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Defending life from the moment of conception

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5 December 2005

5 December 2005

5 December 2005 The mother of a baby who died after doctors were legally permitted to withhold life-saving treatment if his condition deteriorated is to sue the Alder Hey hospital.

Luke Winston-Jones, who had Edwards Syndrome, died aged 10 months after suffering a cardiac arrest.

His mother said: "I believe Luke might still be alive today if the doctors at Alder Hey had made an effort to resuscitate him. This isn't about the money, it's about getting justice for my son."

[Liverpool Daily Post, 5 December ] Fertility experts are to recommend to the Scottish Executive that obese women should be refused IVF treatment on the National Health Service. Dr Mark Hamilton who chairs the advisory group said: "The heavier a woman is, the less likely IVF is to be successful and there are also safety issues for the baby and mother."

[The Scotsman, 5 December ] An academic from the University of Toulouse believes that sex selective abortion in China could produce a generation of sexually frustrated bachelors. Paul Seabright, a professor of economics, is to give the Royal Economic Society's annual public lecture in Edinburgh this week.

He said: "In the next 30 years the surplus of essentially unmarriagable males are going to be the ones at the bottom of the heap. They'll have little education, they'll have poor economic prospects and they'll be sexually frustrated and violent."He added: "I'd like to make a small bet that in 30 years time there will be more terrorist incidents in China than probably almost anywhere else, because of increased competition."

[Sunday Herald, 4 December ] Pope Benedict XVI affirmed the dignity of the human person in an address to pilgrims in St Peter's Square on Sunday.

Referring to the 30th anniversary of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Disabled Persons which will take place on 9 December, he said: "I invite each one to work increasingly in favour of disabled persons in society, in the working world, as well as in the Christian community, remembering that every human life is worthy of respect and must be protected from conception until its natural end."

[Zenit, 4 December ] An 11-year-old child is at the centre of a right-to-life legal battle after an alleged beating left her in what is believed to be a persistent vegetative state. Haleigh Avrett from Massachusetts is attached to a ventilator and is receiving tube feeding. Haleigh's stepfather, who is accused of beating her and may be charged with murder if she dies, opposes a ruling by a juvenile court that her life support should be withdrawn.

[The Guardian, 5 December ] Dr Peter Singer, the Princeton bioethicist who advocates abortion up to birth, infanticide and euthanasia of elderly and disabled persons, has claimed that belief in the value of human life from conception to natural death will be confined to 'a rump of hard-core, know-nothing religious fundamentalists' by 2040. Dr Singer made his comments in the September/October edition of the Foreign Policy journal. [, 2 December ]

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