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Defending life
from conception to natural death


News, 4 June 2004

4 June 2004

4 June 2004 The Dutch Health Minister has reminded doctors of their duty to report euthanasia cases after figures for 2003 revealed that reported cases had fallen for the fourth consecutive year. Clemence Ross said that it was 'difficult to appreciate the declining numbers reported' because it was unclear whether euthanasia itself was declining because of improved palliative care or whether more and more doctors were failing to report cases. 1815 euthanasia cases were reported in 2003, compared with 1882 in 2002, 2054 in 2001 and 2123 in 2000. [BMJ, 5 June ] A euthanasia bill has been defeated in the South Australian Parliament by 13 votes to eight. The Dignity in Dying Bill would have permitted physician-assisted suicide for those suffering from terminal illnesses or in 'unbearable pain.' Sandra Kanck, the Democrat MP who introduced the bill said she believed the SA Parliament would eventually legalise euthanasia. [The Australian, 3 June ] The Dutch Justice Minister has backed a decision by the Procurators' General Council that dementia is a valid reason for euthanasia. The council ruled last year that a doctor who helped a patient suffering from Alzheimer's to commit suicide should not be prosecuted. [Expatica, 3 June ] Kenya's Catholic bishops described abortion as a 'terrible holocaust' at a Requiem Mass for the 15 unborn babies found dumped in a river last week. The Mass was celebrated in Nairobi's basilica and attended by hundreds of worshippers, including schoolchildren. The bishops appealed for the Kenyan leadership to condemn abortion and for legislation to allow better adoption and foster care. [Reuters, 3 June ]

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