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Defending life
from conception to natural death


Weekly Update: 1 - 7 December

7 December 2005

Catch up on all the big news stories from the past week - here are some you may have missed:

A UK doctor who was struck off for hastening a patient's death by removing his life support may face prosecution. The General Medical Council ruled last month that Dr Ann David took "active measures" to end the life of Robert Symons, 60, "prematurely" in the face of opposition from his wife and son. The Crown Prosecution Service has been handed the file and is considering the evidence. [Daily Mail, 6 December]

SPUC has sent a letter to parliamentarians praising the testimony of Gianna Jessen, the US abortion survivor due to speak in Parliament next week, but warning about the dangers of trying to reduce the upper time limit for abortion. Paul Tully, SPUC's General Secretary, warned that any lowering of the upper limit for abortion would not include babies with disabilities and would only be accepted in exchange for abortion on demand in early pregnancy. The full text of the letter can be read here.

The Supreme Court of Chile has upheld a ruling by a lower court that selling the morning after pill does not violate the country's pro-life laws. [Medical News Today, 1 December]

The father of a Californian teenager who died after taking the RU-486 abortion drug has urged the Australian government against legalising it. Monty Patterson wrote to the Australian Medical Association, expressing his hope that the planned vote would consider 'a woman's health, safety and welfare first.' Mr Patterson has sued the drug manufacturers who claim that there is no evidence that Mifeprex caused the deaths of four Californian women. [Mercury News, 30 November]

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]

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]

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