Smoke alarms

I would like to thank the fire brigade guys for the excellent service they provide in putting up smoke alarms for those who cannot do it themselves.

It is such an important safety measure for everyone, I feel.

I would like to point out, however, how easy it is to buy the wrong type of alarm.
I wanted the 10-year long-life type, but by mistake bought one that was (according to the notice) guaranteed for 10 years.


But it turns out this only applies to the actual covering; it still needed the battery replacing on a regular basis. Please make sure you read the instructions more carefully than I did.

The guys very kindly produced the correct type for me in exchange for the one I had purchased. How great was that?


End of life choice

It appears that my May column 23 has infuriated Maggie Barry, causing her to display a rather graceless attempt at personalising a debate on the End of Life Choice Bill (letters, June 1, 2018).

She makes several accusations for which she offers no ground, thus no need of reply.
Her recognition of my work as opinion is welcome even if delivered with snark.

That in no way excuses her failure to remain factual and not introduce irrelevant — even if shocking — statistics on elder abuse to underpin what she admits is her "imagined" conclusion that elders so abused would be coerced to request assisted dying. That's false, and she knows it's false.

I personally informed her of the relevant research published in the JAMA [Journal of the American Medical Association].


Barry does not enjoy being called out for her dogmatism.

Having established her closed-mindedness by the admission that no emendation would make the patient's right to choice acceptable, her own bill of required palliative care is a classic case of bait and switch.

As Dr Jonathan Hartfield acknowledged in this paper, the requirement of palliative care would also mean a required delay of three months until a dying patient could apply for assistance to die by choice.

Choice as a right of adults dying clearly offends Barry. She and the religion-inspired anti-choice faction would have the doctor administer morphine for pain, even if it "hastens death".

I have three questions for Barry. You've said humans were not animals. What are we then? What measures did you and National take to prevent or ameliorate elder abuse in the last nine years?

Why is it okay for the palliative care doctor to kill the patient but not for the patient to choose the time and the means for the end of their suffering?



Meat options

In a recent edition of our Wanganui Chronicle there was an article on Sandra Kyle singing to the sheep in the truck before slaughter.

I will try to put an objective view across — no one wants to see animals being killed or waiting to die.

Let us examine the alternatives to farming for meat:

1. Leave nature to control animal populations; open all the gates; rehome the farm dogs and walk off the farm.


How does nature work? Well, most animal species breed at many times the carrying capacity of the environment where they live.

So how does Mother Nature control her surplus animals? Three ways — starvation, disease and predation.

Okay, what is the farm situation in comparison? Most farmers will ensure that their stock enjoy a non-stop banquet from birth through to slaughter.

I will leave Sandra and everyone to choose who runs the kindest regime.

2. Then we could adopt the Greens' policy — having slaughtered all the farm animals, plant the farmland in trees.

This choice is the kindest and most humane as it ensures no animals will suffer at all because none will be born.


Again, I will let Sandra et al decide if this is the kindest option.

My own opinion — and I think the stock may choose it — is an unending banquet with all necessities for life provided. And when death comes, it is instant and painless.


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