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An opinion article (by Rob Jonquière)
The request for and announcements around the euthanasia of Belgian prisoner has released tons of publications and debates around the world. At the centre of these discussions was of course the issue whether this was the definite proof of the so much feared slippery slope, or whether it demonstrated the legal and juridical strength of the law. Summarizing
HAARETZ: The recent Tel Aviv District Court ruling allowing a patient with terminal amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, also called Lou Gehrig's disease) to end his life is a courageous decision. It advances the rights of an individual vis-a-vis his life and death, above and beyond the 2005 Dying Patient Law, which allows a person to refuse life-saving medical treatment only if their life expectancy is less than six months.
Last year, the B.C. Government forged an all-party committee to study how the province’s healthcare system can be improved. As part of its research, the Select Standing Committee on Health reached out to B.C. residents for input on a number of healthcare-related questions — including the future of end-of-life care in the province. Read here Dying with Dignity Canada's Submission to B.C.'s Select Standing on Health.
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) will deliberate this week on the fate of Vincent Lambert, the 38 year old quadriplegic currently being in a vegetative state. The Strasbourg judges will consider the case at a hearing. The hearing concerns teh conflict between his wife Rachel, who wishes to "let him go" and his parents, who refuse to stop the feeding and artificial hydration of their son.
The parents challenge the decision
La Cour européenne des droits de l'Homme (CEDH) se penche mercredi sur le sort de Vincent Lambert, ce tétraplégique de 38 ans plongé dans un état végétatif. Les juges de Strasbourg vont examiner, lors d'une audience, le conflit entre son épouse Rachel, qui souhaite le "laisser partir", et ses parents, qui refusent l'arrêt de l'alimentation et de l'hydratation artificielles de leur fils. Mais il faudra encore attendre pour connaître l'épilogue de ce feuilleton judiciaire à rebondissements, la Grande chambre de la CEDH ne devant rendre son arrêt que dans au moins un à deux mois.
Council members agreed with the Federal Medical Council (Bundesärztekammer) that doctors should not routinely be asked to help patients commit suicide. But they argued that in “exceptional circumstances”, decisions of conscience by a doctor in the context of a “trusting doctor-patient relationship” should be respected. The decision is a blow to a cross-party initiative
The Assisted Suicide (Scotland) Bill (MSP Margo MacDonald) , according to its Summary, published on the Scottish Parliament official website "enables people with terminal or life, shortening illnesses or progressive conditions which are terminal or life-shortening and who wish to end their own lives to obtain assistance in doing so" by removing criminal and liability from those who provide such aid.
Developments are abundant in the United States. Here is what we see coming in the coming year:
California legislators will introduce
The campaigner for Dying with Dignity, Peter Short of Melbourne, died yesterday, less than a year since he was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer on his 57th birthday.
Earlier we have reported about the work that Peter has done for the campaign during 2014. Specifically, he has provided significant support to Senator Di Natale’s Exposure draft of the Medical Services (Dying with Dignity) Bill 2014.
Right-to-die campaigner Debbie Purdy, who won a landmark ruling to clarify the law on assisted suicide, has died. The 51-year-old from Bradford had lived with primary progressive multiple sclerosis (MS) for almost 20 years. Ms Purdy died on 23 December in London's Marie Curie Hospice.