Euthanasia referendum: Kiwis of faith split on End of Life Choice Act

first_imgStuff 7 September 2020Of the nearly 40,000 submissions made on the End of Life Choice Bill, most were in opposition – some citing religious reasons. Last year, leaders from across the religious divide penned a letter to MPs in a desperate final bid to prevent the bill being passed.Ahead of the final parliamentary vote last November, leaders from the Catholic, Baptist, Presbyterian, Anglican and Lutheran churches, as well as the Federation of Islamic Associations and the Salvation Army, expressed “grave concerns” about the bill. Among them was the risk people would choose assisted death because of a “lack of other meaningful choices” – pointing to “inequitable” access to high-quality palliative care across the country. They stated they “firmly believe” allowing assisted dying would “open the gateway to many foreseen and unforeseen consequences” including the “real risk that people in lower socio-economic groups will find themselves being challenged unnecessarily and unjustly towards a premature death”.John Kleinsman, director of The Nathaniel Centre for Bioethics – an agency of the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference, says while the conference believes it is dangerous to implement any euthanasia law, it also specifically takes issue with this particular piece of legislation.He says that in a context where elder abuse is rife and “rising” despite a “very clear, robust law” prohibiting such abuse, the question: “if we can’t keep [them] safe now, how do we think we could keep them safe” has to be asked if such a law was to pass.Kleinsman says as Catholics they are not interested in “imposing” their beliefs on others, and they understand there is a case to be made for euthanasia.However, he pointed to “a number of issues” within the Act of concern to the Catholic bishops, including the absence of a ‘cooling-off period’, which he believes makes it a “dangerous” piece of legislation.The Christian church promotes the idea of autonomy and self-choice, but “we are not individuals in isolation”, and assisted dying is “not the only way to have a dignified death”, he says.Kleinsman says the organisation takes the stance – as Catholics – of looking at how this will impact the community and society, particularly those who are vulnerable.Christianity remains New Zealand’s largest overall religious grouping, despite decreasing as a proportion since 2013. The top five denominations in order, as of the last Census, were Anglican, Christian with no denomination specified, Roman Catholic, Presbyterian and Catholicism (not further defined).Kleinsman states any “euthanasia regime” relies on the idea that some lives are worth living while others are not: “if anything, those most vulnerable deserve the greatest protection and care”.He says compassion and mercy are at the core of what it is to be Christian, but says it is compassion towards those who will be “sucked in unwittingly” and experience “wrongful death” that form the basis of his opposition to the Act.“I think it will change the way we are as a society … how we think about old people, how we think about people with disability.”It is important to note that under the Act, a person would not be eligible if the only reason they give is that they are suffering from a mental disorder or mental illness; have a disability of any kind; or because of their advanced age.The Catholic Bishops and Nathaniel Centre both made submissions to the select committee about the bill as it was going through Parliament.Kleinsman, who has been involved with the Nathaniel Centre for 20 years and director for 10 years, says priests and chaplins have significant experience with the dying, and know how difficult the process can be even with effective palliative care.However, in a country where palliative care is “not equitable”, assisted dying legislation could see “people choosing [assisted dying] … because they don’t have any other option”, he states.In Hinduism and Buddhism there are several points of view, both for and against euthanasia, however for those of Sikh or Muslim faith, the position is more steadfast.Sikhism is the fastest growing religion in New Zealand, with those identifying with the religion at the 2018 Census more than quadrupling since 2006. About 41,000 Sikhs lived in New Zealand at last count.Daljit Singh, spokesman for Supreme Sikh Society, the largest Sikh body in New Zealand, says Sikhism is a religion for the “whole humanity”.“Under the guiding light of our Guru Sahib, Sikh religion does not agree with the End of Life Choice Act,” Singh told Stuff.The sacred scripture of Sikhism, the Granth Sahib – states those who “self-destruct”, who take their own lives, are “not only finishing oneself but also destroying the whole world and humanity”, Singh says.Other holy verses explain that pain and pleasure are bestowed upon humans at the will of the Almighty, Singh says.If a person does not agree with [their pain], they should “return back to Almighty itself and make prayers to Him” to have such suffering relieved, and “not that a human become a boss of its own suffering or pleasure,” Singh said of the scriptures.Singh says Guru Sahib also teaches it is not a human’s will when and how their lives shall come to an end: “We cannot go against his will,” they are told.Similarly, one of the core tenets of Islam, of which more than 57,000 New Zealanders identified with at the last Census, is the consideration that all human life is sacred.Muslims believe life is to be protected and promoted, and not “terminated prematurely” – with the Quran stating it is neither permissible to kill another or one’s self.In a statement published by Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand last year, opposing euthanasia and the End of Life Choice Bill, its president Dr Mustafa Farouk, said it was “not for us or doctors to kill or aid others in destroying themselves”.In it, Farouk said New Zealand Muslims were worried the “vulnerability of our community members could be exploited if euthanasia is legalised”.Most of New Zealand’s Islam community migrated from countries where authorities are “hardly questioned”, prompting concern from FIANZ that people could be “suggested, pressured or coerced by authoritative figures like doctors to end their lives if they had terminal illness or disabilities”.It said it was also concerned legalising euthanasia would “normalise it for future generations” and “erode our cultural identity”.The Association worried members of its community who experience severe illness – particularly refugees, who were often poorer than the general population – could request assisted dying “out of guilt”, faced with high healthcare costs and “scarce” carers.Perhaps most importantly, Farouk said FIANZ believe legalising euthanasia may provide “societal acceptance” needed by those with suicide tendencies in Muslim communities to “rationalise” suicide.FIANZ was approached for comment.READ MORE: read more

Rooney arrives at court to face drink-driving charge

first_imgRooney was given a warm welcome at Old Trafford on his return to former club Manchester United on Sunday but it ended in disappointment with a 4-0 defeat for Everton.Everton manager Ronald Koeman said earlier this month the matter would be dealt with “internally”.Rooney made a successful start to his second Everton spell following his return to the club from United, scoring on his first two Premier League appearances.His form moved England manager Gareth Southgate to offer him an international recall, but he decided to call time on his England career.Share on: WhatsApp London, United Kingdom | AFP |  Former England captain Wayne Rooney arrived at court on Monday to face a drink-driving charge.The Everton striker, 31, made no comment as he was confronted by a media scrum outside Stockport Magistrates’ Court in the northwest of England.Wearing a blue suit with his hands in his pockets, he walked into the court building accompanied by a small entourage.Rooney was charged after being stopped by police while driving a black Volkswagen Beetle at 2:00 am on September 1. The car belonged to a woman he had met in a bar.He has been married to his high-school sweetheart Coleen since 2008 and they have three children together. The couple are expecting their fourth child.last_img read more

Highlands Businesses Working to Reopen

first_imgBy John Burton HIGHLANDS – It is still very quiet and vacant along Bay Avenue but life is returning there.Eleven weeks after Super Storm Sandy hit, many buildings and businesses are still closed and shuttered. But, behind the emptiness and eerie stillness, there is activity as owners take on the work of repairing their businesses – with some already up and running.“I think we’re progressing in a very positive manner,” said Carla Cefalo-Braswell, president of the Highlands Business Partnership, the local business improvement district. So far there are about 20 businesses that are open or just about to, out of the partnership’s 70 members, which include a number of seasonal businesses.“There are very few who are not going to return,” she said.With charitable organizations, such as the Robin Hood Foundation, offering financial support for businesses and residents, there is a future, Cefalo-Braswell said.One of the businesses that has reopened along the borough’s Bay Avenue business district is the Welsh Farms. Its owner said his location has become more than just a convenience store in the storm’s aftermath.“People were so thankful to us,” owner Ben Saini said, explaining that residents were happy to have the store open and operating. “It made me feel so proud and a little better” after Sandy.Saini, who is originally from India, has owned Welsh Farm, 300 Bay Ave., for 16 years, and Katz’s Grill, 208 Bay Ave., a small luncheonette that is also open, for the past five years.Sandy hit his businesses hard, Saini said, with the bay’s waters causing more than about 3 feet of water to flood his two locations, resulting in about $125,000 in damage to Katz’s and another $75,000 Welsh’s Farms.Saini decided to forgo help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the federal Small Business Associ­ation, deciding that the red tape would be onerous. Instead, he said, he went directly to his banker and was able to quickly secure a loan to rebuild.Skip Ross (left), who owns the Sand Witch Shop, and a worker put the finishing touches on his Highlands shop as he prepares to reopen after the October storm that caused about 3 feet of flooding and considerable damage to his business.For Skip Ross, who, with his wife Donna owns and operates the Sand Witch Shop, 71 Waterwitch Ave., the issue has been dealing with the insurance company as he works to get his operation up and running.“I’m on eternal hold,” he said, as he held a cordless phone receiver to his ear, waiting for another insurance representative to answer.“The water was this high,” he said, reaching out to touch the restaurant’s wall, about 3 feet off of the floor. “I lost every piece of equipment I had.”The Rosses live around the corner from their business, just off of Bay, and saw the first floor of their home flood too. “We ran from Irene,” the hurricane that came in August 2010. “We thought we would be all right,” by staying and riding out Sandy, he said, acknowledging how wrong the decision was.“It’s defeating,” he said. “It brings you to the realization that we’re only human and Mother Nature rules.”Ross has spent about $20,000 for new equipment, though he tried to salvage as much as he could. “I know I lost as much in product,” he said, as he worked on getting everything in shape for his reopening. He reopened the shop the weekend of Jan. 5.Rosann Ketchow gets the offices at her Highlands business, Gateway Marina, back in shape and prepares to move forward in the aftermath of Sandy.Rosann Ketchow, who owns and operates Gateway Marina with her husband, has been in business at 34 Bay Ave. since 1994 and has a second location in Port Monmouth.Gateway is operating, continuing its work on winterizing and storing boats and repairing those that were damaged along the shore, she said.The Ketchows were in Florida when Sandy hit, but had taken some precautions before leaving. They placed computers and other equipment on high shelves and took other steps. But it wasn’t enough, Rosann Ketchow said. They got 5 feet of water in their office.“I couldn’t believe there was this much damage,” she said. “How could water do this much damage? “We never thought it would get to be 5 feet. Nobody did.”They returned from Florida with a generator that allowed them to warm the office as they began getting back in business, repairing and replacing what Ketchow estimated to be about $750,000 in damage to their “completely saturated” business.Outside, there was additional damage to some boats in storage and the storage area, with the water and wind destroying a portable tent-like enclosure where mechanics did some of their work.Some of the biggest hassles have been getting the phone and computer systems operating to allow the Ketchows to contact boat owners and vendors for much needed equipment and parts.Despite the problems, some business owners remain hopeful.As businesses – such as the restaurants and bars – return and again become summer destination spots, Welsh Farms owner Saini is hoping “at the end of the tunnel there’s a light.”last_img read more


first_img“This bonus ties together and strengthens the two most prestigious handicapping contests in the world,” said NTRA Chief Operating Officer Keith Chamblin. “Winning the BCBC in November and the NHC in January would be unprecedented and a feat worthy of the richest payday in handicapping contest history.” Qualifying for NHC 18 continues through January in scores of contests held on-site and online. Next weekend’s contest menu includes a Free-to-Play NHC online contest at offering four spots to the NHC. For more information on the NHC Tour and a complete contest schedule, visit Now entering its eighth year, the $1 million-estimated BCBC has become one of the most sought after prizes on the tournament calendar. The BCBC, which offers 15 seats to the NHC in addition to cash prizes, is a highly lucrative and exclusive live bankroll handicapping contest with a $10,000 buy-in required to participate. Players enjoy first class access to the two best days of racing in the world with VIP seats that include buffet lunch each day and other amenities. Online and on-site qualifying tournaments, offering $10,000 berths into the BCBC as prizes, continue throughout the summer and fall leading to the November Breeders’ Cup. For more on the BCBC, visit In its 18th year, the NHC is the most important tournament of the year for horseplayers and is the culmination of a year-long series of NTRA-sanctioned local tournaments conducted by racetracks, casino race books, off-track betting facilities and horse racing and handicapping websites, each of which sends its top qualifiers to the national finals. There are no bye-ins to the NHC. Each year, the NHC winner joins other human and equine champions as an honoree at the Eclipse Awards. In addition to the founding title sponsor, the NHC is presented by Racetrack Television Network and Treasure Island Las Vegas.Contact: Jim Mulvihill, NTRA Communications, (859) 422-2663, [email protected] the NTRAThe NTRA, based in Lexington, Ky., is a broad-based coalition of more than 100 horse racing interests and thousands of individual stakeholders consisting of horseplayers, racetrack operators, owners, breeders, trainers and affiliated horse racing associations, charged with increasing the popularity, welfare and integrity of Thoroughbred racing through consensus-based leadership, legislative advocacy, safety and integrity initiatives, fan engagement and corporate partner development. The NTRA owns and manages the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance,, the Eclipse Awards, the National Handicapping Championship, NTRA Advantage, a corporate partner sales and sponsorship program, and Horse PAC, a federal political action committee. NTRA press releases appear on, Twitter (@ntra) and Facebook ( About Breeders’ Cup The Breeders’ Cup administers the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Thoroughbred racing’s year-end Championships. The Breeders’ Cup also administers the Breeders’ Cup Challenge qualifying series, which provides automatic starting positions into the Championships races. The 2016 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, consisting of 13 grade I races and purses and awards totaling $28 million, will be held November 4-5 at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., and will be televised live by the NBC Sports Group. Breeders’ Cup press releases appear on the Breeders’ Cup Web site, You can also follow the Breeders’ Cup on social media platforms Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTubecenter_img Last year’s BCBC winner earned more than $300,000 and first prize at the NHC is $800,000, meaning that successful completion of the NHC Tour Double would be worth more than $4.1 million. Players must be current members of the NHC Tour ($50) to be eligible to win the lucrative bonus. LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sunday, July 31, 2016) – A $3 million National Handicapping Championship (NHC) Tour bonus – the largest prize ever offered in the handicapping contest world – will be awarded to any horseplayer who wins the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge (BCBC) November 4-5 and the Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship (NHC) next January 27-29, the NTRA and Breeders’ Cup announced today. The “NHC Tour $3,000,000 Double” starts with the $1 million-estimated BCBC, a lucrative live bankroll contest with a $10,000 buy-in, and continues with NHC 18, the world’s richest and most prestigious handicapping contest, worth an estimated $2.8 million in cash and prizes. The bonus was first revealed during today’s NBC Sports broadcast of the $1 million Haskell Invitational from Monmouth Park in Oceanport, N.J.last_img read more

Sanity must prevail on disclosure issue

first_imgLOS Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Police Chief William Bratton are asking for cooler heads to prevail as officers threaten to quit their gang and narcotics details if they are forced to sign financial statements as part of their anti-gang work. Yet what’s needed is not for cooler heads to prevail, but saner heads. The disclosure is part of the federal consent decree that was put into effect as a result of the Rampart Division scandal, when several anti-gang officers were accused of framing and assaulting gang members; and several officers were convicted. More than 600 officers are affected by this ill-considered provision of the decree, and if they go through with their threat to transfer to other duties, we could see a lot more traffic cops on the streets, which might ease traffic congestion, but certainly won’t help eradicate the gangs. According to Bob Baker, president of the Police Protective League, “If an officer fills it out, it becomes part of his record and can be subpoenaed in court.” This is a grave worry for any officer working gang or narco details. “I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want some gang member having access to my bank account or Social Security number,” Baker added. As Councilman Dennis Zine, a retired LAPD officer and former PPL president, put it: “After Rampart, the city disbanded the gang units, which led to an upsurge in violence. We don’t want to see that repeated. We had complete chaos and that’s why we have so many gang problems now.” L.A. is the only city that has a financial-disclosure caveat for its police officers, and there hasn’t been a police department or any other enterprise that hasn’t had its share of corrupt employees – no mater how rigorously they are screened. If saner heads prevail, they can simply go back to good old-fashioned police work and investigate when suspicion of a police officer gone bad arises. Investigate away and see if he’s a cop on the take or … has a wife who writes best-selling salacious novels or inherited his mega-wealthy Uncle Harry’s estate. Sandy Sand is a resident of West Hills and former editor of the Tolucan and reporter for the San Fernando Valley Chronicle.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! U.S. District Judge Gary Feess, who presides over the decree, should do a big rethink here. He has already turned down a request to lift the requirement, and is now considering a compromise that would instead allow for random audits of gang-unit officers. Whose side is Feess on? The gangbangers or the cops who are trying to keep the streets safe? Taking the side of the government – and exhibiting a most convenient memory – is former police chief and current City Councilman Bernard Parks, even though he opposed the consent decree in the first place. “We should not give in to the tantrums of a union that is spreading fear among its members,” Parks said. One has to wonder what Parks would call it when, in November 2003, he threw a hissy fit of a tantrum and raises for council members – himself included – became a matter of public debate. He said his raise was a “private matter.” If a raise is a “private matter,” what does Parks call full financial disclosure before an officer is accused of misconduct? last_img read more


first_imgGAA: The Comortas Peile na Gaeltachta finals in Ardara have been postponed due to the adverse weather conditions as wind and rain batters Donegal.The horrendous weather has forced organisers to postpone the match after deeming the playing pitch unplayable.The All-Ireland Final was going to be an all Donegal affair with Kilcar and Naomh Conaill facing off with Kilcar looking to retain their crown. There had been suggestions that the game would take place in Killybegs but organisers have now decided to cancel the match.It’s a real pity for all the volunteers at Ardara who have worked tirelessly over the last few months to make sure everything goes smoothly and the competition is run without a hitch.However, you don’t expect the weather to force postponements at a football competition in June, but that’s the Irish weather for you.It is not yet known what date the finals will now be played on.   ALL-IRELAND GAELTACHT FINALS CANCELLED DUE TO ADVERSE WEATHER CONDITIONS was last modified: June 1st, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:newsSportlast_img read more

SA, Angola increase cooperation

first_imgRegional commitments South Africa and Angola have signed agreements paving the way for increased cooperation in public works and infrastructure development, telecommunications, financial markets, information and communication technology, and veterinary services. 15 December 2010 During the talks, the two presidents emphasised the importance of strengthening relations in a number of fields, including energy, agriculture, mining, arts and culture, infrastructure development, communications, education, health and sport. Zuma said they had directed respective ministers to work towards the finalisation of other outstanding agreements. These include agreements on arts and culture, education and merchant shipping. Angola will assume the chair of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in 2011, while South Africa will take over the chair of the SADC organ on politics, defence and security. He was briefing the media after holding talks with his Angolan counterpart, President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who is in South Africa for a state visit. Source: BuaNews In 2009, South African exports to Angola amounted to R5.5-billion, while Angolan exports to South Africa amounted to almost R12-billion. Prioritising economic cooperation “Of particular importance is the need to prioritise economic cooperation through trade and investment, thus creating job opportunities in our respective countries,” Zuma said, adding that the South Africa-Angola Business Forum would help identify further areas of cooperation for businesses of the two countries. “Therefore, our two countries will be entrusted with responsibilities ranging from economic integration to peace, security and stability in the region,” Zuma sadi. “The signing of these instruments is a clear indication of our collective determination to take our relations to higher levels for the mutual benefit of our respective countries,” President Jacob Zuma said in Pretoria on Tuesday.last_img read more

The National Hellenic Museum Hosted Its Annual Golf Outing

first_imgCHICAGO – The National Hellenic Museum hosted its annual NHM Golf Outing on September 10, at the scenic Butterfield Country Club, in Oak Brook. Guests of the museum gathered in support of their efforts for a day filled with food, fun, and golf on the beautiful course.The event benefitted the museum’s ongoing efforts to preserve and celebrate Greek American Heritage.Philanthropic efforts from the NHM Golf Outing will benefit the tens of thousands of children and adults who visit the NHM every year through field trips, tours and dynamic cultural and historical programs. With the largest collection of its kind in the world, the Museum uses artifacts and oral history traditions to teach about significant moments in Greek and American history. The NHM currently boasts a rich repository of 20,000+ artifacts, photos, historic newspapers, books and an archive of 450+ recorded oral histories. The Museum has also recently unveiled the NHM Collections & Archives Portal, which allows anyone to access the Museum’s catalogs online from anywhere by viewing digitized artifacts and archival materials.Left to right: Gary Menconi, Tim Thanasouras, George Maragos, and Rich Valin. Photo: Elios Photography“We are beyond delighted to be able to continue this tradition and sincerely appreciate the generosity of our loyal patrons and community members.” said Kristi Athas, Director of Operations and Human Resources at The National Hellenic Museum. “It is through this support that we are propelled into further exploring new opportunities to preserve, highlight and celebrate the Greek American experience at our institution. We look forward to continuing to make an impact on the accessibility and availability of our offerings nationwide.”The National Hellenic Museum (NHM) preserves, portrays and celebrates Greek history, culture and the impact of Hellenism in America through educational classes, exhibits and programs. With a growing repository of over 20,000 artifacts, the Museum catalogs and highlights the contributions of Greeks and Greek Americans to the American mosaic and inspires curiosity about visitors’ own family journeys through cultural expression, oral history and experiential education. Located in Chicago’s Greektown, the NHM provides lifelong learning for the whole community using artifacts and stories to spark inquiry and discussion about the broader issues in our lives.For more information, visit” alt=”last_img” /> read more

Renesas: blood pressure monitoring evaluation kit for immediate evaluation

first_img Continue Reading Previous AAEON: 3.5” subcompact board with 10 USB and 12 COM portsNext FII Tech Growth invests in SECO Renesas Electronics announced an expansion of its healthcare solution lineup with the launch of a new blood pressure monitoring evaluation kit. The new blood pressure monitoring evaluation kit comprises hardware and software elements needed to jump start blood pressure measurement design. The kit includes a pressure sensor, arm cuff, pump, electronically controlled valve, LCD panel, and a reference board that incorporates an RL78 Microcontroller based ASSP that includes analog functions required for blood pressure measurement. Reference software and GUI development tool are also part of the new evaluation kit. Using the new evaluation kit, system manufacturers can immediately begin their system evaluations and significantly reduce their development time.Renesas has developed the new blood pressure monitoring evaluation kit to alleviate the development pain points, providing functions close to those used in actual blood pressure monitors thus accelerating blood pressure measurement system development.The new blood pressure monitoring evaluation kit comprises hardware and software elements needed to jump start blood pressure measurement design, including:A full range of hardware components, including a pressure sensor, arm cuff, pump, electronically controlled valve, LCD panel, and a reference board that incorporates the newly-developed RL78/H1D ASSP with the analog functions required for blood pressure measurement.Reference software that provides the algorithms required for blood pressure measurement and that can be easily modified, as well as access to smartphone applications, and a GUI tool.A Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) module, which enables the measured data to be transmitted to a smartphone under the Continua standard blood pressure monitoring (BPM) profile is also provided in the new evaluation kit.  The pressure sensor, pump, electronically controlled valve components, and pulse width modulation control can be set from the GUI tool. If the system structure is the same, the GUI tool can also be used for system evaluation of the actual application the system manufacturer is developing.The IIR digital filter calculations required for extracting the pulse waveform from the cuff pressure output waveform during blood pressure measurement can also be simulated using the GUI tool. The digital filter constants calculated based on this simulation can be written from the GUI tool to the RL78/H1D firmware and verified in the actual application being developed. This significantly reduces the number of steps in the development process.RL78/H1D ASSP with optimized analog functions for healthcare applicationsSamples of the RL78/H1D ASSP are available now. Pricing varies depending on the memory capacity, package and number of pins.Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInMoreRedditTumblrPinterestWhatsAppSkypePocketTelegram Tags: Chips & Components, Tools & Software last_img read more