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Defending life
from conception to natural death


News, 16 September 2004

16 September 2004

16 September 2004 The National Chaplain to the Guild of Catholic Doctors has warned that the Mental Capacity Bill will 'overturn a traditional principle of medical ethics.' Fr Hugh MacKenzie wrote in a letter to the Daily Telegraph: "Legalising third-party decisions that allow death without medical inevitability is to introduce involuntary euthanasia into the statute books." [The Telegraph, 16 September ] Canadian researchers are hoping to reduce the failure rate for hip replacements and remove the need for repeat replacements by developing a stem cell therapy to create 'living glue' for new joints. Scientists at the University of British Columbia and Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute aim to use cells extracted from the patient's own bone marrow to regenerate bone cells that will help to secure artificial joints. [Medical News Today, 16 September ] The use of adult-sourced stem cells is an ethical and in practical applications, more advanced, alternative to destroying embryos to obtain stem cells. One of the judges on the panel that threw out Norma McCorvey's bid to re-open the Roe v. Wade case has caused a stir by attacking the Roe v. Wade ruling. Edith H. Jones described the legal decision that legalised abortion in the US as an 'exercise in raw judicial power', writing that Ms McCorvey's evidence "goes to the heart of the balance Roe struck between the choice of a mother and the life of her unborn child." She added: "If courts were to delve into the facts underlying Roe's balancing scheme with present-day knowledge, they might conclude that the woman's 'choice' is far more risky and less beneficial, and the child's sentience far more advanced, than the Roe Court knew." [Houston Chronicle, 15 September ] The UN Population Fund has released its annual State of the World Population report. In spite of the alarmingly low birth rate in many countries, UNFPA continues to claim that access to abortion and contraception is "an essential condition for meeting the UN's Millennium Development Goals to reduce global poverty by 2015." [, 15 September ] The UK's National Service Framework has launched a strategy to overhaul children's health and social care, which could include using cartoon characters to give children sexual health advice. Stephen Ladyman the community health minister said: "We could use Nikelodeon or the cartoon channel to pass on important information. Why shouldn't [cult cartoon character] Spongebob Squarepants start delivering some health messages?" [The Guardian, 15 September ]

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