Power of Attorney..
29 July 2019

Club member John O’Neill was speaker on 29th July and took as his topic ‘Power of Attorney’. This was taken in the context of John’s professional work as a dentist.

A very interesting talk covered the ways in which legislation has, especially in more recent times, changed the demands on dental professionals to be absolutely clear that informed consent is given for any dental work performed. This is particularly critical when work is carried out on patients affected by dementia - work that, because of the dementia, is inherently more difficult.

John made clear that nothing has changed in the professional duty of dentists only to carry out work that is necessary and to recommend only the most appropriate treatments. What has changed however is the legal requirement to be able to demonstrate that informed consent is received. The ‘Adults With Incapacity Act, 2000’ poses the question ‘are people able to give consent?’

We heard that increased longevity and the probability of more years with some form of incapacity, is an underlying factor in the changes being seen. This factor is also reflected in the nature of patients in care homes - where the conditions for carrying out dental treatments are not ideal. John quoted the interesting statistic that, in 1981, some 85% of pensioners had false teeth - whereas today a high proportion have all, or at least some, of their own teeth - which will require dental services.

The talk covered much additional detail of the way in which the dental profession is responding. However, the strong message was that it is important that clear decisions can be made on behalf of patients when needed - in other words - who has authority to make such decisions. John strongly suggested that, in such circumstances, Power of Attorney was extremely important, and should cover financial, medical and welfare guardianship aspects.

Altogether a most interesting talk that addressed an increasingly important topic. Following many questions, a vote of thanks was proposed by Charles Thrower. 

15 July 2019

Speaker at our meeting of 15th July was Alastair Walker, a volunteer with Prostate Cancer UK. Alastair is himself affected by aggressive prostate cancer and is working to publicise and increase awareness of this cancer, which is the biggest killer of men.

We heard that 1 in 8 men men will develop this cancer - odds that increase to 1 in 2.5 if there is a family history of the disease. Some 47,000 are diagnosed each year, with 300,000 men in the UK currently living with the condition. Statistics show that men over 50 are at greater risk (a risk that continues to increase with age) and that black men have a much greater risk - about 1 in 4.

Alastair described in detail the symptoms, diagnosis, treatment options, likely outcomes and potential side effects of the disease and of some types of treatments. Treatment may include chemotherapy, hormone therapy, radiotherapy and surgery. The side effects can be life-changing and Alastair emphasised the importance of identifying prostate cancer at an early stage, when treatment is far less invasive - and far more successful. He explained the typical range of symptoms to be aware of and the value of a ‘PSA’ blood test - which can be carried out by a GP.

In concluding his illustrated talk, Alastair spoke of the work of Prostate Cancer UK and especially of the support and help that he had himself received.

Prostate Cancer UK exists to provide support and help. Free booklets and information can be downloaded from their website at www.prostatecanceruk.org Their Specialist Nurses can be contacted for advice and in confidence at 0800 074 8383.

Following questions a vote of thanks was proposed by George Hunter. 

Scottish fisheries Museum..
03 June 2019

We were pleased to welcome Ian Goodyear, Director of Operations at The Fisheries Museum in Anstruther, as guest speaker on 3rd June.

It was a pleasure to hear of the work of this very fine museum - and also very timely as the museum is about to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its founding on 4th July 1969. We heard that, from July 2019 to late June 2020, the museum will be putting on a whole host of events starting with a spectacular opening ceremony on the 4th July, where the museum will welcome home the ‘Reaper’, the museum’s prized Fifie fishing boat after major restoration.

From July 2019 until January 2020 the museum will host a journey through the last 50 years of the fishing industry, charting the changes to the fleets, the harbours, the livelihoods and the lives of those who work to put fish on our table - an insight into the real price of fish.

The museum occupies premises of almost 28,000 square feet and is located in an historic setting facing Anstruther’s picturesque harbour. It tells the fascinating story of the Scottish fishing industry in stunning detail. A fact that emerged and is perhaps less well known, is that the fishing industry had its roots in the highland clearances; people being forced to fishing in order to survive.

The museum collections include extensive and historically important records of the fishing industry and communities as well as many artefacts and preserved examples of the wooden hulled boats. 19 boats in total are preserved. Even so space permits only about 20% of the total collections to be on display.

Ian illustrated his talk with many photographs from the collections and spoke enthusiastically of the detailed histories of some of the most famous boats. ‘Reaper’ of course, but also ‘The Research’, ‘Silver Spray’ and ‘Lively Hope’.

Many Anstruther Rotary club members have direct or family links to fishing - a relationship that made this talk especially interesting and following many questions, Roderick Skinner proposed a warm vote of thanks on behalf of the club.


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