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Defending life from the moment of conception

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7 December 2004

7 December 2004

7 December 2004 A survey of 2000 disabled people commissioned by the Voluntary Euthanasia Society has concluded that four- fifths of disabled people want the law changed to allow assisted suicide. The Observer newspaper claimed that the poll was 'a key plank' in support of Lord Joffe's assisted dying bill and that it 'shattered...one of the final barriers to legalising euthanasia in Britain.' The paper also claimed that a poll commissioned by the VES that supported voluntary euthanasia was a 'surprising finding.' Tara Flood of Disability Awareness in Action told a select committee that legal euthanasia could 'potentially create an open season for the killing of disabled people.' [The Observer, 5 December ] Alison Davis of the disability rights group No Less Human commented: "It is important to note that the poll was commissioned by the Voluntary Euthanasia Society. The VES is notorious for asking questions in polls that are ambiguous to say the least. In past polls, for instance, they have asked: 'would you want a doctor's help to a peaceful death.' It is more surprising that 100% of respondents do not answer yes, than that a majority do." She added: "What disabled and sick people actually need is help and support to live with dignity until we die naturally. Legalised euthanasia would militate against this sort of support being available. The reality is that many disabled people are terrified of euthanasia being legalised." [SPUC source] Frances Kissling of the erroneously named Catholics for a Free Choice, has appeared to support parental notification laws on underage abortion in an essay reported in the Washington Times. She admitted that partial birth abortion had turned people away from the pro-abortion lobby, stating: "We failed miserably to touch on the broader unrest about abortion itself that the procedure raised in the minds of many." However, she went on to claim that if Catholic bishops cared about abortion as a moral issue, they would give their every penny to helping women in crisis pregnancy: "No dinners, no business-class plane tickets, no vacations, no flowers on the altar as long as one penny is needed to prevent abortions." [The Washington Times, 6 December ] A spokeswoman for SPUC commented: "If Ms Kissling really cares about women facing crisis pregnancies, CFFC might consider offering poor women the financial help they need to raise their children rather than funding programmes to impose abortion upon Latin American countries." Over 10% of Japanese teenagers have Chlamydia, according to a study carried out by the Asahikawa Medical College. The highest rate was among 16-year-olds, where 8.6% of boys and 23.5% of girls tested positive. The survey led to immediate calls for 'more effective sex education.' [Medical News Today, 7 December ] Oregon doctors have voiced concerns about the practice of child euthanasia in the Netherlands, Lifenews.com reports. Dr Mark Merkens, director of the spina bifida programme at Doembecher Children's Hospital referred to a case involving a baby with severe spina bifida who was given lifesaving surgery in spite of being given little chance of survival and is now at school. He said: "We must be humble about our ability to project... outcomes." Dr Linda Wallen, director of Doembecher's neonatal intensive care unit commented: "My initial reaction is that euthanasia is for the family's comfort, not the baby's." [Lifenews.com, 6 December ]

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