Today’s Topics: Oct. 15, 2020

1. Vancouver Family Shares Its Story (Right To Die news list – FEN)
2. Historic Shift in Physicians’ Views on Assisted Dying (UK)(Right To Die news list – FEN)
3. Dutch terminally ill children can be helped to die (Right To Die news list – FEN)

Message: 1

I’m good to go’: West Vancouver teacher ends her life with medical assistance CBC News By Cathy Browne, September 25, 2020

Beautiful story of a family saying goodbye to their mother, who suffered from a long-term neurological disease.

“She broached the subject with a palliative care team and her son Aaron Williams, an emergency room physician, who said the conversation was difficult at first.

“‘But as I thought more about it and talked with my wife and sister, it became clear that it was really in her best interest and that made it a lot easier to understand and accept,’ he said. ‘And I’ve been very supportive of her through the process.'”

Read more at:

Message: 2

Largest Ever Survey of Doctors’ Views on Assisted Dying Shows Historic Shift for Greater Choice at the End of Life By Campaign for Dignity in Dying (UK), October 8, 2020

“The British Medical Association’s first ever survey of its members’

views on assisted dying has found that doctors are in support of assisted dying and want the BMA to drop its official policy of opposition to a change in the law. Nearly 29,000 members of the BMA responded, making it the largest ever survey of medical opinion on assisted dying in the UK.

“Doctors were asked what the BMA’s position should be regarding a change in the law on assisted dying to allow doctors to prescribe drugs for patients to self-administer in order to end their own life.

40% said the BMA should support a change in the law, 21% said the BMA should take a neutral position and just 33% thought the BMA should maintain its opposition.”

This post includes links to the survey and to analysis.

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Message: 3

The Guardian in London reported 16 October 2020:

Dutch government backs euthanasia for under-12s

Dutch heath minister says change is needed to help terminally ill children

Daniel Boffey in Brussels

Wed 14 Oct 2020 10.17 EDT

Last modified on Wed 14 Oct 2020 11.00 EDT



Dutch minister Hugo de Jonge faced opposition from the conservative ChristenUnie.

Dutch minister Hugo de Jonge faced opposition from the conservative ChristenUnie. Photograph: Robin Utrecht/REX/Shutterstock

The Dutch government will permit doctors to euthanise terminally ill children aged between one and 12 after months of debate within the ruling coalition.

The country?s health minister, Hugo de Jonge, said a change in regulations was necessary to help ?a small group of terminally ill children who agonise with no hope, and unbearable suffering?.

The government estimates that the new rules, lifting the threat of prosecution from doctors, will affect between five and 10 children per year who have no hope of improvement in their condition.

Belgium became the first country to allow for voluntary child euthanasia in 2014 when it legislated to allow euthanasia in cases where the young patient was terminally ill and in great pain. Two Belgian children aged nine and 11, became the first to be euthanised in 2016 and 2017.


Intervention to end a life is also already legal in the Netherlands for children older than 12 if consent is given by the patient and their parents. Babies up to a year old may also have their lives ended with parental consent.

The group of children referenced by the planned regulation currently may only be given palliative care or have their nutrition withheld to speed up their death under the current rules with doctors facing prosecution if they take any other action to end a life.

This gap in provisions for children aged between one and 12 has been described as a ?grey area? by physicians calling for change.

The issue has been the cause of heated debate within the ruling four-party coalition, with opposition from both the Christian parties, the Christian Democrat Appeal party, led by De Jonge, and the more conservative ChristenUnie.

De Jonge had been open to a debate on the issue but he faced opposition from ChristenUnie. But in a letter to the Dutch parliament announcing the government?s intentions, De Jonge cited a recent report which showed overwhelming support for a change in the law among doctors.

He wrote: ?The study shows that there is a need for active termination of life among doctors and parents of incurably ill children, who are suffering hopelessly and unbearably and will die within the foreseeable future?.

Parental consent will be needed and the patient must be enduring ?unbearable and endless suffering? for euthanasia to be granted. At least two doctors must agree to the procedure.

Since 2002 doctors have been able to euthanise adults in the Netherlands in cases where it is regarded as a voluntary and well considered request in the context of unbearable suffering from which there is no prospect of improvement, or alternative remedy.

Last year there were 6,361 cases of euthanasia in the country ? just over 4% of the country?s total deaths. Of those, 91% were for terminal medical conditions.