The increasing acceptance in Western society of death as the ultimate “cure” for physical, psychological, and emotional suffering threatens the most vulnerable and represents a disturbing corruption of the timeless role of physician as healer. Among the first victims of this ideological shift are truth and transparency, with illuminating data too frequently concealed and glossed over. Rigorous, publicly accessible data are crucial to holding policymakers and health care practitioners accountable for practices that jeopardize the weak and defenseless.

“Vegetative” Man Communicates Via Brain Scan

Nora Sullivan, M.P.A  

Earlier this week, the BBC reported on the story of Scott Routley, a Canadian man whom doctors have believed to be in a vegetative state for more than a decade.   The report revealed that due to breakthroughs in the field of brain imaging, Scott has been, remarkably, able to communicate with his doctors and convey to […]

American Nurses Association Opposes Assisted Suicide

Nora Sullivan, M.P.A  

The American Nurses Association has released a draft statement which comes out firmly against nurses’ participation in assisted suicide and euthanasia.  The American Nurses Association is a national organization which works to advance “the nursing profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting the rights of nurses in the workplace, projecting a positive and […]

Massachusetts’ “Death with Dignity” Initiative: Questions Regarding Question 2

Charlotte Lozier Institute  

By Jacqueline H. Abernathy, Ph.D.

The 2012 “Act Relative to Death with Dignity” goes before Massachusetts voters on November 6. Question 2 asks voters directly whether to legalize physician-assisted suicide (PAS) or uphold existing state statutes.  If voters affirm Question 2, Massachusetts would join Oregon, Washington and Montana as the only states in the U.S. to allow this practice. Recent studies on PAS in these states paint a revealing portrait of what would transpire in Massachusetts if voters approve Question 2. However, unlike citizens of Oregon who passed the first “Death with Dignity Act” in 1997, voters in Massachusetts have the benefit of learning the actual outcomes of such legislation in other states.  Voters now have access to numerous studies that both vindicate opponents’ predictions about PAS and present even more concerns.

Assisted Suicide in Oregon: Evidence of Missed Evaluation for Depression

Eugene C. Tarne  

As required by law, the Public Health Department of the Oregon Health Authority has released its annual report for 2011 on physician-assisted suicides under that state’s Death with Dignity Act (DWDA).     The 1997 law required physicians involved in an assisted suicide to file a number of  standardized forms, providing information on such particulars as sex, age, race […]