Your December 11 report on Julie Ann Genter's talk in Whanganui rightly portrays an energetic and committed minister who shows the value of the governing arrangement as she works across a range of portfolios in collaboration with her Labour colleagues.
As Associate Health Minister, she replied in October to my letter imploring the Government to intervene to stop hundreds of women dying and thousands more suffering radical surgeries and horrible treatments for primary and secondary breast cancers that are sometimes found within months of "all-clear" mammograms.
The Government is always under pressure to fund hugely expensive end-of-life drugs and the total unnecessary costs to the taxpayers of this pointless scam must be astronomical.
I had drawn her attention to the fact that women with dense fibrous breast tissues — up to 50 per cent of all those receiving taxpayer-funded mammograms — are the victims of an egregious, dishonest and cruel deception run by the National Screening Unit.
Late diagnosis can turn a lumpectomy into mastectomy with removal of cancerous lymph nodes long after cancer cells have spread to the brain and other organs, causing incurable metastatic secondary cancers.
Like me, they are never told they have dense breasts and that radiologists reading the mammogram films of those of us with extreme density have as much chance of seeing even very large tumours as they have of finding a snowflake in a snowstorm. Smaller tumours in moderately dense breasts are also likely to be missed by the mammogram process.
Even worse, dense tissue increases our risk of developing cancers and makes them grow and spread more aggressively.
Ironically, Genter's letter dismissing my plea arrived on the day we were celebrating the centenary of women becoming eligible to stand for Parliament. Imagine what those who broke down such a significant barrier to female equality think of Minister Genter and Prime Minister Ardern perpetuating this "mammogram scammogram" that is killing their 21st century sisters because they drew the short straw in the breast density lottery.
So the PM thinks we would be hard pressed to say that our region has suffered as a result of the coalition Government.
When she said that to your reporter, she must have thought she was in Whangarei, just as many of her Labour colleagues believed that was their conference venue.
Shame on her for being conned into letting Jones and NZ First control the PG Fund.
English made a promise to help roof our Velodrome which subsequently Ardern assured us would be honoured ... just another hollow promise, like so much of her rhetoric. And so much for those port dollars too.
And did you hear about the carloads of Auckland Labour attendees who arrived in Raetihi to discover the Parapara closed, so then went back to Taumarunui and on to Whanganui via Mt Messenger? Wonder if they were party leaders.
Still patient's choice
Rene de Jongh's diatribe against assisted dying is reminiscent of the anti-vaxxers' distortions to take advantage of the under-educated (letters, December 10).
"Do you really want to give a government agency the power to kill you when some of the doctors they employ decide your life is of no value to you or the state" is his question.
Some facts: [Under the End of Life Choice legislation] Only the patient has the right to request assisted dying; the doctor can take no initiative.
The doctor must advise the patient of all other end-of-life options and advise the patient to discuss their options with family and trusted others.
The patient must sign a request for assisted dying while demonstrating free will.
The doctor must assess the patient for eligibility to receive assisted dying (no such criteria exist for current doctor-initiated increase of morphine doses that end up hastening death). A second, unrelated doctor must concur.
At each step of the way the patient must be advised that they can change their mind at any time.
The Government anticipated truth-distorters and has put out information about the End of Life Choice Act: www.referendum.govt.nz
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