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At the end of January, various newspaper reports appeared that stated that the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe had just adopted an amendment, during a debate on living wills or advance directives, which said that "euthanasia, in the sense of the intentional killing by act or omission of a dependent human being for his or her alleged benefit must always be prohibited".
This amendment was debated and agreed in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on January 25, 2012, when adopting the non-binding Resolution and Recommendation concerning Advanced Directives, Living Wills, Power of Attorneys and Consent to Treatments "Protecting Human rights and dignity by taking into account previous expressed wishes of patients" (Resolution nr 1859 (2012) and Recommendation nr 1993 (2012)).
Margo MacDonald, MSP for the Lothians of Holyrood, the Scottish Parliament, launched a new attempt to have assisted suicide legalized in Scotland. Only just over a year after the defeat (85 to 16) in the first stage of her last bill, she publishes her new one. She maintains that she learned from the last debates and public reactions enough, to have faith in the new attempt. Changes to be expected will concern, amongst others, the (then) compulsory psychiatric consultation (now out); the attendance of a "facilitator"; preregistration.
Today Georgia's Supreme Court ruled that "the Georgia law violated the free speech guarantees of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and the corresponding provision of the Georgia Constitution". This ruling directly implies that the four Final Exit Network volunteers (among which WFRtDS' President Ted Goodwin) who were arrested in 2009 and since then released on bail, were abrubtly freed from prosecution by the Georgie Bureau of Investigation. Ted Goodwin, Lawrence Egbert, Nicholas A. Sheridan and Claire H.
From 7 to 12 February 2012, NVVE Dutch RtD Society organises the first ever Film & Documentary Festival "THE END", aimed at Euthanasia and other end-of-life choices. This Festival forms part of the "Week of Euthanasia" (6-12 February, 2012), a celebration of 10 years legal Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide in the Netherlands, since on 1rst April 2002 the Euthanasia Law came into effect.
Corinthian Books anounced the release of the book "In search of Gentle Death: the fight for Your Right to Die with Dignity", written by Richard N. Coté, in April 2012.
Tom Blackwell of the Canadian National Post reported begin 20122 about the Forum Research Survey held on December 13th 2011, both in Quebec and outside. This survey showed a massive suppoirt of 67% for legalizing assisted suicide for terminally ill patients. This survey was conducted just a week before the British Columbia Supreme Court sessions on the Carter vs BC case was finished.
The long awaited report from the Commission on Assisted Dying, named after its Chairman Lord Falconer was finally released this month. Following a twelve month consultation period collecting evidence, the expert panel which makes up the Commission has published an evaluation of this evidence which aims to establish how an assisted dying law can work in practice. The Commission concluded that the choice of assisted dying could be safely offered to terminally ill people who:
According to a publication on the website of Death with Dignity National Center Massachusetts will - after gathering the requisite number of signatures - send an iniatitive on assisted suicide to the Massachusetts legislature. Pegg Sandeen, DwD National Center's Executive Director, analyses this new development on her blog "Living with Dying". Read it here.
Right to Die Europe has chosen a new board at its meeting in Luxembourg in September 2011. For 2011 - 2013 it will be constituted as follows:
Aycke Smook (NL) President
Nathalie Andrews (Be) Secretary firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael Irwin (UK) Treasurer
Mireille Kies (Lux)
Flemming Schollaert (Dk)
RtD-Europe's website will be mastered by Patrick Brücher from Luxembourg.