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Defending life from the moment of conception

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News, 12 May 2004

12 May 2004

12 May 2004 Singapore has announced a draft law to ban so-called 'reproductive' human cloning, The Straits Times reports. The Human Cloning and Other Prohibited Practices Bill would ban practices such as the implantation or removal of a cloned human embryo into the body of a human or animal. It would also be illegal to allow a cloned human embryo to live for longer than 14 days. [The Straits Times, 10 May ] Spain's new government is backing legislation that would deprive doctors of their licences if they refused to perform abortions. The bill would also create a list of doctors who refuse to perform abortions. Spain currently allows abortion up to 12 weeks and has one of the lowest fertility rates in the world at 1.2% [, 10 May ] The scientific director of a cord blood bank in Ontario, Canada has stated that IVF and Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) are not necessary to find tissue matches for people needing stem cell therapy. Dr Peter Hollands of Cells for Life said: "If we focused more on collecting umbilical cord blood from most births and storing the samples in a public bank there would then be a suitable match for almost everyone. The 'designer babies' would then not be needed as the cord blood banks could easily support the demand for cells for transplantation." [, 10 May ] A medical report examining a series of suspicious deaths at a French hospital has concluded that 14 of the 18 deaths under investigation were the result of euthanasia. Four patients are said to have died through active euthanasia whilst the other ten died after being administered tranquillisers "that could... trigger a respiratory slowdown leading to death." Dominique Perben, the French justice minister, suggested last week that doctors be allowed to 'accompany' the death of the terminally ill without the threat of prosecution. [The Guardian, 12 May ]

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