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Defending life from the moment of conception

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weekly update, 18 to 22 May

22 May 2007

weekly update, 18 to 22 May A survey of General Practitioners is being used by pro-euthanasia campaigners to call for physician assisted suicide to be legalised in Britain. A report in Pulse magazine states that 42% of the 309 doctors who took part in the survey said they would be prepared to help a terminally ill patient to commit suicide if it were legal, while 30% thought it should be made legal. Deborah Annetts of the euthanasia society Dignity in Dying criticised doctors organisations for opposing euthanasia. Our source does not say who conducted the poll, or how many doctors would be prepared to practise direct euthanasia. [Daily Mail, 18 May ] A GP is being urged by colleagues to call in the police to investigate an alleged illegal abortion. He told a patient who was 28 weeks pregnant that an abortion at that stage would be illegal, and referred her to the British Pregnancy Advisory Service for counselling, but she was no longer pregnant when she returned to the surgery several weeks later. When questioned, she said that she "had it sorted privately." [Mail on Sunday, 20 May ] The Royal Society (the UK and Commonwealth's scientific academy) has criticised the Human Tissues and Embryo Bill, published 17 May , for restricting the types of research which would be allowed. The Royal Society says that restrictions will put what it calls a shelf-life on the law. Sir Richard Gardner, chairman, says that the committee which will scrutinise the bill should make it "fit for the future". [Royal Society, 17 May ] The Institute of Human Genetics in Newcastle upon Tyne said the proposed measure was common sense. Josephine Quintavalle of Comment on Reproductive Ethics said it was terrifying and had minimal scientific or ethical justification. [BBC, 17 May ] Democrat members of the US House of Representatives have expressed concern at the Pope's support for the exclusion from holy communion of Catholic lawmakers in Mexico City who voted for abortion. A statement from 18 politicians says that such a measure "offend(s) the very nature of the American experiment and do(es) a great disservice to the centuries of good work the church has done". The statement also claims that the signatories' mission includes respect for human life. [Medical News Today, 17 May ] Fr Frank Pavone of Priests for Life called the representatives' statement double-talk. [CNA on EWTN, 17 May ] Fr Thomas Euteneuer of Human Life International accused them of hypocrisy. [LifeSite, 17 May ] In another CNA report, Mexico City's archbishop, Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera, confirmed that those who supported the measure were impeded from receiving communion, but said this was not the same as being excommunicated. He appeared to restrict the term to a declared excommunication. [CNA on EWTN, 17 May ]

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