May 15, 2018
Appeal lodged to rescue California choice in dying law
The East County magazine in California reported
(Sacramento) -- Hours after a judge ruled that California's assisted suicide law is illegal, state Attorney General Xavier Becerra indicated he will appeal the decision.
Judge Daniel Ottolia with the Riverside Superior Court ruled that the Legislature violated the law by passing the End of Life Option Act
during a special session devoted to healthcare issues, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The law allows terminally ill patients with less than six months to live to ask their doctors for mediations to end their own lives. In the first six months after the law went into effect in 2016, over 100 people utilized the law to terminate their lives. Over half of those patients had cancer.
Attorney General Becerra, in an email to the Los Angeles Times, stated, "We strongly disagree with this ruling and the state is seeking
expedited review in the Court of Appeal."
According to the Sacramento Bee, attorney John Kappose representing Compassion and Choices said he believes the law is constitutional because aid in dying is a healthcare issue, and he predicts the appeals court will reverse the lower court's decision.
May 2, 2018
David Goodall: 104-year old Scientist Wants to Die. His Birthday Wish is to Die
By Lindsey Beaver
Bubbles danced in fancy glasses and birthday candles burned atop a cheesecake marking 104 years of a long and accomplished life.
David Goodall listened quietly as his loved ones started to sing.
Then he took a breath, made a wish and blew out the flames.
But Goodall was not wholeheartedly celebrating the milestone last month in Perth, Australia. The botanist and ecologist, who is thought to be the country’s oldest scientist, said that he has lived too long.
And now, he said, he is ready to die.
[David Goodall has since died as he wished in Switzerland. Ed. Note]
April 17, 2018
Right-to-die Group Sues Minnesota Attorney General over 2015 Criminal Conviction Group's Attorneys Claim a Minnesota Statute Violated Its Free Speech Rights.
By Stephen Montemayor, Star Tribune
A national right-to-die group that was convicted of helping an Apple Valley woman end her life is now asking a federal judge to declare that Minnesota’s prosecution violated the group’s free-speech rights.
The Final Exit Network, a Tallahassee, Fla.-based nonprofit, sued Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson late Monday after exhausting its efforts to appeal its convictions of assisting a suicide and interfering with a death scene delivered by a Dakota County jury in 2015.
Attorneys for Final Exit argue that a critical element of a statute used to prosecute the group — assisting a suicide — amounts to “pure First Amendment-protected speech.”
Benjamin Wogsland, a spokesman for Swanson, said the Attorney General’s Office is not an appropriate party in the case and that they plan to ask that it be dismissed.
April 5, 2018
Medically Assisted Suicide Becomes Legal in Hawaii
By Sophia Yan, Associated Press
Hawaii became the latest liberal-leaning state to legalize medically assisted suicide Thursday as the governor signed a measure into law allowing doctors to fulfill requests from terminally ill patients to prescribe life-ending medication.
"It is time for terminally ill, mentally competent Hawaii residents who are suffering to make their own end-of-life choices with dignity, grace and peace," Gov. David Ige said.
Ige said the law was written to ensure the patient is in full control and it provides just one option available for end-of-life care, knowing assisted suicide is not for everyone.
"But we know that we have gotten to a point in our community that it does make sense to give the patient a choice to request the medication, obtain it and take it, or ultimately change their mind," the governor said.
April 7, 2018
When Do You Know You're Old Enough to Die? Barbara Ehrenreich Has Some Answers
By Lucy Rock
Four years ago, Barbara Ehrenreich, 76, reached the realisation that she was old enoughto die. Not that the author, journalist and political activist was sick; she just didn’t want to spoil the time she had left undergoing myriad preventive medical tests or restricting her diet in pursuit of a longer life.While she would seek help for an urgent health issue, she wouldn’t look for problems.
Now Ehrenreich felt free to enjoy herself. “I tend to worry that a lot of my friends who are my age don’t get to that point,” she tells the Guardian. “They’re frantically scrambling for new things that might prolong their lives.”
It is not a suicidal decision, she stresses. Ehrenreich has what she calls “a very keen bullshit detector” and she has done her research.
The results of this are detailed in her latest book, Natural Causes: An Epidemic of Wellness, the Certainty of Dying, and Killing Ourselves to Live Longer, published on 10 April.
Part polemic, part autobiographical, Ehrenreich – who holds a PhD in cellular immunology – casts a skeptical, sometimes witty, and scientifically rigorous eye over the beliefs we hold that we think will give us longevity. She targets the medical examinations, screenings and tests we’re subjected to in older age.
Dec. 1, 2017
U.S. News and Health Report
Health Buzz: A Man Came In With a 'DNR' Tattoo. Here's What His Doctors Did
An unconscious patient and his unusual tattoo made for quite the ethical dilemma.
By David Oliver, Associate Editor, Social Media
Doctors from the University of Miami encountered seemingly the ethical dilemma of all ethical dilemmas: A patient with "Do Not Resuscitate" tattooed on his chest, along with what seemed like his signature, arrived at the hospital unconscious and with a high blood alcohol level. Hours later, he developed low blood pressure.
"We initially decided not to honor the tattoo, invoking the principle of not choosing an irreversible path when faced with uncertainty," the doctors wrote to the editor of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Suicide is not the same as PAD
American Assn of Suicidology
The American Association of Suicidology (AAS) recognizes that the practice of physician aid in dying (PAD) is distinct from the behavior that has been traditionally and ordinarily described as “suicide.” Although there may be overlap between the two categories, legal physician assisted deaths should not be considered to be cases of suicide.
By JoNel Aleccia
Kaiser Health News
November 3, 2017
New ‘Instructions’ Could Let Dementia Patients Refuse Spoon-Feeding
Patients with advancing dementia now have a document they can add to their advanced directives.
End of Life Washington State
INSTRUCTIONS FOR REFUSING ORAL FEEDING AND DRINKING - Directives for patients with advancing dementia to add to your Living Will.
April 19, 2017
Changing the Paradigm of Advance Directives to Avoid Prolonged Dementia
By Norman L. Cantor
With the increasing prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease and similar degenerative dementias, the focus of advance directives has changed for some people. The primary specter is neither an unavoidable looming demise nor the insensate limbo of permanent unconsciousness.