Search
Not Logged In
0
Your Username:
Your Password:

[ sign up | recover ]

Discussion Forums » Announcements
Page:  1  2 
United Citizens of the World
0 likes [like|reply]
13 Aug 2011, 00:06
Chris

Post Count: 1935


The United Citizens of the World is a non-profit, grass roots political organisation, focusing on policies that make ordinary peoples lives better.

We think that a sensible, secular, science based, rational policy that transcends religion, capitalism and party politics and focuses on making life better for everyone is well overdue.


We are tired of governments and corporations putting profits before people,
We are tired of religion being imposed upon the non-religious,
And we are tired of tradition and personal opinion being put before reason and logic.

Our main policies:

Secularism
We believe:
-Totally in an individuals right to hold any belief they choose, express their opinion on that belief under freedom of speech and to privately practice that belief where it does not harm other individuals rights or impose upon their way of life.
-That belief of any sort should not have an automatic right to respect from others, other than the respect given to their right to hold that belief. Respect from others is earned, usually from open, evidence based debate.
-That the state and religion should be separate.
-That policies of government should not be primarily based upon any religious doctrine.

Political Reform
We believe that:
-Politics should be free from influence of money, religion and special interests.
-Politicians should not be under influence from big business.
-Big business and the state should be separated. This includes stopping corporations from funding politicians and political parties.
-Politics should not merely be a popularity contest.
-Politicians primary interest should be in the welfare of their citizens.
-Money should not be able to buy influence in government.
-All parties should have equal exposure for thier policies, allowing voters to make an informed decision.
-All voters should be given sufficient information on party policies to make an informed decision.
-All children should be given sufficient education on how the political system works.

Economic Reform
We believe that:
-The current economic model (corporate capitalism) is in need of reform.
-The current economic model causes inherent inequality, promotes a culture of greed and over consumption and places profit before people.
-The current economic model encourages personal greed, admiration of selfishness and the overimportance of fame for fame's sake.
-The current system can stifle innovation, for example through the practice of sitting on patents.
-The current system causes conflict of interest between the pursuit of profit and the rights and interests of individuals on an unacceptable scale.
-The economy should ensure decent standards of living even for the poorest in society.
-The economy should promote and reward innovation.
-Financial inequality in society should be reduced.
-The economy should recognise the value of people over that of profit.
-Businesses should provide good working standards for all employees. This includes allowing employees an acceptable amount of free time outside of normal working hours.
-Government should develop comprehensive strategies to deal with the economic impact of increased automation on employment and plan for a post-scarcity economic model.
-Success should be measured in increased gross standard of living and contentment rather than increased gross national product.

Copyright
We believe that:
-Current copyright law is outdated and unfit for use given the technological advancements of this century.
-Copyright law must move away from imposing artificial scarcity on commodities.
-Copyright law must acknowledge the great positive benefits of freely sharing information.

Drug reform
We believe:
-That the current 'War on Drugs' has caused great human suffering, has cost trillions of dollars, has not reduced harmful drug use and has encouraged large criminal cartels.
-That the current treatment of drug use as a criminal issue is non-effective, has driven the issue underground and has harmed many innocent people.
-That current drug scheduling is greatly disproportionate to the social or personal harm caused by individual drug types.
-We recognise that recreational drug use has always been, is and always will be, a part of human nature, such is the case with alcohol, tobacco and caffeine use.
-We recognise that responsible 'recreational drug use' and 'drug abuse' are two different phenomena and should be treated as such.
-That some recreational drugs such as cannabis should be legalised with restrictions similar to that of alcohol and tobacco.
-That drug policies should ensure safety for recreational drug users, promote sensible and responsible use and provide medical help for those with drug abuse problems.
-That drug abuse should be treated as a social health issue not a criminal issue.

Education
We believe that:
-Education should be free for all, including higher education.
-Everyone has a right to a basic education.
-Places for higher education be provided based on merit rather than ability to pay, social status or religious or political affiliation.
-Religious doctrine should not be taught as scientific opinion or fact.
-Religious belief should not be promoted in school.
-Funding for education and research is extremely important and essential to the continued prosperity of humanity.

Evidence based thinking
We believe that:
-Evidence based thinking holds great value and can benefit humanity greatly.
-Government policy should be formed through rational, evidence based discussion.

Healthcare
We believe that:
-Healthcare should be free to everyone, regardless of their ability to pay.
-Preventative measures such as vaccines, health awareness campaigns and school sports programmes are very important.
-Some conditions lack research into treatment because they do not present an opportunity to profit. This is unacceptable and provision needs to be made for this.
-Euthanasia should be legal and available in special cases such as terminal illness. In addition we believe that prolonging the life of someone in permanent serious mental and physical pain when they show a prolonged desire to die is tantamount to torture.

Welfare
We believe that:
-The unemployed have the right to a basic decent standard of living.
-That the unemployed have the right to assistance in finding a job.
-That current systems reduce incentive for employment as the average minimum wage salary is little above that of unemployment benefit.
-That the able unemployed should be encouraged to get work, not through punishing unemployment but through rewarding those that work.
-That work should be made attractive to the unemployed.
-That the unemployed have the right to assistance with training and development of skills with a view to employment.

Justice
We believe that:
-The justice system should work to prevent crime.
-The justice system should use prison only where other methods have failed.
-The prison system should focus on rehabilitation of prisoners over retribution to ensure that they lead positive, crime free lives once released.
-The prison environment should encourage positive activity from prisoners and discourage negative behaviour.
-Prisoners have the right to a basic but fair standard of living.
-Prisoners have the right to access education in prison.
-No person should be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself.

Media
We believe that:
-The principle of free speech should be protected by law.
-A free press is a necessary requirement for a free society.
-The media should be free from government and corporate influence in what they report.
-Media monopolies can be harmful to society and to a free press.
-Variety and diversity in media is important and should be promoted.
-News reports should be factually correct and not intentionally misleading.
-Individuals have a right to personal privacy and that this should be protected by law.

Environment
We believe that:
-Preservation of the environment and genetic diversity is a responsibility of mankind.
-Protection of the environment from pollution and irresponsible exploitation is of paramount importance.
-All economic activity concerning exploitation of natural resources should aim to become entirely renewable where possible and do as little damage to the environment as possible.
-Transferring power production from non-renewable to renewable energy sources is an urgent necessity.
0 likes [like|reply]
13 Aug 2011, 10:11
~RedFraggle~

Post Count: 2651
That's a lot of things for everyone to share the exact same beliefs on. I can't believe there's many people that agree with every single one of those. I for example believe healthcare should be government funded (at least for the most part, but I think even that should include exceptions) but I don't agree with euthanasia (although I can see an argument for it with conditions like MS, motor neurone disease or Huntingtons. Not for terminal cancer, and I'm certainly not for the introduction of it in the UK). Furthermore many of these issues aren't black and white or as simple as being for or against.

So I find the idea of such a group to be a bit pointless.
0 likes [like|reply]
13 Aug 2011, 10:30
Chris

Post Count: 1935
...So you do agree with euthanasia. Even so, it just should be none of your business. The choice should lay with the patient.
0 likes [like|reply]
13 Aug 2011, 11:30
~RedFraggle~

Post Count: 2651
No, I don't. I said I can see an argument for it in certain neurological conditions (in which the advanced symptoms can be extremely distressing and saadly aren't always well controlled with the medications we have available to us at present). That is, I can understand why patients with these conditions may wish for it, and why some people may campaign for it.

That does not mean I think it should be made legal. And as a doctor I would certainly never be comfortable in administering it. There are many many problems with bringing in legal euthanasia... firstyly who would be entitled to it? Where would you draw the line? (Maybe it would start as terminal conditions... but what about when those who are say paralysed or disabled, but not termianlly ill start asking for it too? Where does it become unnacceptable?) How do you 100% ensure that the system isn't abused? How do you ensure that people don't request it because they don't want to be burdens to their families? Sure they'll be psychologically assessed, but people lie, and psychologists can only base their recommendations on the information they are told by the patient. It is never 100% full proof.

I believe the focus should be on better palliative care and pain control. When done well, palliative care services can control the pain and most other symptoms experienced by those dying from cancer and allow them to die peacefully either in their own home or a hospice. I've seen this done well, and I've seen it done badly. We need to work harder to ensure it's done well all of the time. Not switch tactic and start killing these people instead.

And it's NOT the patient's choice. It is a doctor who has to administer the medication. It is a doctor who has to kill them. A person who went into their profession to save others, not kill them. It is a doctor who has to live the rest of their own life knowing that they KILLED another human being (perhaps several or many). And as a doctor, I would not and could not do such a thing.
0 likes [like|reply]
13 Aug 2011, 19:06
Chris

Post Count: 1935
Why do you believe a system in which euthanasia would be legal would force you to administer the "killing" drugs to a patient? If a terminal patient wishes to die on his/her terms, that is none of your business, and you are WAY overstepping your boundaries as a doctor to try to be involved in that decision. If there are doctors who agree with the concept and would have no problem putting a terminal patient out of his/her misery, they could be the one to administer the drugs.
0 likes [like|reply]
13 Aug 2011, 19:38
Estella

Post Count: 1779
I think you are seeing it a bit too simplistically, yo. It is of course the doctor's business, because it's a complex ethical decision, and often hard to know if this is really what the patient wants, if the patient is fully able to communicate/understand what they want, to what extent are they being influenced by the discomfort of the moment, have they been pressured by friends and family, would they actually change their mind if given some time, some better pain meds, etc. It's not always a simple case of 'This person definitely wants to die, and has rationally and carefully thought through all the implications, will definitely not change their mind, and we have proof of this'. And of course the doctor has to live with the decision - that they have ended someone's life. Killing someone is a huge thing.
0 likes [like|reply]
14 Aug 2011, 09:27
~RedFraggle~

Post Count: 2651
Of course it is our business as doctors. We trained to save lives, not end them, and it will be doctors who are ending those lives (if not me personally). If it was to become legal it is likely that there would be an opt-out clause for doctors as there is with abortion. However that does not mean that doctors won't feel obliged to be involved, or won't be under pressure to do it. There's few gynaecologists here who don't do abortions, even although most would prefer not to. So I doubt it would be as simple as just opting out in reality. Furthermore, what if not enough doctors are willing to do it? I don't know any doctors who ate pro the legalisation of euthanasia and surveys have shown that the number of doctors who would be willing to do it is even lower. So do you think then there still won't be pressure on others to participate even although they don't want to?

And which doctors exactly will be doing this? Palliative care physicians? GPs? These two groups are probably the ones most against the legalisation of euthanasia.

Of course it's our business because it involves us. And we make life and death decisions for our patients every day. We are the ones who know what the alternatives to euthanasia are (palliative care), we are the ones who see these conditions on a regular basis and know that death doesn't have to be painful. Most of those canpaigning for legalisation of euthanasia don't actually know anything about palliative care. Most of them have never even watched someone die. Most of them are comfortable in the knowledge that such a law would never require them to actually have to kill someone. So I'd say it's far more my business than it is yours.
0 likes [like|reply]
14 Aug 2011, 20:44
Chris

Post Count: 1935
Of course it is our business as doctors. We trained to save lives, not end them, and it will be doctors who are ending those lives (if not me personally). If it was to become legal it is likely that there would be an opt-out clause for doctors as there is with abortion. However that does not mean that doctors won't feel obliged to be involved, or won't be under pressure to do it.

So there's no pressure against doctors who opt out of abortions? Is that something you're against as well?

And which doctors exactly will be doing this? Palliative care physicians? GPs? These two groups are probably the ones most against the legalisation of euthanasia.

How do you figure? Where's the study that makes the conclusion that these kinds of doctors would be "most" against it? Further, where did you even come up with a correlation between these doctors and those who would be unwilling?

Lastly, your entire last paragraph suggest making choices for a patient you simply have no right to. Also, your last sentence:

So I'd say it's far more my business than it is yours.

I just never even came close to implying that it was my business either. In fact, it not being my business (nor yours) is one of the main reasons I'm not against it.
0 likes [like|reply]
14 Aug 2011, 22:46
~RedFraggle~

Post Count: 2651
I'm not against legal abortions, but I do think there should be more restrictions on them and I would personally not anaesthetise someone for a late abortion (they don't happen often so I've never had to use my right to opt out). And yes, as I already said, there is a lot of pressure on obstetricians/gynaecologists to do abortions even although legally they can opt out (less so on anaesthetists in my experience but then it's easier to avoid as an anaesthetist as we cover all surgical specialities, not just gynaecology).

Palliative care as a speciality has had great involvement in campaigning against legalisation of euthanasia. I don't need statistics, I know these people, I listen to them talk on it, I read the articles and letters they write on the subject. Same goes for GPs. And there are statistics that show the majority of British doctors are against euthanasia, and even of those who support it a very small number would be willing to actually administer the drugs. The fact that most terminally I'll patients are cared for at home or in hospices means that GPs and palliative care docs are the ones most likely who will be given such a task.

And as the law stands, we DO have the right to choose not to kill our patients. But by repeatedly saying that you think the feelings of doctors, and those who would have to actually KILL these people are unimportant, you are making it your business. But you do not do this job, you do not deal with the dying on a daily basis and you will never have to live with the knowledge you have killed someone. So actually you have no right to tell us what we should or shouldn't be doing.
0 likes [like|reply]
15 Aug 2011, 00:24
Chris

Post Count: 1935
What part of "opt-out" is hard for you to understand? You're right, I don't have a right to tell you what you should or shouldn't be doing, and I haven't told you what you should or should be doing. But you don't have a right to tell other doctors what they should or shouldn't be doing, nor do you have a right to make decisions for patients that contradict their own decisions.
0 likes [like|reply]
15 Aug 2011, 08:27
~RedFraggle~

Post Count: 2651
I have already explained (more than once) that while legally able to opt-out of abortion, pressure is still put on those who don't want to to perform abortions. It is expected of gynaecologists that they will do them even although legally they don't have to. The same pressure will likely be applied to doctors if euthanasia becomes legal (probably even more so since such a small number of doctors are currently willing to perform the task). I've already said this though, so why are you asking me to repeat myself?

And doctors make decisions for patients all the time. We do what is right for the patient not necessarily what the patient wants. If a patient who doesn't need it asks for morphine we don't just hand it over. Because it's wrong and harmful. If a patient asks for a 30 week abortion we don't just give it to them. If a patient with advanced emphysema asks to be put on a ventilator in ICU we don't do it because we won't be able to cure them and they'll die on the ventilator. If a patient asks for a drug they've heard is great and we know it won't help them we don't just give it to them. We have to act in a patient's best interests. And we all took an oath saying we would do no harm. Euthanasia breaks that oath.

I'm bored of repeating myself over and over with you on this. I have stated my opinion, I have explained it and I have explained why this is not as black and white as people who are not health care professionals often seem to think it is. I'm not going to repeat myself again. I'm done.
0 likes [like|reply]
16 Aug 2011, 20:07
Chris

Post Count: 1935
It's not my fault that you've chosen to repeat yourself when multiple different points have been brought up. While it's your job as doctors to explain why certain medical treatment will or won't work, what makes you think I'm just all for a 10-minute decision on euthanasia? Of course the summary of the group beliefs are simplistic. I think a lot of legal and moral problems would have to be hashed out. You have this amazing habit of taking random, non-specific, minority problems, backed up with obscure "studies" (which have major, major problems with correlation) and basing an entire opinion on them. You did the same thing with your argument on marijuana, and how it may cause schizophrenia in an extremely small number of patients who are at risk to schizophrenia anyway.

For example, doctors in Holland using legal loopholes to bypass the patient's decision to euthanize has like... nothing to do with my opinion on its morality. Sure, I'm for euthanasia, but that doesn't mean I think murdering patients is okay.

Also, did you just use the "as you get older, you'll get more conservative" argument on me? You can deal with death all you want. I still believe the choice lies with the patient. It's not like a situation where the patient just doesn't understand medical treatments. If a patient doesn't understand what death is, then yeah, maybe euthanasia isn't the best move.

See what I did there?
0 likes [like|reply]
15 Aug 2011, 11:05
~RedFraggle~

Post Count: 2651
I should also say that before I became a doctor I too was pro-euthanasia too. Like you I saw it rather simplistically back then. Now that I work with life and death on a daily basis (seen people die and seen death managed well and managed badly) I can see that the issue is far more complex, and my opinion has completely changed.
0 likes [like|reply]
15 Aug 2011, 11:22
~RedFraggle~

Post Count: 2651
And this is the study you requested. ;) The majority of doctors are against euthanasia, in particular palliative care physicians.

Abstract from paper in Palliative Medicine in 2009:

Legalisation of euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide: survey of doctorsí attitudes

This study reports UK doctorsí opinions about legalisation of medically assisted dying (euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide), comparing this with the UK general public. A postal survey of 3733 UK medical practitioners was done. The majority of UK doctors are opposed to legalisation, contrasting with the UK general public. Palliative medicine specialists are particularly opposed. A strong religious belief is independently associated with opposition to assisted dying. Frequency of treating patients who die is not independently associated with attitudes. Many doctors supporting legalisation also express reservations and advocate safeguards; many doctors opposing legalisation believe and accept that treatment and nontreatment decisions may shorten life. It is hoped that future debates about legalisation can proceed with this evidence in mind.
0 likes [like|reply]
15 Aug 2011, 14:43
sumamen

Post Count: 180
suppose they want a chip in your hand as well.
0 likes [like|reply]
16 Aug 2011, 20:08
Chris

Post Count: 1935
I don't really know how "more freedom" equates to "they want a chip in your hand," but you know... I guess that's why they call it "interpretation."
0 likes [like|reply]
15 Aug 2011, 14:43
sumamen

Post Count: 180
suppose they want a chip in your hand as well.
0 likes [like|reply]
17 Aug 2011, 05:51
Poetic Justice

Post Count: 229
Have you ever seen the movie Zeitgeist? If not, you ought to. It's along the same lines and is a movement unto it's self. You'd probably enjoy it and can watch it online:

http://vimeo.com/13726978
0 likes [like|reply]
17 Aug 2011, 16:56
Chris

Post Count: 1935
I've seen it. It was pretty eye-opening, but it wasn't the groundbreaking, world-view-shattering enlightenment everyone told me it would be.
0 likes [like|reply]
17 Aug 2011, 18:11
Poetic Justice

Post Count: 229
Yeah, too much hype will ruin any movie. I never heard anything about it, it was just handed to me from a friend, so I thought it was fantastic. I particularly loved the religious section and how they explained that.
0 likes [like|reply]
13 Aug 2011, 00:06
Chris

Post Count: 1935
Go to http://www.unitedcitizensoftheworld.org/ to learn more, and join the cause.
0 likes [like|reply]
13 Aug 2011, 01:25
kein mitleid

Post Count: 592
That's all fine and dandy, little question: Who's going to pay for all of this?
0 likes [like|reply]
13 Aug 2011, 01:27
Chris

Post Count: 1935
Pay for what? It's a group of people with similar beliefs. I imagine if something truly substantial ever needed to be done, it would be paid for by donations, but everything that's happening is being done on a volunteer basis.
0 likes [like|reply]
13 Aug 2011, 01:30
kein mitleid

Post Count: 592
I mean, who would pay for all those sweeping social policies, should this group ever gain popularity?
0 likes [like|reply]
13 Aug 2011, 01:37
Chris

Post Count: 1935
I don't know. For as long as you've known me, you know I'm no economy/financial expert. However, I would imagine budget reassessment and taxes, on top of whatever revenue the policies bring in (dropping "war on drugs" i.e. legalizing and regulating recreational drugs, stimulated economy in the long run due to more skilled workers, things like that). I'm sure this is an overly-simplified list of beliefs, without a real plan, as the organization is days old, if that.
Post Reply
This thread is locked, unable to reply