CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 30, 2011 |
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.
May 23, 2009 |
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 |
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.
December 11, 2008 |
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.
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.
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.