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Terry Schiavo's parents get Atlanta Court of Appeal to consider request for new hearing.
This is the newsletter of Right-to-Die-Europe, issue of July 2006.
Ralph Vincent, 86, took his own life in April with a note detailing his intention. In 2002 he was investigated after his wife of 56 years was found dead with a plastic bag over her head. She had been suffering from arthritis, osteoporosis and, unknowingly, invasive cancer. For 20 years they were members of the Voluntary Euthanasia Society in New Zealand. After a 7 month investigation he was not charged but his wife‘s solitary death aroused his passion for the cause.
The physician who applied terminal sedation (giving sleeping drugs and morphine in “normal” doses) to a terminally ill patient was acquitted by both the courts and the medical disciplinary tribunal; after that both the Prosecution Office and the Health Inspectorate went to appeal. He has now been again acquitted by the Court of Appeal. In its verdict the court explicitly stated that there had not been any proof of a causal connection between the medication and the death of the patient. Now the doctor awaits only the result of the appeal to the medical tribunal, due in December.
The latest edition of the WorldRTD-newsletter can be downloaded here .
The Australian parliament is likely to pass a law banning information about suicide from being given on the internet, by phone—or publication and distribution of research—on new methods of self-deliverance. Clearly aimed at Dr. Philip Nitschke and his Exit International activities, the government will be able to tap Exit’s phones, infiltrate and screen Exit’s faxes and emails, and monitor Exit’s website and listservs.
In the last two decades, surveys have consistently shown that a majority of Australians believe that terminally ill individuals should have a right to seek and obtain assistance to end their life with dignity. In 1962 it was nearly a majority (47%) and by 1978 it was up to 67%. In 2002, Roy Morgan Research found that this had become an overwhelming majority of 73% of Australians. Last month a Newspoll found this had increased even further to 80%.
Huntington Williams, 74, was charged with second degree manslaughter after he cleaned a revolver that a friend, who was dying of prostate cancer, used to kill himself. It was also suggested that Williams told the man how to aim the weapon. He was given a special form of probation—accelerated rehabilitation—and will be allowed to have the charge erased from his record if he completes the conditions of probation. He was accused of aiding in the death, not causing it.
Taken from the World Right-to-Die Newsletter issue no. 46, Januray 2005.
A Canadian great-grandmother, Evelyn Martens from Victoria, charged with aiding and abetting the suicides of two terminally ill women in 2002, was acquitted by a jury after a prolonged preliminary hearing in 2003 and a recent trial. Testimony, even from prosecution witnesses, made it clear that both women had carefully planned their self-deliverance and that they were clearly suffering unbearably from their illnesses.