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Defending life
from conception to natural death


Head of Oregon hospice association claims palliative care has IMPROVED since introducing assisted suicide

13 June 2009

A head of a hospice association in the American state of Oregon has claimed that palliative care has improved since the introduction of assisted suicide there. Deborah Whiting Jaques, head of the Oregon Hospice Association, writing in a letter to the London Times, argued "[t]hat just 401 people in 12 years -- about 1 per cent of Oregon deaths -- have used the Death With Dignity Act is a testament to the quality of the end of life care available in Oregon." [Times, 11 June] Wesley Smith, the American pro-life bioethicist, has disputed similar claims about palliative care in Oregon. [SPUC director's blog, 24 February]

Some European Union member-states are concerned about a request from the Irish government for legally-binding guarantees on life and family issues to be attached to the proposed Lisbon treaty. A number of these states are concerned that such guarantees would have to be ratified by national parliaments within the EU. The Irish people rejected the Lisbon treaty in June 2008 but the Irish government is planning to hold a second referendum. [Irish Times, 11 June]

Sarah Palin, the former candidate for American vice-president, spoke of her feelings when her unborn child was diagnosed with Down's syndrome. Mrs Palin, speaking to a pro-life banquet, "I had to ask myself, 'Was I going to walk the walk or was I just going to talk the talk?'" Pro-life leaders welcomed the openness of her remarks. [First Post, 11 June]

A Hollywood film actress has defended the decision of some women to delay or reject motherhood. Cameron Diaz, 36, told Cosmopolitan magazine that the world was over-populated. She also praised an explicit sex education television series broadcast by Britain's Channel 4 [Daily Mail, 11 June] The world, in fact, is in danger of under-population [SPUC director's blog, 10 June]

A man reported to be a notorious eugenicist has open fire randomly at the Holocaust Museum, Washington D.C., America. James W von Brunn, 89, killed a black museum guard before being wounded by security guards. Mr von Brunn is also to be reportedly a Holocaust denier. [Irish Independent, 11 June]

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