Pages tagged "Suicide Prevention"
Isn't assisted suicide really suicide?
Jan 21, 2015
By Alex SchadenbergExecutive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition published 20th Jan 2015 Yesterday Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister in the UK, announced at a mental health conference, the overnment's intention to reduce suicide to zero by working in cooperation with every part of the National Health Service and other agencies.According to The Telegraph news, Clegg is modeling this suicide prevention program on the successful program that was implemented in Detroit Michigan. The article stated:... every suicide is preventable if NHS trusts provide better care for people suffering from depression and other serious illnesses. The "zero suicides" target can be met through simple measures, such as keeping in touch with patients who have been discharged from mental health wards and creating a plan so that patients and their friends know whom to contact if they are placing themselves in danger. Police and transport agencies will be called on to examine whether safety measures can be put in place in "hot zones" where high numbers of suicides occur, such as shopping centres or bridges. The plans have been inspired by a mental health programme in Detroit, US, where a "zero suicide" commitment resulted in no-one in the care of state depression services taking their lives in two years. Continue reading
Dr Death still Mr Death after suspension appeal loss
Jan 07, 2015
Australia 6th January In a media release today from the Exit International Organisation, suspended Doctor, Philip Nitschke, often dubbed 'Dr Death', notes that the Northern Territory Health Professional Review Tribunal has rejected his appeal against the suspension of his medical practice certificate by the South Australian Medical Board.Nitschke was suspended from medical practice in July 2014 after an ABC Western Australia TV interview regarding the death of Perth man, Nigel Brayley drew the ire of suicide prevention organisations. The medical board said it was necessary to suspend Nitschke immediately over the need to 'protect public health or safety'. Nitschke appealed the suspension on a number of grounds; most notably that he had no professional relationship and therefore no duty of care as a doctor towards Nigel Brayley's welfare in regards to his decision to commit suicide.The tribunal appeal hearings, originally to be heard in Adelaide, South Australia, were eventually heard in Darwin, Northern Territory over three days in November after Nitschke successfully argued that the place of his medical registration was the appropriate place for the hearings.Nitschke says in his press statement that he intends to appeal the suspension decision to the NT Supreme Court claiming that the Tribunal made 'clear errors in law'.The suspension itself was made pending the hearing of 12 complaints lodged with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency over the last three years against Nitschke, including one by this author over two years ago in respect to the promotion of suicide apparatus using nitrogen.These hearings, according to news reports, will take place sometime in 2015; again most likely in Darwin.This follows the cancellation last month in Maryland USA, in an unrelated case, of the medical licence of Lawrence Egbert dubbed 'The New Doctor Death'. Egbert, an 'exit guide' for the Final Exit Network in the US was implicated in the suicide deaths of six elderly people. From Alex Schadenberg's report:After a two year review, the Maryland Board of Physicians revoked his medical license after deciding that Egbert's actions were unethical and illegal. Egbert has said that he plans to appeal.An article in the Baltimore Sun stated:A Baltimore anaesthesiologist who made national news as "The New Doctor Death" held six elderly Marylanders' hands as they asphyxiated themselves with helium and covered up the suicides after they died, according to a state order filed this month stripping him of his medical license. Notice that Egbert held their hands to ensure that they couldn't remove the asphyxiation bag. He should have been charged with homicide, not assisted suicide. The article continued:The suicides are among nearly 300 Lawrence D. Egbert said he helped arrange across the country as an "exit guide" for right-to-die group Final Exit Network. He and several colleagues were arrested in 2009 amid an undercover investigation in Georgia, but he avoided any punishment there or in another case in Arizona. He awaits trial for assisting in a suicide in Minnesota. Continue reading
Brittany Maynard story: a suicide contagion.
Dec 30, 2014
By Alex SchadenbergExecutive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition In an article about the opinion of physicians on assisted suicide, Dr Will Johnston, the Chair of EPC - BC comments on the effects of the Brittany Maynard story. Johnston states:"The social threshold of inhibition against suicide has been steadily eroded by the rhetorical strategy of calling for an endorsement of suicide in hard cases through labeling such endorsement [as] compassionate," he said. "The Brittany Maynard tragedy is a prime example of this."Johnston then comments on how the Maynard story has caused a suicide contagion effect:"We see how suicide contagion works when the media admire the suicidal person and speak of suicide as a form of heroism," Johnston said. "I hospitalized a young suicidal patient 10 days ago who told me how he had done an Internet search for suicide drugs after watching the slick video glamorizing Brittany which was produced by the Hemlock Society (now Compassion & Choices)." Continue reading
The utopian dream of controlling the uncontrollable
Sep 09, 2014
Two recent articles on euthanasia and assisted suicide in the Australian press serve to highlight the dilemma of the form of any legislation that might be proposed as well as the reality of what crossing the Rubicon of the prohibition on killing or assisting in suicide will mean for a society like ours. Senator David Leyonhjelm (Assisted Suicide. OnLine Opinion, 8 Sept) poses the classical libertarian view (that: 'permission from government should not be required') while The Age writer, Julia Medew records the view of one of the doctors she interviews as seeking legislative control (Don't-tell doctors supporting secret euthanasia deaths The Age, 7 Sept).Medew's premise is the classic shibboleth of 'it's happening now, so let's legalise it'. Continue reading
Robin Williams and the hypocrisy of Suicide Prevention Organisations
Aug 26, 2014
By Stephen Drake, Research Analyst with Not Dead Yet USA The sudden emergence of suicide prevention organizations and their representatives in the media responding to the death of Robin Williams has been mind-blowingly outrageous to me - I track the suicide coverage - assisted and non-assisted - of old, ill and disabled people regularly. It's part of my job. A near-constant in reading and watching that coverage has been the near-total absence of suicide prevention organizations and professionals in reacting to any suicide of old, ill or elderly people labelled as "right to die," death with dignity," "end of life," "assisted suicide" or any other terminology that seeks to differentiate the suicides of some people from the larger group deemed as "preventable tragedies."In the aftermath of Robin Williams' apparent suicide, suicide prevention experts and the press want to take special care about warning the public and make sure that the coverage of his death doesn't spark a rise in suicidal behavior. Here's a sampling of the reactions, starting with a response to a tweet put out by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences as reported in the Washington Post: Continue reading
Assisted Suicide groups linked to suicide promotion website.
Aug 08, 2014
By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition I was reading a tragic news story about an teenage American girl who committed suicide by following instructions that she found on a suicide promotion website.This tragic story reminded me of an article that I wrote in April 2008 titled: Suicide Promotion more common than Prevention in web searches that concerned research published in the British Medical Journal indicating that there were more websites promoting suicide than preventing suicide. Continue reading
Exit clinic raided by police: another Exit death in Adelaide as HOPE renews call for National Inquiry
Aug 01, 2014
An hour after Philip Nitschke met today with South Australian Police over the recent nembutal death, in Adelaide, of former Voluntary Euthanasia Party Senate candidate, Max Bromson, his clinic in the Adelaide suburb of Gilberton was raided by police. Max Bromson took his own life by consuming the drug in a hotel room in Adelaide earlier this week in the company of members of his family. Bromson organised to video his own death ostensibly to show that he acted on his own volition.However, on advice of the death by Bromson's sister, Adelaide detectives swooped on the scene, confiscating mobile phones, devices and laptops as part of their inquiry. Continue reading
Canberra Politician slams Nitschke
Jul 30, 2014
Mary Porter is a Member of the Legislative Assembly in the Canberra (ACT) Parliament. In recent years, Ms Porter has made end-of-life issues something of a leitmotif for her parliamentary career. In the Canberra Times yesterday she attacked Philip Nitschke calling him a 'zealot' who was "far more interested in his own self-aggrandisement than he is in promoting rational debate".She added: Continue reading
Do people really have the right to a rational suicide?
Jul 28, 2014
Is there such a thing as rational suicide and, if so, should the thought that people can suicide rationally suggest we change public policy?In the current public discussion on the involvement of Exit International and Philip Nitschke int he death of a 45 year old Western Australian man I have argued that, while some literature does exist that suggests that rational suicide is possible, that this should remain int he realims of academia and not be allowed to influence suicide prevention. Continue reading
Sister's call to ban 'exit' book- another Exit death.
Jul 26, 2014
The Australian Newspaper today told another story of a family grieving at the losss of a loved one mixed up with Exit International.This story of the death of Western Australian mother of four, Erin Berg did get some media coverage after Erin's death in 2008. Her sister Ms Doyle is calling for the banning of The Peaceful Pill Handbook which, while banned from sale in Australia, is surprisingly still available in local libraries. (Maybe you might check out your local library and ask them to remove their copy!) Continue reading