LIFEalerts: 06 April 2018

 

Abortion

USA – You won’t support abortion if you see what it looks like
USA – Legal abortion is not safe for the mother or the baby

Alternative Medicine

Spain – Woman dies after ‘bee sting’ alternative therapy
France – Doctors condemn ‘alternative medicines’
India – Medical Association Opposes National Medical Commission Bill

Euthanasia

USA – Bioethicists in favor of pediatric euthanasia

IVF and Surrogacy

[No news today]

Medical Ethics

India – Landmark ruling on advanced directives and withdrawal of treatment
USA – Artificial Intelligence Is Infiltrating Medicine — But Is It Ethical?

Pedophilia

[No news today]

Pornography

USA – Shocking illegal content found in the Bitcoin Blockchain
UK – Tough new laws will block X-rated videos online
USA – Porn’s ‘devastating effects on children, family and society’

Same Sex Attraction

UK – The problem with having 63 different genders
UK – Have we gone too far?

Sexual Exploitation

South Africa – MP caucus takes submissions on prostitution
USA – ‘A Victory for Survivors’: Congress Passes Anti-Sex Tracking Bill

Substance Abuse

UK – One in 10 Sober People Have Cocaine or Heroin on Their Fingertips

Abortion

USA – You won’t support abortion if you see what it looks like

A pro-life group called Live Action posted a three and a half minute video of a social experiment on abortion supporters. In the video they asked abortion supporters to watch a clip on the medical procedure which resulted in all of them changing their minds. Watching the abortion procedure video by former abortionist, Anthony Levatino, was enough to change their stance on abortion for good. This also tells us that many abortion supporters do not fully understand the implications of abortion on the mother or what is happening to the child in the womb. Abortion companies confuse the public by using deceptive language like ‘clump of tissue’ or ‘product of conception’ in order to distort and deny the baby’s personhood.
https://youtu.be/0xWQHhqOAcg

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USA – Legal abortion is not safe for the mother or the baby

Tyler Sheppard lost his sister Cree, a 24-year-old mother to a botched abortion done by Planned Parenthood (PP). Before Cree died after she went to the emergency room where an ultrasound was done that showed a clot and baby parts of an incomplete abortion. Cree was only discharged and told to follow-up with her doctor at PP. A short video posted by pro-life group called Live Action names and lists the many women who have died as a result of having an abortion. Abortion is a gamble with more than one life, making it legal does not make it safer.
https://youtu.be/x4m2tpNCxpE

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Alternative Medicine

Spain – Woman dies after ‘bee sting’ alternative therapy

A 55-year-old was undergoing a session of apitherapy, an acupuncture treatment which uses the sting of live bees instead of needles to treat stiff muscles and stress, when she died from an anaphylactic shock. “To our knowledge, this is the first reported case of death by bee venom apitherapy due to complications of severe anaphylaxis in a confirmed sensitized patient who was previously tolerant,” wrote the report’s co-authors, Paula Vazquez-Revuelta and Ricardo Madrigal-Burgaleta of the Ramon Cajal University Hospital in Spain.
https://www.thelocal.es/20180322/woman-dies-in-spain-after-bee-string-alternative-therapy

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France – Doctors condemn ‘alternative medicines’

A total 124 doctors signed an open letter criticizing alternative medicines such as homeopathy as having ‘no scientific basis’. The letter published in Le Figaro with 124 signatories says such ‘esoteric disciplines’ are ‘fed by charlatans’ and ‘have no scientific basis’ but are ‘based on beliefs promising miraculous healing’. “We wish to dissociate ourselves completely from practices that are neither scientific nor ethical, but rather irrational and dangerous,” the letter reads. They said that alternative medicines promote a ‘mistrust’ of conventional treatment and can ‘delay diagnosis’. The writers demand that the Conseil de l’ordre des médecins et[des] pouvoirs publics stops recognizing alternative treatments as medical, stops teaching them in medical training and call for a halt to covering the costs of such treatments.
https://www.connexionfrance.com/index.php/French-news/Doctors-condemn-alternative-medicines

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India – Medical Association Opposes National Medical Commission Bill

The Indian Medical Association (IMA), the largest body of private doctors in India has opposed a National Medical Commission bill (NMC) which proposes to allow doctors of alternative medicines to practice modern medicine after completing a “bridge course”. Protesting against the recommendations of the Parliamentary Standing Committee, the IMA has called for an indefinite strike. The NMC bill allows practitioners of alternative medicines, such as homeopathy and ayurveda to practice modern medicine. The Bill also proposes that the National Licentiate Examination (NLE) should be made compulsory for any doctor, including a foreign graduate, to make them eligible to practice medicine in India. The parliamentary panel has suggested integrating the NLE with the final year MBBS exam.
http://ehealth.eletsonline.com/2018/03/ima-opposes-national-medical-commission-bill/

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Euthanasia

USA – Bioethicists in favor of pediatric euthanasia

The Pediatrics medical journal asked Dutch and American bioethicists whether they would support repealing all age limits for euthanasia in the Netherlands as Belgium has. Euthanasia in the Netherlands is legal, starting at age 12. Indeed, the infanticide-allowing Groningen Protocol isn’t technically legal but is virtually never punished and specifically does not require that the baby killed be otherwise dying. Under the Groningen Protocol, serious disabilities justify infanticide. In the Netherlands research has shown that medical practice has changed dramatically since the legalization of Euthanasia. Since 2017 euthanasia deaths have increased to 8%from 2016 with 6091 reported deaths, a 10% increase. Use of potentially life-shortening medication and continuous deep sedation to relieve end-of-life suffering is common practice in the Netherlands. The frequency of physician assistance in dying is similar to the rate that was recently reported in Belgium, one of the few countries in which physician assistance in dying are also allowed. About half of all requests for physician assistance in dying were granted in 2015. It’s a very big deal that a respected Dutch medical journal such as Pediatrics hosted a debate on the ethical propriety of child euthanasia without international criticism. This means that among the medical intelligentsia, child euthanasia has become a respectable proposition.
http://alexschadenberg.blogspot.co.za/

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IVF and Surrogacy

[No news today]

Medical Ethics

India – Landmark ruling on advanced directives and withdrawal of treatment

India’s Supreme Court has handed down a landmark ruling authorizing the use of “living wills” and streamlining the process for the withdrawal of treatment from dying patients. The ruling allows adults to write an advance directive indicating that they do not wish to receive life support if in a comatose or permanent vegetative state. The five-judge panel also outlined a process by which doctors and family members could apply through the courts to have life support withdrawn from a terminally ill and incapacitated patient. The ruling comes three years after the death of Aruna Shanbaug, an Indian nurse who had been in hospital in a persistent vegetative state for over four decades, after being raped and strangled in 1973. Shanbaug was at the centre of a nationwide debate over the ethics and legality of the withdrawal of treatment. “This is an important, historic decision, which clears the air,” said Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan. “Everybody will breathe a sigh of relief, because people were earlier apprehensive that if they withdrew life support, they could be prosecuted for culpable homicide,” he added.
https://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/landmark-indian-court-decision-on-acds-and-withdrawal-of-treatment/12626

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USA – Artificial Intelligence Is Infiltrating Medicine — But Is It Ethical?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is being embraced by hospitals and other healthcare organizations that use the technology to do everything from interpreting CT scans to predicting which patients are most likely to suffer debilitating falls while being treated. Electronic medical records are scoured and run through algorithms designed to help doctors pick the best cancer treatments based on the mutations in patients’ tumors, or predict their likelihood to respond well to a treatment regimen based on past experiences of similar patients. But a group of Stanford University physicians contend that AI raises ethical challenges that healthcare leaders must anticipate and deal with before they embrace this technology. “Remaining ignorant about the construction of machine-learning systems or allowing them to be constructed as black boxes could lead to ethically problematic outcomes,” they wrote in an editorial published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine. One reason that AI concerns the physicians is that biases could inadvertently be introduced into algorithms. “What if the algorithm is designed around the goal of saving money?” asks senior author David Magnus, director of the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics, in a statement. “What if different treatment decisions about patients are made depending on insurance status or their ability to pay?” They urge other healthcare leaders to adopt a similar system of checks and balances when designing and implementing AI. If they don’t “…the electronic collective memory may take on an authority that was perhaps never intended. Clinicians may turn to machine learning for diagnosis and advice about treatments—not simply as a support tool,” they warned in the NEJM article. “If that happens, machine-learning tools will become important actors in the therapeutic relationship and will need to be bound by the core ethical principles, such as beneficence and respect for patients that have guided clinicians.”
https://www.forbes.com/sites/arleneweintraub/2018/03/16/artificial-intelligence-is-infiltrating-medicine-but-is-it-ethical/#fba63863a24b

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Pedophilia

[No news today]

Pornography

USA – Shocking illegal content found in the Bitcoin Blockchain

The Bitcoin world is shocked by a revelation that could threaten the existence of the world’s foremost crypto currency. An analysis of the Bitcoin blockchain, the publicly accessible ledger of transactions which the system is built on, has revealed the data is irrevocably tainted with irremovable links to illegal child pornography, which are inevitably distributed among and by all users of the currency. The discovery of this, in addition to other questionable and possibly outlawed content stored within the blockchain, hypothetically makes Bitcoin ownership illegal in almost every country that has laws against pornography. A group of researchers from Germany’s RWTH Aachen University uncovered more than 1,600 inserted files on the blockchain, over 99 percent of which are texts or images, including links to child pornography.
https://www.sciencealert.com/bitcoin-illegal-almost-everywhere-after-shocking-blockchain-discovery-child-pornography

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UK – Tough new laws will block X-rated videos online

The Government is planning on forcing people who watch porn to give over personal details if they want to carry on viewing. The age-check scheme is being rolled-out that will automatically stop people being able to access explicit material on their computers. This default setting can only be side-stepped by signing up to an age-verification program that means you’ll have to hand over info to identify yourself, such as passport details. The British Board of Film Classification which gives ratings to movies on the UK will be tasked with deciding which sites count as X-rated.
https://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/691283/porn-online-pornhub-redtube-uk-block-websites

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USA – Porn’s ‘devastating effects on children, family and society’

The first End Exploitation summit in 2018 features interviews with experts on the issue of pornography and how it hurts those who view it. Pornography viewers, says the documentary, often turn their now-distorted views on life, love, and sex towards secondary victims of porn. According to Family Watch International president Sharon Slater, the documentary (The Porn Pandemic: The Devastating Effects on Children, Family and Society) presents scientific evidence, expert commentary and personal testimonies showing the addictive nature of pornography. Slater continues by saying that “porn addictions can lead to violence against women, prostitution, trafficking in persons, and sexual crimes against women and children,” which are highlighted in the video. “The Porn Pandemic” link is below and is approximately 28 minutes long.
https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/the-porn-pandemic-documentary-shows-porns-devastating-effects-on-children-f

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Same Sex Attraction

UK – The problem with having 63 different genders

The BBC show ‘Daily Politics interviewed Melanie Phillips, a British Journalist, author, public commentator and LGBT rights activist on the issue of transgenderism. Phillips raised concerns on the 2020 proposal for the census whereby a third gender called ‘other’ offends transgender people. She said if any more gender options are added the census will no longer be a reliable principal source of statistics on the men and women in the country and this will hinder planning for services. Phillips explains that the transphobic label is being used as a weapon with an intolerant set of attitudes masquerading as compassion.
https://youtu.be/tQlAhwwuG0E

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UK – Have we gone too far?

A new ‘trend’ called ‘trans-species’ has people believing they can live as animals and ‘trans-aging’ has people believing it is normal for a 52-year-old man to live as a six-year-old girl. We are also witnessing a push by paedophiles to normalise their sexual attraction to young children. All these ‘trends’ are considered, in psychology, to be atypical and extreme conditions that are harmful. This is a classic example of how progressively worse things can get with no end in sight when we decide to move the goal posts of what is healthy and normal. As health care workers we should have compassion on such people but by no means encourage this behaviour.
https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/transaging-father-leaves-wife-7-children-to-live-as-6-year-old-girl

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Sexual Exploitation

South Africa – MP caucus takes submissions on prostitution

Submissions have been heard on the SA Law Reform Commission’s report on prostitution. Just some of the participants were the Women’s Legal Centre (WLC) and the Legal Resources Centre (LRC), Embrace Dignity, Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation SA, Sex Workers Education & Advocacy Taskforce, Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation SA, trade union federation Cosatu and Doctors For Life International. Errol Naidoo of the Family Policy Institute said in a statement through the Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation SA, which represents 31 organisations, that a decriminalised sex industry was the worst possible policy for SA. Chairperson, Masefele Morutoa said: “The SALRC report recommended either continued criminalisation or partial criminalisation, but no position was taken by Cabinet as yet.”
https://citizen.co.za/news/1845663/mp-summit-takes-a-peak-at-sex-work/#.Wp5FWnjBFAc.facebook

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USA – ‘A Victory for Survivors’: Congress Passes Anti-Sex Tracking Bill

At long last Congress has passed a bill to combat online sex trafficking now that the Senate has approved the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA), 97 to 2. It’s been a wide-open secret for years: pimps and traffickers use websites like BackPage to advertise women and children for sale. Law enforcement has turned to these sites to find criminals and victims but the prosecution of the internet companies has been largely out of the question. “Hopefully it will send a signal to people that sex exploitation isn’t the business to get in now,” said Lisa Thompson, vice president of research and education for the National Center on Sexual Exploitation.
https://endsexualexploitation.org/articles/cbn-victory-survivors-congress-passes-anti-sex-tracking-bill-targets-backpage-bad-actors/

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Substance Abuse

UK – One in 10 Sober People Have Cocaine or Heroin on Their Fingertips

There’s a lot of cocaine and heroin in the world and there’s a good chance you have some on your hands right now. A new paper published in the journal of Clinical Chemistry found that 13% of drug-free study participants had traces of drugs on their fingertips. The participants were tested at the University of Surrey and had enough drugs on their hands to trip instruments and it did not go away when participants washed their hands. This study was confirmed by chemists who already knew that trace amounts of drugs are everywhere, said Rolf Halden, director of the Bio-design Center for Environmental Health Engineering at Arizona State University USA. ”Think of drugs on paper money,” used in conjunction with drugs said Halden.
https://www.livescience.com/62099-cocaine-heroine-drug-finger-fingerprints.html

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