Letters to the Editor, August 6, 2017

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 06 August, 2017, 9:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 06 August, 2017, 9:00am

Tough decision on very ill baby was right one

The heartbreaking UK court ruling to turn off 11-month-old Charlie Gard’s life support redirected futile care in the infant with no hope of recovery towards one with serious but ­reversible illness or injury.

This improves equity and access to expensive treatments for a second child. There is no doubt that the ethical, moral and legal quandaries of whether to withdraw ventilator support from a child dependent on machine-assisted breathing are stressful for families and critical care staff.

Ongoing physiological support, as decisions on treatment withdrawal are being deliberated in courts of law, necessarily delays the availability of scarce intensive care beds to others. Other seriously sick children cannot afford to wait for all-round resolution between ­families, clinicians and courts.

Surely the high cost of intensive care and the diversion of scarce funds from other health- care programmes bears serious thought even in times of ­immense crisis.

The health system cannot afford the thousands of pounds spent each day in prolonging the months-long suffering of a child with a severe metabolic illness.

In the remote event that Charlie had been weaned off the ventilator with the novel treatment his parents had demanded, he would likely have been condemned to full nursing care for the rest of his natural life.

Joseph Ting, adjunct associate professor, School of Public Health and Social Work, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia

Local schools make stress even worse

I agree with Chow Ka-wing that students face a lot of pressure because of our ossified education system (“Stress levels high for many youngsters”, July 28).

In this knowledge-based society, many companies are looking for young people with excellent academic qualifications and so society tends to focus only on examination results, especially with the Hong Kong ­Diploma of Secondary Education.

This is a one-off exam which results in youngsters competing with each other to eventually join the elite in society.

Many suffer from stress in the drive to get good exam results. This can be exacerbated by parents pushing them too hard to do well by signing them up for tutorial classes. They want their children to have a competitive edge.

These parents need to change their attitude. They must not push their children, but must let them develop their own interests. They should not be forced to do things like tutorial classes against their will.

Lee Ka-long, Sha Tin

Optimistic attitude is so inspiring

I was impressed by the comments of Queenie Rosita Law about how she dealt with her kidnapping in 2015 (“I thought about future not death, kidnapped Hong Kong heiress says”, July 22).

The Bossini heiress refused to give up hope. I think that her attitude should serve as an example that we should follow.

It is essential in life to maintain an optimistic outlook.

People who have gone through terrible ordeals like Queenie Law can suffer conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder and may retreat from society and even from family.

Helping them deal with these emotions and try to be positive is very important.

Even those of who have not suffered from a traumatic experience need to try to maintain good psychological health.

People can come under a lot of pressure in their careers or academic studies. They need to try and find the right work-life ­balance.

I would like to see more workshops being held to help all of us deal with stress.

Teresa Ng, Hang Hau

Cricket fans let down by Now TV channel

I agree with correspondents who have complained about the standard of cricket coverage provided by Now TV. I have been complaining to them for years, but to no avail.

I told them how expensive it is to subscribe to the channel and if two important matches were being played on the same day, they needed to show them simultaneously on two channels, yet they have only one.

I even phoned India’s Star Sports used by Now TV and was told they would send a message to the relevant department.

Now TV should also use the UK’s Sky Cricket or Willow TV from the US, which also shows cricket.

Sapkota Madan Hari, Kennedy Town

Trampoline parks have hidden risks

I think your readers should have their attention drawn to the dangers inherent in Hong Kong’s many trampoline parks.

There have been stories from around the world of children and adults falling badly on a trampoline, or in some cases off a trampoline, and ­damaging their neck or spine ­resulting in long-term paralysis.

In our case, my 13-year-old daughter visited a trampoline park on July 20 and while exiting an area gashed her knee very badly on a protruding hard edge.

This edge should not have been protruding but should have been securely covered by padding of the appropriate thickness.

My daughter’s knee could have been another’s face or head, with even worse ­consequences.

I rushed her to Ruttonjee Hospital’s accident and emergency department in Wan Chai, where she was given first-class service and her knee was sewn back together again. She was put on a course of antibiotics, with regular visits to a doctor.

My point is this. All parents, and children, should be very careful about the trampoline parks that they visit. These places are very popular in Hong Kong, but they can be dangerous, and not always in the most expected ways.

Ian R. A. Brown, Lamma