USA – Debating the pro-abortion arguments
In this 11-minute debate a few interesting points on abortion are raised. First is the argument where the government should not have the right to tell a woman what to do with her body when she is pregnant. However, when a murderer chooses to kill someone we can agree that the government has the right to stop them and the same should apply to the unborn baby. Secondly, the argument of pro-choice groups are strikingly similar to slavery arguments in that someone gets to define human life based on their emotional or financial state, which is a dangerous place to be. The pro-life argument is very simple and clear and the pro-choice groups try and make it complicated so that they can make it morally and emotionally more acceptable to abort the unborn child. When pro-choice people say they had to make a very difficult decision to abort their baby – it tells us that they know they are doing something wrong and that it has moral weight.
USA – Abortion is equivalent to murder
Iowa passed a bill that would prohibit abortion after the baby’s heartbeat is detected at 6 weeks of pregnancy. State Rep. Shannon Lundgren (R), while speaking on the House floor, called the bill “a courageous step” that sends the message that Iowa “will defend its most vulnerable, those without a voice – our unborn children.” The bill would require women seeking an abortion to first have an ultrasound, at which time a physician would detect whether there is a heartbeat. The bill also would prohibit someone from acquiring, providing, receiving or using baby body parts in Iowa. A violator could be charged with a Class C felony.
Alternative Medicine[No news today]
Netherlands – Suicide machine from ‘Dr. Death’ draws outrage
A 3D-printed suicide machine designed to aid euthanasia is planned to be made public for the first time at the Amsterdam Funeral Fair. Dubbed the Sacro, the device was created by Dr. Philip Nitschke, a euthanasia activist who’s also known as “Dr. Death”. It has been reported that event attendees could actually try the device using virtual reality technology. Plans to demonstrate the euthanasia machine has sparked outrage. According to critics, Nitschke’s creation is “gruesome” and it also glamorizes suicide.
Belgium – Research reveals trends in medical practice of euthanasia
Only about 15% of euthanasia cases in the semi-autonomous region of Flanders in Belgium are being reported, according to the latest research by physicians. It has long been known that euthanasia is underreported on official forms but that there are about 550% more cases of euthanasia than are currently in government statistics seems to have astonished even researchers. Research lists several reasons; physicians consciously or unintentionally not recognizing their cases of euthanasia as such, because they believe that they have not complied with the legal due care criteria (e.g. not reported euthanasia to the evaluation committee as is required by law), because they have privacy concerns for themselves as reporting attaches their name to the euthanasia case and the patient, and because they do not consider it necessary to report it on the death certificate. The lack of clear guidelines is probably also a reason for the low number of euthanasia cases indicated on death certificates.
Belgium – How many people is Flemish doctors really euthanizing?
It has long been known that euthanasia is underreported on official forms but that there are about 550% more cases of euthanasia than are currently making their way into the government statistics, seems to have astonished even researchers. In a letter to the European Journal of Epidemiology, researchers from the End-of-Life Care Research Group at the Free University of Brussels admit that “death certificates substantially underestimate the frequency of euthanasia as a cause of death in Belgium and are therefore an unreliable tool for monitoring its practice. The authors of a BMJ article noted that “societal control over the euthanasia practice is an important prerequisite for effective euthanasia legislation”. If that is the goal, Belgium’s experiment with euthanasia has failed.
IVF and Surrogacy
China – Post-one-child-policy causes posthumous conception desperation
An underground market in surrogacy is booming in China after the government reversed the decades-old one-child policy. Nothing illustrates this better than a bizarre legal battle fought by two sets of grandparents over frozen embryos. In 2013 a young couple who had just had IVF treatment were killed in a car accident which appeared to end the bloodline of the two families. The heartbroken grandparents decided to engage a surrogate mother to carry the embryos but the IVF clinic refused to release them, as China has banned surrogacy. Rather than risking the consequences of a lawsuit with the hospital, the two couples sued each other to get the courts to back their case. The court handed down a favorable decision: “The only carrier of the two families’ blood lines carries the burden of their grieving memories and consolation.” A surrogate mother in Laos was impregnated with the embryos and gave birth to the child – a boy named Tiantian, or Sweet-Sweet. China is not the only country where posthumous conception is an issue. In Israel an informal legal instrument has been created, the “biological will” to cater for the spouses and grandparents of men who died before they were able to have children. The document asserts that “a person who has their semen or eggs frozen would like them to be posthumously used to create offspring”.
UK – British toddler Alfie Evans dies in hospital
Terminally ill British toddler Alfie Evans has died just a little under one week after having life support withdrawn. The protracted legal dispute over the boy’s fate reached its climax with protesters attempting to storm Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in a bid to have the boy released. Evans was suffering from an unidentified neurodegenerative disease and specialists from Alder Hey Hospital said that “almost the entirety of Alfie’s brain has been eroded, leaving only water and cerebral spinal fluid”. Vox News journalist Tara Isabella Burton summarized the debate as a disagreement about whether parents or the state should decide what is in the best interests of a child: Ultimately, however, the Evans case is about who gets to decide what the best interest of a child really is. When the view of the state and the view of a child’s parents are at odds, who gets to have the final say? The answer ties into wider questions about medical ethics and what it means for a life to be “not worth living,” and about popular trust, or lack thereof, in the UK’s National Health Service, a paradigmatic example of both the pros and cons of socialized medicine.
France – Macron encourages Church to speak out on bioethics
In a speech that garnered both criticism and praise, French President Emmanuel Macron told a gathering of Catholic bishops they should not be afraid to contribute to public debate, saying that Christians bring a valuable perspective on the human person to otherwise secular political discussions. Macron said that “Our contemporaries need, whether they believe or do not believe, to hear from another perspective on man than the material perspective…They need to quench another thirst, which is a thirst for absolute. Macron praised the Church for its consistent defense of the vulnerable in society, ranging from the unborn and the elderly to migrants and the poor. “You consider that our duty is to protect life, especially when this life is defenseless. The speech appears to be an invitation for the Church to express its opposition to impending bioethics legislation due to be introduced in the French parliament by the end of the year. The legislation will seek to make single women and lesbian couples eligible for assisted reproduction, which currently is only available to infertile heterosexual couples in France. It would also reconsider legalizing euthanasia, which is now banned.
USA – Jennifer Haley creates avatar girls to explore pedophilia
Is virtual reality real? Is it so real that some of our interactions in computer-simulated, 3-D environments should be banned? Jennifer Haley has produced a provocative play unlike most of the popular war and fantasy games on the market; this game takes you into one of the darker corners of cyberspace. This is about men who are free to indulge their sexual desires with pre-pubescent girls. What is most unsettling are the issues the playwright raises about the lure and morality of the boundaries between imagining and acting. Ms Haley wanted to probe the potential ethical issues arising from our fascination with computerized illusions. Recently criminal justice officials in Germany, Australia and other countries have debated whether visitors of “underground” virtual sites that involve pedophilia should be prosecuted for child pornography crimes. Some have suggested that virtual reality avatars of young girls be used to help identify, diagnose and possibly punish the adult clients.
India – New law propose death sentence for child rape
Amid growing anger over rising incidents of child rape cases India has started the process to amend the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act), 2012, to ensure maximum punishment of the death penalty in child rape cases where the victim is under 12 years of age. The Act was framed to protect children from offences of sexual abuse, sexual harassment and pornography. The move comes amid rising tensions over the rape and murder of an eight-year-old in Jammu and the alleged rape of a minor in Unnao. There is a rising national consensus for punishments that set an example in both the cases.
USA – Parents enraged over school sex videos for children
On behalf of parents enraged that their 14-year-old girls at a Virginia high school were exposed to pornographic videos and curriculum, a Christian legal group is demanding that the Planned Parenthood affiliated agency presenting the obscene material be prohibited from continuing its so-called “education” classes. Parents were particularly upset over the fact that they were not asked or even forewarned about the sexually explicit content being presented to their early teens. “The ‘Sex Positivity’ curriculum was presented without the consent or knowledge of parents. Nowhere in the curriculum are the words ‘abstinence’, ‘legal,’ ‘moral,’ ‘faith,’ or ‘parents. However, the word ‘sex’ or derivatives appears more than 49 times in the document, including the sentence ‘I’d like to have sex tonight, would you?’
Same Sex Attraction
Nigeria – Homosexual men fight over HIV infection
In Lagos State, Nigeria, a man infected with HIV by his boyfriend protested against his boyfriend wanting to sleep with another man and infect him too. The argument quickly broke out into a fight that had neighbours calling the police for help. Inter-partner violence is a common occurrence in the homosexual community. In the Journal of Human Sexuality (volume 1) of 2009 on page 87, studies reviewed and derived from hundreds of sources by the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuals (NARTH), reveal that despite homosexuals knowing the risks, they repeatedly and pathologically continue to indulge in unsafe sex practices. Homosexuals have the highest number of STI cases and many homosexual sex practices are medically dangerous, with or without protection. Homosexual relationships in comparison to heterosexual relationships are far more violent and frequent and more than one third of homosexual men and women are substance abusers.
USA – First Ever Ex-LGBT march and an uprising of truth
In Washington the first ever Ex-LGBT Freedom March will be hosted by an Organisation called Voice of the Voiceless which supports and advocates for individuals that have left the homosexual lifestyle. Attendees from around the country will attend and share their journey of life before and after homosexuality. The movement of so many individuals debunks the claims from LGBT advocates and medical organisations (that have abandoned science and research integrity) which have said homosexuality is “unchangeable”.
USA – Harmful transgender book scientifically inaccurate
Michael K. Laidlaw, MD is a board-certified physician in Rocklin, California specializing in endocrinology who reviewed the book for children called “I am Jazz” by Jazz Jennings about an adolescent being “diagnosed” as transgender. Dr. Laidlaw expresses concerns from a medical point of view that this book makes false claims that are scientifically incorrect and fails to mention the “multitude of health risks, potential infertility and sexual dysfunction associated with the hormonal and surgical treatment of gender dysphoria. “I could not in good conscience recommend these treatments to any child or adolescent.” Harm has already occurred at Rocklin Academy in a kindergarten class where the book was read as a number in the class were emotionally harmed.
USA – Trump signs ‘FOSTA’ bill targeting online sex trafficking
President Trump signed a bill that gives federal and state prosecutors power to pursue websites that host sex-trafficking ads and enables victims and state attorney general’s to file lawsuits against those sites. The signing comes just days after seven executives for Backpage.com were arrested on a 93-count indictment that alleges the website facilitated prostitution and laundered tens of millions of dollars in profits and that teenage girls were sold for sex on the site. Some of those girls were killed. The government also shut down Backpage’s classified ad websites around the world and moved to seize houses and bank accounts around the United States.
South Africa – Sex Trade’s Female Victims have ‘Damaged Lives’
A quarter of a million people live in modern slavery in South Africa. Every eight hours a woman is killed by a male partner and one woman in five has suffered rape or sexual assault at least once. Among prostituted women estimates of HIV rates range between 39 percent and 71 percent. Men from both the U.S. and the U.K. regularly travel as sex tourists and pay to have sex with the most vulnerable and marginalized women and girls. The presence of international aid agencies, charities and nongovernmental organizations working toward developing better civil society infrastructures appear to do relatively little to tackle the problem of sex trafficking. Until paying for sex under any circumstance is stigmatized and criminalized and women and girls are helped to escape the sex trade, trafficking will continue to flourish and abusers will act with impunity Julie Bindel is a journalist, writer, broadcaster and researcher and has been active in the global campaign to end violence towards women and children.
UK – Substance abuse and addiction services decline with lack of funding
Dependency services are at a crisis point as a result of a lack of funding from government, a new survey has warned. In a report from Alcohol Research UK and Alcohol Concern, the survey, which received 154 completed responses from medical professionals and service users, found that only 12% of the medical facilities and doctors surveyed felt that substance abuse services in their area were sufficient and cuts of up to 58% were reported. ”Public Health England estimates that around 595,000 people in England alone are in need of specialist treatment. In 2016-17, only 80,454 people received treatment for dependencies, with 80% of substance and alcohol dependent people currently not in rehabilitation services. Government needs to recognise the vital role that treatment plays in addressing the tragic consequences dependency can have on individuals.”
USA – New data shows that fatal drug overdose has nearly tripled
Fatal drug overdoses nearly tripled between 2014 and 2017 according to the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report released by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Opioid related fatal overdoses accounted for nearly 61 percent of overdoses in 2016 and for 63 percent of the fatal overdoses in 2017. Deaths from heroin and synthetic opioids increased sharply across many states. Between 2014 and 2017 fatal overdoses involving synthetic opioids increased by 71%.This epidemic is a problem that doesn’t discriminate. Rates of opioid deaths increased overall between both sexes aged 25 to 44 and all ethnic groups. The CDC data was analyzed by the Office on National Drug Control Policy and revealed that opioid related fatalities outnumbered gun-related deaths by nearly 3 to 1.
Disclaimer: the views and opinions expressed in these articles do not necessarily reflect those of Doctors for Life International