LIFEalerts – Euthanasia

Euthanasia

Netherlands – Surgeons develop domestic organ donation

An indignant letter to JAMA Surgery by two surgeons from a hospital in the Netherlands developed domestic organ donation after euthanasia as a “newly introduced, donor-friendly donation procedure”. The patient is sedated and intubated at home where he lapses from consciousness surrounded by his family. Then he is taken, unconscious, to the hospital in an ambulance, euthanised, and operated on. There is no clarity on how often this happens. So why are the surgeons indignant? Because a 2020 article in JAMA Surgery had suggested that the best-practice location for organ donor euthanasia is the hospital. More

LIFEalerts – Abortion

Abortion

World – Country and U.S. state-wide developments on abortion

Here is a list of abortion legislation developments that took place in February this year. Goldsmith becomes 19th city in Texas to ban abortion within its limits. Tennessee state introduced a bill in which allows fathers to prevent an abortion. South Carolina state Governor signed into law that abortions are banned when the baby’s heartbeat can be detected but was blocked by planned parenthood lawsuit. South Dakota’s bill that requires doctors who deliver babies after a failed abortion attempt is to give them the same care they would any other baby was signed into law. Arizona, Florida and Northern Ireland are advancing similar legislation to end abortion up to birth for babies with disabilities which include down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot.

Australia has launched a bill to protect babies born alive after a failed abortion. Indiana House Lawmakers showed overwhelming support for a bill that is heading to the senate which would ensure that mothers receive information about their unborn baby’s development and the abortion pill reversal procedure before going through with an abortion. Arkansas passed a bill that bans abortions unless it would save the mother’s life and is heading to the Republican-controlled state House, which is expected to approve it as well.

Article 1, Article 2, Article 3, Article 4, Article 5, Article 6, Article 7, Article 8, Article 9.

LIFEalerts – Pornography

Pornography

USA – Child sex abuse survivors sue Pornhub over abuse footage

Two people who were sexually abused as minors have filed suit against Pornhub and its owner, Mindgeek, over videos of their abuse being uploaded to the popular pornography website. According to the lawsuit, Pornhub profited from these and other child pornography videos, making it culpable in the sex trafficking of two underage individuals. The complaint went on to argue that “MindGeek completely fails to control the torrent of videos available on its sites depicting children being molested, rapes of children and adults, persons who are incapacitated and otherwise unwilling participants.” These individuals join others who have gone before them and as result got credit card companies to quit liaising with Pornhub as well as millions of videos removed from their database. More

USA – Mississippi lawmakers considering bill to outlaw ‘revenge porn’

The state of Mississippi could join 46 states in punishing people for “revenge porn.” The bill, Senate Bill 2121, that passed the Mississippi Senate has set penalties for people who share intimate visual material of another person without that person’s permission and with the intent to cause harm. The material could include pictures shared during a relationship that was only intended to be seen by the recipient. It could also include images of someone being molested. The bill defines the material as photos or videos of a person’s private body parts that are exposed or engaged in sexual conduct. More

New Delhi – TikTok faces Complaints in Europe for Failure to protect children

TikTok the popular Chinese short video app, faces complaints in Europe for failure to protect children from harmful content. The bigger concern though is children and teenage users being exposed to hidden advertising and potentially harmful content on the app. The processing of users’ personal data has also been termed misleading. The Madras High Court had imposed a temporary ban on Tiktok in 2019 as it found the app hosting content related to child pornography. TikTok had informed the Court that they are using technology to ensure that obscene content is not spread via the app. The Indian government also imposed a ban on the app. More

Philippines – ISPs can’t automatically block child porn on servers

Internet Service Providers can only block websites containing child sexual exploitation materials as soon as they are flagged, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) claims. Pornography cannot be detected automatically. Lawyer Omar Sana from DICT explained the limits of ISP capabilities, especially due to conflicting laws that prevent user monitoring as well. Sana said the blocking that ISPs can do is on a domain level. This means if involved agencies can identify the domain name and/or the IP address of the malicious content, the ISPs can proceed to block it. More

USA – Man downloaded child pornography images through file-sharing service

Neil A. MacDonald, 21 who downloaded hundreds of images and more than two hours of videos of child pornography through a file-sharing service, named Mega, was sentenced to 16 months in jail. Beck said it was part of an international investigation involving a cloud-based file sharing service called Mega. Around a quarter of the images showed real children. Upon his release, MacDonald must put his name on the sex offender registry where it will stay for 20 years. MacDonald is prohibited from contacting or being around anyone under the age of 16 years of age for five years and is not allowed to use any device that connects to the internet without permission from his probation officer. More

LIFEalerts – LGBTQ+ Issues

LGBTQ+ Issues

UK – New Model for Clinicians when treating Gender Dysphoric minors

Susan and Marcus Evans are the two psychotherapists who are former employees of Tavistock Gender clinic in the UK. They presented a paper at a multi-disciplinary conference in January this year which reflects serious concerns about the transition of children before maturity. They encourage a psychotherapeutic model that provides a process of psychological exploration, in which an individual’s personality structure, beliefs, defence mechanisms, and motivations are assessed and examined in a supportive environment. This follows concerns from multiple professionals at the gender clinic, parents of gender dysphoric children, and ex-patients who regard the current “affirmative treatment” model as doing more harm. This eventually led to the High Court of England ruling that children under 16-years cannot consent to life-altering medical treatments due to immaturity.

“A rigid one-size-fits-all affirmative approach is unhelpful. Where children are concerned, we need a new model to ensure more clinically rigorous, balanced, and ethical assessment and treatment protocols. At the very least, the ordinary ethical standards of good practice must be restored to this area, as our duty, first and foremost, must always be “do no harm.”” Their proposed model concentrates on helping the child assess pain and differentiate the type, degree, and cause of pain because it can represent a helpful indication of something that needs attention. A wish to transition is often described by those who experience it as a belief that they were “born in the wrong body,” and consequently deprived of an idealized relationship with their physical self. The ideal we all have, at some level, is a self that would be loved and accepted by others, and by ourselves.

“The denial of the psychological factors influencing the desire to transition can unwittingly lead the patient and health professionals to embrace concrete, affirmative solutions, while ignoring relevant aspects of the individual’s mental-health situation and personal history.” As can be seen in “depressed patients that feel worthless and suicidal; anorexics feel too fat, and starve themselves; and obsessional patients perform rituals repetitively before other interactions.”

“A trans-identifying child can become more fixated and invested in the daydream idea, and it becomes a belief that if only they’d transition, all their problems would resolve.” Because of this, “the desire to reduce pain and anxiety by rushing into either social or medical transition needs to be resisted, as there are long-term costs that a child in a fixed state of mind is unable to imagine or understand.” More

USA – Alabama considers banning transgender drug treatment for minors

For a second time, Alabama state considers banning transgender experimental drug treatment on minors. The bill took a step forward in a hearing of the Senate Health Committee voting 11-2 approving to make it a felony for doctors to administer hormonal drug treatment that transitions people 18-years or younger who identify as transgender. Alabama is one of at least eight states where conservative lawmakers are pushing similar measures, arguing such decisions should wait until adulthood. More

LIFEalerts – IVF & Surrogacy

IVF & Surrogacy

USA – Three things people should know about egg donation

The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network feels that women who consider donating their eggs should know three things about the process before the process. Firstly, Egg Donation Often Involves Coercion because egg donation often involves poorer women providing eggs to wealthier couples. The egg donor—even when informed of known risks and potential unknown risks—is often willing to risk to her health because of financial need. Money plays a very coercive and powerful role in the market of human egg donation.

Secondly, egg donation carries health and psychological risks that often go untold because medical complications that are known, are rarely documented in the medical literature, as the individuals and organizations that are tasked with safety and oversight are also the ones who stand to profit from egg donation. The medical process required for egg retrieval is lengthy and there are known medical risks associated with each step. Risks include Ovarian Hyper Stimulation syndrome (OHSS) due to superovulation, loss of fertility, ovarian torsion, stroke, kidney disease, premature menopause, ovarian cysts, and in some rare cases, death. When an egg donor experiences harm to her health, she often feels guilty for “being so stupid” for making a decision that brought about this harm. She feels used by those she thought were professionals who cared for her. Lastly, egg donation is often eugenic because the largest sums of money are generally offered for donors of very specific educational, physical, or ethnic traits, not only perpetuating but actually incentivizing. More

LIFEalerts – Abortion

Abortion

USA – New Study: Abortion Pill Injures more Women than FDA Reports

A team of over 30 board certified physicians spent three years reviewing thousands of pages of adverse events reports submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by abortion pill manufacturer Danco. The study was published in Issues in Law & Medicine in January this year. The study found large amounts of underreported complications. Factors that contributed to the underreporting were that 60% of surgical abortions, due to abortion pill complications, were not handled by the abortion facility, and less than half of the women who suffered complications went to the emergency room instead of getting treatment at the abortion facility. The most common complications included a failed abortion, an incomplete abortion, infection and a missed ectopic pregnancy.

“Some of the patient deaths were not known to the abortion provider until they saw the death in an obituary or were contacted by an outside source,” the researchers wrote and propose that abortion providers, hospitals, emergency departments, and private practitioners should be required to report on abortion complications. Moreover, the FDA should strengthen reporting systems because in 2016, under the Obama administration, the FDA stopped requiring Danco to report non-fatal abortion complications to the government, and the reports that were submitted lacked detail and many patients were lost to follow-up.

England de-regulated the abortion drug during the pandemic last year and saw disastrous consequences. There have been numerous reports of health and safety problems, including two women who died after taking the drugs. In another case, authorities are investigating how a woman who was 28-weeks pregnant received the abortion drugs in the mail and used them to abort her viable, late-term unborn baby. In the United States, mifepristone has been linked to at least 24 women’s deaths and 4,000 serious complications.

Because of the risk associated with taking mifepristone, coupled with misoprostol to abort unborn babies, the FDA requires abortion facilities to administer the drug in-person after an examination. Now, abortion activists are demanding that the Biden administration get rid of safety requirements for the abortion drug and allow the drug to be distributed by telemedicine, meaning the mother may never see a doctor or have an ultrasound before she takes the drug and aborts her unborn baby. Now that Marie Stopes is delivering abortion pills to South African (SA) women via Telemedicine, SA can expect similar sad results.

New Study Shows Abortion Pill is Injuring More Women Than the FDA is Reporting / Link to Study. / Study suggests abortion pill complications are underreported, and ERs are managing the majority

LIFEalerts – Pornography

Pornography

USA – Credit Card Companies dropped Pornhub because of illegal content

Pornhub scrubbed about 60% of their content after they were exposed for hosting videos of rape, sex and trafficking victims. Visa and MasterCard announced that they would prohibit the use of their cards on the pornography site. Before all this, the site allowed people to upload videos without verification. It was later announced that Pornhub videos went down from 13 million to 4.8 million. Pornhub is infested with child rape videos, revenge pornography, spy cam videos of women showering, racist and misogynist content, and footage of women being asphyxiated in plastic bags. More

UK – Extreme porn has become a gateway drug into child abuse

Michael Sheath, counsellor at the Lucy Faithfull Foundation has been counselling people with what he describes as “deviant sexual interests” for a long time. According to Michael, online child abuse has become a global crisis. Every year child abuse images are rising and every month over 900 children are safeguarded while over 700 men are arrested in connection with indecent images of children. He believes there is a dangerous cultural shift in the profile of offenders, brought about by the enormous change that ever increasing extreme pornography is having on the developing teenage mind. Mainstream pornography sites are changing the thresholds of what is normal and I think it’s dangerous. More

UK – Online incest porn is ‘normalising child abuse

Groups that work on the frontline in the fight against child abuse in the UK have warned that an increase in abuse-themed pornography is “normalising” child abuse. Amanda Naylor is the lead on child sexual abuse and has said “We know that for those who have a sexual interest in children the normalisation and encouragement of [child abuse] can escalate behaviour. ‘Fostered children’ are inherently vulnerable and they are being fetishised here. We already know that some adult offenders find vulnerability sexually motivating.” “…Videos of adults posing as young teenagers being abused by older men are very common on all mainstream sites. “These sites are not set up to be moderate. The people watching it are being enticed into seeking out ever more extreme material and seeing it on a mainstream site such as Pornhub normalises behaviour that 10 years ago would have been considered deviant and extreme,” More

USA – Pandemic boredom: Parents watch increasingly sexualized content with their kids

Due to pandemic boredom, it turns out, many parents have started watching increasingly sexualized content with their younger children. According to Carrie Goodman Melissa Henson, a program director for the Parents Television Council, Hollywood is ignoring the huge demographic of families because they simply aren’t interested in programming for families. It’s disturbing that parents are now watching hyper-sexualized entertainment with their kids, although she suspected this trend has been accelerating for a long time. Most kids these days have TVs in their rooms and are exposed to porn before they reach age 12. This is problematic because scientific research shows that children learn how to eat, speak, respond to situations, and interact with others by watching parents, caregivers and television. It is therefore imperative that children learn from healthy material and good examples in order to behave in the best way possible. Young children can, and will, copy what they see happen on television suggests Michigan State University researchers who tested 120 toddlers that were 14 or 24 months of age. Michigan State University Report, Article reporting on pandemic boredom.

USA – Porn is the top source of ‘sex education’ for young adults

Research done by Emily Rothman, a professor of community health sciences at the Boston University School of Public Health, states that young adults between the ages of 18-24, mentioned that pornography was the most-mentioned “helpful” source of information on how to have sex. The findings suggest a need for more education on healthy sexual relationships and on what pornography is about. Prof Rothman is concerned that people could problematically take their information from pornography instead of their parents which would cause them to erroneously assume certain sexual acts which they see on porn sites are going to too elicit a pleasurable response for their partner and then try it without asking for consent. More

USA – Parents Sue EBSCO host because of child pornography

The Thomas More Society filed suit on October 10, 2018 against EBSCO, a nationwide corporation that embeds pornography in databases which it markets to schools for use by unsuspecting school children for their homework and research. In the same suit, the Thomas More Society also sued the Colorado Library Consortium, a tax-supported non-profit corporation that knowingly brokers EBSCO’s pornographic databases to schools and libraries throughout Colorado. This case is about two things: protecting children and calling out corporate deceit, as explained Thomas More Society Senior Counsel Matt Heffron. “EBSCO gets schools to purchase databases by falsely promising the databases are age-appropriate and specifically tailored for elementary, middle, and high school children, Matt explained. More

Philippines – Looking at Ways to Stop the Online Sexual Exploitation Of Children

Yedda Romualdez, a member of the House of Representatives and chairperson of the Committee on the Welfare of Children, expressed alarm over the silent pandemic preying on children. Since the outbreak of the Corona pandemic there has been a sharp increase in sexual exploitation of children and Romualdez called for an investigation into the alarming situation of online exploitation of children in the Philippines. Other means includes strengthening the Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009. Data from the U.S.-based National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, noted that there were 279,166 cases of online child sex abuse in the Philippines from March 1 to May 24, 2020, compared with 76,561 cases during the same period in 2019. This represented a 264.63% increase in cases, or more than 202,605 incidents. More

Philippines – House bill filed strengthening laws vs online child porn

Fidel Nograles, author of House Bill 7633 (Anti-Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children Act of 2020), appealed to the Philippine government to strengthen Section 9. This would mean that all Information and Communication Technology Service Providers (ICTSP) will install available technology, program or software to ensure that access to, or transmittal of any form of child pornography be blocked or filtered. ICTSP will also notify the Philippine National Police or the National Bureau of Investigation within seven (7) days from obtaining facts and circumstances about any form of child pornography they discovered is being committed or has been committed using its server or facility or platform. The Department of Education is also being urged to come up with more effective ways to help children safely cope with distance learning. More

South Africa – Porn exposure warning with Telegram location setting

As many continue to flock to Telegram, abandoning WhatsApp due to concerns about its privacy policy, social media law specialist Emma Sadlier has warned about a Telegram feature which easily exposes children to pornography. This comes after Sadlier discovered that turning on “location” can expose children to inappropriate material such as porn. Parents whose children have downloaded Telegram to ensure that the location is turned off and cannot be turned back on to avoid exposure to such material. “If you go to your Telegram, and you click the people nearby, there are groups nearby and you click any of those groups nearby, there is just crazy porn in all of them. That function gets disabled if you turn off your location features. Other concerns are that pedophiles use this platform and function to lure children into their groups for the purpose of abuse and exploitation. Pedophiles are savvy and now how to lure kids and get them to do what they want. More

Death on Demand comes to Germany

by Wesley J. Smith

Editor’s note. This first appeared at First Things and is reposted with the author’s permission.

The 1973 dystopian film Soylent Green featured several shocking moments, including overpopulation riots and men calling women “the furniture” required for sex. But the most disturbing scene showed Edward G. Robinson entering a euthanasia clinic, choosing to be put down rather than live with his existential anguish. What was once fiction is becoming reality. Assisted suicide, unthinkable then, is popular now. Since the movie was released, many have come to view human existence as a relative, rather than absolute, good. The sanctity of life ethic has been replaced by the drive to eliminate suffering, even if this requires eliminating the sufferer. And the raw power of this logic has led directly to suicide clinics and a right to death on demand—since no one can judge what another person considers to be unbearable torment.

Assisted suicide activists insist that euthanasia is only for the seriously ill, and offer vacuous promises of strict guidelines to protect the vulnerable. Such bromides have never made sense to me. If there is indeed a “right to die,” if the most important good is “choice” rather than “life,” how can the right to commit suicide remain limited to the seriously ill? After all, many people suffer more intensely and for a longer time than the sick. Once one accepts the moral propriety of euthanasia, the logic eventually leads to death on demand for anyone who desires to die.

Still, even I never expected full-bore death on demand to arrive in the West for another decade. I was too optimistic. A recent ruling from Germany’s highest court has cast right-to-die incrementalism aside and conjured a fundamental right both to commit suicide and to receive assistance in doing it. Moreover, the decision has explicitly rejected limiting the right to people diagnosed with illnesses or disabilities. As a matter of protecting “the right of personality,” the court decreed that “self-determined death” is a virtually unlimited fundamental liberty that the government must guarantee to protect “autonomy.” In other words, the German people now have the right to kill themselves at any time and for any reason. From the decision (published English version, my emphasis):

The right to a self-determined death is not limited to situations defined by external causes like serious or incurable illnesses, nor does it only apply in certain stages of life or illness. Rather, this right is guaranteed in all stages of a person’s existence. . . . The individual’s decision to end their own life, based on how they personally define quality of life and a meaningful existence, eludes any evaluation on the basis of general values, religious dogmas, societal norms for dealing with life and death, or consideration of objective rationality. It is thus not incumbent upon the individual to further explain or justify their decision; rather their decision must, in principle, be respected by state and society as an act of self-determination.

The court wasn’t done. The right to suicide also includes a right to assist suicide:

The right to take one’s own life also encompasses the freedom to seek and, if offered, utilize assistance provided by third parties for this purpose. . . . Therefore, the constitutional guarantee of the right to suicide corresponds to equally far-reaching constitutional protection extended to the acts carried out by persons rendering suicide assistance.

The court also opined that Germany’s drug laws might have to be changed to facilitate the absolute right to die that “the state must guarantee”:

Sufficient space must remain in practice for the individual to exercise the right to depart this life and, based on their free will and with the support of third parties, to carry out this decision on their own terms. This not only requires legislative coherence in the design of the legal framework applicable to the medical profession and pharmacists but potentially also requires adjustments of the law on controlled substances.

This is stunning and appalling: In Germany, autonomous people now have the absolute right to commit suicide and receive assistance in doing so for any reason or no identifiable reason at all. The court’s ruling is so encompassing that it seems to apply even to children capable of making autonomous decisions, since being underage is a “stage of existence.” While the court stated that minor restrictions such as waiting periods might pass legal muster—the government may also prohibit “particularly dangerous forms of suicide assistance” (whatever that means)—the German constitution now requires, literally, death on demand.

That will not be the end of it, either. One radical court ruling leads to another. The right to commit suicide could soon become a right to be killed outright. After all, everyone isn’t physically or emotionally capable of committing suicide, and homicide can achieve death more swiftly and with less discomfort than a do-it-yourself demise. Since Germany’s absolute right to assist in suicide is open-ended and not limited to doctors, why not permit friends to kill friends?

The ruling also opens the gates to social anarchy. How can the state now restrict the taking and selling of addicting drugs? Drugs may be harmful, but if an autonomous person chooses to spend their days high, how can the state gainsay that decision or inhibit the commercial providers who supply the fixes? How can the state restrict any surgical or chemical sex changes? And on what basis can the state prohibit people who identify as “transabled” (people who have body identity integrity disorder) from amputating their healthy limbs or severing their healthy spinal cords? If suicide is no longer a harm the state has a duty to prevent, how can the state thwart a person’s desire to destroy his bodily functions? Indeed, how can the state restrain any personal behavior or vice, so long as the desired autonomous act does not directly harm an unwilling other?

I am reminded of Canadian journalist Andrew Coyne’s prophetic words more than twenty years ago. Reacting to his country’s strong public support for a father who murdered his disabled daughter as a supposed act of compassion, he wrote: “A society that believes in nothing can offer no argument even against death. A culture that has lost its faith in life cannot comprehend why it should be endured.” If we don’t change our current cultural trajectory, we will become “Germany” too. Wesley J. Smith is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute. His latest book is Culture of Death: The Age of “Do Harm” Medicine

DOCTORS FOR LIFE RESPONDS TO KZN RURAL COMMUNITY NEEDS

Doctors For Life International responds to the needs of KZN rural communities during #SALockdown by donating aQuelle water, information on COVID-19, hand sanitizer and face masks. We thank our donors, partners and the volunteers who join us on this project!

If you’d like to get involved, you can donate essentials which we will take to the community.

Pro-abortion Professor changes his mind about fetal pain

The following discussion on fetal pain does not attempt to suggest having an abortion procedure should depend upon whether or not an unborn baby can feel pain or not. Especially since there are thousands of Biology and embryology textbooks, modern DNA studies, Medical Dictionaries, Science professors and medical researchers that all confirm that life begins at fertilization. This is a scientific certainty that alone should discourage abortion. Furthermore, it is also well documented how women suffer emotionally, psychologically and in the long term physically due to choosing an abortion. This discussion of fetal pain is to share new insight on previous thought standards that are now changing because of new research on the cortex. 

British psychology professor Stuart Derbyshire and John C. Bockmann, a physician’s assistant in the U.S. Army, published a paper in the Journal of Medical Ethics titled “Reconsidering fetal pain.” They conclude that according to several published papers on the necessity of the cortex for pain experience may have been exaggerated, for example, one study demonstrated continued pain experience in a patient with extensive damage to cortical regions generally believed to be necessary for pain experience. A further study has demonstrated activation of areas generally thought to generate pain in subjects congenitally insensitive to pain but receiving noxious stimuli. Those two studies appear to neatly dissociate pain experience from the cortex. In conclusion unborn babies can feel pain at 18 to 20 weeks, and possibly as early as 12 or 13 weeks. 

The Science Behind Preborn Pain

Ingrid Skop, MD Obstetrician from the USA, has seen unborn babies in the womb at 16 weeks gestation, withdraw their limbs when they accidentally encounter the amnio needle as she performs the Amniocentesis procedure (a process in which amniotic fluid is sampled using a hollow needle inserted into the uterus, to screen for abnormalities in the developing fetus.)

When the unborn baby feels pain, the following can be measured in response to pain: 

  • Elevated stress hormones in their blood, 
  • heart rate increases, 
  • & blood pressure increases.