NewsTalk ZB 23 June 2015 Lecretia Seales’ widower is hopeful politicians will look into the issue of voluntary euthanasia.Matt Vickers has been among those who’ve presented an over 8000 signature petition to parliament today calling for a formal inquiry in current laws around assisted deathsHe’s is confident MPs will heed the petition, and also the comments from the Courts, that it is a matter for Parliament.Family First spokesman Bob McCoskrie, however, is urging caution, particularly around claims a law change would allow choice in the right to die.“What the international research clearly shows is that a lot of euthanasia happens without consent, and without choice and that should disturb all of us,” he said.http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/news/national/seales-husband-to-deliver-euthanasia-petition/Euthanasia supporters present petition to ParliamentNZ Herald 23 June 2015Supporters of voluntary euthanasia, including the husband of the late Lecretia Seales, have presented a petition to Parliament today.Matt Vickers attended the Voluntary Euthanasia Society’s presentation of the petition, which had some 9000 signatures and called on lawmakers to renew discussion about the right to die.“Obviously when we got the ruling from the judge…he was quite clear that it was for Parliament to change and that there was good reason for them to do so,” Mr Vickers said.“My wife showed a lot of courage taking this to the courts. As a result of that we built up a huge groundswell of support across New Zealand.”Family First New Zealand director Bob McCoskrie said he was concerned the “right to die” would become a “duty to die” for vulnerable people including the elderly and disabled.Lecretia Seales was unsuccessful in seeking a High Court ruling that would let her doctor help her die without criminal prosecution.http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11469853Voluntary euthanasia petition presented to ParliamentStuff co.nz 23 June 2015A voluntary euthanasia petition presented at Parliament has garnered cross-party support.The petition was delivered to MPs on Tuesday by former Labour MP Maryan Street, who proposed and championed the End-of-Life Choice Bill, and Matt Vickers, the husband of Lecretia Seales, who died of a brain tumour on the same day she lost her High Court bid to choose to die.Vickers, in his first public appearance since his wife’s funeral earlier this month, said the issue was so important to his wife that she’d “spent her final days taking up a court action”.Family First spokesman Bob McCoskrie said the protesters were concerned voluntary euthanasia would turn a right to die into a “duty to die”.No law would ever be able to protect the most vulnerable people in society when it comes to voluntary euthanasia, he said.The increase in this year’s Budget for palliative care was the right move and reflected a desire to improve the quality of care for those facing terminal illnesses – not the premature ending of their life, McCoskrie said.http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/69625397/voluntary-euthanasia-petition-presented-to-parliament.htmlHusband calls for ‘right to die’ debateRadio NZ News 23 June 2015Matt Vickers’s wife, Lecretia Seales, died earlier this month only hours after learning her High Court fight for the right to die on her terms had failed.Mr Vickers and the former Labour MP Maryan Street – who in 2013 removed her End of Life Choice Bill from the private member’s ballot – today presented the Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway with a petition signed by 8975 people calling for Parliament to consider the issue.Ms Seales had sought clarification on whether it would be an offence under the Crimes Act for her doctor to be able to help her die, and whether a ban on assisted dying contravened her human rights under the Bill of Rights Act.Family First national director Bob McCoskrie said he did not believe the petition represented the will of the public, and that politicians had already considered the issue.“There’s the danger that disabled people, elderly people, people who are mentally unwell, people under financial pressure, people who just feel like they’re burden – it won’t be about a right to die, it’ll become a duty to die,” he said.“That becomes a concern.”There was “overwhelming” evidence from the United States, Belgium, and the Netherlands that such things had happened, Mr McCoskrie said.“We did away with the death penalty because we were concerned that we might get it wrong and I think that’s the same reason for staying clear of decriminalising euthanasia – what if we get it wrong, what if the right to die becomes a duty to die.”http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/276953/husband-calls-for-‘right-to-die’-debateLecretia Seales’ husband reignites euthanasia debateRadio NZ 23 June 2015 LISTEN HERE: http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/player/201759604Euthanasia debate looking likely for ParliamentNewsTalk ZB 24 June 2015A petition’s gone to Parliament formally calling for such a step to be taken.Lecretia Seales’ widower Matt Vickers was among those who presented an over 8000 signature petition to parliament yesterday calling for a formal inquiry in current laws around assisted deaths.Justice Minister Amy Adams said the Government’s got no issues with the committee looking into that matter should it choose to.She said “the Select Committee will make it’s own determination, but the government has made it quite clear that we’re certainly not going to try and direct our members one way or the other.”“As the Minister responsible for this area I’m certainly comfortable with having an enquiry.”ACT Leader David Seymour’s presenting his international evidence to support his push for legal euthanasia.He’s come up against lobby group Family First, who are opposing any move for a law change.Spokesman Bob McCoskrie said international research clearly shows a lot of euthanasia happens without consent and without choice.http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/news/national/euthanasia-debate-looking-likely-for-parliament/
As a part of a university-wide Mindful USC initiative, the Annenberg Digital Lounge will sponsor a “Digital Detox” in its new Mindfulness + Creativity Lab.The seven-week course, open to Annenberg students, faculty and staff, will serve as an introduction to incorporating mindfulness into all aspects of life. The Annenberg Digital Lounge, which offers instruction on digital programming, hopes to also foster creativity by encouraging students and faculty to turn off devices and be mindful.“A ubiquitous problem for students at this university is that they are constantly connected. You can see it and feel it. We have a responsibility to say ‘take some time off,’” said Courtney Miller, creative director of the Digital Lounge. “Wallis Annenberg Hall, even with its massive media wall and overwhelming digital connectivity, is an interesting place for this conversation on mindfulness to take place.”While in the past, Annenberg has invested significant resources to inspire students’ creativity through exposure to an abundance of digital media content from news sources and interactive content, this program seeks to achieve the same means by using an opposite tactic.According to Miller, the course is designed to improve participants’ emotional intelligence, reduce stress and promote mindful interactions. Miller collaborated with Professor Allen Weiss of the Marshall School of Business to create the Digital Detox program. Weiss, an expert in marketing, also serves as a mindfulness meditation teacher at InsightLA, as well as the co-chair of the Mindful USC initiative. Weiss views the Mindfulness + Creativity Lab as a way to integrate his outside expertise in the meditation field into his engagement of students at the university.“Mindfulness has been shown by a great deal of careful research to lower anxiety, ruminating thoughts, stress and all the other mental and emotional problems that get in the way of people performing well and being creative. This is what Mindful USC is all about,” Weiss said in a statement. “What I’ll be doing with the Mindfulness + Creativity Lab is teaching mindfulness [geared] towards people who are doing creative work — helping them remove the blocks to creativity through mindfulness.”The program directors hope that Mindfulness + Creativity Lab will host more programs similar to the Digital Detox in the future, and hopefully expand to other academic colleges within the university. The Annenberg Digital Lounge has already partnered with a student group from the Roski School of Art and Design and hopes to partner with KXSC and the Thornton School of Music.Miller was first inspired to promote mindfulness while teaching digital journalism as a part of the University of Virginia’s “semester at sea” program. During the four years that Miller spent living and interacting with students on the semester-long trip, she realized that disconnecting from technology could improve innovation and creativity. Miller now leads a team of a dozen graduate students that run a help desk for students in the Annenberg Digital Lounge.The Annenberg Digital Lounge’s Digital Detox program comes in the face of Dean Ernest J. Wilson III’s efforts to improve digital literacy, as well as Annenberg’s partnership with Adobe Systems, which made the Adobe Creative Cloud available for free to the school’s students, faculty and staff.The Paul Richardson Student Help desk will be staffed by a team of graduate students from a variety of academic disciplines, including the School of Cinematic Arts, the School of Architecture and Roski. The team acts as media support specialists and audio, video and web support to students via informal learning sessions.The Digital Detox program is set to begin on Wednesday, Jan. 28. Individuals who are interested in participating in the course are encouraged to register the Annenberg Digital Lounge website. The program will take place in the Digital Lounge’s newly launched work space, located on the third floor of Wallis Annenberg Hall.