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Letters: Why isn’t there a more compassionate environment? And the right to choose what happens at the end of your life?
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Letters: Why isn’t there a more compassionate environment? And the right to choose what happens at the end of your life?

KEVIN McKenna discusses the risks, provisos, and contraindications of assisted dying. The issue’s core is the individual’s decision and volition regarding their own end-of-life. Other issues may be relevant, but they should not override the provision of that core factor.

Many people die in or after prolonged pain and suffering. This can lead to mental and psychological torture, where people are dependent on others and restricted in their ability to engage in the activities and interests that give meaning to life. Extreme physical pain and suffering can often be “relieved” with powerful drugs that leave little cognitive or physical capacity to provide any life-quality or meaningful functioning.

Modern health services are available to help you with your pain and suffering. Many would prefer a more personal environment and circumstances that are more compassionate and personal to them. Their individual choices should not in any way limit the rights of others who are frail, elderly, or disabled.

The purpose of this project is to allow individuals to exercise their rights at their convenience and at the time that suits them best. It often makes their remaining time more bearable, and longer, because they know that they can access the comfort and dignity of action at any time and at any place. Suffering and illness are part of life. Problem comes when suffering and illness becomes all that is life.

Recognizing and considering the following factors is important: understanding the human condition, rights and choices, human rights, compassion, humanity, mercy, and compassion. These are the very factors that make the problem possible in the first instance and can offer solutions.

Norman Dryden, Edinburgh.

* KEVIN McKenna’s argument, as with all opposed to the principle of assisted dying, is based on what if and perhaps.

This law is not likely to be repealed in the enlightened states and countries that have enshrined it in law.

John NE Rankin Bridge of Allan


SURELY Stuart Waiton’s article “Parents must be heard about sex education within schools” The Herald, December 15, must have evoked a reaction among parents across Scotland. Outsourcing a lot of family education to schools and financial responsibility is at best highly questionable. But if sexeducation is to be left up to schools and the survey is an example for values, then I suggest we abandon all hope of raising a generation that has its foundations, and ethics within the family, and just rely on some state breeding programme to ensure a future workforce.

Is this the price to pay for our secular society of the 1970s, which has increasingly abandoned religious morality in favor minorities’ rights and preferences? It is now that the silent majority must speak up.

James Watson, Dunbar.


Anybody who was unsure that Police Scotland had become too politically charged should read about recent decisions on the recording and comments by senior officers to justify this course.

Police Scotland seems to have decided that rapes by male genitalia offenders will be recorded by it in the future if the attacker is “born male” and has a full gender recognition certificate or “identifies himself as a female”. I think the first depends on when an attacker obtains the GRC vis-à-vis the crime. The second is absurd but it does comply to the SNP Government’s delayed reforms to the Gender Recognition Act.

This is a very shrewd decision that makes total nonsense of the Sexual Offences Act. It defines rape to be “non consensual penetration with penis”.

In the past, police were criticised for manipulating crime statistics to make their performance look better. But this new road they are on is confusing and bewildering, and could potentially skew crime statistics.

It is easy to conclude that they are bowing to the will of their political masters.

W MacIntyre East Kilbride


As Storm Arwen swept across the country, the wind industry was paid nearly 5 million to turn off its turbines. These “constraint payments” have been a major factor in the rising electricity bills. They have netted more than 1 billion dollars since 2010. Paid to generate electricity, but not to produce it. A nice little income, as Del Boy would put it.

Clark Cross, Linlithgow.


It’s sad to see mans best friend be sent to the environment doghouse due to its carbon footprint (Letters December 14). I also appreciate Grant Aitchison’s wise appreciation for Rover Ben and little Fido (Letters December 15).

Murphy, Murphy’s retriever, was happy, eager to please and best friend to all for 14 years.

It says it all.

R Russell Smith Largs.

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