Today’s Topics: Dec. 18, 2020

1. Spain?s Lower House Passes Assisted Dying Law
2. Top court in Austria strikes down ban on assisted dying
3. Disregarding Advance Directives of Pregnant Patients
4. Disability and Vulnerability 
5. Ain’t The Way To Die, by ZDoggMD 

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Spain’s lower house passes assisted dying law, full passage expected

There’s great news from Spain, where a solid 198-138 majority voted on
Thursday December 17 in favor of a voluntary assisted dying law.  The
law was introduced in February by the incoming Socialist-led
government of Prime MInister Pedro Sanchez.  The New York Times
reports that passage in the Senate is likely, and the law could come
into force within a few months.

Significantly, the bill is similar to the Canadian law in force since
2016 and the law just passed in New Zealand, in that it allows for
either doctor administration or self-administration.  The evidence
from Canada is instructive:  an overwhelming majority of dying people
choosing to hasten their death, prefer doctor administration.

During the parliamentary debate, Maria Luisa Carcedo, a former health
minister, noted that the law allowed Spain to take “a step forward in
civil rights, which will bring more liberty to citizens.”  Far from
being “an imposition by the state,” she added, the law meant that “it
is the patient who decides.”

Prime Minister Sanchez thanked the lawmakers and citizens who
supported the new law, calling it “a great social conquest for our

The full article is at:

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Dec. 18, 2020

The Constitutional Court of Austria ruled on December 11 that the
country’s ban on assisted dying is unconstitutional.

In a ruling reminiscent of the Canadian Supreme Court 2015 ruling that
led to Canada’s assisted dying law, the Austrian court found that the
ban on assisted death is “a violation of an individual’s right to
self-determination. The decision came after various affected
stakeholders, including two terminally ill individuals, requested
removal of the provision … The court held that the provision
violated one’s right to self-determination since it laid down a
blanket ban on assisting a person in dying without providing for any
exceptions….the constitutional guarantee of the right to free
self-determination is implicit in various fundamental guarantees
including the right to private life, the right to life and the
principle of equality.”

For a very complete analysis, see the news release from Dignitas:

Read more in The Local (Austria’s news in English):

And in The Jurist:

Also featured in The Good Death Society blog:

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Thaddeus Pope draws our attention to an Idaho case challenging the
state’s ability to nullify the advance directives of pregnant women.

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Nicole Gladu has no time for the argument that she’s a vulnerable person
The Canadian Press
By Joan Bryden, Dec. 16, 2020

“Vulnerability is a concept used ad nauseam by paternalistic people in
good health (for) standing in the way of MAID,” Gladu says.

“She’s equally dismissive of the argument — advanced by
disability-rights groups and echoed by the majority of Conservative
MPs — that the bill sends a message that life with a disability is
not worth living.”

Read more at:

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It’s from 2015 and well worth another look — the music video “Ain’t
The Way To Die”, by Dr. Zubin Damania, also known as Z Dogg MD.
Focusing on the insanity and cruelty of futile aggressive medical
treatment at end of life, Dr. Damania sings:

Just gonna stand there and watch me burn
End of life and all my wishes go unheard
They just prolong me and don’t ask why
It’s not right cause this ain’t the way to die

The last chorus substitutes “It’s my right to choose the way that I
should die” as the last line.

Check it out at: