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Defending life
from conception to natural death


News, 1 April 2004

1 April 2004

1 April 2004 Lesley Martin, the New Zealand euthanasia campaigner and intensive care nurse who wrote a book about her attempts to murder her terminally ill mother, has been found guilty of attempted murder. Ms Martin will be sentenced on 30 April and could face up to 10 years in jail. She called the verdict 'unjust', maintaining that her actions were in keeping with her mother's wishes. [BBC, 1 April ] Pro-euthanasia MP Peter Brown whose bill to permit medically-assisted suicide was defeated last year has said that he hopes to complete a reworked version of the bill shortly. [, 1 April ] The New Zealand Medical Association, who oppose euthanasia, warned that health care professionals who look after their loved ones could find their judgement impaired and may have a lack of objectivity in difficult situations. Dalton Kelly, president of Hospice New Zealand said that if New Zealanders knew about the palliative care available, there would be no call for voluntary euthanasia. [, 1 April ] Industrialised nations with low fertility rates and ageing populations face debt burdens worse than during the Second World War, the Financial Times reports. The report conducted by Standard and Poor's found that European countries, including Germany, France and Greece could see debt grow to over 200% of gross domestic product by 2050, whilst Japan faces a debt of more than 700% of GDP. Richard Jackson, senior fellow in charge of the demography project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in the US said: "In a scenario which is about as optimistic as you can get, that still leaves fiscal meltdown in just about every country in 25 years." [FT, 1 April ] The members of the House of Lords select committee on Lord Joffe's Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill have been formally named and approved. A number of questions and issues were raised, such as the failure to include a disabled peer on the committee and the decision by the Joint Committee on Human Rights not to give the Bill a compatibility certificate, as the bill is currently incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights. The committee consists of peers who both support and oppose euthanasia. [SPUC source, 1 April] SPUC has presented a 96,500-signature petition against the distribution of the morning after pill in schools to parliament. David Atkinson MP and Kevin McNamara MP accepted the forms, which they presented in the House of Commons chamber. Jim Dobbin MP was also present. Mr McNamara told the house that he was the last MP remaining in the house to have voted against the 'pernicious' 1967 Abortion Act and Mr Atkinson said that he was proud to have worked with SPUC during his 27 years in parliament. [SPUC press release, 1 April ] An incident involving the vandalism of a pro-life monument in the US is being treated as a hate crime by local police, CWNews reports. The statue in the grounds of Our Lady of Grace Church in Rhode Island was defaced with spray paint and had a pro-life prayer on it blotted out. Hate crime in Rhode Island is defined as "any crime motivated by bigotry and bias, including but not limited to threatened, attempted or completed acts that appear after investigation to have been motivated by racial, religious, ethnic, sexual orientation, gender or disability prejudice." [CWNews, 31 March ] A woman who regrets the abortion she had as a teenager is suing the abortionist responsible, along with the clinic where the abortion was carried out. Cherise Hughes used fake ID to claim that she was over 18 when she was in fact 17 years old and her parents were not notified as is required under Texan law. [, 31 March ] NARAL, the leading pro-abortion group in the US, has endorsed Democratic candidate John Kerry for president. Carol Tobias, the director of the National Right to Life political action committee, was not surprised by the pro-abortion support for Kerry, a self-professed 'pro-choice Catholic.' "John Kerry supports partial-birth abortion, he supports using tax dollars to pay for abortion, and he will only appoint pro-abortion judges to the Supreme Court," she said. "Kerry just voted against making it a crime to kill or injure an unborn child during the commission of a violent federal crime." [, 31 March ]

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