Thursday, September 03, 2009

Victorian IVF clinics ask patients for police checks

Infertility is a medical problem. Why are people being harassed because of their medical condition? Will people having treatment for (say) high blood-pressure be singled out next? It would make as much sense. There is Leftist misanthropy behind this

WOULD-BE parents are outraged at new laws forcing them to prove they are not pedophiles or child abusers before they undergo fertility treatment. Victorian IVF clinics have started asking patients to submit to police checks ensuring they are fit to be parents. The new law will affect about 5000 couples each year.

Briony and Lew Sanelle, who completed police checks three weeks ago so they could start trying to have their second child through IVF, said they were insulted by the discrimination. "My friends trying to have babies don't have to have a police check and go and talk to their doctor before they are given the go-ahead to have a baby, so why should I?" Ms Sanelle said. "People who have a shady past who they are trying to direct this at do not have to go through this to conceive naturally . . . this is discrimination."

Tam and Brenton Ward were asked by Melbourne IVF to undertake checks this week. They cannot understand why couples having fertility treatment were singled out. Having already experienced the wonders of IVF with a daughter born 17 months ago, Mr Ward said the emotional and financial hardship meant IVF parents would be least likely to harm or neglect children. "If it applied to the whole community I would not mind, but why single out people like us in particular, especially when we have been through such a rigorous process already - through numerous counsellors, doctors and everyone else."

The requirements were included in the Reproductive Treatment Bill passed by State Parliament last December, which paved the way for single women and lesbians to access IVF. Although the regulations were proclaimed on June 1 they have not yet been enacted because the Government does not have the resources to deal with hundreds of child protection record checks it demands. But clinics are asking patients to volunteer for checks to avoid hold-ups when the laws are adopted, which industry experts expect to happen between November and January 1.

IFV pioneer Prof Gab Kovacs, from Monash IVF, said his patients were stunned when told they would have to undergo police checks. "It is a stupid regulation, a stupid law and it is not evidence-based," Prof Kovacs said. Melbourne IVF chairman Dr Lyndon Hale said the checks were discriminatory and unfair.

A report from the Victorian Law Reform Commission recommends people should be barred from IVF if they have convictions for serious sexual or violent offences, have had children taken from their care, or are assessed as a potential risk to children. [On what basis did they recommend that? How many cases of abused IVF children have there been? None, I suspect. They might as logically bar ALL people from hospitals until they have police checks]


Another Queensland police thug

Law enforcement by a senior cop who has no respect for the law?? He has already killed two people but he apparently wanted another "scalp"

A POLICEMAN has been allegedly clocked doing 223km/h during an unauthorised pursuit, six years after being involved in a wild chase in which two men were killed. Senior-Sergeant Bryan Eaton is being investigated for allegedly racing after a speeding car along a busy section of the Bruce Highway near Brisbane 11 days ago without flashing lights and sirens – or approval. The car got away but the pursuit was captured on camera.

Sen-Sgt Eaton has since been stood down as officer-in-charge of the Pine Rivers traffic branch pending an investigation by Ethical Standards Command. The matter also has been referred to the Crime and Misconduct Commission.

The Queensland Police Service changed its pursuit policy in May 2004 after the deaths of Coen stockmen Andrew Hill, 33, and Alan Toohey, 49, on Anzac Day the previous year. Both men died when their unregistered and unroadworthy car crashed into a creek bed and a police four-wheel-drive driven by Sen-Sgt Eaton ploughed into them. A coronial inquest was told the police vehicle reached about 75km/h on a dirt road and in bad light in pursuit of the men, who were driving a "bull-chaser".

State Coroner Michael Barnes found Sen-Sgt Eaton had driven in a "dangerous manner, with little regard for the safety of the occupants of the car he was chasing". Mr Barnes did not recommend charges because he found a reasonable person would not have foreseen the "chain of events that led to the deaths". But he urged "a more restrictive pursuit policy". After the inquest, Hill's widow, Camilla, attacked the decision not to charge Sen-Sgt Eaton, claiming traffic officers could "get away with murder".

The pursuit policy has undergone further modification since 2004, and yesterday a Queensland Police Service spokesman said every pursuit and attempted intercept was closely monitored "to ensure adherence to these policies". Under current policy, officers must immediately abandon a chase if it creates an unacceptable risk to the safety of any person. Officers also must inform police communications of the pursuit and follow their instructions.

Queensland Police Union president Ian Leavers said their best advice to officers was to avoid police chases. "Our union has long recommended to our members that they do not pursue offenders under any circumstances because of the lack of legislative protection and the attitude of the State Coroner should a tragic incident occur," Mr Leavers said. He said earlier this year that police felt extremely frustrated and hamstrung by the pursuit policy, which was seen as preventing them from catching offenders. "I see a lot of anger from police around the state because they are not allowed to do their job," he said.

Sen-Sgt Eaton is continuing to work for the police service in the Metropolitan North regional office. An estimated 650 police chases are conducted by Queensland police each year.


Yet another Queensland ambulance failure

Long delay forces heart victim to take a taxi. A taxi arrived in 5 minutes: The contrast between a government service and a private one. And the government service was the urgent one!

A PETRIE man with a serious heart condition took a taxi to the hospital after he gave up waiting more than an hour for a Queensland ambulance. John Chatfield said his blood pressure soared, his heart was racing and he was shaking with fever when his wife Gaye rang 000 at about midnight on August 9. She called twice more, without being given a projected response time. After waiting an hour and a quarter, they called a taxi. It arrived in five minutes.

"If you have a heart condition, you probably shouldn't drive to a hospital as anything could happen," said Mr Chatfield, who had seven-hour heart surgery three years ago and minor surgery earlier this year. "Speed is important. They need to get their act together."

Wrapped in a blanket, Mr Chatfield rode 45 minutes in the taxi to a private Brisbane hospital, where he was admitted straight away. "I was ill. It wasn't a great ride," he said. He was in hospital for three days battling a bad virus.

The Queensland Ambulance Service said it categorised Mr Chatfield "Code 2 B" meaning a response time of up to an hour. Gaye Chatfield said that if she had been told about the response time, she would have driven him or called the taxi sooner. "Even after the last phone call they couldn't tell me how long it could be. I had in my mind that I could have been another hour," she said. "It wasn't very well handled."

She told dispatchers about her husband's cardiac history, but not about his surgery because she wasn't asked. Instead she was told to turn on lights and put pets away, which led her to believe the ambulance was coming soon.

QAS said more important calls were being handled, and the dispatch category was "appropriate." It said it "regretted" the delay and said it would apologise. [big deal!]

Mr Chatfield does not blame the paramedics or line staff at QAS, but thinks QAS management needs to lift its game. He didn't see his case as a non-emergency, considering his heart problems. "I was getting worried I can tell you," he said.

QAS said dispatchers didn't give callers response times. "QAS works in a dynamic environment and it would not be realistic to provide time frames," a spokeswoman said.


Young mother victimized by welfare officials for no good reason

Evidence so flimsy that the charges were withdrawn by the prosecution. Why could not competent medical evidence have been sought immediately?

An Ipswich teenage mother - forced to give up her baby for more than 18 months - was overcome with relief when charges alleging she shook her daughter in frustration were finally dropped. The prosecution withdrew its case against the woman after medical testimony revealed it was highly unlikely the baby's serious head injury was the result of being shaken and could have occurred during her birth.

Outside court, barrister Steve Kissick, who represented the mother, said his client was delighted with the result. The young mum was now keen to be reunited with her daughter – whom she had been barred from looking after for three-quarters of the child's life. He said the child had been placed in the care of her grandmother after her mother was charged. "(My client) is a lovely young girl and this past year-and-a-half has been terribly upsetting for her," he said. "She is just happy this is now all over and looks forward to getting her daughter back and being a good mother to her."

Mr Kissick said the father of the child played no active role in the child's upbringing, so it was important the child be reunited with her mother. The young mum declined to comment.

The woman, now aged 20, from Collingwood Park, pleaded not guilty in the Brisbane District Court to one count of causing grievous bodily harm to her prematurely born baby at Ipswich between December 2007 and January 2008.

Prosecutor Glen Cash told the court this week that the woman – who cannot be named to protect her child's identity – admitted to an Ipswich Hospital nurse that she shook her baby briefly, but not violently, when she became frustrated. Mr Cash said the child was first referred to the Ipswich Hospital in January, 2008, with an "abnormally" large head and was found to have fluid on both sides of her brain.

The baby was then transferred to Brisbane's Mater Hospital so the fluid could be drained and has since made a full recovery. But yesterday Mr Cash withdrew the charge against the woman, after the jury heard medical evidence which suggested the baby might have received the head injury during her premature birth. The baby was born via a caesarean section at the Ipswich Hospital in July 2007.

Judge Helen O'Sullivan discharged the mother after Mr Cash formally withdrew the criminal charge.


A Fascist welfare bureaucracy in the Northern Territory

Five days after Rachel Pazos' father died, authorities arrived at the home he had shared with his 14-year-old daughter in Darwin and kicked her out.

Rachel was still struggling yesterday to come to terms with her father's death. Her father had paid rent on their housing commission unit in The Narrows for the next six weeks. But when she returned to the unit, she found officials from Territory Housing changing the locks and boarding the door. It is believed they gave her 10 minutes to pack her bags at the home she had lived in for the past four years.

"I only just found out that my dad passed away," she told the ABC as she sat on a suitcase outside the locked unit.

Clothes still hung on the backyard washing line.

"I'm only 14 and I don't really need all this stress." The teenager said the rest of her family lived in Queensland and she was not in a position to call them for help.

Despite this, it has been reported the Housing Department officials did not phone any support services or government agencies when they evicted the girl. But executive director of the Housing Department's Darwin region, Fiona Chamberlain, said the department had been in contact with police.

She made an unreserved apology today, saying the teenager should never have been thrown out. "We made a mistake and we apologise to the family. An immediate investigation will take place and this will not happen again. "There has been serious error of judgment by our staff."

Country Liberals member for Fong Lim, Dave Tollner, said the actions of the officials were "absolutely outrageous". "I just cannot believe that a government department can kick a 14-year-old girl out onto the street with no means to look after herself whatsoever," he said. "Do these people have a heart?"

Mr Tollner said all of the family's possessions were still in the unit when he visited Rachel, who was crying in the front. Ms Chamberlain said the boarding had been removed and the girl would be allowed to move back in.


No visas, boys? Welcome to Australia

The Leftist Federal government short-circuits its own already pathetic checks on whether people are genuine refugees or not. "Unskilled economic migrants from third world countries are welcome" is the clear intention and message. Yet we need an influx of brutal Muslim Afghans like a hole in the head

THE Rudd government last night moved to overturn John Howard's controversial policy of processing all asylum-seekers off-shore, allowing a group of detained Afghan youths to leave Christmas Island and arrive on mainland Australia without visas.

In an unprecedented move that coincided with the arrival of yet another boat of asylum-seekers at the Indian Ocean territory last night, the 10 boys boarded a chartered Qantas jet carrying 56 newly recognised Afghan refugees from the island to Perth, Adelaide and Melbourne.

The move, confirmed by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship last night, was welcomed by the Refugee and Immigration Legal Centre as a "substantial departure from the previous policy of condemning everyone including children to detention on Christmas Island".

The flight departed Christmas Island, which was excised from Australia's migration zone in 2003 by the Howard government, just hours before a further 52 asylum-seekers and three crew landed on the island after being intercepted by HMAS Ararat near Ashmore Reef on Saturday.

There are now 665 people in immigration detention on Christmas Island; 571 of them are single men being kept at the Howard government's $400 million immigration detention centre on the island's northwest point; 62 are living in a converted construction workers' compound; and 32 are in houses on the island in what is termed "community detention".

The 10 boys allowed to leave the island yesterday arrived at the island on May 7 without their parents or guardians. They will now live at a department-owned hostel called Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation, which is usually reserved for people who have just arrived from Christmas Island after being granted protection visas. They are the first group of asylum-seekers permitted by the federal government to come to the mainland from Christmas Island for processing. The decision comes just two months after the department moved a depressed Kurdish man off the island and into community detention in Melbourne on compassionate grounds.

An Immigration Department spokesman said the decision to allow the boys to travel to the mainland with their paid carers would give them access to a range of classes and recreational activities. "This move will enable the department to finalise their cases and ensure support to this particularly vulnerable group," the spokesman said. "The government considers this is a measured approach that strikes the right balance between applying a strong border protection regime while also ensuring the welfare of children is of primary consideration."

The department refused to acknowledge that the move signalled a policy shift, saying decisions about who was allowed to come to the mainland before their claims were assessed would continue to be made on a case-by-case basis.

There are now 67 asylum-seeker children being taught by five specialist teachers at the Christmas Island District High School, or in classrooms not on the school grounds. One classroom for older male students was established in April following complaints that the boys were too old to be taught in a cluster of classrooms for children in Years 3 and 4.

The business of immigration detention has doubled the population of Christmas Island. The isolated Australian territory is now estimated to have as few as 1000 permanent locals, according to recent Attorney-General's Department figures. As well as 665 detainees, there is a related workforce of 300.

Refugee advocates have applauded several Rudd government measures that soften elements of the former Howard government's approach to immigration detention on Christmas Island, such as the government's recent decision to allow detainees out of the detention centre for excursions with locals. There were 148 excursions for detainees between last December and May. Conducted under guard, these included visits to Lily Beach and the local Catholic church. Those living in community detention or at the former construction workers' camp can go to the movies, the beach and take part in other activities, and are sometimes taken on picnics by the Red Cross.

Refugee advocate David Manne said yesterday he was at a loss to understand why minors [who are often in fact adults understating their age] should be detained, whether on Christmas Island or at the Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation. [All youths should be admitted willy nilly??]


No maintenance on Australia's already hopeless submarines??

And with only one out of the six of them operational, I foolishly thought that the news could not get any worse!

MAINTENANCE on Australia's submarine fleet has been suspended following reports they have an unsafe level of cadmium, a cancer-causing metal. Workers from Australian defence maintenance firm ASC raised concerns about the levels of cadmium, a substance used to coat electrical components to minimise corrosion.

Four of Australia's six Collins class submarines are being tested, with results being assessed on HMAS Dechaineux, Collins, Rankin and Sheean. The two remaining submarines will be tested later.

Defence says ASC production staff have been redeployed until tests results are known. "The fleet has not been recalled to harbour," it said in a statement. ["Fleet"? 5 out of 6 are already in harbour] "However, precautions are been taken in accordance with existing Defence policy and procedures for the control and management of cadmium."


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