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Defending life
from conception to natural death


News, 28 January 2000

28 January 2000

28 January 2000 The Medical Treatment (Prevention of Euthanasia) Bill passed its second reading in the House of Commons today by 113 votes to two. The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) has welcomed the further progress of Mrs Ann Winterton's Bill, but is concerned by strong opposition from Yvette Cooper, the public health minister. Paul Tully, SPUC general secretary, said: "Although Ms Cooper said that the government was against euthanasia, she seemed worried that the Bill might close the loopholes which presently allow patients to be starved to death." MPs spoke of the need to counteract recent guidance from the British Medical Association on the withdrawal of food and fluids. SPUC plans a mass-lobby of Parliament to oppose euthanasia. Nurses in abortion-wards are stressed and become distanced from their patients, according to a university study. Dundee University researchers found that health-staff felt torn by having to help some women terminate their pregnancies while consoling others with fertility-problems. The increase in the number of medical (as opposed to surgical) terminations meant that nurses are more likely to see the results of abortion. Some nurses had left the profession because of the stress while others were wary of invoking a conscience-clause for fear of damaging their careers. [Sunday Herald, Glasgow, 23 January 2000] A newly-married couple are coming to Britain to use the dying husband's frozen sperm to try and conceive. Mr Peter Croft was diagnosed with testicular cancer in March 1997 and had the sperm frozen before undergoing chemotherapy. [The Independent, 28 January, 2000] An American woman who took a fertility-drug and is expecting septuplets will not take medical advice to abort three of them so that the others might survive. Mrs Ivette Zapata-Smalls, 31, of New Jersey, has said that she and her husband will rely on their religious faith. The children are due to be delivered by caesarian section in March. Mrs Zapata-Smalls described motherhood as the greatest gift God could give a woman. [Metro, 28 January, 2000] UK-only news: A by-election will be held for the Scottish parliamentary seat of Ayr on 16 March. Labour won the seat last May by just 25 votes. [Herald, Glasgow, 28 January 2000] This bulletin is privately circulated by The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, 5/6 St Matthew Street, London, United Kingdom, SW1P 2JT, +44 20 7222 3763. The reliability of the news herein is dependent on the cited sources. Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the society. Please forward this bulletin to other interested parties. To subscribe or unsubscribe, send an appropriate email to

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