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Defending life
from conception to natural death


Terminally ill patients being killed under Liverpool Care Pathway

3 September 2009

Terminally ill patients are being killed under a national scheme for end-of-life treatment, leading doctors have said. In a letter to the Daily Telegraph the doctors, including prominent pro-life experts Dr Anthony Cole and Professor Peter Millard, warn that the Liverpool Care Pathway results in terminally ill patients being wrongly diagnosed as imminently dying. These patients then have food and fluids withdrawn and are given terminal sedation. [Telegraph, 2 September] John Smeaton of SPUC commented: "The practice of consigning vulnerable patients to a death pathway stems from the 1992 court ruling against Tony Bland, which resulted in him being dehydrated to death. The government's 2005 Mental Capacity Act extended the possible scope of this practice. The inherent right to life of all patients, whether they are terminally ill or not, must be defended in the face of the government's war against the weak."

Bishops in Medellin, Colombia have denounced plans for an abortion clinic in the city. In a message entitled, "If you want peace, defend life", the twelve bishops said they have raised their voices "to defend human life from conception to natural death" and are encouraging Colombians to commit to "the task of defending a decent life for all of our brothers and sisters, even those who are beginning their existence in their mothers' wombs." [Catholic News Agency, 2 September]

An American married couple with 18 children are now expecting their 19th child. Bob and Michelle Duggar are members of the Quiverfull movement, which rejects birth control. The family is described as happy, yet are subject to vitrolic attacks by anti-life critics. [, 2 September]

Other news:

Chinese and European researchers have today published guidelines aimed at discouraging Chinese doctors from offering patients unproven or sham treatments based on stem cells [New Scientist, 3 September]

All women of childbearing age should take folic acid supplements to prevent any children they have being born with spina bifida, experts have warned [Daily Mail, 3 September]

A daughter has described how her father spent his final days in agony at a Sheffield hospital after being denied adequate pain relief [Sheffield Telegraph, 3 September]

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