Why euthanasia should not be legalised

An excellently balanced piece by Sandra Lee on the News Limited website – she rightly states that there is too much uncertainty that needs to be dealt with and in the end, advocates of euthanasia are taking matters in their own hands that they really have no right to decide upon, regardless of the state of the ill person. In light of the recent case in the NSW Supreme Court regarding the assisted suicide of Graeme Wylie, it is well worth reading.

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Chopper Read: I don’t deserve a liver transplant

Notorious ex-con Mark “Chopper” Read has 2 to 5 years to live due to suffering from Hepatitis C. His response seems a bit strange though – he says that he can’t see why he should receive a liver in front of an 11 year old girl with liver cancer, obviously recognising that what he has done in the past may see other look upon him as undeserving of a chance to prolong his life. Yet, at the end of the article, he says that if he had the chance to live his life over again, he wouldn’t think about not doing what he did.

Add to that his teaching to his boys not to do what he did as they grow up, and it is a sad, confused story of a man who recognises how frail life on this earth is, but probably has scant regard or thought of what follows this life. Maybe he’s not yet as ready for death as he might claim. I wish him well, and in the time that he has left, find out about something far more precious and vital that he is undeserving of.

Source: News Limited

Drink driving campaigns gone too far?

In my opinion, Australia has done a job that is second to none when it comes to raising awareness of the dangers of drink driving. Slogans such as “Drink and drive, you’re a bloody idiot” are renowned for their simplicity and truth.

Californian police and teachers seem to be lagging a long way behind when it comes to educating teenagers at El Camino High School. There is no way that any responsible teacher would fake the deaths of high school students in order to scare their students away from drink driving, but El Camino’s teachers did just that, using this as the reasoning behind 26 students being absent from school. Add to that the grief that it caused some students, and you can only imagine that feeling turn to immense anger after being told it was a hoax.

The lack of contrition from the school is what disgusts me the most though. Why on earth would a guidance counsellor want the students at their high school to be traumatised over events that did not happen in the first place? If I were one of the “Dead” students, with a perfectly valid reason for being absent from school, I would be absolutely disgusted at the staff for allowing such fallacy to take place, which betrays the trust of all the students affected by the prank.

To a degree it’s almost like a reverse muck up day, only that the teachers at this school have gone way too far by exploiting students with the aim of preventing what is indeed a valid problem on roads all over the world. There are much more tasteful ways of ramming home the message that if you drink and drive, you deserve to be caught – that is, if you don’t die in the process.

Source: News Limited

Nelson: Use petrol tax to boost the pension

Opposition Leader Dr Brendan Nelson suggested tonight on an interview with Today Tonight’s Anna Coren that $1 billion of unbudgeted earnings from petrol tax should be diverted to pensioners, who struggle on only $273 per week in the midsts of the increased costs of living.

Seems like a worthwhile idea to consider, especially after the outcry that was heard following the Federal Budget a few weeks ago regarding the lack of funds for pensioners. I don’t know much about the typical budget of a pensioner, be they aged or disabled, but I can’t imagine they’d have the same spending liberties that those of us in employment would be privy to. I do recall seeing a story on one of the current affairs shows where a couple of celebrities were given $273 to live on for a week and they couldn’t make it past 2 or 3 days. It seems to indicate to me just how much the older folk in our country need to tighten the purse strings to make ends meet – no wonder some put a bit of it in poker machines at registered clubs to see whether they can make a bit of money there.

(Source: News Limited)

Sell your kidney for $50000?

Kidney specialist Gavin Carney has floated the idea of offering $50000 to young healthy people to sell one of their kidneys. His rationale behind this is that such a move would save thousands of lives and billions of dollars in dialysis treatment, since people with kidney disorders would not have to wait for up to a decade for a donor kidney.

I agree with Dr Tim Matthews of Kidney Australia, who is advocating a greater awareness of the benefits of organ donation upon death. It is a sad fact that many young people tragically die in accidents (such as the boating accident in Sydney Harbour last week), and I would reckon that hardly any of them were aware that they can be registered as an organ donor via the RTA when they get their drivers license, or via Medicare.

I am registered as an organ donor, simply because I know that when I die, my healthy bits and pieces aren’t going to be of any use to me as I am buried/cremated. If those can help save lives, then I think that it’s worth volunteering myself and my kidneys, liver, etc. for that purpose.

Source: News Limited

Cleaning is a necessary evil

When dust is involved and you have a cold, that is…

I’m cleaning up my bedroom and realising that public holidays are no time to do such jobs. It’s astounding that such dust accumulates on cupboards, benches, desks, etc. That, and I have trouble finding spots to put my books, because of the fact that it’s been several months since the last one of these epic battles against mess and in that time, I have procured many books (even though you’d think that one who works in a bookshop would try endlessly NOT to buy that which he sells).

*cough*

Reflections on Anzac Day

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

Tomorrow is the main day of the year when Australians stop to reflect on the significance of the work of those who have gone to war to fight for our nation, some losing their lives in the process. I would imagine that many Australians are not too many generations removed from ancestors who have served as part of our armed forces. My grandfather was one such person who, whilst not part of the battle line, served as part of a medical team on the Kokoda Track in World War 2. Whilst I never got the chance to find out much about his experiences (he passed away when I was 10), I can only imagine that he shared the experience of many who have recalled a tremendously daunting and laborious fight against the Japanese in Papua New Guinea.

Even though I won’t be attending an official gathering at a war memorial, I will certainly take some time tomorrow to contemplate the fact that not just in the past, but now, there are people who are putting their lives on the line for the safety and sake of their nation (or whomever they are in combat for). It is hard to say that warfare is a noble pursuit, but for those who are willing to face an enemy in the act of warfare, their courage and boldness I admire. It’s evident that our younger generations are beginning to realise the sacrificial nature of war in their attendance of dawn services and the Anzac Day parades that happen around Australia. This can only help to ensure that as the diggers who fought during battles and wars die, the legacy of their national service will live on.