LIFEalerts 04 July 2017

Abortion

Ireland – Women Travelling to UK for Abortions Drops for 15 Years

USA – How millennials are impacting the pro-life movement

UK – Consider What Unborn Babies Can Do in the Womb

New Zealand – Abortions Drop to Lowest Total in 25 Years

Alternative Medicine

USA – Meds Rooted in Ancient China May Help Heart

Canada – Medical journal takes aim at natural remedies

Asia – Plant compound more powerful than AZT against HIV

Euthanasia

USA – California’s assisted suicide at 500 prescriptions already

Canada – 970 People already killed after 1 year in Canada

Netherlands – Safeguards for the mentally ill and demented slipping away

IVF& Surrogacy

USA – Egg freezing on the rise in Silicon Valley

Canada – Dust-up over a child’s right to know genetic origins

Medical Ethics

USA – Organ donation debate continues

USA – Rethinking the 14 day rule

USA – Going commercial with three-parent babies

USA – Texas green-lights experimental stem-cell therapies

Pedophilia

No news today

Pornography

Ghana – Government orders TV stations to stop showing porn

USA – Computer program seeks child-pornography images

Same Sex Attraction

No news today

Sexual Exploitation

USA – Flight Attendants Learn To Recognize Sex Trafficking Victims

Germany – How Legalizing Prostitution Has Failed

Malta – Legalizing prostitution would legalise violence and abuse

Philippines – Country gets higher ranking in US trafficking report

Substance Abuse

No news today

 

Abortion

Ireland – Women Travelling to UK for Abortions Drops for 15 Years

The Pro Life Campaign has welcomed a report issued from the British Department of Health, showing that 3,265 women travelled from Ireland to England to have an abortion in 2016.  This figure represents a decrease on the 2015 figure of 3,451 which itself was a further decrease from the figure of 3,735 in 2014. This represents a continual decline in the numbers since 2001 when the number of Irish abortions was at 6,673. Given that this is the fifteenth consecutive year that the number of Irish women seeking abortions in England has declined, it is a very welcome development.

http://www.lifenews.com/2017/06/13/number-of-women-traveling-from-ireland-to-uk-for-abortions-drops-for-15th-consecutive-year/

USA – How millennials are impacting the pro-life movement

In the 2016 March for Life, youth made up 80 percent of approximately the half-million marchers. As the most tech savvy of generations, they are perhaps least likely to be fooled by pro-abortion rhetoric. Their first baby pictures were most likely sonograms or even 3D ultrasound pictures. They have access to YouTube, Snapchat, Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram, etc. and know how to use them. There is no topic they don’t know how to Google search within seconds for answers. This generation is not just standing up for babies in danger of being aborted. They are also standing up for themselves. Millennials experience “survivor syndrome” and there is a growing awareness of siblings holding signs that say, I mourn my aborted sibling.

https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/how-millennials-are-impacting-the-pro-life-movement

UK – Consider What Unborn Babies Can Do in the Womb

Scientific studies have confirmed that foetuses can hear voices and distinguish between unique speech patterns, allowing them to recognize (and prefer) their mother’s voice over any other’s. New research from Lancaster University in the United Kingdom demonstrates that foetuses will react to face-like shapes in the same way infants do. Researchers shone different collections of red dots to foetuses while observing their responses via ultrasound and the foetuses displayed particular interest in face-like clusters. Foetuses are thought to begin to see as early as 20-24 weeks gestation, so they’ll have quite a while to watch shadowy shapes pass by before they are even born.

http://www.lifenews.com/2017/06/20/if-you-think-birth-is-when-human-life-begins-consider-that-unborn-babies-can-do-this-in-the-womb/

New Zealand – Abortions Drop to Lowest Total in 25 Years

In 2016 there were 12,823 abortions reported in New Zealand. This represents a three per cent decrease on the 13,155 abortions reported in 2015 – the lowest abortion total in 25 years. Right to Life welcomes the continued decrease and applauds the heroic and sacrificial women who choose life for their precious infants. They all deserve the generous support of the whole community.

http://www.lifenews.com/2017/06/20/new-zealand-abortions-drop-to-lowest-total-in-25-years-as-more-babies-saved-from-abortion/

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Alternative Medicine

USA – Meds Rooted in Ancient China May Help Heart

Heart disease and stroke remain major killer’s worldwide, accounting for 17.3 million deaths a year, according to the World Heart Federation. Traditional Chinese herbal medications might have a role to play in treating or preventing heart disease in the West, a research review suggests. The new report was published online June 12 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology and while some U.S. experts greeted the findings with skepticism, Dr. Sidney Smith, Jr., a professor of medicine with the heart and vascular center at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill said, “This is an interesting, scholarly, well-written article”. Smith is a past-president of the American Heart Association and the World Heart Federation.

https://consumer.healthday.com/alternative-medicine-information-3/mis-alternative-medicine-news-19/meds-rooted-in-ancient-china-may-help-heart-review-723571.html

Canada – Medical journal takes aim at natural remedies

Health Canada can recall a bag of chips but doesn’t have the power to recall a natural health product’. An editorial in the Canadian Medical Association Journal is calling on the federal government to crack down on natural health products, which the author argues are poorly tested and can do patients more harm than good, compared to conventional medicines. The editorial urges Health Canada to stop makers of natural health products from claiming that the products are remedies, because they are not as rigorously tested as conventional, over-the-counter drugs. Shawn O’Reilly, executive director of the Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors, said the editorial doesn’t accurately reflect the standards that natural health products must meet before they can be sold to the public, which she called “robust.”

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/medical-journal-takes-aim-at-natural-remedies-1.4174165

Asia – Plant compound more powerful than AZT against HIV

A medicinal plant collected in Vietnam has been identified as a potent anti-HIV-1 active lead from the evaluation of over 4500 plant extracts. Bioassay-guided separation of the extracts of the stems and roots of this plant led to the isolation of an anti-HIV aryl-naphthalene-lignan (ANL) glycoside patentiflorin A. Lijun Rong, professor of microbiology and immunology in the UIC College of Medicine and his colleagues zeroed in on patentiflorin A because of its ability to inhibit an enzyme needed for HIV to incorporate its genetic code into a cell’s DNA. “Patentiflorin A represents a novel anti-HIV agent that can be added to the current anti-HIV drug cocktail regimens to increase suppression of the virus and prevention of AIDS,” Rong said.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/06/170614210917.htm

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Euthanasia

USA – California’s assisted suicide at 500 prescriptions already

A pro-euthanasia lobby group is celebrating the positive reception of the laws among healthcare providers and the general public, writing in press release that “the implementation of the law has been a huge success”. However, Dr. Aaron Kheriaty, director of UC Irvine’s medical ethics program, objects that the law doesn’t mandate an evaluation by a psychiatrist. He says without it that patients are left without sufficient supports when they’re most vulnerable. Kheriaty also questions whether the lack of access to mental health and specialist care might play into a patient’s choice as access to services varies based on geography and income.

https://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/the-first-year-of-californias-assisted-suicide-over-500-prescriptions/12335
https://www.compassionandchoices.org/celebrating-one-year-of-the-end-of-life-option-act/

Canada – 970 People already killed after 1 year in Canada

Even though we are well into 2017 data from 2016 indicates that there were 970 reported assisted deaths in Canada which repress 0.6% of all deaths in Canada. Other than Québec, where there were 463 deaths in the full year, these deaths occurred in the 6.5 months between June 17 and December 31. The percentage of assisted deaths is highest in British Columbia, where there were 188 assisted deaths compared to 189 assisted deaths in Ontario. There may be more assisted deaths as not every province has a legal requirement to report assisted deaths. Also, Nunavut and the Yukon territories did not submit information based on privacy concerns and the small number of assisted deaths. A CBC news report stated that there have been more than 1324 assisted deaths since legalization.

http://www.lifenews.com/2017/06/20/one-year-after-canada-legalized-assisted-suicide-970-people-have-already-killed-themselves/

Netherlands – Safeguards for the mentally ill and demented slipping away

After 25 years, Dr Chabot, a pioneer of Dutch euthanasia looks back and is horrified. He says that legal safeguards for euthanasia are slowly eroding and that the law no longer protects people with psychiatric conditions and dementia. The Dutch are complacent about their famous law, he says but there is no room for complacency. As euthanasia has sunk its roots deeper and deeper into Dutch medicine, the conditions for euthanasia have shriveled up. Patients now define what is unbearable and they define what a reasonable alternative is. Unhappiness can be unbearable and a nursing home may not be a reasonable alternative. Autonomy has trumped medicine. As a result, the number of euthanasia cases roughly tripled between 2007 and 2016, from 2000 to 6000. After surveying the wreckage of the euthanasia law, Dr Chabot concludes bitterly, I don’t see how we can get the genie back in the bottle. It would already mean a lot if we’d acknowledge he’s out.

https://www.mercatornet.com/careful/view/a-dutch-euthanasia-pioneer-surveys-the-wreckage-and-despairs/19992

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IVF&Surrogacy

USA – Egg freezing on the rise in Silicon Valley

In what some say is a bid by companies to keep young women at work, companies from Apple, Facebook and Time are paying for female employees to have their unfertilized eggs stored for the future. Although a cycle costs around 12,000$ “storage”, around 5% of large employers in the US cover egg freezing in employee health plans. Brigitte Adams, who runs an online egg-freezing information forum said “I am pro the idea, but there is not a lot of realism. Egg freezing is highly marketed – and not all doctors are being transparent with the data.” A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests egg freezing may actually reduce a woman’s odds of success with IVF.

https://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/egg-freezing-on-the-rise-in-silicon-valley/12345

Canada – Dust-up over a child’s right to know genetic origins

University of Ghent bioethicist Guido Pennings recently published an article in BioNews titled “Donor children do not benefit from being told about their conception”. However, Vardit Ravitsky and three other Canadian bioethicists argue that concealing genetic origins is indefensible. This does not necessarily mean that “all or most donor-conceived people will necessarily find their genetic origins of great importance, but rather that they are entitled to make that determination for themselves.” The right to know one’s genetic origins is a human right based on “people’s fundamental interest in having access to information that may be crucial to their identity, relationships and health – an interest well recognized in adoption law … “Respect for persons is central in ethics and requires clinics and governments to make it possible for people to know the truth about their origins.”

https://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/dust-up-over-a-childs-right-to-know-genetic-origins/12341

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Medical Ethics

USA – Organ donation debate continues

A controversial organ donation case in the US has sparked debate about the ethical criteria for organ procurement. Authorities are investigating the death of 8-year-old Cole Hartman in a Los Angeles Hospital after doctors withdrew life support and administered the drug fentanyl – an opioid that can be fatal. The 2014 case was brought to public attention when the coroner brought a lawsuit against her superiors who she said were attempting to cover up the findings. The coroner alleges that the dose of fentanyl was a “significant cause” of Hartman’s death. Many hospitals, including the one in which the boy died, prohibit doctors from administering opioids with the intention of hastening the death of the patient. And there is significant community concern about the medical hastening of death to harvest organs. Organ donation has for decades been understood to be ethical only after brain death has occurred, yet, an article in The Atlantic recently highlighted support for changing the criteria to or “organ donation after circulatory death” (cardiac death).

https://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/organ-donation-debate-continues/12344

USA – Rethinking the 14 day rule

Policy analysts in the United States and UK are calling for a “reconsideration” of the decades-old 14-day embryo experimentation rule requiring scientists to terminate any embryo in vitro before it reaches two weeks of development. Scientists can now grow embryos in a culture dish well past 14 days, permitting research into early human development and various diseases. An article in this month’s Hastings Center Report calls for “a new public discussion” of the longstanding regulation, suggesting in particular that we take into account new scientific and social perspectives on embryo research.“ However, Baroness Mary Warnock, a moral philosopher and one of the original proponents of the rule, has cautioned against change. According to her, the rule provides a way of allowing for embryo research, while still addressing slippery slope concerns: “you cannot successfully block a slippery slope except by a fixed and invariable obstacle, which is what the 14-day rule provided.”

https://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/rethinking-the-14-day-rule/12336

USA – Going commercial with three-parent babies

The same doctor who delivered the first “three parent baby” is now attempting to commercialize mitochondrial replacement therapy (MRT). At the heart of Zhang’s entrepreneurial project is the idea that the cause of infertility in older women is defective mitochondrial DNA. Zhang’s experimental procedure involves inserting the nucleus of an older woman’s oocyte into a young egg with healthy mitochondrial DNA. In doing so, he believes he will allow older women to produce viable embryos. “This is a biologically extreme and risky procedure,” says Marcy Darnovsky, executive director of the Center for Genetics and Society. “If you’re talking about using these techniques for age-related infertility, that’s really moving the human experimentation to a very large scale.”

https://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/going-commercial-with-three-parent-babies/12358

USA – Texas green-lights experimental stem-cell therapies

Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed new legislation allowing clinics to by-pass FDA approval for investigational stem cell treatments for patients with certain severe chronic diseases or terminal illnesses. The legislation gives desperate patients access to therapies that provide hope after traditional medical treatments have failed. University of Minnesota bioethicist Leigh Turner said he was skeptical about whether clinics would be adequately monitored, while NYU Langone Medical Center bioethicist Beth Roxland said it was insufficient to have the therapies tested in clinical trials while by-passing FDA approval. “You could gain access to something [as long as it’s] being studied in a human … somewhere on the planet,” Roxland told Science, “which in the stem cell area makes it really very scary.”

https://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/texas-gives-green-light-for-experimental-stem-cell-therapies/12360

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Pedophilia

No news today

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Pornography

Ghana – Government orders TV stations to stop showing porn

The Chairman of the National Media Commission (NMC), Kwasi Gyan Apenteng, has ordered three local television stations (Ice TV, Thunder TV and TV XYZ) alleged to be broadcasting pornographic materials to immediately cease such broadcasts. The statement further noted that, “the Commission examined the broadcast of the three stations and concluded that the content complained about did not meet the standards of decency required by the Broadcasting Standards of the Commission.” According to the NMC’s statement, the three stations have apologized for their actions and have committed themselves to ceasing broadcast of pornographic movies.

https://citifmonline.com/2017/06/23/stop-showing-porn-nmc-orders-tv-xyz-others/

USA – Computer program seeks child-pornography images

There’s a new program created by a child-protection group, crawling around the internet in search of child pornography. Project Arachnid is an automated system that crawls links on sites previously reported to Cybertip.ca that contained child sexual abuse material and detects where these images/videos are publicly available on the Internet. If illegal content is detected, a notice is sent to the provider hosting the content to request its removal. Child pornography victims say that beyond the sexual abuse, knowing that images of them could be in tens of thousands of computers and phones worldwide means the pain never subsides. Signy Arnason, associate executive director of The Canadian Centre for Child Protection, stated that it operates Project Arachnid through its Cybertip.ca tip line, where electronic providers and the public can report online sexual exploitation of children.

http://www.dispatch.com/news/20170618/computer-program-seeks-destroys-child-pornography-images

https://www.cybertip.ca/app/en/projects-arachnid

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Same Sex Attraction

No news today

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Sexual Exploitation

USA – Flight Attendants Learn To Recognize Sex Trafficking Victims

Sex trafficking is a $100 billion industry that some are calling a new form of slavery and flight attendants  are looking for victims hidden in plain sight. According to investigators, sex traffickers often move their victims through airports and on airplanes. That’s why flight attendant Sherry Martin Peters says employees in the air travel business have to learn to spot the signs and report it. She recently ran a training course at Logan Airport to teach airline employees what to look for. “They are branding the girls,” she said pointing to the back of her neck where traffickers often place identifying marks on their victims. This is part of a program Sherry launched with the help of the Department of Homeland Security.

http://boston.cbslocal.com/2017/06/15/sex-trafficking-flight-attendants-training/

Germany – How Legalizing Prostitution Has Failed

When Germany legalized prostitution just over a decade ago, politicians hoped that it would create better conditions and more autonomy for prostitutes. However it hasn’t been so, exploitation and human trafficking remain significant problems as customers pay their fee at the entrance and many take drugs to improve sexual performance. Prosecutors have learned that prostitutes have had to offer vaginal, oral and anal sex, and serve several men at the same time. Men don’t always want to use condoms and during menstruation prostitutes insert sponges into the vagina so that customers don’t notice. During raids pimps have been found to be prepared as they are forewarned by corrupt police. When the law was passed in 2001 it was intended to improve working conditions where prostitutes could sue for their wages and contribute to health, unemployment and pension insurance programs. This is the ‘respectable whore’ image politicians seemed in thrall of; free to do as they like, doing work they enjoy and holding an account at the bank. Today many police officers, women’s organizations and politicians familiar with prostitution are convinced that the well-meaning law is in fact little more than a subsidy program for pimps and makes the market more attractive to human traffickers.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/human-trafficking-persists-despite-legality-of-prostitution-in-germany-a-902533.html

Malta – Legalizing prostitution would legalise violence and abuse

The legalization of prostitution would legalise violence and abuse, according to the chair of the National Centre for Freedom from Addictions. On the other hand, finding alternative jobs for sex workers and education could lead to less demand for prostitution and to fewer women on the streets, according to Dr Anna Vella. Dr Vella spoke during a summit about best practices to end modern slavery organised by the Amersi Foundation, the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the President’s Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society. Dr Vella, who has been working with prostitutes for 22 years, is against the legalization of prostitution and believes in the Nordic model. Children and young men have to be educated about prostitution and taught that it is a form of abuse.

https://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20170615/local/legalising-prostitution-would-legalise-violence-and-abuse.650768

Philippines – Country gets higher ranking in US trafficking report

The Philippines ranked high in terms of enforcement against human trafficking. But the same report also made considerable reference to the Philippines in terms of the various crimes under human trafficking, particularly sex trafficking. “Some judges, prosecutors, and law enforcement officials throughout the world accept bribes for reducing sentences of perpetrators, leaking information to suspects under investigation, or ignoring potential cases,” US Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson said. “The introduction of this year’s Report focuses on the responsibility of governments to criminalize human trafficking and hold offenders accountable. The report acknowledged the Philippines’ sustained law enforcement efforts, as it cited, among others, the country’s Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003 and Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2012.

http://www.bworldonline.com/content.php?section=Nation&title=philippines-gets-positive-ranking-in-us-human-trafficking-report&id=147475

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Substance Abuse

No news today

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Disclaimer: the views and opinions expressed in these articles do not necessarily reflect those of Doctors for Life International