Wesley J. Smith

Nursing home won’t starve mother to death: family sues

Wesley J. Smith

This is how far the culture of death has come. 

I reported earlier about the controversy in Canada in which a family wants a nursing home to stop spoon feeding their mother because she would not want to be kept alive with Alzheimer’s. But no one has the right to be starved. They have the right to refuse medical treatment–for example when sustenance has to be provided by tube. But “artificial nutrition and hydration” may be medical treatment under the law–I would prefer it weren’t–but spoon feeding is humane care that should never be denied. 

But don’t tell that to the family. They are suing because a nursing home refuses to starve their mother to death! From the Leader-Post story:

The actions of Abbotsford nursing home staff who are spoon-feeding an 82-year-old Alzheimer’s patient — contrary to the wishes she expressed in her living will — constitute battery, a lawsuit by her daughter and husband alleges. The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in B.C. Supreme Court against Fraser Health, the nursing home and the provincial government, is expected to be precedent-setting as it should clarify end-of-life rights of patients and the obligations of health providers.

So, if a person wrote in their advance directive that they don’t want to be kept warm, should they be denied blankets?  If they said they don’t want turning so they get bed sores and die sooner, should that be done? Or is the right to be made dead now sacrosanct?

If the family wins this case, the right to refuse medical treatment will become the right to be neglected to death. And what will happen to the nursing and medical professions if they are required to deny people the basics of life until death? Can you imagine the number of people that will quit the sector?

We don’t–and shouldn’t–have a right to force health care workers to make us dead. And we sure shouldn’t be able to order others to starve us when we willingly eat. Color me utterly disgusted. 

Reprinted with permission from Human Exceptionalism

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Active euthanasia comes to North America

Wesley J. Smith
Wesley J. Smith
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The poison has jumped across the Atlantic from Netherlands and Belgium: Quebec has legalized active euthanasia.

I have discussed the contents of new law at length previously and I don’t want to repeat myself.  However, the bill did undergo some changes since I wrote about it, and there are certain sections of the new law that need to be emphasized, so here goes:

The euphemism for homicide in the law is “aid in dying,” which in turn, is defined as part of “end of life care.

Receiving “end of life care”–including euthanasia–is now a positive right. From the law (my emphasis):

RIGHTS WITH RESPECT TO END-OF-LIFE CARE: 4. Every person whose condition requires it has the right to receive end-of-life care subject to the specific requirements established by this Act.

Such care is provided to the person in a facility maintained by an institution, in a palliative care hospice or at home.

This isn’t just the right to ask and receive suicide assistance from a willing doctor, with no guarantee you will get it–as in Oregon. It is the positive right to be subjected to lethal-injection euthanasia or terminal sedation at the hand of the doctor you asked or someone his supervisor finds to kill you. 

This means every institution that cares for the seriously ill, elderly, and injured must offer euthanasia:

7. Every institution must offer end-of-life care and ensure that it is provided to the persons requiring it in continuity and complementarity with any other care that is or has been provided to them.

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Those eligible for euthanasia must:

(2) be of full age and capable of giving consent to care;
(3) be at the end of life;
(4) suffer from a serious and incurable illness;
(5) be in an advanced state of irreversible decline in capability; and (6) experience constant and unbearable physical or psychological suffering which cannot be relieved in a manner the patient deems tolerable.

Loose terms that will easily be subject to interpretation. I don’t believe for a second that these “limitations” mean anything much at all, except perhaps at first. So, within a few years, expect Quebec horrors similar to those I have repeatedly discussed from the Netherlands and Belgium.

Doctors and nurses must be complicit. That is they must inform their supervisors if they refuse to provide aid in dying. That supervisor or executive must then find a doctor willing to kill. I suspect many Hippocratic believing doctors will soon hear the words, “You’re fired!” or have some other limitations imposed on his or her practice.

And get this! Doctors, nurses, and pharmacist organizations are required to establish how-to-kill-your patients classes!

33. The council of physicians, dentists and pharmacists established for an institution must, in collaboration with the council of nurses of the institution, adopt clinical protocols for continuous palliative sedation and medical aid in dying. The protocols must comply with the clinical standards developed by the professional orders concerned.

Imagine you are a doctor, nurse, dentist (?!), pharmacist–even a hospice or nursing home administrator: You went into medicine to be a healer. You are now told that also have to be part of a bureaucratic killing system. And if you object? Prepare for professional ostracism, possible loss of position and/or license, and you can kiss any promotion goodbye.

Quebec’s reverse two-and-a-half somersaults, tuck dive into the doctor-administered death abyss is a glaring symptom of a deadly parasitic social affliction that is sucking the true meaning of compassion, professionalism, and righteousness clean out of our culture.

Reprinted with permission from National Review Online

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Assisted suicides in Washington state jump 43% in one year

Wesley J. Smith
Wesley J. Smith
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Assisted suicide is on the rise in Washington.  From the Seattle Times story:

More than 100 people died in Washington last year after requesting and taking a lethal prescription through Washington’s Death with Dignity law, the state’s Department of Health reported Wednesday.

Officials said that 173 people requested and received lethal doses of medication in 2013, a 43 percent increase from the year before.

And in every one of these deaths, the doctors were legally required to lie on the death certificates that the deaths were from natural causes. That’s downright corrupting of the medical system.

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Assisted suicide is sold with vivid tales of unbearable pain that can’t be controlled. But, as in Oregon, that is proved a typical assisted suicide lie:

Most of the people who asked their doctors for a lethal prescription told them they were concerned about losing autonomy, dignity or the ability to participate in activities that made life enjoyable. 

They key here is for doctors to declare their offices “assisted suicide free zones.” I think plaques to that effect should be made to be hung on office walls.

I would also like to see physicians attend demonstrations and publicly take the Hippocratic Oath. Just because something is legal, doesn’t make it right.

Reprinted with permission from National Review Online

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If we approve ‘3-parent children’ we’d be permitting blatant human experimentation on kids

Wesley J. Smith
Wesley J. Smith
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If the “we never say no” Human Embryo Authority in the UK approves the creation of 3-parent embryos, it would be permitting blatant human experimentation on children.

Indeed, I don’t see any other way to look at it. Note the quote below. From the Associated Press story:

Britain’s fertility regulator says controversial techniques to create embryos from the DNA of three people “do not appear to be unsafe” even though no one has ever received the treatment, according to a new report released Tuesday.

The report based its conclusion largely on lab tests and some animal experiments and called for further experiments before patients are treated. “Until a healthy baby is born, we cannot say 100 percent that these techniques are safe,” said Dr. Andy Greenfield, who chaired the expert panel behind the report.

So, to prevent a child being born with a genetic condition we will endanger that child for a potential lifetime of consequences. Or to put it another way, these children will be life-long experiments, even if they are born safely–a big if.

This is not going to be a matter of a once off and then all is okay. You are using, in essence, a twice broken egg.  Moreover, there have been health issues with animal models made in this way, not to mention cloned animals which similarly require the use of broken eggs–and this after many years of refining the cloning technique.

But let’s get to the heart of this controversy. In the end, the drive to manufacture three parent children isn’t really about allowing women with particular heritable genetic conditions to have biologically related children who won’t pass on the disease. That’s the pretext.

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I believe that all of this effort is about continuing to pry open the door to anything goes in the reproductive sphere–for various cultural and political purposes, including making it easier to obtain future license for human genetic engineering.

Reprinted with permission from National Review Online

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