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Defending life from the moment of conception

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"I said to the nurse, please feed her"

9 January 2006

A journalist whose elderly mother-in-law became seriously malnourished whilst in hospital has written about her experience in a hard-hitting article in the Guardian newspaper. The 79-year-old was admitted to hospital after she broke her hip and subsequently contracted a hospital bug. Her family was forced to bring her food and eventually had her moved to a private hospital where she later recovered. The article also covers the case of Sarah Pringle, who lost three and a half stone whilst in hospital due to malnutrition and Charles Bales who suffered from Dementia and became severely malnourished whilst living at a care home. [The Guardian, 7 January]

A study published in the Lancet has warned that sex selective abortion in India has resulted in the deaths of 10 million baby girls in 20 years. The number of girls being born in India continues to fall and sex selective abortion is thought to account for some 500,000 'missing' girls every year. [The Independent, 9 January]

The UK's National Health Service has admitted that girls as young as 13 are being given birth control injections, implants and the morning after pill. Figures for five primary care trusts released under the Freedom of Information Act suggest that last year around 400 13-year-olds received injections or implants and some 2,400 were given the morning after pill. [The Times of London, 9 January]

IVF specialists are the wealthiest members of the medical profession in Britain, according to figures reported in the Independent newspaper, earning more than plastic surgeons. Dr Mohamed Taranissi, who created Britain's first designer baby, has an estimated personal fortune of £20 million. Professor Ian Craft, whose patients have included a 60-year-old woman and a 57-year-old who gave birth to her own grandchild, has earned over £9 million. [The Independent, 9 January]

A Nottingham IVF specialist has predicted that it could become commonplace for women to put off having children until their forties if egg freezing becomes efficient and routine. Dr Simon Fishel was speaking prior to a fertility conference in London. [This is Nottingham, 6 January]

The Catholic Archbishop of Kingston has criticised proposals to legalise abortion in Jamaica. The Medical Association of Jamaica has backed changes to the law, claiming that it will reduce maternal mortality. However, in an interview with the Sunday Observer, Archbishop Lawrence Burke said: "If a person wants an illegal abortion, it is public knowledge where they are done. So prosecute those people and that will decrease the maternal mortality rate." [Medindia, 8 January]

The Knights of Columbus Canadian Association has written to its 239,000 members urging them to vote pro-life in federal elections. The letter, which reminds members of their duty to vote after ascertaining the stance of their candidates, reads: "Political leaders, using all their personal convictions must truly serve the common good by crafting legislation respecting freedom of religion and conscience." [CWNews, 6 January]

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