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Defending life
from conception to natural death


News, 9 September 2003

9 September 2003

9 September 2003 The Belgian Medical Journal has claimed that euthanasia cases are being carried out unreported. Official figures record 170 cases of euthanasia since it was legalised in September 2003 but it is claimed that two or three times that number have occurred. [, 2 September ] A report published by the Voluntary Euthanasia Society claims that 30% of people who help others to die go on to commit suicide themselves. The report also claims that between 40% and 50% of doctors have received a request for assisted suicide and that 55% of doctors favour a change in the law. A Home Office spokeswoman stated: "Our law needs to take into account the value of life and vulnerability of individuals who are ill and in pain. That is why the law protects them. We have no plans to change the law at present." [Ananova, 9 September ] Washington researchers claim to have successfully treated diabetes in rats with tissue taken from rat embryos, Reuters reports. The tissue was used to create an entirely new insulin-producing pancreas, which could theoretically lead to transgenic transplants or the use of human embryonic stem cells in future juvenile diabetes treatments. [Reuters, 8 September ] The court-appointed guardian of a comatose man at the centre of a legal battle has decided to have the man's life ended. Jason Childress has been in a coma since July and his family are divided over whether he should live or die. Jason's father and stepmother claim that he has managed to communicate to them through signs that he wishes to live, but they have been told that they have no legal options open to them and that the governor will not intervene. [, 9 September ] A Mexican teenager who became pregnant after rape in 1999 is seeking compensation from the government for not being permitted an abortion. The government gave her $10 000 to settle the matter after an obstetrician refused to perform the procedure and she was persuaded by doctors, social workers and a priest to keep the baby. Her case is being used by women's groups who claim that the sum she received was insufficient. They are also demanding legal action against those individuals and institutions who prevented her from having an abortion. [Yahoo News, 4 September ] Further to our story last Friday on the acquittal of two pro-life activists in Wales, it has come to our attention that the judge may have been inaccurately quoted in the Guardian report. Local Welsh newspaper the South Wales Argus reported the judge's words as: "The poster could be seen as being in poor taste..." (SPUC emphasis) [This is Gwent, 5 September ]

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