A Christian nursing home run by the Salvation Army in Switzerland has been told that it must either allow assisted suicide despite its religious beliefs, or lose its charitable status.
The nursing home mounted a legal challenge against the country’s new assisted suicide rules which require charities taking care of the sick or elderly and to offer assisted suicide when a patient asks for it, Catholic Herald reports. But a Swiss court ruled against the nursing home earlier this month. . .[Full text]
In one of the last photographs my family took of my grandmother, she looks as if she’s been in a fistfight. Jean Bass Tinsley is lying in a hospital bed in Athens, Georgia, wearing a turquoise button-up shirt and staring blankly at the camera. A bandage obscures her fractured skull, along with the bridge of her bloodied nose. She is 91 years old.
My grandmother essentially did this to herself. In June 2013, she fell out of her wheelchair headfirst, after ignoring her caregivers’ warnings not to get out of bed without help. Earlier that year, she’d broken both of her hips, in separate falls. Before that, her pelvis-all while trying to do what for most of her life she’d managed just fine on her own: walk.
In her last year, dementia crept into my grandmother’s mind. The staff at her long-term-care facility plotted ways to protect her from herself. It’s against the law in Georgia to restrain patients in such facilities, so they lowered her bed to the floor and put a pad down next to it. They even installed an alarm that went off if she left her mattress. My grandmother disabled the alarm, moved the pad and freed herself, repeatedly. In the end, she was both too weak and too strong. [Full text]
A plan put forward by the parliament of the Swiss canton of Vaud to oblige nursing homes to accept assisted suicide has been approved by the electorate. The new law is supported by associations of Vaud nursing homes and physicians. It specifies that the applicant must be suffering from an incurable illness or injury and be of sound mind. The voters rejected an alternative proposal that would have given nursing home residents an unconditional right to assisted suicide. [swissinfo.ch] It does not appear that a rejection of both positions in favour of a ban on assisted suicide was considered, nor does it appear that there was a discussion of the possibility of conscientious objection.