Letters: ‘Helping older women give birth shouldn’t be a priority’

The IVF debate continues in today's letters. Picture: Getty
The IVF debate continues in today's letters. Picture: Getty
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A crazy proposal has been made to fund IVF treatment for women older than 40 which, particularly at this time, gets a resounding “no” from me.

At a time of deep recession with little sign of an end, it is totally irrational for the National Health Service to spend £3000 a cycle for IVF treatment when the service is already in financial dire straits with cutbacks, staffing reductions, dilution of services and ward closures which have gone on for many years.

I am very sympathetic towards some who through no fault of their own cannot conceive naturally, but have little sympathy for women who for professional reasons left it too late.

The NHS was not introduced to provide services for breast augmentation, surgery for some with large noses or gastric band operations to treat obesity and many other purely aesthetic treatments because it is seen that these problems promote psychological issues.

Yes, there are exceptions to the rule for people born with horrendous deformities and seriously injured servicemen/women that require and deserve these treatments and I would not argue against them. However, a line must be drawn on what really is essential and we must get our priorities right.

Plus there is a huge waiting list of the various cancer victims, and there are people needing hip and knee replacements suffering great pain and not getting treatment timeously, if at all.

Frank Ferri, Newhaven Main Street, Edinburgh

New bridge cash can’t be justified

A NEW engineering report suggests that with the right maintenance the Forth Road Bridge should be safe to use for years.

If this is the case how can the Scottish Government justify spending at least £1 billion on a new crossing when in all honesty it might not be needed?

Angus McGregor, Edinburgh

Hard to get facts from the church

A SPOKESWOMAN from the Church of Scotland commented that “the Scottish Government’s guidance, which the Church of Scotland supports, says that Religious Observation should be inclusive of all faiths and none, allowing pupils and staff to explore what spiritual development means for them” (News, February 20).

I am well aware of what the guidance says. However, as illustrated by the extract below, this is how it works at my local school, and possibly many others in Edinburgh and throughout Scotland:

From a Freedom of Information request that I submitted in June 2012: “In order to present viewpoints on religion held by atheists and agnostics, do you also provide religious observance assemblies delivered by, for example, the Humanist Society? If yes, how often do these assemblies take place?”

Reply: “We do not explicitly invite atheists and agnostics or any associations of a similar outlook to contribute to religious observance and have never been approached to do so.”

I was forced to go to the extreme length of submitting a formal FOI request in order to extract this information. I was initially refused it by both the school and also the Scottish Government’s Learning Directorate, despite the fact that the guidance states, under the heading “Parental right to withdraw” that “parents should be provided with sufficient information on which to base a decision”.

The Church of Scotland spokeswoman also commented that “this petition’s description of religious observance is based on a misunderstanding of 21st century religious observance in schools”. Really? Then I dread to think what it must have been like in the “good old days”!

Veronica Wikman, Malleny Avenue, Edinburgh

Our country has now lost its way

Edinburgh has had criticism in an American magazine.

Not really surprising if we give a drug dealer community service after assaulting police but can’t wait to wipe out foxes, who have done nothing wrong.

We could fine a big family for too much waste but have taken years to complete a simple tram system. Then, some may want to ban RO in school, but do these same people observe Christmas and Easter?

When I was young, this country was ahead of the times. Now I see a country which is indeed not able to live in the 21st century and still be civilised. What will we do?

Colin Stearn, Ellen’s Glen Loan, Edinburgh