domingo, 30 de octubre de 2016

BioEdge: A woman on borrowed time opposes California’s assisted suicide

BioEdge: A woman on borrowed time opposes California’s assisted suicide

Bioedge

A woman on borrowed time opposes California’s assisted suicide
     
Stephanie Packer is a 33-year-old Californian woman with a terminal disease, scleroderma, a chronic autoimmune condition that causes scar tissue to form in the lungs. She has four children. Four years ago she was told that she had three years to live --  and now she knows that she is on borrowed time.

In this video, she speaks about how the possibility of accessing assisted suicide in California has changed the attitudes of other patients with the same ailment. Now some feel that perhaps they ought to give up struggling and accept assisted suicide.

Ms Packer also claims that her medical insurance company refused to pay for an expensive chemotherapy drug which could extend her life and give her more time with her children. But it did agree to cover the cost of drugs for assisted suicide – and she would only be out of pocket by $1.20. She says vehemently that the State’s broken health care system must be fixed “so that people start to live instead of feeling that they have to choose to die”.
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It appears that Canada has experienced a visitation from an “angel of mercy”, a media euphemism for a medical serial killer. Arrested this week, Elizabeth Wettlaufer allegedly killed eight patients in Ontario nursing homes since 2007. The Canadian media is describing her as one of Canada’s worst serial killers.
She faces stiff competition in other countries. In Italy, Daniela Poggiali, a nurse, was sentenced earlier this year over 13 deaths. In the US, Charles Cullen, a nurse. was sentenced in 2006 over the deaths of about 40 patients. In Germany Stephan Letter killed at least 29 patients in 2003 and 2004. And then there is Dr Harold Shipman, the quiet English doctor who killed 250 patients.
These horrors never seem to be mentioned when the legalization of euthanasia is being debated, but they should be. The existence of these mad “angels of mercy” demonstrates that some healthcare professionals feel compelled to kill the defenceless people entrusted to their care.
Legalisation creates a class of people who do the same thing but without the secrecy. In Belgium and the Netherlands, the bulk of the euthanasia business seems to be carried out by a handful of doctors. Some of them have killed scores of patients. What does that do to them? Why do they volunteer? Will there be more “angels of mercy” in jurisdictions where euthanasia is legal? These are all questions that need to be asked and answered. 


Michael Cook
Editor
BioEdge



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BioEdge
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