"What her assailant was unable to complete has now been completed by people in authority"
5 August 2005
Right to Life Australia has criticised a decision to remove the feeding tube of a severely brain-injured woman, who has died ten days later.
Maria Korp, 50, was strangled and left in the boot of a car by her husband's lover six months ago. She was left in the car boot for five days.
Mrs Korp's legal guardian claimed that she died peacefully and that her death was "because of her injuries", but Margaret Tighe of Right to Life Australia stated: "I acknowledge that Mrs Korp was very seriously injured and unlikely to recover from her injuries, but there is no doubt a decision was made 10 days ago to deliberately end her life.
"We are maintaining that what her assailant was unable to complete has now been completed by people in authority." [Reuters, 5 August]
Research conducted at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne suggests that pregnant women with low levels of folate (also known as folic acid) are more likely to have babies of low birth weight. Women are already advised to take folic acid before conception and during the early months of pregnancy to reduce the risk of neural tube defects but this is the first time low levels of folate have been linked to low birth weight, which affects 7% of all babies born in the UK. Smoking is also believed to reduce folate levels in pregnant women. [BBC, 4 August]
The bioethics committee of the Korean Catholic Bishops Conference has expressed concerns about the cloning of a dog at Seoul National University, fearing that it may increase the possibility of cloning humans. Lee Chang-Young, a member of the committee, urged Dr Woo-Suk Hwang 'to focus on stem cell research rather than embryonic studies that involve human eggs' but Dr Hwang apparently denied that somatic nuclear transfer constitutes cloning. [Cathnews, 5 August]
In the US, the Knights of Columbus, the world's largest lay Catholic organisation, have adopted a resolution stating that they "will never consider Roe v Wade to be settled constitutional law." The 1973 Roe v Wade ruling found a right to abortion in the US constitution. During the Knights' convention, Carl Anderson, the leader of the organisation, said that by striking down laws against abortion, the Supreme Court had "seized for itself a power that no one has a right to exercise." [CWNews.com, 4 August]