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Defending life
from conception to natural death


19 January 2005

19 January 2005

19 January 2005 SPUC has condemned a Government attempt to whitewash the Mental Capacity Bill by tabling amendments it falsely claims will prevent the Bill being used to kill patients through neglect.

Anthony Ozimic, SPUC's political secretary said: "The Government's new proposed amendments do not prevent the Bill's key mechanisms from being used and abused to kill vulnerable patients.

We call upon members of the House of Lords to reject the Government's amendments and insert truly anti-euthanasia amendments into the Bill during next week's Committee stage."

[SPUC press release, 19 January ] A representative of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales has given evidence to the House of Lords Select Committee considering Lord Joffe's euthanasia bill. Bishop Christopher Budd said in oral evidence: "We do not believe that killing someone, even when invited to do so is the hallmark of compassion." He added: "Law must always seek to protect the vulnerable.

The proposed change weakens this protection.

It will also act as a corrosive force in our society and gradually weaken the trust that is vital for patients, doctors, nursing and care staff and family members. Our experience of the abortion legislation has to be a cautionary tale."

[Catholic Communications Service, 18 January ] A library is being launched at a Berkshire school to provide teaching resources for personal health, social and citizenship education, BBC reports.

A council spokesman said: "By improving education we can teach young people to make informed choices." [BBC, 18 January ] Researchers at the pro-abortion Alan Guttmacher Institute have claimed that informing parents that their teenagers have requested contraception would do more harm than good.

The study of girls under the age of 18 visiting family planning centres claimed that 20% would have sex without contraception rather than speak to their parents, whilst seven percent would stop having sex altogether.

Pro-life groups have called the study biased as the Alan Guttmacher Institute is a Planned Parenthood think tank.

[, 18 January ] An inquest into the deaths of 11 elderly men at a Derby hospital has been told that they were deliberately starved to death.

The chairman of the inquest said that it would be 'totally unacceptable' if 'food and fluid was withdrawn at a time when they were perfectly capable of accepting it all because it was arbitrarily decided that it was time for them to die'.

However, Sir Richard Rougier added: "If it were to transpire that food and fluids were withdrawn in good faith and in the not unreasonable belief that it was in their best interests as the lesser of two evils, committing them to die in as much comfort and dignity as would be grossly unfair to record a verdict other than that of death by natural causes."

Dr Claire Royston pointed out that terminally ill patients are often left to die of starvation by having their feeding stopped.

[The Telegraph, 19 January ] Clinical trials involving the use of adult stem cells to treat spinal injury are expected to begin at the new Spinal Repair Unit at University College London (UCL) within three years.

Professor Geoffrey Raisman and his team have found that transplanting cells from the nasal cavity into the spinal cord of rats helped bridge gaps in damaged neural pathways.

Though he is keen not to raise false hopes in people suffering spinal injuries through accident or illness, Professor Raisman believes that it will eventually be possible to repair damage to the spinal cord using cells taken from the patient's own body.

[Medical News Today, 19 January ] A doctor's receptionist has been arrested for performing illegal abortions on three patients at the Pleasant Woman's Pavilion in New Jersey.

Dr Flavius Thompson was apparently unaware of Liza Berdiel's actions as she performed the procedures out-of-hours after he had left the office.

Marie Tasy, executive director of New Jersey Right to Life said: "This investigation exposes some of the many abuses that occur daily inside the so-called 'safe and legal' abortion industry."

[Newsday, 18 January ] A 54-year-old man accused of stabbing his pregnant girlfriend is to be charged with child destruction under the Infant Life (Preservation) Act of 1929. Anthony McCormack of Wirral, England, has been remanded in custody until 7 February.

[This is Wirral, 19 January ] Four men have been charged with hate crimes after vandalising a pro-life monument in California, reports.

The 3000 crosses, one for each abortion carried out every day in the US, were torn down and thrown into the road. [, 18 January ]

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