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Defending life from the moment of conception

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23 June 2005

23 June 2005

23 June 2005 Scientists from Sungkyunkwan University in South Korea have warned that women who use donated eggs to become pregnant through IVF are far more likely to suffer serious medical complications.

Women who use donated eggs are more likely to miscarry, suffer high blood pressure and pre-eclampsia, and are five times more susceptible to pregnancy-related hypertension.

[The Guardian, 22 June ] The American Medical Association has warned against the use of ultrasound scans for non-medical purposes, Reuters reports.

Ultrasound portraits of unborn babies are growing in popularity in the US but the Food and Drug Administration states that it constitutes an unapproved use of medical technology.

Dr Marilyn Laughead of the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine said: "Although there is no confirmed biological effect of ultrasound known today, there may be some effect identified in the future. For that reason ultrasound should be used only for medically indicated purposes."

[Reuters, 21 June ] Two studies presented at the European Society for Human Reproduction and Development meeting in Copenhagen have suggested that transferring a single embryo into the womb during IVF is safer than transferring several at a time.

The multiple birth rate is much higher in IVF than for natural conceptions, bringing with it increased risks to both mothers and babies.

The studies also found that singletons born after other IVF embryos fail to implant or are miscarried later on in pregnancy faced health complications such as low birth weight and premature birth.

[New Scientist, 21 June ] Terri Schiavo's widower has had her place of burial marked by a plaque reading 'I kept my promise.'

The plaque also records her date of death as the day on 1990 when she collapsed, describing the day in 2005 when she actually died as when she was 'at peace'.

Terri's brother, Bobby Schindler commented: "This clearly illustrates the spiteful lengths to which Michael Schiavo will go in order to purposely hurt those that loved Terri unconditionally - her family. The intention of this inscription was to be hurtful, and had absolutely nothing to do with Terri, but only to cause my parents additional pain over the loss of their child."

A Nobel Prize-nominated physician who examined Terri for over 10 hours has denied that she was blind and unaware, arguing that the areas of the brain that deal with awareness and cognition were largely intact.

Dr William Hammesfahr also indicated that the autopsy did not check for all types of physical abuse and that neck injuries were present.

[, 20 and 21 June ] Cardinal Jaime Sin, the former Archbishop of Manila, has died at the age of 76.

Cardinal Sin has been remembered for his part in toppling the Marcos Government and for his outspoken defence of the sanctity of human life.

Lito Atienza, the Mayor of Manila said: "Cardinal Jaime Sin has left a big void in our national life, specifically in the pro-life and pro-family movement." He added: "We all must uphold the sanctity of life, above all, and preserve the family as the vanguard of society." [, 21 June ]

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