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Defending life from the moment of conception

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Disabled man left unfed in hospital for 3 DAYS

12 March 2008

A man with cerebral palsy was left unfed in hospital for three days, according to the report of a British parliamentary committee which also found other instances of neglect of vulnerable people.

Mr Andrew Dismore MP, committee chairman, said: "It is extremely depressing to see, 10 years after the introduction of the Human Rights Act, the way people with learning disabilities are treated when using our services." [BBC, 6 March]

In related news, a doctor has expressed regret at failing to notice a 35-week pregnancy in a woman who subsequently died, with her baby, of a infection. Ms Tina Wildgoose of Bristol, England, had reportedly not mentioned her condition to Dr Katherine Wright. The inquest may not have concluded. [Daily Mail, 6 March]

Meanwhile, another parliamentary committee challenged a Catholic prelate today over his advice to Catholic schools not to support fund-raising appeals with an anti-life ethos. Ms Fiona McTaggart MP raised the matter with Rt Rev Patrick O'Donoghue, Bishop of Lancaster, England, in the House of Commons children, schools and families committee. The bishop said it was not feasible to expect Catholics to support organisations if their leadership adopted policies contrary to basic Christian principles, even if those charities also did good work.

The bishop emphasised that the values upheld by Catholic schools in his diocese were values shared by those of other faiths, such as Muslims, attending Catholic schools. The bishop recently issued guidance in a document called Fit for Mission? - Schools. [SPUC director's blog, 12 March] Mr Barry Sheerman MP, committee chairman, was previously quoted as saying: "Faith education works all right as long as people are not that serious about their faith." [Daily Mail, 11 March]

Other stories

The Lawyers' Christian Fellowship in Britain has criticised Marie Stopes International's new abortion telephone counselling service. Ms Andrea Minichello Williams said hotlines were "not adequate forms of counselling for women caught in one of the most momentous crises of their lives. Speaking to someone on the phone can never be adequate and compared to a face-to-face meeting. When a woman faces an unplanned pregnancy she needs time to consider all the options." [Christian Today, 11 March]

A survey of pregnant women using London's underground railway suggests that 30 percent of them are not offered a seat during busy times. The transport authority is to put signs on trains suggesting that passengers do so. [BBC, 6 March]

Twins were born on their mother's 16th birthday. Ms Hayley Parks and her partner and family, of Lancashire, England, expressed delight. [Clitheroe Advertiser, 6 March]

International news

A pro-abortion government has been returned in Spain following last Sunday's general election. The Socialist Workers will govern in coalition. The main opposition party had taken only a marginally better stand on pro-life issues. [LifeSite, 11 March]

A hoarding poster criticising the unrestricted legal status of abortion in Canada has been described as misleading and false. Ms Carolyn McLeod, professor of philosophy and women's studies at the University of Western Ontario, said: "Healthy Canadian women are not having abortions seven, eight or nine months into a pregnancy." Mr Phil Arnsby of the London Area Right to Life Association, which paid for the billboard, pointed out that Canada had no law against abortion. [London Free Press, 11 March]

Stem cells from a girl's umbilical cord blood have reportedly been used to treat her brother's inherited blood disorder. Dikshit Gowda, aged four years, of Bangalore, India, is said to be recovering from thalassaemia, after he was treated in Kolkata, West Bengal. Our source says that, after his bone marrow was destroyed by chemotherapy, his white blood cell count dropped to zero, but it was recovering after the injection of mis-matched blood from his baby sister. [Sahara Samay, 6 March]

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