SHOCKING: Dutch woman’s euthanasia horror story and what this means in our death culture

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DISTURBING ASSISTED-SUICIDE SHOCK RAISES RED FLAGS

TOM LAMPRECHT:  Harry, Breakpoint recently ran an article that was highlighting a piece by Washington Post columnist Charles Lane. Lane has once again turned his attention onto the issue of euthanasia. The lead in his latest column is the story of a 74-year-old Dutch woman referred to in Dutch records as simply “2016-85.” The woman, who’d suffered from dementia, had an ambiguously worded advanced directive requesting euthanasia. By the time she was placed in a nursing home, she was no longer able to clarify her wishes so her husband requested it for her. That still left the problem of whether she really wanted it.

Well, that’s not a problem for the Dutch euthanasia machine. The doctor concluded her suffering was unbearable and incurable, though there was no terminal physical illness. He therefore prepared a lethal injection. What followed is rather horrifying: to ensure the patient’s compliance, the doctor gave her coffee spiked with a sedative. When that proved insufficient and the woman recoiled from the looming needle, he asked family members to hold her down. Finally, after 15 minutes were spent by the doctor trying to find a vein, the lethal infusion flowed.

DR. REEDER: Yeah, it’s almost a horror story — some kind of a movie out of Hollywood developed on this. It almost takes the place of Bates Motel in “Psycho.” Charles Lane — just a little bit of context — this has been an issue that’s been on his mind. In fact, he did some articles on this a couple of years ago and continues to raise the yellow flags where he said this movement, “passive or requested euthanasia,” he pointed out that it has an inevitable train wreck. And, in this particular article, he says, “I’m not waving a yellow flag — here’s the red flag for you.”

In Europe, where euthanasia has been functioning for some time now and is a place that you can see the inevitable downward spiral of this movement, how passive requested euthanasia becomes active and mandated and enforced euthanasia. Here’s a prime example: It was so obvious that it caused some concern among Dutch political and health officials.

WHAT LED TO THIS POINT AND WHAT’S NEXT?

The selling point on doctor-assisted suicide, you got to make the first leap over the Hippocratic oath which says “Do no harm,” so now doctors are called to do no harm, and yet they are actually becoming paid agents to take the life of someone.

Well, we were told, “These are people that are terminally ill and they want to die on their own terms. They want to request it. It’s passive — it’s not mandated, requested — not enforced, and it gives people a chance to die with dignity.”

Tell me, in this particular case, how this is, No. 1, dignified and, No. 2, requested and No. 3, non-mandated. It’s very clear that this woman, who in her statement made some vague statements about requesting end-of-life treatment, if, in certain cases, she has dementia — there’s nothing wrong with her ongoing biological, physical, essential health metrics — she has dementia, her life has become difficult, it has become costly and it has become a matter of inconvenience for people, including her husband.

Therefore, he then appeals to this and the doctors read this and then he then takes her place — not because he is instructed to do so in her “end-of-the-will” statements, but because he’s her husband — but, instead of what most husbands do where they have attempted to appeal for the life of their spouse, he becomes an advocate for the ending of her life and his advocacy is well-received by the medical profession.

THIS ISOLATED EXAMPLE IS ONLY THE BEGINNING

You have a woman who is now strapped down, she is given a spiked coffee sedative — that doesn’t work. What does that tell you? What do you mean it doesn’t work? It means she’s telling them, “Don’t do this.” And so, what they then do is hold her down, and then they get members of the family to hold her down, and every time the needle comes, according to the story, she’s pulling back.

What is this “You’ve got my permission”? What is this request? This is clearly enforced, this is clearly being mandated against her, she’s clearly pushing away at it and then, finally, they search for her vein with such difficulty — and maybe ineptness — that it takes them 15 minutes of the needle moving around in her that she is recoiling from until they finally found it and then they can give the lethal injection that goes into her bloodstream and she dies.

This is where we’re headed and that is active, mandated euthanasia. Of course, we were told, years ago when this was introduced in Europe and now introduced in America, “Things like this will never happen. We’re only going to use this when requested by the patient and it will always be done so that people die with dignity.”

FIGHTING DEATH IS NATURAL AND FORCING IT IS UNNATURAL

This is what happens in a culture of death and that’s why we’re taking the time on this program to talk about it, Tom. We’re in a broken world — there are terminal diseases, there is death — but, in a sane, civilized society, particularly when impacted by a Biblical world and life view, life is seen as sacred.

Unless there are mental and emotional issues, why do people fight for their life? Why do they fight for their breath? Biblical world and life view says we were made to live. Death is not seen as a friend — death is an enemy — and so we fight against death. A believer realizes there’s nothing natural about death. There’s no death in Genesis 1 and 2. Death is the result of sin in this world, therefore, it’s an intruder and it’s an enemy.

DEATH CHANGES IN CHRISTIAN’S LIFE AND WORLD VIEW

However, in a Biblical world and life view, not only is there the sanctity of life, not only is death seen as an enemy that we fight against, but we have a way to deal with death in the truth of the Gospel, which tells us that Jesus has overcome death.

I want to tell everyone here, “Please come to Christ. You not only have eternal life, you not only have a changed life, but death, itself, has changed.” That’s why the Bible says in Psalm 23 that, “The Lord is my shepherd and that he is with me, and that he goes with me, not only in the presence of all my enemies, including death, but he walks with me in the valley of the shadow of death.”

Tom, if you and I were sitting in a car and a truck pulled up beside us and the shadow fell over the car, it would be a matter of inconvenience and maybe noteworthy, but it would not be horrific and that’s the way it is for a believer. Now, if the truck hits you, that’s another story. Jesus got hit by the truck. Jesus overcame death, sin, hell, the grave and Satan. He defeated our enemies.

CHRISTIANITY IS LIFE SUSTAINING — AND GIVING

Finally, in a Biblical world and life view, we always treat people to live. That does not mean that a doctor has to prolong someone’s death, but it does mean that we do not promote death or inflict death, and that is exactly where the euthanasia movement always ends up — the infliction of death and the destruction of the moral fiber of the medical society so that now the euthanasia culture becomes an instrument in the hands of the state, the medical community and those who have been inconvenienced by someone’s end-of-life illnesses and difficulties so we can get rid of them. No dignity, no passivity — an active mandated euthanasia — that’s the unvarnished truth.

Let me give you another piece of unvarnished truth. Jesus has won the victory over death and we can live life with this confidence: as long as we breathe, God’s got a purpose for us and your life is dignified. You not just simply have a death with dignity as a believer, but you have a life with dignity. Death, for the believer, becomes the step of promotion as you go through the valley of the shadow of death. “When it’s for me to live as Christ, then death becomes gain,” not for those who are left behind, but for those who go to be with their Lord.

We love life. God’s image is upon it. It is sacred, so we live life and there is triumph at the grave.

SEXUAL REVOLUTION AND ATHEIST CULTURE HITS TEENS AND CHURCHES MUST RESPOND

TOM LAMPRECHT:  Harry, on Friday’s edition of Today in Perspective, I want to take you to an article out of Christianity Today by Kate Shellnut, in which she cites findings from Barna and from Gallup which tell us that Generation Z poses new challenges for the church when it comes to identifying as atheist or LGBT.

DR. REEDER: The LGBTQ culture has so penetrated that it’s actually become a part of the adolescent journey that, “I am almost supposed to have those issues.” Now what do you do in the church when children surface an active interest in the LGBTQ culture and the current militant atheistic culture as well? Let’s talk about that tomorrow.

Dr. Harry L. Reeder III is the Senior Pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham.

This podcast was transcribed by Jessica Havin, editorial assistant for Yellowhammer News. Jessica has transcribed some of the top podcasts in the country and her work has been featured in a New York Times Bestseller.

15 mins ago

VIDEO: Democrats whiff on Kavanaugh again, 2020 Alabama primary drama, A&M/UNA allegations and more on Guerrilla Politics …

Radio talk show host Dale Jackson and Dr. Waymon Burke take you through this week’s biggest political stories, including:

— Should Alabama’s junior U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) have waited for more information before calling for the impeachment of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh?

— Will Alabama be able to hold a Democrat primary in 2020?

— Should there be an investigation into allegations of racism with at the University of North Alabama?

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Jackson and Burke are joined by Alabama State House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels (D-Huntsville) to discuss issues between Alabama Democrats and the national party, as well as opposition to tolls.

Jackson closes the show with a “parting shot” where he explains how there is no way to argue that anyone alive today doesn’t know blackface is offensive.

Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 am weekdays on WVNN.

2 hours ago

University of Alabama creates pediatric fellowship for family medicine physicians

The University of Alabama’s College of Community Health Sciences has created an innovative fellowship program to provide comprehensive instruction for family medicine physicians seeking additional skills in pediatric care.

The year-long pediatric fellowship will offer a variety of transformative experiences in both primary and tertiary care settings. Fellows will also receive research time and financial support for continuing education activities.

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“Many family medicine physicians are not comfortable taking care of extremely ill children because they don’t get a ton of exposure to pediatrics during their residency,” said Dr. Sara Phillips, assistant professor of pediatrics at the College and fellowship director. “The new program will provide fellows with ample opportunities to hone their pediatric skills.”

According to Phillips, most of the children seen by medical residents don’t have chronic illnesses or genetic disorders. Through the new program, fellows will get to treat neonatal intensive care unit patients and manage care plans for those with complex pediatric conditions.

In addition, the fellowship will equip family medicine physicians to care for chronically ill children in rural areas that may not have pediatric physicians.

“Family medicine doctors are the frontline care for kids in rural areas,” said Phillips. “Our program participants will have the advantage of seeing what children experience in the NICU and emergency room settings.”

Interviews for the program will begin in the fall with the fellowship starting in July 2020. For more information about the program, contact Dr. Sara Phillips at sbphillips@ua.edu.

This story originally appeared on the University of Alabama’s website

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)

4 hours ago

Alabama’s newest ‘Smart Neighborhood’ to be finished in 2020

Holland Homes, builder of the state’s next “Smart Neighborhood,” says construction of the subdivision’s 51 homes will be complete by the end of 2020.

The builder hosted media outlets Monday at the model home in the Northwoods subdivision in Auburn. Owner Daniel Holland says seven of the 51 lots have been sold and plans to have the other 44 complete by the end of next year.

“Things are going good and going quick,” Holland said.

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Holland Homes is partnering with Alabama Power to develop Northwoods as a Smart Neighborhood community. All homes will be designed to make customers’ lives more comfortable, convenient and connected through features that can be managed by smart devices and voice activation. Energy-efficiency will be a key part of the neighborhood, and each home will be built with advanced energy products.

“One of the big benefits is the financial factor — the savings each month on your energy bill,” Holland said. “A 65 HERS score rating is going to equate to a huge savings in your pocket every month from a power bill perspective.” HERS stands for “home energy rating system” and is a recognized way to measure a home’s energy efficiency.

Progress visible on Alabama’s next Smart Neighborhood from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

Jim Goolsby, a senior market specialist for Alabama Power, said the 65 HERS rating in the Northwoods homes puts them far ahead of typical Alabama home as far as energy efficiency.

“The average home is 130 on the HERS score, so these homes are going to be an average of 50 percent more efficient than an average home in Alabama,” Goolsby said. “In order to do that, we have to protect the house thermally with things like spray-foam insulation on the roof deck, advanced air ceiling to eliminate air infiltration of the home and double-pane Low-E windows.”

Goolsby said these materials make it easier to cool your house in the summer and warm your house in the winter.

“We’ve got a tremendous amount of materials that thermally protect the house so that we don’t have to run those mechanical systems as often,” Goolsby said. “We’re ahead of the game because we’ve built a better box.”

The Northwoods subdivision is the state’s second Smart Neighborhood and the first to be built under Alabama Power’s new Smart Neighborhood Builder Program. Each smart home in the neighborhood will feature:

  • Google Home smart speakers for voice control of the home.
  • Nest Learning thermostats to help save energy and provide more control over the home’s temperature when the owner is at home or away.
  • Advanced energy-efficient building features, including improved insulation, high-efficiency heat pump and water heater and Energy Star appliances.

In addition to Holland Homes, two additional builders are planning Smart Neighborhood developments this year. Harris Doyle Homes will build another community in Auburn and Curtis White Companies has one planned for Leeds. To learn more about those projects and Alabama Power’s Smart Neighborhood Builder Program, visit www.apcsmartneighborhood.com.

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)

6 hours ago

Discovery of an endangered species in a well-known cave raises questions

You’d think there’d be no way someone could newly discover an endangered species hanging out in Fern Cave in the Paint Rock River valley of Jackson County, so close to Huntsville, home to thousands of spelunkers exploring every cave, nook and cranny.

But Matthew Niemiller and colleagues did.

In a discovery documented in a paper in the journal “Subterranean Biology,” Dr. Niemiller, an assistant professor of biological sciences at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), found a specimen of the Alabama Cave Shrimp Palaemonias alabamae while doing a biological survey of Fern Cave in summer 2018 as part of a team of four.

The endangered shrimp had previously only been discovered in six caves in four cave systems in Madison County.

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“Fern Cave is the longest cave in Alabama, with at least 15 miles of mapped passage and five to seven distinct levels,” Dr. Niemiller says. The cave features a 437-foot deep pit and exploring most of its lower levels is reserved only for the very fittest, since the trip involves an arduous journey including drops to be rappelled.

Dr. Niemiller and team’s route to their discovery was no easy feat, either. The team entered the cave’s bottom level via the Davidson Entrance at the base of Nat Mountain on the Fern Cave National Wildlife Refuge. The section of Fern Cave is only dry enough for exploration without scuba gear at the height of summer. Otherwise, it takes a dive to explore its flooded passages.

“You go in that entrance, and immediately you are in water up to your chin,” Dr. Niemiller says. From there, the journey twists and turns through tight spots and chambers, and the team sloshed through plenty of water at times.

The biological surveys of Fern Cave are part of a two-year project funded by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) that has involved over 20 biologists, hydrogeologists, and cavers to date from several organizations, including USFWS, UAH, U.S. Geological Survey, The Nature Conservancy, Southeastern Cave Conservancy, Inc., Kentucky Geological Survey, Huntsville Grotto and Birmingham Grotto.

The scientists relied on the knowledge and expertise of Steve Pitts who has mapped much of Fern Cave and is its guardian for the Southeastern Cave Conservancy Inc. “He has visited the cave more than any person alive, more than 450 times. Without Steve, this project wouldn’t be possible,” Niemiller says.

“We went there to look for everything,” Dr. Niemiller says. “It’s the biggest cave in Alabama, but really, we didn’t know much about it from a biological perspective.”

The cave houses the largest winter colony of federally endangered gray bats (Myotis grisescens), and there are other commonly found cave dwellers, like salamanders and millipedes.

“We were working on documenting any life we could see,” Dr. Niemiller says. “We’re looking at the ceiling, in the water and on the floor to see what we could find. We’re looking under rocks and into crevices, as well – every nook and cranny.”

Team members meticulously documented their findings in notebooks and took photos of specimens. In cases where the species was not readily identifiable, they collected voucher specimens for later study.

“We came up on this passage where we could see there was a muddy bank, a place that maybe at other times of the year you didn’t want to be, an area that was clearly underwater for most of the year,” Dr. Niemiller says.

At this spot there were vestigial pools, left when the water receded in the dry summertime. Dr. Niemiller peered into one.

“We are finding cave crayfish, cavefish and sculpin in this pool. Then I looked down and saw this weird thing, this little white crustacean swimming toward me, and I said, ‘That’s a cave shrimp!’”

The team collected a live sample because at the time it was unsure if the specimen was actually the endangered shrimp or possible a new undescribed species. After leaving the cave, Dr. Niemiller called USFWS and got permission to retain the specimen, which is now housed in the Auburn University Museum of Natural History.

But there’s more. The team found three other cave shrimp on that day in August 2018 and observed another two on a return trip in July of this year. The little animals pose some interesting questions for science.

First of all, there’s the Fern Cave location, in the Paint Rock River watershed, which led Niemiller to wonder if the shrimp was an undescribed species. However, the shrimp found at Fern Cave have been morphologically and genetically linked to those found in Madison County, a different watershed area.

“Fern Cave is in a different county and a different location than the other caves where this species has been found,” Dr. Niemiller says. How did the Alabama Cave Shrimp make it there?

Little is known about the shrimp’s ecology. How does it breed, what is its lifespan, how does it survive and what foods does it eat? And why and when did the shrimp lose its eyesight and live in caves?

“Does this species represent something that went underground a million years ago? Two million? Five million?” Dr. Niemiller asks.

What are its closest relatives? “We need to explore the genetics of the species in more detail to find that out.”

Perhaps the most interesting question is, what is the actual range of the shrimp, since it was newly found in a distinct watershed.

“We have to get a better understanding of the distribution of the shrimp,” Dr. Niemiller said. “We’re hoping to get additional funding to survey other sites in Alabama for the presence of the cave shrimp and other cave species of conservation concern.”

After all, perhaps the Alabama Cave Shrimp is doing better than scientists think, even though a population has disappeared in one cave in Huntsville where it was seen in the early 1970s.

Caves in this region of the country are far more extensive than they are amenable to human exploration, and here the tiny shrimp has had scientific impact. Dr. Niemiller’s team has developed a genetic assay that uses the shrimp’s environmental DNA. Shed in the normal course of living, this DNA could be detected in water samples taken from caves and springs by the assay, allowing science to peer into inaccessible areas in search of Palaemonias alabamae.

In northern Alabama and southern Tennessee, cave systems often are so extensive that anyone could be standing atop a habitat for the Alabama Cave Shrimp and not even know it.

“It could be right under your feet,” Dr. Niemiller says. “It could be in a cavity, a well or a cave system underground.”

Tiny cave passages too small to explore link together with underground gravel deposits flowing with water to offer lots of species habitats and opportunity for dispersal, and most of them science as-yet knows nothing about. In this respect, biological cave exploration is much like exploring the deepest recesses of the oceans.

“That’s what draws me to it,” Dr. Niemiller says. “Every cave is different, and differently populated. We’re making many new discoveries.”

(Courtesy of the University of Alabama in Huntsville)

7 hours ago

USA leads $1.3M fight against opioid addiction

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, more than 130 people in the United States die every day after overdosing on opioids. This national crisis includes the Gulf Coast, but a new program at the University of South Alabama will help address this problem.

USA’s College of Nursing has received a $1.3 million grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration to recruit and train psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners, students, nurse professionals and other professionals. It will focus on opioid and substance abuse prevention, treatment and recovery services in high-need areas in this region.

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“We are in the process of creating the program, which will include three interdisciplinary online courses and stipends to start in January 2020,” said Dr. Kimberly Williams, associate professor of nursing and project director for the grant. “We have created an interdisciplinary team to support this program, which will help underserved and rural communities.”

Overdose deaths more than doubled between 2016 and 2017, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and 19.7 million people who are age 12 or older had a substance abuse disorder in 2017, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

“The students and professionals will have a better understanding of opioid and substance use disorders care involving integrated behavioral health settings through this experience,” Williams said. “By positioning psychiatric providers such as psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners within these medical facilities working alongside medical providers, it allows direct access to mental health services that may not otherwise be available. The direct service can reduce morbidity and mortality associated with illness through timely referrals, assessments and treatments.”

Dr. Heather Hall, dean of USA’s College of Nursing, said the award provides nursing faculty the opportunity to advance nursing education and practice. “The grant team will serve in key roles to expand the Gulf Coast region’s opioid workforce and substance use disorder workforce serving children/adolescents in areas with high mortality rates and high mental health provider shortage. We are proud to have an interprofessional team of faculty and health care providers collaborating to provide additional education and training to develop opioid and substance use disorder prevention, treatment and recovery specialty courses.”

The USA interdisciplinary team is also planning to connect with Project ECHO, the Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes, which is part of the University of New Mexico School of Medicine. Project ECHO is considered a collaborative model connecting healthcare professionals to discuss complex conditions and issues via video conferencing.

“Project ECHO encourages connections of interest through building ECHO hubs throughout the country and the world.  Williams said, “According to Project ECHO, this is a lifelong learning and guided practice model with an aim of strengthening local resources to provide evidence-based care for underserved patients within the U.S. and worldwide.”

The USA interdisciplinary team is also planning to connect with Project ECHO by creating their own ECHO hub. “We will recruit healthcare professionals from the three targeted areas to join our ECHO hub,” Williams said. “The use of this model will enhance prevention, treatment and recovery for persons with substance abuse disorders and other complex conditions.”

The team members for this grant along with Williams are:

  • Dr. Casey Elkins, co-project director, College of Nursing
  • Dr. Candice Selwyn, co-project director, College of Nursing
  • Dr. Kirsten Pancione, College of Nursing
  • Dr. Melanie Baker, College of Nursing
  • Dr. Brandon Browning, department of professional studies, clinical and mental health counseling, College of Education and Professional Studies
  • Dr. Stephen Young, department of social work, College of Arts and Sciences

(Courtesy of the University of South Alabama)