DUBLIN, March 23, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) — Euthanasia and atheist campaigner Dr. Philip Nitschke, Australia’s “Dr. Death,” told an audience in Dublin this week that he had traveled to the country after receiving “significant interest” from elderly Irish wanting information on how to end their lives.Nitschke’s visit was opposed by pro-life groups, which have charged that his activities constitute a violation of the country's criminal code that warrants police investigation.Speaking in Dublin in Thursday night, Nitschke encouraged his audience at the Seomra Spraoi social centre to confirm their plans to commit suicide before they become too infirm. “Don’t wait until it’s too late, plan ahead and put in place an end-of-life strategy,” he said.A major focus of his appearance, he said, was to help overturn Ireland’s blasphemy laws that, he contended, make it “almost impossible” to talk about assisted suicide for fear of opposition from religious groups.Nitschke said, “As an atheist I am often asked to debate the ethical issues involved in providing a person with information that will allow them to end their life peacefully and reliably at a time of their choosing. I am constantly up against this idea that somehow life belongs to God. I disagree strongly with that assertion.”But Rebecca Rougheen of the pro-life group Youth Defence called this claim a “red herring.” Rougheen told LifeSiteNews.com (LSN) that Nitschke “always tries to make out that opposition to his gruesome ideology is purely motivated by what he describes as religious bigotry.”“When in fact, people of all creeds and none can see that what he is espousing is completely unethical and immoral.”Nitschke’s appearance to give what was billed as a “self-deliverance workshop,” raised considerable opposition in the largely Catholic country. At the meeting he showed a video detailing the various methods he recommends for suicide, including the "exit bag" and other devices he invented and sells from his Melbourne-based group Exit International.Promoting assisted suicide, however, is a criminal act under the current code in Ireland and pro-life groups are calling for action by the Justice Minister Dermot Ahern. “This workshop which counsels and assists in the procurement of suicide is illegal under the Criminal Law (Suicide) Act 1993 and the Minister now needs to instruct the Gardai [police] to get involved,” said Niamh Ui Bhriain of the Life Institute.Youth Defence used the social networking site Facebook to spread the word about Nitschke’s visit and to ask supporters to contact Minister Ahern. Rougheen told LSN that, in the end, only about five individuals signed up for Nitschke’s workshop. The rest of the audience, she said, were political activists and journalists.After protests, four venues, all publicly funded, cancelled Nitschke’s appearance. In the end, he was hosted by the Seomra Spraoi group, a leftist political organization that does not receive public funding, and bills itself as a “non-hierarchical, anti-capitalist collective, run on a not-for-profit basis.”Despite the presence of Dublin’s gardai outside, no protest was mounted at the event itself.One elderly attendee told local Irish TV news that he had come to hold the “right to die” philosophy after seeing members of his family die “in considerable discomfort and pain.” Doctors, he said, “have not been able to help them to die in a dignified way.”Statements such as these have sparked concerns in the pro-life movement that pain treatment and palliative care are not adequate in many areas, and that it is this inadequacy that is fueling the push for assisted suicide and euthanasia. Others have also expressed concerns that, with the rise in popularity of the euthanasia movement, governments, many of which have socialized medical systems, will regard killing the patient as a more cost-effective means of dealing with the terminally ill and elderly.After the meeting, Nitschke told the Irish Times that the audience had been representative of others he had spoken to: “These are not sick people. These are people who have come along because they see that it makes sense to know about ending your life.”Nitschke, a militant secularist and founder and director of the euthanasia group Exit International, was the first doctor in the world to administer a legal, voluntary, lethal injection, killing four people, before Australia's Rights of the Terminally Ill Act, which made assisted suicide lawful, was overturned by the Federal Parliament.In 2000, he announced a plan to launch a “death ship,” similar to the notorious Dutch abortion ship of the group Women on Waves, that he said would have allowed him to circumvent local laws by euthanizing people in international waters. He has published two books, “Killing Me Softly” in 2005, his political manifesto, and 2007’s “The Peaceful Pill Handbook,” that gives instructions on how to commit suicide. The second book was banned in Australia and later in New Zealand.He is also the inventor and promoter of two suicide devices, the “exit bag,” a large plastic bag with a drawstring allowing it to be secured around the neck, and the “CoGen” (or “Co-Genie”) device, that generates carbon monoxide.Nitschke pledged to return to Ireland, leaving behind an “embryonic” group to continue campaigning. . . . (continue reading)
March 23, 2010
This headline caught my eye:
"Mentally ill Qantas pilot allowed to fly despite complaining of urge to crash."
A Qantas pilot suffering from a mental illness was allowed to keep flying for three years despite complaining of his urges to crash his planes. . . .Pilot Bryan Griffin said he struggled with overwhelming desire to switch off his plane's engine on several occasions during his career, yet was deemed fit to continue flying by doctors.
During a flight from Perth to Singapore in 1979 Griffin stated that his left hand “involuntarily” moved towards the start levers” in a “torturous” compulsion, the Workers Compensation Commission of New South Wales Workers heard. He said he “struggled with the uncontrollable limb as though it wasn’t mine” and was forced to place it under his seat belt to restrain it. . . . (continue reading)
For those who do not understand the Dr. Strangelove allusion, this will help.
It takes only two sentences, mistranslated to include words not said by Archbishop Allessandro D'Errico when the Papal Nuncio addressed the people of Bosnia & Herzegovina with regards to the new Medjugorje commission, to change the meaning of what he was saying.His Excellency would be disappointed to learn how a pair of sentences, made into one, came across to English speaking readers as a result of the fabrication that was made. . . . (Continue reading)
RAWALPINDI, PAKISTAN — A Christian man was fighting for his life in Pakistan's Punjab province Saturday, March 20, after Muslim leaders backed by police burned him alive for refusing to convert to Islam, while his wife was raped by police officers, Christian and hospital sources familiar with the case told BosNewsLife.Arshed Masih was burned Friday, March 19, in front of a police station in the city of Rawalpindi near Pakistan's capital Islamabad, following apparent death threats from his Muslim employer Sheikh Mohammad Sultan, an influential businessman, and religious leaders, said the Rawalpindi Holy Family Hospital.His wife, Martha Arshed, was allegedly raped by police officers. Their three children -- ranging in age from 7 to 12-- were reportedly forced to witness the attacks against their parents."Both [Masih] and wife were rushed to the Holy Family Hospital and are under treatment," the hospital said.He was listed in serious condition with about 80 percent of his body burned.POLICE INVESTIGATIONLocal police officials said they were "aware" of the attacks carried out by Muslim leaders and apparently at least some officers and added that an investigation was underway. No arrests were reported yet late Saturday, March 19.Sheikh Mohammad Sultan could not immediately be reached for comment and it was not clear whether he had been in contact with police Saturday, March 20.Before tensions emerged about their Christian faith, Masih worked as a driver and his wife as a maid for the Muslim businessman since 2005, Christians said.The couple apparently lived with their children in the servant quarters of Sultan's estate in Rawalpindi, a key trade and tourist destination. In January, religious leaders and Sultan allegedly asked Arshed to convert to Islam with his whole family. After he refused, the group reportedly threatened him with "dire consequences".Arshed offered to quit his job, but the businessman allegedly said he would "kill" him if he were to leave.He apparently also told Christian mediators that he would never allow the Christian family to live somewhere else.This week tensions rose after Sultan reported a theft of 500,000 Pakistani Rupees (5,952$), according to a document seen by BosNewsLife.The Christian family members were not named as suspects in the so-called 'First Information Report' from police.Sources familiar with the situation, who asked not to be identified for security reasons, told BosNewsLife that the businessman had offered the couple to drop the case if they convert to Islam or "else that both would not see their children again."However, "Arshed refused to convert and stood firm in his faith. Arshed`s wife was raped by the police and he was burned alive," Friday, March 19, local Christians said, speaking on condition of anonymity. . . . (continue reading)