Maggie’s Powerful Story Raises Troubling Questions About How the Brain Injured are Diagnosed and Treated


(NRLC News) – As the tragedy of Terri Schindler Schiavo’s death by starvation illustrates, euthanasia advocates have long been quick to dismiss as worthless the lives of those people with intellectual and physical disabilities they label with the dehumanizing term "vegetative."

Even as Canada explicitly targets people with disabilities through legalized active euthanasia; and the campaign to expand the states in which assisted suicide is legal in the U.S. continues, iconoclastic physicians are instead demonstrating the potential to communicate with and provide assistive technology and rehabilitative services to this stigmatized population. In an article from the May 6, 2016, Newsweek Magazine entitled, "Given the right stimuli, brain activity in patients in persistent vegetative states can bear similarity to non-injured people," author Don Heupel highlights two separate but related issues related to serious brain injuries. CONTINUE


Assisted Suicide Advocate Shoots His Wife and Then Himself in Murder-Suicide


( – An assisted-suicide advocate is being accused of murdering his wife and then killing himself last week at a Florida assisted living facility. The Global Dispatch reports Frank Kavanaugh, 81, a board member of the pro-euthanasia group Final Exit Network, was discovered dead early last Tuesday morning near his dead wife, Barbara, 88.

The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office believes Kavanaugh shot his wife and then killed himself in a murder-suicide, according to the report. They are investigating the incident. Assisted suicide is a felony in Florida, according to state law. The alleged shooting occurred at Solaris Health Care Charlotte Harbor in Port Charlotte, Florida, where Barbara was a patient who suffered from dementia, ABC 7 News reports. CONTINUE


Hospital to Pull 2-Year-Old Off Life Support Against Parents’ Wishes


(Live Action News) – Two-year-old Israel Stinson’s mother took him to the hospital during an asthma attack only a few weeks ago. CBS Sacramento reports that, after his arrival at the hospital, Israel “stopped breathing and doctors determined he was brain-dead. … Israel’s parents said he didn’t get oxygen for 40 minutes, causing severe brain injuries. They transferred him to Kaiser Permanente in Roseville where doctors came to the same conclusion.”

Tomorrow, the hospital plans to take Israel off of life support, even though his parents want to give him more time to wake back up, as he has begun to respond. Life Legal Defense Foundation, who is representing Israel’s parents, has released two videos of Israel that show him physically responding to his mother’s voice and touch. CONTINUE


Dutch Government Funds Study to Consider Child Euthanasia


(LifeSiteNews) – The Dutch minister for public health, Edith Schippers, has decided to award about 450,000 dollars of public money for scientific research on child euthanasia. She made the announcement last week in response to a request made in June 2015 by the Dutch Association of Pediatricians (NVK) asking for decriminalization of so-called "mercy-killing" of children aged between 1 and 12.

Last Friday, Schippers told the Second Chamber of Parliament that she is presently of the opinion that there are not enough reasons to make euthanasia available for this age group, and that the NVK’s request is being put on hold. But the debate has not been closed and the minister appears to be open to other solutions. CONTINUE


Euthanasia “Treatment” for Suicide by Starvation


(NRO) – We are creating a culture of death where, in essence, suicidal people can coerce the medical system into providing euthanasia. Here’s what I mean.

If a despairing person does not qualify to be killed under a legalized euthanasia/assisted suicide law, they simply harm themselves to become eligible for killing. Then, a doctor finishes the job of death. That has now happened in Quebec. A disabled man starved himself into debilitation, and then a doctor provided a lethal injection. CONTINUE


UPDATE: Abigail Kopf Returns Home From Rehabilitation Hospital


( – A Michigan teenager says she feels like a "warrior princess" after surviving a mass shooting that left her critically injured. Abigail Kopf, 14, is finally home two months after being shot and nearly killed in the February shooting. She was one of two people injured during multiple shootings in the Kalamazoo area that left six dead. The accused shooter, then-Uber driver Jason Dalton, has been arrested and charged with murder.

Abigail's injuries, which included being shot in the head, were so severe that her heart stopped and her medical team was concerned she might become brain dead, according to Bronson Children's Hospital, where she was treated. The teen is now able to walk and talk, telling ABC News she hopes she can do "cartwheels again" after she recovers. CONTINUE


Assisted Suicide Advocacy & the Increase in Suicides


(Wesley J. Smith/NRO) - There has been a huge and alarming increase in the U.S. suicide rate. From the CDC announcement:

From 1999 through 2014, the age-adjusted suicide rate in the United States increased 24%, from 10.5 to 13.0 per 100,000 population, with the pace of increase greater after 2006… Suicide is increasing against the backdrop of generally declining mortality, and is currently one of the 10 leading causes of death overall and within each age group 10–64… This report highlights increases in suicide mortality from 1999 through 2014 and shows that while the rate increased almost steadily over the period, the average annual percent increase was greater for the second half of this period (2006–2014) than for the first half (1999–2006).

Color me decidedly not surprised. We are becoming a pro-suicide culture I believe the assisted suicide movement bears partial responsibility. Suicides have increased at the very time the assisted suicide movement has been vigorously and prominently promoting self-killing as a proper means to alleviate suffering. CONTINUE



Neural Stem Cell Transplants Aid Traumatic Brain Injury Recovery


( – Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major cause of mortality and morbidity, often causing lifelong disability for those who survive. Treatment is limited to supportive care, but stem cell therapy has received recent attention as a way to promote recovery for injuries to the central nervous system (CNS).

In this study, researchers transplanted human neural stem cells (hNSCs) into the brains of mice modeled with TBI to investigate whether the hosts' immune systems and the stem cells acting in concert would enhance repair. The researchers found that the transplanted hNSCs had a beneficial effect when the cells differentiated into a neuroprotective form (M2) of microglia (the main immune cells of the CNS) and subsequently reduced inflammatory responses generated by the injury. CONTINUE


Charles Lewis: Resist Falling Prey to a System of Legalized Murder


(LifeSiteNews) - Most everyone has heard of the notion that if you put myriad monkeys in a room with typewriters, pens, paper and computers eventually one of our simian friends would produce a work akin to Hemingway, St. Augustine or Judith Krantz.

I think what they would end up with would be closer to Bill C-14, the Liberal government's bill on euthanasia and assisted suicide — or as I call it, killing of patients — released Thursday. As Kelly McParland wrote in the National Post, the only beneficiaries will be lawyers who should be able to buy a beautiful cottage or two from the legal fees that will be generated by the confusion generated by this bill. CONTINUE


Parents Fighting Hospital to Keep 2-Year-Old on Life Support


(LifeSiteNews) – A little California boy’s life hangs in the balance as his parents fight to keep him alive during a legal dispute over his condition, with a judge today granting a temporary reprieve while they seek answers. Two-year-old Israel Stinson's parents were in Placer County Superior Court this morning petitioning to keep their son on life support until the boy can be assessed by an outside specialist, after the hospital declared him brain-dead and said his treatment would be withdrawn.

Life Legal Defense Foundation (LLDF) had obtained a temporary restraining order yesterday enjoining Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Sacramento from stopping the treatment necessary to keep Israel’s condition stable in the meantime. This morning they successfully petitioned for an extension, allowing Israel’s Stinson’s family time to get a second opinion. CONTINUE


Denver Lacrosse Club Playing with a Purpose


( – When the Denver Spartans lacrosse team takes on St. Stephens today at 5:30 p.m. at East Lincoln High School, there will be something far more important going on than who wins or loses the game. The Spartans will be playing today’s game in honor of John Michael Night. Night, a seventeen year old senior, was a lacrosse player for Trinity Prep in Winter Park, Florida until he became paralyzed from a brainstem stroke.

Dawn Burke, the mother of Denver Spartan Keegan Burke, said that Night needs the thoughts and prayers of the teams and the community. Before Night suffered the brainstem stroke, he was one of the top players on his team. Just two weeks prior to the incident, he had signed a National Letter of Intent to play lacrosse at Mercer University in Georgia. CONTINUE


Canada Introduces Assisted-Suicide Proposal, Excludes ‘Suicide Tourists’


(Washington Times) – Canada proposed Thursday legalizing assisted suicide for patients with “grievous and irremediable” medical conditions, but would limit the law to Canadian citizens to diminish the likelihood having so-called suicide tourists travel north of the border.

The proposal, backed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, would allow physicians to aid seriously ill adults who wish to end their lives without risking prosecution. Canada’s Supreme Court last year eliminated rules that had barred doctors from helping patients die, and Mr. Trudeau’s administration was subsequently allowed to propose a legislative solution, which was unveiled Thursday. CONTINUE


Baby Born with Brain Injury Has Hope of Recovery as Her Brain Grows


(Daily Telegraph) – EMILY Sayers is a beautiful baby but endures more pain than most people will have in a lifetime after she suffered severe brain injuries during her birth. The "little ray of sunshine" is the firstborn child of Claire and Ben Sayers, born in 2014. Her brain injuries mean she lives with vision impairment, cerebral palsy and uncontrolled epilepsy that has forced her return to hospital for more than half of her life.

But there is hope for Emily and other children like her because her brain is young and intense but expensive therapy can teach her brain the right pathways. "It's important to educate people on what she isn't," Mrs Sayers said. "Emily is not cerebral palsy, she isn’t seizures, she is a beautiful little girl." CONTINUE


Pope: “Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide are a Threat to Families Worldwide”


( – Pope Francis once again proves himself to be a powerful pro-life voice with his latest apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, Latin for the "Joy of Love." Showing that he has his hand firmly planted on the pulse of the world, the Pontiff boldly writes against the poison pills of our age: euthanasia and assisted suicide.

The Holy Father states, "Euthanasia and assisted suicide are serious threats to families worldwide…The Church, while firmly opposing these practices, feels the need to assist families who take care of their elderly and infirm members." CONTINUE


Baby Born Missing Parts of Her Brain Almost Died, Then a Miracle Happened


( – Babies with the brain disorder hydranencephaly often die before their first birthday, but 2-year-old Nika is defying the odds. Hydranencephaly wasn’t the only thing that almost claimed the little girl’s life. Born to a young mother in Haiti, Nika was neglected and malnourished; but after a young missionary reached out to Nika and her mother, the little girl began experiencing one miracle after another, according to LiveAction News.

Sarah Conque was serving as a medical missionary at the Danita’s Children Medical Center in Haiti when she met Nika for the first time. According to Conque’s blog, a woman who said she was Nika’s aunt (later believed to be her mother) brought the baby girl to the hospital for care in January 2014. Nika was 3 months old, and the medical staff there treated her for hydrocephalus, a condition where fluid builds up in the brain. CONTINUE


Colorado Attempt to Allow Disabled Euthanasia


(NRO) – When people say assisted suicide is only for the terminally ill, I know they are either lying or ignorant of what the movement really wants. If suicide or killing is an acceptable response to a terminal diagnosis, why not also for those who will suffer perhaps more and for a longer period?

There is no logic to saying no once the initial premise is accepted. An attempt to amend the Constitution of Colorado demonstrates the point. CONTINUE


Traumatic Brain Injury: Billings Teen on the Road to Recovery


( – Health experts say anyone can experience TBI. As many as 53,000 people in the U.S. die from TBI-related causes every year. Those who survive it can face effects lasting a few days to disabilities that can last a lifetime.

"I can say that it’s a major cause of death or disability in the U.S. and I think that’s one that we become increasingly aware of as we build some awareness of the whole spectrum of head injuries, and that runs from mild head injuries, which we tend to call concussions, to very serious head injuries," said Billings Clinic Emergency Medicine and Medical Ethics Physician Dr. Nathan Allen. Traumatic Brain Injury is most common among children up to four years old, teens and adults 65 and older. CONTINUE


New Guidelines Could Force Ontario Nurses to Help Euthanize Patients


(LifeSiteNews) — The College of Nurses of Ontario has confirmed that nurses have the right to conscientiously object to taking part in "physician-assisted death," after the Catholic Civil Rights League raised the alarm that the College’s interim guidelines could be interpreted as saying the opposite.

But the CCRL is still "extremely concerned" for nurses, says executive director Christian Elia. Chief among those concerns is the CNO’s "seriously flawed" 2009 "ethics practice standards" document, which states that if there is a conflict between nurse's "personal values" and "a client’s wish," and ultimately "no other solution can be found, the nurse may have to leave a particular place of employment to adhere to her/his personal values." CONTINUE


‘Make This Patient Go Bye-Bye’: Hospice Nurses Allegedly Told To Overdose Patients


(Live Action News) – It seems not only is there profit in babies dying in the womb and sold piecemeal, but there’s profit in hospice patients dying before their natural death—at least this is what one Dallas area hospice owner is being investigated for doing.

In a tale more fitting for a murder mystery movie, KXAS-TV reports that the owner of Novus Health Care Services in northern Texas reportedly directed nurses to overdose hospice patients in order to increase profits and speed their deaths. In one instance, he allegedly told nurses they needed to "make this patient go bye-bye." CONTINUE


What Terri Schiavo's Life and Death Still Teach Us Today


(Jewels Green/FaithZette) – If Terri Schiavo had continued to receive the rehabilitation services that were denied her during the final years of her life, she could meet me and my family at the food court at the mall. The shopping malls here in the suburbs of Philadelphia all have wheelchair ramps and elevators.

She would only need a wheelchair, and an aide to drive the van and wheel her to meet us at the pretzel stand. She wouldn’t be eating a pretzel with us, as she had difficulty swallowing after her brain injury and was fed once a day through a tube in her stomach — but we would plan our outing around her schedule. Terri Schiavo would be completely unencumbered by IV lines or machines, as she hadn’t needed any machines to keep her alive in the years after her still-unexplained collapse in February 1990. CONTINUE


Canada Physician Assistants Want in on Euthanasia Kill


(NRO) – How radical is Canada’s pending euthanasia scourge likely to become? Beyond anything I would have predicted even a year ago. No place in the world that permits active lethal injection euthanasia lets anyone but death doctors do the dirty deed.

But Canada is on the verge of corrupting nurses and other such licensed medical professions by allowing them to kill under the direction of a doctor. That suits the Canadian Association of Physicians Assistants just fine. CONTINUE


Wesley J. Smith: Euthanasia by Organ Harvesting


(First Things) – The ethics of medicine aren’t what they used to be. Sanctity of life? That’s so passé. The Hippocratic Oath? Fuggettaboudit! The modern healthcare system is expected to embrace properly utilitarian perspectives. Take euthanasia as just one example.

Once society accepts that sick patients can be relieved of their suffering by being killed, it won’t take long to conclude that they can also be exploited for their no-longer-needed parts. Euthanasia by lethal injection has already been coupled with organ donation in the Netherlands and Belgium. Since 2008, several articles have been published in respectable medical journals lauding this forming symbiosis. A 2011 article published by Applied Cardiopulmonary Pathophysiology was particularly chilling in its detached clinical description of the euthanasia killings of four patients in preparation for organ procurement: CONTINUE


Schiavo’s Brother: What Terri Still Can Teach Us


(National Review Online) – Terri Schiavo. Her name — my sister’s name — is seared into the national memory as a face of the right-to-life movement, but it’s now been more than a decade since her death. Many are now too young to remember her witness, or they have forgotten. At the age of 26, Terri experienced a still-unexplained collapse while at home alone with Michael Schiavo, who subsequently became her guardian.

After a short period of time, Michael lost interest in caring for his brain-injured but otherwise young and healthy wife. Terri was cognitively disabled, but she was not dying, and she did not suffer from any life-threatening disease. She was neither on machines nor “brain dead.” To the contrary, she was alert and interacted with friends and family — before Michael placed her in a nursing home and eventually petitioned the courts for permission to starve and dehydrate her to death. CONTINUE


Day 3 of Terri’s Court Mandated Death by Starvation and Dehydration


On March 18, 2005, Judge George W. Greer's order to have Terri Schiavo's feeding tube removed was enforced, essentially sentencing Terri to a slow death by starvation and dehydration. It took almost two-weeks. The Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network marks the final, horrific days of Terri Schiavo's inhumane death. Not only to remember Terri, but also to keep in mind the countless people who, as we speak, are suffering slow, agonizing deaths in hospices, nursing homes, and hospitals in America and around the world.

Renowned Neurologist: Schiavo Can Eat, Not in 'Persistent Vegetative State'

Published: 03/20/2005

(First Baptist) – A doctor close to the Terri Schiavo case told the Florida Baptist Witness that the 41-year-old disabled woman could actually be fed orally if it were allowed. "The important thing for people to understand is that she can eat and swallow right now," said William Hammesfahr, a neurologist who has examined Schiavo. He is in many of the videos circulated through the news media showing that Schiavo is at times responsive and aware. "They are truly withholding food from a person who is awake, alert, and can eat and swallow," Hammesfahr said. After spending at least 10 hours with Schiavo several years ago, he told Florida Judge George W. Greer that she can improve with therapy. CONTINUE



Day 2 of Terri’s Court Mandated Death by Starvation and Dehydration


On March 18, 2005, Judge George W. Greer's order to have Terri Schiavo's feeding tube removed was enforced, essentially sentencing Terri to a slow death by starvation and dehydration. It took almost two-weeks. The Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network marks the final, horrific days of Terri Schiavo's inhumane death. Not only to remember Terri, but also to keep in mind the countless people who, as we speak, are suffering slow, agonizing deaths in hospices, nursing homes, and hospitals in America and around the world.

Viewing Videotape, Senator Frist Disputes Doctors' Diagnosis of Schiavo

Published: 03/19/2005

(Washington Post) – Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), a renowned heart surgeon before becoming Senate majority leader, went to the floor late Thursday night for the second time in 12 hours to argue that Florida doctors had erred in saying Terri Schiavo is in a "persistent vegetative state." "I question it based on a review of the video footage which I spent an hour or so looking at last night in my office," he said in a lengthy speech in which he quoted medcal texts and standards. "She certainly seems to respond to visual stimuli." CONTINUE