While the federal election has dominated the news cycle, events have taken place in the NSW Parliament, their significance overshadowed, at least temporarily, by the noise surrounding who is the preferred Prime Minister.
This is disappointing because the legalising of medically sanctioned suicide in NSW is not a small thing. It should not go unacknowledged. It is saddening because of what it signals to the rest of the community. It not only signals that the terminally ill - given certain conditions - can end their lives early. It also signals, unintentionally, that some short-cuts are acceptable. That some hardships can be avoided; that my life, indeed, should not be intruded upon by too much suffering.
No-one wants suffering, and no-one wants to observe their dear ones suffer; it's hard slog. But in ways too mysterious to fathom, we need it.
We're hearing a lot these days about resilience, and why people, younger people especially, appear to be somehow lacking. This is not a judgment on their character, but the more we lack in this essential quality, the less inclined we will be to endure uncomfortable moments, hours and weeks and months. The less inclined we will be to value life beyond the narrow field of "my body, my choice", and our own small measure of beauty, usefulness and ability to contribute.
Some short-cuts don't matter at all - this one does. The net effect of this euthanasia legislation can be likened to an army whose country is threatened by invasion and war. The generals get together and they say, "Oh, this could get nasty. There might be fighting. There might be casualties and even loss of life. That's awful. We don't want that! We shouldn't go; let's stay home where it's safe." And by staying safe, the entire country is lost.
No-one wants to go through suffering, or endure the suffering of others. But we do not steel ourselves for the hard things of life by taking this kind of short-cut. The common experiences of life, let alone the final hours at the bedside, teach us that.
Gus Batley, Tamworth
Thank you for publishing the letter from Mark Rodda. He really hits the nail on the head. Voters need to think deeply about this one, and to ask questions such as - Why NOT a Federal ICAC? Because Angus Taylor, our energy minister who supports fracking of farmland, wouldn't look pretty? Why NOT proper funding for Medicare? Why extend seniors' healthcard benefits to comfortable retirees while doing nothing for struggling renters? And many more questions.
Margaret Hurle, Manilla
This National Volunteer Week (16-22 May), I want to recognise the many unsung local heroes who support Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia.
With thanks to their support, we have just celebrated 10 years of our Prostate Cancer Specialist Nursing Service, with 100 specialist nurses nationwide, who have delivered over 260,000 occasions of service. Equally, their support has helped us to fund the $1.6m EVOLUTION Clinical Trial, with recruitment now underway to help save the lives of men with advanced prostate cancer.
PCFA was founded by volunteers 26 years ago and continues in that fine tradition today serving men and families who need us. They lift us up, they carry us forward, and they will one day take us home to a world free from the pain of prostate cancer. We are grateful.
Anne Savage, Chief Executive Officer, Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia
Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce's letter (NDL 19th May) was an important reminder of progress of putting jobs first over uncertain politics and I agree with his letter.
Your own toil should lead to a better life. A life with limited government intervention, one where you own your own home with the money you worked hard for, and where you can start a business from scratch and employ people, and a life where no matter if you live outside the major cities you can see productive industries with good paying jobs and infrastructure projects that go to the heart of keeping our nation moving.
That is all at risk under Labor, higher taxes, lower production, less private investment and lower job creation and more regulations on your standard of living, the one you worked hard for, is that we want?
We have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the world, we have led the world in how to keep people in work with the Job Keeper package in the early days of the pandemic, which then allowed in good time the market to keep open and provide people with the opportunity and prosperity they deserve.
Put the ALP last. Don't turn back. Keep Barnaby Joyce working on your behalf in New England as a part of the Coalition team.
Shane Moran, Tamworth
Adam Marshall is demanding immediate answers and a quick fix to enormously worrying problems at the Inverell District Hospital.
I have been watching our health system deteriorate over the last 20-odd years. During that time a new $60 million hospital was built by the state government - and supposedly provided for the provision of modern health services and care, which would do away with the need for local patients to travel to other centres for many operations and other treatments.
The VMO system now depends on the importation of locum doctors.
Over 14,000 local residents go to bed each night expecting that medical help, if needed, will be available! HNEH, very inaccurately, assured the Inverell community that adequate staffing would be in place to ensure that the new facility would be able to be fully functional.
The Local Hospital District (LHD) Health System is badly bent - and beyond repair.
I had the opportunity, over the last couple of weeks, to discuss the matter with local federal member, Barnaby Joyce, Federal Regional Health Minister, Dr David Gillespie and Inverell Mayor, Paul Harmon. All showed major concern about how bad things are - and not just confined to our local area.
I made a submission to the Parliamentary Inquiry into Regional Health Care which has just made its findings and recommendations public.
I hope the 30-odd recommendations will be quickly acted upon. I think Adam Marshall agrees with that.
Bob Bensley, Inverell
WE had a family member take ill with seizures as we were travelling through Glen Innes. She was transported to Glen Innes Hospital emergency department. I cannot speak highly enough of the care, compassion and exemplary work these brilliant nurses are doing, all without an on-site doctor. They deserve the pay rate of a doctor as that's the role they are performing.
Well done, and our heartfelt thanks, to each and every one of you on duty on afternoon/evening shift 10th May 2022, and for the care you gave our girl and myself.
Glen Innes be proud of those nurses performing duties well above their job role, they are the backbone of your ED. Thankyou, I hope you all get the recognition you so justly deserve.
The later the Government gets around to doing something serious about global warming, the more restrictive and expensive our lifestyles will be. The later we leave it, the more we will wish we took things more seriously a decade or so ago. It is our choice at this election. The Nationals have shown their colours. They are an enormous drag on our emissions reduction. Many in the Liberal party are just as bad.
Tim Robilliard, Tamworth
The words 'Trump' and 'bias' have appeared in probably thousands of newspaper reports especially in conjunction with 'fake news' but now there is a new and quite different example.
Melania Trump has expressed concern that Vogue magazine may be biased against her as they haven't asked her to be on the front page.
Maybe Vogue does have some biases as they have also never asked me to appear on their cover either. This is possibly related to me being a 63-year-old, fat, bald man with the general appearance of a Biker. I would even be willing to wear a nice evening dress although they don't seem to come in a 7X size.
I'm not holding a grudge and am still ready to make my own unique contribution to the fashion world.
Dennis Fitzgerald, Melbourne
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