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Defending life
from conception to natural death


News, 15 December 2003

15 December 2003

15 December 2003 The chairman of the Voluntary Euthanasia Society has resigned, following his arrest in connection with the death of euthanasia campaigner Patrick Kneen. Dr Michael Irwin admitted going to Mr Kneen's home in the Isle of Man with a large quantity of sleeping pills but said that his friend was too ill to take them and died naturally some days later. Dr Irwin was contacted by police after Mr Kneen's widow wrote a letter to her local paper which was not published but passed on to officers. [The Guardian, 15 December ] Baroness Warnock, a member of the House of Lords committee which rejected the legalisation of euthanasia 10 years ago, has written an article arguing in favour of Lord Joffe's Patient (Assisted Dying) bill. [The Times of London, 14 December ] Demographers continue to warn of the economic consequences facing the UK in the light of its declining population, the Observer reports. Nearly one quarter of women in the UK do not have children and those who do are marrying older and having smaller families. At present, there are 4.1 people aged 16-64 for every person aged 65+, a ratio that is expected to fall to 2.3-2.6 to one in the next fifty years. [The Observer, 14 December ] A Japanese government bioethics committee has recommended allowing embryo research, reports. In 2001, Japan banned human cloning but permitted the use of embryonic cells taken from discarded IVF embryos. The committee's final report is due to be compiled by June 2005. [, 12 December ] In spite of declining abortion rates in the US, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America made a profit of $36.6 million last year, performing 227, 385 surgical abortions. PPFA is the leading US abortion promoter. [CWNews, 12 December ]

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