Interested in more news on the Right to Die? ERGO circulates on a regular basis an electronic newslist with news from around the world.
Japanese Society JSDD published its 152nd Newsletter, to be read here.
On January 16th, the Cambridge University Union (founded in 1811, now the oldest continually operating debating society in the world), voted 207 to 67 (with 54 abstentions) to legalize Assisted Dying. Speaking in support of the motion were John Harris (Professor of Bioethics at Manchester University), Colin Brewer (retired psychiatrist, formerly on the Board of the Voluntary Euthanasia Society), and Michael Irwin
The outcome was expected, but observers were astonished at the margin of victory. By a vote of 50 to 17, the Belgian Senate has approved euthanasia for children. When the bill finally passes – which now seems quite certain – there will be no age limit for choosing to die at the hands of Belgian doctor. The next step is a vote in the lower house, which will probably take place in May.
ChinaDaily (in an article by Wang Hongy from Shanghai) reported on a recent survey by Shanghai Jiao Tong University (December 2013) , which shows that about 70% of 3400 polled residents from 34 cities 'do not object to euthanasia or can accept the idea'. This would imply that two third of Chinese have an open mind towards euthanasia.
The topic of death has long been taboo in China. In Chinese tradition,
We recently retraced an overview of Living Wills around the world, produced as part of the 2004 Tokyo WF Conference. If interested click here.
A panel set up at the request of President François Hollande on Monday (December 16, 2013) recommended legalising assisted suicide in France, where the debate on euthanasia has been revived after several tragic end-of-life stories. The suicides of two elderly couples in November and the heart wrenching testimony of a politician who watched her terminally-ill mother die after taking pills have shocked and moved France,
From The Medical Daily (Sabrina Bachai) of December 16, 2013:
A small percentage of Dutch people think that assisted suicides should be legal for the elderly who are tired of living. According to a Dutch survey published in the Journal of Medical Ethics approximately one out of every five people believe that doctors should help the elderly who are not seriously ill but who wish to die because they are tired of living their lives. “Our finding
Ireland lost a brave and dedicated pioneer for the right to have aid in dying. In The Independent she was described as follows:
Waterford TD John Halligan, who has campaigned on Ms Fleming's behalf, said politicians will be forced to "look inside their souls" in relation to how the State deals with terminally ill patients. Mr Halligan insisted that he will propose assisted suicide legislation in a bid to address a "great injustice" faced by Ms Fleming. "Every TD in the Dail, including the Taoiseach, will have to look
In a debate on patient choice at the end of life on 12 December 2013, peers have disagreed over whether terminally ill patients should be given the right to assisted dying. Labour peer Lord Dubs said "people should have the right to choose to be free from intolerable pain and discomfort – providing it is their free choice. Assisted dying with safeguards is one of the many legitimate choices that dying patients should have," he asserted.
But Conservative peer Lord McColl of Dulwich