July 24, 2013, 10:14 am -- /EPR NETWORK/ -- Physician-assisted death is legal in four states in the U.S. and in three countries in Europe. In 2012, two court cases involving assisted death have set the stage for new international precedents regarding euthanasia legislation worldwide. In Canada, Gloria Taylor, who suffered from Lou Gehrig’s disease, was granted the right to die by British Columbia’s Supreme Court. Canada’s federal government is appealing the decision. In Britain, “locked-in” patient Tony Nicklinson pleaded his case to Britain’s High Court but was denied the right to die despite the tortured nightmare that was his existence. For people who are suffering from a terminal or incurable illness, the option of a peaceful passing is the issue at the forefront of modern society. Assessing the quality of life, and allowing patients who suffer from debilitating pain and dependence on others to gently leave this life, gives people a dignified alternative. Read To Gently Leave This Life to learn what you need to know about end-of-life decisions.
Elaine Feuer’s critically acclaimed exposé, Innocent Casualties: The
FDA’s War Against Humanity, is now available with 2012 Updates at
Elaine Feuer began contemplating end-of-life issues after witnessing her mother's slow and painful death from cancer. T o Gently Leave This Life is the perfect reference book for the grassroots activist, legislator, and for people who are dealing with their own or a loved one's terminal illness. It is Elaine's aspiration that physician-assisted death will be approved throughout the U.S., Canada, and in other countries. Whenever possible, people deserve the right to have a “gentle and happy” death.
Elaine has worked in the medical division of Little, Brown & Company, and freelanced as a research and development coordinator for a variety of film and television projects. While researching clinical studies for an AIDS documentary, she learned about the FDA's suppression of treatments for AIDS and other serious illnesses. Outraged by the FDA's abuse of its powers, Elaine utilized the skills obtained in achieving History and Criminology Degrees from the University of Toronto to research and write Innocent Casualties: The FDA's War Against Humanity.
To Gently Leave This Life can be purchased on my website and on Kindle Please emphasize www.elainefeuer.com.
Below: The Introduction for To Gently Leave This Life:
“His pain was too great. He begged me for the simple mercy of death. I could do nothing else but help him leave a world that had become a sleepless, tortured nightmare to him.” - Robert D. Andrews
The concept of a “good death” has been debated since the beginning of civilization. In the 21st century, longer lifespans and advances in medicine have resulted in new legislation regarding an individual's “right to die.” The option to end one's own life, when pain becomes intolerable or the quality of life is nonexistent, is an issue at the forefront of modern society. Who among us would trade places with a patient, dependent on machines and other people, for every aspect of their life? Who among us wouldn't choose doctor-assisted death, if that option were available?
During the last two decades, the states* of Oregon, Washington, and Montana passed euthanasia legislation, and in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg, similar end-of-life regulations were authorized. However, in 2012, two court cases examining physician-assisted death could lead to new international precedents: Gloria Taylor, who suffered from Lou Gehrig's disease, became the first person in Canada to be granted the “right to die” via a “personal exemption” by British Columbia's Supreme Court; in Britain, Tony Nicklinson, who suffered from “locked-in syndrome” and could only communicate by blinking, died from pneumonia after refusing food and fluids subsequent to a High Court decision that refused to grant him assisted death.
In this age of medical technology, of machines sustaining lives irrespective of quality of life and dignity, we often discount the concept of a “good death.” Allowing terminally ill people to pass on quickly and peacefully does not encroach on the civil liberties of others. Euthanasia legislation allows patients to operate within the medical system and ease their anxiety, while giving friends and family peace of mind. Assessing the quality of life, and allowing patients who suffer from debilitating pain and dependence on others to gently leave this life, gives people a dignified alternative.
In a democratic society, the right to choose, the option of free will, is tantamount for survival. In the United States, we value our freedom above all else. We value the right to self-determination and opposing viewpoints. We value life, and we are all mortal.
*Vermont legalized physician-assisted death on May 21, 2013.
TO GENTLY LEAVE THIS LIFE
Early Definitions of Euthanasia
History of Euthanasia
U.S. Laws on Assisted Death
King George V's Drug-Induced Death
ALS: Lou Gehrig's Disease
Karen Ann Quinlan: Coma
Terri Schiavo: Vegetative State
Sue Rodriquez: “Who Owns My Life?”
Dr. Jack Kevorkian: Hero or Criminal?
Stairway to Heaven: How to Die in Oregon
Oregon, Washington, Montana: Assisted Death Laws
Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg: Assisted Death Laws
Switzerland: Assisted Death Not a Crime
Gloria Taylor: “Personal Exemption” for Doctor-Assisted Death
Tony Nicklinson: The Trapped Man
Massachusetts 2012: Doctor-Assisted Death Ballot Fails
The Argument for Euthanasia
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