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Defending life
from conception to natural death


Netherlands offers euthanasia for alcoholics

28 November 2016

The man was given a lethal injection after he failed to overcome his alcohol addiction.

A journalist has written in a Dutch magazine about the death by euthanasia of his brother, a "hopeless alcoholic".

Marcel Langedijk wrote in Linda magazine that his brother Mark asked for euthanasia after 21 stints in hospital or rehab. His parents had been caring for him and he had family support, but was unable to recover from his alcoholism.

As he was "physically quite ill and psychologically suffering badly" he met the ever-expanding criteria of eligibility for euthanasia, and was given a lethal injection."

Dr Anthony McCarthy of SPUC commented, "Such stories are shocking but in no way surprising. A society whose laws send out the message that certain lives have little or no value and can thus be terminated is not going to persist in offering compassionate solutions to vulnerable groups such as alcoholics. What we see here is indeed 'hopeless' and has nothing to do with medicine, still less basic care and solidarity for the suffering person."

Australian Medical Association upholds opposition to euthanasia

The Australian Medical Association (AMA) has released an updated statement on euthanasia and physician assisted suicide, in which it maintained its position that doctors should not be involved in euthanasia, and called for greater investment in palliative care.

AMA President, Dr Michael Gannon, said: "The key outcome from our policy review - and the core message from our updated Position Statement - is that there needs to be much greater investment in quality end of life care, especially nationally consistent palliative care services."

Dr Gannon said that the AMA maintains its position that doctors should not be involved in interventions that have as their "primary intention" the ending of a person's life.   

Scheme that requires vulnerable women to use long-term contraception receives government funding

A scheme which aims to reduce the number of children taken into care has been given £6.8 million in government funding.

The Pause programme requires the vulnerable women it supports to use a long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) method such as the implant or the coil (some of which can be abortifacient). Critics have questioned the ethics of compelling women to be temporarily sterilised in order to receive help.

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