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News, 10 October 2003

10 October 2003

10 October 2003 The 91-year-old woman at the centre of a legal battle over geriatric care has died, The Express reports. On Monday, a high court judge ordered that Olive Nockels be fed and treated after members of her family alleged that the hospital had left her to die. A spokesman for the hospital said: "Mrs Nockels died in the early hours of this morning. Her family was informed prior to her death of our concern for her deteriorating condition." [BBC, 10 October ] The UK's smallest surviving baby has been allowed home after four months in hospital. Aaliyah Hart weighed just 12 ounces when she was born 12 weeks premature, having grown too slowly in the womb, and was given only a 10% chance of survival. [BBC, 9 October ] Pro-life members of the Canadian parliament are fighting a bill that would ban human cloning but allow destructive embryonic stem cell research. Canada currently has no laws regulating stem cell research or cloning and House leader Don Boudri has stated that the legislation will eventually pass, in spite of opposition. [LifeNews.com, 10 October ] Bishops from the Republic of Ireland are to meet with the Prime Minister to discuss euthanasia and human embryonic cloning, RTE reports. The meeting was sought by the bishops in light of current EU proposals to fund embryonic stem cell research. [RTE, 9 October ] The results of a trial involving the use of adult stem cells to treat heart disease, were presented at the National Stem Cell Centre's inaugural conference in Melbourne this week. Andrew Boyle of Melbourne's St Vincent's Hospital who was the chief clinical investigator of the study, said that the five patients involved had already shown positive results from a technique that uses drugs to push stem cells from the bone marrow into the blood stream. Once in the blood stream, scientists isolated them, causing a greater concentration of stem cells that could then be injected back into the blood and travel to the damaged cells of the heart. Dr Boyle stated that the study, though very positive, is still in its early stages. [SMH.com, 10 October ] Catholic campaigners in the UK are urging bishops to speak out against government funding of China's one-child policy, the Catholic Herald reports. Lord Alton of Liverpool presented evidence of abuses, supported by human rights organisations such as Amnesty International, to the bishops' advisor on international affairs, Frank Turner SJ. However, Fr Turner stated: "There's not likely to be any significant action. We will consider the case when we can. I have to say it's not on the top of the general agenda." John Smeaton, director of SPUC, commented: "This is a matter of primary important in the battle to protect the poorest people on earth and some of the most oppressed." [The Catholic Herald, 10 October] A rabbi from Jews for Morality has expressed shock at the huge numbers of abortions carried out in Israel and called upon his people to repent against 'this shedding of innocent blood.' His comments came after an Israeli pro-life group released a poster saying, 'STOP the Silent Holocaust - 2,000,000 children destroyed by abortion in Israel.' [LifeSite, 9 October ]

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