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Articles of Interest

WHEN DYING (BY PHYSICIAN-ASSISTED SUICIDE) BECOMES UNAFFORDABLE

Nancy ValkoAlthough physician-assisted suicide is consistently portrayed in major media as just a matter of taking some pills and peacefully going to sleep and die, a November 9, 2017 article titled “When Dying Becomes Unaffordable” in Medscape (a free subscription resource for medical professionals) describes a very different and alarming scenario.

This article by Roxanne Nelson, RN BSN is primarily about outrage over pharmaceutical companies drastically raising the price for secobarbital, the most commonly used sedative drug dosage prescribed for physician-assisted suicide, from less than $200 to $3000 or higher. However, the article also reveals little-known problems with the oral overdoses themselves, the ironic connection with capital punishment, the rise of lethal injections in other countries and the expected increase in the assisted suicide business.

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DADS NEED A LIFE-GIVING VOICE IN CRISIS PREGNANCIES

For years, our culture has promoted a not-so-positive definition of a man, father and husband.Dad Chld fist bumb

The crucial role of men in society and the family has been sidelined for many reasons. Whether men feel their diminished importance is due to forces
outside of themselves, or they just lack the desire to live up to their God-given responsibilities, the bottom line is, too often, the voices of men have been silent in the life decision.

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AUTOMATIC PRENATAL TEST FOR DOWN SYNDROME PUTS BABIES AT GREATER RISK OF BEING SCREENED OUT

Down's Syndrome BabyEthicists and Down syndrome advocates have raised concerns about a new process for prenatally screening for chromosomal conditions, which, they say, removes the opportunity for families to receive proper counselling.

Newspapers such as the Independent have been talking about a new, “far more accurate” test, which researchers have hailed as “transformational”. The test is in fact the non-invasive prenatal screening (NIPT) which the Government announced it was rolling out last year, despite campaigners concerns.

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STEM CELLS FROM UMBILICAL CORDS OF NEWBORN BABIES SHOW PROMISE IN REPAIRING HEART DAMAGE

Stem CellsIn a first-of-its-kind study published in Circulation Research, an American Heart Association journal, researchers from Universidad de los Andes in Chile found that stem cells derived from the umbilical cords of newborn babies may lead to repairs in damaged hearts and improvements in heart muscle.

“We are encouraged by our findings because they could pave the way to a non-invasive, promising new therapy for a group of patients who face grim odds,” said Fernando Figueroa, one of the authors of the study and a medicine professor at the University de los Andes.

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BLURRING LINE BETWEEN COMFORT AND KILLING

Dr. Annmarie HosieThe issue of euthanasia/assisted suicide is hotly debated across America and around the world.

Its advocates oversell what it delivers under report its occurrences and complications and under-estimate its impact on those involved.

Today you’ll hear from a representative of those who would be intimately involved in the euthanasia process, but whose point-of-view is hardly considered.

When the topic of euthanasia/assisted suicide comes up, typically our thoughts turn to the patient and the physician administering the lethal medication. Seldom ...

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THE AP STYLEBOOK AND HOW THE ABORTION ISSUE IS DESCRIBED

AP StylebookLet me offer just a few words about a couple of posts I’ve seen online regarding the Associated Press’ influential stylebook and the abortion issue.

If I understand the criticism it is that the new AP Stylebook has changed “pro-life” to “anti-abortion” and “pro-abortion” (or “pro-choice”) to “abortion rights.”

First things first. Clearly the change is a huge tactical and rhetorical advantage for pro-abortionists.

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ANOTHER THREAT TO CONSCIENCE RIGHTS FOR MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS

2012 New York Times:  “Instead of attempting to legalize physician-assisted suicide, we should focus our energies on what really matters: improving care for the dying — ensuring that all patients can openly talk with their physicians and families about their wishes and have access to high-quality palliative or hospice care before they suffer needless medical procedures. The appeal of physician-assisted suicide is based on a fantasy. The real goal should be a good death for all dying patients.” (Emphasis added)

2016, Journal of the American Medical Association: “CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE Euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide are increasingly being legalized, remain relatively rare, and primarily involve patients with cancer. Existing data do not indicate widespread abuse of these practices. (Emphasis added)

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THE BIOETHICS PERIL

Thousands of medical ethicists and bioethicists, as they are called, professionally guide the unthinkable on its passage through the debatable on its way to becoming the justifiable until it is finally established as the unexceptionable. — Richard John NeuhausThe late Richard John Neuhaus

If you want to see what is likely to go awry in medical ethics and public healthcare policy, pay attention to the advocacy of bioethicists—at least of those who don’t identify themselves as “conservative” or “Catholic.” In their many journal articles and presentations at academic symposia, they unabashedly advocate for discarding the sanctity- and equality-of-life ethic as our moral cornerstone. Instead, most favor invidious and systemic medical discrimination predicated on a patient’s “quality of life,” which would endow the young, healthy, and able-bodied with the highest moral value—and, hence, with the greatest claim to medical resources.

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CHRONOLOGY OF EVENTS RELATING TO ASSISTED SUICIDE AND EUTHANASIA IN MI

This is a timeline of events focusing particularly on Dr. Jack Kevorkian and the 1998 campaign to legalize assisted suicide in Michigan, one of America's crucible experiences with the issues of assisted suicide and euthanasia. For a history focused on U.S. and international events ...

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NEW YORK’S HIGHEST COURT FINDS THAT “AID-IN-DYING” IS ASSISTED SUICIDE AND THERE IS NO RIGHT TO ASSISTED SUICIDE

Gavel & SyringeThe Euthanasia Prevention Coalition commends the New York Court of Appeals for the unanimous ruling the state’s highest court made Thursday in Myers v. Schneiderman. The court found that aid-in-dying is assisted suicide and that there is no right to assisted suicide in New York.

This is not the first time that a State court has decided that aid-in-dying is assisted suicide while upholding a State assisted suicide law.

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ONE THIRD OF U.S. ADULTS HAVE ADVANCE MEDICAL DIRECTIVES

(Reuters Health) - Nearly 37 percent of Americans have advanced directives for end-of-life care if they become seriously ill or unable to make health care decisions, according to a new analysis of recent research.

Roughly half of people with living wills or other types of advanced medical directives were not suffering from a chronic illness, the researchers note.

“Improving end-of-life care has been a national conversation for some time now, presumably because it will affect all of us at some point and is a very personal matter,” said senior study author Dr. Katherine Courtright of the Fostering Improvement in End-of-Life Decision Science Program at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

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FOUR MYTHS ABOUT DOCTOR-ASSISTED SUICIDE

IN a little more than a week, voters in Massachusetts will decide whether to allow doctors to “prescribe medication, at the request of a terminally ill patient meeting certain conditions, to end that person’s life.” A similar bill is being debated in New Jersey. Unfortunately, like so many health care questions, the debate about physician-assisted suicide is confused, characterized by four major falsehoods.

PAIN The fundamental claim behind arguments for physician-assisted suicide is that most patients who desire it are experiencing excruciating physical pain. The 1996 decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit supporting a constitutional right to physician-assisted suicide in Washington State summarized the conventional wisdom: “Americans are living longer, and when they finally succumb to illness, lingering longer, either in great pain or in astuporous, semi-comatose condition that results from the infusion of vast amounts of painkilling medications.”

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THE SLED TEST

What follows here is a way of presenting a clear rationale for the defense of unborn human life. The summary here is brief, but full details of this argument can be found here.

A way to demonstrate the value of the unborn child can be offered by using the SLED test.

SLED stands for Size, Level of Development, Environment and Degree of Dependency. As the defense unfolds it is easy to see that all of the “qualifications” society places on the unborn child for continued existence are artificial and would never be imposed on a child, perhaps a toddler, present before us.

Size: we come in all sizes—big, small, short, tall. Size clearly does not determine the value of life

Level of Development---we develop as individuals throughout the continuum of our lives—we never stop learning, experiencing and expanding our abilities

Environment—we all need a place to live, food to eat and air to breathe. Some of us live in mansions, some in bungalows. Some of us eat caviar and steak, some of us eat chicken and potatoes. Some of us have full lung capacities, some of us breathe less well—but breathe we do!

Level of Development—the infant develops physically into the toddler, to the child, to the teen, to the adult, to the mature person. As he/she develops physically, mental development takes place also. We do not say that the toddler had more value than the infant or the mature person more than the adult. Again, such development is a continuum.