LIFEalerts 22 December 2015

 

Abortion Dominican Republic – Court Upholds Abortion Ban
Alternative Medicine No news today
Euthanasia South Africa – Sean Davidson fails to comply with own controls
HIV/AIDS No news today
Homosexuality No news today
IVF & Surrogacy China – Set to be the biggest IVF market in the world

Poland – New Government Pulls State Funding for IVF 

Sweden – Study concludes that Surrogacy is Mostly Positive

Mexico – Tabasco bans surrogacy for same sex and foreign people

Medical Ethics USA – So Forced feeding is not OK in Guantanamo but is in nursing homes

USA – Summit fails to ban genetic engineering of human embryos

Pedophilia

No news today

Pornography No news today
Prostitution &Trafficking USA – Trafficking in Persons (Act) Report 2015

USA – Services for survivors of domestic sex trafficking

Ireland – Increase in number of sex workers seeking help

Vietnam – Trafficking of Women and Girls for Sexual Exploitation

Stem Cells & Cloning No news today
Substance Abuse South Africa – Methamphetamine sold as sweets to school children

USA – FDA approves Naloxone nasal spray to reverse opioid overdose

USA – DEA Chief Says Medical Marijuana Is a ‘Joke’

USA – Ohio Votes Against Marijuana

USA – School Seniors More Likely to Smoke Pot Than Cigarettes

 

Abortion

 

Dominican Republic – Court Upholds Abortion Ban

The Dominican Republic is holding fast to its pro-life principles after its highest court blocked a new law that would have legalized abortions. Last year, the country’s congress and President Danilo Medina approved amendments to their criminal code to allow abortion in cases of rape, incest, fetal deformity or danger to the woman’s life. However, several pro-life groups filed a complaint against the law, saying it violated the country’s constitution. The high court agreed that the amendments were unconstitutional. The amendment states:  “the right to life is inviolable from conception until death,” and passed 128 to 32. Central and South American countries are very pro-life, though they have witnessed a growing push from abortion advocates to legalize abortion.

http://www.lifenews.com/2015/12/04/dominican-republic-court-upholds-abortion-ban-saving-unborn-children-from-abortions/

 

Alternative Medicine

 

No news today

 

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Euthanasia

 

South Africa – Sean Davidson fails to comply with own controls

Sean Davison and Dignity SA failed to answer a question on controls posed to him at the UCT Bioethics symposium and via a letter published in the Cape Times. The euthanasia issue will be back in the news in early 2016 when the Stransham-Ford appeal is heard.  Central to the motivation by Dignity SA is that if legalised, there would be ‘strict controls’ on euthanasia. Nevertheless, Sean Davison has admitted to violating his own proposed criteria twice and may have done so a third time, an allegation he has refused to confirm or deny four times.  How do Davison and Dignity SA expect such ‘strict controls’ to be enforced if he fails to comply with his own proposed controls himself?

http://www.doctorsforlife.co.za/pg/philip-rosenthal-email-euthanasia/

 

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HIV/AIDS & STI’s

 

No news today

 

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Homosexuality

 

No news today

 

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IVF &Surrogacy

 

China – Set to be the biggest IVF market in the world

“Here we can do IVF with gender selection and you don’t need lots of documentation,” a doctor at the Guangdong clinic said, adding there had been a 50% jump in consultations since the one-child policy announcement. Patients and doctors in China said state IVF centres were often over-stretched – little surprise given each clinic serves around 3.8 million people, compared with 700,000 people per clinic in the United States. “Clinics are so busy it’s unbearable. Whichever hospital you go to it’s always rammed with people,” said a junior doctor at an IVF clinic in Shanghai, who asked not to be named.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/11/30/china-population-ivf-idUSL3N13C13U20151130?rpc=401#hlAZLxLuMtEqUlKB.97

 

Poland – New Government Pulls State Funding for IVF

In-vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment is used by couples who are unable to conceive. It consists of fertilizing an egg outside a woman’s body to produce an embryo that can then be implanted in her womb. In Poland, the previous liberal administration had introduced state funding for IVF, despite staunch opposition from the influential Catholic Church. But, now the new right-wing government has decided to cut this state funding for IVF.

http://www.medindia.net/news/polands-new-right-wing-government-pulls-state-funding-for-ivf-155952-1.htm

 

Sweden – Study concludes that Surrogacy is Mainly Positive

The Swedish government is considering a change of legislation to make surrogate motherhood legal in Sweden. The move is backed by research from a Nordic study that established that surrogacy as a rule works well for both the child and the surrogate mother. Among the published results…Children born as a result of surrogacy have no more health issues than children born from ordinary IVF. There are no negative signs concerning the child’s development up to the age of 10. Most surrogate mothers are well motivated, with a desire to help childless couples. Only a small number of surrogates have problems in handing over a child born as a result of this method.

http://www.sensiblesurrogacy.com/swedish-study-concludes-that-surrogacy-is-generally-positive/

http://humupd.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2015/10/09/humupd.dmv046.short?rss=1

 

Mexico – Tabasco bans surrogacy for same sex and foreign people

The Gulf coast state of Tabasco is currently the only Mexican state that allows surrogacy, supposedly on a non-commercial basis. It has attracted many foreign and same sex couples looking to have children. But the Tabasco state legislature voted 21-9 on Monday to restrict the option to Mexicans. It also says that couples looking for a child must include a mother aged 25 to 40 who can present proof that she is medically unable to bear a child. Mexico has become a low-cost alternative to the United States, where surrogacy can cost $150,000 or more.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/dec/15/mexico-tabasco-state-surrogacy-gay-men-foreign-couples

 

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Medical Ethics

 

USA – So Forced-feeding is not OK in Guantanamo but is in nursing homes

Dr. Haider Javed Warraich of Duke University Medical Centre has compared the practice of force feeding elderly patients to Guantanamo Bay. Tube feeding is often a result of family refusing to accept a disease has progressed beyond remedy. But doctors are often to blame. “… a survey revealed that almost two-thirds of them erroneously believed feeding tubes would improve survival in their patients. In fact, given that tube feeding has now been shown to be harmful in patients with dementia, it should not even be offered to this population.“ The article comes after a widely publicized court case involving an elderly Canadian woman who was fed by her doctors despite a directive asking for this not to happen.

http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/run-that-past-me-again-forced-feeding-is-not-ok-in-guantanamo-but-is-ok-in/11679

 

USA – Summit fails to ban genetic engineering of human embryos

Gene-editing with the four-year-old CRISPR technique is already so promising that a meeting of American, British and Chinese scientists has been held in Washington to discuss how it should be regulated. The most controversial item on the agenda was genetic editing of human embryos and germ cells. Unsurprisingly, the International Summit on Human Gene-Editing declared that it would be “irresponsible to proceed with any clinical use of germline editing” until the risks were better understood. But it failed to endorse even a moratorium on human germline gene-editing, let alone a blanket ban. Harvard’s George Church argued that a ban would be unrealistic because it cannot be enforced so research will continue in countries where it is not banned.

http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/summit-fails-to-stop-genetic-engineering-of-human-embryos/11683

 

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Pedophilia

 

No news today

 

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Pornography

 

No news today

 

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Prostitution & Trafficking

 

USA – Trafficking in Persons (Act) Report 2015

“This year’s 382 page, report places emphasis on human trafficking globally. It highlights the hidden risks, that workers encounter when seeking employment, and the steps that governments and businesses can take to prevent trafficking.” The bottom line is that this is no time for complacency. Across the globe, victims of human trafficking are daring to imagine the possibility of escape, the chance for a life without fear, and the opportunity to earn a living wage. I echo the words of President Obama and say to them: We hear you, and we will do all we can to make that dream come true. We will not rest until modern slavery is ended.” said John F. Kerry, Secretary of State.

http://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/2015/index.htm

http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/245365.pdf

 

USA – Services for survivors of domestic sex trafficking

The last decade has seen advances in both scholarship and advocacy regarding the domestic sex trafficking (DST) of women and children, culminating in federal and state legislation addressing this human rights issue, writes Tasha Menaker in The Journal of Crime and Justice, Issue 3 2015. Prostituted women and girls continue to face stigma and blame for victimization. Studies have yet to fully explore perceptions of DST as it intersects with these forms of gendered violence. The current study uses a student sample of survey questionnaires to examine subject perceptions of gendered violence, with a focus on victim and perpetrator blame and appropriate social service responses for victims. Future research directions and policy implications are also discussed.

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/0735648X.2014.996321

 

Ireland – Increase in number of sex workers seeking help

An organisation helping women affected by prostitution says there has been an increase in the number of cases of sex trafficking dealt with last year. Based in Dublin, NGO Ruhama, says there has been an 8.5% increase in street prostitution and that they supported over 300 women from 37 different countries, including 88 victims of sex trafficking .The penalties for trafficking are extremely small compared to the enormous profits that can be gained and Ruhama has called for tougher sanctions to be imposed on those convicted.  The Garda National Protective Services Bureau, which is responsible for investigating the crime, needs to be adequately resourced as a matter of urgency.

http://www.rte.ie/news/2015/1207/751734-prostitution/

 

Vietnam – Trafficking of Women and Girls for Sexual Exploitation

Although the Vietnamese Government has many policies and laws to protect women’s rights and prevent violence against women, trafficking in women and children for sexual exploitation is increasing rapidly and complexly in Vietnam, says The Journal of US-China Medical Science, December 2015. Girls and young women from many provinces in Vietnam are trafficked daily to China. Many new chains of trafficking have been established and they are difficult to identify. Police and border guards cannot control all of them. It is estimated around 30 million women have been trafficked in Asia over the last several decades.

http://www.davidpublisher.org/Public/uploads/Contribute/5631cb2e0bc14.pdf

 

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Stem Cells & Cloning

 

No news today

 

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Substance Abuse

 

South Africa – Methamphetamine sold as sweets to school children

School children in Johannesburg, the Western Cape and KZN are being hooked on crystal meth when they buy sweets packaged to look like flavoured sugar straws. They are giving school children in Johannesburg a rush that only lasts a few seconds, but which is followed by a high which lasts for several hours. “Strawberry quick got its name from an urban legend, which became an actual reality in Johannesburg,” said Quintin van Kerken from the Anti-Drug Alliance SA. Prices vary dramatically, some dealer’s give them away for free the first few times, while others sell them from between R5 and R30. It all boils down to the dealer getting children addicted. 119

http://www.health24.com/Lifestyle/Street-drugs/News/drug-warning-crystal-meth-sold-as-sweets-to-schoolkids-20151127

 

USA – FDA approves Naloxone nasal spray to reverse opioid overdose

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health, is pleased to announce that intranasal naloxone –a nasal spray formulation of the medication designed to rapidly reverse opioid overdose – has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In 2013, more than 16,000 people died from a prescription opioid overdose, or approximately 44 people per day. In addition, another 8,000 died from heroin-related overdoses, a rate that has nearly quadrupled between 2002 and 2013. This FDA-approved intranasal delivery system could reduce the thousands of opioid-related deaths each year, and give patients a second chance to enter into long term addiction treatment.

http://www.drugabuse.gov/news-events/news-releases/2015/11/fda-approves-naloxone-nasal-spray-to-reverse-opioid-overdose

 

USA – DEA Chief Says Medical Marijuana Is a ‘Joke’

DEA chief Chuck Rosenberg said the idea that marijuana can be used as medicine is a “joke.” “What really bothers me is the notion that marijuana is also medicinal — because it’s not,” Rosenberg said. “We can have an intellectually honest debate about whether we should legalize something that is bad and dangerous, but don’t call it medicine, that is a joke.” “..if you talk about smoking the leaf of marijuana, which is what people are talking about when they talk about medicinal marijuana, it has never been shown to be safe or effective as a medicine.”

http://time.com/4101340/dea-medical-marijuana-joke/

 

USA – Ohio Votes Against Marijuana

Ohio voters decided against legalizing marijuana and instead voted for the legislation that would disallow using the state constitution to create a monopoly. Sixty four percent of voters voted no, while thirty five percent voted yes.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/debraborchardt/2015/11/04/ohio-votes-against-marijuana-and-monopolies/

 

USA – School Seniors More Likely to Smoke Pot Than Cigarettes

For the first time, more U.S. high school seniors are smoking marijuana than tobacco, a new survey shows. Daily marijuana use remained relatively stable at 6 percent, while those seniors who said they smoked cigarettes every day dropped from 6.7 percent in 2014 to 5.5 percent, the researchers found. The same trend has been seen on college campuses, with a recent report showing that more college students (6 %) now smoke a joint each day than light up a cigarette (5 percent). NIDA funded the survey, which was conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan.

http://health.usnews.com/health-news/articles/2015-12-16/high-school-seniors-now-more-likely-to-smoke-pot-than-cigarettes-survey

 

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