We would never have coped
To Mr Rostorn (Letters, August 3): One should never back unscientific approaches towards a very serious problem.
I hope you have also read page 23 of the Chronicle (How medics battled strange virus, August 3).
New Zealand has 4.7 intensive care beds per 100.000 capita. This is comparatively very few for 5 million people. Germany has 29 intensive care beds per 100.000.
If you compare Sweden's death rate of 5743 (10 million population) to 22 with New Zealand there is nothing more to say.
Our health system would never have coped with the influx of sick people. Even Sweden's government had to acknowledge they followed the wrong path.
I also think everyone now has to acknowledge this a very contagious virus and sadly many people are sick and dying due to unscientific beliefs and government.
We in New Zealand have to be very grateful for a science-oriented Government which did overcome the virus but we still have to be vigilant to not fall into the trap of inconsiderate behaviour.
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Look the issue in the eye
I think I am old enough to know there are few occasions when diplomacy supersedes honesty and realism, and, no more so when we consider the value of life.
The End of Life referendum, along with the front page article on Saturday's Chronicle (August 1) both use the phrase "assisted dying", the article making an effort to fortify support for such a law citing a PhD. One should be very sceptical of a qualification which consciously or unconsciously removes us from what is; what we are speaking of here is "assisted suicide". If we persist in pursuing this law, we are legalising suicide.
You may take the discussion, view it from any point of view and it spells "suicide". There are better alternatives, such as improving palliative care, without encouraging our youth to an early death. Is it not possible in the future we shall help all the dying to a "comfortable death"? Meanwhile, having the nation supporting assisted suicide leaves us with the law [whereby] taking your life is approved by the highest authority in the land.
The phrase "assisted dying" has been used in the referendum to negate the harshness of self-murder. If we do not look this issue straight in the eye, we condemn ourselves to accepting the worst possible outcome, life is not important.
Steph Lewis in the same article is politically undecided over what she wants if she faces terminal illness, favouring a choice over the issue ... Can we afford to have such a person in government? Not if we wish our country to survive. No community shall survive such a negative attitude. [Abridged]
Where to get help:
• Lifeline: 0800 543 354 (available 24/7)
• Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)
• Youth services: (06) 3555 906
• Youthline: 0800 376 633
• Kidsline: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
• Whatsup: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)
• Depression helpline: 0800 111 757 (available 24/7)
• Rainbow Youth: (09) 376 4155
• CASPER Suicide Prevention
If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.