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Old 01-10-2013, 11:01 AM  
FishingRod FishingRod is offline
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Paralyzed woman loses first Irish right-to-die case

By Sarah O'Connor | Reuters 1 hr 33 mins ago
DUBLIN (Reuters) - An Irish woman terminally ill with multiple sclerosis lost her battle for the lawful right to die in the first case of its kind to be brought in Ireland, Dublin's High Court said on Thursday.
Marie Fleming, a 59-year-old former university lecturer who is completely paralyzed, made an impassioned plea last month to establish the right of her partner of 18 years to help her die, an act that could currently see him jailed in mainly Roman Catholic Ireland.
A 'right to die' debate has played out through recent high-profile court cases in neighboring Britain, where three people all failed in bids to win legal assistance to die. Assisted suicide is only permitted in four European countries: Belgium; Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Switzerland.
Judge Nicholas Kearns said Fleming was the most remarkable witness any member of the court had encountered and acknowledged that her life has been "rendered miserable" after being "ravaged by an insidious disease".
However he said it would be impossible to tailor legislation governing assisted suicide on an individual basis and doing so would be harmful to the public interest in protecting the most vulnerable members of society.
"There are no words to express the difficulty we had in arriving at this decision," Kearns said, reading a summary of the 121-page judgment.
"Yet the fact remains that if this court were to unravel a thread of this law by even the most limited constitutional adjudication in her favor, it would - or at least might - open a Pandora's box which would be impossible to close."
"VERY SADDENED"
Suicide was decriminalized in Ireland in 1993, but the ban on helping someone to commit suicide remains, with a jail sentence of up to 14 years.
Kearns said he felt sure the state, which agreed to pay all legal costs, would exercise its discretion in a humane and sensitive fashion in deciding whether to prosecute if Fleming were to be assisted in taking her own life.
The mother of two adult children had told the court in a composed manner last month how her life had become totally undignified and too painful to bear, and said she had planned every detail, including funeral arrangements.
Her partner hugged and kissed her after the judgment was handed out and, reading a statement on her behalf outside the court, her solicitor said Fleming greatly appreciated the enormous support she had received from members of the public.
"Obviously Marie is very disappointed and saddened at today's outcome, and feels it would be inappropriate at the present time to discuss any specific legal aspects of the case having regard to the likelihood of an appeal," solicitor Bernadette Parte said.
A recent poll found that large majorities of west Europeans favor the legalization of assisted suicide.
As well as in the four European countries, assisted suicide is also legal in the U.S. states of Oregon and Washington.
The issue of amending the Irish constitution has also been highlighted recently following the death of a woman who was refused an abortion of her dying fetus, re-igniting a debate that has divided the country for decades.
(Reporting by Sarah O'Connor; Writing by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Louise Ireland and Jason Webb)
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Old 01-15-2013, 10:52 AM   #46
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Deaf twins who discovered they were going blind and would never see each other again are euthanized in Belgian hospital

Identical twin brothers euthanised by doctors in unique Belgium case
Twins, who were born deaf, made decision after learning they would go blind
The brothers, who spent their lives together, were unable to bear the thought of never seeing each other again

By James Rush and Damien Gayle

PUBLISHED: 04:53 EST, 14 January 2013 | UPDATED: 08:29 EST, 14 January 2013

A pair of identical twins, who were born deaf, have been killed by Belgian doctors after seeking euthanasia when they found out they would also soon go blind.

In a unique case under the country's euthanasia laws, the 45-year-old brothers, from Antwerp, chose death as they were unable to bear the thought of never seeing one another again.

They were euthanised by doctors at Brussels University Hospital, in Jette, on December 14 by lethal injection after spending their entire lives together.

The unnamed twins who died together: They were euthanised by doctors at Brussels University Hospital, in Jette, on December 14, by lethal injection after spending their entire lives together

Euthanasia is legal under Belgian law if those making the decision can make their wishes clear and are suffering unbearable pain, according to a doctor's judgement.

The Belgian law differs from that of Switzerland, famous for its Dignitas clinic, where only 'assisted suicide' is permitted. This means patients must play an active role in the administration of the drug that ends their lives.

In Belgium, some 1,133 cases of euthanasia - mostly for terminal cancer - were recorded in 2011, about one percent of all deaths in the country, according to official figures.

But this case was unusual as neither twin was suffering extreme physical pain or was terminally ill.

Brussels University Hospital: In Belgium, some 1,133 cases of euthanasia - mostly for terminal cancer - were recorded in 2011, about one percent of all deaths in the country, according to official figures

The two brothers, who have not been named but were pictured on Belgian television, both worked as cobblers and shared a flat together, The Telegraph has reported.

David Dufour, the doctor who presided over the euthanasia, told RTL television news the twins had taken the decision in 'full conscience'.

He said they were 'very happy' and it had was a 'relief' to see the end of their suffering.

'They had a cup of coffee in the hall, it went well and a rich conversation,' Mr Dufour said.

'Then the separation from their parents and brother was very serene and beautiful.

'At the last there was a little wave of their hands and then they were gone.'

More to come? Belgium's ruling Socialists tabled a legal amendment just days after the twins were killed which would allow the euthanasia of children and Alzheimer's sufferers (picture posed by models)

Belgium was the second country in the world after the Netherlands to legalise euthanasia in 2002 but it currently applies only to people over the age of 18.

Other jurisdictions where it is permitted include Luxembourg and the U.S. state of Oregon.

Just days after the twins were killed Belgium's ruling Socialists tabled a legal amendment which would allow the euthanasia of children and Alzheimer's sufferers.

The draft legislation calls for 'the law to be extended to minors if they are capable of discernment or affected by an incurable illness or suffering that we cannot alleviate.'

The proposed changes are likely to be approved by other parties, although no date has yet been put forward for a parliamentary debate.

The Dignitas building in Pfaeffikon near Zurich: Under Swiss law only 'assisted suicide' is permitted - which means that patients must take an active role in administering the drug that ends their lives

A bid to tighten legal controls on assisted deaths in Switzerland and ban suicide tourism was recently rejected by the country's parliament.

Experts say the suicide tourism industry's clients come mainly from Britain, Germany, and France, but that numbers have been declining in recent years.

Statistics from Dignitas show the clinic based near Zurich has helped a total of 1,298 people commit suicide between 1998 and 2011.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...#ixzz2I34TUPtD
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Not what you would call a pick-me-up kinda story but if I found I was going to be blind and deaf I'm not sure that is a life I would want to live
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Old 01-15-2013, 11:40 AM   #47
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Not what you would call a pick-me-up kinda story but if I found I was going to be blind and deaf I'm not sure that is a life I would want to live
I think Belgiums laws are way overboard, allowing children to do it? I can't go along with it, not sure I like the subject to begin with as it opens up a whole new can of worms where suicides would maybe not really be "Suicides" if you get my point.
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Old 01-15-2013, 12:08 PM   #48
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I get what you are saying. I can't really keep track of our own laws much less Belguim's. When
I first read that I skimmed it very quickly and thought the choice had been made for them. That would be a very different thing and I understand why some would fear that could happen.
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:29 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by KILLER_CLOWN View Post
Deaf twins who discovered they were going blind and would never see each other again are euthanized in Belgian hospital
That is ****ing heartbreaking. Just heartbreaking. I'd like to think that there was an alternative, but I'm not in the position that they were in.
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:37 AM   #50
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That is ****ing heartbreaking. Just heartbreaking. I'd like to think that there was an alternative, but I'm not in the position that they were in.
I'm not sure that qualifies as the pain and suffering that was intended and I'm not for the right to die but my libertarian leanings say if you really want to I won't stand in your way. You would think there would be some kind of surgery to fix their vision but I dunno.
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:58 AM   #51
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I'm not sure that qualifies as the pain and suffering that was intended and I'm not for the right to die but my libertarian leanings say if you really want to I won't stand in your way. You would think there would be some kind of surgery to fix their vision but I dunno.
Yeah. I can't justify making that choice for someone.
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