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Defending life from the moment of conception

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Nurse admits to killing dozens of patients

8 February 2006

A nurse on trial in Germany has admitted killing a number of patients in his care and has said that his actions were motivated by compassion but 'cannot be justified under any circumstances.' Stephan Letter, 27, faces 16 murder counts which he has asked to be converted to manslaughter charges, 12 manslaughter counts, two cases of attempted manslaughter and one killing on demand. He claims that he initially confessed to crimes he did not commit but that in other cases he "took the rest of [the patients'] lives away without being asked, and took away what human dignity they had left." [BBC, 7 February]

Police are to question a Birmingham journalist who recently revealed that she had killed her aunt during the sixties using morphine. Maureen Messent said that she has never regretted killing Eileen O'Sullivan when she was in the final stages of lung cancer. [BBC, 8 February]

The Australian Finance Minister has spoken about how his pro-life views were shaped by his ex-girlfriend's decision to abort their unborn child. Senator Nick Minchin, who has been married for twenty years, made his comments during a heated debate about the RU-486 abortion drug. Tony Abbott, Health Minister and practising Catholic, whose right to veto the legalisation of RU-486 is currently being debated, criticised the 'nasty element of religious stereotyping' that had been evident during the campaign. [The Age, 9 February]

A symposium is to be held at the Vatican on 27-28 February, organised by the Pontifical Academy for Life. Theologians, bioethicists, scientists and philosophers will discuss the human embryo prior to implantation. [Zenit, 7 February]

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