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Defending life from the moment of conception

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20 January 2005

20 January 2005

20 January 2005 Norma McCorvey, formerly known as 'Jane Roe' of Roe v. Wade has asked the Supreme Court to overturn the case that legalised abortion in the US.

Ms McCorvey, who regrets her role in the case and now campaigns against abortion, stated in a petition to the court that the case should be heard in light of evidence that abortion harms women.

[USA Today, 19 January ] The Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams has warned against the legalisation of euthanasia in an article published in The Times newspaper.

The article looks at the arguments for and against euthanasia, in particular the reasons for religious opposition to euthanasia. Archbishop Williams concludes by warning: "The right to be spared avoidable pain is beyond debate -- as is the right to say yes or no to certain treatments in the knowledge of factors such as these.

But once that has mutated into a right to expect assistance in dying, the responsibility of others is involved, as is the whole question of what society is saying about life and its possible meanings.

Legislation ignores these issues to its cost." [The Times of London, 20 January ]

A man who watched his terminally ill sister's 26-hour suicide attempt will not face charges, The Telegraph reports.

Sue Lawson, who had multiple sclerosis, repeatedly tried to suffocate herself with a plastic bag, dying at the eight attempt in the presence of her brother, Graham. After she died, he called her doctor and was subsequently arrested.

Mr Lawson said: "I don't think I should have stopped her, because of her determination and her bravery. This seems wrong to say, but it was quite an amazing thing to see." Elspeth Chowdharay-Best of the anti-euthanasia group Alert said: "I think this man ought to face prosecution but there also needs to be much better information about disease so that people can be helped and don't despair."

[The Telegraph, 20 January ] The chairwoman of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority said yesterday that applications for pre-implantation genetic diagnosis need not always go through the full licensing process.

Suzi Leather said that this would be the case when clinics have expertise in screening for one condition and apply to screen for others.

[The Guardian, 20 January ] Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis involves the screening out and destruction of IVF embryos found to have genetic abnormalities.

A man charged with the murder of his newly married daughter is attempting to starve himself to death and has asked for doctors not to attempt to force feed him.

Terry Rodgers' barrister told Nottingham Crown Court: "The prison doctor has invited him to sign an advance directive to indicate that as his condition worsens he does not want medical intervention of any kind.

In essence he wishes to die and to die as quietly as possible without interference." A psychiatrist is to determine whether Mr Rodgers is mentally competent to make such a decision.

[Mansfield Today, 19 January ] An African-American man is taking Planned Parenthood of Los Angeles to court, claiming that white female managers subjected him and other men to racist and sexist insults.

Andrew Jones was sacked by PPLA after questioning the organisation's financial management and is also suing for unlawful dismissal and failure to pay overtime.

Mr Jones pointed out that PPLA deliberately misguided the black community by pretending that an abortion facility they planned to open was not for abortion purposes, knowing that the community would not otherwise accept it.

Last year a group of black and Hispanic male workers complained about racial and sexual discrimination at PPLA. [Black Britain, 20 January ]


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