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Defending life
from conception to natural death


weekly update, 1 to 9 August

9 August 2006

Weekly Update, 1 to 9 August A Scottish man suffering from a degenerative disease has again been refused an assurance that, when his condition deteriorates, doctors will give him artificial nutrition and hydration.

The European Court of Human Rights upheld the decision of the English Court of Appeal last year in the case of Mr Leslie Burke who has Friedrich's ataxia.

Mr Burke's condition causes lack of co-ordination, thus a loss of the ability to speak, but it does not interfere with mental faculties.

He said that he was extremely disappointed with the ruling.

[The Scotsman, 8 August ] Britain's embryo regulator has given permission for a couple to use their six frozen embryos in a surrogate motherhood arrangement overseas.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) granted the permission for Michelle Hickman and her husband Martin Hymers after they were unable to find a surrogate mother in Britain and the five year legal limit for storing frozen embryos was due to expire.

[Manchester Evening News, 2 Aug ] Schoolgirls in Norfolk are being given the abortion-inducing morning-after pill after lessons even if they are below the age of consent.

Pupils at two schools in Norwich and five others in Great Yarmouth are being given access to the pill by family planning workers.

Becky Oliver, lead officer at Norfolk's teenage pregnancy strategy unit, said: "This confidential service is available to young people in all years at the participating schools and has the full support of the schools management and governing bodies."

[Norwich Evening News, 8 August ] The world's first human embryo bank has been launched in the US allowing infertile couples to buy ready-made embryos matched to their requirements for around £5,000.

The embryos are created from eggs and sperm from two donors who have never met.

Couples can choose what eye and hair colour they would like their child to have. British women are expected to fly to the bank in Texas for treatment.

Pro-lifers said the move was an "absolute commercialisation of human life."

[The Daily Mail, 4 August ] Doctors in Buenos Aires, Argentina have decided not to perform an abortion on the 19 year old mentally impaired woman.

The ethics commission of the hospital where the abortion was due to be performed decided that the pregnancy was too far advanced and that the operation would now be an induced childbirth instead. [Buenos Aires Herald, 3 August ]

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