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Defending life from the moment of conception

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22 November 2004

22 November 2004

22 November 2004 A study to be published by the charity Carers' UK has found that people who are caring for elderly or sick relatives are twice as likely to suffer ill health, due to factors such as emotional strain and lack of time to deal with medical problems. The Department of Health is drawing up plans to improve support for carers but some plans, such as asking gap year students to volunteer as carers, have been greeted with scepticism. [The Guardian, 21 November ] Researchers from the Carlo Besta Neurological Institute in Milan have cultured and transplanted adult muscle cells into rats with spinal injuries where they differentiated successfully into astrocytes and neurons. Dr Giulio Alessangri who led the study commented: "Adult muscle may therefore be a tissue source of the isolation of stem cells for development of cell-based therapies for human myogenic and neurogenic diseases." [Medical News Today, 21 November ] A British doctor has admitted that she arranged an abortion for a woman who was 31-weeks pregnant at a Spanish clinic. Dr Saroj Adlakha, who has worked in an abortion clinic and acted as a medical officer for the Family Planning Association, said of the Ginemedex clinic: "They write down, and they tell you [that they will do this] that she is 22 weeks pregnant and there is a physical abnormality." She was secretly recorded lying to a hospital, claiming that her patients was 'in severe pain' so as to obtain a scan for use by the Spanish clinic. John Reid the Health Secretary said that investigations would be extended to cover these new revelations. [The Telegraph, 21 November ] A doctor in the Netherlands has lost his appeal against a murder charge, the British Medical Journal reports. The Supreme Court ruled that giving a patient 50mg of the anaesthetic alcuronium chloride could not be regarded as palliative care or euthanasia as the patient had not requested to die. The doctor concerned, Wilfred van Oijen, appeared on a euthanasia documentary in 1994. In a separate case, a doctor was acquitted of murder after he administered increasing doses of morphine to a man who had suffered a severe stroke. [BMJ, 20 November ] Brazilian doctors are to begin clinical trials of a new adult stem cell therapy on 15 patients who have suffered strokes. The therapy involves infusing bone marrow stem cells into the brain and has already been tried with some signs of success on a 54-year-old woman. [Reuters, 19 November ] The Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee are supporting Senator Arlen Specter for chairman when Congress convenes in the New Year. Specter has a pro-abortion record and has been opposed by many pro-life groups. However, he has said: "I have no reason to believe that I'll be unable to support any individual President Bush finds worthy of nomination. I believe I can help the President get his nominees approved." [National Right to Life Committee, 20 November ] A man who admitted smothering his brain-damaged baby daughter to death has been acquitted of murder by a New Zealand court. Family Life International released a statement commenting: "The baby girl involved has had her life taken from her yet it seems that her life was not important enough to warrant a guilty conviction for the minimum sentence of her manslaughter... If the child had not been diagnosed with brain damage then it is hard to believe that her father would have been found not guilty of her death." [CWNews, 19 November ] The New Zealand Catholic Bishops' Conference affirmed the human right to life but stressed that the killing did not constitute euthanasia. John Kleinsman, a spokesman for an agency of the bishops' conference, said: "The man's lawyer, the judge's comments, and the jury's verdict have clearly established that there was a lack of intent to kill the baby in the Nelson case, which is not the same as the intentional killing which takes place in a euthanasia scenario." [Zenit, 21 November ] US abortionists have criticised new RU-486 safety warnings, stating that surgical abortion is riskier than chemical abortion. Dr Vanessa Cullins of Planned Parenthood in Manhattan described the abortion pill as 'a very attractive option' but pro-life groups warned of the emotional consequences of RU-486. Lorraine Gariboldi of Life Centre of Long Island said: "They [women] become the abortionist and see the product of their act, and it's an image in their brain they will never forget." [New York Post, 21 November ] A bill passed by Congress last week will block federal funding to agencies that discriminate against health care providers and agencies who object to providing abortions. Rep. David Weldon who sponsored the amendment, described it as a provision 'to protect health care entities from discrimination because they choose not to provide abortion services' whilst opponents called it a 'domestic gag rule.' [The Guardian, 21 November ]

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