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Defending life
from conception to natural death


News, 4 August 2004

4 August 2004

4 August 2004 Dutch researchers have claimed that four to 10 percent of patient deaths are the result of 'terminal sedation', a form of euthanasia that involves the patient being sedated so that they fall into a coma and then deprived of food and fluids. The team from the Erasmus Medical Centre and the Free University Medical Centre in Amsterdam also found that 43.8% of patient deaths in the Netherlands are the result of a 'medical decision', including assisted suicide and the decision not to treat a patient. [Expatica, 3 August ] A woman who had the wrong embryos implanted in her womb during IVF treatment has spoken publicly about the personal and legal costs of the mistake. Susan Buchweitz gave birth to a baby boy at the age of 48, only to be told 10 months later that she had accidentally received embryos belonging to another couple. As a result, Ms Buchweitz is fighting the biological parents' demands for full custody, fearing that she could lose her son. The embryologist who made the mistake is a vet by training and has since moved to Germany where he continues to work as an embryologist. [Mercury News, 2 August ] 2000 doctors associated with the Christian Medical Association have signed a letter to Congress and President Bush urging investment into adult stem cell research. The letter notes that adult stem cells are already giving results, whereas embryonic stem cell research has been 'hyped...far beyond scientific integrity' using 'outrageous promises' and 'gullible celebrities.' Ron Reagan's speech in favour of embryonic stem cell research is described as 'political science of the worst sort.' [, 3 August ] In a speech to the Catholic organisation the Knights of Columbus, President Bush promised to 'vigorously defend' the ban on partial-birth abortion which is currently being challenged by abortion advocates in the courts. He described the new law as 'compassionate' and 'urgently needed.' He also spoke of legislation making it a separate crime to harm an unborn child during an assault on a pregnant woman. [The Guardian, 4 August ]

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