Tuesday, June 30, 2009

More Public Meetings

Last week I drew your attention to a public meeting on ‘The Cost of Living and The Cost of Dying’ (sub-titled ‘why we can’t afford to ignore the inevitable’) that was held in Dublin as part of the Forum on End of Life in Ireland.

Three further, similar, public meetings are planned to take place during the coming week, as follows:

TODAY – Radisson Hotel, Galway, 6.30 p.m.
Wednesday, 1 July – Clarion Hotel, Steamboat Quay, Limerick, 6.30 p.m.
Thursday, 2 July – Gresham Metropole Hotel, MacCurtain Street, Cork, 6.30 p.m.

Please do your best to attend one of the abovementioned meetings, if at all possible.

It is interesting to note that Dr Deirdre Madden (Faculty of Law, University College Cork) will act as Chair of the Cork meeting. This is the lady who is foremost in the promotion of experimental research on human embryos. She was a member of the Irish Government-appointed Commission on Assisted Human Reproduction, and chairperson of the University Research Ethics Board at University College Cork when that institution voted to allow embryonic stem-cell research to be carried out at its premises.

At the Dublin meeting last week, one participant highlighted the fact that the HSE (Health Service Executive) had invited Prof Len Doyal, who is a noted proponent of euthanasia, to speak in Cork recently, and also that Prof Doyal advocates euthanasia as a ‘cost-cutting’ method in dealing with elderly and ill patients. The serious implications of this did not appear to impact greatly on those present at the meeting.

The representative of the Irish Hospice Foundation assured the participant that such a proposal would never be considered by the Foundation.

Nevertheless, bearing in mind the appalling statement made by the HSE recently in relation to people suffering from, for instance, spina bifida and scoliosis – together with the involvement of the HSE in the visit to Ireland by the euthanasia promoter Prof Doyal, and also the abortion of Irish babies in the UK – we will have to be on our guard in relation to the activities of the HSE.

A second leading article in the Irish Times (25 June 2009), commenting on the Forum on End of Life in Ireland, states: ‘ … the debate cannot expect to be untouched by calls for the legalisation of assisted euthanasia. No doubt the palliative care movement will prepare a trenchant rebuttal.’