Canada’s Euthanasia Experiment: How Can a Person Die with Dignity if They’re Denied a Dignified Life?

By Sean Donovan: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Canada’s euthanasia law faces intense scrutiny, and it’s not coming from the religious right.

On July 25th, 2019, Sean Tagert dragged his gaze across an on-screen keyboard, and with the help of an eye-reading communication system used by quadriplegics and people suffering from advanced ALS, letter-by-letter, he painstakingly wrote out a final farewell to his Facebook followers.

A debilitating 2017 cardiac arrest, coming after a 4-year battle with Lou Gherig’s Disease, left Sean unable to move, speak, or even eat. The farewell was neither measured nor resigned. It was not a goodbye left by a man at peace with what was to come. Sean was bitter.

“I’ve been quiet lately because I’m just done, worn-out. So last Friday, I officially submitted my medically assisted death paperwork, with lawyers and doctors, everything in proper order. It’s been over a month since I submitted my appeal to the Vancouver Coastal Health patient care quality department. They didn’t even respond,” he wrote. “Welcome to the great Canadian Healthcare system, people.”

It’s only natural for a person who chooses euthanasia, as a means to free themselves from pain, to be bitter. We plead, we beg whatever higher powers we might fancy for succor, we wonder why the seemingly astronomical chances landed the way they did, and our rage becomes inconsolable. But Sean wasn’t bitter about having to seek release; his acrimony was motivated by Vancouver Coastal Health, the local health authority, which had denied him full funding for his illness.

After Tagert’s condition worsened in 2017, he was placed on a ventilator, and the health authority recommended he receive 24-hour care. The problem: They were only willing to pay for 16 hours a day.

Registration: Assistive Technology for Trauma – Michigan Alliance for Families

This webinar meets 2 times.

October
Wed,Oct 12, 2022 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM EDT
Wed,Oct 12, 2022 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM EDT

Show in My Time Zone

Join Michigan Alliance for Families at either 12:00pm or 6:30pm for Assistive Technology (AT) for Trauma with Ajaune Thomas and Aimee Sterk, MI Disability Rights Coalition.

Join us for a virtual presentation about the possibilities of assistive technology to support people affected by trauma.

This training, presented by staff from Michigan Disability Right Coalition’s Assistive Technology Program, covers topics including:

• Assistive Technology (AT) and Trauma

• Disability Pride

• AT Devices for Daily Living and Safety

• AT in IEP

• Post Trauma Resources and Transitioning

We will explore AT that youth can use at home, work, and school for safety, sensory, self-regulation, building connections, structure and routine, social and emotional development, and self-advocacy.

Who should attend? Students with a disability who have experienced trauma and those that support someone that has experienced trauma.

Three Common Issues With Assisted Suicide Laws

From PRAF: For Complete Post, Click Here…

The debate about assisted suicide and euthanasia laws continues to increase around the world, but as Americans begin to see the repercussions of assisted suicide laws from our northern neighbors in Canada, even proponents of assisted suicide are questioning whether or not these laws are working.

There are three issues that this article by Nicholas Goldberg addresses that opponents of assisted suicide have been calling out for quite some time.

1. Discrimination of people with disabilities

“Three United Nations-appointed experts reported last year that the law appeared to violate the rights of the disabled and could have a “discriminatory effect” on them.”

The top five reasons people request the lethal drugs for assisted suicide are loss of autonomy, loss of ability to engage in activities, loss of dignity, loss of control of bodily functions, and feeling like a burden on others (Oregon Death With Dignity Act). These are disability-related issues. Assisted suicide laws communicate to people with disabilities who are experiencing these issues on a daily basis that their lives are not worth living and that it would be better for them to be dead than disabled.

It is not a question of whether these laws could discriminate against people with disabilities. It is verifiable that these laws absolutely discriminate against people with disabilities. Only people with disabilities qualify. Everyone else gets suicide prevention care.

2. Steering of patients by doctors

“Another worry is that Canadian doctors are initiating discussions about euthanasia with patients who are not otherwise considering it. Critics fear they may be encouraging patients to end their lives…Perhaps it makes sense to bar doctors from initiating discussions about assisted suicide and euthanasia…”

The doctor patient relationship is built on trust, but it is by nature an imbalanced relationship. When it is the doctors who are initiating these conversations, their authority is stamped on the suggestion, which is a nudge by the non vulnerable person in the relationship. The patient has to trust that their lives are not being devalued, that doctors or other medical professionals will not help them kill themselves in a dark moment, when they give everyone else suicide prevention.

3. “Safeguards” that aren’t working

“Canada appears to have fewer safeguards than other countries that allow assisted suicide or euthanasia. Whatever reasonable protections can be enacted to ensure people aren’t encouraged, steered, or pressured into ending their lives should be welcomed.”

Canada’s “safeguards” were in place in the original formation of the assisted suicide laws. They included limits such as requiring the patient to have an “irremediable” condition, that the person must be given multiple options to change their minds, that if they do not have a “natural death foreseeable” that “the person has been informed of the means available to relieve their suffering, including, where appropriate, counseling services, mental health and disability support services, community services and palliative care and has been offered consultations with relevant professionals who provide those services or that care” (Canada’s Criminal Code, 2016, c. 3, s. 3).

Not only were these “safeguards” ignored or circumvented with impunity by many when they are in place, but now Canada and several jurisdictions in the US where the practice is legal are removing yesterday’s “safeguards,” which are today’s “barriers to access.” What little safeguard were in place are being eroded. Assisted suicide laws will never be safe.

You cannot both have assisted suicide laws and protect those with disabilities, avoid steering by doctors, and trust existing safeguards. Experience has born that out, but hopefully it’s not too late to close Pandora’s box.

11 Disability Rights Activists on Where the Fight for Justice Stands

BY TEEN VOGUE STAFF: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Airlines have lifted mask mandates. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that most Americans no longer need to social distance or quarantine. Schools and employers are doing away with remote options and other accommodations for students and workers. In several states, expanded vote-by-mail access is being stripped away.

Meanwhile, many Americans with chronic illness or disabilities — whose numbers have grown due to long COVID — feel they’ve been left behind, discarded as an acceptable consequence of the return to “normal.”

We asked 11 disability rights advocates about their experiences during the various stages of the pandemic and what’s next in the fight for disability rights and inclusion. Their responses have been condensed and lightly edited for clarity.

  1. How do you think the pandemic changed the public perception of people living with disabilities or chronic illness?

HIGH RATES OF DEPRESSION AND PTSD FOUND IN FLINT 5 YEARS AFTER WATER CRISIS

BY DUKE TODAY STAFF: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Very high rates of depression and PTSD linked to water contamination.

Data from the largest mental health survey of the Flint, Michigan community indicate that one in five adults, or roughly 13,600 people, were estimated to have clinical depression, and one in four, or 15,000 people, were estimated to have PTSD five years after the water crisis began.

“The mental health burden of America’s largest public-works environmental disaster clearly continues for many adults in Flint,” said Aaron Reuben, a postdoctoral scholar at Duke University who led the research, which appears Sept. 20 in JAMA Network Open.

Autism and Lying

By Mette Harrison: For Complete Post, Click Here…

I find it excruciating to lie. But let me clarify a bit here. To me, lying is not what most other people would call lying. I say other people are lying a lot of the time because they say things that I consider “contrary to fact.” Most people, when I point these out, give me a funny look and say something like, “that’s not a lie.” They think of these things as “white lies” or something don’t think of them as lies at all. This is largely because their brains are not as literal as mine is. But if you tell me something that is an exaggeration or a social nicety, I will call that a lie. And you will be confused. This is often a subject of argument between me and people who are neurotypical who have no idea what I think of as a lie.

There are two kinds of lies that I see most often in the world.

1. Lying to make someone else feel better

2. Lying to make yourself look better

Most people only consider the second one a lie, and only in extreme circumstances. If you lie to make someone else feel better (“flattery” perhaps you might be able to call this), then you don’t think of it as a lie because that is what normal social interaction is. This is exactly why autistic people struggle so much with learning how to interact normally in the social world of neurotypicals. We don’t understand why flattery is necessary or good. We don’t understand how other people want to be seen (as smarter than they are, as thinner than they are, as prettier or stronger or taller than they are or whatever), so we really struggle with compliments.

Setting Standards for Delivering High-Quality Care to Veterans with Invisible Wounds

by Natalie Ernecoff, Carrie M. Farmer, Matthew F. Amidon, Margaret C. Harrell, Jennifer Silva: For Complete Post, Click Here…

For veterans living with invisible wounds of war, care delivery organizations must define and measure standards for high-quality care. Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, traumatic brain injury (TBI), substance use disorders, and other “invisible wounds” are common among post-9/11 veterans and can interfere with their employment, family life, engagement with their communities, and overall well-being. Further, many veterans receive care at non-VA facilities, though the quality and programs in non-VA clinical settings are difficult to assess. Although there are effective treatments for these conditions, many veterans face barriers to accessing high-quality care. Therefore, care delivery organizations could work to ensure that the care and resources they provide are of high quality.

As a first step, the Veteran Wellness Alliance, a coalition of veteran peer network organizations and clinical provider organizations supported by the George W. Bush Institute, previously collaborated with RAND researchers to develop a shared definition of high-quality care consisting of four pillars: veteran-centered care, accessible care, evidence-based care, and outcome monitoring to improve access to high-quality care for post-9/11 veterans with invisible wounds.

Final Public Charge Rule Adds Critical Protections for Immigrant Families

By Katherine Villeda, Colin Reusch: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Late last week following guidance from the Biden administration, the Department of Homeland Security released the final Public Charge Rule, taking an important step forward to undo the harm caused by the previous administration’s rule which significantly threatened access to critical services for immigrants and their families. This final rule adds critical protections and affirms that immigrants and their families can safely access health, housing and nutritional programs to which they are entitled to without fear of consequences to their immigration status.     

Here is what advocates need to know:  

  • The final rule goes into effect Dec. 22, 2022. Between now and then, the field guidance from the 1999 rule will continue to be followed.  
  • Immigrants and their families, including citizen children, can safely access non-cash health, nutritional and housing programs they qualify for, such as Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), and Section 8 housing assistance. Benefits received from these programs will not count towards the public charge test. 
  • Applying for benefits, being approved for benefits, assisting someone else to apply for benefits, or being in the same household as someone who receives benefits will not be counted towards the applicant’s immigration application.  
  • The only programs that can be considered in a public charge determination are Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) cash assistance, state and locally funded cash assistance for income maintenance, and long-term institutional care paid for by Medicaid (this excludes short term or rehabilitative care and home and community-based services). However, getting these benefits does not automatically make someone a public charge. Other factors such as when benefits were received, length of receipt of benefits, education, skills, income and affidavit of support will be taken into account before making a public charge determination. If a public charge determination is made, immigration officers must now state their reasons as to why someone is a public charge.  

A further analysis of the final rule can be found here.   

At a wheelchair rally, Inglis House residents protest the sale of their home

by Harold Brubaker: For Complete Post, Click Here…

ngd-Financial capitalism at its worst…

Residents fear the loss of a way of life if the facility is sold to Tryko Partners.

A group of Inglis House residents took to the sidewalk in West Philadelphia Friday afternoon to protest the planned sale of the home they deeply appreciate to a for-profit organization from Brick, N.J.

They said they fear the loss of so much they love about the nursing home at 2600 Belmont Ave., which specializes in the care of people with paralysis and impaired mobility. High-quality food, computers, museum visits, music, and shopping trips — things they may not find at other homes that can accommodate their physical needs — are some of the amenities that residents dread losing if the sale happens.

“Now it’s going to change, and not for the better,” said Annette Davis, who has lived there for eight years.

Inglis Foundation announced the sale of Inglis House in July to Tryko Partners, a fast-growing for-profit that already owns 10 facilities in the Philadelphia region. Inglis management said at the time that the nursing home loses so much money that it will eventually jeopardize the entire organization, which also provides community services and develops low-income housing for individuals with disabilities who don’t need nursing-home levels of care.

A contentious issue is the Inglis Foundation’s $240 million endowment. Management says only a slice of it is restricted to the nursing home and will continue to support the nursing home after the sale.

10 TikToks to Watch If You’re Struggling With Suicidal Thoughts Right Now

By Sky Taylor: For Complete Post, Click Here…

If you experience suicidal thoughts, the following post could be potentially triggering. If you need support right now, you can call, text, or chat the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988, or text HOME to 741-741 to reach the Crisis Text Line if you are in the U.S. A list of crisis centers around the world can be found here.

When people are struggling, especially with their mental health, we tell them to reach out. Talk to someone. Tell a trusted adult. But the unfortunate reality is that not everyone has a person they can text when suicidal thoughts get too loud and the pain gets too heavy. Even if someone has a great support system, when you’re struggling with suicidal thoughts, feeling like a burden can make it incredibly difficult to reach out. And yes, crisis lines exist, but they have a time and a place (and plenty that needs fixing). Sometimes you just need the face of another person who understands, spending 60 seconds with you, being supportive and empathetic.

That’s why I’m thankful for TikTok, and especially these videos. People can say what they will about screen time and mindless scrolling, but there are far more destructive coping mechanisms, and I’m certainly not one to judge. I know how lonely and isolating living with suicidal thoughts can be. I can’t tell you how many nights I’ve watched these videos on repeat, and how many times they’ve saved me. If you’re struggling with suicidal thoughts right now, I want you to know I see you. And I hope you find as much comfort and support in these videos as I have. Save them, bookmark them, come back to them when you need to, they’ll be here.

1. POV: You see us struggling with suicidal thoughts.

A wildly popular mental health advocate with years of lived experience, Jazz Thornton is always there to remind you the world is better with you in it. The way she uses her story to help so many who are struggling with such dark thoughts, is inspiring. This point-of-view style video, talking di