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Friday, March 10, 2006

Quality of life

Gosh, that long since I last posted here?

Nothing special from me this time, just a pointer to two letters in today's Indie which are in their different ways worth reading. The fact that they appear on the same page of the paper is my only defence to the charge of appalling taste in linking them - apart from a suspicion that the writer of the first one enjoys a laugh as much as the next woman.

'I am severely disabled by spina bifida, hydrocephalus, emphysema and osteoporosis. I use a wheelchair full time, and need morphine on a daily basis for severe spinal pain. Even that doesn't always work, and when the pain is bad I cannot move, speak or think. What does Mr Hari think of my "quality of life"? Should I be subjected to the lethal injection he sees as the solution to suffering?'

'He may respond that as I want to live, I should be allowed to do so. The problem is that I didn't always want to live. Twenty years ago, when doctors wrongly thought I was terminally ill, I wanted to die, a settled wish that lasted about ten years. Had lethal injection been an option then I would have requested it. And if I had died then I would have missed the best years of my life. I really was "screaming in agony" then and often I still am. I can only hope that when I am in great pain, Mr Hari is not around waiting in the wings to "put me out of my misery".'

- from an incredibly moving letter by Alison Davis. Whilst Peter Coghlan has a job for a Good Samaritan...

'Scientific solution to a weight problem

'Sir: Guy Adams (Pandora, 9 March) asks how Geri Halliwell would know that her breasts weigh around three pounds each.

'Theoretically it is not such a difficult problem to solve. Human breast tissue is mostly water and by using a suitably sized receptacle filled with water, she could lower her breast into it and measure the amount of water displaced.

'As 1 litre of water weighs 1 Kg she can calculate the approximate weight of each one and convert to imperial units, where 1Kg equals 2.2lb.

'No doubt there will be more than a few good Samaritans out there willing to volunteer their services to help Ms Halliwell verify the theory.'

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