Saturday, September 20, 2014

Convicted Montana rapist charged with aiding or soliciting suicide.

By Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

The Montana Billings Gazette reported on September 18 that a convicted rapist from Roundup Montana was charged with aiding or soliciting suicide. This is an important story since the assisted suicide lobby claims that assisted suicide is legal in Montana.

This is a very disturbing story.

The Billings Gazette reported:
A Roundup man in Montana State Prison for having sex with an underage girl is facing a new charge alleging he pressured the girl to kill herself during a live video chat in September 2013. 
Last week, the Musselshell County Attorney’s Office charged Michael John Morlan, 21, with aiding or soliciting suicide, and two other felonies — intimidation and tampering with witnesses and informants. 
...Charging documents say Morlan contacted the girl, who is now 16 years old, via Skype, an online video-chatting service, on Sept. 1, 2013, and told her to kill herself while he watched.
To summarize the story, Morlan, who was convicted of rape, contacted the underage girl he raped from the Montana State Prison, by Skype, to pressure and encourage her to kill herself.

The creep allegedly aided, encouraged and counseled the girl to commit suicide.

This will be a precedent setting case for two reasons.
  1. The assisted suicide lobby claims that the Montana Supreme Court Baxter decision legalized assisted suicide.
  2. The Minnesota Supreme Court, in March 2014, upheld the assisted suicide laws while also deciding that "advising" and "encouraging" suicide were protected by "free speech." In his re-trial, former Minnesota nurse, William Melchert-Dinkel was convicted of assisting a suicide.
Assisted suicide laws are protective in nature. This is another case that proves that assisted suicide must remain prohibited.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Disability rights group protests International pro-euthanasia conference.

Chicago - Not Dead Yet Protest of International pro-euthanasia conference - Day 1.

Yesterday, September 18th, was the first day of NDY’s protest and vigil at the World Federation of Right to Die Societies Conference.

I’m pushed for time this morning, so this will be brief. I’ll post more later.

Diane Coleman
There were many speakers opening up the protest yesterday in Chicago (full list to come) – below is the address given by NDY’s founder and president Diane Coleman:

The incredible activists of Not Dead Yet, that’s who you are. 
And it’s wonderful to see all my friends in Chicago again. Thanks to Progress Center and Access Living for doing so much to make our voices heard this week as we protest the World Federation of Right to Die Societies. Thanks to LIFE CIL, the Will-Grundy Center in Illinois, and TRIPIL from Pennsylvania, and folks who’ve come from as far away as Colorado and Canada. You’re amazing. 
My long time mentor on this issue is Carol Gill, who I first met on a picket line trying to save a young woman with cerebral palsy from a suicide wish that the Hemlock Society exploited. We helped buy her time and, eventually, she didn’t go through with it and lived. Three decades later, we’re still fighting this issue and sometimes I wonder if society will ever get it that we deserve the same suicide prevention as everybody else. 
When Not Dead Yet started up 18 years ago, the three assisted suicide advocacy organizations in the U.S. each got a white male wheelchair user added to their Boards to try to neutralize our impact. It didn’t work very well. 
If you wonder whether what we are doing is making any difference, this year, with the help of John Kelly, our New England Regional Director, the disability community played a key role in defeating assisted suicide bills in NH, MA and CT. Are we a force to recon with? We got a little more confirmation recently. Some of you may have heard that the attorney who worked many years for Compassion & Choices (formerly the Hemlock Society) was recently hired by the Disability Rights Legal Center in Los Angeles. It seems that California is a target state next year. 
Fortunately, we have the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, in our corner, right there is California. But there’s work to be done. This is National Suicide Prevention Month and we’re here to deliver a message that equal rights include the right to equal suicide prevention, not a streamlined path to assisted suicide and euthanasia. What we know is this: 
We want assistance to live, not die.
We are not better off dead than disabled.
We don’t need to die to have dignity.
We are strong and proud, and we are
You can read local coverage of the conference and protest from the local CBS affiliate here.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Newborn case in France is falsely labelled as euthanasia.

By Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

The case of a premature baby in France, where the parents are demanding that medical treatment be discontinued and while the doctors believe that the child needs more time, is not a case of euthanasia, as the media has reported, but rather a case of who has the right to decide to withdraw medical treatment.

The story published by titled: Baby euthanasia case spurs debate in France - concerns a baby boy, Titouan, who was born prematurely on August 31. 

The article quotes Titouan's mother, Melanie as saying:
“We made this decision over a week ago,” 
“Who wants their son to live the life of a handicapped person? Maybe some families want this, but we don’t.”
The article quotes Professor Fabrice Pierre of the department of gynecology and obstetrics at University Hospital Center of Poitiers (CHU) who said:
“If we want to be able to fully understand the consequences [of the haemorrhage], we can’t rush this. We need a few weeks to evaluate his condition.” 
“Currently, we are not giving him intensive treatment; we are simply giving him life support to give us the time to do a proper evaluation.”
Normally the parents or guardian have the right to decide to withhold or withdraw medical treatment. Sometimes the decision of the parents or guardian is not in the best interests of the patient. In France, it appears that the decision is made by the doctors. The article states:
... the 2005 law also puts the decision in the hands of the doctors. Faced with the repeated demands of Titouan’s parents, CHU’s neonatal unit sought out the advice of an ethics panel. They have yet to make a decision.
Labelling this case as euthanasia creates a false impression of what euthanasia is and is not. Euthanasia is to directly and intentionally cause the death of a person. It is usually done by lethal injection and it is a form of homicide.

If the doctors withdraw all treatment from Titouan, and if he dies, it would be a natural death, unless they lethally inject him or intentionally dehydrate him to death.

Safeguards will not protect you from physicians who are willing to take your life.

By Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
Alex Schadenberg

Re: Gifford-Jones – Not all lunatics are in the asylum.

In his righteous indignation, Gifford-Jones claims in his article that:

“Nor is there any evidence that the elderly, those with disabilities or those who simply do not want to be part of assisted death, have ever been forced to seek it.”
In 2002 Belgium legalized assisted death giving doctors the right in law to lethally inject patients. Three studies concerning the experience with assisted death in Belgium clearly indicate that Gifford-Jones is wrong.

The first study found that 32% of those who died by assisted death did not request it.

The second study found that 45% of the assisted deaths that nurses were involved with, the person who died didn’t request it.

The third study found that 47.2% of all assisted deaths were not reported.

When analyzing the data, all of the studies found that those who died by an assisted death without request or without reporting it tended to be over the age of 80, incompetent to make decisions for themselves, had an unpredictable end-of-life trajectory and died in a hospital.

There is clear evidence that many elderly and incompetent people in Belgium have been killed by an assisted death without request. The act is a silent crime since the doctor negated to report it.

Don’t be swayed by the propaganda being promoted by Gifford-Jones.

Safeguards will not protect you from physicians who are willing to take your life.

Links to similar articles:

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Scotland debates independence, the UK debates assisted suicide.

By Dr Kevin Fitzpatrick is the Director of EPC - International and a leader of the disability rights group - Not Dead Yet - UK.

Dr Kevin Fitzpatrick
Today’s ‘great debate’ in the UK is: Should Scotland vote for independence? This is an emotional discussion with many practicalities to be unpacked, many complex arguments, political, financial, cultural, for a general public to understand. Both sides throw up what, in general translation, Socrates calls ‘bogeys’, trying to strike enough fear with the use of horrific examples, to sway people to vote your way. Scotland will vote, and whether the Yes campaign wins or loses, by a very slim margin as looks likely, there is a sense that things have already changed, forever.

The debate on euthanasia and assisted suicide is similar. Except for one crucial difference.

One side, the pro-euthanasia lobby, bombards public consciousness with dreadful, painful cases for knee-jerk, ill-considered reactions based on emotion not rationality. The opposition to legalising euthanasia or assisted suicide, point to what is actually happening – but our under-resourced voices are drowned out by the wealthy lobby, and the terrible imbalance from the media.

Press Release: Disability Rights Activists to Protest International Euthanasia Group Meeting in Chicago

September 17, 2014 
Diane Coleman 708-420-0539 or Gary Armold 773-425-2536 

Diane Coleman
The disability rights group Not Dead Yet announced today that it would lead a three-day protest vigil against the World Federation of Right to Die Societies during the Federation’s biennial meeting being held in Chicago. The American group Final Exit Network is hosting the meeting, which runs from September 17-20 at the Embassy Suites Chicago. The group has scheduled a rally to open the protest vigil at 511 North Columbus Drive on September 18 at 12 PM.

”We are here to contradict the message of these groups that it’s better to be dead than disabled,” said Not Dead Yet president Diane Coleman of New York.
The meeting is being hosted by the Final Exit Network, an American group known for its use of “Exit Guides” to instruct and assist people with “irreversible physical illness, intractable pain, or a constellation of chronic, progressive physical disabilities” to kill themselves using “Exit Bags” filled with helium.

John Kelly
The 2012 PBS documentary, “The Suicide Plan,” included statements and video in which Final Exit Network leader Ted Goodwin admitted and demonstrated holding the person’s arms down to prevent them from pulling the Exit Bag off of their head.

“This is a collection of reckless suicide fanatics,” said John Kelly of Second Thoughts Massachusetts, whose group was instrumental in defeating assisted suicide bills and a referendum in that state.
The World Federation of Right to Die Societies was organized in 1980 to bring together the various groups in Europe and Anglophone countries which promote euthanasia and assisted suicide. The Federation last met in the United States in 2000, when it was also protested by Not Dead Yet in Boston.
“These are the people that we have seen in the news, people who condoned the suicides of the Belgian twins who were losing their sight, or of the woman who was afraid she would not be able to see a stain on her shirt.” said Amy Hasbrouck from the Canadian group, Toujours Vivant/Not Dead Yet, which is working to defeat Canadian initiatives that will be promoted at the conference. Hasbrouck and other Canadians will be joining the Chicago protest vigil. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

What does the World Federation of Right to Die Societies not want me to know?

By Alex Schadenberg
International Chair - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Alex Schadenberg
As an International leader of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition (EPC) I decided to register for the World Federation of Right to Die Societies - 20th World Conference in Chicago (September 17 - 20) that is co-sponsored by the Final Exit Network.

My registration was accepted, my flight was booked, my hotel room was reserved, but then I received an email informing me that my registration was revoked.

Thaddeus Pope, who is speaking at the Chicago conference, registered and attended the recent conference that EPC co-sponsored in Minnesota.

What does the World Federation of Right to Die Societies not want me to know?

Maybe they don't want me to hear about their promotion of euthanasia for people with dementia.

The Belgian legislation that extended euthanasia to children originally included a section to extend euthanasia to people with dementia.

Maybe they don't want me to hear about their promotion of euthanasia for people with psychiatric conditions.

Recently the Dutch Health Minister stated that 45 people died by euthanasia for psychiatric conditions in 2013 in the Netherlands.

Maybe they don't want me to hear about their promotion of euthanasia for depressed people who are otherwise healthy.

Professor Tom Mortier recently launched a court challenge concerning the euthanasia death of his depressed mother in Belgium.

Maybe they didn't want me to hear the conversation among the delegates in the hallway.

When I attended the World Federation of Right to Die Societies conference in 2006 I learned, through personal conversations, that many of the delegates had been involved with causing the death of a relative or others. I learned that volunteers are trained to assist deaths, to provide the means, to counsel suicide, sometimes completed the act with a pillow, or held the hands of person, preventing them from removing the asphyxiation/suicide hood.

Legalizing euthanasia or assisted suicide gives someone else the legal right to cause your death. Euthanasia is dangerous.

Alex Schadenberg is the Executive Director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition (EPC) and the Chair of EPC International. 

Contact Alex Schadenberg at: or by calling: 1-877-439-3348.