By continuing to browse our site, you are consenting to the use of cookies. Click here for more information on the cookies we use.


Defending life
from conception to natural death


City council distributing "dangerous and confusing" end-of-life leaflets

15 May 2008

Local government in north-west England is distributing a leaflet on making advance treatment directives under the Mental Capacity Act. Salford City Council's publication gives refusal of mechanical life support and cancer treatment as example-decisions. An associated webpage lets people refuse cardio-pulmonary resuscitation, assisted breathing and artificial feeding. Below the declaration is written: "I am aware that I will be provided basic care, support and comfort." [SPUC, 15 May] Antonia Tully of Patients First Network said: "This is a dangerous and confusing leaflet, which could to used to place vulnerable people at risk of a painful and premature death. It is ludicrous to suggest that 'basic care, support and comfort' can be given to someone while they are being dehydrated and starved to death. There seems to be a 'death at all costs' mentality behind this scheme which also suggests that people fax or post a copy of their advance decision to the local ambulance service. Perhaps this is to avoid the risk of the ambulance crew doing anything to preserve life."

NARAL Pro-Choice America has endorsed Senator Barack Obama for the Democrat presidential nomination. Ms Nancy Keenan, organisation president, said Mr Obama had been consistently pro-choice and called Senator John McCain, likely Republican nominee, extreme. [LifeNews, 13 May] The Emily's List group continues to support Mrs Hillary Clinton for Democrat candidate and expressed disappointment at NARAL's move. [LifeNews, 13 May]

Mr Silvio Berlusconi, Italy's new prime minister, has said he will deal with the causes of abortion. Mr Marco Pannella of the radical party said the Pope's recent description of abortion as a social wound offended against democracy. [Catholic World News, 13 May]

US bishops will next month discuss embryo research and are expected to publish a document on it and related matters. A preliminary paper says: "If fundamental rights such as the right to life are based on abilities or qualities that can appear or disappear, grow or diminish, and be greater or lesser in different human beings, then there are no inherent human rights, no true human equality, only privileges for the strong." [Catholic News Service, 14 May]

Many US health-insurance plans cover abortion and a former health minister is urging pro-life people with such policies to change providers. The suggestion is from Dr Robert Moffitt who worked for President Reagan. [LifeNews, 9 May]

A book of suicide methods has been republished with some text obscured to overcome a ban by New Zealand authorities. Dr Philip Nitschke from Australia was detained at an airport as he imported copies of his Peaceful Pill Handbook. The book will be sold to over-18s in a sealed wrapper. Right to Life said it undermined the government's attempts to reduce suicide. [Yahoo! 7, 11 May]

A London, England, fertility practice has made an annual £8m pre-tax profit. Dr Mohammed Taranissi's Assisted Reproduction and Gynaecology Centre reportedly charges £2,500 for basic IVF and has £20m in the bank. [Daily Mail, 14 May]

Be the first to comment!

Share this article