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SPUC involved in assisted suicide court case

2 October 2008

SPUC is taking part in an English high court hearing of a case which presents a threat to vulnerable people and could undermine the law against assisted suicide. Mrs Debbie Purdy, who has multiple sclerosis (MS), wants to know whether her husband would be prosecuted if he took her abroad to commit suicide. Mrs Mary Corrigan, an SPUC supporter who has MS, said: "MS is a terrible disease, and major depression and suicide are more common among MS people than most other groups. It is important that the court gets the full picture of what this case could lead to, which is why SPUC is intervening." Mrs Purdy is backed by Dignity in Dying, the pro-euthanasia group, and is considering going to Dignitas in Zurich, Switzerland, to kill herself if her condition worsens. [SPUC and Guardian, 2 October] Dignitas claims that more than 100 British people have committed suicide there since it opened 10 years ago. Our source says that 650 British people are registered with the organisation and that its total death toll is 870. Switzerland legalised assisted suicide in 1941. [Times, 2 October]

Nearly two-thirds of pregnancies in Russia are aborted and perhaps as many as a quarter of a million women annually become sterile as a result, according to a member of the country's academy of sciences. A quarter of teenage girls have something wrong with their reproductive system and this proportion has been increasing. While the government tries to promote families, abortion is still available at no charge. [LifeSiteNews, 30 September]

Mrs Sarah Palin, Republican US vice-presidential candidate, has said that she would not take morning-after pills. In a TV interview she also said that, in the hypothetical case of a 15-year-old who had been raped by her father, she would advise against abortion. Mrs Palin said she was unapologetic about her pro-life views. [Daily Mail, 1 October] A Democrat supporters' website is describing Senator Barack Obama as pro-life. The Matthew 25 Network's site says that their party's presidential candidate would further the cause of life by supporting women and families. Mr Obama's voting record and pro-abortion views are not mentioned. [LifeNews, 1 October]

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