Interested in more news on the Right to Die? ERGO circulates on a regular basis an electronic newslist with news from around the world.
The UK Telegraph (John Bingham and James Kirkup) reported: "the legislation of assisted suicide has moved a significant step close after the government made clear that it would not stand in way change law.Conservative and Liberal Democrat MPs and peers – including Coalition ministers – will be given a free vote on a Bill that would enable doctors to help terminally ill patients to die. The proposed legislation will come before Parliament in the next few months."
VES South Africa published its February 2014 Newsletter on the developments there.
Boudewijn Chabot, Dutch psychiatrist who extensively studied and published on self directed dying, has opened a website, where one can find information on "Taking Control of your Death", including the possibility to order books and DVD's non the subject, considering three methods: medication, stopping eating and drinking, and helium.
Libera Uscita, Italy, published its newsletter Il Punto nr 116, February 2014 (Italian only). Read it here.
Melissa Barber of Death with Dignity National Center reported on the developments in the USA: the debate over end-of-life healthcare policy reform is heating up in the North-east. Much of this is tied to the increased awareness and understanding of Death with Dignity laws resulting from the recent near victory in Massachusetts and last year's historic achievement in Vermont.
Melissa Barber keeps track on these new bills
Update from DWD Canada:
No Vote Before Two Week Recess
Quebec stumbles right at the finish line.
It was all going so very well….until it wasn’t. Quebec was poised on the threshold of a historic moment: the introduction of Bill 52. A Bill which, when passed, would for the first time in history allow Canadians to legally request medical aid in dying. A Bill which asked for better access to Palliative Care. In other words, a Bill which would provide end-of-life choice.
On 13 February the Belgian Parliament passed a bill allowing euthanasia for terminally ill children without any age limit, by 86 votes to 44, with 12 abstentions. When, as expected, the bill is signed by the king, Belgium will become the first country in the world to remove any age limit on the practice.
Vincent Lambert – a young man since 5 years in coma after a traffic accident – has become the centre of an heated debate on end-of-life decisions in France. His wife and the medical team decided, completely in accordance with the Leonetti Law and thus legally, to let him die. However his parents – fierce Catholics – did not agree and decided to have him kept alive. Even the court has ordered for him to be resuscitated.
A Swiss team of researchers - in the scope of the Swiss National Cohort Study - lead by Matthias Egger from Bern published in the International Journal of Epidemiology of January 2014 the results of their examination of socio-economic factors associated with assisted suicide. In this study they linked the suicides assisted by right-to-die associations during 2003–08 to a census-based longitudinal study of the Swiss population.
Key conclusions were: