News, 22 April 2008

Pope Benedict has mourned the death on Saturday of Cardinal Alfonso López Trujillo, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family. Writing to the late cardinal's brother, the Pope mentioned his dedication to the gospel of life. [Zenit, 21 April] The funeral is tomorrow in St Peter's, Rome. [CNA on EWTN, 21 April]

A pro-life former US senator is backing Senator John McCain, his fellow-Republican, for president. Mr Richard Santorum wishes Mr McCain had been more involved with the pro-life cause but says: "... with the exception of embryonic stem-cell funding, [Senator McCain] always voted for life and stood for the culture of life." [LifeNews, 21 April]

Members of the European parliament have voted in support of a proposal for an EU-wide organ donor-consent card and telephone-based coordination centre. Only some EU countries have their own donor-card systems while Belgium, Denmark and Spain presume consent. It is claimed that there is a trade in illegally-traficked organs which the donor card could reduce. [BBC, 21 April] Mr Gordon Brown, the UK prime minister, wants to change the current system of organ donation so that people's consent is assumed unless they actively opt out. See SPUC-director blogspot (14th January 2008)

SPUC supporters in Nottingham, England, will hold a pro-life chain on Saturday. They will stand at the roadside with placards which bring home the reality of abortion. [Evening Post, 21 April] It is one of 50 such events throughout Britain. [SPUC]

A woman in America has donated stem cells to help cure leukaemia in a man in England. The blood of Mrs Lea Rosenberg of New Jersey was a good enough match to treat Mr George Kannides of Surrey. [Daily Mail, 22 April]

Electronic cards are being experimentally used to store medical records for expectant mothers in Germany. Women there already get a booklet to monitor their pregnancy. The electronic version is supposed to be more effective. [Hospital Europe, 21 April]

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