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Euthanasia referendum: Should it be a health priority for New Zealand at present?

first_imgStuff co.nz 19 September 2020Family First Comment: Important questions: “If the referendum is passed, money and time will be put into establishing a bureaucracy to deliver aid in dying, and doctors will have to provide the service. This represents an opportunity cost, as these resources cannot be spent on other aspects of the health system. To comply with the law there is a lot to do. There are committees to be formed and policies to be written. All doctors will need to decide if they want to take part. All practices and hospitals will have to respond to someone who seeks assisted dying”OPINION: Discussion of the euthanasia referendum has mostly been around the ethical question of whether euthanasia should be allowed. There has been little discussion about whether this is a priority for action now.If the referendum is passed, money and time will be put into establishing a bureaucracy to deliver aid in dying, and doctors will have to provide the service. This represents an opportunity cost, as these resources cannot be spent on other aspects of the health system.To comply with the law there is a lot to do. There are committees to be formed and policies to be written. All doctors will need to decide if they want to take part. All practices and hospitals will have to respond to someone who seeks assisted dying and that is likely to lead to a lot of discussion and debate.Hospices have already said they will not do this but what about all the other providers? Whilst the financial costs will be balanced by the money saved in someone dying earlier and not requiring some pension or some care costs, the personnel resource and the time spent setting systems up needed to do all this is still problematic.What is the size of the potential quality of life benefit?If the referendum passes, we don’t know how many people would seek aid in dying. A reasonable comparison would be with Oregon.Oregon has a population of 4.2 million (New Zealand 5 million) and has had a Death with Dignity Act in force for the past 22 years. Their Act is similar to ours. Their experience is that patients are older, on average 74 years (range 33-98 years).Just over 50 per cent of patients had a university degree and 96 per cent of patients were white. In 2019 a total of 188 people were assisted to die, 0.51 per cent of total deaths.During the first five years of the Act around 25 people a year (around 0.08% of total deaths) were assisted to die. Whilst there are differences between Oregon and New Zealand, we are alike enough for this to give us some idea of what might happen here.If this level of demand is reflected in New Zealand, then it will benefit a few people from a group who can afford the costs and who already get significant benefit from our health system.– Ben Gray is a senior lecturer in Primary Health Care and General Practice at University of Otago, Wellington.READ MORE: https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/euthanasia-debate/300107980/euthanasia-referendum-should-it-be-a-health-priority-for-new-zealand-at-present?cid=app-iPhonelast_img read more

Shafer speaks on academics regarding recruiting process at Signing Day press conference

first_img Published on February 4, 2015 at 5:19 pm Contact Sam: sblum@syr.edu | @SamBlum3 Facebook Twitter Google+ Scott Shafer asked his director of recruiting operations, Eric White, to compile the GPA of the 25 newly signed players on Wednesday morning. He came back with an average GPA of over 3.0, a number that Shafer proudly boasted.“We wanted to find kids of intelligence,” Shafer, the Syracuse head coach, said. “We really scrutinized the transcripts and the test scores.”But when the topic shifted to the players that weren’t there — those that had decommitted or left the class — academics was once again at the forefront during his National Signing Day press conference at the Iocolano-Petty Football Wing on Wednesday.Shafer was asked about the two players, Gerald Robinson and West Lindor, who decommitted from the class because they claimed that the coaches didn’t reach out to them or call them back for months at a time.Shafer became defensive with the question, saying he was there to talk about the committed players only, and that the media often doesn’t hear the coaches’ side of those stories.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“Our side of the story will be we’ll try to recruit the kids that best fit and reach the standards and expectations that we put out there for them,” Shafer said. “And if those standards fall short, when bars are set, when kids are committed early to you, and say A, B and C need to be met by fall semester. And when A, B and C aren’t met you have to move in another direction.”When the reporter followed up asking for an example other than academics, Shafer didn’t give one.Lindor defended his academic standing in a series of text messages after the press conference.“I’m almost positive he’s known I’m a smart kid,” Lindor said in the text, noting his 3.9 GPA and 24 on his ACT. “I would assume that getting offers from an Ivy League school would make them understand.”Lindor signed his letter of intent on Wednesday to play for Brown University.When asked if there is an urge to take on kids that are in poor academic standing to further the benefit of the SU football product, Shafer said he never wants to lower the academic bar. He also noted that there are two or three players in the Class of 2015 that will have to work hard to make sure they’re qualified.In the instance of Alin Edouard, a Class of 2014 commit who delayed his enrollment a semester, the academics weren’t good enough for him to come to the school, Shafer said. Edouard’s currently enrolled at Garden City Community College in Kansas.“We’ll never lower the bar where we’re striking out too much,” Shafer said. “… I think any time you get past that number, then you’re in a situation where you’re vulnerable to letting your teammates down and your coaches down.” Commentslast_img read more