Pages tagged "voluntary stop eating and drinking (VSED)"
Jan 02, 2015
Looking at three recent deaths of public pro-euthanasia and assisted suicide advocates.It is surely a great strategy: find someone who has a difficult and maybe terminal illness to front the media calling for a change to the law on euthanasia and/or assisted suicide. The job description has a prerequisite of an emotionally charged set of circumstances guaranteed to attract media attention. Executive high-flyers with the world at their feet; good looking newly-wed whose life plans will be tragically cut short; a well-educated and obviously independent older person who wants to 'rage against the dying of the light' etc. etc. ad nauseam.The US story of 2014 of Brittany Maynard was one such tragedy that, in terms of the assisted suicide debate, virtually wrote itself. A vivacious, attractive, newly married young woman struck down by a difficult disease, not wanting to face the inevitability of her illness. Predictably, the US pro-suicide organisation formerly the Hemlock Society - now known as Compassion and Choices, packaged up the story into a media frenzy including petitions and wide editorial support for change. Being the focus of the media can be very seductive, as is the thought that one will be remembered for having championed a cause.Maynard committed suicide in Oregon using the state's assisted suicide legislation. The jury is still out on whether the media circus has actually achieved the desired result, though it did help accelerate yet-to-be finalized debates in a number of states.In 2014, three other euthanasia & assisted suicide celebrities also passed away. Like Maynard, they did not live to see the laws changed. Unlike Maynard, where they lived and died did not have so-called 'right-to-die' laws. All three, according to reports, however, received quality care at the end.Peter Short was formerly the Managing Director of Shell Coles Express in Australia. He became a public advocate for euthanasia when his oesophageal cancer returned a little over a year ago. He had always maintained that he had not made a decision about how he wanted to die but argued that people should have the 'choice' for euthanasia. On Christmas Eve he said:"Have I made up my mind around taking my own life or going the natural causes way? No I have not but can see the choice option offers timing dilemmas, that will be an interesting part of what decision is taken so maybe it is not as linear process as I had thought." Continue reading
Aug 11, 2014
Observing irony can be funny - but it always carries with it a poignancy of some kind. For example: North Korea calls itself the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Mmmm! Democratic? Similarly the US group Compassion and Choices seems to be about anything but its title description. Take its endorsement of Voluntary Stop Eating and Drinking as described on its website:Voluntarily Stopping Eating and Drinking (VSED) is a legal means to accelerate the dying process. The U.S. Supreme Court has affirmed the right of a patient to refuse any medical treatment, including food and fluids. When planned for and supported in the right circumstances, VSED can be a peaceful and gentle way of dying. Many terminally ill patients naturally lose interest in eating and drinking as their illness progresses, and may find that choosing to stop eating and drinking relieves their discomfort and other symptoms. Continue reading