are so slow, many are gone before it does any good. MLK's words are especially relevant, in an odd twist: "A right delayed is a right denied." :-(