domingo, 20 de noviembre de 2016

BioEdge: California prepares for assisted suicide of patients in mental hospitals

BioEdge: California prepares for assisted suicide of patients in mental hospitals
Bioedge
California prepares for assisted suicide of patients in mental hospitals
     

California’s new End of Life Option Act, which permits assisted suicide, has some disturbing consequences, writes Wesley J. Smith in First Things. According to recently passed regulations terminally ill patients in mental hospitals have a right to request assisted suicide.
Under the Act, a lethal drug can be prescribed only “if the patient is not suffering from impaired judgment due to a mental disorder.”
Unless the patient is forcibly confined in a mental hospital and probably pumped up with powerful drugs. In that case, the regulations specify that:
A terminally ill patient, as defined by the End of Life Option Act, may petition the superior court for access to participate in activities under the End of Life Option Act by requesting release from the custody of the Department of State Hospitals from the court. If the court orders release from the custody of the Department of State Hospitals, the Department of State Hospitals shall release the patient to the ordered entity or person.
Furthermore, if a patient is too dangerous to be discharged, the state hospital must make assisted suicide available in the hospital.
Smith contends that the this is utterly inconsistent:
These are people denied their very freedom due to diagnosed severe mental disease! They are undoubtedly being treated with powerful psychotropic medications. In what universe could they possibly be deemed “not to be suffering from impaired judgment due to a mental disorder”?
The ironies are disturbing. For example, if a patient is hospitalized because he is acutely suicidal from deep depression, no court would free him for the purpose of committing suicide. Indeed, in such a circumstance, preventing that lethal act is the very point of the institutionalization! But if that same suicidal patient can show that he has been diagnosed with terminal cancer, he can be freed for that same purpose—even if the reason he wants to die is the depression and not the terminal diagnosis.
- See more at: http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/california-prepares-for-assisted-suicide-of-patients-in-mental-hospitals/12095#sthash.rRgrEh2H.dpuf
Bioedge
Bioedge
In 2005 Peter Singer confidently forecast the demise of the "sanctity of life" by 2040. His objections to the idea were mainly philosophical, but he cited two piece of evidence. One was the amazing success of a South Korean scientist named Hwang Woo-suk in creating embryonic stem cell lines. The other was the continuing advance of legal assisted suicide and euthanasia. 
Within months, Hwang Woo-suk was exposed as one of the greatest scientific frauds of the last century. As for euthanasia, Singer could still be right (although fears do persist that it could become, in his words, a "holocaust)". One out of two is not an impressive result and does little to inspire confidence in his prediction. 
But there is another problem with Singer's critique of the sanctity of life argument, as we report this week. A British bioethicist, David Albert Jones, director of the Anscombe Bioethics Centre, points out that it was not Christians who "invented" the sanctity of life, but Singer and his cronies. In a very thought-provoking article in The New Bioethics, he says that "sanctity of life" is just a straw man set up to label discredit arguments against Singer's "quality of life" approach. It is a controversial thesis which deserves to be debated. 

Michael Cook
Editor
BioEdge
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