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Defending life from the moment of conception

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News, 24 February 2004

24 February 2004

24 February 2004 The House of Commons' science and technology committee is considering the possibility of a change in the UK's cloning laws. One possibility some MPs wish to debate is whether infertile couples should ever be permitted to clone a child. Cloning for so-called 'therapeutic' purposes is permitted in the UK but full reproductive cloning carries a 10-year prison sentence. [BBC, 24 February ] A 64-year-old woman in India has given birth to a baby after IVF treatment. Papathiammal Subramaniam became pregnant using a relative's donated egg and her 74-year-old husband's sperm, 20 years after her natural menopause. [BBC, 23 February ] The founder of the sperm website Man Not Included has launched another site, Woman Not Included, supplying human eggs. John Gonzalez has defended the scheme, in which infertile women pay a subscription fee of £145 and up to £1,200 for each introduction to a donor. The donor then gives her eggs anonymously at a fertility clinic and the recipient pays for the subsequent IVF treatment. Donors also provide information about their medical and academic history, ethnicity and physical features such as hair colour. [PA News, 23 February ] An article in the US-based Psychiatric Times has put forward the argument against assisted suicide through an analysis of practice in the Netherlands and Oregon. The article concludes by stressing the importance of palliative care and the right of patients to good end-of-life nursing. [Psychiatric Times, February ]

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