Letters, Monday, July 22, 2013

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Have your say

Who gets to decide who lives or dies?

I FEEL I must comment on the recent article in the Echo about the Liverpool Care Pathway.

 I would like to know who has the right to play God? Who decides?

 Is the family consulted or does it just happen by a group of people who decide to withhold basic care? Who or what gives them the power to decided who lives or dies?

 After reading this, I would be very reluctant to go as an in-patient, just on the off-chance a mistake is made. We all know when our end is near, but people do rally round, as has been proved.

 Little wonder complaints are being made, the figures speak for themselves. We are only halfway through 2013 and already the numbers have almost doubled.  

 Makes an easy job for some – well, count me out!

P Smith,

address supplied.

Public has right to know about tests

DESPITE a Government commitment in July, 2011, to reduce the number of animals that are used in experiments, a total of 4.11 million animal tests were carried out last year, an increase of 8.36 per cent on 2011.

 More than half the tests – 2.43 million – were conducted on genetically modified (GM) animals. These are animals given a harmful genetic defect or mutation; they have increasingly become the ‘tool’ of choice in medical research.

 During production of GM animals, huge numbers are killed and discarded, as the process has a very low success rate – only three to five per cent of the babies born have the desired genetic defect. And those that carry the defect will go on to suffer its effects.

 Disturbingly, this loss of life is considered “an intrinsic and unavoidable characteristic of the technology”.

 The National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS) considers that the harm suffered by GM animals can never outweigh any purported benefits.

 The majority of GM animals are used as models for human disease, yet none of these ‘models’ has accurately or adequately replicated the condition seen in humans. Thus, ‘cures’ are being tested on unreliable models, in a different species, compounding the variables to be managed. This is not good science.

 Much of this work is funded by tax-payers and donations we give to charities and organisations funding this work.  

 Yet the law forbids any public access to information on what is happening, and why.

 Little is known about the procedures that the millions of animals are subjected to each year, but the NAVS believes that the public has the right to know.

 Please support our campaign to end the secrecy in UK laboratories. For further information, please visit www.navs.org.uk.

Jan Creamer,

chief executive,

National Anti-Vivisection Society.

There is no such thing as a free lunch

THE Sunderland Echo, on July 15, reported on Sharon Hodgson MP calling for all primary school children to have a free lunch.

 As Ms Hodgson, more than most, should understand, there is no such thing as a free lunch.

 It is always the tax-payer that picks up the tab. Her colleague, Liam Byrne, correctly pointed out, “there is no money left”.

 One is tempted to ask what part of that simple equation Ms Hodgson doesn’t understand.

 It is the first and most basic responsibility of any parent to provide food, shelter and clothing for their offspring. It should not be allowed to become the responsibility of the State.

Dennis McDonald,

Fulwell.

Funeral brought out best in people

I, LIKE lots of people, have been horrified by the death of Fusilier Lee Rigby in London.

 I went to his funeral on Friday, July 12. Circumstances like this bring out the best in people.

 The kindness and support was fantastic and the town of Bury was lovely. Thanks to Dave McKenna for arranging for Kevin to take me and bring me back.

Paul Garrett,

Seaham.