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Defending life
from conception to natural death


News, 29 October 2004

29 October 2004

29 October 2004 The British Medical Association has reiterated its opposition to active euthanasia to a House of Lords select committee on Lord Joffe's Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill. Dr Michael Wilks, chairman of the BMA's medical ethics committee said: "This legislation would create a different relationship between doctor and patient and, once established, could have unpredictable consequences." He added: "It is difficult to create a law that delivers a right to die without trespassing on the rights of vulnerable people who have not declared a wish to die." However, Dr Wilks said that he personally believed that "some form of assisted death legislation is inevitable." [British Medical Journal, 30 October ] Anthony Ozimic, SPUC political secretary, commented: "Although we welcome the BMA's continuing opposition to 'active' euthanasia, we call upon the BMA to make its position on euthanasia consistent by reversing its support for the Mental Capacity Bill, which will extend the practice of 'passive' euthanasia." Researchers from Michigan State University in East Lansing have found that analysing the umbilical cord blood of newborn babies can predict future risk of allergies and asthma. 1358 children were involved in the study, 20% of whom had allergies by the age of four, 27% by the age of 10. [Reuters, 28 October ] Pope John Paul II has spoken out regarding the crisis over Rocco Buttiglione, the candidate for European Commissioner for Justice. In a meeting with Romano Prodi, the retiring Commission President, the Pope said: "I hope that the difficulties that have surfaced these days regarding the new commission can find a solution of reciprocal respect for all of the positions put forward." [, 29 October ] John Kerry's statements about stem cell research have been questioned by two leading newspapers. Kerry has claimed that President Bush has banned stem cell research, when he has in fact released $190 million in federal funding for adult stem cell research, an area of science that has produced over 140 treatments. The Washington Post also questioned the comments of Kerry's running mate John Edwards, who suggested that a change in policy would allow people in Christopher Reeve's position to walk again. The Washington Post editorial commented: "Stem cells are still an unknown quantity: There is certainly no proof that more research on them will ever help people like Mr Reeve to walk." An article in the New York Times stated: "So far, there has not even been successful treatment in mice, and no specific help for humans is on the horizon." [, 28 October ] Cardinal Ratzinger has described human cloning as 'a more dangerous threat than weapons of mass destruction.' During a debate with Ernesto Galli della Loggia, a professor and writer for Corriere della Sera, Cardinal Ratzinger stated: "Man is capable of producing another man in the laboratory who, therefore, is no longer a gift of God or of nature. He can be fabricated and, just as he can be fabricated, he can be destroyed." [Zenit, 27 October ] Dr Ellie Lee, a pro-abortion campaigner who believes in infanticide has dismissed 4-D ultrasound images of unborn babies as 'damaging.' In a letter to the Guardian newspaper, Dr Lee claimed: "They [scientists] know that a foetus is not sentient, even at late gestational stages, and so cannot smile, laugh, cry or feel pain." [The Guardian, 29 October ] In August 2000, a pro-abortion professor, Vivette Glover suggested that anaesthesia should be used during abortions on unborn babies as early as 17 weeks because 'between 17 and 26 weeks it is increasingly possible that it starts to feel something.' [SPUC News, 29 August ]

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