Monday Medley: N.L. prof won’t accommodate hearing-impaired students

A man wearing a hearing aid.
A man wearing a hearing aid. Stock photo by Getty Images.

Say what? Explain that to me again, I’m a little hard of hearing. Seriously?

A professor at Memorial University of Newfoundland has refused to accommodate a hearing-impaired student’s request to wear an electronic voice transmitter, citing religious reasons.

As part of her refusal, Ranee Panjabi, who teaches a History of Espionage class at MUN, points to an agreement she made with university administrators nearly 20 years ago that ensures she doesn’t have to wear any electronic devices due to her religion — Panjabi is Muslim.

However, it has not been disclosed specifically what those reasons are. Unfortunately, even the university seems to have forgotten it made the deal with Panjabi, but has chosen to keep the pact in place.

Understandably, many students are shocked the university would have made such an agreement, including William Sears, who is hearing-impaired.

Sears, who was forced to drop Panjabi’s class, filed a complaint and contacted the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association as well as the Newfoundland and Labrador Human Rights Commission.

We’ll keep our ears perked for any updates.

B.C. court rules children under 10 can’t be left home alone

Remember Home Alone, where an 8-year-old Macauley Culkin was left unattended by his parents, who left on a family vacation? Well, if that were to happen in British Columbia now, his parents would be in big trouble.

A recent B.C. Supreme Court decision has ruled that children under the age of 10 are not to be left home unsupervised.

Funnily enough, the case on which the court ruled was also about an 8-year-old child, known as A.K., who was alone and unsupervised every day after school between 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. His mother, known as B.R. was at work during that time.

A social worker was made aware of A.K’s situation and told B.R. that children under 10 can’t be left alone.

B.R. went to court to challenge a supervision order she was given after social services got involved, but the court agreed with the social worker. The decision was also supported by safety experts, who say children are not ready to be left alone at such a tender age.

So, the next time you think your young child is fine being left alone for a few hours, think again.

Saskatchewan doctors must assist patients, regardless of beliefs

There’s always a fine line between belief and professionalism. The College of Physicians and Surgeons in Saskatchewan has approved a conscientious objection policy, which forces doctors to explain all options to their patients.

Doctors must do this even if it goes against their deeply held moral or religious beliefs. If they absolutely refuse to do it, then the doctors must refer the patients to another doctor.

The one area exempt from this new policy is physician-assisted suicide.

It remains to be seen whether Saskatchewan doctors will create a challenge to the college’s new policy.
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