Friday, 22 October 2010

Scots End-of-life Bill could lead to 1,000 deaths a year

Scots End of-life Bill could lead to 1,000 deaths a year. These are really stark projections of people presumably willing to commit suicide per year in Scotland. Palliative care nurses are also warning that if passed, this legislation would bring into Scotland, people willing to end their lives, pretty much in the same way as people travel to Switzerland. Cristina Odone, from the Centre for Policy Studies, has recently published a report starting that this legislation would make elderly and frail people extremely vulnerable to succomb to pressures for assited suicide. If life is considered expendible, because some people cannot contribute on economical and social terms to society, and there is a lgeal way of ending such lives, there might always be the temptation to view suicide as a normal way out. However, this position is not acceptable within a Christian outlook on life, that values everyone's contribution to society and that considers life sacred.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Fresh hope for severely brain damaged patients

Thanks to functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) Dr. Owen a neuro-scientist from Cambridge University has been able to communicate with a patient who had been previously considered to be in a vegetative state. Although the equipment is not portable and cannot be used for frequent communication it seems that even when people seem to be locked into vegetative states, it is possible through suitable technology to communicate with them. This opens up again fresh avenues of research into what is meant by "quality of life". Surely if a person can communicate, even through a machine, we can no longer state that the person is in a "vegetative state". Read more about this by following the link Fresh hope for severely brain damaged patients.

Protests outside the Scottish Parliament

Protesters against the proposed end -of -life bill gathered aoutside the Scottish Parliament. This protest was particularly poignant becuase  it was organised by dissabled people who see the proposed bill as eroding their right to life. This was taking place as debates within parliament were addressing the same issues. It was wonderful to witness the agency with which individulas irrespective of their dissability were fully engaged in exercising their civic rights.  For a short film about the protest, please follow this link.