IN recent years, the process of dying has been complicated by medical advance leading doctors to debate the point at which a patient is truly dead. Yet as modern medicine changes the experience of death, religious leaders have failed to clarify their end-of-life teachings (“‘The end was dignified and calm... he had taken control’”, The Herald, September 7, and Letters, September 9 & 10).

As happens in such situations, lay members come to their own conclusions and most now believe it is the right of every human being to determine in advance the course of action to be taken in the event that they are left dying in extremis with no expectation of recovery.

Margo McDonald told me that in spite of implacable opposition from the hierarchy, her most constant supporters were the parish clergy of the Kirk and Catholic church who daily witness the nightmare of modern medicine getting in the way of nature’s merciful release.

Rev Dr John Cameron, St Andrews.

Sloppy standards

SOME 18 months ago my Occupational Pension provider was acquired by a large European-based insurer. No consultation or involvement with members by the then trustees, Fait accompli, over and out. Subsequently via the fund's appointed administrators I received a private and confidential letter requesting up to date details of my existence. Unfortunately, both my first name and gender were incorrectly stated. I contacted the administrator’s office only to be advised that it was a “bulk” communication and the declaration form should just be completed otherwise monthly pension credits might be suspended.

I find such an irresponsible attitude a sad reflection on the reality of current-day business standards.

Allan C Steele, Giffnock.