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500,000 elderly people 'victims of abuse in the UK'

9 February 2006

A debate in the House of Commons on Tuesday drew attention to reports claiming that up to 500,000 elderly people in the UK are victims of physical, psychological, financial or sexual abuse at any one time. Government ministers were urged to take action regarding widespread malnutrition in care homes. Paul Burstow MP also highlighed the problem of mismanaged medication, claiming that up to 22,233 elderly people may be on sedation without medical grounds. [UK Parliamentary debate, 7 February ]

The Australian Senate today voted 45-28 in favour of legislation that transfers authority over the legalisation of abortion pill RU-486 from the Health Minister to the Therapeutic Goods Administration, with Parliament having the final veto. The measure will now go to the House of Representatives, where Prime Minister John Howard has said that he will oppose it. The Australian Catholic Students Association, the Muslim Students Association of Australia and the Australian Fellowship of Evangelical Students had issued a joint statement opposing the legislation. [, 9 February, , 9 February]

A criminal law reform bill that included proposals to lower penalties for euthanasia has been rejected by the Czech Republic's Senate. The euthanasia clause, which was one of several reasons for the bill's failure, would have re-classified euthanasia as a crime distinct from murder and carrying a maximum sentence of six years' imprisonment. Various religious leaders had issued a joint statement in December condemning these proposals. 'Jews have their own experience of euthanasia from the Nazi period... It began with the sick, and ended with six million victims of the Holocaust,' said Rabbi Karel Sidon. [LifeNews.Com, 8 February]

The Senate State Affairs Committee of South Dakota has unanimously approved a proposed constitutional amendment which states that the State Constitution cannot be construed to contain a right to abortion. If passed by the Legislature, the proposed amendment would be put to public vote later this year. The adoption of such an amendment would mean that, should Roe v Wade be overturned and control of abortion legislation be returned to individual states, South Dakota courts would not be able to argue a constitutional right to abortion. Regulation of abortion would then remain under the control of the state Legislature. [Aberdeen News.Com 8 February]

The Central London FertilityCare Centre, which promotes natural fertility management, is holding a seminar in April on NaProTechnology and the Creighton Model. For further information, contact Nicole Syed at

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