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Defending life from the moment of conception

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News, 28 May 2002

28 May 2002

28 May 2002 The premier of Queensland, Australia, has called into question the credibility of pro-euthanasia campaigners after it was reported that Nancy Crick, the 69-year-old supposed cancer sufferer who committed suicide last week, did not have any visible signs of cancer at the time of her death. Premier Peter Beattie accused Dr Philip Nitschke, Australia's leading pro-euthanasia campaigner, of "masquerading" about Nancy Crick's true condition. Another Australian woman, this time a 54-year-old with motor neurone disease, has now announced her intention to commit suicide next month with Dr Nitschke's help. On Sunday the Australian Medical Council's conference maintained its opposition to euthanasia when members voted by 79 to 34 against adopting a neutral position on the issue. [Herald Sun, 26 May ; Sydney Morning Herald, 27 May ; CNSNews, 28 May ] The government of France is expected to decide soon on whether to authorise the importation of embryonic stem cells. François Loos, the new minister of education and research, said last Thursday that he would consult a committee of experts and decide "very soon" whether to confirm or overturn the decision of his predecessor to allow the importation of two lines of stem cells extracted from human embryos. French researchers are not allowed to experiment on human embryos at present, but legislation currently before the national legislature would authorise research on so-called supernumerary embryos left over from IVF treatment. [Reuters, 24 May ] The US justice department has confirmed that it will appeal a decision by a US district court that John Ashcroft, the attorney general, acted beyond his powers by effectively invalidating Oregon's law on assisted suicide. John Ashcroft issued a directive last November stating that federally controlled substances could not be prescribed to end the life of patients, thus making Oregon's Death with Dignity Act unworkable. However, a district court first suspended and then quashed the directive on the basis that the federal government could not hamper the practice of state law in this matter. [LifeSite, 27 May , etc.] A US federal jury in California has found that a health centre violated the constitutional rights of a nurse by dismissing her for refusing to dispense the abortifacient morning-after pill. The jury found the Riverside Neighborhood Health Center guilty of violating the rights to free speech and to freedom of religion of former nurse Michelle Diaz, and awarded her more than $47,000 in compensation. [LifeSite, 27 May ] A United Nations conference has issued a warning about the effects of declining birth rates around the world, further belying the popular claim of population controllers that the world is suffering from overpopulation. Delegates at the meeting of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok have concluded that the combination of fertility decline and ageing in Asia "could result in future destitution for many people, especially women". It is reported that only the pro-abortion UN Population Fund (UNFPA) continues to argue for the need to restrict population growth. [EWTN News, 24 May ]

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