Is the royal succession a royal success?

This week the world was overjoyed at the news that the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William are expecting a baby although she is currently in a private hospital with severe morning sickness.

The news and celebration of the baby has since probed Commonwealth countries to agree changes to the line of succession rules. This has created huge international interest and bets are already being taken to guess the gender and the name of the unborn baby.

The order of succession is the order of members of the Royal Family in which they stand in line to the throne. The change will mean the royal couple’s baby will definitely become monarch, regardless of whether it is a boy or a girl.

As quoted from an article from the Daily Mail “The law of primogeniture had once meant boys leapfrogged older sisters” in line to the throne.  This new law would then resolve this discriminative issue and create gender equality. Click this video to see a BBC article and video of Nick Clegg announcing the news. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-20600543

According to The Official Website of British Monarchy, the line of succession is currently consists of 40 people, the top four being:

1. The Prince of Wales
2. The Duke of Cambridge
3. Prince Henry of Wales
4. The Duke of York

The new legislation will mean that male heirs will no longer take precedence over women in line to the throne. Even though I personally do not have much interest in the Royal Family; I feel that this is a step in the right direction towards gender equality.

What are your views? And more importantly, take our poll to vote whether you think the baby will be a boy or girl!

Written by Lisa Hammerton

The right to die…

Nicklinson_2317396bIt’s hard to think that one day any one of you reading this may be in the situation where your health is so dire, that you may request the right to die.

It’s a solemn topic for a Monday but the issues surrounding legalizing Euthanasia are hard to ignore; we tend to put these issues to the back of our thoughts, not wanting to face the reality of life and those tough decisions.

One of the main case studies that is surrounding this issue in the media is that of Tony Nicklinson, a man who has a condition called Locked In Syndrome;  Nicklinson previously worked in Dubai as an engineer before his stroke led to him having an active mind locked inside a paralysed body. The story pulls on the heart-strings of anyone who can imagine how devastating it would be to be fully aware of how unimaginably helpless you are.

Nicklinson’s family are fighting for his right to die; the question remains, not just in this case but in most cases of severe health conditions, is it ethically right to allow medical staff to facilitate the death of a patient?

There are many factors to consider when trying to come to a conclusion, there is of course the suffering of the patient, whether their situation is terminal, religious views and whether the patient is able to make their own decisions and are whether they are in the right emotional state of mind to be able to cope with these type of decisions. With issues so delicate like these I try to put myself in the mindset of the people involved; for example a sports junkie who looses the use of his legs and is now unable to play the sport that he loves.

The example above could cause a debate, I myself feel that although the situation is dire the patients emotional state of mind would play a massive part into why the victim of illness may feel like giving up, but with time and support from friends, family and mental health specialists, perhaps the quality of life can be improved and the moments of weakness could be overcome?

Let me know what you think, would you like the option to end your own life if it came down to it? Or do you think that there are grey areas?

Written by Stephanie Birch