Underfunding no argument for assisted dying

first_imgNewsRoom 23 July 2020Family First Comment: Superb article from palliative care specialist Dr Sinead Donnelly…“Every week as doctors we see cases where disabled, sick or mentally ill patients will, at their most vulnerable point, contemplate suicide. With the right care and medicine the vast majority are brought out of this vulnerable state to a place of health. Under the proposed Act, those same people could be dead within 72 hours.As doctors caring for people who are dying every day we know the difference that this legislation will make to vulnerable people. It will expose the vulnerable to the extraordinary burden of a duty to die. We are voting no and we invite you to join us in opposing this Act.”Arguing for assisted dying legislation on the basis NZ’s palliative care is underfunded is like saying that the car needs a clean so should be pushed off a cliff, writes Dr Sinéad DonnellyIn recent weeks there have been unsubstantiated claims in New Zealand media by pro-euthanasia, retired doctors or ‘veteran medical specialists’ around the End of Life Choice Act, which will be voted on during the upcoming referendum.As specialist doctors trained in palliative medicine and currently practising in New Zealand, we’re extremely concerned at their argument in favour of euthanasia. It’s wrong and it’s dangerous.First, they argue in favour of euthanasia because, in their words, palliative care has been “underfunded from the start and access and quality are patchy”. They say that aged residential staff “are overworked and often poorly trained in palliative care for the dying”. In other words, they want us to vote at the referendum in favour of euthanasia due to inadequacy and inequity of palliative care and inadequate aged residential care staffing.This is a little like arguing that the car needs a clean so should be pushed off a cliff.When have we, as a society, agreed to prematurely end the lives of patients due to poor funding? In any other situation that would be called callous and unacceptable. It certainly doesn’t pass the kindness test.The second irresponsible statement is that “the End of Life Choice Act is one of the safest in the world”. It is not. The Act’s claimed protection against pressure from “another person” is poorly drafted and provides inadequate levels of protection to vulnerable New Zealanders. For example, the Act requires only one doctor (the first doctor to whom a request for euthanasia or assisted suicide is made) to only “do his or her best” to ensure that person requesting euthanasia has expressed their wish “free from pressure” by “any other person”.The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners, the very doctors who are also going to be on the front line of the process, told Parliament they won’t be able to detect coercion or pressure in all cases with this test, and that there will be wrongful deaths under this law. To wit:“The College … considers clause (h) where the medical practitioner is required to ‘do his or her best to ensure that the person expresses his or her wish free from pressure’ is problematic. As one member wrote: ‘It will prove impossible to determine if a patient is ‘free from coercion’. What criteria will doctors use to determine whether or not coercion exists? If patients request assisted death, there is no provision in the Bill as to what a doctor should do if she or he thinks that coercion is actually present. Coercion of patients will be impossible to discern in every request for assisted death. Doctors will not be 100 percent correct in their assessments of coercion. Wrongful deaths will be the result of this proposed new law.’”READ MORE: https://www.newsroom.co.nz/underfunding-no-argument-for-assisted-dyinglast_img read more

Stockton Springs Ambulance Service to host “Run For Your Life” 5K-10K

first_imgSTOCKTON SPRINGS — The Stockton Springs Ambulance Service is hosting its first annual, “Run For Your Life” 5K/10K on Saturday, Sept. 19 around picturesque Cape Jellison.Day of registration is at 7:30am at the Stockton Springs Town Dock.   For advanced registration and more info contact, Jen Skala at 949-4323 or visit sub5.com.All proceeds go to benefit the ambulance equipment fund.   The first 50 participants will receive a commemorative T-shirt.This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textlast_img

LRA Should Expand Tax Horizon

first_imgLate last year, Boima Kamara, Minister of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) admitted on a local radio talk show that the country has plunged into recession. He noted the weakness and undervalue of the Liberian dollar, high prices of basic local commodities and the drop in international trade as upshot of the collapse. However, he was optimistic that policies and strategies being devised by his Ministry and relevant agencies would obviously change the course. I believed him! While I emphasize the dirge of Liberians currently facing increase in taxes on commodities such as water, alcoholic beverages, etc., as part of government’s tactics to mitigate the economic down trend, let me opine that these policy measures are genuinely intended to stabilize the Liberian economy. When customs and international trade are challenged by geo-economic, technological, social and political factors, domestic taxation is the way to go. This is why I think the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) should expand its tax horizon and revenue scouting into other sectors, Power and Electricity for instance. After 26 years of darkness, Liberia cut the ribbon of a revitalized Hydro Dam in Mount Coffee, Montserrado County on December 15, 2016. Speaking on behalf of the Liberian government, Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism (MICAT) Eugene Nagbe, expounded that the refurbished Hydro Plant was a fulfillment of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s commitment to Liberia’s development agenda festooned in her campaign promises of 2005 and 2011. Though some say the “Small Light Today Big Light Tomorrow” realization is tardy, many Liberians are gleeful but cautiously hopeful or perhaps cynical that power generated from ‘the Hydro’ will be aptly managed by the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC). This is so because of their past problematic experiences with the LEC. But the LEC quagmire will be left for another day!As a consequence of the weedy institutionalized, ineptly regulated and unethically distributed power supply across Liberia, ordinary Liberians with capital have since engaged in private power and electricity sales. What is quite captivating is that these transactions are typically illegal. Contrary to Liberia’s revenue regime which requires that a 10% tax is levied on payment for the acquisition of an investment asset in Liberia, these private citizens purchase huge generators in their communities, supplying neighbors with electricity or what has come to be known as “Community Current” at costs often ranging from US$ 40 to US$ 50 per ampere. Goods and Services Tax (GST) is habitually unpaid in these instances thus contravening provisions of the Revenue Code of Liberia which further requires that Service Tax payable on a supply of taxable services is to be accounted for by the registered service provider making the supply. While the code says, “registered service providers,” most of the “community current” providers are not registered. Low grade electrical appliances and cheap wires bought from local vendors are often stretched from one generator house to the other, mostly across homes in densely populated communities and are usually installed by unlicensed, unprofessional and unsophisticated individuals. The hazards associated with these illegal practices are usually unheeded due to ‘necessity’ or ‘love’ for electricity. Besides, it has become a generally accepted Liberian reality that for many years, LEC power supply has not reached ordinary communities. So why waste time waiting anyway? Arguably, millions and thousands of United States and Liberian dollars are generated annually by these illegal, unregistered and unregulated power and electricity suppliers with no regards to relevant government institutions such as the Liberia Business Registry (LBR), LRA and LEC. This begs the question. Does anybody seriously think or believe that private citizens who are involved in power sales in different communities in Monrovia or Liberia at large pay taxes to the Liberian government? Since the generators owned by these private citizens are solely for economic purposes evident by the sale of power in communities, it is required by the laws of Liberia that such individuals duly register those equipment with the LBR as legal businesses and obtain Tax Payer Identification Numbers (TIN) from the LRA so as to place them into the tax net and enable them pay their fair share of taxes. LEC should devise ways, means and strategies to regulate these power and electricity suppliers. It is high time LBR, LEC and LRA team up with the view to derive a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will regulate private citizens supplying power and electricity, as well as enforce compliance with relevant commerce and tax laws that will see them pay their fair share of taxes. This could be a wet spot for domestic revenue generation that would aid in soothing our crumbling economy and also serve as a measure to avert the potential undermining of our revitalized Hydro. Or there will be no day that some Liberians will see light, whether big or small! Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more