AB 2747 would authorize total sedation without nutrition and hydration for depressed and confused patients, whether or not their natural death was imminent. The bill would also allow family members to order the death of a mentally disabled person when a nurse opines they have less than a year to live, similar to Terry Schindler Schiavo’s death at the hands of her husband.
This is the fourth time that the assisted suicide bill has been pushed by Assembly Democrats Patty Berg and Lloyd Levine. But this year, instead of proposing to have doctors administer lethal injections, AB 2747 aims to produce death by sedation abuse, a clear violation of life-affirming medical ethics. Until now, total sedation has been used only when death was imminent – within hours or days – and when strong pain medication was not enough. Medical ethics require that food and water (nutrition and hydration) not be removed when sleep-inducing drugs are used, since doing so would cause unnatural, as opposed to natural, death. Yet AB 2747 pushes total sedation even if patients have not rejected food and water.
A group of legislators in Belgium is seeking to expand the practice of euthanasia to include those who are unconscious, as well as minors, according to a recent article in the Spanish newspaper Hoy.
The initiative, spearheaded by former Senator Jean-Jacques de Gucht, was originally launched in 2004 and failed, the article states.
The new proposed legislation will allow people to create a type of “living will” that will allow doctors to euthanize them if they are unconscious and unable to give consent.
While euthanasia has been legal in Belgium 2002, the existing law has prohibited the practice under the above-mentioned circumstances.
Doctors who refuse to kill their patients under the law will be required to refer them to a doctor who is willing to do it, reports Hoy.
Ah, progress. What would we do without it?