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German report German report
by Euro Reporter
2008-11-12 09:41:43
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Mother admits freezing babies but denies killings

A German mother accused in the deaths of two of her babies admitted to stashing their bodies in the family freezer but denied killing them, at the start of her high-profile trial. In a macabre case that has made national headlines, the defendant's teenage son discovered the girls' tiny corpses in plastic bags when looking for a frozen pizza.

The 44-year-old housewife Monika Halbe entered the courtroom in the western town of Siegen with her black sweater pulled up to hide her face and did not speak at the opening of the hearing. She followed the proceedings with a distant expression and occasionally wiped tears from the corners of her eyes. In his opening arguments, Halbe's lawyer Andreas Bartholome read a statement saying that the mother, who already had three children, had been deeply ambivalent about having more babies.

Her family told investigators they never noticed the other pregnancies. Bartholome said Halbe had told him they were "neither intentional nor unintentional," but he noted that his client was "desperately terrified of doctors" and indicated she had suffered some type of sexual abuse that had traumatized her.

I think there is no comment to make over this shocking report - just the question, how can this happen?


The euthanasia debate

Since last July a German Herr Doktor has been providing paid assistance to old ladies who want to die. Whether he’s a money-hungry granny-killer or a death rights champion, "Senator Death“ has reopened the debate on euthanasia. Ex-Berliner’s Jacinta Nandi "Senator Death's been at it again!" roared the yellow press last October, after 84-year-old Inge Iassov was found dead on September 30 in her Würzburg flat in Bavaria. If Hamburg's former justice senator (minister), Dr. Roger Kusch, were a more sensitive type, reading the German tabloids could deal him quite an ego-blow. But the pro-euthanasia activist says the lurid headlines don't bother him at all: "The situation for dying patients in Germany is really bad. Doctors aren't allowed to help them commit suicide," explains the Herr Doktor, who is a lawyer, and not a medical doctor.

Far to the contrary: the scandal brought his new business to the spotlight - an assisted suicide service which for just €8,000 helps willing volunteers to, well, top themselves. Inge Iassov was not his first customer. In July, Kusch provided similar assistance to 79-year-old Bettina Schardt.

I suppose this is a major question and you cannot really understand if you haven’t suffered so much to wish an early death, especially if you know that death is coming one way or another; it is just the choice with …less pain!


Nuclear waste reaches Gorleben

Several tones of German nuclear waste finally arrived at the Gorleben storage centre at 12:17 am on Tuesday morning in what police called a smooth delivery after massive delays caused by three days of protests by activists. It was the longest such transport of nuclear waste to the controversial Gorleben site in the German state of Lower Saxony since 1995, police said.

Over the weekend about 15,000 activists staged the largest and most violent anti-nuclear protests seen in Germany since 2001, setting fire to barricades on train tracks in the north of the country to prevent the transport of the radioactive waste. Meanwhile some 16,000 police were deployed across the region to ensure the load reached the facility safely, reportedly using force with truncheons to beat back environmentalists blocking the way.

Environmentalists are obliged to stop the train of environmental embarrassment!

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Emanuel Paparella2008-11-12 15:22:01
On physician assisted suicide, aside from moral and legal considerations, how do those doctors who practice it square it with their hyppocratic oath? One wonders.

Sand2008-11-12 18:18:08
The difficult problem is, of course, what does more harm to a patient? To permit nature to take its course and permit a patient to suffer long horrible pain and misery to an inevitable death or to permit the patient to decide to accept a quick end to suffering by inducing a painless death. Not an easy decision but one worth contemplating.

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