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Defending life
from conception to natural death


12 December 2005

12 December 2005

12 December 2005 A man has been cleared of murdering his disabled son, BBC reports. Andrew Wragg smothered his ten-year-old son Jacob who had Hunter Syndrome, then claimed that it was a mercy killing.

He admitted manslaughter claiming diminished responsibility, but the prosecution argued that it was a 'selfish killing' driven by his inability to cope with Jacob's care.

[BBC, 12 December ] The disgraced South Korean scientist Hwang Woo-suk has returned to his laboratory after his university agreed to have his research findings investigated. A South Korean news agency has questioned the authenticity of Hwang's cloning research but Hwang's team have pointed out that the work appeared in the journal Science and was scrutinised through the peer review system.

[Reuters, 12 December ] A Dutch court has sentenced a man to a year's imprisonment for helping a 25-year-old woman to obtain drugs to end her life.

Jan Hilarius founded the group De Einder that promotes assisted suicide and claims to have helped 350 people with information on suicide drugs.

The court expressed concern that the woman may not have been certain that she wanted to die and that the accused may have helped a woman to die who was really looking for medical help.

[, 11 December ] A woman has died after refusing cancer treatment for the sake of her unborn baby.

Bernadette Mimura was diagnosed with cancer one month into her pregnancy and accepted only a low dose of chemotherapy to suppress the cancer during the period of her pregnancy.

She died at a hospice shortly after the birth of her baby, Nathan, and will be buried in her native Philippines.

Nathan's father, Adam Taylor, said: "Being a Catholic, abortion was out of the question for her. It was a tough decision, but we could not give up on Nathan."

[The Telegraph, 10 December ] A UK peer has been given a lifetime achievement award as part of the national Charity Champion Awards 2005 for his involvement in the passing of the Mental Capacity Act.

Lord Carter of Devizes chaired the select committee on the draft Mental Capacity Bill. [This is Wiltshire, 8 December ] Alison Davis, co-ordinator of the disability rights' group within SPUC, No Less Human, commented: "This award is both ironic and offensive to disabled people. It is ironic because he is being rewarded for the supposed "achievement" of bringing to fruition The Mental Capacity Act. The Mental Capacity Act will result in profoundly disabled people being killed by the removal of their food and fluids. To dub this a "lifetime achievement" is offensive to disabled people and for all who care for and about them."

[SPUC source] The governor of Massachusetts announced last week that Catholic and other private hospitals will be obliged to dispense the abortion-inducing morning after pill to women who have been sexually assaulted.

Mitt Romney had previously said that hospitals had a right to refuse to dispense the drug on moral grounds but his legal counsel later concluded that a new state law overrules a previous law that protected private hospitals from being forced to provide contraception or abortion. [, 9 December ]




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