LIFEalerts 14 March 2018

Abortion

Ireland – Abortion is not Ireland’s standardUSA – Five states join 22 others to oppose abortion

Alternative Medicine

New Zealand – Pharmacy Councils’ position on alternative medicines disappointingUSA – FDA warns of fraudulent and unapproved flu products

USA – Herbalist who replaced insulin with oils charged with teen’s death

Euthanasia

Sweden – Mechanisms propelling euthanasia/assisted suicide movementJapan – Is the WMA going to change on euthanasia?

USA – Rejection of proposed New Hampshire assisted suicide Bill

USA – Discussion of possible Hawaiian assisted suicide

IVF and Surrogacy

[No news today]

Medical Ethics

USA – Former NFL players turn to stem-cell therapies for helpNetherlands – Parliament passes opt-out organ donation law

USA – Biohacking: the future of the biosciences?

USA – Potential organ donors fear inadequate treatment

Pedophilia

[No news today]

Pornography

South Africa- Award-winning film is classified as hard-core pornographyUSA – Porn makes men prefer sex with robots over real women

Same Sex Attraction

UK – LGBT group linked to paedophilia ringUSA – Challenging the transgender narrative

Sexual Exploitation

South Africa – What the price of prostitutes teaches about SA economyIreland – ‘It’s not normal’ ex prostitute calls for crackdown on escort agency websites

Substance Abuse

USA – Vaping debate: do e-cigarettes cause cancer?USA – Study: “Medical marijuana” outlets don’t only sell to the sick

South Africa – Durban calls for halt on supply of free syringes to addicts

USA – Judge tosses lawsuit challenging federal marijuana laws

Abortion

Ireland – Abortion is not Ireland’s standard

Abortion group Amnesty International is seeking to repeal Irelands’ abortion ban with money donated by billionaire George Soros. Amnesty was ordered by the Irish Standards in Public Office Commission (SIPO) to take back the $160,964 donation. The money was intended to fund the “My Body, My Rights” campaign but Ireland’s finance laws prohibits foreign donors from giving to groups that seek to sway elections or public policy.
https://www.onenewsnow.com/pro-life/2017/12/24/ireland-to-soros-take-back-your-abortion-money

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USA – Five states join 22 others to oppose abortion

In the USA, five more states have raised the standards to oppose the killing of the unborn. Pro-lifers have managed to raise awareness and win the hearts of 27 states in an incredible display of effort and persistence to protect the babies in the womb. South Carolina, Florida, West Virginia, Mississippi and Iowa – all voted on restricting or banning abortions. The most impressive of the recent five states is Iowa that voted to ban all types of abortions and doctors who perform abortions after a foetal heartbeat is detected could be facing felony charges and five years in prison.

https://www.liveaction.org/news/south-carolina-state-senate-will-vote-on-personhood-bill/

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/breaking-mississippi-senate-votes-to-ban-abortions-after-15-weeks

https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/west-virginia/articles/2018-03-05/west-virginia-house-opposes-constitutional-abortion-rights

https://rewire.news/article/2018/03/02/iowa-state-senate-passes-unconstitutional-total-abortion-ban/

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/florida-passes-bill-banning-dismemberment-abortions

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Alternative Medicine

New Zealand – Pharmacy Councils’ position on alternative medicines disappointing

The New Zealand Medical Association (NZMA) is disappointed that the Pharmacy Council has weakened its stand on selling non-evidence based products. “The latest version of the Pharmacy Code of Ethics, permits pharmacists to supply complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) that have no current evidence of proven efficacy,” says NZMA Chair Dr Kate Baddock. “This is particularly serious given the lack of regulation in this area, now that the Natural Products Bill has been dropped from the Parliamentary agenda.”The proposed Bill was a ‘backstop’, which meant that pharmacists could rely on the regulator to consider evidence and quality. “Evidence-based medicine is a key tenet of the medical profession’s Code of Ethics, maintained by the NZMA. It is most disappointing that our colleagues in the pharmacy profession do not share this.”
http://www.voxy.co.nz/health/5/305263

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USA – FDA warns of fraudulent and unapproved flu products

“This year the flu has been widespread, impacting millions of patients across the country, and leading to a new record number of flu-related hospitalizations,” said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. “We understand the toll this year’s flu season has taken on peoples’ lives. As the flu continues to make people sick and even cause deaths, unscrupulous actors may also be taking advantage of unsuspecting consumers by promoting their fraudulent products that have not been reviewed by the FDA to be safe and effective. The FDA is warning consumers to be alert and to try and steer clear of fraudulent flu products, which may be found online or in retail stores. We’re advising consumers on some of the telltale signs to look for when trying to spot flu products that may be fraudulent.
https://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm599223.htm

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USA – Herbalist who replaced insulin with oils charged with teen’s death

An herbalist who claimed he used alternative medicine to cure his own cancer has been charged with the death of a 13-year-old boy after he allegedly replaced his insulin with herbal oils. Timothy Morrow, 83, was charged with child abuse, causing death and practicing medicine without a license, Los Angeles city attorney Mike Feuer said in a statement. When the boy became semi-comatose in August 2014 due to complications from his diabetes, Morrow told his parents to treat their son with the herbal oils he sold rather than insulin which was prescribed by qualified medical doctors. Type 1 Diabetes is caused by an autoimmune response which stops the body from making insulin. According to the Centers for Disease Control people with Type 1 diabetes need to take insulin every day in order to survive.
http://www.newsweek.com/herbalist-who-cured-cancer-herbs-charged-death-after-treating-boys-diabetes-836132

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Euthanasia

Sweden – Mechanisms propelling euthanasia/assisted suicide movement

An article by Swedish researcher Fabian Stahle, in the Journal of Medical Ethics in Mental Health explains the mechanism of the euthanasia lobby to change the concept of killing through the mechanism known as Moral Disengagement. By examining Albert Bandura’s theory of Moral Disengagement based on social cognitive theory to justify acts that are otherwise considered inhumane to become acceptable, the pro-euthanasia movement uses highly potent psychological mechanisms to propel its agenda and coerce well-socialized persons into participating and accepting the killing of fellow human-beings. Operating at the behavior locus are three separate disengagement mechanisms that convert the construal of injurious conduct into righteous conduct. Moral justification is used to vindicate injurious means. Second, by the use of sanitizing euphemistic language, injurious conduct is rendered benign. Exonerative comparison with even more flagrant inhumanities is a third mechanism for cloaking injurious behavior in an aura of benevolence.
http://www.jemh.ca/issues/v9/documents/JEMH%20article%20Stahle%20final%20proof%20-%20copy-edited.pdf

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Japan – Is the WMA going to change on euthanasia?

Even though the legalisation of euthanasia has been gathering momentum around the world, the World Medical Association (WMA) has refused to support it. Dr John Lee, the president of Fédération Internationale des Associations de Médecins Catholiques (FIAMC) has issued a stark warning about impending changes in WMA policy. The WMA has plans to introduce two policy measures to facilitate worldwide abortion and euthanasia by curtailing doctors’ conscientious objection. By saying that the WMA does not condemn physicians who perform euthanasia where it is legal, the WMA is saying that euthanasia can be ethical if it is legal.
https://www.mercatornet.com/careful/view/is-the-world-medical-association-going-to-change-on-euthanasia/21078

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USA – Rejection of proposed New Hampshire assisted suicide Bill

Bill SB 490 was defeated by 12 votes to 10 which would have opened a “gateway” for legalizing physician assisted suicide. Assisted suicide has become a cost cutting measure that puts a dollar sign between the patient and caregiver. Palliative, rehabilitative and psychological care will always be more expensive than a lethal dose of a drug. Neutrality on assisted suicide is never acceptable policy. Honest discussion of end-of-life issues in New Hampshire has to begin with calling assisted suicide by its right name. The New Hampshire Senate, by a narrow margin, refused to be neutral.
https://www.nhcornerstone.org/latest-news/senate-rejects-assisted-suicide/

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USA – Discussion of possible Hawaiian assisted suicide

A joint committee hearing scheduled for February 2018 will discuss the legislation of physician assisted suicide in the state of Hawaii. House Bill 2739 which is modeled after California’s law entitled ‘Our Care, Our Choice’ would institute a process where adult residents in Hawaii with a medically confirmed terminal illness, and less than six months to live, could request a prescription for medication that would end their life.
https://patientsrightsaction.org/hearing-set-for-a-bill-that-would-legalize-assisted-suicide-in-hawaii/

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IVF and Surrogacy

[No news today]

Medical Ethics

USA – Former NFL players turn to stem-cell therapies for help

Several former members of the Dallas Cowboys had received experimental stem-cell therapy in Mexico to deal with pain and injuries. Bob Lilly, once a top defensive lineman, said he had received two separate treatments offered by Texas stem cell company Celltex. “I have no pain,” Lilly said. “And that’s pretty unusual when you’ve played 24 years of football”. Several of Celltex’s treatments are yet to be approved by the FDA, and in many cases the company flies clients to Mexico to receive stem cell injections. Bur neurologist Michael De Georgia of Cleveland Medical Centre cautions: “we need to be very cautious about claims and promises to patients who may be under the assumption or the belief that this therapy has been shown to be effective, and it hasn’t”.
https://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/former-nfl-players-turn-to-stem-cell-therapies-for-help/12606

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Netherlands – Parliament passes opt-out organ donation law

The Dutch parliament has narrowly passed a bill that requires every person over 18 to notify government officials if they do not want to be an organ donor. The law is intended to reduce pressure on next-of-kin, who are often required to make decisions about organ donation on behalf of the deceased. Critics have complained that it puts too much authority in the hands of the government over what happens to a citizen after their death. Bioethicist Wesley J Smith suggested that in some cases euthanasia “without request or consent” could be combined with presumed consent for organ donation: “a patient could very conceivably be both killed and harvested without having requested it”.
https://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/netherlands-passes-opt-out-organ-donation-law/12605

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USA – Biohacking: the future of the biosciences?

Biohacking, or do-it-yourself biology, attempts to take what have traditionally been university or institute-based scientific disciplines – molecular biology, genetics, bioengineering, and so forth – and make them more available to the general public. Several grass-roots biohacking organisations have surfaced in recent years, including biophysicist Josiah Zayner’s company The Odin. Zayner aims to make experimental biotechnologies available to the public – particularly equipment for genetic engineering. “One of my big problems with academic and medical science is [that] lots of stuff…won’t be available to the general public for 10, 20, 30, 40 years…How do you expect this technology go forward if they aren’t testing, playing around it? What is too early and what is too late? I don’t know if there’s an answer. The US Food and Drug Administration recently issued a harshly worded statement cautioning consumers against DIY gene-therapy kits and calling their sale illegal.
https://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/biohacking-the-future-of-the-biosciences/12612

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USA – Potential organ donors fear inadequate treatment

According to an article published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons medical researchers from Emory University found the main deterrent for organ donation is a misperception that one will receive inadequate medical care if registered as an organ donor. The results of the survey also indicated other factors deterring people from donating such an increased cost for the donor family when donating organs. “Educating the public regarding these and other misperceptions is desperately needed,” says Dr Marty T. Sellers of Emory University School of Medicine, the lead author of the paper. “With education, we believe this would convert more eligible donors into actual donors, which would shorten waiting times and allow transplantation earlier in a disease process.
https://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/potential-organ-donors-fear-inadequate-treatment/12610

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Pedophilia

[No news today]

Pornography

South Africa- Award-winning film is classified as hard-core pornography

South Africa’s award-winning film Inxeba (The Wound), has been classified as X18 by the Film and Publication Board Appeal Tribunal after protest from interests groups CONTRALESA Gauteng and The Men and Boy Foundation because of elements of sex, language, nudity, violence and Prejudice”. The film can only be distributed from designated adult premises. The reclassification of Inxeba also follows multiple protests against the film’s screening. This included a protest at a Nu Metro cinema in Port Elizabeth at the start of February. Protesters called for a boycotting of the film and the mall which hosted the cinema.
https://mybroadband.co.za/news/broadcasting/248737-south-africas-latest-award-winning-film-has-been-classified-as-hard-core-pornography-by-the-fpb.html

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USA – Porn makes men prefer sex with robots over real women

Internet pornography has caused men to prefer robotic sex dolls rather than women, according to a man profiting by this booming new sex doll industry. The overuse of pornography has perpetuated unrealistic expectations about women that cause men to turn to robotic dolls. The creator of the “Samantha” robot, Arran Wright, claimed that his robot responds when you tell her you love her. He also boasted that his robot can go into “family” mode and interact with his children. Critics of sex doll robots say that the child-like ones that have been created will increase, rather than reduce, sex abuse by paedophiles. There are also robots that can be programmed to respond as if they are being raped.
https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/sex-robot-manufacturer-porn-makes-men-prefer-sex-with-robots-over-real-wome

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Same Sex Attraction

UK – LGBT group linked to paedophilia ring

An LGBT group in the UK has been urged to investigate allegations of connections to a paedophile ring after Matthew Sephton, 42, the former chairman of the group, was jailed and convicted at Manchester Crown Court for sharing the most horrendous child abuse images. Apparently the group was warned three years ago of suspicious activity within the gay rights group linking them to a wider paedophile scandal. It is alarming to see so many reports surfacing on the LGBT groups and the link to paedophile activity.
http://www.breitbart.com/london/2018/01/28/mail-sunday-tory-party-lgbt-group-linked-paedophile-ring/

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USA – Challenging the transgender narrative

In a short video clip Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson challenges Zac Petkanas, a Democratic National Committee Senior Advisor on the issue of ‘gender-neutral’ bathrooms. Petkanas was adamant that you don’t need any other way to define you’re gender other than what you say it is. Carlson asked whether a scientific foundation exists for concluding that a man becomes a woman by saying he is now a woman and does he then get to play women’s sports because he says he is a woman. The thought that you can be ‘gender-neutral’ or one of 50 other gender options has never been attempted in human history and has confused and concerned many American people.
https://youtu.be/jWJ8WCNjpME

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Sexual Exploitation

South Africa – What the price of prostitutes teaches about SA economy

High unemployment rates, a symptom of an ailing economy, have meant that many young people find their only source of income in selling their bodies. What’s more, it’s a case of small change in the sex trade in small towns across the country. Marius Oosthuizen, a leadership, strategy and ethics expert at the Gordon Institute of Business Science says he pays close attention to the price of prostitutes in his field work because it helps provide a nuanced sense of the micro-economy. In the rural areas it costs just R50. What he sees is tragic and underscores a major block in kick starting economic growth. South Africa has a largely consolidated economic sector that is unlikely to create jobs on a massive scale without significant policy change.
https://www.biznews.com/thought-leaders/2018/02/23/prostitutes-sa-micro-economy/

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Ireland – ‘It’s not normal’ ex prostitute calls for crackdown on escort agency websites

Rachel Moran was forced to work in prostitution at just 15-years-old after she became homeless. Now 42, she is urging the government to shut down escort agency websites and put pimps out of business to try and end Ireland’s prostitution problem. The business of having your body used is relentlessly traumatic for any woman who has any type of sense of herself. “It’s not normal to use a human being like a sex doll”. Research has found that one in 12 Irish men pay for sex and that there are around 1,000 people working as prostitutes. “There is no such thing as sex work, because prostitution is neither sex, nor work, its sexual abuse and monetized molestations. The Government needs to shut down the online escort agencies. “It’s a really ridiculous situation when you have a law that criminalizes a behavior, but you have a website that facilitates the same behavior.
https://www.thesun.ie/news/2223457/ex-prostitute-rachel-moran-calls-for-crackdown-on-escort-agency-websites-as-she-relives-relentlessly-traumatic-life-as-an-escort/

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Substance Abuse

USA – Vaping debate: do e-cigarettes cause cancer?

Latest research on health impacts of the growing trend in E-cigarette devices are promoted as a safer alternative to tobacco .New US research shows that vaping is “far from harmless” and could pose a serious health risk. A US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine review examined the effects of e-cigarette smoke on mice and lab-grown human cells by exposing them to a 10mg/ml e-cigarette solution for three hours a day, five days a week, for four months. This dose would be equivalent to light vaping for ten years, say the researchers, from the New York University School of Medicine. The mice exposed to e-cigarette smoke had “higher levels of DNA damage” in the heart, lungs, and bladder, compared with a control group exposed to filtered air, according to the team. Scientists also recorded damage to the human cells that in turn inhibits the process whereby the body repairs them and increases the possibility of cancer.
http://www.theweek.co.uk/checked-out/91552/vaping-debate-do-e-cigarettes-cause-cancer

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USA – Study: “Medical marijuana” outlets don’t only sell to the sick

A study of four medical marijuana outlets in California showed that dispensaries attracted many customers outside of their immediate area and appeared to target specific ethnic, gender and/or age groups. “If you need a prescription, you’re not going to go across town to fill it — you’re going to go to the pharmacy closest to where you live. That’s what we should be seeing with medical marijuana dispensaries.” said Bridget Freisthler, co-author of the study and professor of social work at Ohio State University. Instead, these dispensaries are acting more like bars, which develop niche markets she said. “While there has been speculation that medical dispensaries target recreational users, now we are starting to collect evidence that suggests this is true,” she said. The results appear online in the journal Substance Use & Misuse.
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/02/180212085851.htm

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South Africa – Durban calls for halt on supply of free syringes to addicts

Mayor Zandile Gumede tasked City officials to urgently address the issue and said while the matter was being investigated that the distribution of syringes to drug addicts must stop. The city’s Legal Compliance Unit has also been approached to provide an opinion on the legality of supplying the syringes with needles to communities without ensuring a proper, restricted disposal process by the project owner. Officials were finding a number of discarded, used syringes on the beachfront which had to be cordoned off for safety reasons. “An investigation was launched and it was discovered that a company operating in Durban has been supplying syringes to the public who requested it, as a way to stop the sharing of syringes. However, there are no control measures in place regarding disposal,” deputy mayor Fawzia peer added. “They are using the syringes and leaving it on the ground. However, this company has a memorandum of agreement with the national and provincial departments of health to supply syringes. She added that it was a serious concern and a societal problem with youngsters being given leeway to do drugs.
https://bereamail.co.za/128615/city-calls-halt-supply-free-syringes-addicts/

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USA – Judge tosses lawsuit challenging federal marijuana laws

A judge dismissed a lawsuit challenging federal laws criminalizing marijuana as unconstitutional, saying the five plaintiffs had failed to pursue changes in the drug’s legal status by first going through the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein did not address the plaintiffs claim that marijuana has medical benefits, but said the DEA has the authority to make that decision and not the courts. Michael Hiller, lead attorney for the plaintiffs said they would appeal the decision. The suit originally was filed as a growing number of states broke with the federal government and declared marijuana to be legal. Thirty have now legalized it in some fashion, including six for recreational use. The lawsuit challenged the listing of marijuana as a Schedule I drug, a category that includes heroin and LSD. The federal government says drugs under that classification have no accepted medical use and cannot legally be prescribed.
www.pressherald.com/2018/02/27/judge-tosses-lawsuit-challenging-federal-marijuana-laws/

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