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Defending life from the moment of conception

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News, 4 June 2003

4 June 2003

4 June 2003 Chaplains working in hospices and palliative care will not support the legalisation of assisted suicide, the Church Times has reported. At their annual conference in Swanwick, hospice chaplains came out against Lord Joffe's Patient (Assisted Dying) Bill, stating that instead of giving physicians the power to assist suicide, suffering patients should be given 'holistic palliative care.' The bill is due to have its second reading in the House of Lords this Friday. [Church Times, 30 May ] Pope John Paul II has urged Bishops in India to fight the culture of death during a meeting with 28 bishops of the Western region of India. The Pope praised the dynamism of Indian Catholicism but warned of the 'menacing threats directed towards unborn children, especially unborn girls.' He spoke of the pressures of globalisation upon Asian society and the need 'to preach fearlessly the consistent teaching of the Church regarding the inviolable right to life of every innocent human being'. [Zenit, 3 June ] The editor-in-chief of the Los Angeles Times has criticised his staff for biased reporting, according to Family News. In an internal memo, editor John Carroll referred to the recent front-page coverage of the Texas bill requiring women seeking abortion to be told about the potential breast cancer risk. He criticised the use of slanted language and deliberate attempts to discredit the views of the pro-life professor they interviewed, calling for his newspaper to be 'intelligent and fair-minded' in its coverage. [Family News, 2 June ] A man from Buffalo, New York, has been charged with attempted murder after trying to kill himself and his pregnant girlfriend. David Elersic, who is married with children, tied his girlfriend to a chair in her home and disconnected the gas pipe of her stove, after she told him that she was pregnant with his child and intended to keep the baby. The woman and her unborn child survived the subsequent explosion and Elersic now faces between five and fifteen years in prison. [AP on Newsday, 2 June ] Experiments involving the use of pig cells to treat diabetes in monkeys have proved successful in a trial lasting more than 70 days, according to a report in The Daily Telegraph. Professor Bernhard Hering, from the University of Minnesota where the research is being carried out, said; "this data is very significant because while we have been able to reverse diabetes in past islet studies, we had only seen two to three week survival times before the graft was lost due to the overwhelming rejection response." This breakthrough is due in part to the successful use of anti-rejection drugs. However, in order for the treatment to work in humans, the 70-day survival period will have to be extended to a minimum of five to six months. [, 4 June ]

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