Copyright 2011 Western Morning News (Plymouth)
All Rights Reserved
Western Morning News (Plymouth, UK)
April 15, 2011 Friday
LETTERS; Pg. 12
Naval action that would shame Nelson;
As a former naval officer, I am appalled. Apparently back in February, HMS Cornwall, engaged in anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden, was tipped off by the Captain of a merchant ship that a fishing boat was acting in a suspicious manner.
Cornwall intercepted and boarded the fishing vessel to find that it was a Yemeni boat, pirated three months previously by Somali pirates, who were using it as a base ship with the Yemeni crew treated as slaves. Onboard were 17 Somalis, armed with Kalashnikovs, rocket launched grenades and equipped with boarding ladders.
Cornwall arrested the pirates, sent the Yemenis on their way and asked for instructions with regard to the disposal of the pirates. They were instructed to give the men a medical, feed them and then release them off the Somali coast. They were even fed with "halal" meat because of their religion and were released in their pirate skiffs.
HMS Cornwall is part of EUNAVFOR, an EU directed unit created to counteract piracy. To capture, feed and release healthy pirates is no way to counteract piracy and represents a total failure of EU policies. The Royal Navy has been reduced to shell of its former strength and is now being compelled to operate "soft" under EU command.
Nelson must be turning in his grave!
Peter Wyatt Totnes
April 15, 2011
Dr Death suicide film being shown in schools: Euthanasia fanatic gives workshop on how to kill yourself in educational video for 14-year-olds
By Tom Kelly and Nick Fagge
Last updated at 1:58 AM on 16th April 2011
Pupils are being taught about euthanasia with a video featuring a notorious assisted suicide campaigner nicknamed Dr Death.
Dr Philip Nitschke is shown demonstrating his machine that delivers lethal injections in the film, which is already being shown to pupils as young as 14 across the country.
There is also footage of him giving workshops on assisted suicide methods, which church leaders have criticised as an 'invitation to commit suicide'.
The decision to include Dr Nitschke in the video was condemned by campaigners both for and against assisted dying, and a psychologist warned that it could encourage vulnerable teenagers to end their lives.
The video is being shown as the BBC stands accused of being 'a cheerleader for assisted suicide' after filming a man killing himself at the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland.
Writer Sir Terry Pratchett, an outspoken advocate of euthanasia, presents the documentary which is due to be broadcast on BBC2 this summer.
Dr Nitschke was held up for nine hours by immigration officials at Heathrow when he arrived to give his first UK suicide workshops in Bournemouth two years ago.
At his workshops he demonstrates chilling suicide methods including a helium-filled 'exit bag' which is placed over the head, Mexican drugs, morphine and 'DIY Peaceful Pills'.
He has co-written a book detailing eight ways in which terminally ill people can kill themselves, including using veterinary drugs.
The 20-minute film is made by Bristol-based Classroom Video, which supplies educational films to almost every UK school.
It is being shown to pupils aged 14 to 18, mainly those studying GCSE philosophy which includes euthanasia on the curriculum.
In it Michael Irwin, a former doctor and euthanasia campaigner, explains why he was 'very pleased' to help at least nine people to kill themselves at the Dignitas clinic.
He was struck off the medical register six years ago for attempting to help a suicide.
In what the makers say is a balanced treatment of the issue, the video includes many comments from opponents of euthanasia.
There is a contribution from anti-euthanasia group Care Not Killing and an impassioned plea against assisted suicide by Baroness Campbell.
Producer and director Thomasina Gibson said: 'If you are going to treat teenagers as young adults you have to give them all sides of the argument and let them debate it and make their own minds up.
'We have had extremely positive responses from pupils and teachers.'
But anti-assisted dying campaigners said they were shocked by the decision to use the 'fanatical' Dr Nitschke to teach pupils.
Phyllis Bowman, of campaign group Right to Life, said: 'His extreme views are being foisted on young people at one of the most impressionable periods of their lives.
'It is perfectly right to have a debate about euthanasia, but such fanatical views do not help a constructive discussion.'
She pledged to take the issue up with Education Secretary Michael Gove.
Pro-assisted dying group Dignity in Dying also condemned Dr Nitschke's appearance in the video.
A spokesman said: 'We encourage the discussion of euthanasia and assisted dying, but do not advocate anybody promoting methods of ending your life.
The BBC stands accused of being 'a cheerleader for assisted suicide' after filming a man killing himself at the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland in a programme presented by Sir Terry Pratchett
Responsible: Phyllis Bowman of campaign group Right to Life intends to take the issue up with Education Secretary Michael Gove
The BBC stands accused of being 'a cheerleader for assisted suicide' after filming a man killing himself at the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland in a programme presented by Sir Terry Pratchett (left), while Phyllis Bowman of campaign group Right to Life intends to take the school video up with Education Secretary Michael Gove, right
'When Dr Nitschke gives his workshops he doesn't know whether people have mental health problems or difficulties which would prevent them making an informed choice.
'We believe it's irresponsible to put information on how to end your own life into the ether without knowing who it is going to.'
Psychologist Dr Arthur Cassidy, a director of the Yellow Ribbon anti-suicide programme, said: 'I have very deep reservations about this video because it has the potential for young people to think about ending their lives.
'There is a wealth of evidence that media - films, DVDs and videos - have encouraged a form of experimentation in suicide.
'And a film like this may well encourage young people to think they are a burden, that they don't fit in or encourage them to feel vulnerable in another way.
'If they are discussing euthanasia it could also lead to a cluster of suicides.'
A spokesman for the Department for Education said: 'The Government sets the curriculum but we leave it to teachers to use their common sense and professional judgment on what is best for their set of pupils.'
The Director of Public Prosecutions recently revised rules stating that it is illegal to help anyone kill him or herself by saying he would effectively not prosecute if the motivation of relatives and friends is shown to be purely compassionate and there is no personal gain.
Hope and glory, hope and change. Hopeless crackpots.
One would perhaps suggest that death would be applied to pirates, not our own citizens.