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Defending life
from conception to natural death


News, 27 February 2004

27 February 2004

27 February 2004 SPUC has released a 30-page analysis of the BBC's Sex and the Holy City Panorama programme, exposing its slanted reporting and anti-life bias. The document can be linked to here US health officials investigating the death of Holly Patterson after she took the RU-486 abortion pill have found that the hospital did not report the death as unusual. The investigators also found that the Planned Parenthood clinic where Ms Patterson obtained the drug did not obtain her signature on one of the required forms and failed to give her full information on administering the drug. [NBC 4, 25 February ] Holly Patterson's parents believe that the number of deaths associated with the abortion pill go 'widely underreported.' [, 26 February ] A woman is considering taking legal action to get life-prolonging surgery for her daughter, reportedly against her will. Kate Burns, 20, suffers from Parkinson's and the fatal brain disease leukodystrophy. She has communicated to doctors that she wants to die. Without a gastrostomy, which would allow food and medication to be fed through a tube into her stomach, she faces imminent death. Anne Burns said of her daughter: "I want Kate to live. I have been given a time limit and I want her with us for all of it.... I don't think she realises how awful death by starvation would be." [icTeeside, 26 February ] An article in the Times of London has criticised the lack of available information regarding alternatives to invasive, expensive and often unsuccessful IVF. Fertility testing is not routinely available on the NHS and basic changes in lifestyle such as giving up smoking or altering diet are often not even suggested. [The Times of London, 26 February ] The President of Costa Rica has been awarded the Kolbe Prize for Peace in recognition of his work in the UN to ban human cloning. The prize will be awarded at a dinner in New York. Dr Abel Pacheco said on receiving the news that he had won the award: "As a medical doctor, I believe in science, but in science with principles; science within ethical boundaries, with ethical norms that guide the search for knowledge. As a scientist myself, I believe and support fully the development of biotechnology, in so far as it does not violate human dignity." [, 26 February ] Pro-euthanasia campaigners in Guernsey have expressed concerns that doctors testifying to a government enquiry might persuade it to favour palliative care. The Speak up for Guernsey group has sent the Death with Dignity working party a British Medical Association report which says that the management of pain will not stop requests for euthanasia and assisted suicide. The lobby-group is asking candidates in April's election to support its stance. [This is Guernsey, 25 February ] An £800,000 human stem cell laboratory has opened in Birmingham, England. It will develop treatment for blood disease reportedly using cells from patients and bone marrow donors. Two more such centres are due to be opened in the UK. [ic Birmingham, 25 February ] The use of tissue from adults who have given their consent is an ethical way of producing therapies. A mother with congenital health problems in her family has had blood from her recently-born son's umbilical cord stored in the hope that it might be used for therapy for him if he falls ill. Mrs Gail Nelson of Stirling, Scotland, shares auto-immune problems with her mother, and her sisters have a heightened risk of cancer. Mrs Nelson and Mr Michael Nelson approached the Future Health company before Josh's birth last year. Two pregnant family-members are considering doing the same. [This is Stirlingshire, 25 February ] The Scottish firm which made the first cloned mammal is expected soon to be sold for £6 million to an anonymous bidder. PPL Therapeutics of Edinburgh last year sold the technology which produced Dolly the sheep to Exeter Life Sciences of Arizona. [Guardian, 26 February ] Patients can wait as long as two months to be treated at Scottish sexual health clinics because of a rise in the incidence of sexually transmitted diseases. [Evening Times, 25 February ]

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