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Defending life from the moment of conception

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News, news, 21 September 2004

21 September 2004

news, 21 September 2004 A Guernsey politician has called for a referendum on euthanasia after Guernsey's Policy Committee decided not to change the law, which bans euthanasia in the island. Lyndon Trott admitted however that the vote might not be legally binding. [BBC, 21 September ] A couple in China have been fined 780,000 yuan (£52,760) and had their house sealed off by the authorities for breaking the one-child policy. The couple had their first child in 1997, followed by twins last year. The house has had a white paper with the local court stamp on it pasted across the door, which will remain until the fine is paid. [Reuters, 20 September ] An abortifacient contraceptive patch used by thousands of women in the UK has been linked to 17 deaths, The Daily Mail reports. Other women using the Ortho Evra patch suffered complications including blood clots, according to the Food and Drug Administration. Mona Terrell, a spokeswoman for Johnson and Johnson, the pharmaceutical corporation that introduced the patch into the UK last year, stated that the patch was no riskier than the Pill. The Family Planning Association insisted that the patch was safe. [The Daily Mail, 20 September ] A BBC online debate on whether doctors should treat very premature babies has received a strongly pro-life response, largely from the parents of babies who were born very premature or from adults who were themselves born premature. The Talking Point was based on a BBC Panorama programme to be screened tomorrow evening which includes a study showing that 40% of premature babies go on to develop learning difficulties. [BBC, 21 September ] The Director of medical law at Kent University has claimed that an estimated 20,000 terminally ill people are 'helped to die' by doctors in the UK every year. Dr Hazel Biggs, made her calculations based on data from countries such as the Netherlands and Australia. It has been suggested that the UK's ageing population is causing some doctors to hasten the deaths of patients by increasing drug doses. [The Scotsman, 20 September ] Archbishop Peter Smith, Chairman of the Department of Christian Responsibility and Citizenship, of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, said in a statement: "I look forward to reading the evidence submitted by Dr Biggs to the House of Lords Select Committee. It would be very alarming indeed if doctors in the UK are genuinely assisting suicides, but we need to be very careful before rushing to judgement about what exactly is happening." He added: "There are some in the pro-euthanasia lobby who deliberately seek to imply that the law is unclear and being widely flouted. In fact the law is clear, and should not be changed. The committee needs to find out whether or not the law is indeed being widely flouted. If it really is, then that is a matter of grave concern to us all. People who are terminally ill need to be cared for, not killed." [Catholic Communications Service, 21 September ]

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