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Defending life from the moment of conception

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Botched abortion doctor struck off

10 October 2006

A doctor convicted of performing a botched illegal abortion has been deregistered by the New South Wales Medical Tribunal. Suman Sood is awaiting sentence after the woman whom she administered drugs to gave birth in a toilet at 23 weeks in May 2002. The hearing, held on Friday, heard evidence of 11 complaints over the treatment of five patients, including allegations that she perforated two women's uteri. The Tribunal banned her from reapplying for registration for 10 years. [Sydney Morning Herald, 6 October]

A Catholic school teacher who was sacked for undergoing IVF accused her bosses of being naïve if they were unaware of other employees receiving similar treatment, according to the Appleton, Wisconsin, Post Crescent. Kelly Romenesko, 37, was giving evidence at an appeal hearing after the state's equal rights department upheld the right of the ACES/Xavier school system to dismiss her for undergoing IVF in 2004. Romenesko, who taught French at St. Joseph Middle School and Xavier High School, is arguing that she was unfairly discriminated against because of her pregnancy and gender. [Post Crescent, 4 October]

Christian doctors in Spain have said they "do not want to be executioners" and that euthanaisa is outside the provision of their profession. The statement by the president of the Association of Christian Doctors of Catalonia warned Catalonia's Consultative Bioethics Committee that the acceptance of the first case of euthanasia "will produce a cascade which will include the handicapped, the demented and the elderly." Ferran García-Fària said a person's dignity always has an "absolute intrinsic value". [Zenit, 6 October]

Pregnant women may be given routine vaccinations against flu from next year in a bid to protect them and their babies from infection. Ministers are considering the proposal by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, which is also looking into giving the flu jab to millions of children from three months old. Experts fear women and young children may be in danger during a pandemic if they are not protected. [Yorkshire Post, 7 October]

Woman undergoing IVF treatment are having their health endangered by the overuse of unregulated drugs. The head of medicine at St George's Hospital in London said many clinics were putting would-be mothers at risk by using high doses of hormones to stimulate egg production and steroids to aid the implantation of embryos. Geeta Nargund said: "This is the only area of medicine where drug dosages are not regulated, and that's wrong. We have recommended doses but they are not binding and some clinics are exceeding these levels." [Independent on Sunday, 8 October]

IVF treatment given to women wanting to become mothers without a partner has more than doubled in the last five years. Figures revealed by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) also reveal that since 2001, the number of IVF cycles given to lesbian couples has risen fourfold. The Government intends to scrap the section of the HFEA Act 1990, which requires the need for a father because of fears over discrimination. [Sunday Telegraph, 8 October]

A senior Cardinal has said that family life is under attack by "direct denial, if not mockery, ridicule, and scorn." Cardinal Jorge Mejia, former archivist and librarian of the Catholic Church, identified same sex unions, sex change operations, in vitro fertilization, as well as the dehumanization of the human embryo, were the main reasons for a modern-day attack on the family. [Catholic News Agency, 9 October] Meanwhile, Archbishop Raymond Burke, of St Louis, USA, said he was "deeply concerned for all involved in the evils of human cloning and the destruction of the human embryo to harvest its stem cells. The woman who subjects herself to the harvesting of her eggs for human cloning participates in a grave moral evil, the artificial generation of human life," he said. [St Louis Review, 6 October]

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