Care Not Killing ENewsletter, March 2011
The majority of people with locked-in syndrome are happy
A study on the well-being of patients with chronic locked-in syndrome in the new journal BMJ Open shows that the vast majority consider themselves to be happy. The author of the study, Steven Laureys of the Coma Science Group at the University Hospital of Liege in Belgium, concludes that ‘results from Studies like this challenge people to reassess what makes life worthwhile and “dignified”.’ In fact, ‘the longer people were locked-in, the more likely they were to be happy.’ The research also makes suggestions on how better to care for these patients and is very positive about continuous improvements in provision as technology advances.
Philip Nitschke faced strong opposition during his recent visit to the UK. He attempted to bring his suicide workshops and home-suicide kits to people around the country, yet, all but three of his meetings were cancelled and one meeting had more protestors present than delegates. Nitschke did not object to the fact that his activities could put vulnerable people at huge risk when speaking to the BBC.
Commission on Assisted Dying
The Commission on Assisted Dying which has attracted wide criticism for bias has now begun its evidence hearings. Lord Falconer, who attempted unsuccessfully in 2009 to legalise assisted suicide, set up the Commission following a suggestion from Dignity in Dying (formerly the Voluntary Euthanasia Society). The Commission is being part-funded by DID patron Terry Pratchett and nine of the twelve commissioners are already known to support the legalisation of assisted suicide, yet, it is being portrayed as independent. Along with others, CNK has declined to give evidence.
A number of celebrities have recently expressed their support for legalising assisted suicide. Often well meaning, but deeply uninformed about the complexities of the debate, this popular but vocal minority have the potential to influence members of the public. It is becoming increasingly important that the majority speak out. Please keep writing your comments online in response to articles in the media. Engage in discussions and write letters to newspapers and politicians with your views. Medical members can write to BMA News and medical journals.
Care Not Killing DVDs
Request our free DVDs and pass them onto your friends, families, colleagues, schools, places of worship, or organisations. Our most recent DVD 'Disabled people speak on assisted dying' and our earlier DVD 'Doctors speak on assisted dying' are both available. Email email@example.com .
In the last twelve months, Euthanasia bills have been defeated in Canada, Australia, the US, Israel and France. In addition to the overwhelming defeat of the End of Life Assistance Bill in Scotland last year, all of these defeats are a great encouragement and serve to help promote better palliative care around the globe.
Read about the Resistance Campaign and please sign the petition, write to your MP and make the campaign known to others, to help support the lives of people with disabilities.Please contact your new MP
Any future voting on assisted suicide in Parliament will be one of individual conscience, so please contact your new local MP, to make your views known to them and to find out where they stand on the issue. Why not follow it up by arranging to speak to them in person? Before becoming Prime Minister, David Cameron wisely spoke out against any relaxation of the UK law on assisted suicide. Please write a short email or letter to express your support for him taking this stance.
As the risks of any weakening in the law in relation to Assisted Suicide become increasingly highlighted, a number of you are writing to the Care Not Killing Alliance with your own experience of why you feel the law is best kept as it is. Send us your own story to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include whether or not you are happy for your story to feature on our website, and visit our Personal Stories page.BMJ Tribute to CNK
The British Medical journal in January ran a report on Care Not Killing and paid tribute to our effectiveness as a lobby group by giving us the quote of the week.
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