sábado, 13 de febrero de 2016

BioEdge: Clinton fumbles on end-of-life choices

BioEdge: Clinton fumbles on end-of-life choices

Clinton fumbles on end-of-life choices
Clinton's response is at 2.00 minutes 
After California, the biggest state in the US, legalized assisted suicide, and after a video by Brittany Maynard went viral on YouTube, you might think that candidates for the White House would have clear and crisp opinions on its ethics and feasibility.

But when Hillary Clinton was asked for her opinion in a New Hampshire town hall debate, she was stumped. “This is the first time I've been asked that question,” she told an 81-year-old man with colon cancer. Fumbling for words, she produced a few woolly platitudes. At least it is clear that she is opposed to involuntary euthanasia.

“We need to have a conversation in our country. There are states, as you know that are moving to open up the opportunity without criminal liability for people to make this decision, in consultation by their families, even, in some cases, with medical professionals.

But the issue is whether the medical professionals want to be involved or just be counselors. So it is a crucial issue that people deserve to understand from their own ethical, religious, faith-based perspective.

So here's how I think about it.

I want -- I want, as president, to try to catalyze that debate because I -- I believe you're right, this is going to become an issue more and more often. We are, on the good side, having many people live longer, but often, then, with very serious illnesses that they can be sustained on, but at some point, don't want to continue with the challenges that poses.

So I don't have any easy or glib answer for you.

I think I would want to really immerse myself in the -- the -- the ethical writings, the health writings, the scientific writings, the religious writings. I know some other countries, the Netherlands and others, have a quite open approach. I'd like to know what their experience has been.

Because we -- we have to be sure that nobody is coerced, nobody is under duress. And that is a difficult line to draw.

So I thank you -- I thank you so much for raising this really important absolutely critical question that we're all going to have to do some thinking about.
To be fair to Mrs Clinton, bioethical issues do not have top billing in the 2016 campaign. It will be interesting to see what the other candidates have to say
- See more at: http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/clinton-fumbles-on-end-of-life-choices/11749#sthash.TlxFXaTL.dpuf


Oh no; not again. Sorry: about half of our articles this week are about euthanasia, most of them about the Netherlands. I know that there are other issues, but this time I shall blame the news cycle. NVVE, the leading Dutch right-to-die group, is celebrating 15 years of Dutch euthanasia this week.
Depending on your point of view, the festivities are either premature or long overdue. The law legalising euthanasia in the Netherlands came into effect on April 1, 2002, which means that NVVE is actually celebrating the beginning of the 15th year.
On the other hand, euthanasia was effectively legal in the Netherlands for decades before that. A 1991 government study, the Remmelink Report, found that in 1990 there had been 2,300 cases of voluntary euthanasia, 400 cases of assisted suicide, and 1,040 cases of involuntary euthanasia. That was 25 years ago, so perhaps that is a better baseline for the celebration. 
Legalisation clearly has drawbacks, though. The number of cases of illegal, involuntary euthanasia is no longer included in official government statistics. O for the candour of the Remmelink Report! 

Michael Cook

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