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Defending life
from conception to natural death


6 May 2005

6 May 2005

6 May 2005 The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE), the UK Government's NHS watchdog, has said that patients can be denied drugs and treatment on grounds of age.

The NICE proposal states: "Where age is an indicator of benefit or risk, age discrimination is appropriate." The director-general of Age Concern responded: "These draft guidelines are muddled and if applied could be a real step backwards in the fight against ageism."

[The Independent, 6 May ] Researchers at the University of Tennessee have created human eggs from ovarian stem cells, BBC reports.

The study, published in Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology, suggests that the technique could be used to produce a limitless supply of eggs and would allow women to beat the menopause by up to 12 years. However, Dr Simon Fishel of Care Fertility in the UK warned that "this research is at a very early stage and needs to be confirmed."

[BBC, 4 May ] The case of a doctor in the Netherlands who assisted with the suicide of a patient suffering from Alzheimer's has been declared lawful, the British Medical Journal reports.

The Netherlands' assessment committee declared that there had been a 'well-considered and voluntary request' to die, even though the doctor who gave a second opinion did not believe that the patient was suffering unbearably and doubted the patient's competence to make a decision.

[British Medical Journal, 7 May ] The Governor of Florida has said that he will not contest a court ruling in favour of allowing a 13-year-old girl to obtain an abortion.

Jeb Bush said: "It's a tragedy that a 13-year-old girl would be in a vulnerable position where she could be made pregnant and it's a tragedy that her baby will be lost."

[ABC News, 5 May ] A fireman has begun speaking ten years after an accident left him severely brain damaged.

In 1995, the roof of a burning house collapsed on him, causing his brain to be starved of oxygen.

Last weekend he asked nursing home staff for his wife and spoke for 14 hours with members of his family, thinking he had only been unconscious for three months. [, 6 May ]

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