Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Supreme Court Commutes Death Penalty Of Rajiv Gandhi's Killers To Life Term

With this, the three convicts on death row in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case Santhan, Murugan and Perarivalan have been spared the gallows. A bench headed by Chief Justice P Sathasivam rejected the Centre's submission that there was no unreasonable delay in deciding their mercy plea and the condemned prisoners did not go through agonizing experience as they were enjoying life behind the bars. The bench, also comprising justices Ranjan Gogoi and S K Singh, said they are unable to accept the Centre's view and commuted the death sentence of convicts to imprisonment for life subject to remission by the government. There had been inordinate delay on government and President's part to decide their mercy pleas, the SC judges said. The apex court rejected the Centre's contention that delay in deciding mercy plea of convicts Santhan, Murugan and Perarivalan did not result in agony. "We implore government to render advice in reasonable time to the President for taking a decision on mercy pleas," the court said. The top court has asked the government to add a new criteria for considering commuting death penalty to life imprisonment inordinate delay in deciding mercy petitions. It said the government should handle the cases of mercy petitions in a more systematic manner. "We are confident that mercy plea can be decided at much faster speed than what is being done now," the bench said. The convicts had submitted that mercy plea of other prisoners, which were filed after them, were decided but their petitions were kept pending by the government. Their plea was strongly opposed by the Centre which had said that it was not a fit case for the apex court to commute death sentence on the ground of delay in deciding mercy plea. Admitting that there has been delay in deciding the mercy petitions, the government, however, had contended that the delay was not unreasonable, unexplainable and unconscionable to commute death penalty. The counsel, appearing for the convicts, had contested the Centre's arguments, saying that they have suffered due to the delay by the government in deciding the mercy petitions and the apex court should intervene and commute their death sentence to life term. The apex court had, in May 2012, decided to adjudicate the petitions of Rajiv Gandhi killers against their death penalty and had directed that their plea, pending with the Madras high court, be sent to it. Rajiv Gandhi was killed in May 1991. His assassins were convicted by a TADA court in January 1998 and were awarded death sentence, which was confirmed by the apex court May 11, 1999.
For the original version visit http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Supreme-Court-commutes-death-penalty-of-Rajiv-Gandhis-killers-to-life-term/articleshow/30605581.cms

Monday, February 17, 2014

five Easy Ways Professional Caretakers Can Prevent Compassion Fatigue

Have you heard of the newer buzz words "compassion fatigue"? It happens when you feel you just don't have anything left to give to your clients/patients. Karl LaRowe, in his book "Transform Compassion Fatigue" shares his personal story of being a therapist who actually started feeling depressed after several years of doing psychotherapy. He realized he had not been taking care of himself on a daily basis, which over time made it difficult for him to continue to be totally present, positive and encouraging to others because he felt depleted himself.

Karl shared something called Qigong which he describes in his book. The techniques include smooth body movements with special breath work to balance energy. When I tried a few of the techniques I felt a combination of refreshed and relaxed.

Self Care is Not Selfish

There is a western analogy that can help caretakers understand why it is so important to take time to care of ourselves. The wagon wheel's hub holds all the spokes in place. Imagine what would happen to the wheel if the hub became weak and broke. Yes, the whole wheel would fall apart. Much the same happens to caretakers' lives when they don't keep themselves (the hub) strong. When caretakers start to feel apathy towards their clients and even family members, it is as if their life wheel is weakened because their hubs are "fractured." If they continue on the road to compassion fatigue, they often can get depressed, get physically ill and may even get to a point where they cannot continue in their caretaker roles, much like the hub of a wheel breaking. Therefore to prevent caretaker compassion fatigue, it is first necessary to recognize we also have nurturing/health needs that must be filled or we can become basically useless to help others.

Five Simple Ways to Nurture the Nurturer/Caretaker

1) Take a few minutes to connect with and enjoy nature. (For city dwellers, maybe grow some flowers in your yard and spend time drinking in their beauty/scent, or buy some!)

2) Learn QiGong or Hatha Yoga and practice a few techniques/postures every day to both relax and re-energize.

3) Read something positive. Garrison and Duncan in their book "Stressed Out About Your Nursing Career" suggest "Chicken Soup for the Nurse's Soul" by Jack Canfield, but some prefer spiritually oriented books, to "feed the soul" or just remind us of our intrinsic worth.

4) Take a brisk walk or engage in another enjoyable (with the emphasis on "enjoyable") aerobic exercise of your choice for at least twenty minutes, three time per week. I found a "buddy" helps to keep us both motivated, and besides chatting while walking is a lot more fun for me.

5) Develop an artistic hobby, and/or attend relaxing concerts (like those featuring soft jazz or classical music or listen to it on the radio), or go to a museum of your choice.

Using one or more of the above suggestions that give you a pleasant experience can help fill up your own "needs tank". Supportive relationships can also help, but be aware that many of us who are caretakers often attract people who basically want us to take care of them. i.e. the classic "give-take" relationship is not "I give, you take".

Rather positive/healthy outside relationships are based on mutual respect and sharing.

Also, if caretakers socialize with other caretakers who are becoming fatigued, the interactions often become complaint sessions, and the people involved usually feel even more depleted after the conversations. Sometimes a co-worker can become a friend, but I find it helpful to agree not to talk about work, while enjoying some pleasant activity, helps keep a healthy balance.

Another great way to deal with keeping passion for caretaking high, is seeing the humor in small everyday occurrences. I like two of the "Blue Collar" comedians who tell funny stories from their real family lives, for example, as I think most of us can relate and it doesn't put anybody else down, etc. A sense of humor can I find really help make our serious work at least a little bit fun, and fun can help us see caretaking as a more positive form of work.

Whatever you choose to do to care for yourself, make sure you take time to do it on a regular basis. If the "guilt monster" raises its ugly head, remind yourself of the wagon wheel analogy. If you don't stay healthy, positive and strong, you have nothing to give others. Besides aren't you just as worthy of care as those you care for? YOU ARE!

Garrison, Kathleen and Duncan, Jill, Stressed Out About Your Nursing Career. HCPro, Inc., Marblehead, MA, 2008 LaRowe, Karl, Transform Compassion Fatigue PESI,LLC, Leclaire, WI, 2005