Letters round-up: Doctors must not be involved in assisted suicide

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Courts – and not doctors – should make decisions over assisted suicide if a new law is introduced, according to a correspondent on our letters page.


A recent poll suggests that 82% of the British public are in favour of assisted suicide.

Lord Falconer’s Assisted Dying Bill will be debated in the House of Commons on September 11 but there is a problem: The Royal College of General Practitioners’s urvey showed that a majority of 77% of members were opposed to assisted suicide and pallitive care physicians were 82% against. 73.2% of hospital doctors and 77% of family doctors are against it. Who then, is going to do the killing?

The Bill states that two doctors must be with the patient to see that the lethal dose is administered and one must remain until he or she is dead.

The Bill offers safeguards for doctors who would not wish to take part but, alas, this is wishful thinking; similar safeguards were given in David Steel’s Abortion Bill in 1967, but today no doctor is employed as a gynaecologist or GP in the NHS if they refuse to refer a patient for abortion.

If the House of Commons votes in favour of assisted suicide in September, medical practitioners should be taken out of the equation altogether as being involved would compromise their autonomy and independence.

Doctors must not be involved. The courts should assume responsibility for the assessment and procedure as a whole.

Dr Michael Straiton



With regards to ban the hunt and hounds from the county show.

Well I suppose it was bound to happen, someone wants their name in print and spoil the fun of hundreds.

The Bucks County Show is brilliant, part of which is the animals.

To be able to meet the hounds is great fun for adults and children alike.

So to all of you who don’t like them or what you think they stand for, learn to read: Hunting is banned.

Stay away from our show and let the rest of us enjoy our day.

Mrs Blackaby

Stoke Mandeville


In the recent issue of the Bucks Herald (12th August 2015) you had an article titled “Petition calls for show to impose hounds ban”.

In the article it stated that Katie Angus claimed hunting is a ‘political issue’ and should not be ‘forced down people’s throats’ so I would like to know why does the petition not call for the County Show to ban anything that is remotely political? Such as Aylesbury Vale District Council, Bucks County Council, any political party or the emergency services since they are always political issues especially the funding etc.

I don’t think it is for a ‘political issue’ reason at all, if it were, the petition would have been for anything political to be banned.

It seems clear to me that it is because she does not agree with fox hunting. Hunting has been and still is a part of country life in the county, and therefore has a rightful place at the county show.

If you don’t agree with something that is on, you can simply avoid the area.

It doesn’t mean you have to “boycott” the whole event. (For example I avoid the car dealerships at the show because I don’t think they are part of a county show but I don’t go make a petition to ban them).

Foxes are still considered to be vermin and pests by many people in the community, and since the hunting ban came in, I think it is safe to say we have all seen more foxes in the towns than before the ban, when the population was actually controlled.

I fully support Bucks County Show organisers having local hunt groups at the show, and hope they do not buckle and stop them from attending.

As for inviting anti fox hunting campaigners, they could always book a stall.

It’s ridiculous to try to ban what is effectively a demonstration.

If the local hunt group is banned, I think it’s time we start banning a lot of other things at the show, like the equestrian activities since the horses could be whipped during training for the competitions thus associating the ring with pain. Perhaps all the competitions and all the other demonstrations should also be banned

I for one will not be signing this petition and urge those of you who haven’t signed it yet to also do the same as me and not sign it.

Jason Wise

Address supplied


I was surprised to see that Mr Weston-Davies is still trying to sell his books with claims of ‘identifying’ Jack the Ripper.

These sort of sensational books come up every year or so and generally have very little basis in fact.

I have already posted the facts to a website where he was trying to publicise it, some weeks ago.

Depite Mr Davies’ claims to have done years of research, he seem to have missed the obvious information which could be found in an hour.

Francis Spurzheim Craig certainly made a rash marriage to a woman who left him and went on the game, but her name was Elizabeth or Eliza Weston Davies, also known as Mrs Jones, not Mary Ann Kelly.

He married her on 24 December 1884 at the Register Office, Brook Green, Hammersmith and very rapidly regretted it .

After living with her in Hammersmith, Stepney and Islington, she left him and by May 1885, she was observed frequenting known houses of ill fame in London and was soon ‘known to the police’.

He certainly tried to get rid of her, but by judicial means, filing for divorce in 1886.

He had to produce a named corespondent, and this he did in August 1888, when her ‘steady’ Henry McBain Baker, was accused.

However, it appears that Eliza became ill and died in December 1889. The divorce proceedings lapsed.

Mary Kelly in her youth in 1879 had married a Welsh miner named Davies, who died in the pit, leaving her still a very young widow.

She came to London and supported herself and at least two men, whom she did not marry, by prostitution.

The last, Joe Barnett, came rolling home from the pub, found her dead and horribly mutilated on 9 November, 1888. Eliza Craig was then very much alive. There is no possibility that Mary Kelly ever married Francis Spurzheim Craig, and therefore no reason why he would have killed her or any other prostitute.

Presumably Mr Weston Davies claims some relationship with Eliza Weston Davies alias Jones alias Craig,

Davies is a very common name, which has perhaps confused him, though better research before rushing into print would have been wise.

But digging up Mary Ann Kelly would prove nothing at all – let the unfortunate woman’s battered remains lie in peace.

Eve McLaughlin

Secretary, Bucks 
Genealogical Society


I am searching for information about a Mary Patrick, who was employed as a Farm Worker on the Mentmore Estate around 1937.

In 1938 she gave birth to a baby girl, whom she named Margaret, at Tindal House, Aylesbury.

I wondered if any of your readers remembered Mary or have any information about Tindal House or the Mentmore Estate at that time.

Jean Waldock

(01525 210782)


On the afternoon of last Tuesday (11 August) I attempted to use the Arriva Bus number 9 service from the shops at Walton Court to Aylesbury town centre at the advertised time of 13:49.

I arrived at the stop about two minutes before the due time and waited around five minutes before assuming that the bus may have been early and I’d missed it. No real problem, I thought, since there was another bus due to arrive at 14:01. At around 14:05 I figured that as this bus was running late I would stroll along to the bus stop on Church Square and pick it up there.

The bus did not pass me, and I arrived at the stop at 14:10, just in time for the 14:14. At about 14:20 I realised that this bus was also a non runner, and that I would have to settle for the 14:26.

At 14:30 I gave up and went home. Whilst waiting for these phantom buses I did see three number 9 buses heading for Stoke Mandeville Hospital, but only one of these returned, and that came straight down Churchill Avenue (not on the route) and around Church Square, not stopping to pick up passengers and displaying the usual ‘Sorry not in service’ sign!

What happened to the other buses? Is there a black hole at SMH which swallows number 9 buses?

Arriva have just increased fares on this route, some by as much as 10 per cent. Shame the service doesn’t reflect the price.

Colin Page

Dart Close, Aylesbury


How very generous of The Bucks Herald to devote three columns in the letters page to the public relations exercise from the CND representative Christine Hillier,and topping it off with a publicity shot for Jeremy Corbyn, who just happens to be vice chair of the CND!

Just as the nation prepares to pay homage to the generation that fought that most horrible of wars in the Far East, when we remember the appalling suffering of the prisoners of the Japanese, 25% of whom died in captivity compared to the 3% who were in German hands, what a time for the CND to remind us all how terrible we were to end the war with dropping the Atom Bomb.

As a publicity exercise for the CND, however, I have to admit, that it is truly amazing what can be achieved by omitting a few facts.

For example the co-pilot of “The Enola Gay”, Captain Lewis, was purported to have entered the comment “My God what have we done?” into his diary AFTER the event (he sold his diary for $37,000 dollars).

There was a 12 man crew on that aircraft and not one expressed remorse or regret over the operation, including the co- pilot.

The pilot in charge Paul Tebbit continued to fly B52 aircraft at air shows well into his old age dropping an “imitation “ Atom Bomb to the delight of the crowds!

All of the crew of “The Enola Gay” considered that they had saved thousand of American lives that would be sacrificed in a conventional attack on the Japanese mainland, the number of casualties estimated both in service personnel and Japanese civilians ranged from three quarters to a million.

In addition, the Japanese Military had instructed their forces to kill all Allied prisoners of war should an invasion of the mainland be attempted.

I wonder what Christine Hillier and the CND would have done in those circumstances seventy years ago?

Philip Plotkin



I thought that CND had been consigned to the dustbin of history and that as its supporters grew up they saw that the world is a totally different place than that peddled by idiots such as Mr Corbyn.

He is a good side show on reality but when it comes to the real world god help us,the young have a rose tinted view of life and no real grasp of just what happens in the world.

Corbyn would put us in hock to communist trade unions who would ruin our economy whilst lining their own pockets, defence would be got rid of along with sanity.plus he has some very dodgy friends .

Crying about Hiroshima is crazy, Japan of WWII was evil and had been at war since the early thirties.

They killed, raped every where they went and treated people disgracefully. Negotiation at the end of the war was tried but they ignored us.

An invasion of the home islands was being planned but if it happened a victory would have taken at least three more years with immeasurable loss of life on both sides.

The bomb was the only way to finish a terrible theatre of war. A viewing of the history books will reveal the crimes committed by Japanese troops, killing, torturing prisoners, killing defeated indigenous peoples they invaded and also bayoneting patients in hospital wards plus killing nurses.

CND conveniently forget these facts and only peddle their claptrap that gullible young people believe.

I must say that modern Japan and its people are a peace loving industrious friendly people who quite rightly want nothing to do with what happened seventy five years ago.

Christopher Lowe

Address supplied


I would like to comment on two of the letters in last week’s paper.

1. Mr Sheridan in Canada said, ‘no-one seems to have the book or know how I could get it’.

I know how he can get it although it is rather expensive. He could ask someone in Britain to go to their local library and order the book from the British Library through inter-library loan. The book can then be photocopied (it is out of copyright) and the copies sent to Mr Sheridan.

2. Ms Hillier from CND said that live nuclear warheads are carried on Britain’s roads.

This is inaccurate. Warheads only become live when they are armed and they are never armed until a few minutes before they are due to be used.

She also regrets the nuclear bombs that were dropped on Japan during the war.

I suggest that she reads some of the books about Japanese atrocities in the 30s and 40s. A good book is Knights of the Bushide which was published about 50 years ago. It is like a horror comic only it happens to be true.

Her local library can order it for her.

When she had recovered from the photographs she will realise that Japan didn’t just deserve two atomic bombs; it deserved 22.

N Hayes

Address supplied



Mix96 claims every five minutes that they are Bucks Best Music, but do they serve the interests of their listeners?

When Cilla Black died I thought that any self respecting producer of a radio station would consider her many fans and broadcast a tribute to her. Monday to Friday they have an Oldies Hour at 2 pm, so 
what perfect opportunity than that to play some of her records.

Maybe at least 30 minutes worth.

Shamefully for them..no... they couldn’t be bothered to honour a national treasure,instead they silently, without fanfare, crept one in at 07.50 when most people were still in bed.

David Lloyd

Address supplied


I have recently received a letter from the Electoral Registration Officer at AVDC, demanding that I register to vote by confirming that the details supplied in their letter are correct.

Failure to do so risks a fine of up to £1,000.

I have also seen the article on page 2 of your paper 14/08/2015.

Having been denied a fair and democratic vote at the last two General Elections, because of the ludicrous situation of no opposition candidates to oppose the election of the Speaker, I cannot see the point of registering to vote unless the situation changes.

If some of the 135,000 registered voters at the last General Election also failed to respond to the Election Officer at AVDC we might get some action.

Patrick Hammerton

Little Tingewick