In response to Michelle Pereira (Letters, January 19) it has been acknowledged worldwide by Palliative Care Associations that they are unable to ease the suffering for everyone. New Zealand Palliative Care is the only one which refuses to publicly acknowledge this fact. However, staff on the ground will tell you that this is happening. One retired Palliative Care nurse with more than 20 years' experience, and with a post-grad qualification, in Queensland has however done so. Beverley Young has stated the following: "... Tell me you have been at the stood at the side of someone dying, watched them suffer intolerable pain — or listened to them drowning in their own body fluid — or heard them desperately trying to take in breath when they are fighting asphyxiation — or vomiting faeces ... because I've witnessed all of these things — many times — and stood by while the very best palliative care wasn't able to address any of these things."
Esther Richards, Tauranga

Not a replacement

Michelle Pereira quotes David Richmond on his concerns. Assisted dying is not a replacement for palliative care. They are complementary. Anyone in the last few months of their life who is happy with palliative care can continue with it. Those who are finding palliative care inadequate (and however you read the statistics a percentage aren't happy) will have the option of assisted suicide. Suggesting assisted dying undermines efforts to reduce our suicide rate is nonsense. A terminally ill patient with less than six months to live has already been given a medical death sentence. They will simply be choosing the time and method of their already inevitable death. It is illegal now for medical staff to encourage patients or compell them to do seek death. And it will still be illegal after the legislation is passed.
Andrew Tichbon, Greenbay

In defence of landlords

In reference to the letter "Bad landlords" (HoS, January 19), I'd like to put the owners side. We own an Auckland CBD apartment. Last year, we let it through an "apartment specialist", Oneciti, after they approached us as we had dealt with the agent before. What we didn't know was that in the meantime, the agent had been fired from two estate agencies and was now working as a legitimately non-registered letting agent. We advised the agent that as the apartment was for sale, we did not want fixed term tenancy. A week later, we got a call from him saying that he'd signed a six-month contract with a tenant. This is bad practice as he had signed the contract without our approval — something that the letting arms of estate agents don't do. We were now stuck with a tenant on a fixed term contract. Unfortunately, it's near impossible for owners to check the quality of agents.
Andrew Parsons, Orakei

Beef with wagyu story

Reading the "Chef's $1000 mistake" (HoS, January 19), I initially felt sorry for Tony Astle with his wagyu beef "problem". Reading further I began to feel that Tony is not doing himself or his restaurant any favours with this story, which, I presume, he generated. Cutting the 3kg piece into 10 means each steak owes him $100 and he is going to offer each meal for $288 (incl GST). That is a bit steep, Tony, especially when you are suggesting that you are keen to sell this meat. Then I read that Tony will promote the cuts as 400g pieces when he got 10 out of the original 3kg lump. I am sorry Tony, but I won't be able to attend.
Rhys Morgan, Northcote Point


A joint investment

Hard to know if the article regarding a chunk of beef is actually a real horror story or is in fact a disguised piece of advertising. Sounds to me like the latter given that the restaurant concerned paid $1000 for the meat but will now serve it as 10 steaks each costing $250. It's not the owner that's stupid but those who are apparently prepared to pay that price for a steak.
It would indeed need to be damned good at that price, but I would doubt it.
Paul Beck, West Harbour