Hunger strike call for euthanasia criticised by disability group
4 August 2005
A 28-year-old woman who has a debilitating heart and lung condition is on hunger strike with the intention of starving herself to death, the Telegraph reports.
Kelly Taylor was on a waiting list for a heart and lung transplant for eight years before being removed two years ago by doctors who told her that transplant surgery would be too risky. She now believes that her life has become too restrictive for her to make any contribution to society and has called for euthanasia to be legalised. [Telegraph, 4 August]
The disability rights group No Less Human has criticised Kelly Taylor's call for euthanasia to be legalised. "Euthanasia is a despairing option to the challenges of disability, and making it legal would militate against positive approaches which can help people with disabling conditions to make the most of their lives," commented Alison Davis of NLH, who has several severe disabling conditions.
"Many more people would become victims if the right to life of people with disabilities were undermined in the way Mrs Taylor suggests. What suffering people really need is not euthanasia, but help to live with dignity, until they die naturally." [SPUC media release]
A 10-year study by India's Christian Medical Association has warned that unborn baby girls continue to be aborted at a high rate, causing a serious gender imbalance across the country. The study found that the number of girls born in Delhi hospitals was just 542 per 1000 boys if the parents first children was a girl and just 219 girls for every 1000 boys if the parents already had two girls. Joe Varghese of the Christian Medical Association warned that the mass killing of unborn baby girls would be 'disastrous for the sex composition of society.' [Reuters, 4 August]
A Belgian doctor has been accused of killing five patients at a nursing home in Oostende. The doctor claims that the patients, all of whom had dementia, were killed legally as euthanasia is permitted in Belgium but officials at the nursing home say that he did not have approval to kill the patients. [Irish Sun, 3 August]
Scientists at Seoul National University have successfully cloned a dog, the Guardian reports. Woo Suk Hwang, whose team claimed it produced the world's first cloned human embryo last year, published a paper in the journal Nature detailing the experiment. The team implanted over 1000 embryos, only three of which implanted successfully. One of the three miscarried, the other died of pneumonia after birth, leaving the third, named Snuppy, as the only surviving animal. [Guardian, 4 August]