The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on April 11, 2001 · Page 4
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 4

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Wednesday, April 11, 2001
Page 4
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A4 WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11, 2001 THE SALINA JOURNAL TTHE NETHERLANDS Netherlands approves assisted suicide Action legalizes a practice used for decades by the Dutch By ANTHONY DEUTSCH The Associated Press THE HAGUE, Netherlands — Despite protests outside parliament, the Netherlands legalized mercy killings and assisted suicide Tuesday, becoming the first nation to allow doctors to end the lives of patients with unbearable, terminal illness. About 10,000 euthanasia opponents surrounded the building, praying, singing hymns and quoting the Bible, while the upper house of parliament, the Senate, considered the legislation. The Senate voted 46-28 in favor of the law, likely to take effect in the summer Before the vote. Health Minister Els Borst reassured legislators the bill could not be abused by doctors because of careful su­ pervisory provisions. The law presupposes a long doctor-patient relationship and requires patients be legal residents of the Netherlands. "There are sufficient measures to eliminate those concerns," Borst told the senators. Euthanasia, she said, will remain a last resort for those who have no other choice but endless suffering. The law formalizes a practice discreetly used in Dutch hospitals and homes for decades, turning guidelines adopted by Parliament in 1993 into legally binding requirements. Doctors can still be punished if they fail to meet the law's strict codes. Outside parliament, some protesters were masked in black balaclavas and carried oversized syringes dripping with fake blood. Others gathered signatures for a petition that already had 25,000 names before the debate opened Monday evening. Several Christian Dutch legalize euthanasia The Dutch parliament approved a euthanasia bill Tuesday, making the Netherlands the first country to allow doctors to end the lives of patients suffering without hope of recovery. In order to comply with the criteria in the bill, doctors must: (a) be satisfied that the patient has made a voluntary and carefully considered request; (b) be satisfied that the patient's suffering was unbearable, and that there was no prospect of improvement; (c) have informed the patient about his situation and his prospects; (d) have come to the conclusion, together with the patient, that there is no reasonable alternative in the light of the patient's situation; (e) have consulted at least one other, independent physician, who must have seen the patient and given a written opinion on the due care criteria referred to in (a) to (d) above; (f) have terminated the patient's life or provided assistance with suicide with due medical care and attention. SOURCE: Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport schools canceled classes to allow students from across the country to participate in the demon- AP strations. "We don't have the right to decide about matters of life and death, but God does," said 19- year-old Henrico van der Hoek as he walked past Parliament. "As Christians, we simply cannot support this law." After the vote, they said they were disappointed but not surprised. The Senate vote was considered a formality for the bill, which passed the lower house in November. It still must be signed by Queen Beatrix — a symbolic step expected within a few weeks. "The tide will turn back someday," said 69-year-old Piet Huurman of the Cry for Life protest group. "They will realize they have made a terrible mistake." Despite the strong showing of opponents Tuesday, van der Hoek, who belongs to the Dutch Reformed Church, admitted he is one of a small minority in the Netherlands, once a stronghold of Christian politics. In the debate, Borst said a broad consensus had coalesced after 30 years of discussion. with some 90 percent of the population backing the changes. Under the law, a patient would have to be undergoing irremediable and unbearable suffering, be aware of all other medical options and have sought a second professional opinion. The request would have to be made voluntarily, persistently and independently while the patient is of sound mind. Doctors are not supposed to suggest it as an option. The new law also would allow patients to leave a written request for euthanasia, giving doctors the right to use their own discretion when patients become too physically or mentally ill to decide for themselves. An independent commission would review cases to ensure the guidelines were followed. If a doctor is suspected of wrongdoing, the case will be referred to public prosecutors for review and possible punishment. T SINGAPORE Conjoined twins separated The Associated Press Nepalese Jamuna Shrestha is attended to at Singapore General Hospital Tuesday after being separated from her 11-month-old twin sister. T RUSSIA Delicate, four-day surgery separates sisters joined at head By The Associated Press SINGAPORE — Before a grueling four-day operation to separate 11-month-old Siamese twins, doctors rehearsed in virtual reality, working through 3- D images of the girls' fused heads and the intertwined arteries of their brains. Doctors called the marathon surgery on bashful Jamuna Shrestha and her feisty twin, Ganga, a success after its completion Tuesday — but said it would take time to determine whether the girls siiffered neurological damage. "They both made it through and survived," said Dr. Keith Goh, leader of the medical team at Singapore General Hospital. "How well they survive is something which time will tell." Little Jamuna, wearing a tiny surgical cap, was wheeled out of the operating room early Tuesday But the operation on Ganga — who needed more "complex reconstruction," Goh said — lasted into the afternoon, a total 96 hours. The girls were kept well-sedated and won't be awake for days, he said. A team of 20 doctors worked around the clock in shifts for four days to separate the twins, with between 14 and 16 doctors in the operating room at any given time. "The mood varied from euphoric to hysterical," said anesthesiologist Claire Ang. Surgeons began operating on the twins at 4 p.m. Friday, initially hoping to finish within 40 hours. But the twins' brains were "wrapped around each other like a helix, going around to navigate through." To close the wound left by the surgery, doctors used the synthetic material Gortex to replace parts of the girls' dura, a fibrous tissue layer covering the brain. They mixed bone material with polymer to help rebuild the twins' tiny skulls. Months before the operation, Goh looked into the baby girls' merged skull cavity with a three-dimensional imaging system developed by researchers in Singapore. The system, called VizDExter, was first used in 1998 by doctors at John Hopkins Medical Center in Baltimore, said Dn Luis Serra, a Singapore-based researcher who helped develop the technology. Using the system to rehearse in a spiral," Goh said. "The path between the two brains was very, very difficult. It wasn't a straight road. It was one of those tortuous routes up a mountain," he said. "There were hundreds of blood vessels between the brains that yoij had - ^the surgery, the Singapore doc- Space cowboy ready for ride it's a go for American Dennis Tito despite NASA objections By The Associated Press MOSCOW — A California millionaire who hopes to become the world's first space tourist took his final exam Tuesday at Russia's cosmonaut training center in a sign Russia does not intend to yield to U.S. opposition to 'ITO his planned visit to the International Space Station. Meanwhile, a Russian rocket factory announced it may launch a module for commercial projects — another possible scheme for making money off the station. Russia's cash-strapped space agency has pushed other participants in the International Space Station, including America's NASA, to accept commercial projects on the station, including accepting space tourists such as Dennis Tito. Tito — the 60-year-old founder of an investment firm who once worked at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. — was set to fly to Russia's Mir in exchange for a reported $20 million, but Russia scrapped the 15-year- old space station last month. Now Russia plans to launch Tito, along with cosmonauts Talgat Musabayev and Yuri Baturin, to the international orbiter aboard a Soyuz rocket April 28. NASA is adamantly opposed to Tito's trip, arguing that the presence of an amateur could jeopardize the safety of the crew in an emergency But Tito, who together with Musabayev and Baturin practiced maneuvers in a Soyuz BioGuard Pool SctlDOl Pool «5r April 23, products 6-30 p.m. 823-7512 training capsule for the exam marking the end of the crew's training Tuesday, said he was thoroughly prepared. "I've been training for eight months, and I feel that I'm more than ready," he said. "I just want to make sure that I take all the pictures I want to take when I'm up there." Pyotr Klimuk, head of the cosmonaut training center in Star City outside Moscow, told ORT television that U.S. opposition to Tito's flight was "a political issue." Also Tuesday, Sergei Zhiltsov, spokesman for the Khrunichev rocket factory, said Russia was considering launching a commercial module to the station. The 51-foot-long, cylindrical vessel "can be used for almost anything," he said. The module is already 70 percent complete and only needs specialized equipment for commercial work, Zhiltsov said. The module was a backup for the Functional Cargo Block, the first element of the station launched in 1998. Khrunichev worked on the original cargo block with Seattle-based Boeing Corp. Zhiltsov said Khrunichev and Boeing have signed a preliminary agreement to use the backup module for commercial purposes. But the Russian Aerospace Agency is also considering using the vessel as a fuel tanker or for storage space at the station, and a fmal decision has not yet been reached, he said. c» OS <!» CSS cs cffl c» cs era CS9 cas GS HOME MEDICAL EQUIPMENT B&K P RESCRIPTION S HOP People Helping People.,.Live Healthier Lives 827-4455 / 1-800-432-0224 401 E. iron Salina, KS eZ) «D d) «3 CD CO CD OI) «D «D ezj 03 Ford Certified Mechanics SERVICE CENTER 340 N. Santa Fe, Salina • 823-2237 • 800-874-6316 tors donned 3-D goggles and special gloves that can manipulate digital photos in computer-generated virtual reality They used the 3-D images to consult with a Siamese twins expert at Johns Hopkins, Dr. Benjamin Carson. BEHIND CLOSED DOORS ADULT NOVELTIES VIDEOS • LOTIONS • MAGAZINES II am -9 pm Mon. - Sat • 1 pm-5 pmSun. 1901 W. Grand • Salina • (785) 823-1339 ALLS! EAT 8:00 2 49 KIDS Dur S .inii /Plani!tAve. and E. Grawrord loEationsDnl}! rMcponaid^HHB SALINA, KS BOTTLED WATER 658 E. North • Salina 825-4912 We Take Trades URABLE ENIM 2326 Planet Ave./ Galaxy Center, Salina / 827-0600 Across from Central Mall Think you have no place to turn? Think Again. When you don't know where to turn, we 're there to help. Hotline Number: 1-800-550-4900 Biirtlrmglr Salina 1045 The Midway, Salina; KS • 785-823-3113 Spring Cleaning AjVIILeST0N6« chimney service and stove store 245 S. 5th, Salina 823-9000 JIM'S 582 S. Ohio/Salina PHARMACY! 785-827-4114 ^ FREE DELIVERY 10% Cash & Carry Discount Medicaid Prescriptions Welcome Bob Randall / Jim Cram / Rod Smith Hours: 8:30 a.ra.-6;00 p.m. Monday-Friday 8:30 p.m. Saturday Toil Free! 1-800-794-2698 J Hop On Into CANDIES For Extra Savings On Assorted Easter Candies for 99* Regular 49^ each NOW 3 25% Off Selected Easter Baskets! 1993 Caramel Blvd., Abilene, KS (1-70 west of Abilene, Exit 272) 785-263-0463 • Store Hours: Mon.-Sat. 9-6, Sun. 12-5 -4 V-

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