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Times Online 16 May 2019Family First Comment: Well said, Simeon“…it is clear to me that no system of euthanasia, no matter how carefully designed, can ensure the protection of the most marginalised and vulnerable in our society. This is deeply troubling to me. International precedents show that euthanasia regimes result in the involuntary death of innocent lives, often those who are marginalised and vulnerable. I cannot support a law which allows the state to intentionally kill its citizens, particularly when innocent lives will be lost in the process. The potential for this particular Bill to go so wrong is too big to ignore.”Shortly, Parliament will debate and vote on the second reading of the End of Life Choice Bill, which is being sponsored by David Seymour, MP for Epsom.This is a conscience issue which many people hold strong opinions on. Since the first reading of this bill, I have received thousands of emails on this topic, met with many in Pakuranga who have wished to share their opinion on the issue, spoken with palliative care experts, disability advocates, doctors, lawyers, and I have sat on the select committee to hear submissions on this Bill, 90 per cent of which were opposed.I want to thank and acknowledge everyone who has spent time discussing this topic with me. It is a highly emotive issue and I believe that there are many well-meaning people who hold widely differing views.I will however be voting against this bill for the following reasons.Firstly, it is clear to me that no system of euthanasia, no matter how carefully designed, can ensure the protection of the most marginalised and vulnerable in our society. This is deeply troubling to me. International precedents show that euthanasia regimes result in the involuntary death of innocent lives, often those who are marginalised and vulnerable. I cannot support a law which allows the state to intentionally kill its citizens, particularly when innocent lives will be lost in the process. The potential for this particular Bill to go so wrong is too big to ignore.I have also considered this issue in the context of what our doctors are saying. I join with the overwhelming majority of healthcare professionals in New Zealand – including end-of-life specialists – who oppose euthanasia.I find the New Zealand Medical Association’s comments on coercion particularly concerning: “An absolute guarantee that those who choose assisted dying are doing it voluntarily would be extremely difficult to establish in legislation and ensure in practice. Doctors are often not in a position to detect subtle coercion – as is also the case when trying to identify signs of emotional or financial abuse of elders more generally. Coercion also extends to assumptions of being a burden, giving rise to a sense of an ‘obligation’ to die.”Finally, in a country with dire statistics relating to elder abuse, youth suicide and mental health, euthanasia is a major step backward and represents a threat to the vulnerable in our society.I understand why an individual who has lived a full life and now faces a painful death would want to be allowed to choose when they will go. But I don’t believe we can allow and celebrate that without creating a terrible side effect for many others, for whom this law would not be so benign. Instead of offering a legal avenue for suicide, we need to encourage and strengthen our families and communities to support those who are lonely and suffering.I am encouraged by the rapid developments in palliative care, which has only recently been recognised as a medical specialty. As I have engaged with this sub-sector extensively since being elected, I have only grown in my admiration for their work and belief that we must prioritise their role in enabling people to have ‘dignity in death’, not in romanticised suicide.I appreciate this is a very difficult issue and I know people have many views on this issue, and I always welcome hearing from anyone who wishes to share theirs with me.Simeon Brown MP for Pakurangahttps://www.times.co.nz/news/opinion-why-im-voting-no-to-euthanasia/
Madison, IN— A Jefferson County woman was sentenced Monday in the Jefferson Circuit Court following a lengthy sentencing hearing. Elani Hines was convicted of Kidnapping, a level 3 felony, and sentenced to 12 years. Hines will serve six years in the Indiana Department of Correction and will be eligible to serve six years under supervision by Community Corrections. The charges are from an investigation initiated on June 19, 2019.Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department received a report from a young female and her mother that the young female had been assaulted by two older girls. Deputies interviewed the victim and observed bruises and swelling on her face, head, and hands. In addition, Deputies observed that it appeared that parts of the victim’s hair had been shaved off and some pulled out.The victim advised that she had been staying at a friend’s house when two young women, later identified as Elani Hines and Hailey Bartley arrived at the home. The victim advised that Hines and Bartley forcibly removed her from her friend’s house, took her to the Hines residence and began beating her, especially in the head. The victim advised that the two then pulled her into the bathroom and began attempting to shave her head with clippers. The victim said Bartley also held a knife to her and told her if she told anyone she would have people from Indianapolis kill her.During the course of the investigation, officers learned of two potential witnesses to parts of the events. Interviews of those witnesses corroborated the victim’s statement and led to the seizure of Bartley’s mobile phone. Further, Deputy Miller interviewed Hines who admitted her involvement.Detectives with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department arranged for Bartley’s phone to be forensically analyzed. The phone analysis revealed photos and video of the incident stored on the device. Detective Denning described the photos and video from the phone as “quite disturbing” and as depicting “Hailey and Elani hitting, kicking, strangling and torturing” the victim over a period of time.Bartley is scheduled to be sentenced on September 4, 2020.
Holocaust survivor Zenon Neumark spoke about his struggles and experiences during World War II at Popovich Hall on Monday.At the age of 17, Neumark escaped from a labor camp, where he was held until a day before the camp was dissolved. Alone and without any weapons, Neumark avoided capture. The other inmates were taken to a concentration camp.“The day before the camp was being liquidated, the commander of the camp told me, ‘Young man, escape if you can; tomorrow will be too late,’” Neumark said.He escaped the camp next morning and lived for a few days in town, after which he made his way to Warsaw, Poland. According to Neumark, he was betrayed by his friends in Warsaw but at the same time, he had some good experiences with people who assisted him. He mentioned how one family helped him when he sent a note to them and asked them if he could stay there.“I knocked on the door in the evening, and a lady and her daughter said they were glad I came and that I shouldn’t let her husband know. Two days later, her husband told me that he knew I was there and he brought me a piece of bread and marmalade along with a glass of milk. They were decent people,” Neumark said.While living in Poland, Neumark joined three organizations, one Jewish and two Polish. After that he was taken to a camp in Vienna, Austria. He was freed when Russia liberated Vienna in 1945.“I never had any grudges against people who didn’t help. The only people I did feel angry towards were friends who didn’t help,” Neumark said. “There were people who risked their lives and also the lives of their families, and still helped. About a 100,000 Jews did survive the war and they all needed the help of at least one non-Jew for food, shelter or documents. So they did get help.”The average rate of murder per day was 10,000 people, according to Neumark. He said that he believed the propaganda and cult of personality cultivated by the Nazi Party as the main reason they were able to initiate the Holocaust.“Nazis were the biggest deceivers and liars that were ever created,” Neumark said. “They used it as their tool.”