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Defending life
from conception to natural death


11 October 2005

11 October 2005

11 October 2005 The House of Lords has debated the select committee report on assisted suicide and voluntary euthanasia, the Telegraph reports.

Lord Joffe, a euthanasia campaigner who introduced a Patient (Assisted Dying) Bill into the Lords two years ago, said he will introduce a recast version of the Bill designed to permit assisted suicide but not active euthanasia.

[The Telegraph, 11 October ] Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor is one of a number of UK religious leaders to speak out against the assisted dying bill, warning that the 'right to die can become a duty to die.'

He also spoke about the development of hospice care and the duty of the law to protect life.

[Zenit, 10 October ] Further information on SPUC's campaign against the Joffe Bill can be found here The Swiss suicide clinic Dignitas is to open an office in the UK, the Independent reports.

Dignitas has helped 37 Britons to kill themselves at its clinic in Zurich and claims to have hundreds of UK-based members. However, it is illegal in the UK to help a person to commit suicide.

[The Independent, 11 October ] Scientists at the Children's Hospital Boston have reported using cells taken from the amniotic fluid around fetal lambs to repair their defective windpipes while still in utero.

Dr Dario Fauza argues that amniotic fluid is a precious source of stem cells that could also be stored for later use.

His team aims eventually to be able to repair rare tracheal defects in babies in utero to avoid the complications of post-birth surgery.

[Medical News Today, 11 October ] The family of a 21-year-old student from the US who died after taking the RU 486 abortion drug are suing the manufacturer.

Hoa Thuy Tran is one of five women in California to die after taking RU 486, which she obtained from a Planned Parenthood facility. Mark Crawford, the legal representative of Ms Tran's husband and five-year-old daughter said: "The main point is that she was not given any warnings of any risk of death, of any risk of infection, of any risk of septic shock. There had been two prior deaths [by then]... There was a risk out there."

[, 10 October ] The Catholic Archdiocese of Seoul is to invest 10 billion won (US$9.6 million) into adult stem cell research, LifeSiteNews reports. Bishop Yeom Su-jeong who heads the funding committee responsible for the donation said: "Keeping and saving lives... is the mission of the times that our Church must accomplish in the face of whatever difficulties." [, 7 October ]

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