Disabled activists have attacked the Royal Society of Medicine (RSM) for hosting a conference on “choice at the end of life” that was little more than a “love fest for euthanasia”.RSM said before the event that the conference would “question whether or not assisted dying is complementary or contradictory to the notion of person-centred care”.But speakers in favour of legalising assisted suicide far outnumbered those who opposed a change in the law.One of those behind the conference, Professor Roger Kirby, who chairs RSM’s academic board, told the audience that the idea for organising it came to him after reading an article written by the husband of a terminally-ill woman who travelled to the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland to take her own life.The other senior medical figure who helped organise the event, he said, was Professor Gillian Leng, deputy chief executive of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), whose terminally-ill husband, Professor Paul Cosford, told the conference that he was in favour of a change in the law*.Professor Cosford, who has incurable cancer, and is patient and medical director for Public Health England, suggested that having choice at the end of life should include the option of an assisted suicide.He told the conference: “I cannot predict how I will die but I can focus on living well now if I know that I would have some kind of control at the time if I need it.”He added: “To enable choice at the end of life, taking account of individual care needs, may well need a change in approach.“I do think that might include [the option of] assisted dying.”He was followed by two further speakers who were in favour of legalisation: Tony Wicks, whose wife ended her life at Dignitas; and Julie Smith, whose husband had been prevented from travelling to Switzerland to end his life at the clinic. The first three speakers were all supportive of legalising assisted suicide, while the fourth, an assistant coroner, expressed no opinion.The next speaker was Dr Catherine Sonquist Forest, a strong advocate of legalisation, who takes part in the practice of assisted suicide in California – where it is called “medical aid-in-dying” – where it was legalised in June 2016.The conference did not hear from an opponent of legalisation until the sixth speaker, Juliet Marlow (pictured, far right), from Not Dead Yet UK (NDY UK), who had only been added to the list of speakers after NDY UK raised concerns at not being invited to speak at the event.She told the conference that legalised assisted suicide would “negatively affect the relationship between disabled people and society”, and she warned of the risk of people being “slowly” coerced into agreeing to an assisted suicide.She said there was not one user-led disabled people’s organisation that supported legalising assisted suicide.Instead of legalisation, she said, “we need to call for better funded social care and palliative care; that’s what makes the difference between a good life and a bad life for disabled people and that is being slowly eroded by the current administration”.The later sessions of the conference were less unbalanced, although still tilted towards those in favour of a change in the law.Throughout the conference, there were frequent loud rounds of applause for speakers who called for a change in the law, while more than 30 people linked to the pro-assisted suicide organisation Dignity in Dying were on the list of conference attendees.The conference in central London came just a day after the British Medical Journal (BMJ) again called for the law to be changed.NDY UK said BMJ had “sought to hijack the debate and marginalise the views of terminally-ill and disabled people”, and it pointed out that the issue contained several articles backing a change in the law “but not a single one by a disabled or terminally-ill person fearful of a change in the law to permit assisted suicide”.Marlow said after the conference that she felt that it had been organised to push the case for legalisation among the medical profession.She said: “I felt very outnumbered, and I think the people attending had made up their minds already, and everything they are hearing is just confirming what they already believe.“I am open to honest discussion with people about this, as is everyone in NDY UK, but I don’t think we are going to achieve anything by being here, sadly.”She said she felt like “a token disabled person” at the conference, and she added: “I am only here because I asked to be here.”Nikki Kenward, director of Distant Voices, another user-led campaign group which opposes euthanasia and assisted suicide, said the conference had been “like a love fest for euthanasia”.She said she could not believe how tilted the conference had been in favour of those who wanted the law changed.Kenward, who had spoken briefly from the audience during the event, said: “I don’t know how they got away with it.“The decision by an organisation with the prominence of the RSM to effectively endorse the work of Dignity in Dying in hosting this biased conference is outrageous, naive and fundamentally insulting to disabled people.”She said it “would have been more honest if the RSM had offered tickets to euthanasia supporters only instead of paying lip service to the opposing view”. She added: “You cannot effectively endorse the idea that euthanasia is a positive outcome to combatting terminal illness and disability without expecting those who live lives worth living not to react with anger and disdain.“Disabled people will not allow such endorsements to go unchallenged.”Roger Symes, an NDY UK member who attended the conference, has complained to RSM over what he believes was a “deliberately biased” event that was “unworthy of the RSM”.Symes, who is married to the disabled crossbench peer and NDY UK co-founder Baroness [Jane] Campbell, told DNS that he was “alarmed by the bias displayed at the RSM event”.He said: “I think it shows that NDY UK was right to express concern beforehand. Our presence was clearly resented.“Going to the RSM I expected a high level of rigour to the debate, but it was only when Baroness Finlay [a professor of palliative medicine, and opponent of legalisation] spoke that I appreciated how much that had been missing from the rest of the day.“She quoted numerous references to published studies, something which was almost entirely missing from most of the other medical presentations.“I can only think that RSM was duped into believing that everyone is ‘DyingForChoice’ (as per their hashtag) and that jumping on the bandwagon was the right thing to do.“Making the ‘choice’ of assisted suicide only available to terminally-ill and disabled people is discrimination.“It is saying that whilst society will continue to strive to prevent suicides in the rest of the population, it is willing to collude in the suicides of terminally-ill and disabled people.”An RSM spokeswoman refused to say if the organisation accepted that the conference was biased in favour of legalisation, and whether it should apologise.But she said in a statement: “The RSM team worked extremely hard to provide an environment where different points of view could be voiced and listened to.“While providing a forum for discussion of the important issues surrounding end of life care, the RSM remains firmly committed to its independence.“The society does not and will not campaign for a change in the law on assisted suicide.“Note that we do not check the views of delegates before we offer them a place. RSM events are open to all who want to book a place and bookings are carried out on a strictly ‘first come, first served’ basis.“All delegates to RSM meetings are invited to give feedback. This allows us to evaluate our events and learn from our delegates’ experience.“We will feed our learning about Friday’s event into programme development and the chairing of sessions for future meetings of this type.”*Professor Cosford has asked DNS to point out that although his comments at the conference may have given the impression that he supports a change in the law, in fact he is undecided on the issue. He feels that reducing the issue to simply being one between whether the law should change misses the deeper point that we all need to face up to our own mortality and consider how we ensure a genuinely personal approach to health care at the end of life.
On Monday morning, embattled school board candidate Josephine Zhao dropped out of the race — a move that came after scads of her own troubling statements were revealed on this site and others. These statements, Mission Local is told, led her high-level supporters to counsel her to abdicate. But while Zhao, via a Sept. 10 Facebook post, stated she has “decided to withdraw” from the race, it remains unclear exactly what that means. The final day to officially remove herself from November’s ballot came and went on Aug. 31 and the ballot has, in fact, gone to the printer. This, legal observers tell us, renders it highly unlikely that a judge would ever demand Zhao’s name be stricken. So, “withdrawn” or not, Zhao — far and away the top fund-raiser in the field — will all but certainly be on the ballot. And if she finishes in the top three among the 19 aspiring Board of Education members, she’s in. Zhao did not return our e-mails or text messages inquiring whether she would refuse to serve if elected. Mission Local asked every elected official endorsing her what they had to say about this. None of them have bothered to un-endorse her, and none would speak to us on the record. Off the record, however, none saw a need to urge voters not to vote for Zhao or urge her to not serve if elected. That’s because her election is now viewed as unlikely — and to weigh in further would be seen as piling on during an emotionally fraught time. Just how unlikely Zhao’s election would be, however, is not a settled argument. In the Chinese-language press, SingTao Daily described her as being pressured out of the race by the gay community. Her withdrawal was covered in a brief, inside article in the World Journal — meaning Chinese-language readers could potentially either be incensed about Zhao’s “withdrawal” or miss the story altogether.“If voters see your name on the ballot, they pretty much assume you are running,” said Maureen Erwin, a longtime Bay Area consultant who has run a number of citywide races in San Francisco. “Yes, it is entirely possible for a school board candidate who says they are ‘no longer running’ to win if their name is already on the ballot, especially if they have strong community ties and a history of local activism.” Jim Ross, the consultant who ran Gavin Newsom’s successful 2003 mayoral run and has handled many citywide races since, agreed in part. “There are some 60,000 Chinese voters in San Francisco and one of their top-three issues is, consistently, education. So it’s not inconceivable she could get elected, even without a campaign,” he said. “But I think it’s questionable. My take? She probably won’t win.” And that was the take Zhao’s supporters were relying on to avoid having to further publicly weigh in on the matter. Longtime San Francisco politicos, however, saw this as an easy out for them to avoid severing ties with a woman who has, in the past, proven to be a loyal and useful ally for political moderates — and could be again. Zhao was described to us as “The Luca Brasi — the Chinese-language hit man for the Mod Squad.”This 2016 WeChat from Josephine Zhao reads “Chinese Trash Sandy Lee Fewer really doesn’t deserve to be in politics, if she became Supervisor she is not only hurting our kids but also our families. Before passing these policies she didn’t listen to Chinese voices, after they passed she said we misunderstood. What a race-traitor. It is impossible to change these policies now. Hope everyone can pull parents of Richmond schools like George Washington, Presidio, Argonne into the group, so they can see the truth.”As noted in Mission Local’s earlier articles, during Sandra Lee Fewer’s 2016 supervisorial race vs. Marjan Philhour, Zhao wrote private, Chinese-language messages to her extensive follower lists decrying Fewer as a “race-traitor” and “Chinese trash.” During Jane Kim’s 2016 state senate contest vs. Scott Wiener, Zhao denounced Kim as a “homewrecker,” while recruiting hundreds of Chinese speakers to wave placards or knock on doors for Wiener for $100 to $125 a day. Last month, however, Zhao wrote to her Chinese-language supporters that her opponents in the school board race included “two transgender candidates … fighting for the title of ‘first transgender commissioner’ … There are also three homosexuals. Their highest priority for education would be to spread ideologies.” She also communicated to her core supporters that she’d be sending different messages in Chinese and English, and that they should know better than to take the answers she provided to English-language questionnaires seriously. This proved too much, and Zhao was counseled out of the race. But this was done with a gentle hand — and, city political observers note, her ability to serve as a valuable political asset in swaths of the Chinese-language community remains intact. Just how many votes it’ll take to win one of the three top spots in a citywide school board election is a matter of conjecture. In 2016, top finisher Matt Haney netted nearly 176,000 votes, and fourth-place finisher Rachel Norton made the Board of Education with 129,012 votes. But in non-presidential years, it has required far fewer votes to succeed. In 2014, Emily Murase’s 80,877 topped the field, and Hydra Mendoza’s tally of 52,998 was enough to earn a seat. Four years earlier, Murase came third with 68,853 votes. None of these contests, however, featured a massive, 19-candidate field — nor the oddity of no incumbents running. Even viable candidates told us they had no sure idea how many votes they require to clear the hurdle — and they considered Zhao still in play.All of which prompts the question of just what Zhao — and her allies — mean by “withdrawal.” “Any candidate who seriously intends to withdraw would reach out to the press with an explanatory statement, put a statement on their website, and make sure their endorsers knew of their intentions,” sums up Erwin. Zhao’s website has posted the same “withdrawal” statement made on Facebook, but, as of press time, featured a full list of endorsements and what appeared to be a functioning donations page. The endorsers we spoke with do not know her intentions. “Ultimately, if they truly intended to withdraw,” Erwin continued, “they’d commit to resigning upon election. It all depends how serious they are.”Update, 9:59 a.m.: Sheriff Vicki Hennessy sent us a message this morning stating “I am officially withdrawing may endorsement at this time and have alerted Josephine.” Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletter Email Address
NATHAN Brown was pleased with the opening hour of the 46-22 win over Bradford on Friday.His side ran in eight tries as they maintained their top of the table position.“After the first 60 minutes we were quite happy as we had a lot of consistent contributions,” he said. “But then for 15 minutes we were really not where we need to be.“At 40-12 we needed to turn the game back in our favour through doing the basic things well but we probably played where we are at at the moment.“That is, we aren’t consistent for a full 80 minute period.“This time last week we had different players who had parts of their game that let the team down and this week it was other players. We need 17 players who are contributing for the full 80 minutes or for a fair chunk.“But we have to take satisfaction from the win and to lead 40-0 after 60 minutes. But if we want to get to where we want to be then we have to be able to turn a game back our way like we did against Wigan.“We didn’t rebuild the arm wrestle and we have to improve on that.”Brown says Adam Swift had his best game since returning from injury whilst Mark Percival, Willie Manu and Mose Masoe are improving too.He was also pleased that Anthony Laffranchi and Kyle Amor made their returns from injury.“Paul Wellens was consistent too,”he continued. “He is one of the best competitors in the squad and fights for everything. He is a player that you love to coach and have in your team.“He rarely has a bad day and always puts his body on the line. That is why he is important and such a good leader. We need 17 players who want to scrap for everything.”
TOMMY Makinson says the League Leaders Shield isn’t enough for Saints’ loyal fans and he wants to deliver the ‘big trophy’ left on offer.“The League Leaders Shield rewards a great year,” the winger said. “To finally get our hands on the trophy is good but everyone knows the Grand Final is called such for a reason and that is what we are pushing for.“The loss on Friday felt like a cup final defeat even though we played well. It was a strange atmosphere after one of our best performances of the year.“Huddersfield were better on the night in the end but the negatives soon turned to joy on Saturday. We are bouncing into the playoffs and you can see the spring in our steps at training.“It is massively documented that the Shield isn’t the be all and end all but to come out on top after 27 games is massive for us. It is the first piece of silverware at this ground.“The supporters have been massive but the Shield isn’t good enough for these fans. They have stuck by us and they are due a big trophy.“They were sensational for us on Friday and to be honest in adversity they have been like that all year.”To get on the road to Old Trafford Saints must overcome Castleford Tigers at Langtree Park this Friday (8pm) who have been outstanding all season.And Makinson, who has scored 27 tries in 2014, says that match is the side’s only focus at the present time.“Nathan will keep us on our toes and keep us grounded,” he continued. “We set three targets at the beginning of the season and have realised one.“It’s well documented which players we have missing. To be without them is massive so it is a real credit to get where we are but we can’t use it as an excuse.“Cas will be up for the game on Friday and they will be coming for the win. We will be aiming to get through on the first attempt at our own ground.”Tickets for Friday’s game are now on sale from the Ticket Office at Langtree Park, by calling 01744 455 052 or by logging on here.
JONNY Lomax grabbed a brace on his return as Saints edged Leeds 38-34 in a blockbuster at Langtree Park.Appearing for the first time since March 2015, he scored twice in the first half in a game that swayed one way and the next.Atelea Vea, Joe Greenwood and Mark Percival all came back from injury too as Saints won at home for first time in four attempts.Saints led 10-0 after just seven to erase memories of their nightmare start the last time the two sides met.Lomax announced his return to the Saints side with a superb try in the fifth minute – as he took full advantage of James Roby’s break.He took the ball at pace before rounding Zak Hardaker like he wasn’t there.Walsh goaled, Leeds kicked off, and the Saints promptly scored again.This time the mercurial Walsh produced a super offload for Joe Greenwood to stroll over.Seven minutes, 10 points, and the home side looked the more likely to go through again…And they very nearly did when Leeds knocked on in their own in goal area.But despite Mark Percival putting the ball down, the video referee ruled the Rhinos had grounded it.Saints’ defence proved Leeds undoing before the quarter way mark – but the home side were also being a little giddy in attack too and not controlling the ball – perhaps understandable considering their tremendous start.But Leeds hit back in the 22nd minute. Rob Burrow went though the middle and despite a last gasp tackle, the ball was thrown wide to Golding who popped it over the line.The pass looked a good half yard forward but the referee and touch judge had other ideas.And at the half hour mark a loose pass from Theo Fages was returned with interest for Burrow to level it up.Leeds were on fire and on their next attack Jimmy Keinhorst ghosted through the defence.Saints weren’t done though and after probably their best defensive set of the first half, Walsh produced a pin-point kick for Lomax to pounce for his second.Tied 16-16 the last thing Saints needed to do was start the second half poorly.But that’s what they did, handing Leeds prime territory and a penalty on their line in the first minute.Saints defended the chance though – Kallum Watkins’ pass skewing off Brett Delaney’s chest.The home side then went ahead. Walsh put up a massive high ball that was well collected by Golding – but on the next tackle Kyle Amor produced a wonder hit to dislodge the ball … before he mopped up the loose ball.Hardaker then left the field looking somewhat dazed.Leeds hit back through Ash Handley but within seconds Walsh dropped a pass off to Greenwood for his second.And it got better for the home side as Theo Fages stepped through a huge gap on the last to increase the lead.Saints weathered more Leeds’ pressure but Mullally scored with 13 to go to make it game on.But with ten minutes to go, Saints produced a move that is synonymous with this club.Atelea Vea offloaded at full pace to Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook who got the ball away to Luke Walsh,Seconds later the ball was with Fages and with no space at all, and two tacklers in close proximity, he stepped off his left and flew over.And he could have had a hat-trick but was unable to collect Walsh’s drop goal that hit the post.Keinhorst duly grabbed his second with five minutes to go but Saints produced some wonderful last gasp tackling at the end to secure the win.A memorable night.Match Summary:Saints:Tries: Lomax (2), Greenwood (2), Amor, Fages (2) Goals: Walsh (5 from 7)Rhinos:Tries: Golding, Burrow, Keinhorst (2) Handley, MullallyGoals: Lilley (5 from 6)Penalties:Saints: 4Rhinos: 4HT: 16-16FT: 38-34REF: Phil BenthamATT: 11271Teams:Saints: 23. Shannon McDonnell; 1. Jonny Lomax; 21. Matty Dawson, 4. Mark Percival, 22. Jack Owens; 19. Theo Fages, 7. Luke Walsh; 14. Lama Tasi, 9. James Roby, 10. Kyle Amor, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 20. Joe Greenwood, 12. Jon Wilkin.Subs: 8. Alex Walmsley, 11. Atelea Vea, 15. Greg Richards, 28. Morgan Knowles.Rhinos:1. Zak Hardaker; 23. Ashton Golding, 3. Kallum Watkins, 18. Jimmy Keinhorst, 22. Ash Handley; 25. Jordan Lilley 7. Rob Burrow; 8. Keith Galloway, 9. Beau Falloon, 17. Mitch Garbutt, 15. Brett Delaney, 12. Carl Ablett, 11. Jamie Jones-Buchanan.Subs: 14. Liam Sutcliffe, 16. Brad Singleton, 19. Mitch Achurch, 20. Anthony Mullally.
Reasons One and Two covered the strength of Justin Holbrook’s squad in 2019, whilst Number 3 explained that your Membership will cover 14 home games next season – and you’ll know them before the season kicks off.Today, we’re back to focusing on something we should all be proud of.No. 4 – League Leaders’ Shield Saints secured the League Leaders’ Shield in 2018 with 26 wins from 30 matches, scoring the most number of tries and points in the process, alongside being the tightest defence in the competition.It was just reward for being the most consistent and exciting team in the competition … but, of course, Justin Holbrook’s men will want to go one better this year.And this is where your support is crucial. Your Membership covers all Saints’ Betfred Super League home games and to discover Benefits, Prices and more here www.saintsrlfc.com/membershipsWe are Saints and Proud.#saintsandproud
“I went into the apartment and I just saw someone laying out there and I saw blood and I just ran back to the apartment,” said the caller. “I don’t know what’s going on, I hear screaming coming from inside the apartment.”Officers responded to the 3400 block of Wilshire Boulevard around 2:40 a.m. in reference to an unconscious person. Police say the 56-year-old Yolanda Bentley died on scene of a stab wound. Neighbors knew that as well.“She is screaming bloody murder. Oh God she says she’s dead,” said the caller.Related Article: Students on school bus witness man allegedly performing sex act in carPolice are asking for the public to help with information as neighbors like Chris Caudill react in shock to the news.“That’s very crazy,” said Caudill who lives a couple units down from where the stabbing happened. “But things happen, but this doesn’t seem like that type of complex really.”Caudill did not know the victim or what led to the fatal stabbing along Wilshire Boulevard.He does say the area could use more police presence and he hopes that may come as a result of this.“Most of them are very nice. It doesn’t take but a few bad apples to spoil the bunch.”Anyone with information is asked to contact WPD at 910-343-3600 or use Text A Tip. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) – We are hearing the chilling 911 call that came in this morning after a woman was fatally stabbed in Wilmington.Police are investigating as no arrests have been made. Neighbors tell the 911 operator they heard arguing leading up to the deadly stabbing.- Advertisement –
BLADEN COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — People across our state, including a Bladen County resident, are lending a hand to those affected by Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano.A group called the North Carolina Incident Management Team is helping out.- Advertisement – “We’re here supporting the county of Hawaii Civil Defense staff and their efforts to certainly protect those communities that are close to this activity,” Bladen County Emergency Management Director, Bradley Kinlaw said.The team is made up of 10 people from various emergency management agencies across the state including Kinlaw.“It could stop tomorrow. It could stop 3 years from now,” Kinlaw said.Related Article: Big Island residents struggle a year after historic eruptionRaging lava continues to spew across parts of Hawaii and it does not seem to be letting up anytime soon.“The one spot we looked at where the lava had crossed the road, you know, it was 20-foot high in the middle of the roadway where it crossed,” Kinlaw said. “Just massive amounts of lava everywhere.”Kinlaw said they have been in Hilo, a community about 25 miles from the activity, since Saturday.“The past couple days we’ve been writing a mass evacuation plan,” Kinlaw said. “It’s very comprehensive. You know, as who’s going to evacuate when, and how and where.”A major focus of the team is to protect surrounding communities from gases formed by the volcano.“When the lava rivers reach the ocean this mixture creates Hydrochloric acid which is a big white cloud of gas,” Kinlaw said.The other gas they are concerned about is Sulfur Dioxide.“Neither one of these gases are healthy, you know, they need some kind of respiratory protection or simply evacuate until the cloud moves over,” Kinlaw said.Kinlaw said they are monitoring the gases closely and will evacuate people in the area when needed. The team’s overall goal is to help out where they can.“To take some burden off of them,” Kinlaw said. “To help them get their plans and operations in place. To get through the active eruptions and get started on their recovery when that time comes.”Kinlaw said the North Carolina Incident Management Team will help out until June 2, at that point another group will step in.
About a year ago, the statue of Confederate Attorney General George Davis and the Confederate soldier monument, both in downtown Wilmington, were vandalized.A WPD spokeswoman tells us there have been no reports of vandalism at any of these landmarks so far. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington Police have increased patrols and surveillance of Confederate landmarks around the city after protestors tore down the Silent Sam statue on the UNC campus in Chapel Hill last night.WPD tells us officers are patrolling not only around the downtown statues but keeping an eye for several markers affiliated with Confederate history.- Advertisement –
In the statement, the county said periods of low or no pressure in the distribution system increases the potential for back siphonage and introduction of bacteria into the water system.The county is recommending those in the affected areas to boil all water used for human consumption (including drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes and food preparation) or use bottled water.The county says vigorous boiling for one minute should kill any disease-causing organisms that may be present in the water.According to Pender County Utilities Director Kenny Keel, water samples have been taken and pending the results, the advisory may be lifted by Monday at 6 p.m.Until then, the advisory remains in effect for water consumers of Pender County Utilities in the following areas:From 8605 to 11335 US 117 SouthLucas AvenuePennsylvania AvenueRocky Point Elementary School RoadRocky Point Training School RoadLacy Padgett RoadBridgeside RoadFallbrook LaneEast & West Tumbling Waters RoadBabbling Creek RoadEast & West Strawberry LaneTarwolf TrailCamellia DriveRose DriveMagnolia DriveSouthward along US 117 South to, but not including, the entrance of Woodhaven Subdivision Tap water (Photo: MGN) BURGAW, NC (WWAY) — A boil water advisory remains in effect for some portions of Pender County.According to a statement released this weekend by Pender County Utilities, some areas are experiencing periods of low pressure and outages in the distribution system due to a 12” water main break.- Advertisement –