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Defending life from the moment of conception

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24 September 2004

24 September 2004

24 September 2004 Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver has described Catholic politicians who try to separate their personal convictions from their political duties as doing 'a deal with the devil'. Quoting Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the Lutheran pastor and theologian, Archbishop Chaput argued that abortion is not a 'Catholic' issue and that it is a simple matter of human rights 'reinforced by the irrefutable scientific fact that life begins at conception.' [Denver Catholic Register, 22 September ] A Guernsey doctor has spoken out against euthanasia, saying that it will destroy the doctor-patient relationship. Dr Susan Wilson said of a motion to permit some forms of euthanasia: "Up until this time a doctor's job has been to cure and to care for a patient. In legislating for a death and making death a treatment option, there is going to be such a fundamental change in our society I don't think that people can believe what could happen." [BBC, 23 September ] The death of a 92-year-old woman from an Edinburgh nursing home is being investigated by police, the Scotsman reports. Isabella McGregor died 24 hours after a nurse was called to the Ashley Court Nursing Home and discovered that the woman had bed sores all over her body. A spokeswoman for Age Concern said: "Any case where there is a suggestion of neglect should be seen as criminal. Where somebody ends up with bedsores, it should not be tolerated. It's unacceptable and extremely shocking, particularly if the person concerned is in a care home." [The Scotsman, 23 September ] A Belgian woman has given birth to a baby girl after a successful ovarian transplant. Ouarda Touirat banked her ovarian tissue before starting chemotherapy, then had it transplanted back into her pelvis. She conceived naturally 11 months later. The procedure could offer a natural alternative to IVF for women rendered infertile by chemotherapy but could also be used to beat the menopause. [Sky News, 24 September ] The Catholic Church in Scotland has condemned sex education plans for primary schools as "pornographic" after reviewing books and videos depicting childbirth, couples having sex and cartoon images of different sexual positions. Jack McConnell, Scotland's First Minister, claimed that the Church's criticisms were the result of a misunderstanding. [The Telegraph, 24 September ] Philadelphia police are investigating after six patients at a nursing home had their feeding tubes cut. The leaking tubes were discovered between 15 and 90 minutes later and none of the patients were harmed. Ten staff members are being questioned. [The Guardian, 24 September ] The Florida Supreme Court has struck down the law keeping Terri Schiavo alive as unconstitutional, Catholic World News reports. Terri Schiavo has been at the centre of a bitter legal battle after she collapsed 11 years ago and suffered severe brain damage. Her husband has fought to have her tube-feeding removed whilst her family have repeatedly resisted attempts to have her starved to death, saying that she could improve with aggressive therapy. The judges said: "Our hearts can fully comprehend the grief so fully demonstrated by Theresa's family members on this record. But our hearts are not the law." [CWNews, 23 September ] The International Federation of Centres and Institutes of Bioethics of Personalist Inspiration (IFCIBPI), a group of 35 centres around the world, has condemned Dutch plans to allow child euthanasia as 'an inconceivable injustice'. The IFCIBPI also appealed to the European Union to protect human rights. [Zenit, 23 September ] A student has been charged with arson, three counts of attempted murder and attempting to destroy the life of an unborn child after he set fire to his girlfriend's family home. Martin Grew, 19, is alleged to have wanted his ex-girlfriend to abort their child but she refused. He allegedly set fire to the house where she and her parents were living but they were rescued by firefighters. Mr Justice Butterfield warned Mr Grew that he faced 'a substantial prison term.' [Camberly News and Mail, 23 September ]

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