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Voluntary, Involuntary is the choice really yours?


London, England (LifeNews.com) — A British “ethicist” says doctors in England are already killing patients even though the British House of Lords defeated a bill that would legalize assisted suicide. Len Doyal, ex-member of the British Medical Association’s ethics committee, says British law should go even further and allow involuntary euthanasia.

British law should make the practice legal. He wants the British parliament to allow physicians to kill patients who can’t provide consent to withdrawing medical treatment.  Lord Joffe, a member of the House of Lords, put together a bill that would legalize assisted suicide but not euthanasia. Doyal said the bill doesn’t go far enough. “Some supporters of euthanasia remain silent about non-voluntary euthanasia, presumably because they believe that focusing on voluntary euthanasia offers a better chance of legalization,” he saidmore







Parents say doctors hastened death for dying kids

Now a small but provocative study suggests that doctors may be giving fatal morphine doses to a few children dying of cancer, to end their suffering at their parents’ request.
A handful of parents told researchers that they had asked doctors to hasten their children’s deaths — and that doctors complied, using high doses of the powerful painkiller.
The lead author of the study and several other physicians said they doubt doctors are engaged in active mercy killing. Instead, they speculate the parents interviewed for the study mistakenly believed that doctors had followed their wishes.
Dr. Douglas Diekema, a medical ethicist at Seattle Children’s Hospital, said the study results are not surprising.  “I have no doubt that in a small number of cases, some physicians might cooperate with a parent’s desire to see a child’s suffering ended. This might include giving a drug for sedation or pain control that also suppresses the drive to breathe.
“Most physicians don’t intentionally push that drug to the point of stopping a child’s breathing, but some may be comfortable not intervening if a child stops breathing in the course of treating him or her for discomfort,” Diekema said.
The study was published Monday in the March edition of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.
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