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Defending life
from conception to natural death


News, 3 August 2001

3 August 2001

3 August 2001 SPUC has claimed that the English Official Solicitor may have detracted from his role and might have appeared to condone euthanasia. It was reported by the BBC that the Official Solicitor had approved the legality of draft guidance issued by the General Medical Council (GMC) on withholding and withdrawing life-prolonging treatments. SPUC states in a letter to the Official Solicitor: "If the BBC report is true, we are concerned lest you may have detracted from your role as an advocate for patients who cannot speak for themselves, by providing a form of approval to disputed and potentially controversial guidance under the terms of which those same patients may be treated." An embryologist and a man who is understood to have been his manager will appear in court after frozen embryos appeared to have gone missing from fertility treatment centres in Hampshire, England. Police are preparing their case against Mr Paul Fielding and a colleague. These may be the first (or among the first) legal proceedings under the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act. [Guardian, 3 August ] The unborn child of a man and his daughter has been legally aborted in Mexico, where most abortion is prohibited. The judge who permitted the termination also announced the setting up of an office to handle abortion for rape victims. [Women's enews, 2 August ] The vice-president of the Pontifical Academy for Life has said that an ethical approach to matters such as cloning and embryo research invariably helps science rather than hindering it. Speaking on Vatican Radio after the US House of Representatives voted against human cloning, Bishop Elio Sgreccia described adult stem cells as being safer than those taken from embryos. The human being, he said, should never be used as an instrument. [Zenit, 2 August ] Planned Parenthood's European Network is trying to persuade governments to support so-called reproductive rights for children without reference to their parents' role. The organisation has criticised groups involved in next month's UN summit on children for trying to put wording in documents which would defend parental authority in such areas as AIDS counselling and sexual health. [Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute reported by Zenit, 2 August ] The US Senate's Foreign Relations Committee has approved a bill which would reverse President Bush's prohibition of American funding of abortions overseas. The Senate's Appropriations Committee approved the bill last week. [EWTN, 2 August ] New Zealand's abortion laws are being liberally interpreted, according to the committee which supervises their implementation. [Otago Daily Times, 2 August ] On Wednesday we reported on how the number of abortions in New Zealand was continuing to rise. Depression during pregnancy is more widespread than post-natal depression, according to a study in the British Medical Journal. Researchers at Bristol University surveyed more that 9,000 women in western England. At 32 weeks, 13.5% were probably suffering from depression. [The Times, 3 August ] Depression is used by doctors in Great Britain to justify legal abortions.

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