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Defending life
from conception to natural death


100 MPs call for assisted suicide debate

13 March 2009

MPs are calling for a debate on assisted suicide. One hundred members have now signed a motion proposed in December by Mr David Winnick, Labour MP for Walsall North. They want the law to be changed through the Coroners and Justice Bill which the House of Commons will debate again the week after next. Dignity in Dying backs the motion. [Bath Chronicle, 12 March]

British MPs were today due to debate a proposal to presume patients' consent for organ donation. The British Medical Association has welcomed the bill launched by Mr Jeremy Browne, Liberal Democrat MP for Taunton. [Healthcare Republic, 13 March]

President Obama has appointed Ms Melanne Verveer, an abortion supporter, as his first ambassador for women's issues. [CNA on EWTN, 11 March] The chairman of the US Republican party's national committee has called abortion an "individual choice." Mr Michael Steele used the term in an interview for GQ magazine. Mr Kenneth Blackwell, former secretary of state for Ohio, said Mr Steele should reread the bible, the constitution and the party's manifesto for last year's elections. The party chairman has since expanded on his comment, insisting he is pro-life. [Los Angeles Times, 13 March] Senator Sam Brownback was recently criticised for welcoming the appointment by President Obama of a pro-abortion health secretary.

The European Union's Fundamental Rights Agency has been asked by the pro-abortion European Women's Lobby to survey the 27 member-states' legislation in terms of its impact on abortion. SPUC's national director is urging people in all EU countries to alert their parliamentarians. [John Smeaton, 11 March]

A video of a nine-month-old disabled boy has been shown to the English high court in an attempt to stop doctors from turning off his ventilator. His parents were seen on the film embracing the unidentified child who smiles and sucks his mother's finger. Medical staff say he is in pain and should die. A doctor testified that what mattered was the quality of the boy's life. Mrs Justice Parker is due to decide his fate today. [Telegraph, 11 March]

Britain's opposition Conservative party may oppose compulsory sex education. Ms Anne Milton MP, health spokeswoman, hinted at such a policy when commenting on the rise in teenage pregnancy. [Children and Young People Now, 12 March]

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