Reader’s letters - Thursday 23 January 2014

Coronation Street's Hayley Cropper (Julie Hesmondhalgh) has reopened the right-to-die debate
Coronation Street's Hayley Cropper (Julie Hesmondhalgh) has reopened the right-to-die debate
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Hayley debate is needed

The Coronation Street actress whose cancer-suffering character ‘died’ this week has said assisted suicide should be legalised. Opinion polls confirm that Julie Hesmondhalgh’s views are shared by the vast majority of people in this country.

Medically assisted suicide is legal in Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Switzerland. The safeguards in their laws have ensured there is no ‘slippery slope’ or encouragement for elderly people to die.

Opponents of right-to-die legislation say palliative care must be the only option available to sufferers close to the end of their lives.

Pain relief will be sufficient for the majority, but some individuals will want to say farewell and die peacefully at a time of their choosing and while they are still competent. Their wishes should be respected.

An actress and a soap opera have highlighted this issue once again and Parliament should take it up. Our MPs should look to the example of our European neighbours and support a change in law.

Chris Davies, Liberal Democrat MEP for the North West

Alcoholics need more support

Regarding your article about the lady who’s grateful that her dog ate part of her face because it stopped her drinking herself to death (LEP January 6).

Isn’t this a tragic example of the lack of care there is for alcoholics? I have been in a similar situation where I have found it extremely difficult to stop drinking. I felt there was nothing out there to help me stop unless you happen to be wealthy and can pay for private treatment.

Alcoholics need a break from their alcoholism. In my opinion we should be locked up in a secure unit with no access to alcohol and given the appropriate medication and care to get us through those very difficult early days. At my worse, upon seeing my GP I was prescribed medication which I now know to have been woefully inadequate.

This was also the case on a difficult occasion when out of desperation I attended A&E. No wonder I found it hard. Do the medical profession like to see alcoholics suffer or are they ignorant or just –playing it safe?

My GP advised counselling but I don’t see how talking therapies help a chronic alcoholic. What is needed is action. Alcoholics need to be taken away from their alcohol and dried out.

After a break from alcohol, yes, you may relapse but then again you may not and it could be life changing.

Some people may need this treatment numerous times. Of course, some will be incurable but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be given a chance.

The awfulness of how you feel when you wake up from binge is indescribable and the only way to feel better is to drink again. I am very sorry about this lady’s face but pleased that she is now happier because she has managed to get her drinking under control. It’s just a great pity there isn’t a better system in place that could have helped her.

Gravis Mushnick, Ashton

Fears for safety at World Cup

These days all too often we read of danger and unrest in the world around us and we would be very wise to pay heed.

Recently we have learned of the acute unrest and apparent danger in Brazil in the midst of the upcoming World Cup.

The word is out folks if you truly value your life then stay at home. Speaking from personal experience of many previous visits, it is simply not safe for man or beast or even locals. Watching one’s own rear is enough, let alone others who could well find themselves packed into taxis and driven who know where. Forget the bus they don’t exist.

One has to be concerned about FIFA who made the location decisions.

Frank Werrill, Leyland

Arts degrees no award for work

I could not agree more with Nigel Taylor (letters January 13).

My husband was a qualified chartered electrical and mechanical engineer.

When he was studying he had to attend lessons from 9am till 5pm, five days a week. Then he had to go back to his lodgings and do extra studies.

Most university and college students only do about eight hours a week. These are mainly “arts” students. Tell me, who needs a degree in dress making and photography or now


I think there should be less “degrees” handed out, and then only to those who put full time learning in.

I know someone who has just got a Phd in poetry – what next! No wonder the can’t get a proper job

Mrs V Ormerod, Longridge

Looking for bobbies’ names

It was wonderful to see the article and photographs on the Preston Borough Police force in the Evening Post (Retro

January 15).

My great-grandfather John Mackay was a member of the Preston Borough Police joining as drill sergeant from the Scots Guards in approx 1899 and

serving finally as superintendant until his untimely death in July 1915.

I would love to obtain a copy of the photo from 1911 with names if possible as I have no family photographs of my father’s side of my family. I checked in the Records Office in Bow Lane but could only find the Preston Borough Police book listing his enlistment details and early death.

My eldest son is a serving member of the Lancashire Police and has worked in Preston for over 20 years and is unaware of his great, great grandfather’s role in Preston Borough Police.

Donald Mackay Stables, via e-mail

Pension dates seem so unfair

My wife was born at the end of December 1953 and has been told that she will not get her pension until March 2019.

I work with a lady who was born in July 1953 and the date she will get her pension is July 2017.

What do your readers think of this unfair situation?

Mick Regan, via e-mail