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Defending life
from conception to natural death


17 May 2005

17 May 2005

17 May 2005 The Swiss agency, Dignitas, which helps people commit suicide, is to film the deaths of its clients, the Guardian reports.

Dignitas was apparently advised by lawyers to film deaths to avoid the possibility of prosecution. Some 35 people from Britain and Ireland have died in Zurich with the assistance of Dignitas.

[The Guardian, 15 May ] An organisation called Women's Link Worldwide (WLW) has instigated a legal battle in Colombia's Constitutional Court, to try to decriminalise abortion.

WLW is funded by the UN Population Fund and the European Commission and is claiming that Colombia's abortion ban 'violates obligations obtained by ratifying international human rights treaties' including the Committee on the Rights of the Child and the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

WLW argues on its website that the case 'will hopefully provide an example for NGOs around the world on engaging in the courts.'

[C-Fam, 13 May ] Israeli scientists have coaxed liver cells into producing and storing insulin using a gene found in the pancreas.

Dr Sarah Ferber from the Endocrine Institute in Tel-Hashomer, Israel, said that the experiment, carried out successfully on diabetic mice, offered the possibility of diabetic patients being treated with their own liver cells in the future.

However, she warned that experiments on humans would not begin for several years.

[Reuters, 16 May ] Approximately 150 pro-life demonstrators gathered outside the home of the President of the University of Western Ontario, protesting against a decision by the university to honour an abortionist.

A spokesman for UWO said that the protest would not change their plans.

An appeal to the president of a US Catholic university not to accept an honorary degree from UWO has been unsuccessful.

[The London Free Press, 15 May ] The family of Terri Schiavo have called upon a woman whose husband is in a similar situation to refrain from ordering the removal of his feeding tube.

Scott Thomas suffered a brain injury last year which left him severely incapacitated, though his mother says that he has retained some speech and can use hand signals to communicate.

Eliza, his wife, wants him to be moved to a hospice and to have his tube feeding withdrawn.

The cause of injury is in dispute, with Eliza claiming that he fell and hit his head and his mother saying that he has communicated that she struck him over the head.

[, 15 May ] The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly has published a damning article by Dr Joel Brind explaining the ways in which scientists who deny a link between abortion and breast cancer have deceived the public.

Karen Malec, president of the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer, said: "The US National Cancer Institute should be criminally investigated."

Five months ago, the Ethics and Medics journal criticised scientists for failing to 'speak out against the shoddy research that is being advanced by those who deny the abortion-breast cancer link. [, 16 May ]

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