Thursday, 16 February 2012

Liverpool Care Pathway – And The Culture Of Death

Assisted Suicide a Medical Treatment

Cheryl K. Smith, a staff lawyer for the Hemlock Society, now Compassion in Dying, was a principal drafter (65) of the Oregon Death with Dignity Act, the law that has transformed assisted suicide into a medical treatment in Oregon. 

According to news accounts,

Nitschke, outspoken proponent of the right to die, had a somewhat troubled childhood. As a young teen, he was deeply unhappy and, at the age of 15, he took out his frustrations by killing a neighbour's dog. He devised a plan in which he faked going to church on Sunday, then doubled back to the neighbour's house to strangle the dog. When the dog didn't die, he slit its throat with a knife.

The story has caused embarrassment to Nitschke over the years. But he has explained it by chalking it up to his immaturity. "I was very young; I just didn't have the world experience to be able to make good judgments," he told the Sydney Morning Herald. "It was the ill-considered action of a child,” he says now.

Opponents to the legalisation of euthanasia point out that according to Nitschke's logic, a 15-year-old who kills a neighbour's dog is exhibiting the actions of a child who is too immature to make good judgments, but a child who decides to kill himself is, apparently, to be regarded as sufficiently mature to do so.

In an interview with National Review, he said:

So all people qualify, not just those with the training, knowledge, or resources to find out how to “give away” their life. And someone needs to provide this knowledge, training, or recourse necessary to anyone who wants it, including the depressed, the elderly bereaved, [and] the troubled teen….

He emphasized that he did, indeed, believe that children and teens should have access to assisted suicide. “Why should they have to wait till they’re 18?” he asked.(76) And he told Australian radio that teenagers should be given access to the means of assisted suicide “in the same way I’d give it to every other lucid Australian.”

According to Body and Health Canada,

Suicide is the second leading cause of death - following motor vehicle accidents - among teenagers and young adults.

On average, adolescents aged 15 to 19 years have an annual suicide rate of about 1 in 10,000 people. Among youths 12 to 16 year of age, up to 10% of boys and 20% of girls have considered suicide. Gay and lesbian adolescents are more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers.

According to The Poverty Site,

Suicide is now the second most common cause of death of young men after accidents, claiming more lives than cancer.

Fear not, for help is on its way to help them on their way...

The illustrious folk promoting this culture of death have marked the terminally ill and ‘defectives’ up for such ‘mercy killing.’

Stephen Hawking would have been a prime candidate:

The realisation that I had an incurable disease, that was likely to kill me in a few years, was a bit of a shock. How could something like that happen to me? Why should I be cut off like this? 

It used to be that a good doctor would fight to save every life. A person would take up first aid for the same reason. It was to make a difference. It was to do something, anything, rather than just stand by and do nothing, a passive observer, while events unfolded and took their precipitate course.

All that has changed. We now live in a society of moribund defeatists. We now live in a society which would welcome the enemy to our gates and accept them within our walls.The LCP slots well into this framework, its practitioners not seeking signs of life but actively seeking 'signs' of death..

Some memorable quotes:

"Remember to look up at the stars and not down to your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don't just give up."

-- Professor Stephen Hawking on his 70th birthday.

It ain't over 'til it's over.

-- Yogi Berra

 We shall not flag nor fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France and on the seas and oceans; we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air. We shall defend our island whatever the cost may be; we shall fight on beaches, landing grounds, in fields, in streets and on the hills. We shall never surrender and even if, which I do not for the moment believe, this island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, will carry on the struggle until in God's good time the New World with all its power and might, sets forth to the liberation and rescue of the Old.

-- Winston S Churchill

Churchill suffered fearful bouts of depression which he referred to as his black dog. It is as well for this country, this people and the free world that he chose not to succumb, that there was no Exit International to promote and assist in a final solution to resolve his predicament.

This death culture is now well entrenched in our NHS and beyond, spreading its tentacles worldwide. The LCP is no longer merely a national scandal; its scope has crossed continents and oceans. It is a self-fulfilling tool to 'diagnose' death.

The fallibilities of diagnosis are well-reported and well known.

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