The Dutch Death Descent

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Spirituality 01 Oct '12 22:00
  1. Standard memberRemoved
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    01 Oct '12 22:00
    from my Pastor's blog...

    The Dutch Death Descent

    The death descent has fallen on the Netherlands. It has recently been reported in Dutch news stories that 10% of all deaths are now due to doctor assisted euthanasia (meaning “good death&rdquo😉 and half of these are involuntary. But that’s not the whole story. Repeated studies reveal that doctors fail to report at least 20% of actual euthanasia deaths. So the percentage is really much higher.

    Babies with serious illnesses and disabilities are euthanized. The old and disabled are euthanized, and so too are psychiatric patients. Euthanasia among people with early stages of dementia has doubled in the last two years. In fact the total number of euthanasia cases rose 18% last year to 3, 695 people. The same rate in the United States would mean 77,000 euthanasia killings per year!

    But wait, there’s more. The Dutch Parliament is actively debating whether or not to expand the practice of assisted suicide to include those who are simply tired of life, those who are lonely, those with financial trouble, lack of social skills or those who feel that their lives are complete and are ready to end it. In fact, medically assisted euthanasia is so prevalent in the Netherlands that those who don’t want to be knocked off carry “please don’t euthanize me” cards! Seriously!

    Belgium has also legalized euthanasia and the Swiss have walk in clinics. Will “The Good Death Store” franchise open across all of Europe? Will it cross the pond and come to the good ole’ USA? It may be coming sooner than you think. In The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obama care) the law makes a specific reference to assisted suicide. It does not prohibit it. What it does do is prohibit discrimination against hospitals and other institutions that do not provide for assisted suicide. In other words euthanasia is expected (section 1553 of the law).

    Note: Just came across a story that the elderly are being euthanized in England (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2161869/Top-doctors-chilling-claim-The-NHS-kills-130000)

    Once a culture agrees that some suicides are good or that intentionally ending the lives of the seriously ill and disabled is permissible, the categories for who can be killed will continue to expand. Don’t doubt it. The Bible reveals that human life is sacred. First, Genesis 1:26-27 reveals the truth that both men and women are made in the image of God. We are different than apes or birds or dogs—you don’t just put us down. Secondly, in Genesis 9:6, God forbids murder because people bear His image.

    Since human life bears the image of God, no other human being has the right to simply take it. A part of the Hippocratic Oath states, “I will not give a lethal drug to anyone if I am asked, nor will I advise such a plan; and similarly I will not give a woman a pessary to cause an abortion. But I will preserve the purity of my life and my arts.” Some physicians should take heed to their oath. Just saying.
  2. Standard memberSwissGambit
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    01 Oct '12 22:221 edit
    Originally posted by checkbaiter
    from my Pastor's blog...

    The Dutch Death Descent

    The death descent has fallen on the Netherlands. It has recently been reported in Dutch news stories that 10% of all deaths are now due to doctor assisted euthanasia (meaning “good death&rdquo😉 and half of these are involuntary. But that’s not the whole story. Repeated studies reveal that doctors fail to ...[text shortened]... he purity of my life and my arts.” Some physicians should take heed to their oath. Just saying.
    Slippery Slope argument.
  3. Standard memberfinnegan
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    01 Oct '12 22:451 edit
    Yes the original oath does include the phrases you quote and starts with the following:
    I swear by Apollo Physician and Asclepius and Hygieia and Panaceia and all the gods and goddesses, making them my witnesses, that I will fulfill according to my ability and judgment this oath and this covenant:

    I take it you will want to sustain your insistence on the original version of the oath by retaining it in its entirety including this key opening phrase without which it is not an oath at all of course.

    Alternatively, you may wish to modernise and revise the wording and the content, in which case you will agree that modernising and revising is legitimate. The current version of the Geneva declaration reads in full:
    AT THE TIME OF BEING ADMITTED AS A MEMBER OF THE MEDICAL PROFESSION:

    I SOLEMNLY PLEDGE to consecrate my life to the service of humanity;
    I WILL GIVE to my teachers the respect and gratitude that is their due;
    I WILL PRACTISE my profession with conscience and dignity;
    THE HEALTH OF MY PATIENT will be my first consideration;
    I WILL RESPECT the secrets that are confided in me, even after the patient has died;
    I WILL MAINTAIN by all the means in my power, the honour and the noble traditions of the medical profession;
    MY COLLEAGUES will be my sisters and brothers;
    I WILL NOT PERMIT considerations of age, disease or disability, creed, ethnic origin, gender, nationality, political affiliation, race, sexual orientation, social standing or any other factor to intervene between my duty and my patient;
    I WILL MAINTAIN the utmost respect for human life;
    I WILL NOT USE my medical knowledge to violate human rights and civil liberties, even under threat;
    I MAKE THESE PROMISES solemnly, freely and upon my honour.

    I will gamble that you do not like the Geneva Declaration and will want to start a debate as to what should be in the oath and what should not. Just remember as you do that this oath is not bibilical - it is from those awful Greeks. And you need to get general agreement to the oath, not just the support of your particular faith group.

    In reality many doctors take no oath whatever on being admitted to practice. Again it will be interesting to hear the terms on which you would recommend imposing such an oath upon the medical profession.

    Personally, I am interested that there is no commitment to the priority of informed patient consent to any treatment. There remains the assumption that the doctor can best judge the health priorities and need of the patient.
  4. Standard memberfinnegan
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    01 Oct '12 22:594 edits
    Originally posted by checkbaiter
    from my Pastor's blog...

    ....
    Babies with serious illnesses and disabilities are euthanized. The old and disabled are euthanized, and so too are psychiatric patients. Euthanasia among people with early stages of dementia has doubled in the last two years.

    Gosh are these not the very people whom one would expect to benefit from euthenasia? And would not an awful lot of people die each year of the devastating conditions such as dementia to which you refer? And if they do not give informed consent at a relatively early stage of dementia, then how would they do so in an advanced stage? Some people are intelligent and informed enough to understand their prognosis.

    I for one expect to die in due course and would very much wish to die with dignity. Have you not seen the evidence of the disgraceful way in which most people are allowed to die in order to protect the sensitivities of their carers? I wish I could be reassured of protection against the typical types of care with which we are threatened in our final days.

    For babies of course the duty of care and informed consent has to rest with parents and carers on their behalf. Again, many are allowed to suffer greatly because modern society is too immature and selfish to take responsibility for decisions that we make more readily for our pets.

    You know what? Christians seem to have a staggeringly gothic attitude to the notion of our mortality. Maybe that is why they cling so despairingly to the prospect of an after life and eternal banality. Get over it guys. We die - that is part of the package.

    Obviously informed consent becomes centrally important - hence my remark earlier about the current if not all versions of the Hippocratic Oath. With or without euthenasis we all have grounds to be scared stiff of our doctors.
  5. Standard memberwolfgang59
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    01 Oct '12 23:22
    Originally posted by checkbaiter
    The Bible reveals that human life is sacred. ...

    Since human life bears the image of God, no other human being has the right to simply take it. .
    From wiki
    Under current Dutch law, euthanasia by doctors is only legal in cases of "hopeless and unbearable" suffering. In practice this means that it is limited to those suffering from serious medical conditions and in considerable pain. Helping somebody to commit suicide without meeting the qualifications of the current Dutch euthanasia law is illegal

    The current debate (initaiated by a popular movement) is intended to expand the scope of current law.

    The growing percentage of death by euthanasia is for me a vindication of the law.

    And why you think quoting something from your superstitious book should forbid me from controlling my life is beyond me!
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    02 Oct '12 00:26
    Gosh are these not the very people whom one would expect to benefit from euthenasia?

    What others do you believe would benefit from euthanasia ??
    Surely there must be more if you see a 'benefit'. Please share. How Ill do the babies have to be? How old or infirm must the elderly be. What about down syndrome, or child hood cancer?

    I personally knew a family who's child died from cystic fibrosis. I don't think they would have traded those 11 years that they spent with their son for anything , except maybe a cure. Your line of thought would have put him into your 'benefit' of euthanasia.

    Your statements are thoughtless and crude.
  7. Standard memberSwissGambit
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    02 Oct '12 00:30
    Originally posted by boonon
    Your statements are thoughtless and crude.
    You can only use the plural "statements" if you read more than the first one. 🙄
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    02 Oct '12 00:44
    Originally posted by SwissGambit
    You can only use the plural "statements" if you read more than the first one. 🙄
    Thanks. I have read others but you are correct, I was referring to that post.
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    02 Oct '12 00:55
    Originally posted by checkbaiter
    from my Pastor's blog...

    The Dutch Death Descent

    The death descent has fallen on the Netherlands. It has recently been reported in Dutch news stories that 10% of all deaths are now due to doctor assisted euthanasia (meaning “good death&rdquo😉 and half of these are involuntary. But that’s not the whole story. Repeated studies reveal that doctors fail to ...[text shortened]... he purity of my life and my arts.” Some physicians should take heed to their oath. Just saying.
    Anyone forming an informed opinion on Netherlands euthanasia should check a number of sources. Here's one.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/euthanasia-in-the-netherlands-rick-santorums-bogus-statistics/2012/02/21/gIQAJaRbSR_blog.html

    I don't know how Santorum's statistics match up with the blog you mention. But the statement "10% of all deaths are now due to doctor assisted euthanasia (meaning “good death&rdquo😉 and half of these are involuntary" is challenged in the link I cite.

    One comment: One would expect euthanasia to replace some percentage of deaths from diseases. That's what it's for, mainly.
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    02 Oct '12 00:581 edit
  11. Melbourne, Australia
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    02 Oct '12 04:00
    Originally posted by checkbaiter
    from my Pastor's blog...

    The Dutch Death Descent

    The death descent has fallen on the Netherlands. It has recently been reported in Dutch news stories that 10% of all deaths are now due to doctor assisted euthanasia (meaning “good death&rdquo😉 and half of these are involuntary. But that’s not the whole story. Repeated studies reveal that doctors fail to ...[text shortened]... he purity of my life and my arts.” Some physicians should take heed to their oath. Just saying.
    These are big claims. Do you have evidence or links or objective reports of the extent of euthanasia in Holland, beyond your pastor's newsletter? I have encountered bogus claims on this subject before. I will also search for myself.

    I do not find the extent implied here credible and I would be greatly concerned if it was practiced so freely and without seeming restriction. Sounds like Nazi stuff. One or small number of special case/s in any category does not mean wholehearted slaughter in that category, that you or your pastor make it out to be.
    How many psychiatric patients have been euthanased?
    How many people have been euthanased without their previous written request and consent (prior to loss of ability to decide because of dementia etc of any sort? They would be classed as "involuntary".
    I have worked as a psychiatric nurse with the elderly. People can linger for years in a vegetative state, totally dependent for their every need, with loss of human dignity in circumstances we would put down our beloved pet. Some are found consuming their own excreta because of dementia. Families are heartbroken, unable to communicate with their loved one. People with advanced dementia can't communicate if they are in pain. Being slowly consumed by gangrene isn't pretty either.
    Let's get ALL the facts on the table.

    I accept limited voluntary euthanansia in medically approved terminal situations, under tight legal controls.
  12. Standard memberChessPraxis
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    02 Oct '12 04:04
    Originally posted by checkbaiter
    from my Pastor's blog...

    The Dutch Death Descent

    The death descent has fallen on the Netherlands. It has recently been reported in Dutch news stories that 10% of all deaths are now due to doctor assisted euthanasia (meaning “good death&rdquo😉 and half of these are involuntary. But that’s not the whole story. Repeated studies reveal that doctors fail to ...[text shortened]... he purity of my life and my arts.” Some physicians should take heed to their oath. Just saying.
    RHP would be totally empty. 😕
  13. Standard memberfinnegan
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    02 Oct '12 11:18
    Originally posted by boonon
    Gosh are these not the very people whom one would expect to benefit from euthenasia?

    What others do you believe would benefit from euthanasia ??
    Surely there must be more if you see a 'benefit'. Please share. How Ill do the babies have to be? How old or infirm must the elderly be. What about down syndrome, or child hood cancer?

    I personally knew a fam ...[text shortened]... e put him into your 'benefit' of euthanasia.

    Your statements are thoughtless and crude.
    Under the best conditions with the right resources then very grave illness and the process of death can be managed with deep compassion and the individual relieved of suffering sufficiently to have a meaningful and welcome experience of the conditions thy cannot avoid.

    Most people I have seen interviewed have said that the reassurance of knowing they will not be allowed to linger in excessive misery or pain would probably be sufficient to enable them to endure. Many have been quite explicit that they acted to obtain euthenasia earlier than they might have preferred because if they left it any later they would no longer have the capacity to secure euthenasia.

    However the brutal reality from which we are protected by our hospital systems and western medical science is that for a huge number of people, hidden away behind screens, the process of dying is extended, painful and grotesque. We force them to endure suffering that ought to be avoidable and not out of the slightest illusion that they might be cured or they might recover or they might even be grateful, but simply because we are too careful of our own sensitivites to act on behalf of another in mortal pain.

    The legal campaigns against euthenasia have also discouraged many doctors from applying the level of relief that was available in the past. It has always been the job of a doctor to manage dying. That job is being transformed by religious fanatics looking over their shoulders with absoutely zero empathy for the patient, negligible acceptance of medical evidence and a confused wish to promote abstract ideals in which the suffering of individuals takes second place to their spiritual zealotry. Some religious fanatics (the saintly Mother Theresa was one) have the arrogance to assert that pain and suffering are good things and indeed do not justify even good quality pain relief. (Of course she herself had the best, privately funded health care.)


    By all means huge and important ethical issues arise and must be incorporated into the care of those facing death. The complexity of these ethical issues is not addressed through the simplistic moral lens of the religious enthusiast. For example, we have access to technology that can prolong life almost indefinitely under horrible conditions, treating the patient as a mushroom or cauliflower to be sustained in a life that is not a human life. We have been told repeatedly by the victims of such care, in the occasional crcumstances where they can communicate, that this is contrary to their wishes. Some have gone to court to beg for the right to die and been turned away. People in these situations understand death and can accept death. If we have any right at all to insist on informed consent as a condition for the practice of medicine, then the right to make an informed choice of a well managed death is part of that fundametal right.
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