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Right To Die

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NEWS
December 15, 1988 | PHYLLIS THEROUX
On Feb. 6, a baby boy was born, six weeks premature, at Sibley Hospital in Washington. His mother had been hospitalized during her pregnancy twice before--once for dehydration and again for very early labor--and the delivering obstetrician was on the lookout for more trouble. He got it. The baby didn't breathe properly and after a brief examination, he ordered him immediately transferred by ambulance to Georgetown Hospital's high-tech Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. He needed the best of care.
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NATIONAL
May 14, 2013 | By Michael Mello
Vermont is on track to become the fourth state to allow severely ill patients to end their lives under medical supervision. The state's House of Representatives voted 75 to 65 on Monday night to approve the “Patient Choice at End of Life” measure. The legislation, passed by the Senate in February, now goes to Gov. Peter Shumlin, who said he would sign it. If he does, it will make Vermont the first state to approve such a measure through state lawmakers. Oregon and Washington enacted their laws through a referendum, and a Montana Supreme Court decision made it legal in that state.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 17, 1990
I believe that Bill Bolte, a middle-aged disabled person, is dreaming about dragons that do not exist in his fear that anybody will ever seek the elimination of disabled persons who do not want to die. The entire point of right-to-die advocates is individual freedom of choice. We have no desire to advise others. We do not believe that Dr. Kevorkian should be tried for developing his suicide machine and allowing Janet Adkins to use it. (A judge threw out the murder charge against Kevorkian on Dec. 13)
NEWS
January 15, 2013 | By Karin Klein
Perhaps the only thing more surprising than the news that Belgium allowed the euthanasia of twin brothers who were deaf and going blind is how many commenters appear to favor this event and wish for similar laws in the United States. USA Today and various other sources report that the 45-year-old brothers had been close companions all their lives and lived in the same house. According to a family member, they were distraught at the idea that blindness would rob them of their independence, did not want to live in any kind of assisted-living facility and were horrified by the thought that they would never see each other again -- which would also make communication difficult, at least at first.
NEWS
June 25, 1987
The New Jersey Supreme Court broadly expanded the right-to-die guidelines it first laid down in the Karen Quinlan case, ruling that the wishes of a comatose or terminally ill person to refuse artificial life-support must be respected.
NEWS
October 29, 1996 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Two weeks after the Supreme Court agreed to rule on whether a terminally ill person has a right to die with a doctor's help, Justice Antonin Scalia told a college audience in the nation's capital it is "absolutely plain that there is no right to die." Although Scalia's view is neither surprising nor new, it is unusual for a justice to speak publicly about an issue that is before the court. In a recent talk to a class at Catholic University, Scalia repeated that "it is absolutely plain. . . .
NATIONAL
February 14, 2004 | From Times Wire Reports
A Florida appeals court said a lawsuit over whether a brain-damaged woman should be kept on life support must be reopened to consider more testimony. The ruling, which overturns a decision by the judge overseeing the highly publicized right-to-die case, is a victory for the parents of Theresa "Terri" Schiavo, 40. The suit challenges a law that ordered Schiavo's feeding tube reinserted six days after it had been removed at the request of her husband and legal guardian, Michael Schiavo.
NEWS
July 19, 1994 | LESLIE KNOWLTON
The right to die has long been discussed by those stricken by cancer or other terminal illnesses, but it is the AIDS community--particularly its gay contingent--that has been the most organized and supportive, watchers say. "This group is light-years ahead of any other group in terms of empowering themselves," says John Pridonoff, executive director of the Hemlock Society U.S.A., a euthanasia advocacy group.
NEWS
November 14, 1999 | From Associated Press
Right-to-die activists from around the world convened here Saturday to discuss and demonstrate do-it-yourself suicide devices--such as the "expirator" and the "debreather"--that bypass doctors and legislatures. Moderates in the right-to-die movement boycotted the two-day meeting, saying assisted suicide should remain within medical and legal bounds.
NEWS
March 23, 2002 | From Associated Press
A paralyzed woman who wants doctors to remove the ventilator that keeps her alive has a right to die, a British judge ruled Friday. The case was apparently the first in Britain in which a mentally competent patient had applied for the right to terminate life-sustaining treatment. The High Court ruling was relayed by video link to the hospital bedside of the woman, identified only as B.
NATIONAL
October 7, 2012 | By Matt Pearce
A terminally ill New York woman fought her religious parents in court for the right to die on her own terms, going so far as to say, “I want to die.” Now she's changed her mind. Grace Sung Eun Lee, 28, was a New York City financial manager until she developed a brain tumor that put her in the hospital Sept. 3. The doctors put her on life support at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, N.Y., to keep her alive, but after a while, she wanted off. That put her on a collision course with her highly conservative parents, Manho Lee and Jin-ah Lee, who believe she would go to hell if she chose to die. "When someone sets a date and time to die, that is suicide.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 30, 2011 | By Richard Marosi, Los Angeles Times
Reporting from El Cajon, Calif. -- Sharlotte Hydorn peddles a product touted for its deadly simplicity. Inside her butterfly-decorated boxes are clear plastic bags and medical-grade tubing. A customer places the bag over his head, connects the tubing from the bag to a helium tank, turns the valve and breathes. The so-called suicide kit asphyxiates a customer within minutes. Orders come from all over the world, from people young and old, depressed and terminally ill. "People commit suicide by jumping out of windows and buildings, and hanging themselves," said the 91-year-old former elementary school science teacher.
NATIONAL
May 23, 2009 | Kim Murphy
A 66-year-old woman with pancreatic cancer has become the first person to die under a new Washington state law allowing doctors to help terminally ill patients end their lives. Linda Fleming, of the Olympic Peninsula town of Sequim, died after ingesting a fatal dose of a fast-acting barbiturate, Compassion & Choices of Washington reported Friday. The group had promoted the successful ballot initiative, which took effect March 5.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 28, 2009 | Steve Chawkins
A Lodi woman pleaded not guilty Friday to charges that she assisted in the suicide of her brother, a blues guitarist who was well-known in the Central Valley. Jimmy Hartley, 45, had been crippled by a series of strokes and other health problems. In constant pain, he had pleaded with his sister for help in killing himself for nearly a year, according to Randy Thomas, June Hartley's attorney.
WORLD
December 11, 2008 | TIMES WIRE REPORTS
British television aired film of the assisted suicide of a 59-year-old Chicagoan at a Swiss clinic. Craig Ewert, a former computer scientist, was shown in bed with his wife at his side while he took barbiturates with a glass of apple juice. Then he used his teeth to turn off his ventilator, and died on camera. Parliament quizzed Prime Minister Gordon Brown about the propriety of airing the program. Care Not Killing, an anti-euthanasia group, denounced the broadcast as "a cynical attempt to boost television ratings" and persuade Parliament to legalize assisted suicide.
OPINION
August 11, 2008
In the course of treating a patient, there may come a point when the physician says, "I've done all I can. It's out of my hands." The patient may then ask about end-of-life options -- not life-ending options, but end-of-life options, such as palliative care focused on making the patient as comfortable as possible during the final illness.
NEWS
April 21, 1988 | JOHN DART, Times Religion Writer
A proposed initiative to permit doctor-assisted mercy killings, which appears to be falling short of qualifying for the state ballot, was opposed by Los Angeles Catholic, Protestant, Jewish and Muslim religious leaders in a joint statement issued Wednesday. The statement said the proposal poses a threat to "the generally accepted mores of society." Signers included Roman Catholic Archbishop Roger M.
NATIONAL
June 17, 2004 | From Associated Press
The Florida Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to hear an appeal in one of the nation's longest and most bitter right-to-die cases. The court voted 4-3 to hear the dispute over "Terri's Law," which forced doctors to reinsert the feeding tube that had kept Terri Schiavo alive for more than 14 years. The decision expedites the case, bypassing a review by a lower court. Gov. Jeb Bush signed the law in October, days after Schiavo's husband had the tube removed.
OPINION
June 29, 2008
Re "A personal battle over right to die," June 22 If the issue of assisted suicide was simply about autonomy, personal choice and respect, then it would be an easy call: Let the terminally ill die with dignity. Unfortunately, other influences could affect this choice. Insurance companies could have an incentive to "assist" terminally ill patients end their suffering. It is no doubt cheaper to prescribe a lethal dose of barbiturates than to manage a patient's suffering for months or years.
NATIONAL
June 22, 2008 | Stuart Glascock, Times Staff Writer
A looming battle in Washington state over efforts to create a right-to-die law for the terminally ill is a personal one for two men leading it, both of whom are ill. Fighting for the measure is a former governor who wants the freedom to exercise such a right; fighting against it is a former press secretary who can't imagine anyone wanting to. Proponents are wrapping up a petition drive to put Initiative 1000, the proposed Washington Death With Dignity Act, on the November ballot.
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