When people come to America,they automatically think of all the opportunities that this country offers! This is the land of rebirth. A place where dreams don’t have to be deferred & life can begin anew.Even though there is an ongoing debate in this country over euthanasia,America is not the destination of “suicide tourists“. Switzerland holds that dubious honor. Here’s more on that from Softpedia.com:
“Ludwig A. Minelli, the leader of Dignitas, says that his group only assists someone willing to die if that someone “suffers from an illness that inevitably leads to death, or from an unacceptable disability, and wants to end their life and suffering voluntarily.” He adds that his practice is non-profit, even though he charges about 8,500 Euros (roughly $11,500) for each patient.Most of the money goes to salaries for his employees, while the rest goes to anti-suicide counseling and programs in the country. He says he wants to keep things this way because otherwise opponents to the idea of assisted suicide would have reason to believe that he is advocating death for his own personal gain.Public support for suicide under guidance is very widespread in Switzerland, and most of the nation’s citizens believe that each and every one should be able to do with their bodies as they please. However, there are numerous voices that critic the fact that the country has become a world-renowned destination for “suicide tourism.” Church groups are the most die-hard opponents to this law, ever since it was first approved, in 1942, saying that life is sacrosanct, and that no one should be able to end it as they please.”(End of Excerpt) Read the rest here.
Here’s an interesting article on euthanasia from USAToday:
“In euthanasia, a physician administers a fatal injection or a fatal combination of drugs. In assisted suicide, a physician provides drugs that the patient takes on his or her own.
Discussions about these practices are fueled by the rising number of senior citizens and the declining role of religion in politics and daily life, says Henk Jochemsen, director of medical ethics for the Lindeboom Institute in the Netherlands. Both trends are stronger in Europe than in the USA, which may explain broader public support in Europe for legalizing euthanasia and assisted suicide.
By 2030, one in four people in Europe will be 65 or older; in the USA, it will be one in five, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. As members of the baby boom generation age, their increasing frailty will strain health care and welfare systems, not to mention their families. As a result, governments will be under pressure to bow to demands to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide, Jochemsen says.
The Dutch legislature is likely to legalize euthanasia for the handful of babies born each year with painful and terminal diseases. The protocol, performed only with the parents’ consent, is expected to be tacked onto the existing euthanasia law in 2007, says Boris Dittrich, a Dutch politician and chief author of the country’s euthanasia law.
Assisted suicide and euthanasia take place in every nation, including in American states where it’s illegal, Dittrich says. “We want to write it down and have it in the open … so we know what’s going on. We don’t want any misuse or abuse. If you don’t do it in a transparent way, the chances for abuse or misuse are bigger.”
In fact, in countries where euthanasia is legal, there has not been a dramatic increase in cases. In the Netherlands, about 3,800 deaths a year (or about 2.5% of the total) are listed as euthanasia or assisted suicide requests.
Of Oregon’s 30,000 deaths in 2003, just 42 were assisted-suicide cases, or 0.14% of the total.
Elly de Hullu-Vlaspolder, a retired yoga teacher who lives in a suburb of Amsterdam, says she would support changing the law to add the provision for terminally ill infants. She says she will never forget the day in 1961 when her daughter Marina, 6, died of cancer. Though Marina was in great pain in her final days, no one talked of euthanasia.
Almost 30 years later, when her husband, Peter, was diagnosed with cancer, euthanasia was still illegal, but it had nevertheless become an accepted option. As the end drew near, Peter, a ship captain, asked the family doctor to help him die. The doctor agreed, though he risked prosecution for murder.
Peter, then 65, spent his last day with Elly and the couple’s surviving daughter, Ondine. “It’s strange to say that we were happy, but we had a wonderful last afternoon,” Elly recalls. “The three of us could talk about everything. He laughed. For weeks there had been no smile, but that afternoon he smiled. He was happy there would be a good end of his life and all that pain.”
Opponents of legalized euthanasia and assisted suicide worry that they will become too acceptable and will be sought by people who are not suffering from terminal illnesses or are unable to make rational decisions.
“What I find very worrying is that now there are situations of patients tired of life, suffering of life,” says Jochemsen, the medical ethicist. “Here, you want to talk about a slippery slope, this has changed in just three years (since the Netherlands passed its law). … Anyone who is tired of life can be a candidate for euthanasia. What kind of society are we generating?”
Gerrit Kimsma, a family doctor in the Netherlands, disagrees. He is on one of the medical review committees for euthanasia cases and has helped some patients end their lives. “In each and every case, I can say I bonded with the families, before and after,” he recalls.
In Belgium, which passed a legalized euthanasia law in 2002, there were 347 registered cases last year. In Switzerland, the number of assisted suicides has ranged from 300 to 350 a year, but it is rising because more people are coming from countries where it’s banned.”(End of Excerpt) Read the article in it’s entirety here.
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