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Defending life
from conception to natural death


'Dr Death' holds London public meeting

14 October 2008

An advocate of assisted suicide reportedly displayed a suffocation bag at a public meeting in London, England, yesterday. Dr Philip Nitschke is also said to have told participants how to get poisonous drugs, as he launched an online version of a book on the subject which is banned in his native Australia. [Guardian, 14 October] The Northern Ireland Forum for Ethics in Medicine and Healthcare has cancelled a similar talk scheduled for Sunday. Dignity in Dying and the British Medical Association have distanced themselves from Dr Nitschke and Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party has called his message dangerous. [Press Association on Google, 13 October]

The Irish health minister is due today to open a meeting about a consultation paper which includes a proposal for advance directives and attorneys. Our source speaks in terms of refusal of treatment and says that the Law Reform Commission's proposed directives could not include requests to be dehydrated or starved. However, the commission is also said to be seeking opinion on whether artificial delivery of food and fluid actually is treatment. [Irish Times, 14 October]

Radio and television advertisements will warn that Senator Barack Obama, Democrat presidential contender, will sign a draft law which would totally liberalise abortion throughout America. The ad, by the Family Research Council's political wing, features film of the candidate last year telling a Planned Parenthood meeting that his first act as president would be to sign the Freedom of Choice Act. [LifeNews, 13 October] People who describe themselves as Catholic are more likely to support Mr Obama than Senator John McCain, Republican, according to a recent Zogby opinion survey of 1,200 voters. [Catholic News Agency, 13 October]

The Welsh government has agreed a policy on palliative care. Ms Edwina Hart, health minister, has agreed that hospices which fulfil certain criteria will get state funding. [Press Association on Channel 4, 13 October]

The head of the UK's embryology regulator objects to how the government's Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill, due back in parliament tomorrow-week, deals with abortion. Professor Lisa Jardine told her organisation's conference that the passage of the law had been delayed by pro-life and pro-abortion MPs' actions. She wanted the matter to be the subject of separate legislation. [Guardian, 14 October]

Oregon's appeal court has ordered that a divorced couple's six frozen IVF embryos should be destroyed. Dr Darrell Angle had agreed that, if the couple separated, Dr Laura Dahl, then his wife, could decide the embryos' fate. The court supported this and rejected Dr Angle's assertion that the embryos were alive and needed protection. [Catholic News Agency, 14 October]
Fathers can get postnatal depression, according to a California psychotherapist. Mr Will Courtenay quotes research which suggests that between 1,000 and 3,000 new fathers in the USA succumb to the affliction every day. [CNN, 13 October]

Shanice Denise Osborne, a baby whose remains were found at a Florida abortion facility in 2006, will be buried in Fort Lauderdale after her funeral today. [Miami Herald, 14 October] It is asserted that she survived abortion and was put into a waste bag full of bleach. [WorldNetDaily, 13 October]

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