LIFEalerts 21 May 2015

Abortion

Israel – Jewish Pro-Life Group Saves 35,000 Babies From Abortion

USA – Johns Hopkins reverses ban on detailed pro-life display

USA – Colorado Passes Unborn Victims Bill After Baby Cut Out of Womb

USA – Ohio Bill To Be Ban Down Syndrome Abortions

Alternative Medicine

USA – FDA calls for tighter regulation of Homeopathic Medicine

Euthanasia

Colombia – Country moves closer to legal euthanasia

HIV/AIDS

No news today

Homosexuality

South Korea – Schools banned from teaching about homosexuality

USA – Supreme Court divided on homosexual marriage

USA – Prominent M.D. says ‘Gender confusion’ a fleeting mental disorder

USA – Supreme Court upholds ban on conversion therapy

IVF & Surrogacy

China – Scientists edit the genome of human embryos

UK – Mother becomes surrogate for son’s baby

New Zealand – Professionalize surrogacy say academics

Medical Ethics

USA – WHO says unreported clinical trial data “unethical”

USA – The complexities of brain death

USA – Germline tinkering sparks more controversy

USA – Drug giant appoints bioethicist to head compassionate use panel

Pedophilia

No news today

Pornography

Canada – Underground child porn trade moving toward youngest victims

South Africa – Porn channel fined R25,000 for pleasing its 284 subscribers

USA – Ontario child porn investigation triggers international operation

Prostitution &Trafficking

Ireland – Men asked to support campaign: “Prostitution – We Don’t Buy It”

Nepal – Quake survivors face threat from sex traffickers

USA – Truckers against trafficking combat prostitution at rest stops

Stem Cells & Cloning

No news today

Substance Abuse

USA – New drug called Flakka is Insanity for $5

USA – Most Americans say medical marijuana shouldn’t be used by kids

USA – Too many high employees prompts company to leave Colorado

USA – Newborns Enduring Drug Withdrawal

Abortion

Israel – Jewish Pro-Life Group Saves 35,000 Babies From Abortion

An organization called EFRAT  has helped save 35,000 children from abortion in Israel. When women in Israel register for abortions for financial reasons, they are given EFRAT’s number. After a volunteer talks with them and assesses their needs, they may receive services from the organization. Pregnant moms have diapers, formula, canned and dry food delivered to their door for a year. EFRAT has over 3,000 volunteers in Israel.

http://www.lifenews.com/2015/04/22/jewish-pro-life-group-efrat-saves-35000-babies-from-abortion/

USA – Johns Hopkins reverses ban on detailed pro-life display

Officials at Johns Hopkins University reversed a decision banning a pro-life display that had appeared for decades at the school’s Spring Fair. The display was sponsored by the student group JHU Voice for Life. It shows models of unborn fetuses in various stages of development, but was initially rejected this year on the grounds that it “contains triggering and disturbing images.” “Abortion is disturbing, that’s the reason we have such a table,” Andrew Guernsey the president of the group said. Experts on free speech say attempts to restrict pro-life arguments are very common on campuses throughout the country. So at Hopkins, for now, the pro-life group and the fetal development display have survived.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2015/04/15/johns-hopkins-reverses-ban-on-disturbing-pro-life-display/

USA – Colorado Passes Unborn Victims Bill After Mom’s Baby Cut Out of Womb

A Colorado state Senate committee approved a vote bill that would provide justice for unborn children who are killed or injured in violent crimes against their mother. The state lacks an unborn victims law to hold criminals accountable. The importance of this legislation came to light in March when Dynel Catece Lane was arrested in Longmont, Colorado after she attacked Michelle Wilkins and cut her seven month old unborn baby out of her womb. Senate president Bill Cadman is the sponsor of the unborn victims bill, Senate Bill 268, that mirrors federal law and the laws of dozens of states.

http://www.lifenews.com/2015/04/23/colorado-senate-panel-passes-unborn-victims-bill-after-moms-baby-cut-out-of-her-womb/

USA – Ohio Bill To Be Ban Down Syndrome Abortions

Seventy ninety percent of unborn babies with Down syndrome are victimized by abortions. North Dakota eventually became the first state in the United States to ban abortions on babies diagnosed with Down Syndrome. With the governor’s signature on the ban in 2013, Republican Gov. Jack Dalrymple took that state in a decidedly pro-life direction. Ohio is now considering a similar ban on abortions of babies with Down syndrome. Right to Life’s Down Syndrome Non-Discrimination Act (H.B. 135) has received its first legislative hearing. “Prohibiting discriminatory abortions is a critical step in Ohio’s efforts to sow a more empathetic and diverse culture across our state,” said Stephanie Ranade Krider, executive director of Ohio Right to Life.

http://www.lifenews.com/2015/05/05/bill-would-make-ohio-second-state-to-ban-abortions-based-on-down-syndrome-2/

Alternative Medicine

USA – FDA calls for tighter regulation of Homeopathic Medicine

Homeopathic treatments could receive greater scrutiny from the Food and Drug Administration in the near future, as their popularity has led some critics to call for tighter regulation. The makers of homeopathic medicines would have to demonstrate the safety and effectiveness of their products before they could be sold in drug stores and natural food shops. The agency last reviewed its regulation of homeopathic products in 1988 and the market has grown since that time. Then it was a multi-million dollar industry, and now it’s a multi-billion dollar industry. The FDA has seen some emerging safety concerns with these products and because of the passage of time, the growth of the industry, and these concerns, they thought it was time to take another look.

http://health.usnews.com/health-news/articles/2015/04/21/fda-weighs-tighter-regulation-of-homeopathic-medicines

USA – Untested Stimulant Found to Persist in Some Supplements

A number of supplements marketed for weight loss and improved athletic performance contain a synthetic compound that is similar to the drug amphetamine which has not been tested in people. The Food and Drug Administration has known about the presence of this drug in supplements for two years, but still has not warned consumers about the issue or acted to take the supplements off the market. The FDA “did a lot of hard work to figure out this brand-new designer stimulant was in supplements … and then failed to inform the public,” said Dr. Pieter Cohen, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and co-author a study. “It’s inexplicable and inexcusable,” Cohen said.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/some-supplements-still-contain-untested-stimulant/

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Euthanasia

Colombia – Country moves closer to legal euthanasia

Colombia’s Health Ministry has finally drawn up guidelines for voluntary euthanasia, 18 years after the country’s Supreme Court ruled that it was a constitutional right. Health Minister Alejandro Gaviría told media that only competent adults would be able to request the procedure, that only patients with a terminal illness would be eligible, and that if the patient is unconscious, relatives must present audio, video, or written proof that they wanted to be euthanized. Minors and patients with degenerative diseases will not be able to receive a lethal injection.

http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/colombia-close-to-legal-euthanasia/11411

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HIV/AIDS & STI’s

No news today

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Homosexuality

South Korea – Schools banned from teaching about homosexuality

Training materials issued to education offices in every province of South Korea state that ‘teaching about homosexuality is not permitted.’ ‘Sex education is not intended to be an opportunity for teachers to share their views on sexuality,’ it added. The document forbids using terms for non-heterosexual orientations and orders schools to remove LGBTI information from current curriculum’s. ‘It is urgent that we create sex-ed standards that move away from abstinence education, but staunch opposition from conservative groups to the initial draft made it difficult to reach a compromise,’ a Ministry of Health official said. ‘Our plan is to publish the standards that are possible right now and to work to create a social consensus moving forward,’ the official said.

http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/south-korea-schools-banned-teaching-about-homosexuality020415

USA – Supreme Court divided on homosexual marriage

The U.S. Supreme Court seems sharply divided on whether the Constitution guarantees a right to same-sex marriage. The court’s four liberal justices seem willing to vote in favour while the conservatives appear inclined to back the right of states to restrict the definition of marriage. Arguments focused on whether the Constitution’s guarantees of due process and equal protection mean states must allow homosexual couples to marry, and whether states must recognize same sex marriages performed in other states. The justices are due to deliver probably their most anticipated ruling of the year by the end of June. The arguments centered on homosexual marriage bans in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee, four of the 13 states that currently prohibit it.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/04/28/us-usa-court-gaymarriage-idUSKBN0NI20G20150428

USA – Prominent M.D. says ‘Gender confusion’ a fleeting mental disorder

According to former Johns Hopkins Hospital psychiatrist-in-chief Paul R. McHugh, M.D., a person changing the sex he or she was born with is “biologically impossible.” He went on to declare that LGBT advocates who encourage “gender confused” individuals to have “sexual reassignment surgery” are guiding them down the path to suffer from mental illness, and quite possibly, suicide. McHugh points to a Swedish study tracking “transgenders” , some for nearly three decades, stressing how the decision often celebrated in the media to go through sex changes often proves fatal because of the mental toll it takes on individuals.

http://calconservatives.com/prominent-m-d-gender-confusion-a-fleeting-mental-disorder/

USA – Supreme Court upholds ban on conversion therapy

The U.S.Supreme Court upheld a ban on homosexual conversion therapy in New Jersey for patients under 18. In the case King v. Governor of New Jersey, the court declined to hear a challenge on the ban, following a similar decision in 2014 that also upheld a similar ban in California. Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed a bill banning the practice in 2013. Supporters of the therapy attempted to present the issue as a restriction of free speech of doctors and counselors. Justices did not comment after issuing the order dismantling the challenge.

http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2015/05/04/Supreme-Court-upholds-ban-on-gay-conversion-therapy-in-New-Jersey/6981430758566/

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IVF &Surrogacy

China – Scientists edit the genome of human embryos

The aim of the scientists was to modify the gene for β-thalassaemia a potentially lethal blood disorder with a gene-editing technique known as CRISPR/Cas9. They used non-viable human embryos from IVF clinics. The idea was to eliminate the gene in one-cell embryos so they would develop into children who would not suffer the disease. They injected 86 embryos and examined them after 48 hours when they had grown to 8 cells. 71 survived and 54 were analyzed. 28 successfully spliced the target gene, but only a fraction of these contained the correct replacement gene. They also found that there were a number of “off-target” mutations somehow caused by CRISPR/Cas9.

http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/china-ignites-debate-over-genetic-engineering/11414

UK – Mother becomes surrogate for son’s baby

Kyle Casson 24, a supermarket worker was desperate for a child. A relative volunteered to be a surrogate, but pulled out for medical reasons and Kyle’s mother then stepped forward. So Kyle found a donor with the right hair and eye color and organised fertilization and implantation at an IVF clinic. This is the first time that a single man has had a baby through surrogacy in the UK. The relationships of the 3 people are complex. Anne-Marie is the mother of Kyle, and both the mother and the grandmother of Miles. Miles is both the half-brother and the son of Kyle. Kyle is both the son and the “husband” of Anne-Marie. How this will affect Miles only time will tell.

http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/british_mum_becomes_surrogate_for_sons_baby/11356

New Zealand – Professionalize Surrogacy say Academics

Academics have proposed that surrogacy become a profession like nursing or teaching and is fully integrated into the health system. Their discussion centers on decisions about whether to abort a surrogate mother’s fetus if there is a substantial abnormality. It would be unethical for commissioning parents to request abortion for a minor abnormality like a cleft palate, but in cases of severe abnormality, abortion would be the morally responsible thing to do. Payment should not be tied to the delivery of a healthy infant. Where the surrogate agrees to an abortion she should still receive full payment so that she is not penalized for doing the right thing. The intended parents are not buying a baby but a service.

http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/professionalise_surrogacy_say_new_zealand_academics/11338

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Medical Ethics

USA – WHO says unreported clinical trial data “unethical”

The World Health Organization has called for the disclosure of results from clinical trials for medical products, whatever the result. There is increasing empirical evidence that results of many clinical trials are suppressed from the public. The move aims to ensure that decisions related to the safety and efficacy of vaccines, drugs and medical devices are supported by the best available evidence. WHO has recommended that the findings of every clinical study should be submitted to a peer-reviewed journal within 12 months after data collection ends and be published in an open-access journal. “It’s unethical to conduct clinical research without reporting the results,” says immunologist Dr. Vasee Moorthy, author of a paper discussing the rationale behind the WHO’s new statement.

http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/unreported-clinical-trial-data-unethical/11403

USA – The complexities of brain death

An article in the journal Neurology by a team of neurologists and medical researchers from clinics and universities around the US, found that institutional protocols were absent or poorly understood in a significant number of low-income countries.” Doctors around the world leave different periods of time following initial neurological deterioration before they declare brain death, with reported results from less than 5 hours to more than 25 hours.“ “There were several discrepancies regarding the conduct of apnea testing”, and views about the import of ancillary testing (EEGs, Dopler ultrasounds etc.) differed significantly between countries, the authors report. In their discussion of the results of the study, the authors flagged a need for greater collaboration between medical institutions from different countries.

http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/the-complexities-of-brain-death/11407

Study: http://www.neurology.org/content/early/2015/04/08/WNL.0000000000001540.short

USA – Germline tinkering sparks more controversy

Responding to Chinese attempts to modify the human genome using new gene editing technology, director of the US National Institutes of Health, Francis S. Collins, declared the NIH would not fund such research. “The strong arguments against engaging in this activity remain. These include the serious and unquantifiable safety issues, ethical issues presented by altering the germline in a way that affects the next generation without their consent, and a current lack of compelling medical applications justifying the use of CRISPR in embryos. Critics of the controversial experiments to correct a defect in a single-cell embryo’s DNA believe the technology will be used for genetic engineering and ultimately, human enhancement and Nature and Science refused to publish the research, despite its show-stopping potential.

http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/germline-tinkering-sparks-more-controversy/11417

USA – Drug giant appoints bioethicist to head compassionate use panel

Johnson & Johnson has appointed Art Caplan, of New York University to head a company panel examining cases of desperately-ill patients who believe a drug not approved yet will help them. Compassionate use is an attempt to strike a balance between patient autonomy and informed consent. On the one hand, patients are making their own choices after being informed of the risks. On the other hand, they may be too sick or may not have the background to understand the risks As the New England Journal of Medicine says, “it may well not be in the interest of patients, however sick they may be, to have easier access to products that are ineffective and may actually worsen their clinical status.”

http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/drug-giant-appoints-bioethicist-to-head-compassionate-use-panel/11432

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Pedophilia

No news today

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Pornography

Canada – Underground child porn trade moving toward youngest victims

Data from the Canadian Centre for Child Protection shows that sexualized images of children under the age of 9, depicting explicit sexual acts, represent the largest and fastest-growing category in Canada’s underground child pornography trade, according to exclusive data obtained from the Canadian Centre for Child Protection. Their abusers are overwhelmingly family and friends. The data shows 73 per cent of the images of young victims depicted sex acts that included “bondage” and “torture.” That figure was up 12 per cent over the previous year.

It is the first time that the age category from newborn to 8 accounted for more than half of the material. Images of children in older age categories dropped or held steady.

http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2015/04/26/underground-child-porn-trade-moving-toward-youngest-victims.html

South Africa – Porn channel fined R25,000 for pleasing its 284 subscribers

Digital satellite TV broadcaster StarSat got more than just a telling off by the broadcasting watchdog for continuing to show pornographic content after a court order forbade it to. The company was fined R25,000 by the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA) for “knowingly” continuing the unauthorised service while its application to appeal the court’s decision had not yet been lodged. The company asked to be let off without a fine but this only served to reduce its fine from the BCCSA maximum penalty of R60,000. The council of the Justice Alliance of South Africa‚ which lodged the complaint with the BCCSA‚ argued that regardless of the content and protections‚ providing an unauthorised service knowingly justified more than a reprimand.

http://www.timeslive.co.za/entertainment/2015/05/07/porn-channel-fined-r25000-for-pleasing-its-284-subscribers

USA – Ontario child porn investigation triggers international operation

Dozens of suspects, including some as young as 12, have been arrested in connection with a child pornography investigation known as Project Hydra. The project began with one child victim in the York region and through investigation has grown into a significant international project with thousands of potential victims according to Inspector Tim Kelly. Police said 41 suspects have been arrested and 110 charges have been laid in North America. The charges include possession, distribution and accessing of child pornography. Seventeen of the suspects were arrested in Canada. A young person had allegedly uploaded the images. Police contacted owners of the website used by the young person and identified suspects around the world.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/new-brunswick-man-charged-after-2000-boys-allegedly-lured-online/article24283269/

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Prostitution & Trafficking

Ireland – Men asked to support campaign: “Prostitution – We Don’t Buy It”

The campaign is supported by Justice Minister Fitzgerald and her Northern counterpart David , coincides with a new Red C Poll, which shows the vast majority of Irish men do not use prostitutes .The survey finds that 88 per cent of men have never bought sex – just 8 per cent of men say they have – and 4 percent did not respond. The vast majority of people surveyed also believe that women who sell sex have been pimped or trafficked into the sex industry. The idea that prostitution is a time honored profession is a myth .There’s are lot of myths about why men buy sex and many are tied up with the idea that men are lonely

-http://www.newstalk.com/Men-on-both-sides-of-the-border-are-being-asked-to-support-a-new-campaign-called-Prostitution–We-Dont-Buy-It

Nepal – Quake survivors face threat from sex traffickers

Criminal networks are using the cover of rescue efforts to target poor rural communities in country where an estimated 15,000 girls are trafficked a year, warn NGOs. Tens of thousands of young women from regions devastated by the earthquake in Nepal are being targeted by human traffickers supplying a network of brothels across south Asia. Some are taken overseas, to South Korea and as far as South Africa. But the majority end up in Indian brothels where tens of thousands are working in appalling conditions. “This is the time when the brokers go in the name of relief to kidnap or lure women. People here are desperate now and will take any chance.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/may/05/nepal-quake-survivors-face-threat-from-human-traffickers-supplying-sex-trade

USA – Truckers against trafficking combat prostitution at rest stops

When truck drivers break at a rest stop they’re often confronted by young girls working in the sex trade. The FBI set up a series of countrywide stings at truck stops where they found a number of pimps dispensing their prostitutes. To educate drivers on how to protect these girls, and potentially liberate them from being trafficked, Truckers Against Trafficking has launched a campaign .The program trains drivers how to identify a prostitute and encourages them to contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline if they come into contact with trafficked workers. Truckers are the eyes and ears of nation’s highways and can make a substantial difference in this fight.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/05/truckers-against-sex-trafficking_/9.h

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Stem Cells & Cloning

No news today

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Substance Abuse

USA – New drug called Flakka is Insanity for $5

James Hall, an epidemiologist at the Center for Applied Research on Substance Use and Health Disparities at Nova Southeastern University in Florida said, “Even though addicted, users tell us they are literally afraid of this drug,” Flakka is a synthetic stimulant with a reputation for its nasty side effects, including a tendency to give people enormous rage and strength, along with intense hallucinations. The street name for the chemical alpha-PVP is Gravel. The body overheats and users become delusional and violent. Flakka was banned by the DEA in 2014. Police are generally called, but it takes up to six officers to restrain an individual. 10 people have died from overdoses in the last few months.

http://www.livescience.com/50502-what-is-flakka.html

USA – Most Americans say medical marijuana shouldn’t be used by kids

Marijuana and children don’t mix, even if its claimed to be used for medical purposes, most Americans say. While nearly two-thirds of people agree that their state should allow so-called ‘medical marijuana’ for adults, only half as many — about a third — say it should be allowed for children, according to the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/04/150420084545.htm?utm_source=feedburner

USA – Too many high employees prompts company to leave Colorado

Marc Brawner, the owner of the company Little Spider Creations, says since Colorado legalized marijuana, too many employees were coming in high. He was firing too many people, and made the decision to move to South Carolina. Brawner says you could definitely see the difference in employees work quality when they were high, and he says they were just not as productive and had an “it’s good enough” attitude. The Colorado-based employment service has calls from employers asking for advice on what to do if an employee comes into work high, adding to the social and economical cost due to marijuana legalization.

http://www.9news.com/story/news/local/2015/04/23/little-spider-creations-marijuana-employees/26241529/

USA – Newborns Enduring Drug Withdrawal

infants admitted to neonatal intensive care units (NICU) to treat symptoms of drug withdrawal have nearly quadrupled since 2004. Neonatal abstinence syndrome, a drug-withdrawal syndrome that occurs after exposure to prescription narcotic painkillers during pregnancy affected only 7 babies for every 1,000 admitted to a NICU in 2004. By 2013, that number had jumped to 27 infants out of 1,000 babies in the NICU. The Baylor University Medical Center found the percentage of days spent in a NICU attributed to drug withdrawal went from 0.6{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} to 4{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} over that decade. Eight neonatal centers reported that more than 20{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of NICU days were spent caring for these infants in 2013. The findings were published online in the New England Journal of Medicine.

http://health.usnews.com/health-news/articles/2015/04/26/more-us-newborns-enduring-drug-withdrawal-study

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

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LIFEalerts 30 April 2015

Abortion USA – Louisiana Bill Will Ban Sex-Selection Abortions
Alternative Medicine South Africa – Traditional healers in a fix over new law
Euthanasia USA – Connecticut Defeats Legislation to Legalize Assisted Suicide
HIV/AIDS No news today
Homosexuality USA – Agencies allowed to refuse homosexual adoptions UK – Force schools to endorse homosexual relationships USA – Former North Carolina magistrates sue over same-sex marriages USA – White House opens first gender-neutral restroom
IVF & Surrogacy India – Law Student Beaten up after refusing to be Surrogate Mother China – Government bans surrogacy UK – First country to approve law to allow babies from three people
Medical Ethics Australia – Informed consent dilemma: Jehovah witness and child die USA – Bioethics commission report on neuroscience and law
Pedophilia No news today
Pornography UK – Children Fear Addiction to Internet Pornography UK – ChildLine campaign confronts issue of young people and porn UK – Charity steps up removal of child sex abuse image
Prostitution &Trafficking Netherlands – Prostitutes protest closure of brothel ‘windows’ USA – Colorado Springs police try public shaming to fight prostitution USA – Police use high tech tactics to stop prostitution Germany – Girls as Goods: Forced Prostitution in Berlin
Stem Cells & Cloning No news today
Substance Abuse USA – The Terrible Truth about Cannabis France – Parliament approves experiment of safe injection rooms USA – Cannabis remains a Schedule 1 drug federal judge rules

Abortion

USA – Louisiana Bill Will Ban Sex-Selection Abortions Research has shown that sex-selection abortion has made its way from Asia to the United States and pro-lifers are moving forward with legislation to ban it. Rep. Lenar Whitney has filed H.B. 701, the Louisiana Pre-Natal Non-Discrimination Act (PRENDA) and it will be considered soon before the House Health and Welfare Committee. Rep. Whitney said: “Louisiana, as a leader in protecting human life, has a responsibility through this legislation to ensure that this form of discrimination does not take place within our borders. I look forward to passing this legislation and placing it on Gov. Jindal’s desk for his signature.” http://www.lifenews.com/2015/04/15/louisiana-bill-would-ban-sex-selection-abortions-targeting-girl-babies/

Alternative Medicine

South Africa – Traditional healers in a fix over new law Traditional healers will have to be registered with a healers’ council by May 1 or face a fine or imprisonment, according to the Traditional Health Practitioners’ Act. But they are going to have a hard time complying – the council appears not to exist. The Times could not find its address, website, phone number or names of those involved in it. The Department of Health has failed to respond to questions about the council’s existence sent to it last week. Phepsile Maseko, head of the Traditional Healers’ Organisation, which claims 69000 members said the council was “not functional”. A council would enforce accountability among healers because patients could lodge complaints about them that could be investigated, said Maseko. http://www.timeslive.co.za/thetimes/2015/04/09/traditional-healers-in-a-fix-over-new-law

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Euthanasia

USA – Connecticut Defeats Legislation to Legalize Assisted Suicide Connecticut will not follow Oregon, Washington and Vermont as the fourth state to legalize assisted suicide. Backers of the bill said they would try again next year in an attempt to get the state legislature to sign off on such a bill. Again a coalition of pro-life groups, disability rights advocates and religious and medical organizations, as has happened in other states, was crucial to stopping the measure. http://www.lifenews.com/2015/04/10/connecticut-defeats-legislation-to-make-it-4th-state-to-legalize-assisted-suicide/

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HIV/AIDS & STI’s

No news today

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Homosexuality

USA – Agencies allowed to refuse homosexual adoptions The Florida House voted for a “conscience protection” bill allowing private adoption agencies to refuse placement of children with same-sex couples. The 75-38 vote sending the proposal to the state Senate came after more than 90 minutes of often impassioned debate. The bill does not specifically mention homosexuals. It permits agencies with written codes of ethics to refuse adoptions sought by parents whose lifestyles are at odds with the agency. http://www.tallahassee.com/story/news/2015/04/09/house-allows-agencies-block-gay-adoptions/25533447/ UK – Force schools to endorse homosexual relationships Schools should be required to give children a positive portrayal of same-sex relationships, according to a major teachers’ union. The National Union of Teachers (NUT) backed the promotion of LGBT History Month and an ‘LGBT inclusive’ curriculum at its annual conference in Harrogate this weekend. However, The Christian Institute said it would force Christian teachers “to have to choose between their faith and their job”. Chris McGovern, of the Campaign for Real Education, said: “The rights of groups who oppose gay marriage on sincere religious grounds should be respected as much as those who support homosexual marriage. http://www.christian.org.uk/news/force-schools-to-endorse-gay-relationships-says-nut/ USA – Former North Carolina magistrates sue over same-sex marriages Two former North Carolina magistrates who stepped down from their posts after a ruling that allowed same-sex marriages in the state have filed a lawsuit that says they should not have to perform same-sex ceremonies. Former Swain County magistrate Gilbert Breedlove and former Graham County magistrate Thomas Holland are listed as plaintiffs in the lawsuit that was filed in Superior Court. “Defendants forced Plaintiffs to choose between taking an act that violates their sincerely held religious beliefs or being criminally prosecuted,” says the lawsuit. It says the men resigned under duress and should be reinstated. They’re seeking injunctive relief, damages, and attorneys’ fees. http://abc11.com/news/former-north-carolina-magistrates-sue-over-same-sex-marriages/644674 USA – White House opens first gender-neutral restroom The White House has opened its first gender-neutral restroom in what is seen as a symbolic step by President Barack Obama to protect the rights of the LGBT community in the workplace. In Florida, the “Bathroom Surveillance Bill” would ban transgender people from using bathrooms, locker rooms and other sex-segregated facilities except those designated for their gender at birth. Transgender advocates have attacked the laws as discriminatory and accused legislators in some states of “attacking the dignity and humanity of transgender and gender non-conforming people”. “It is heartening that … at least the White House is still moving in the direction of dignity and common sense,” said Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality. http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/04/09/us-gay-rights-whitehouse-idUSKBN0N02CA20150409

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IVF &Surrogacy

India – Law Student Beaten up after refusing to be Surrogate Mother A 22-year-old was allegedly sexually harassed and beaten by a guest house owner and his accomplices for refusing to be a surrogate and five persons, including workers at a private hospital, were arrested. The victim was sent for medical examination and her statement will be recorded before a magistrate. A case has been registered with charges of rape, abducting in order to murder, and assault or criminal force to a woman with intent to outrage her modesty. Surrogacy if allowed needs to be governed by strict policy to avoid women being taken advantage of and such incidents avoided. http://zeenews.india.com/news/uttar-pradesh/meerut-shocker-law-student-raped-beaten-for-rejecting-surrogacy_1543902.html China – Government bans surrogacySurrogacy upsets the natural order of childbirth and poses health risks,” a government statement said. The practice contradicts the government’s population policy and a health commission spokesman later said that regulators will ban any businesses related to the practice. This is the strongest signal about surrogate motherhood that the government has ever sent. China’s surrogates usually come from rural areas and are desperate for cash. They earn anywhere between 10 000 to 100 000 yuan for carrying a baby. The demand for surrogate mothers has risen along with infertility as a 2012 study showed that about 12{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of women in the country were infertile. The problem with underground surrogacy is the women involved are desperate for money, so they conceal health problems. http://www.marketwatch.com/story/china-cracks-down-on-surrogate-births-even-as-infertility-rises-2015-04-14 UK – First country to approve law to allow babies from three people This procedure will prevent babies inheriting deadly genetic diseases. Scientist explained that mitochondria are the tiny compartments inside nearly every cell of the body that convert food into useable energy and a genetic defect in it means that the body has insufficient energy to keep the heart beating or the brain functioning. This new technique will use a modified version of IVF to combine the healthy mitochondria of a donor woman with DNA of the 2 parents and will result in babies with 0.1 percent of their DNA from the second woman, is a permanent change that would echo down through the generations. The first baby with the new technique could be born as early as 2016. http://www.medindia.net/news/uk-approves-three-person-babies-with-help-of-modified-ivf-version-146924-1.htm

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Medical Ethics

Australia – Informed consent dilemma: Jehovah witness and child die

In a case in the Internal Medicine Journal, doctors at Prince of Wales Hospital in Sydney report that a 28-year-old woman with acute promyelocytic leukemia refused all blood products even though she knew that her decision might lead to her death. Her foetus died in utero and she died several days later. However, the doctors note that: “maternal autonomy was respected – which reflects broad legal and ethical consensus that competent adults may refuse any form of medical intervention – even where that intervention is lifesaving… Circumstances where foetal and maternal autonomy conflict, or where foetal beneficence conflicts with maternal autonomy, create challenges…  as more foetal-specific treatments become available, conflict between the best interests of mother and foetus will increase.”

http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/informed-consent-dilemma-jehovah-witness-and-child-die/11394

USA – Bioethics commission report on neuroscience and law The US Presidential Commission into the Study of Bioethical Issues has released its report Grey Matters: Topics at the intersection of neuroscience, ethics, and society, which examines three key areas in which neuroscience intersects with ethics. Perhaps the most topical is the role of neuroscience in the courtroom. The report catalogues the various contributions that neuroscience could potentially make to our understanding of human action and also examines ethical concerns such as the potential for misinterpretation and overstatement of the implications of neuroscientific research. The authors of the report call for educational tools to help judges and lawyers grasp the rudiments of neuroscience and cautions against the perennial temptation to overstate the implications of scientific research. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/us-bioethics-commission-releases-report-on-neuroscience-and-law/11395

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Pedophilia

No news today

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Pornography

UK – Children Fear Addiction to Internet Pornography The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children interviewed 700 children for a study, and found 12{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of respondents admitted to making an explicit video. One in 10 children aged 12 or 13 say they have made a sexually-explicit video or been part of one. Almost one in 10 (9{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}) are worried that they had become addicted to pornography. One in five children (18{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}) said they had seen pornographic images that had shocked. The founder of ChildLine, Dame Esther Rantzen, indicated that the research pointed to a need for better education in schools regarding the difference between real life relationships and the fantasy world of porn because young people are turning to the internet to learn about sex and relationships. http://news.sky.com/story/1455776/children-fear-addiction-to-internet-pornography UK – ChildLine campaign confronts issue of young people and porn Sue Minto, Head of ChildLine service explains why the issue of porn is being addressed with latest campaign. As a charity that fights for every child they have launched the ChildLine FAPZ campaign (the Fight Against Porn Zombies). They received 18,000 visits every month about exposure to porn on their discussion forums from children that are worried they are addicted to porn. Animations are used as a hook to direct young people to a range of information and advice on the ChildLine website. Since they launched their campaign on 13 March, their videos have attracted more than 140,000 viewers. At least 10 per cent of the viewers went on to look for further helpful information about pornography on the ChildLine website. http://www.nspcc.org.uk/fighting-for-childhood/news-opinion/sue-minto-we-cannot-shy-away-talking-about-porn/ UK – Charity steps up removal of child sex abuse image The UK-based Internet Watch Foundation said it assisted in the removal of 31,266 sexually explicit web pages depicting youngsters in 2014, compared with 13,182 in 2013. The charity is taking a proactive approach, seeking out child abuse imagery rather than just acting on reports. The UK’s four biggest internet service providers committed an extra £1m to fund its efforts. Fewer than 0.3{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of the web pages detected were hosted in the UK, 56{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} were hosted in North America, 41{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} were hosted in Europe, including Russia. “There is a lot of research being done on automatically detecting the images themselves and what keywords to look for in related text, according to Prof Alan Woodward, who advises Europol on the issue. http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-32288650

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Prostitution & Trafficking

Netherlands – Prostitutes protest closure of brothel ‘windows’ Hundreds of sex workers and supporters protested in Amsterdam against plans to reinvigorate the city’s famed red light district by closing some of the windows where sex workers sit to draw clients. The famously open-minded city has proposed shutting down some of the brothels in the district to help in the fight against human trafficking and other crimes. About 115 of the 500 red and pink-lit windows have already been closed in recent years. About 7 000 sex workers ply their trade in Amsterdam and some 75{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of them come from poorer countries, particularly in eastern Europe. http://www.news24.com/World/News/Sex-workers-protest-closure-of-brothel-windows-20150410 USA – Colorado Springs police try public shaming to fight prostitution Colorado Springs police have a new way to combat prostitution: public shaming. The police department have started announcing the names of johns, or people convicted of soliciting for prostitution. Many johns were featured, along with their mug shots in a news release to media outlets, which also was posted on the police department’s Facebook page. Some agencies publicized johns on billboards or public access television, and in Corpus Christi, Texas, convicted johns had to put bumper stickers on their cars saying “Stop Prostitution”. Some departments announced arrests while other conducted social media campaigns after johns were convicted http://gazette.com/search USA – Police use high tech tactics to stop prostitution Police in Lubbock are using the internet to catch people participating in prostitution. It’s just like patrolling neighborhoods except they patrol internet. Police put advertisements offering sex for money and once they have a buyer, they set up a meeting. Are they 110{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} sure when they read whatever it is on the internet that they are soliciting prostitution? Absolutely. But how do they know they have the right person when they make the arrest? There’s no doubt when they show up that’s who came to meet them because of conversations, time, place, date or what they’re driving. Police are hoping this sting will lead to catching bigger criminals, child predators or drug traffickers. http://www.kcbd.com/story/4825084/police-use-high-tech-tactics-to-stop-prostitution Germany – Girls as Goods: Forced Prostitution in Berlin A Television documentary is showing how young women see their way to Germany as the only way to secure a better life for themselves and their families. Girls growing up in poverty can be easy game for traffickers. Young girls from Romania and Bulgaria, some of them underage, are forced to have sex with up to 15 men a day, often without protection. Forced prostitution is a business that earns pimps and unscrupulous businessmen millions every year at the expense of enslaved girls and women who’re often desperately looking for a way out. Many of them don’t have passports and don’t speak German. In particular, young girls from Eastern Europe are increasingly falling prey to unscrupulous traffickers. http://www.dw.de/girls-as-goods-forced-prostitution-in-berlin/a-18324810

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Stem Cells & Cloning

No news today

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Substance Abuse

USA – The Terrible Truth about Cannabis According to a 20 year study by Professor Wayne Hall, drugs advisor to the World Health Organisation: “If cannabis is not addictive then neither is heroin or alcohol; it’s harder to get people who are dependent on cannabis through withdrawal than heroin; we just don’t know how to do it. Those trying to stop cannabis suffer anxiety, insomnia, appetite disturbance and depression. Even after treatment, less than half can stay off the drug for six months.” 1 in 6 teenagers who smoke the drug become dependent and it doubles the risk of developing psychotic disorders including schizophrenia. Smoking doubles risk of having a car crash and those smoking cannabis are more likely to use harder drugs. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2783111/The-terrible-truth-cannabis-Expert-s-devastating-20-year-study-finally-demolishes-claims-smoking-pot-harmless.html France – Parliament approves experiment of safe injection rooms The French Parliament has adopted the experimentation of safe injection rooms. After more than four hours of lively debate between the parties, Article 9 of the bill on the modernization of the healthcare system was adopted by 50 votes against 24. These facilities, which have already been recognized in other countries, aim to reach out to drug addicts who usually adopt risky behaviors such as injecting in unhealthy conditions, often in the street. This begs the question, should we be condoning addictive behavior and saying it’s ok to abuse drugs as long as it is done in a controlled environment, or rather promote a healthy drug free society where addiction is treated rather than nurtured. http://idpc.net/alerts/2015/04/french-parliament-approves-experimentation-of-safe-injection-rooms USA – Cannabis remains a Schedule 1 drug federal judge rules A federal judge in California declined to remove marijuana from the list of most dangerous drugs. U.S. District Judge Kimberly Mueller said “This is not the court and this is not the time” to overturn federal law, and pointed out that courts are not designed to act as a maker of public policy. This decision lies with the FDA and scientists. The call to reclassify marijuana came out of a 2011 criminal complaint over pot plants illegally grown in California. Attorneys for the defendants had sought to dismiss the charges on the grounds that pot should not be listed among Schedule 1 drug that has no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. http://www.dailynews.com/general-news/20150415/marijuana-remains-a-schedule-1-drug-just-like-heroin-and-lsd-judge-rules

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

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LIFEalerts 14 April 2015

LIFEalerts 14 April 2015

 
Abortion USA – Women in Arizona, Arkansas must be told abortion can be “reversed”
Alternative Medicine No news today
Euthanasia Belgium – Many patients euthanized for psychiatric reasons
HIV/AIDS No news today
Homosexuality Canada – Leading psychiatrist slams homosexual therapy ban USA – An honest letter by a woman who was raised by lesbians USA – Fox, CNN and MSNBC Agree: ‘We’re for homosexual Rights France – Keep ban on homosexuals giving blood
IVF & Surrogacy USA – Acupuncture and Chinese medicine in IVF India – New rules for foreign nationals visiting India for surrogacy USA – Infertile Couples may Have Kids from IVF
Medical Ethics UK – Woman wins right to refuse life-saving amputation USA – The bioethics of Googling France – Parliament divided over deep sleep bill USA – New genetic editing technology raises ethical questions
Pedophilia No news today
Pornography UK – Studies show young people wish they were better informed about sex Denmark – Porn belongs in the classroom, or does it? New Zealand – New sexual integrity sex education for schools USA – Connection with Sex Trafficking and pornography
Prostitution &Trafficking Ireland – Testimony of a former prostitute UK- Human traffickers may face life sentence under slavery bill
Stem Cells & Cloning No news today
Substance Abuse USA – Saturation of methadone/suboxone centers increases crime USA – Marijuana Extract CBD for Children With Epilepsy Is Questioned USA – Man shoots himself after eating marijuana candies Scotland – Methadone programme ‘is a black hole’, says drug expert
 

Abortion

USA – Women in Arizona, Arkansas must be told abortion can be ‘reversed’

New laws in Arkansas and Arizona require doctors to inform women that drug-induced abortions can be “reversed” mid-procedure. The Arkansas law took effect after Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed it. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey signed his state’s bill into law earlier this month. “No medical reason exists to deny mothers the opportunity to choose life by sharing with them all their options,” Charmaine Yoest, president of Americans United for Life, said in a statement. The laws are part of a wave of state legislation aimed at reducing access to abortion rather than banning it outright.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2015/04/07/arizona-arkansas-tell-women-drug-induced-abortion-can-be-reversed/

Alternative Medicine

USA – What is Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Nearly 40{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of adults report using Complementary Alternative Medicine (CAM), often combining them with mainstream medical treatment. This is called “integrative medicine.” Alternative medicine changes constantly as treatments undergo testing. They’re classified by the National Centre for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) as follows; whole medical systems, mind-body medicine, biologically based practices, manipulative and body-based practices and energy medicine but it’s possible that some therapies overlap. Some CAM practitioners make exaggerated claims about curing diseases, and some ask you to forgo treatment from your conventional doctor. For these reasons, many doctors are cautious about recommending these therapies. It is also often too expensive to do comprehensive studies on these treatments.

www.mayoclinic.org/…ternative-medicine/art-20045267

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Euthanasia

Belgium – Many patients euthanized for psychiatric reasons

At least 50 patients are euthanized each year for purely psychiatric reasons, according to the leading figure in Belgian euthanasia, Dr Wim Distelmans. This is a small group – 50 to 60 patients – but it is not a negligible number: 2 to 3 percent of the 1,924 people who were euthanized last year. They feel that they are no longer comfortable in this world: They are in their 20s or 30s; they have been followed medically since they were children; they have a history of institutionalization. Their parents were originally radically against euthanasia, but eventually they agreed with it because nothing more could be done. Traditionally euthanasia was not used for psychiatric reasons, just another example of the slippery slope in Belgium.

http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/50-or-60-belgian-patients-euthanased-annually-for-psychiatric-reasons/11371

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HIV/AIDS & STI’s

No news today

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Homosexuality

Canada – Leading psychiatrist slams homosexual therapy ban

A highly-respected psychotherapist says the Ontario New Democrats’ bill banning treatment of unwanted same-sex attractions for teenagers is “very ill-advised.” Dr. Joseph Berger, the past president of the Ontario district of the American Psychiatric Association, former assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Toronto and for 27 years an examiner of prospective psychiatrists, said that such therapy was “often successful” and that he had helped several clients with homosexual feelings to live productive, heterosexual lives. But “no competent therapist,” he added, would attempt to treat a teenager or adult who did not want to change his or her sexual orientation. He had been successful with several clients himself. “One of them is now a grandfather”, he said.

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/leading-toronto-psychiatrist-slams-extremists-and-fanatics-who-want-to-ban

USA – An honest letter by a woman who was raised by lesbians

Heather Barwick:Growing up, and even into my 20s, I supported and advocated for same-sex marriages. It’s only with some time and distance from my childhood that I’m able to reflect on my experiences and recognize the long-term consequences that same-sex parenting had on me. And it’s only now, as I watch my children loving and being loved by their father each day, that I can see the wisdom in traditional marriage and parenting. I loved my mom’s partner, but another mom could never have replaced the father I lost. It is a strange and confusing thing to walk around with this deep-down unquenchable ache for a father, for a man, in a community that says that men are unnecessary.

http://thefederalist.com/2015/03/17/dear-gay-community-your-kids-are-hurting/

USA – Fox, CNN and MSNBC Agree: ‘We’re for homosexual Rights’

The “Code of Ethics” of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) says that the media should “avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived.” But on the issue of homosexual rights, the media, from the left to the right, have taken a side. This includes the Fox News Channel, which many conservatives had hoped would stay true to its word of being “Fair & Balanced,” on the issue of homosexual rights. The Fox News Channel is joining CBS News and CNN as “silver” sponsors of the upcoming National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA) 20th annual New York “Headlines & Headliners” fundraising event. Gold sponsors include ABC News and Comcast Universal, owner of NBC and MSNBC.

http://illinoisfamily.org/media/fox-cnn-and-msnbc-agree-were-for-gay-rights/#.VRMe9Cbk1MM.facebook

France – Keep ban on homosexuals giving blood

France’s National Consultative Ethics Committee (CCNE) has advised the government to maintain its current ban on homosexuals giving blood. The committee said in a statement that further research was needed before considering lifting the ban, adding that changing the law now “could expose people to medical risks which should be taken into consideration from an ethical point of view”. “Giving blood is not a right. What matters most is the health and the protection of the receiver,” said Jean-Claude Ameisen, president of the CCNE.

http://www.thelocal.fr/20150401/france-should-keep-ban-on-gay-men-giving-blood

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IVF &Surrogacy

USA – Acupuncture and Chinese medicine in IVF

USA is seeing a growing trend to incorporate acupuncture and Chinese medicine into IVF. Studies show acupuncture before embryo transfer may increase pregnancy rate. In one study of more than 1,400 cycles, 3 acupuncture sessions before and after embryo transfer improved the fertilization rate, especially in women over 35 who used fresh embryo transfer and in women 35 – 39 who used frozen embryo transfer. Another study of 258 women showed that needle acupuncture boosted the pregnancy rate by 10{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}. Another study showed among 83 women, who either got or didn’t get acupuncture, that the technique made no difference in whether they got pregnant.

http://www.webmd.com/infertility-and-reproduction/features/new-trends-in-infertility-treatment?page=4

India – New rules for foreign nationals visiting India for surrogacy Only couples who have been married for at least two years will be allowed to visit India for the purpose of surrogacy. The appropriate visa category for foreign nationals coming to India for surrogacy will be ‘medical visa’. This is to ensure in such cases that the surrogate mother is not cheated. A letter from the embassy of the foreign country in India or the foreign ministry of the country should be enclosed with the visa application stating clearly that the country recognises surrogacy and the child to be born to the couple through the Indian surrogate mother will be permitted entry into their country as a biological child. An agreement between the couple and surrogate involved shall also be required. http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/strict-rules-for-commissioning-surrogacy-union-minister-kiren-rijiju-747684 USA – Infertile Couples may Have Kids from IVF New research shows that infertile couples may finally be able to have children through IVF after scientists achieved a key breakthrough in making sperm and eggs from skin cells, by converting them into the “primordial germ cells” normally found within the testes and ovaries. These develop into mature sperm and eggs. This could also lead to a better understanding of the “epigenetic” changes within human cells that contribute to ageing and cancer because of the insights it will give scientists about how adult human skin cells can be reprogrammed into sperm and eggs. This was the first step in demonstrating that scientists could make primordial germ cells without putting them into patients to verify they were genuine. http://www.medindia.net/news/infertile-couples-may-have-kids-from-ivf-145273-1.htm#ixzz3UdqkGSZ2

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Medical Ethics

UK – Woman wins right to refuse life-saving amputation A dramatic example of informed consent in medicine comes from Britain. A 62-year-old woman who has suffered from paranoid schizophrenia for most of her life has refused to allow doctors to amputate a gangrenous leg. Despite her psychological disability, the woman was living a reasonably independent life and held down a responsible job. Mr Justice Peter Jackson said “Anyone capable of making decisions has an absolute right to accept or refuse medical treatment, regardless of the wisdom or consequences of the decision. The decision does not have to be justified to anyone. In the absence of consent, any invasion of the body will be a criminal assault. The fact that the intervention is well-meaning or therapeutic makes no difference. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/uk_woman_wins_right_to_refuse_life_saving_amputation/11365 USA – The bioethics of Googling Is it ethical to Google your patients? A recent article in the Journal of General Internal Medicine examines this question, with Penn State College of Medicine researchers contending that professional medical societies must update or amend their Internet guidelines to address the ethics behind it. “Many physicians would agree that seeking information about their patients via Google seems to be an invasion of privacy, violating trust between patients and their healthcare providers,” explain the researchers. “However, it may be viewed as ethically valid, and even warranted under certain circumstances.” The researchers label the lack of current guidelines the “google blind-spot”, and suggest that medical associations have an ethical imperative to address the issue. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/the-bioethics-of-googling/11375 France – Parliament divided over deep sleep bill France’s parliament is debating a ‘deep sleep’ bill which will give patients with ‘hours or days to live’ the right to be placed under general unaesthetic until the moment they die. Sedation would be titrated so there would be no chance of the patient regaining consciousness. Pro-life groups have criticised the proposed legislation, claiming it authorizes a passive form of euthanasia. In an open letter published in Le Monde, leaders from Christianity, Islam and Judaism, described the bill a threat to human dignity “We are launching a joint appeal, anxious and pressing, that this possible new law will not in any way violate this basic principle: all human life must be respected particularly at the moment when most fragile”. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/france_divided_over_deep_sleep_bill/11367

USA – New genetic editing technology raises ethical questions

A group of leading biologists have called for a halt to the use of a powerful new gene editing technique. Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) is the name for a natural defense system bacteria use to fend off harmful infections by recognizing specific patterns of DNA from foreign invaders, and decapitating them. Research groups led by Dr Zhang of Massachusetts of Institute of Technology and Dr Church of Harvard University have successfully modified this basic mechanism and turned it into a powerful tool that can cut human genomic DNA at any desired location. However, due to the fear of unforeseen disastrous outcomes prominent scientists in the field have recently called for ethical guidelines for doing such modifications.

http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/crispr-technology-brings-precise-genetic-editing-and-raises-ethical-questio/11387

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Pedophilia

No news today

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Pornography

UK – Studies show young people wish they were better informed about sex

Researchers investigating how young people learn about sex found a gap between the type of sex education young people want and what they receive. Many young people want to receive more information about sex and relationships from their parents, according to researchers. Two studies, published in BMJ Open, utilized data from the third National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Natsal-3). In particular, they reported wanting more information on “sexual feelings, emotions and relationships,” in addition to STIs. The fact that many young people told us they wanted to get more information from a parent shows that parents also have an important role to play. A study published earlier this year demonstrated the risks of obtaining information through “other sources”.

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/290528.php

Denmark – Porn belongs in the classroom, or does it?

Leading sexologist Prof Christian Graugaard, has called for pornography to be shown in the classroom, claiming that starting a debate about the industry could help teenagers become conscientious and critical consumers who are able to tell the difference between pornography and the reality of sexual relationships. Graugaard’s proposal is not simply following in the long tradition of sexually permissive Scandinavia. It is, he insists, a sensible way of teaching teenagers that pornography is nothing like real sex. His proposal is to critically discuss pornography with 8th and 9th graders as part of a sensible didactic strategy, carried out by trained teachers.

http://www.theguardian.com/culture/2015/mar/16/pornography-belongs-classroom-professor-denmark

New Zealand – New sexual integrity sex education for schools

A unique, realistic new sex education programme for schools that deals explicitly with developing positive, ‘whole person’ sexuality while addressing issues such as pornography, consent, rape and teen pregnancy will be introduced to New Zealand by its Australian author, sexologist Liz Walker. According to Ms Walker these programs were developed to create awareness with young people that “sexual integrity is the foundation of meaningful and authentic connections. It empowers young people to gain the necessary foundational skills to develop healthy, respectful and equal relationships.”

http://auckland.scoop.co.nz/2015/02/explicit-new-sex-education-programme-for-high-schools-coming/

USA – Connection with Sex Trafficking and pornography The supply for sex trafficking is fuelled by the demand for pornography.¹ In 2011, a couple from Missouri was charged with forcing a girl who was mentally handicapped to produce porn. To get her to comply, they beat, whipped, suffocated, electrocuted, drowned, mutilated, and choked her. One of the photos of the young woman ended up being used on the cover of a major porn publication. In that same year, two Miami men were charged with spending five years luring women, through advertising modeling roles, into a human trafficking trap. When women showed up, the two men drugged, kidnapped, raped, and videotaped their acts of violence and then sold these videos to pornography stores and businesses throughout the country. http://chognews.org/2015/02/16/pornography-a-personal-connection-with-sex-trafficking/

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Prostitution & Trafficking

Ireland – Testimony of a former prostitute A survivor of prostitution describes being repeatedly raped, of being urinated on having objects inserted inside her, and how in the end prostitution brought her to her “knees”. Mia de Faoite, told how she got drawn into prostitution on Dublin’s Burlington Road, to pay for heroin, from 2005 to 2010. “In prostitution a woman ceases to be seen as a human being in the eyes of others and becomes a trapped mind that lives in a body that no longer belongs to her. I looked at the man on top of me. I looked straight into his eyes. I thought, ‘You can’t see me, can’t hear me’…He looked straight through me.” She exited with the help of a social worker. http://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/in-prostitution-a-woman-ceases-to-be-seen-as-a-human-being-in-the-eyes-of-others-1.2139162 UK- Human traffickers may face life sentence under slavery bill This new law aims to protect those at risk of being enslaved. Before traffickers were sentenced 14 years but this law concerns not enough being done to stop slavery. This momentous piece of law, which has been shaped and reformed and improved so much by all parts of Britain gives protection to the victims who need it and ensures that the perpetrators cannot practice their crimes anymore. The Home Affairs Office estimates there were up to 13,000 victims of slavery in Britain in 2013, most of them from Albania, Nigeria, Vietnam and Romania. http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2015/mar/27/human-traffickers-face-life-sentence-britain-slavery-bill/

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Stem Cells & Cloning

No news today

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Substance Abuse

USA – Saturation of methadone/suboxone centers increases crime In 2014, the Central Baltimore Partnership put together a task force to study the high concentration of opioid centers and other social services providers in the north central area of the city of Baltimore.  In their findings, Robert Mara, representative of the Harwood Community Association, testified that in the Old Goucher section of the Charles Village area, where they have two methadone and one suboxone clinic, crime was almost five times the rate of 3 other sectors that did not have these opioid dispensaries. Only 20{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of those arrestees lived within that area. Less than 18{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of patients seeking treatment actually live in that area. What’s more, only 20{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of those arrestees lived within that sector. http://baltimorepostexaminer.com/opioid-treatment-research-shows-saturation-treatment-centers-increases-crime/2015/02/25 USA – Marijuana Extract CBD for Children With Epilepsy Is Questioned A dozen states in the past year, have legalized the substance cannabidiol, or CBD (a cannabis extract), despite a lack of hard evidence of its effectiveness in controlling seizures. While being hailed as a ‘wonder drug’ by some, research results show that some children after taking CBD, didn’t respond or even worsened. “We don’t have enough data at this point to recommend marijuana products for families,” said Kevin Chapman, a neurologist and co-author of a study. “We have clear and well-established mechanisms to determine if therapies are safe and effective,” said Dr. Amy Brooks-Kayal, president of the American Epilepsy Society. “To have legislatures bypass that process before they have that information poses risks to people who choose to use that therapy.” http://www.cbsnews.com/news/man-fatally-shoots-himself-after-eating-5-marijuana-candies/ USA – Man shoots himself after eating marijuana candies The family of a Tulsa man who shot himself in Keystone, Colorado is blaming his suicide on his ingestion of edible marijuana candies. “It was completely a reaction to the drugs,” Kim Goodman said about her son Luke’s suicide. Caleb Fowler said his cousin became “jittery” then incoherent and talking nonsensically after taking them. Fowler says Goodman became “pretty weird and relatively incoherent after taking 5 times the recommended dose. It was almost like something else was speaking through him.” He then shot himself. Luke Goodman’s death is now the third death in Colorado linked to marijuana edibles. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/two-denver-deaths-tied-to-recreational-marijuana-use/ Scotland – Methadone programme ‘is a black hole’, says drug expert Referring to the methadone programme in Scotland, Dr Neil McKeganey, from the Centre for Drug Misuse Research, said “it is literally a black hole into which people are disappearing” and its “out of control” Data obtained by BBC Scotland showed pharmacists were paid £17.8m for handling nearly half a million prescriptions of methadone in 2014. Figures released by the NHS in 2012 revealed that methadone-implicated deaths increased dramatically in cases where the individual had been prescribed the drug for more than a year. Recent figures from the National Records of Scotland also reveal methadone was implicated in nearly the same number of deaths as heroin in 2013. http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-31943109

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

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LIFEalerts 18 march 2015

Abortion UK – Parliament Rejects Major Abortion Amendment USA – Study finds maternal health statistics best where abortion restricted UK – Research: Abortion increases risk of mental health problems Alternative Medicine UK – Once again experts find no evidence homeopathy works Euthanasia USA – Oregon’s slippery slope another degree downhill HIV/AIDS No news today Homosexuality USA – Conversion therapy bill clears Oklahoma House committee Italy – Top court: ‘No right to same-sex marriage’ USA – Research: Homosexuals Diagnosed With Cancer More Often USA – Health Warnings of Ocular Syphilis Cases in Homosexuals IVF & Surrogacy USA – The facts about preimplantation genetic diagnosis Thailand – Government Bans Commercial Surrogacy Australia – Convicted Sex Offender Allowed To Keep Surrogate Baby UK – “My brother is the father of my son” Medical Ethics USA – The bioethics of precision medicine Australia – More research needed on the Pill-brain nexus Liberia – Ebola threat fades in West Africa Iraq – Doctors under the black flag of the Islamic State Pedophilia USA – A prospective examination of the abused-abuser theory Pornography

South Africa – Research reveals disturbing findings on youth and porn

USA – Google will ban pornography from its Blogger site

USA – Parent to child talks can curtail pornography UK – Children produce porn themselves Prostitution &Trafficking South Africa – South Africa vows to fight human trafficking South Africa – Hawks rescue seven women from brothel USA – Indiana billboards hope to reduce human trafficking Stem Cells & Cloning No news today Substance Abuse USA – Washington DC legalizes Cannabis use and possession USA – Substance Abuse among Pregnant Teens USA – New Drug Trends in Teens – Pharm Parties USA – Energy drinks in Elementary schools

Abortion

UK – Parliament Rejects Major Abortion Amendment Sex-selective abortion is a controversial subject that has seen heated debate over recent weeks in the UK parliament. The abortion law needs to be amended to take into consideration a rise in gender-based terminations. The proposal was firmly rejected with 291 to 201 voting to clarify in law that abortions decided on the grounds of gender are illegal. http://www.marieclaire.co.uk/news/548554/mps-rejected-a-major-abortion-amendment-last-night.html USA – Study finds maternal health statistics best where abortion is restricted A 10-year study, conducted by the MELISA Institute found that in 32 Mexican states, maternal deaths were 23{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} lower and deaths from complications after abortions were 47{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} lower in the states with restrictive laws. http://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=24188 UK – Research: Abortion increases risk of mental health problems One in 10 of all mental health problems in the UK is a result of an abortion. Tory MP Nadine Dorries, backed by Labor’s Frank Field, has put down an amendment to a Health Bill which requires women seeking abortion to see an independent counsellor first. A study by Professor Coleman of 22 separate projects which analyzed the experiences of 877,000 women of whom 163,831 had had an abortion, showed a 34{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} greater chance of anxiety disorders, 37{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} higher possibility of depression, more than double risk of alcohol abuse, a 3 times greater risk of cannabis use, and 155{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} greater risk of trying to commit suicide. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/8734378/Abortion-increases-risk-of-mental-health-problems-new-research-finds.html

Alternative Medicine

UK – Once again experts find no evidence homeopathy works

There’s no reliable evidence that health conditions can be effectively treated with homeopathic medicine, according to a statement by the National Health and Medicine Research Council (NHMRC). The statement of the NHMRC’s draft paper was put out for public consultation and there had been a decline in the use of homeopathy in the UK since that report. This lack of scientific research into the use of homeopathic medicine is not unusual and is mirrored across most alternative treatments said Paul Komesaroff, professor of medicine from Monash University and medical practitioner.

http://theconversation.com/health-experts-find-no-evidence-homeopathy-works-again-38651

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Euthanasia

USA – Oregon’s slippery slope another degree downhill According to the Oregon Public Health Division the reasons for 2013 physician-assisted suicides were: Loss of autonomy (93.0{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}), decreasing ability to participate in activities that made life enjoyable (88.7{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}), loss of dignity (73.2{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}), and fear of being a burden on family and friends (49.3{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}). Fear of pain was a concern in only (28.2{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}) of cases. There were 105 assisted suicide deaths in 2014 – up from 73 in 2013, a 44{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} increase and 155 prescriptions for suicide in 2014 – up from 105, a 48{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} increase. Now Oregon assisted suicide Bill HB 3337 is being debated to expand the definition of people with 6 months to live to 12 months. So citizen jack and Jill came tumbling down and Oregon followed after. public.health.oregon.gov/ProviderPartnerResources/EvaluationResearch/DeathwithDignityAct/Documents/year17.pdf

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HIV/AIDS & STI’s

No news today

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Homosexuality

USA – Conversion therapy bill clears Oklahoma House committee

House Bill 1598, which now goes to the full House, says the state will not prohibit or restrict counseling intended to remove attraction to those of their own gender. It also seeks to protect parents who want such counseling for their children. Nothing prevents this type of counseling now. “All across the nation, bills are being introduced to ban parents from having the right to take their children for counseling if they are struggling with same-sex attractions,” says Rep. Sally Kern. Kern also said the debate comes down to those who believe homosexual tendencies are present at birth and those who believe these feelings are subject to change.

http://newsok.com/kerns-gay-conversion-therapy-bill-clears-oklahoma-house-committee/article/5396127

Italy – Top court: ‘No right to same-sex marriage’

Italy’s highest appeals court has rejected same-sex marriage stating that there is nothing in the constitution to require the Government to redefine marriage. The court, known as the Cassation Court, did however state that homosexual couples should have “the right to a ‘protective’ law that would ensure same-sex couples have the same rights as unmarried Italian couples”. Italy’s constitution defines the family as “a natural society founded on marriage.” There is strong public opinion against homosexual marriage and the courts have rejected previous attempts to give legal recognition to same-sex couples.

http://www.christian.org.uk/news/italys-top-court-no-right-to-same-sex-marriage/

USA – Research: Homosexuals Diagnosed With Cancer More Often

Homosexuals get cancer almost twice as often as heterosexual men, and lesbian and bisexual women who are cancer survivors reported being less healthy than heterosexual women who had the disease. The greater prevalence of cancer among gay men may be caused by an excess risk of anal cancer, and may also reflect the higher rate of HIV infection, which is linked to certain tumors, according to the report in the journal Cancer. “We want to really inform physicians who treat homosexuals, lesbian and bisexual populations to focus on cancer screening,” said the study’s lead author, Ulrike Boehmer, an associate professor at Boston University’s School for Public Health.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2011-05-09/gay-men-diagnosed-with-cancer-at-higher-rates-researchers-say

USA – Health Warnings of Ocular Syphilis Cases in Homosexuals

Since December 2014, as many as 15 cases of ocular syphilis, a sexually transmitted disease which has led to blindness in several of the individuals, have been reported in men who have sex with men on the West Coast. Confirmed cases in Washington State, San Francisco as well as two suspected cases found in Los Angeles that are currently under investigation are raising alarm among public health officials, community care providers and prevention specialists. Ocular syphilis is typically a complication of primary or secondary syphilis and some strains of Treponema pallidum, the bacterium that causes syphilis, may be more likely to cause eye or central-nervous-system disease.

http://www.aidshealth.org/#/archives/21073

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IVF &Surrogacy

USA – The facts about preimplantation genetic diagnosis

Preimplantation genetic diagnosis begins with IVF; eggs are harvested and fertilized. Over three days embryos will divide into eight cells. PGD involves removing one or two cells from the embryo. The cells are then evaluated to determine if the inheritance of a problematic gene is present in the embryo, sex of the child may also be chosen. Once embryos free of genetic problems have been identified, the embryo will be placed back in the uterus and implantation will be attempted. Other embryos that are free of genetic problems are either frozen or destroyed while embryos with the problematic gene are destroyed. Life begins at conception therefore the destruction of embryos can’t be condoned.

http://americanpregnancy.org/infertility/preimplantation-genetic-diagnosis/ Thailand – Government Bans Commercial Surrogacy Thailand’s legislative assembly has closed loopholes in the country’s public health laws that allowed commercial surrogacy. The law bans all foreign and same-sex couples from seeking surrogacy services. Only married heterosexuals with a Thai partner can apply. There are no fees allowed and the surrogates must be Thai and over 25. They must also be relatives of the parents. No advertising or promotions are allowed and all surrogate agencies and unregistered clinics will be closed. Last year around 150 Thai surrogates carrying babies for Australians were expected to give birth by the end of 2015. Australian officials have negotiated a transition period to enable children and their parents to depart Thailand. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/feb/20/thailand-bans-commercial-surrogacy Australia – Convicted Sex Offender Allowed To Keep Surrogate Baby Western Australian couple, Wendy and David Farnell, were accused of leaving a twin boy, known as Baby Gammy, with his surrogate mother after they discovered he had Down syndrome. The Baby Gammy case made headlines in August 2014 when Thai surrogate Pattaramon Chanbua alleged the couple abandoned Gammy and returned to Australia with his healthy twin sister, Pipah. Farnell, a convicted child sex offender, retained custody of Pipah late last year after an investigation by the WA Department for Child Protection. Through support of charities and the public, Baby Gammy, Pattaramon and her family have a new home in Thailand. He is also receiving the medical treatment he needs. Pattaramon also applied for Australian citizenship for Gammy and it was granted. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/feb/20/thailand-bans-commercial-surrogacy

UK – “My brother is the father of my son”

Mary Portas, a lesbian, asked her brother two years ago to donate sperm to impregnate her spouse. Melanie Rickey, said that with her brother’s help, she was able to have a genetic relationship with her son. Horatio calls Ms Portas ‘Mama’ and Ms Rickey ‘Mummy’ while her brother is referred to as ‘Daddy’. IVF specialist Simon Fishel said “It would have been more unusual ten years ago. Now that kind of situation pops up once a month. If they can go for a family donor, that will be preferable and then it would be to a known donor. There’s a very close relationship. You know where the genes are coming from. They are trying to keep it in the family.”

http://www.bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/11331

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Medical Ethics

USA – The bioethics of precision medicine President Obama has promised to invest $215 million in a ‘precision medicine’ initiative which will give clinicians tools to identify the specific molecular genetic profile underlying a patient’s condition to offer more effective, targeted treatments. But De Paul University bioethicist Craig Klugeman has raised questions about privacy controls on genetic information: “Privacy is the main bioethical issue raised by the framers of this initiative. Given the record of companies and institutions with maintaining online privacy, I’m not sure we should yet be confident that privacy could be assured. And the Duke Center for Personalized and Precision Medicine points out that studies of publically-available sequence data have shown that patients in research studies can be identified by their genome sequences. http://www.bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/11334 Australia – More research needed on the Pill-brain nexus One request universally spurned by doctors is for steroids as performance-enhancing drugs as they damage the liver and heart, among other problems. Then why haven’t the neurological effects of the steroid-based contraceptive pill on women been studied as thoroughly? Three Austrian researchers argue in the journal Frontiers in Neuroscience that it is time to study what the pill does to the brain. “Changes in brain structure and chemistry cause changes in cognition, emotion and personality and consequently in observable behaviors. If a majority of women use hormonal contraception, such changes could cause a shift in society dynamics. Since the pill is the major tool for population control, it is time to find out what it does to our brain. http://www.bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/11348 Liberia – Ebola threat fades in West Africa Fears of a public health catastrophe are fading in West Africa after the last known Ebola patient in Liberia was discharged from hospital. No new cases have been reported in Liberia for 13 days, although there could be some in remote areas. Authorities are still tracking about 100 people who may have been exposed to the virus. According to the World Health Organization, there have been over 23,900 reported cases of Ebola in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, with over 9,800 reported deaths. Liberia has suffered the highest number of fatalities, 4,117. About 860 health workers have been infected in these three countries, with nearly 500 deaths. http://www.bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/11351 Iraq – Doctors under the black flag of the Islamic State Looking for dramatic examples of dilemmas in medical ethics? Try being a doctor in territory ruled by the Islamic State. One report said ten doctors had been executed for refusing to treat ISIS soldiers because they had forced regular patients out to make room for their own. There are allegations that ISIS is trafficking in organs and that a dozen doctors had been executed for refusing to cooperate. Bioethicist Craig Klugman points out that “The tough question is whether a physician is required to sacrifice his or her life in order to not commit an unethical act. If the physician’s family or self is threatened with death for not participating, should that ultimate price be paid?”  http://www.bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/11352

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Pedophilia

USA – A Prospective Examination of the abused-abuser theory A study by Dr Cathy Wisdom from John Jay College of Criminal Justice empirically examined the commonly held belief that sexually abused children grow up to become sexual offenders and specialize in sex crimes. 908 cases of physical and sexual abuse and neglect aged 0 to 11 years were matched with 667 children without such histories. Both groups were followed up into adulthood. The study concluded that the widespread belief that sexually abused children are uniquely at risk to become sex offenders was not supported by prospective empirical evidence. http://archpedi.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleID=2086458

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Pornography

South Africa – Research reveals disturbing findings on youth and porn

The Youth Research Unit (YRU) of the Bureau of Market Research (BMR) within the College

of Economic Management Sciences at the University of South Africa recently conducted a ground breaking Internet safety survey among 1 500 secondary school learners in Gauteng. The YRU research study highlights that a majority (97.7{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}) of learners who participated in the study have access to the Internet and 95.7{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} are registered social network services. Approximately a third of learners (31.4{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}) encountered people who tried to get them to talk online about sex against their will. Also, almost a quarter (22.8{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}) was asked online to perform sexual acts. Furthermore, the BMR study shows that only a third (31.8{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}) of learners who experience online sexual grooming report the incident.

www.unisa.ac.za/contents/…/BMR_2015_ONLINE{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}20SAFETY.pdf

USA – Google will ban pornography from its Blogger site

Google announced to people using their bloggers site that as from March 23, they will no longer be able to publicly share images and videos that are sexually explicit or show graphic nudity. Sites that continue to host pornography after March 23 will be made “private, which means the content will be allowed to remain up, but it will only be accessible to the site’s owner and the people who the user directly shared the blog with. The site will allow nudity if the content offers a public benefit, such as artistic, educational, documentary, or scientific contexts. The announcement is part of a larger campaign by Google to cut down on the amount of porn served by its network.

http://money.cnn.com/2015/02/24/technology/google-porn-blogger/

USA – Parent to child talks can curtail pornography Talking with adolescents can influence self-esteem and curtail pornography viewing in the future. College of Media and Communication assistant professors Eric Rasmussen and Rebecca Ortiz, and doctoral student Shawna White recently completed research published online and soon to be included in the Journal of Children and Media. They discovered the more parents talked with kids about pornography as teenagers, the less those kids viewed pornography after leaving home for college. Talking to them changes attitudes about pornography and encourages them not to look at pornography. Research indicates that starting a dialogue during adolescence can influence their perception of pornography later, as adults. http://today.ttu.edu/2015/01/research-shows-early-parent-child-discussions-on-pornography-effective/#sthash.X5x4KWdC.dpuf http://today.ttu.edu/2015/01/research-shows-early-parent-child-discussions-on-pornography-effective/ UK – Children produce porn themselves A new research study concludes there is an increasing trend for distribution of sexually explicit content produced by younger children using laptop webcams. The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) and Microsoft participated in the study, examining 3,803 images and videos of “youth-produced sexual content” depicting young people, and uploaded by the children or covertly recorded by a third party. Children producing and distributing child pornography is a profoundly disturbing trend, according to Dawn Hawkins, Executive Director, National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCSE). She continued that we are in the midst of a public health crisis on pornography. Every person must work to solve this crisis. We know that the long-term consequences to our children involved with pornography are monumental. https://www.iwf.org.uk/ http://outbreaknewstoday.com/disturbing-trend-in-youth-produced-child-porn-reported-study-72838/

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Prostitution & Trafficking

South Africa – South Africa vows to fight human trafficking “We have long grappled with human trafficking,” said Connie Nxumalo, deputy director-general of the Ministry of Social Development. She said South Africa had legislation banning human trafficking, but needed to implement it. In Africa and the Middle East between 2010 and 2012, sexual exploitation accounted for 53 percent according to the UN’s 2014 Global Report on Trafficking in Persons. An advocate of the Department of Home Affairs said the department had provided temporary permits to legalize their stay in the country.

http://www.worldbulletin.net/world/155454/s-africa-vows-to-fight-human-trafficking

South Africa – Hawks rescue seven women from brothel Several young women have been ‘rescued’ after a raid and two Ugandans have been arrested. Police became aware from a whistleblower who claimed to know of girls who were detained in a flat as prostitutes. The Hawks also found drugs and pornographic materials. The girls were taken to a place of safety where they will receive counselling and treatment. and the suspects will appear in court on charges of dealing in drugs, the Sexual Offences Act and human trafficking. Hawks Major General Mthandazo said they are aware that brothels and prostitution can lead to organized crime and they are sending a message to the traffickers that they will not get away.(103 words)

http://www.timeslive.co.za/local/2015/03/04/hawks-rescue-seven-women-from-brothel

USA – Indiana billboards hope to reduce human trafficking New billboards aimed at reducing human trafficking are on display across Indiana. They are the result of a collaborative effort between Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller, advertisers and anti-human trafficking groups. They say the goal is to spread awareness of the crime, not just to locals but to visitors traveling to Indiana. There need to be a recognition that this is not voluntary activity on the part of the girls and that primarily they have been abused and trafficked. The ads include statistics and one says that human trafficking was reported in 50 states last year. http://wishtv.com/2015/03/11/indiana-billboards-hope-to-reduce-human-trafficking/

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Stem Cells & Cloning

No news today

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Substance Abuse

USA – Washington DC legalizes Cannabis use and possession Citizens of Washington DC are now able to smoke cannabis recreationally and grow a few plants. The limit for the amount of cannabis you are able to posses is 56 grams. Buying and selling is still illegal which begs the question; where do you get your cannabis from in the first place? People from other states will obviously bring in cannabis and distribute it illegally. Washington is not a state but a federal district which means congressional approval is needed for legalization. Due to a loophole according to Mayor Muriel Bowser she hasn’t done anything illegal. Congressmen warned that by legalizing cannabis she would be “Doing so in knowing and willful violation of the law.” http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-31634827 USA – Substance Abuse among Pregnant Teens The largest study on substance abuse during pregnancy shows 3 out of 5 teens have used drugs or alcohol during pregnancy. This study shows teens aren’t listening to the messages about the damage you can cause to the unborn baby through drug abuse. What surprised researchers the most was that pregnant teens engaged in substance abuse at a rate much higher than what is seen in teens who are not pregnant. Saint Louis University’s School of Social Work professor and co-author of the study Michael G. Vaughn said, “We found the odds of substance use were roughly 50{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} lower among pregnant teens reporting consistent parental support as well as those who expressed strong positive feelings about going to school.” http://www.valiantrecovery.com/substance-abuse-among-pregnant-teens-is-growing-leading-to-alarming-trend.html USA – The new drug trends among teens is ‘Pharm Parties’ Brittany Gaydosh, 14, went to a party, drank some alcohol then went to a bag filled with pills and took four ecstasy pills and a Xanax. There were also Percocets, Valium and more in the bag. Gaydosh has gone to a lot of these parties called ‘Pharm parties’ which have become popular amongst teens in the USA. Teens are taking painkillers and highly addictive opioids such as OxyContin and Vicodin confirms Dr. Levounis, director of the Addiction Institute of New York in Manhattan. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found more people die from prescription painkillers than from heroin and cocaine overdoses combined. “Addiction to prescription opioids has become the most important problem we face,” Levounis said. http://www.livescience.com USA – Energy drinks in Elementary schools There is a new epidemic involving elementary school students who are drinking highly caffeinated energy drinks to get high. These drinks are extremely dangerous to kids’ health. ”Energy drinks are gateway for elementary school kids,” said Mike Gimbel, a national substance abuse educator. Gimbel said he has also observed a growing fascination amongst students with caffeinated gel strips that you place on the tongue. “One strip is equal to a cup of coffee, but kids are putting five or six in their mouth at once,” he said. Taking just four strips can lead to overdose. The over consumption of caffeine in young children can cause seizures, strokes and even sudden death according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. http://www.livescience.com

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

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LIFEalerts 25 February 2015

Abortion No news today Alternative Medicine No news today Euthanasia France – Parliament begins debate on euthanasia UK – Lloyd-Webber: I wanted to join Dignitas and die Canada – Assisted-suicide ban lifted in Canada South Africa – 1 in 5 South African teens wants to die HIV/AIDS No news today Homosexuality USA – Judges Must Recuse Themselves on Homosexual Marriage Case USA – What Parents Should Know About Giving Hormones To Trans Kids USA – Reparative therapy ban fails in Virginia UK – Sexual trauma associated with fisting and recreational drugs IVF & Surrogacy Germany – Sperm donation no longer anonymous Medical Ethics UK – Near dead enough is not good enough USA – Bioethicists push “3-parent embryos” in the US Pedophilia No news today Pornography

UK – No more naked women in the Sun newspaper

Iceland – Government wants to ban internet porn

Prostitution &Trafficking South Africa – New Draft National Strategic health plan for Prostitutes USA – More arrests of pimps and johns In prostitution battle South Africa – Experts Seek Ways to Combat Human Trafficking Stem Cells & Cloning No news today Substance Abuse USA – Research: E-Cigarette Exposure Impairs Immune Responses USA – Colorado issues 188-page report on marijuana health studies South Africa – Ecstacy: South Africa’s Most underrated drug

Abortion

No news today

Alternative Medicine

No news today

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Euthanasia

France – Parliament begins debate on euthanasia The French parliament opened a long-awaited debate on euthanasia this week. President Francois Hollande and the prime minister, Manuel Valls, both support liberalising the law at least to allow terminal sedation “to allow people to depart peacefully and without suffering”. Terminal sedation is seen by many as active euthanasia, Passive euthanasia is when the disease is the causes the patients death, and active euthanasia is where the doctor causes the death of the patient what ever means are used. http://www.bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/11300 UK – Lloyd-Webber: I wanted to join Dignitas and die In an interview, Lord Lloyd-Webber disclosed how he was tempted to end his own life last summer as he struggled with pain after 14 operations. “I went through a moment of deep depression — that awful moment when you think that you must find a way out,” he said. “I actually got the forms for Dignitas.” “With hindsight, it was stupid and ridiculous, but I couldn’t think what to do.” “What concerns me, and I suspect many others, is what floodgates would [this measure] open? “Does it create a culture where older people are a burden … I am totally unsure.” http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/10974783/Lloyd-Webber-I-considered-Dignitas-but-am-set-to-oppose-assisted-dying.html Canada – Assisted-suicide ban lifted in Canada A Canadian supreme court’s ruling struck down the criminal ban on doctors assisting in the deaths of mentally competent but suffering and “irremediable” patients. And It gave the Canadian government 12 months to draft a replacement law. http://news.nationalpost.com/2015/02/10/government-not-likely-to-invoke-notwithstanding-clause-over-assisted-suicide-ruling-peter-mackay/ South Africa – 1 in 5 South African teens wants to die All threats of suicide should be taken seriously, said the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (Sadag). Marking Teen Suicide Prevention Week Sadag revealed that 1 in 5 youths attempts suicide, the 10 to 19 age group is one of the highest risk groups for suicide, 38.3{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} felt so hopeless they needed to see a doctor, 29.1{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} had attempted suicide and needed medical treatment, 9.5{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of all non-natural teen deaths are due to suicide, and that fewer than 1{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of mental hospital beds are allocated for children and adolescents. In South Africa hanging is the most frequently employed method of suicide, followed by shooting, gassing and burning. http://www.health24.com/Medical/Depression/News/1-in-5-South-African-teens-want-to-die-20150217

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HIV/AIDS & STI’s

No news today

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Homosexuality

USA – Judges Must Recuse Themselves on Homosexual Marriage Case The Supreme Court said it will decide if it will allow Americans to define the purpose and rules of marriage. Supreme Court justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elana Kagan must recuse themselves from the upcoming decision on homosexual marriage though because both have performed same-sex wedding ceremonies. Thus any justice who has tipped his hand on how he would vote on homosexual marriage, any justice who has taken sides, any justice whose ability to be objective on the matter in question, has a legal, moral, ethical and professional duty to withdraw. http://cowgernation.com/2015/01/21/ginsburg-and-kagan-must-recuse-themselves-on-gay-marriage-case/ USA – What Parents Should Know About Giving Hormones To Trans Kids The United States Endocrine Society says that cross-gender hormones should not be used on kids under the age of 16. Lisa Brinkmann, a clinical psychologist specializing in gender issues in Dublin, Ireland, says about cross-gender hormones, “We are talking about changes that impact the kids’ reproductive systems for a lifetime. We have to be sure it’s the right thing to do. Cross-sex hormones have irreversible effects on fertility. There’s no going back.” A September 2014 report from the Hastings Center by Jack Drescher and Jack Pula says a diagnosis of gender dysphoria in childhood “does not inevitably continue into adulthood” the majority of the time. The entire basis for treatment is what the kids say. http://thefederalist.com/2015/02/02/what-parents-should-know-about-giving-hormones-to-trans-kids/ USA – Reparative therapy ban fails in Virginia Democratic lawmakers pushed for bans on sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE) for minors – often referred to as “reparative therapy” by counselors who provide the service. Republican legislators in Virginia swiftly killed the proposal, with committees in both the Senate and House of Delegates refusing to send it forward for consideration. Victoria Cobb, president of the Family Foundation of Virginia, said the bill would have taken the power to make private health care decisions out of the hands of families and give it to the government instead. Virginia law is clear that parents have a fundamental right to make decisions concerning the care of their children, a right this legislation clearly violates. https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/reparative-therapy-ban-back-on-the-table-in-illinois-fails-in-virginia UK – Sexual trauma associated with fisting and recreational drugs There is a rising trend in high risk sexual behavior among men who have sex with men (MSM), with concomitant use of recreational drugs. Activities include fisting and unprotected anal intercourse with a partner who is HIV serodiscordant or of unknown status. HIV positive MSM have recently attended the Kobler Outpatient Clinic as a result of complications secondary to fisting. These patients highlight concerns regarding unsafe sexual behavior in some MSM, under the influence of drugs which increase the duration of sexual activity. They sustained significant injuries but were unaware of the symptoms of colorectal perforation, despite engaging in fisting for many years. http://www.hawaii.edu/hivandaids/Sexual_Trauma_Associated_with_Fisting_and_Recreational_Drugs.pdf

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IVF &Surrogacy

Germany – Sperm donation no longer anonymous The days of anonymous sperm donation are over in Germany as the Supreme Court settled a patchwork of decisions and ruled that children of any age may request the identity of their biological father. “There is no specific minimum age necessary for the child,” the judges said. The only limitation is that the parent must be able to prove that the child wants to know and that the effect of disclosure upon the donor must be taken into account. However the decision stated that the right of children to know the identity of their fathers normally outweighs the donors’ right to privacy. The case was brought by two sisters who had been denied access to their sperm donor father’s identity. http://www.bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/11309

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Medical Ethics

UK – Near dead enough is not good enough Doctors in a hospital in Bremen had already made an incision in the abdomen of a man who was presumed to be dead when they discovered that the deceased donor was still alive according to organ transplant protocols. The operation was immediately terminated – and the brain-damaged patient died. The incident is being investigated by the German Medical Association. The Süddeutsche Zeitung (the source for the Daily Mail) was told that “it is quite possible that the man’s brain was so damaged that he would not have been able to return to a normal life, but as long as he was not properly diagnosed as brain dead, nobody knows.” http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2906601/Surgeons-harvesting-organs-deceased-patient-stop-discovering-wasn-t-completely-brain-dead.html#ixzz3OdtZwdoc USA – Bioethicists push “3-parent embryos” in the USA After “three-parent embryos” were legalized in Britain some American bioethicists have immediately promoted the technique. Art Caplan argues that it will prevent the birth of disabled children. He says that it is almost certainly safe, will not involve three parents, and that it is not eugenics and will not lead to eugenics. “Transplanting mitochondria is not going to be the method used to create enhanced babies. Traits like height, intelligence, strength, balance, and vision don’t reside in the battery part of our cells.” And Robert Klitzman of Columbia university argues that, “As biotechnology continues to advance and improve human health, we need to beware of applying frightening metaphors when they do not fit, and only distort and mislead.” http://www.bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/11323

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Pedophilia

No news today

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Pornography

UK – No more naked women in the Sun newspaper Readers who picked up the Sun on Monday 14 found the famed British tabloid owned by Rupert Murdoch was missing a certain something. After more than four decades of public enjoyment and outrage, the paper  will no longer publish photos of topless women on Page 3. Labour member of parliament Clare Short introduced a bill to end Page 3 but it failed. She subsequently received five thousand letters before she stopped counting. No powerful lobby had asked anyone to write, but thousands of women put pen to paper to express their views and fears. As a result of this, topless women disappeared from the Sun. http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/01/20/no-more-naked-women-on-page-3-of-the-sun-tabloid-owned-by-rupert-murdoch/ Iceland – Government wants to ban internet porn Calling explicit online images a threat to children, Iceland is working on banning Internet pornography. According to Halla Gunnarsdottir, an adviser to the nation’s Interior Minister, there is a strong consensus building in Iceland and there have many experts from educationalists to the police, and those who work with children behind the move. Two years ago, the nation’s parliament banned strip clubs, saying they violate the rights of the women who work in them. They also banned the printing and distribution of pornography for years, but those laws haven’t been updated to include the Web. Iceland would become the first Western democracy to try and block pornography online. http://www.worldbulletin.net/world/139477/iceland-wants-to-ban-internet-porn

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Prostitution & Trafficking

South Africa – New Draft National Strategic health plan for Prostitutes Released by the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC), this 49-page preliminary document outlines plans to, for instance, increase HIV and tuberculosis (TB) prevention, care and treatment among sex workers and families. The strategic plan outlines three main aims, mainly: Increase coverage and access to comprehensive HIV, sexually transmitted infections (STI) and TB prevention, treatment, care, support and related services for sex worker and their sexual partners, families and clients; Reduce violence and human rights abuses experienced by sex workers; and Foster enabling health and related systems to enable sex workers to realize good health and their Constitutional Rights. Draft National Sex Work Strategy January 2015

http://www.health-e.org.za/2015/01/16/strategy-draft-national-strategic-plan-hiv-prevention-care-treatment-sex-workers/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=strategy-draft-national-strategic-plan-hiv-prevention-care-treatment-sex-workers

USA – More arrests of pimps and johns In prostitution battle In the latest sign of shifting tactics to fight prostitution across Orange County in California, state data shows local law enforcement agencies are arresting fewer women and more men involved in the sex trade. More agencies are coming to view prostitutes as victims of abuse rather than criminals, and are making greater efforts to connect them with counseling rather than jail cells. Susan Kang Schroeder, Rackauckas’ chief of staff said of the prostitutes, “They’re being actively used and sold like commodities, and if we’re able to go beyond going after the girl and really deal with the modern-day slavery against girls, we may be able to eradicate this type of crime.” http://www.ocregister.com/articles/county-647769-arrests-prostitution.html South Africa – Experts Seek Ways to Combat Human Trafficking While government has put in place legislative measures to prevent human trafficking, South Africa continues to be a source and destination country for trafficking. A discussion to be held will bring together various experts, law makers and role players including, national and provincial representatives from the Justice Crime Prevention and the Security Cluster, International Organisation for Migration, the United Nations office on Drugs and Crime and faith-based organisations. to develop a National Action Plan to fight human trafficking in the country.

http://allafrica.com/stories/201502190434.html

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Stem Cells & Cloning

No news today

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Substance Abuse

USA – Research: E-Cigarette Exposure Impairs Immune Responses In a study with mice, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researchers have found that e-cigarettes compromise the immune system in the lungs and generate some of the same potentially dangerous “free radical” chemicals previously thought only to be found in traditional nicotine cigarettes. E-cigarettes are an emerging public health concern, as they gain popularity among current and former smokers as well as those who have never smoked, including teenagers. Both cigarettes and e-cigarettes are sources of nicotine. “Our findings suggest that e-cigarettes are not neutral in terms of the effects on the lungs,” notes senior author Shyam Biswal, PhD, a professor at the Bloomberg School. http://www.newswise.com/articles/view/629188/?sc=dwtn http://time.com/3693530/marijuana-health-colorado-pregnant/ USA – Colorado issues 188-page report on marijuana health studies Colorado has released a sweeping report warning about cannabis health risks, from its effect on drivers, asthma, impaired memory, psychotic symptoms, cancer rates and birth defects. The Colorado Health Departments 188-page review was ordered by the state legislature to clarify often contradictory health information on marijuana. A panel of doctors also found preliminary evidence to suggest that legalization in the state had increased hospitalizations, emergency room visits and poison center calls related to marijuana. “The committee’s work represents one of the first and most comprehensive reviews to assess the strength of credible scientific literature available today regarding marijuana use,” said Dr. Larry Wolk, the executive director and chief medical officer at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. http://www.thecannabist.co/2015/02/02/marijuana-research-colorado-health-effects-asthma-cancer-stoned-driving/28946/ USA – Cannabis during Pregnancy: The Effects on the Baby Due to the fact that THC can be metabolized by the baby during breastfeeding and can be passed on to the unborn baby through the placenta, here are some important scientific facts from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) report: Maternal use of cannabis during pregnancy is associated with decreased growth, attention problems, decreased IQ scores, impaired cognitive function, increased risk of heart, still birth, depression, delinquent behavior and decreased academic ability. “These are apparent from birth as well as physical, neurocognitive & mental health findings throughout childhood & adolescence.” According to the CDPHE there is no safe amount of cannabis use during pregnancy & there are negative effects regardless of when it is used while pregnant. https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/sites/default/files/DC_MJ-Monitoring-Health-Concerns-Related-to-Marijuana-in-CO-2014.pdf South Africa – Ecstacy: South Africa’s Most underrated drug Ecstasy has made the biggest impact of all illicit drugs in South Africa since the early 1990’s. It is a drug that is synonymous with parties and nightclubs and is seen as a safe drug. Short term effects of overdose include; abnormal body temperature, seizures, acute kidney and liver failure. Long term effects include; psychological dependence, major depression, anxiety, panic disorders, paranoia, increased impulsiveness, sleep disorders and psychosis. MDMA has a neuro-toxic effect on the serotonin neurons which play a role in regulating mood, aggression, sleep, appetite, and cognition. Due to the lack of physical addictive qualities ecstasy is often overlooked and under reported on. Many people go clubbing every weekend and ecstasy is considered part of the party! http://www.health-e.org.za/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/e355f9743c0c09557df86918e6a1c93b.pdf http://www.health24.com/Mental-Health/Drugs/Ecstasy-20120721

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

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LIFE alerts 20 January 2015

Abortion USA – Learn the side effects, negative consequences of abortion Alternative Medicine No news today Euthanasia USA – “Final Exit” leader stripped of medical license Scotland – Top pathologist against plans to legalise assisted deaths Belgium – Euthanasia of convicted Belgian murderer cancelled HIV/AIDS No news today Homosexuality USA – Will Jack be happier if we all pretend he’s Jill? Dominican Government – Won’t recognize homosexual marriage IVF & Surrogacy No news today Medical Ethics USA – New revolutionary viewpoint on autonomy. Paedophilia South Africa – Baby predators horrify police Pornography

No news today

Prostitution &Trafficking Cambodia – Cambodian Girl Sold for Her Virginity Quebec – Most prostitutes would rather do something else South Africa – 153 000 prostitutes call South Africa home Stem Cells & Cloning No news today Substance Abuse USA – Cannabis Breathalyzer On Horizon As Police Struggle To Stop Stoned Drivers USA – Indian tribes may legalize marijuana, feds say USA – Feds Can No Longer Raid State ‘Medical Marijuana’ Dispensaries

Abortion

USA – Learn the side effects, negative consequences of abortion After 42 years of legalized abortion and the loss of 55 million unborn babies most people don’t know the negative consequences of abortion. Most women felt rushed at the time of their abortion, 64 percent felt pressured by others. Women who felt they didn’t receive adequate counseling before their abortion was 84 percent and 79 percent weren’t informed about available alternatives. Suffering physical health complications after their abortion was 31 percent with 10 percent suffering immediate potentially life-threatening complications. The suicide rates among women who had abortions is six times higher than those giving birth. Abortion increases a woman’s risk of future miscarriages by 60 percent. http://www.tricities.com/news/opinion_columns/article_d617b512-9b96-11e4-aa65-47a9d8dace82.html

Alternative Medicine

No news today

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Euthanasia

USA – “Final Exit” leader stripped of medical license A physician charged with assisting the suicide of a Minnesota woman has been barred from practicing medicine. The Maryland Board of Physicians revoked the medical license of Dr. Lawrence Egbert after he facilitated the suicides of six people in Maryland. “We commend this decision of the Maryland Board of Physicians,” stated Scott Fischbach, Executive Director of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life. “Egbert’s actions promoting killing are simply incompatible with the role of a physician, which is to heal and care for patients, not to kill them.” http://www.nationalrighttolifenews.org/news/2015/01/final-exit-leader-stripped-of-medical-license/#.VLPEv0Cft_4 Scotland – Top pathologist against plans to legalise assisted deaths Professor Anthony Busuttil, who identified victims of both the Lockerbie disaster and Dunblane tragedy, said the move would break “the eternal trust” between patients and doctors. The health committee of the Scottish Parliament will consider details of the proposed bill, which was launched by independent MSP Margo MacDonald, this week. The pathologist, from Edinburgh University, also said changing the law could hamper the considerable efforts that have been made to prevent suicides in Scotland. “Scots kill themselves more frequently than anyone else in the British Isles and the Scottish government policy is to decrease it, so which direction are we going in?” he asked. http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/health/top-pathologist-against-plans-to-legalise-assisted-deaths.115929521 Belgium – Euthanasia of convicted Belgian murderer cancelled A 52-year-old convict is serving a life sentence for one murder and several rapes committed in the 1980s. He says that he cannot control his sexual impulses and that life in prison is such a torment that he would prefer to be dead. About 15 other Belgian prisoners have also applied for euthanasia. Mr Van den Bleeken was scheduled to die on Sunday, January 11. However, this week the justice minister, Koen Geens, capitulated to pressure from human rights groups and declared that he would allow the prisoner to be moved to the Netherlands. http://www.bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/11280

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HIV/AIDS & STI’s

No news today

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Homosexuality

USA – Will Jack be happier if we all pretend he’s Jill? A new controversy is occurring in elementary schools and communities as a result of parents asserting a right to identify the sex of their child without regard to the biological and genetic realities. The parents and child often insist that the child’s name be changed to one of the opposite sex and demand the use of opposite sex bathrooms. Important medical and psychological issues need to be considered before the educational, medical, political and judicial systems rush headlong into a process of affirming in youth and in their parents a fixed false belief that a person can be a sex that is not consistent with their biological and genetic identity and that such individuals have the right to transgender surgery. https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/gender-identity-disorder-in-children-will-jack-be-happier-if-we-all-pretend Dominican Government – Won’t recognize homosexual marriage The Dominican Republic says it will not recognize a same-sex marriage performed for the first time in the conservative Caribbean country. In a statement, Foreign Ministry spokesman Miguel Medina said “our legislation does not recognize this type of marriage.” http://townhall.com/news/politics-elections/2015/01/01/dominican-govt-wont-recognize-gay-marriage-at-uk-embassy-n1937801

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IVF &Surrogacy

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Medical Ethics

USA – New revolutionary viewpoint on autonomy. The state of Connecticut is forcing a 17-year-old to undergo chemotherapy to treat her Hodgkins lymphoma. Officials say that this is the only way to save her life; she and her mother contend that the treatment is vile and intrusive. In October after much argument, police and the Department of Children and Families, removed her from her mother’s care and placed her with a foster family. She returned home in November after promising to undergo chemotherapy, but after two days of treatment, she ran away and disappeared for a week. In December she was strapped to a bed, sedated and given chemotherapy. Bioethicist Arthur Caplan supported the officials. “Respecting choice is important. Not burying a young teenage girl who would have lived is far more important,” http://www.bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/11281

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Pedophilia

South Africa – Baby predators horrify police In a joint operation with the FBI and Belgian and South African police, a 37-year-old man was arrested for an alleged connection to a child pornography ring. During the arrest which is part of a massive investigation, information and computer files were found depicting horrific acts of child abuse, including possible murder. A Belgian police officer stated that the abuse is the worst that they’ve ever come across, including the abuse of babies and toddlers. http://www.timeslive.co.za/thetimes/2015/01/15/baby-predators-horrify-police

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Pornography

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Prostitution & Trafficking

Cambodia – Cambodian Girl Sold for Her Virginity After racking up an exorbitant debt with a loan shark, Kieu’s mother sold her 12-year-old for sex. The desperate mom secured a “certificate of virginity” from a doctor for her daughter and sold the girl to man who raped her in a hotel for two days. After the ordeal, Kieu was sold to brothels on three occasions and finally escaped to a safe house after learning that her mom planned to send her away for a six-month prostitution stint. Cambodia is on the State Department’s Tier 2 trafficking list, which means the country has a “very significant” number of trafficking victims and the government hasn’t provided proof that it’s beefing up its efforts to combat the crime. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/08/human-trafficking-victims_n_6425520.html?cps=gravity_2659_-4055280508422574469 Quebec – Most prostitutes would rather do something else 79{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of sex workers would participate in a reintegration project, combining training and employment. Except to change their lives, they need support and assistance to meet their basic needs and solve their psychosocial problems This is at least what the report shows and socio-professional profile portrait of sex workers employability needs (TDS) in Quebec City, a field survey conducted jointly by Emploi-Québec and the MOON project (for free, united, nuanced and together, a group of social advocacy by and for sex workers, active or not, who act as caregivers-pairs). The document compiles and analyses the responses of 76 sex workers in different questions about their needs and aspirations. http://www.lifeinquebec.com/most-prostitutes-would-rather-do-something-else-10299/ South Africa – 153 000 prostitutes call South Africa home Commissioned by the South African National Aids Council (Sanac), the research is said to be the most accurate of its kind to date. It found that the country is home to about 153 000 sex workers, of whom 8 000 are men. Led by the Sex Workers’ Education and Advocacy Task Force (Sweat), the study found that sex was for sale in a wide range of places, including brothels, at least one adult store and via local internet sex sites. The research is aimed at helping Sanac roll out the country’s first national HIV plan for sex workers. http://www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/153-000-sex-workers-call-sa-home-1.1804261#.VLh2iWPNl0g

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Stem Cells & Cloning

No news today

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Substance Abuse

USA – Cannabis Breathalyzer On Horizon As Police Struggle To Stop Stoned Drivers Cannabis (marijuana) impairs drivers and presents a safety risk that’s contributing to a quickly rising rate of fatal car accidents and injuries, especially in states like Colorado and Washington that legalized marijuana. Police are working to reduce that risk, but it can be a difficult task when the existing methods for testing if people have smoked marijuana recently are fallible or fairly easy to undermine in court. Malhi co-founded Cannabix Technologies, a Vancouver company therefore created and patented a breathalyzer that tests for THC, the ingredient in marijuana that gets users “high.” Police officials currently rely on blood, saliva and urine tests. Malhi said his hope is that such a breathalyzer will eliminate the guesswork. http://www.ibtimes.com/driving-while-high-marijuana-breathalyzer-horizon-police-struggle-stop-stoned-drivers-1734400 USA – Indian tribes may legalize marijuana, feds say U.S. Justice Department published a memo directing federal prosecutors nationwide to allow tribes to cultivate and grow marijuana on their sovereign lands without fear of federal harassment. But experts say the proposal opens the door for Native Americans across the country to capitalize on the lucrative new industry much in the way the tribes began selling cigarettes and opening casinos. “This has nothing to do with medicine, this has to do with the commercialization of marijuana,” said Kevin A. Sabet, director of the Drug Policy Institute at the University of Florida, who is opposed to marijuana legalization. “If you live 10 minutes away from a reservation, you could be living 10 minutes away from a pot shop.” http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/stateroundup/indian-tribes-may-legalize-marijuana-feds-say/2210091 USA – Feds Can No Longer Raid State ‘Medical Marijuana’ Dispensaries Federal agents will no longer be able to raid ‘medical marijuana’ dispensaries in states where medical marijuana is legal under a provision included in the $1.1 trillion spending law President Obama signed. Enactment of the law changes a two-decade-long battle between the states and the federal government. Although 32 states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana, the Drug Enforcement Administration still classifies it as a Schedule I drug, the same class as heroin, LSD, and ecstasy, which signifies it has no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Still, some medical organizations, including the American Medical Association and the American Cancer Society, are not ready to endorse the medical benefits of marijuana without further research. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/837011

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

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LIFEalerts 03 December 2014

Abortion

USA – Former abortionist appeals for support for traumatized workersChile – Restrictive abortion laws do not kill women

Alternative Medicine

No news today

Euthanasia

USA – Brittany Maynard dies in Oregon after assisted suicideGermany – German Parliament opposes assisted suicide groupsAustralia – Nitschke battles to keep his registrationSwitzerland – Canton forces nursing homes to host assisted suicides

HIV/AIDS

No news today

Homosexuality

USA – Sexual orientation can be restored says ex homosexualUSA – Fines and jail for refusing to perform same-sex marriages

IVF & Surrogacy

USA – Egg freezing is a health riskUK – Authority opens national sperm bank

Medical Ethics

USA – What do we do when biohazards are human?USA – Measures to prevent the spread of Ebola in hospitalsSweden – Swedes succeed in first womb transplantUSA – Eugenics making a comeback as a respectable policy

Pedophilia

No news today

Pornography

UK – Photos of schoolgirls found on porn site trawled by pedophiles

USA – Internet pornography a significant threat to society

USA – Latest pornography statistics, 2014

Prostitution &Trafficking

USA – Launch New Approach to Reduce Demand for ProstitutionUK – Ex prostitute urges all political parties to commit to Sex Buyer Law

Stem Cells & Cloning

No news today

Substance Abuse

USA – Marijuana has no role in glaucoma management

USA – This Is Your Brain on Drugs USA – Marijuana Overdoses Kills people in First Week Of Legalization USA – Synthetic Marijuana; Doctors Still Don’t Have Treatment Protocol

Abortion

USA – Former abortionist appeals for support for traumatized workers

Former Planned Parenthood director and pro-life activist Abby Johnson sent a plea to pro-lifers to support workers fleeing the abortion industry and suffering emotionally because of what they experienced, including those who have done D&E (dilation and evacuation) abortion, where the unborn baby is removed with forceps, piece by piece. Some clinic workers have described nightmares they have had about this type of abortion. Few studies have been done examining the emotional effects of abortion on abortion providers but obsessive thinking about abortion, depression, fatigue, anger, lowered self-esteem, and identity conflicts are prominent. It has been found that 38{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of clinic workers polled had “moral concern” about what they were doing.

http://www.lifenews.com/2014/10/28/former-abortion-clinic-worker-i-can-still-hear-the-sounds-of-babies-skulls-being-crushed/

Chile – Restrictive abortion laws do not kill women

There is no more powerful argument for legal abortion than the fear many more women will die if they are forced to resort to underground abortion mills. Chile is a natural experiment because abortion was legal there from 1931 to 1989, when it was banned, even for rape and incest. In the Chilean Journal for the Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology, epidemiologist Elard Koch finds that counter-intuitively, the rate of abortion-related mortality has fallen since 1989. The high quality of Chilean vital statistics, says Elard, means that a decrease in hospital discharges due to complications from illegal abortion appears to explain virtually all the reduction in hospital discharges due to any type of abortion in Chile during the last decade.

http://www.bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/11209

Alternative Medicine

No news today

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Euthanasia

USA – Brittany Maynard dies in Oregon after assisted suicide

Brittany Maynard a 29-year-old, announced that she would choose to die on November 1 under Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act, when she learned that she had an aggressive brain tumor. Rather than burden her husband and mother and suffer the indignities of increasing dependency, she moved to Oregon where she could access legal assisted suicide. However, there was a last-minute hitch. On October 29, she said in a new video that “it doesn’t seem like the right time right now” and she might not carry through with her November 1 resolution. But on November 3 Compassion & Choices announced that she had indeed died on Saturday. The news provoked a torrent of commentary on her decision, both for and against.

http://www.bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/11211

Germany – German Parliament opposes assisted suicide groups

The German Bundestag have debated the legalization of euthanasia and assisted suicide. German legislators did not debate a bill but rather debated the general issues related to euthanasia and assisted suicide in order to determine the direction of future legislation. Health Minister Hermann Groehe said he opposed doctor assisting suicide. He said Germany should instead expand its network of hospices, so everyone has access to palliative care and the best painkillers while dying.

http://alexschadenberg.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/strong-opposition-to-assisted-suicide.html

Australia – Nitschke battles to keep his registration

Philip Nitschke, one of the world’s best-known euthanasia activists has been battling to retain his medical registration before a Northern Territory Civil and Administrative Tribunal. Representing the Medical Board of Australia is barrister Lisa Chapman. The MBA regards Nitschke as a public danger. The trigger for the hearing was a police investigation of the death of 45-year-old Perth man Nigel Brayley. Nitschke, sounds fatalistic about losing his credentials as a doctor. “I wish I had never met Nigel Brayley, frankly, given the amount of damage that brief encounter has done to me and the time and energy and money that it’s has consumed,” he said.

http://www.bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/11222

Switzerland – Canton forces nursing homes to host assisted suicides

The legislature of the Swiss canton of Neuchâtel has voted overwhelmingly to force government-funded nursing homes to allow representatives of assisted suicide groups to advertise their services. There are no exemptions for conscientious objection by managers in the homes. The only criterion, according to Swiss.info, is the personal choice of the patients. Personal autonomy must take precedence over the rules of the nursing homes. About 60 institutions will be affected by the decision.

http://www.bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/11221

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HIV/AIDS & STI’s

No news today

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Homosexuality

USA – Sexual orientation can be restored says ex homosexual

Dean Bailey, 50, is not afraid to tell anyone he is living proof that ‘sexual orientation’ can in fact be changed. But he prefers to use the word ‘restored’ rather than ‘changed.’ He remembers never feeling treasured by his dad and that this began a pattern of turning to other males to find affirmation. Concerning the homosexual agenda he says that it is clear that a seeming majority of homosexuals actually do believe and adhere to a personal inward ideology that they are fighting for some sort of distorted “equality. Albeit, their idea of equality could more accurately be described as homo-fascism, because of the way it has become an agenda of forced acceptance and inclusion within our society.

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/ex-gay-homosexuality-is-just-another-human-brokenness

USA – Fines and jail for refusing to perform same-sex marriages

Ministers in the state of Idaho are facing fines and potential jail time for refusing to perform same-sex “marriages,” even though homosexuality violates their religion. After Idaho declined to defend its state marriage law, a man called the proprietors of The Hitching Post about “marrying” another man. Donald and Evelyn Knapp declined to provide him that service, and immediately sued the city to prevent the ordinance’s punishments – including fines and imprisonment – from applying to them. Fines could total as much as $1,000 for each day the Knapps do not follow the ordinance, and jail time could total 180 days.

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/idaho-ministers-face-fines-jail-time-for-refusing-to-perform-same-sex-marri

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IVF &Surrogacy

USA – Egg freezing is a health risk

There is no long-term data tracking the health risks of women who inject hormones and undergo egg retrieval, and no one knows how much of the chemicals are absorbed by eggs, and whether they are toxic to cell development. According to the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology, for a woman age 38, the chance of one frozen egg leading to a live birth is only 2 to 12 percent. Worldwide in 2011, fewer than 10 babies were born from eggs frozen for women aged 38 and older. Egg freezing guidelines issued by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine clearly state that egg freezing should only be used when there is medical need, such as women undergoing cancer treatments.

http://www.bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/11174

UK – Authority opens national sperm bank

British clinics are currently unable to meet demand for sperm, according to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, and sperm imported from Denmark and the US has been steadily rising. Dr Allan Pacey, chair of the British Fertility Society said: “We are importing as a nation more and more sperm from overseas, without being xenophobic it kind of just doesn’t feel right…” There will always be some patients who, with regards to sperm donors, will want an individual that is more closely related to them in culture and language and outlook.” Statistics show that 1 in 10 cycles are conducted with donor eggs or sperm in the UK. A third of the users of donor sperm were single or lesbian.

http://www.bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/11197

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Medical Ethics

USA – What do we do when biohazards are human?

The UN announced it is drafting guidelines to prevent human rights violations against people suspected of having Ebola after UN High Commissioner cautioned criminal punishments on those refusing isolation, saying it might have the opposite effect. A number of bioethicists have defended the practice, arguing it “takes precedence” over certain rights of the individual. Craig Klugman of De Paul University criticised the individualism of those who fail to voluntarily isolate themselves: “Why can’t people be trusted to do the right thing?…Has our worship at the altar of individualism gone so far that we are willing to spread a deadly disease ….?” Klugman asks people to accept a program of voluntary isolation. When this fails duress may be legitimately used.

http://www.bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/11177

USA – Measures to prevent the spread of Ebola in hospitals

Hospital systems are currently considering whether they withhold certain treatments from Ebola patients, in a bid to protect their doctors and nurses. Executives at University of Chicago Medicine are considering whether procedures such as inserting a breathing tube or putting a ventilator on a patient should be avoided due to the potential of exposure to the virus. Dr Nancy Kass, bioethicist at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, said healthcare workers should not hesitate to perform a medically necessary procedure so long as they have robust personal protective gear. Dr Kevin Donovan, director of the bioethics centre at Georgetown University, told hospitals to proceed with caution: “To have a blanket refusal to offer these procedures is not ethically acceptable”.

http://www.bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/11187

Sweden – Swedes succeed in first womb transplant

Doctors at the University of Gothenburg have delivered the first baby to have been gestated in a transplanted womb. The child is healthy and normally developed. The goal of the Gothenburg project, headed by Professor Mats Brännström, is to enable women who were born without a womb or who have lost their wombs in cancer surgery to give birth to their own children. The successful delivery is considered a major step forward. “It gives us scientific evidence that the concept of uterus transplantation can be used to treat uterine factor infertility, which up to now has remained the last untreatable form of female infertility. It shows that transplants with a live donor are possible, including if the donor is past menopause.

http://www.bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/11181

USA – Eugenics making a comeback as a respectable policy

Nazi enthusiasm for eugenics and sterilization campaigns in the Western world in the 1920s gave eugenics a bad name. But recently, Joe Entine of the Genetic Literacy Project  argued that we should legalise screening technologies, as most people want them and they are ultimately of great social and economic benefit to society. Also, the latest literature from Oxford in the Journal of Medical Ethics by Benjamin Meir Jacobs argues that parents have an “obligation to choose a healthier child” based on a moral imperative to avoid creating situations of “harm”. Jacobs argues that we are morally obliged to select children without disabilities if we have such a choice (which is now available through preimplantation genetic diagnosis and IVF).

http://www.bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/11207

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Pedophilia

No news today

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Pornography

UK – Photos of schoolgirls found on porn site trawled by pedophiles

More than 731 photos of schoolgirls have been discovered on a pornographic website used by pedophiles. The photos appear to have been taken from legitimate social network profiles without their knowledge or consent. The Northern Irish schoolgirls were from 19 post-primary schools in the country. Some of the pictures showed the schoolgirls with underwear exposed, as well as some bare skin a BBC investigation revealed. Although registered to an offshore accountancy business in Cyprus, with its servers in The Netherlands, the website was found to be actually based in Israel.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/hundreds-photos-schoolgirls-found-porn-4606749

USA – Internet pornography a significant threat to society

The societal costs of pornography are staggering with the financial cost to business productivity in the U.S. alone estimated at $16.9 billion annually. Every second 28,258 users are watching pornography on the internet and 35{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of all internet downloads are related to pornography. About 200,000 Americans are “porn addicts.” Teenagers with frequent exposure to sexual content on TV have a substantially greater likelihood of teenage pregnancy; and the likelihood of teen pregnancy was twice as high when the quantity of sexual content exposure within the viewing episodes was high. 40 percent of “sex addicts” lose their spouses, 58 percent suffer considerable financial losses, and about a third lose their jobs

http://www.webroot.com/za/en/home/resources/tips/digital-family-life/internet-pornography-by-the-numbers

USA – Latest pornography statistics, 2014 A nationwide study by Proven Men Ministries pertaining to the scope of pornography use found that before the age of 16 more than 78{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of men had viewed pornography. And that only 3{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of men had not seen pornography before turning 21. With respect to men between the ages of 18 and 30 the survey revealed that nearly two in ten (17{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}) first viewed pornography before turning the age of 9, nearly four in ten (38{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}) first viewed pornography before turning the age of 12, and nearly nine in ten (88{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}) first viewed pornography before turning 16. http://www.provenmen.org/2014pornsurvey/

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Prostitution & Trafficking

USA – Launch New Approach to Reduce Demand for Prostitution

Historically law enforcement has focused on arresting prostituted people. This approach has been unsuccessful at reducing exploitation and doesn’t address the demand that drives sex trafficking. The “Buyer Beware” initiative is a partnership with eight different police departments and city attorney’s offices across King County who are shifting their emphasis to go after sex buyers. Prostitution is not a victimless crime. The typical age of entry into prostitution is between 13 to 15 years old and 85{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} have histories of childhood sexual and physical abuse. As adults in prostitution, over 80{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} experience physical and sexual assaults, homelessness, and PTSD. 88{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} report wanting to leave prostitution if they had an alternative.

http://www.kingcounty.gov/Prosecutor/news/2014/october/prostitution.aspx

UK – Ex prostitute urges all political parties to commit to Sex Buyer Law

What would the UK adopting the Sex Buyer Law mean to me? It would mean that the law would stand alongside me, not against me. It would recognize that what happened to me was abuse. The johns would be under the spotlight for once and held legally responsible for their actions. Exiting services would be put in place for women who are trying to get out. Prostitution is not a woman’s right – something to be protected, it is the end of women’s rights. It is about men’s power over vulnerable women and girls. Being penetrated by stranger after stranger, them whispering unpleasant things in your ear, laughing if they hurt you – it does something to you. This isn’t ‘work’. It’s sexual abuse.

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/as-an-ex-prostitute-i-urge-all-the-political-parties-to-commit-to-the-sex-buyer-law-9810735.html

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Stem Cells & Cloning

No news today

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Substance Abuse

USA – Marijuana has no role in glaucoma management

A clinical professor of ophthalmology of the University of California San Francisco, Dr. Lieberman, has explained that a consistent conclusion, based on years of study, is that marijuana is less effective than currently available topical glaucoma therapies and is inappropriate for glaucoma management. “At the end of 2014 the National Eye Institute, and ophthalmologic societies said that there is no current role for use of cannabis agents in the management of glaucoma,” said Dr. Lieberman. ” In my personal practice I educate my patients, I refrain from prescribing marijuana, and I try to do no harm.”

http://ophthalmologytimes.modernmedicine.com/ophthalmologytimes/news/consensus-marijuana-has-no-role-glaucoma-management

USA – This Is Your Brain on Drugs

A study released in 2012 showed that teenagers who were found to be dependent on pot before age 18 and who continued using it into adulthood lost an average of eight I.Q. points by age 38. And last year at Harvard and Northwestern University, Dr. Breiter and colleagues also saw changes in the nucleus accumbens among adults in their early 20s who had smoked daily for three years but had stopped for at least two years. They had impaired working memories as well. “Working memory is key for learning,” Dr. Breiter said. “If I were to design a substance that is bad for college students, it would be marijuana.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/02/education/edlife/this-is-your-brain-on-drugs-marijuana-adults-teens.html?_r=3

USA – Marijuana Overdoses Kills people in First Week Of Legalization

According to a report in The Oregonion, 46 people were killed across the state since weed became legal earlier this week. Reports from MSNBC indicate there has also been 23 deaths in Alaska, and a staggering 89 in Washington DC. “It’s complete chaos here, I’ve never seen anything like it” says Dr. Steve Perkins, chief of surgery at Riverbend Hospital in Springfield “We are seeing cardiac arrests, seizures, hypospadias, acquired trimethylaminuria and multiple organ failures. By next week the death toll could go as high as 300, maybe 400. We told everyone this would happen,” says Gilliam County Sheriff Gary Bettencourt, who claims legalizing weed will tear families apart and cause more deaths.

http://thatoregonlife.com/2014/11/marijuana-overdoses-kill-46-oregon-first-week-legalization/

USA – Synthetic Marijuana; Doctors Still Don’t Have Treatment Protocol

The use of synthetic marijuana is on the rise according to a report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The number of emergency visits due to the drug doubled in one year. ‘It tends to raise your pulse, raise your blood pressure…a lot of people have a form of psychosis,” said paramedic David Karrer. “Seizures is another bad thing that happens with them,” explained Dr. Albert Gest, an emergency medicine specialist at Christus Spohn. That’s troubling to Dr. Gest, who believes synthetic marijuana is very risky. It hasn’t been around long, so little is known about its long-term effects.

http://www.kristv.com/news/synthetic-marijuana-use-rises-doctors-still-don-t-have-treatment-protocol/

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

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LIFEalerts 21 October 2014

Abortion Ireland – Remember Savita Halappanavar? UN – Abortion rights in Africa USA – Abortion Clinics Don’t Have to Report Rapes of Teens El Salvador – Total abortion ban is lethal, says Amnesty Alternative Medicine South Africa – Mother stands trial for killing daughter for muti Euthanasia Belgium – Murderer/rapist granted prisoner’s request for euthanasia The Netherlands – 15{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} Increase in Euthanasia in 2013 HIV/AIDS No news today Homosexuality Italy – Pope asks bishops for honest debate SCA rules in favour of church minister ousting appeal USA – Homosexual’s Represent 52 Percent of HIV cases USA – Refuses nationwide ruling on same-sex marriage IVF & Surrogacy No news today Medical Ethics UK – Ground shifts in UK debate over “three-parent embryos” USA – What does the public think about the dead donor rule? Pedophilia USA – UN report: One in 10 girls sexually abused worldwide USA – Are Sex Offenders Criminals Or Condition Sufferers? Brazil – Police crack ‘darknet’ in child pornography crackdown Pornography Australia – ‘Violent’ pornography online could lead to rise in sex crimes UK – USB detection dogs help win war against child porn Prostitution &Trafficking Netherlands – Capital may revoke brothel license after trafficking claims USA – Study: Human Trafficking Cases Rarely Result in Restitution UK – Spending on drugs and prostitution has soared since the late 1990’s Stem Cells & Cloning No news today Substance Abuse USA – Study: Is it safe to smoke pot? USA – Cigarettes and Pot Go Hand in Hand USA – Changes in Prescription Drug Misuse Among College Students Ireland – Cannabis overtakes drink as problem drug for young Abortion Ireland – Do you remember Savita Halappanavar? Mrs Halappanavar was an Indian dentist who began to miscarry her first child. Thinking that the child was dead, she asked for an abortion. The staff at Galway University Hospital refused and she died of a massive infection. And the world media went wild. However, Ireland’s  Health Information and Quality Authority has found Savita’s death had nothing to do with the abortion law but incompetence. “The findings of this investigation reflect a failure in the provision of the most basic elements of patient care …, also the failure to recognise and act upon signs of her clinical deterioration in a timely and appropriate manner. As a result 9 members of the medical team involved in Savita’s treatment have been disciplined. http://www.bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/11149 UN – Abortion rights in Africa According to a UN world population policies database of 2013, abortion is allowed to save a woman’s life in all 53 African countries except South Sudan for which there is no data. Only 20 states allow abortion in cases of rape or incest, although this is up from 13 in 1996. Ethiopia, Mali, Uganda and Togo are among the countries that have amended their laws since then. Thirty-three countries allow abortion to preserve a woman’s physical health, and 30 for mental health. Twenty-one countries allow abortion for foetal impairment, four for economic or social reasons, and three allow abortion on request. South Africa and Tunisia have the most liberal abortion laws on the continent allowing all categories. http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/ng-interactive/2014/oct/01/-sp-abortion-rights-around-world-interactive USA – Abortion Clinics Don’t Have to Report Rapes of Teens Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring has issued a shocking ruling that abortion clinics do not have to report rapes of teenage girls even though Planned Parenthood and others have a long history of doing abortions on rape victims without reporting the rapes to authorities. “How far will Attorney General Mark Herring go to protect the $1 billion abortion industry?” the Family Foundation asked. In a previous article on LifeNews, Mark Crutcher, the head of the pro-life group Life Dynamics said, “The abortion lobby is engaged in a pedophile protection racket and protecting pedophiles who rape underage girls.” He continued: These abortion clinics receive money from the federal government. We are literally paying for the rape of our young daughters.” http://www.lifenews.com/2014/10/01/attorney-general-says-virginia-abortion-clinics-dont-have-to-report-rapes-of-teen-girls/ El Salvador  -Total abortion ban is lethal, says Amnesty El Salvador’s total ban on abortions is killing women and girls and condemning others to decades in jail, says Amnesty International. The rights group says that the ban is pushing women into unsafe, clandestine abortions or forcing them to undergo dangerous pregnancies. Under El Salvador’s homicide laws, women who decide to terminate their pregnancy can be sentenced to up to 50 years in prison. Amnesty International says “Shockingly, the ban extends even to cases where the life of the pregnant woman is at risk, and to children who have been raped”. El Salvador is one of seven Latin American countries where there is a total ban on abortion. The others are Chile, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua and Suriname. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-29363395 Alternative Medicine South Africa – Mother stands trial for killing daughter for muti The case against a traditional healer who stands accused of killing her 12-year-old daughter for muti has been postponed. It is alleged that Thabethe gutted her child to make muti as her business was flailing. When police found young Nomsa Thabethe’s body, it was cut open from the sternum to just below the navel.  It is understood several organs were removed. Investigators found several items linking the traditional healer to the murder in her house. The objects all contained traces of human blood. She was arrested after confessing that she killed her child. http://www.eyewitnessnews.co.za/articleprog.aspx?id=19932 <Back to Top> Euthanasia Belgium – Murderer/rapist granted prisoner’s request for euthanasia A man serving a life sentence for rape and murder has been allowed by a Belgian court to undergo euthanasia. Claiming that he is unable to control his violent sexual urges, Frank Van Den Bleeken, who is 50, wants to die. He says that he is suffering “unbearable psychological anguish”. “He has clearly said that he didn’t want to leave prison because he didn’t want to risk creating further victims”. Van Den Bleeken has been battling for permission in the courts for three years. This decision will make him the first prisoner to be euthanized since it became legal in 2002. http://www.bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/11154 The Netherlands – 15{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} Increase in Euthanasia in 2013 Doctors in the Netherlands assisted 4,829 people to commit suicide in 2013, representing a 15{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} increase over 2012. A report outlined how doctors in 2013 performed the euthanasia procedure in almost all cases. A committee flagged doctors in five cases because they did not perform the procedure according to the guidelines. In two cases, doctors made mistakes in their methodology, prescribing a non-standard drug to make the patient comatose. In none of the five cases were the errors deemed so severe that the Public Prosecutor had to be called. Of the 4,829 people who were assisted, almost 3,600 were suffering from cancer related illnesses, 42 people due to severe psychiatric problems, and 97 due to dementia cases. http://www.nltimes.nl/2014/09/30/nearly-5000-chose-euthanasia-2013-15-increase/ <Back to Top> HIV/AIDS & STI’s No news today <Back to Top> Homosexuality Italy – Pope asks bishops for honest debate Pope Francis says he is looking for a “sincere, open and fraternal” debate about divisive family issues with progressives hoping for change and conservatives intent on keeping the status quo. Francis made a appearance on the eve of a two-week meeting of bishops aimed at making the church’s teaching on sex, marriage, divorce and homosexuality relevant to today’s Catholics. Francis said he wanted the bishops to listen – really listen to what the people of God are saying – and then engage in a “sincere, open and fraternal” debate that will respond to the “epochal changes” that families are living through today. http://www.pressherald.com/2014/10/05/pope-asks-bishops-for-honest-debate/ South Africa – SCA rules in favour of church minister ousting appeal An ordained Minister of the Methodist Church announced that she would be getting married to her same-sex partner later that month, as she subsequently did. Following De Lange’s unexpected announcement, the Church suspended her pending the holding of a disciplinary hearing. She subsequently decided to institute legal proceedings in the Western Cape High Court. But according to the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA), the determination of who is morally and religiously fit to conduct pastoral duties or who should be excluded for non-conformity with the dictates of the religion, fall within the core of religious functions. As such, the matter should be left for determination by the church domestically and without interference by a court. http://gatewaynews.co.za/sca-rules-in-favour-of-religious-rights-church-autonomy-in-gay-minister-ousting-appeal/#comment-12739 USA – Homosexual’s Represent 52 Percent HIV cases The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s weekly “Morbidity and Mortality” report shows that among persons newly infected with HIV in 2010, 63 percent were men who have sex with other men. Homosexual, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (MSM) make up 2 percent of the U.S. population but are the group most definitively affected by HIV, with 63 percent of those newly infected by HIV representing this group. Among Americans living with HIV, 52 percent were MSM – and a significant number of men with HIV are not receiving treatment. http://atlanta.cbslocal.com/2014/10/01/cdc-gay-men-represent-2-percent-of-us-population-52-percent-of-people-with-hiv/ USA – Court refuses nationwide ruling on same-sex marriage The US Supreme Court has denied seven pending appeals, rejecting calls for a nationwide ruling on same-sex marriage. The rebuff puts into effect three federal appeals decisions, legalizing same-sex marriage in Utah, Oklahoma, Virginia, Wisconsin and Indiana. Other states including Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas, West Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina will likely follow because as are under the same jurisdiction of the appellate courts. These additions raise the number of same-sex marriage states to 30. However, the rejection leaves legal uncertainty elsewhere, meaning same-sex couples must wait for additional court rulings. Advocates on both sides have urged the Supreme Court to resolve uncertainty. The rejection to hear these cases was unexpected. http://jurist.org/paperchase/2014/10/us-supreme-court-refuses-nationwide-ruling-on-same-sex-marriage.php <Back to Top> IVF &Surrogacy No news today <Back to Top> Medical Ethics UK – Ground shifts in UK debate over “three-parent embryos” Earlier the UK Department of Health stated: “… It is generally agreed by scientists that it is genes in our nuclear DNA, together with environmental factors, rather than mitochondrial DNA, that shape our personal characteristics and traits.” Now, however, New Scientist has done a 180-degree turn on the issue because of recent findings: “… it appears that we may have seriously underestimated the influence that mitochondria have. Recent research suggests that they play a key role in some of the most important features of human life. This raises the ethically troubling prospect – once widely dismissed, including by this publication – that children conceived in this way will inherit vital traits from three parents. A serious debate about the ethics” is  needed. http://www.bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/11152 USA – What does the public think about the dead donor rule? A Florida State University study in the Journal of Medical Ethics claims the US public is in favour of waiving the dead donor rule in certain circumstances. They examined opinions of 1056 citizens by presenting them with a vignette of a man in a vegetative state, and whether it should be legal for him to donate his organs even if it causes his death. 71{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} believed the patient should be allowed to if he had provided an advance directive. 53{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of said they would donate their own organs if they were in a vegetative state. However, 69{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of respondents said that it was ‘somewhat’ or ‘very important’ for a patient to be dead before their lungs and heart were removed. http://www.bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/11167 <Back to Top> Pedophilia USA – UN report: One in 10 girls sexually abused worldwide Around 120 million girls around the world, close to one in 10, have been raped or sexually assaulted by the time they turn 20. Drawing on data from 190 countries, the global report by child welfare agency UNICEF is billed as the largest-ever study of violence against children. Sexual violence against children has far-reaching consequences the study warned, potentially hindering all aspects of their physical, social and psychological development. The consequences of abuse included self-harming behaviors such as bulimia and anorexia. Children who have been abused are also more likely to attempt suicide; the more severe the violence, the greater the risk, the study said. The mental health consequences include depression, panic disorder, anxiety and nightmares. http://www.destinyconnect.com/2014/09/06/one-in-10-girls-sexually-abused-worldwide-un-report/ USA – Are Sex Offenders Criminals Or Condition Sufferers? A recent article by Margo Kaplan an assistant professor at Rutgers School of Law, in The New York Times, suggests that pedophilia, the unnatural interest of adults in intimacy with children should be treated as a disorder and not a crime. Attorney Brad Dacus, the president of the Pacific Justice Institute, utterly disagrees.” To say that this is something that should not be punished is to say this is something that people can’t be held responsible for and that is simply well beyond the confines of reasonable justice and human behavior.” He also points out the highest level of repeat offenders, serving time for an offenses being released and re-jailed is among child molesters. http://www.medicaldaily.com/are-sex-offenders-criminals-or-condition-sufferers-hard-problem-pedophilia-306761 Brazil – Police crack ‘darknet’ in child pornography crackdown Brazilian police have uncovered a huge child pornography network hidden in the ‘darknet’ – a virtual world not visible to most internet users. A Brazilian police spokesman said they arrested 55 people during a year-long operation and issued 100 arrest warrants. Operation “Darknet” found child pornography made in Brazil being shared in five other countries. Police found suspects in Portugal, Italy, Colombia, Mexico and Venezuela. Only the FBI in the United States and Scotland Yard in the UK have managed to crack into the Dark Web to trawl for pornography before and Brazil has been following. http://www.destinyconnect.com/2014/09/06/one-in-10-girls-sexually-abused-worldwide-un-report/ <Back to Top> Pornography Australia – ‘Violent’ pornography online could lead to rise in sex crimes Police are concerned that easy access to violent online pornography is directly linked to the types of sexual assaults being committed by young men, according to NSW Assistant Commissioner Mark Murdoch, and it is having an adverse impact and ‘influence on respectful relationships. White Ribbon’s CEO, Libby Davies revealed that some people believe violent porn is a normal relationship and that young men see sexual relationships based on a level of violence. Mr Murdoch added that he certainly supports the idea that greater education about pornography is needed to prevent this concerning trend, but pointed out the responsibility does not rely solely on schools. There’s a big role for the parents too. http://pornharmsresearch.com/2014/10/fears-growing-trend-of-young-men-accessing-violent-pornography-online-could-lead-to-a-rise-in-sexual-crimes-the-daily-mail/ UK – USB detection dogs help win war against child porn Specially trained pooches can sniff out hard drives, laptops and digital cameras and now also have taken it up a notch and have learned to sniff out…. USB sticks! Along with hard drives, digital cameras and laptops, flash drives containing illegal materials like child pornography are being smuggled more and more, which is where the dogs come in. Jack Hubball, who helped train the world’s first arson-sniffing dog in 1986, has identified the chemicals associated with computer components and trained dogs to sniff them out. Following months of training, his canine pupils were able to detect the smell of the chemical in people’s hands, on concrete blocks, in metal boxes and on clothing. http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/technology-science/technology/usb-detection-dogs-winning-war-4346529#ixzz3GJTgAMrz <Back to Top> Prostitution & Trafficking Netherlands – Capital may revoke brothel license after trafficking claims the Amsterdam city council plans to withdraw the license of one of the city’s biggest brothel owners because he does not do enough to discourage human trafficking.  If the license is cancelled, it means 47 prostitution windows will close, although a final decision will not be taken until December. Amsterdam brought in tougher new conditions for brothel licenses last year. These require brothel owners to hold an ‘introductory chat’ with prostitutes to establish that they work voluntarily. Van der Meulen, a former police officer, is planning to appeal against the council’s decision and is prepared to fight it in court.  He runs some 13{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of the red light district’s 362 prostitution windows. http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2014/09/amsterdam_may_brothel_licence.php USA – Study: Human Trafficking Cases Rarely Result in Restitution Even though federal law mandates human traffickers compensate people they force into prostitution, prosecutors and courts too rarely enforce the law. The Human Trafficking Pro Bono Legal Center found that of 200 human-trafficking cases only 36 percent resulted in restitution to victims, concluding that federal prosecutors were largely to blame. “My colleagues and I have known anecdotally for years that victims aren’t getting restitution,” said Martina Vanden­berg, president of the Pro Bono Legal Center. Federal law requires restitution to victims of slavery, trafficking or debt servitude. Yet 23 of 51 U.S. attorneys’ offices that handled human trafficking cases failed to win any compensation for victims. “The prosecutor should be pushing hard,” Vandenberg said. “The prosecutor has most of the cards.” http://www.nationallawjournal.com/id=1202672339365/Human-Trafficking-Cases-Rarely-Result-in-Restitution-Study-Says-?slreturn=20140909053333 UK – Spending on drugs and prostitution has soared since the late 1990s Spending on prostitution was 13 per cent higher in 2013 than in 1997, while spending on illegal drugs has risen by a staggering 38 per cent over the same period, according to the Office for National Statistics. Prostitution accounted for £5.65billion in 2013 while spending on illegal drugs was £6.67billion. EU member states are now required to include the illegal trades in their official figures by the EU statistical authority, Eurostat, which will now consider the results and might question those countries it believes have not included the figures appropriately. http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/news/article-2780627/Exposed-How-British-spending-prostitution-illegal-drugs-soared-late-1990s.html <Back to Top> Stem Cells & Cloning No news today <Back to Top> Substance Abuse USA – Study: Is it safe to smoke pot? The increasing acceptance of smoking marijuana is based upon the mistaken idea that it is a safe drug. I  wonder why a recent scientific publication on the safety of marijuana in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine got so little publicity. After a careful review of the scientific research, the experts concluded that “marijuana use has been associated with substantial adverse effects. The scientific data supports the conclusion that there is a  “high level of confidence” that marijuana use is related to motor vehicle accidents, diminished lifetime achievement, chronic bronchitis, and drug addiction. There is a “medium degree of confidence” that smoking pot is associated with abnormal brain development, progression to the use of other drugs, depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia. http://blog.childrensdayton.org/is-it-safe-to-smoke-pot/ USA – Cigarettes and Pot Go Hand in Hand Research on the respiratory consequences of smoking pot has produced conflicting results on combining marijuana and cigarette smoking are extremely harmful to the lungs. A study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal showed that people who smoke both cigarettes and marijuana have a particularly high risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a group of lung diseases that includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema.. Marijuana contains more carcinogens than tobacco, which has also been linked with lung infections with chronic use, as well as problems with memory, learning and coordination, heart attack, impaired immune function and paranoia, anxiety, and paranoia. Both drugs are addictive. http://www.promises.com/articles/smoking/cigarettes-marijuana-smoking/ USA – Changes in Prescription Drug Misuse Among College Students A study published in the June 2014 issue of Addictive Behaviors examined how prescription drug use among  students has changed over the last 10 years. Researchers at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor surveyed full-time undergraduates during the winter semester. The researchers found that the students surveyed in recent years were more likely to report non-medical use of stimulants when compared to students who took the first set of surveys. When addressing the misuse of prescription drugs, college administrators could explore the motivations students have for using each type of drug. When it comes to using stimulants to boost academic performance, education could be provided to help students learn to balance the pressures of campus life and finding ways to excel. http://www.promises.com/articles/young-adults/study-examines-changes-prescription-drug-misuse-among-college-students/ Ireland – Cannabis overtakes drink as problem drug for young As pro-pot culture groups continue their propaganda, one treatment centre which specializes in helping youngsters with addiction problems, found that 62{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of admissions were now linked to cannabis abuse. Leading Irish addiction treatment centre Aiseiri warned in their 2013 annual report that the problem of poly-drug or multiple drug abuse was now increasing at an alarming rate. Alcohol remains the primary abuse substance for the older generation however, and is linked to 73{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of admissions to addiction treatment centers. “If we are to tackle abuse, if we are to educate, prevent and change addiction behaviour, we have to resource services for families”, said Aiseiri chief executive Paul Conlon. http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/health/cannabis-overtakes-drink-as-problem-drug-for-young-30640730.html <Back to Top> Disclaimer: the views and opinions expressed in these articles do not necessarily reflect those of Doctors for Life International]]>

LIFEalerts 02 October 2014

Abortion USA – Wisconsin Abortions Drop 7{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} as 465 Babies Saved Form Abortions South  Africa – Illegal abortions and dodgy doctors Alternative Medicine South Africa – Killing of Children for “Muti Trading” is Not Declining Euthanasia South Africa – Anglican-Archbishops weigh in on ‘right to die with dignity’ Belgium – Euthanasia law challenged HIV/AIDS No news today Homosexuality USA – Journalists strategize to report on being homosexualUSA – Homosexual marriage bans violate charter Germany – Radical ‘gender’ paradigm could lead to global totalitarianism IVF & Surrogacy UK – British MP blasts “three-parent embryos” USA – Let’s chill: New York’s egg freezing party UK – Should we criminalize scientific misconduct? Medical Ethics USA – When do we lose our human life? UK – Tough sanctions for a blind eye UK – Should we criminalize scientific misconduct? Pedophilia No news today Pornography USA – Could Gymnast McKayla Maroney Face Child Pornography Charges? Prostitution &Trafficking USA – Technology won’t make prostitution safer Canada – New prostitution bill will protect prostitutes South  Africa – Asian women lured to SA for sex work USA – Options bring hope to former prostitutes Stem Cells & Cloning No news today Substance Abuse USA – Why Synthetic Marijuana Is More Toxic To The Brain Than PotUSA – Cannabis use among college students at a three-decade high USA – Marijuana’s Effect on Dopamine Key to Mood Changes USA – City mandates free ‘medical marijuana’ for low-income residents   Abortion USA – Wisconsin Abortions Drop 7{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} as 465 Babies Saved Form Abortions The newly-released Department of Health Services Report on Induced Abortions in Wisconsin shows there were 6,927 abortions performed in 2012 and 6,462 in 2013. There were 465 fewer abortions in 2013 than in 2012. Wisconsin Right to Life will vigorously continue its multi-faceted programs which work to fuel the decline. http://www.lifenews.com/2014/09/03/wisconsin-abortions-drop-7-465-babies-saved-form-abortions/ South  Africa – Illegal abortions and dodgy doctors Bogus doctors operate illegal and unsafe abortion clinics in the Durban city centre as local authorities have turned a blind eye to the illicit trade. A lack of resources for the Inner City of  Thekweni had allowed bogus doctors in “backstreet” operations to mushroom. It has been over three years that there has been a raid on these abortion clinics. The rise in illegal and unsafe “clinics” has raised concerns from health-care professionals who said the procedures and medicines given by the bogus doctors could be harmful, and even lead to death. These fly-by-night operations offer abortion to 20 weeks and even beyond that, which is totally against the law.” http://www.iol.co.za/news/crime-courts/illegal-abortions-and-dodgy-doctors-1.1747749#.VA7DwKPdO_I Alternative Medicine South Africa – Killing of Children for “Muti Trading” is Not Declining A Mozambican non-government organization, Human Rights League and South Africa’s Childline, have delved into the gory practice of muti trading. The report of the study detailed gory accounts of children’s frozen heads and genitals being smuggled into South Africa from Mozambique. A woman in the Free State was told  by a traditional healer to wear a belt made of young boys’ private parts and little children’s fingers to help ease her difficult pregnancy. The sangoma charged her R4000 for the muthi. The traditional healer also instructed her to drink a concoction she believed contained blood and fat. After falling ill, the woman burnt the items and went to see a doctor at a hospital instead. http://www.thetimes.co.za/News/Article.aspx?id=950495 <Back to Top> Euthanasia South Africa – Anglican-Archbishops weigh in on ‘right to die with dignity’ Does the right to life always trump needless suffering? Anglican archbishops are lining up on opposing sides of the euthanasia debate, as the British parliament prepares to debate a bill on whether terminally ill people should be granted the right to choose when to die. While South Africa’s Archbishop Desmond Tutu has already come out in support of euthanasia and the right to die. http://www.dispatchlive.co.za/opinion/archbishops-weigh-in-on-right-to-die-with-dignity/ Belgium – Euthanasia law challenged A Belgian man is challenging the country’s euthanasia law in the European Court of Human Rights. Dr Tom Mortier’s mother was put to death by a doctor for “untreatable depression” even though she was not terminally ill. Mortier did not find out what had happened until he received a telephone call the day after her death. “The government has an obligation to protect life, not assist in promoting death,” said a lawyer working on the case, Robert Clarke, of the Alliance for Defending Freedom. “A person can claim that she should be able to do whatever she pleases, but that does not override the government’s responsibility to protect the weak and vulnerable. We are encouraging the European Court to uphold this principle, which is completely consistent with the European Convention on Human Rights.” http://www.mercatornet.com/careful/view/14732 <Back to Top> HIV/AIDS & STI’s No news today <Back to Top> Homosexuality USA – Journalists strategize to report on being homosexual Reporters from some of the key organizations on which Americans depend for their news attended a Chicago conference where the goal was to figure out how to promote homosexuality, according to a critic. Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth said journalists “are supposed to portray both sides of an issue,” so he wondered what it means when a specific agenda is promoted. He found that $10,000 sponsors of the special-interest conference included Fox News, CNN and ESPN. Contributors listed at $5,000 were CBS, Comcast, Gannett, Bloomberg and Crain, while Cox Media and McClatchy were listed as $2,500 donors. http://www.wnd.com/2014/08/journalists-strategize-to-report-on-being-gay/ USA – Homosexual marriage bans violate charter An appeals court declared that homosexual marriage bans in Wisconsin and Indiana violated the US Constitution, on the same day that 32 states asked the Supreme Court to settle the issue once and for all. The decision by a three-judge panel blasted the argument that only matrimony between a man and a woman should be allowed because it is, simply tradition. It also criticized another argument from the states that homosexuals should not be allowed to marry because, on their own, they can’t procreate, saying that rationale “is so full of holes that it cannot be taken seriously”. http://www.news24.com/World/News/Gay-marriage-bans-violate-US-charter-court-20140905 Germany – Radical ‘gender’ paradigm could lead to global totalitarianism Author Gabriele Kuby spoke to Catholic World Report on her new book, “The Global Sexual Revolution: The Destruction of Freedom in the Name of Freedom.” Kuby said that this is the first time in human history that a whole civilization has knowingly and deliberately “turned sexual norms completely upside down.” No human society has ever tried to re-write human sexuality, and the current global trend may be leading the world down new dark paths of statist totalitarianism, warns a German author and social commentator.” “Our hyper-individualized society claims that we have freedom to choose our sex, whether we are man or woman, and it is our freedom to choose our sexual orientation,” she said. http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/3205367/posts <Back to Top> IVF &Surrogacy UK – British MP blasts “three-parent embryos” A British politician has blasted proposals for “three-parent embryos”. In a terse summary of objections to the practice of mitochondrial transfer to prevent diseases, Sir Edward Leigh told the House of Commons  that despite strong support from UK scientists and bioethicists and generally favorable treatment in the media, no other country in the world has authorized modification of the human genome. “Do we really want to become a rogue state in terms of bioethics?” he asks. He also argues that the procedure “cures” no one. It simply prevents the birth of handicapped children. But this comes at the cost of destroying a human embryo for its “useful parts”. “There is no way that that can be considered ethical,” he says. http://www.bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/11136 USA – Let’s chill: New York’s egg freezing party Commercialization of IVF is crossing new frontiers in New York with “egg freezing parties” for career women who want to keep their options open. A company called EggBanxx will retrieve and store eggs – for about US$7,000 per cycle. To promote its product, EggBanxx is organizing “Let’s Chill” parties in New York to discover how it works and how much it costs. Lord Winston, a British IVF pioneer, argues that egg freezing is “a confidence trick” that allows IVF clinics to exploit fears of desperate women. “Women are spending vast amount of money on this treatment but the success rates simply aren’t there. In fact less than 10{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of the women who do it end up getting pregnant,” he says. http://www.bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/11134 UK – Women risk lives for IVF Women are putting their lives in danger by purchasing illegal IVF drugs from the EBay for a third of the normal market price, and many desperate women are turning to it as a last resort. The fertility drugs include Suprecur, Cetrotide and Menopur which are used to stimulate the ovary to produce more eggs to increase fertility and as part of IVF procedures. One British woman, 26-year-old Lorraine Davy, almost died after taking the ovulation stimulation drug Clomid. “I got rushed into A&E and they did an ultrasound and the doctor said I had a massive cyst on my ovaries”. The British Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has contacted EBay to have the drugs removed from auction. http://www.bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/11143 <Back to Top> Medical Ethics USA – When do we lose our human life? The academic conversation over brain death continues, with the American journal of Bioethics publishing a special issue on the status of death determined by neurological criteria (DDNC). The issue contains 20 articles offering different perspectives on brain death. Most of the papers refer a recent legal battle in Texas over Marlise Munoz, a brain dead woman carrying a second trimester foetus. The papers are highly technical and difficult to summarize but there are a number of clear themes: The academics argue over the philosophical definition of death: is it the cessation of mental processes, the end of what is know as the ‘organism as a whole’, or is it the end of functions such as respiration, metabolism, and growth? http://www.bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/11121 http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/uajb20/14/.U__lL2S1Z2A#.VAgb9dKSzmU UK – Tough sanctions for a blind eye Doctors who fail to raise concerns about colleagues could be struck off, under new guidance. The UK’s General Medical Council (GMC) has launched consultation on proposed changes to augment scope for disciplinary action. New scenarios covered include cases where a doctor has failed to raise concerns, “where there is a reason to believe a colleague’s fitness to practice is impaired” and, “where a patient is not receiving basic care to meet their needs”. There will be more serious sanctions where doctors, “used their professional position to pursue a sexual or improper emotional relationship with a patient or someone close to them” and where doctors have failed to work collaboratively, “including bullying, sexual harassment, or violence or risk to patient safety.” http://www.bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/11120 UK – Should we criminalize scientific misconduct? In an interview with the New Scientist, Dr. Richard Smith, former editor of the British Medical Journal, argues that the criminalization of research fraud is a necessary measure. Smith argues that scientific fraud causes serious social harm, citing disgraced autism researcher Dr. Andrew Wakefield. Wakefield’s now discredited study on the link between vaccination and autism caused a massive drop in the number of childhood vaccinations. Smith also argues that the nature of science means scientists should be held to a higher standard than the general public. “The temptation to ignore, undermine, or even falsify the offending data is huge. Only those with the highest levels of honesty can accept, let alone be delighted, when data destroy their theories.” http://www.bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/11141 <Back to Top> Pedophilia No news today <Back to Top> Pornography USA – Could Gymnast McKayla Maroney Face Child Pornography Charges? A new “We the People” petition is asking the Obama administration to charge gold-medal gymnast McKayla Maroney with production or possession of child pornography because the recently leaked nude images of her were taken when she was underage. The U.S. Department of Justice defines child pornography as “any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a minor.” In an effort to protect children, Congress and state legislatures deem production, possession or dissemination of child pornography illegal, regardless of who is responsible. If the average under-18 American is caught in a “sexting” scenario by law enforcement in most states, they could face these charges and if convicted, they would have to register as a sex offender. http://www.newsweek.com/could-gold-medal-gymnast-mckayla-maroney-face-child-pornography-charges-269060 <Back to Top> Prostitution & Trafficking USA – Technology won’t make prostitution safer The Internet’s promise of increased safety quickly vanishes once the “independent businesswoman” is alone in an apartment or hotel room with her “client.” The Internet will do nothing to stop assault, robbery and rape. In addition, the prostituted woman can’t see who is approaching her like she can on the street. She can’t use her intuition to avoid someone who gives her a bad vibe. She doesn’t know who’s on the other end of a phone call or who’s really soliciting her. The combined effects of the Internet and legalization will not make prostitution a meaningful choice for women. It will only lead to greater harm. According to one survivor of prostitution, “legalization will not end abuse; it will make abuse legal.” http://www.startribune.com/opinion/commentaries/274171931.html Canada – New prostitution bill will protect prostitutes Justice Minister Peter MacKay defended his prostitution bill as a balanced policy that criminalizes the purchase of sex but gives prostitutes “immunity” from prosecution so they can ply their trade more safely. “It’s my belief that prostitution is inherently dangerous,” he added, saying the government regards prostitutes as victims who need to be protected from those dangers. Under the government’s proposal, prostitution would be illegal and the law would target johns and pimps with criminal penalties if they bought sex from prostitutes or exploited them.  Although the government has said it wants to end exploitation against prostitutes, it also proposes to penalize them if they sell sex next to a school, playground or daycare centre. http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/09/09/peter-mackay-says-new-prostitution-bill-will-protect-sex-workers-but-goal-is-to-end-sex-trade/ South  Africa – Asian women lured to South Africa for sex work Asian women are working as prostitutes in private homes across Durban.  Hundreds of Asian women are being lured to work in the illicit sex industry, operating from suburban Durban homes. The women, mostly Chinese and Thai nationals, offer their services through local online “escort services” websites and charge anything from R300 for a half hour to R700 an hour for their company. Police sources believe that many of these women are being trafficked into the country by organized crime syndicates. The US State departments 2014 Trafficking in Persons Report found that the South African government “lacked formal procedures for properly screening and identifying trafficking victims among vulnerable groups, including illegal migrants and women in prostitution”. http://www.iol.co.za/news/crime-courts/asian-women-lured-to-sa-for-sex-work-1.1743145#.VBBpnFcr1Ux USA – Options bring hope to former prostitutes The Pennsylvania District Attorney’s Office has launched a Sexual Education Responsibility Program – commonly called “John School.” The program aims to teach men arrested for soliciting prostitutes about the sexual trauma, addiction and serious issues associated with prostitution. “They need to understand they are clients in the market that generates this kind of torture and abuse,” said James Carpenter, chief of the D.A.’s Family Violence and Sexual Assault Unit. Judge Lori Dumas, who heads the program, said it also aims to decriminalize juveniles who come into the system after being trafficked, often when they’re arrested for prostitution. It seeks to connect them with treatment and to get them out of the system without a delinquent adjudication on their record, she said. http://articles.philly.com/2014-09-12/news/53816780_1_prostitution-special-court-problem-solving-court <Back to Top> Stem Cells & Cloning No news today <Back to Top> Substance Abuse USA – Why Synthetic Marijuana Is More Toxic To The Brain Than Pot One of the original chemists who designed synthetic cannabis for research purposes, John W. Huffman, PhD once said that he couldn’t imagine why anyone would try it recreationally. Whether that’s the case or not, the numbers of users is rising. New Hampshire has declared a state of emergency, and the number of emergency room visits for overdose from the drug has jumped. It’s more efficient at binding and acting in the brain. One reason that synthetic cannabis can trigger everything from seizures to psychosis is how it acts in the brain. Like the active ingredient in pot, THC, synthetic cannabis binds the CB1 receptor. One teen died earlier this month after slipping into a coma, reportedly from using the drug. http://www.forbes.com/sites/alicegwalton/2014/08/28/6-reasons-synthetic-marijuana-spice-k2-is-so-toxic-to-the-brain/ USA – Cannabis use among college students at a three-decade high Daily cannabis (marijuana) use among college students is the highest it’s been in more than three decades. The group of University of Michigan scientists who conducted the nationwide ‘Monitoring the Future’ study (MTF) says illicit drug use has been rising gradually among American college students since 2006, when 34 percent indicated that they used some illicit drug .”This is the highest rate of daily use observed among college students since 1981″ Lloyd Johnston, the principal investigator of the MTF study, said in a statement. “one in every 20 college students was smoking pot on a daily or near-daily basis in 2013. From 1990 to 1994, fewer than one in 50 college students used marijuana that frequently.” http://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/index.ssf/2014/09/regular_marijuana_use_among_co.html USA – Marijuana’s Effect on Dopamine Key to Mood Changes People who regularly use marijuana have increased odds of experiencing significant symptoms of anxiety and depression, as well as an unusual sensitivity to the impact of emotional stress. This fact also holds true for occasional users of the drug. In a study published in June 2014 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers from three U.S. institutions sought to determine why marijuana users have heightened risks for unpleasant mood changes and stress reactions. These researchers concluded that the cause may be marijuana’s ability to alter the brain’s reaction to a key chemical called dopamine. Dopamine is one of the brain chemicals that make it possible for nerve cells to “talk” to one another. http://www.journeycenters.com/news/marijuanas-effect-dopamine-key-mood-changes/ USA – City mandates free ‘medical marijuana’ for low-income residents The Berkeley City Council in California has unanimously approved the ordering of cannabis dispensaries to donate 2 percent of their stash to people making less than $32,000 a year. Bishop Ron Allen, a former addict and head of the International Faith Based Coalition, told Fox News he doesn’t understand why the California city would want to dump pot on the impoverished. “It’s ludicrous, over-the-top madness,” Allen said. John Lovell, a lobbyist for the California Narcotic Officers’ Association, agrees. “Instead of taking steps to help the most economically vulnerable residents get out of that state, the city has said, ‘Let’s just get everybody high,’” Lovell told The New York Times. http://www.myfoxny.com/story/26448679/city-mandates-free-medical-marijuana-for-low-income-residents <Back to Top> Disclaimer: the views and opinions expressed in these articles do not necessarily reflect those of Doctors for Life International]]>

LIFEalerts 09 September 2014

Abortion Poland – The doctor who refused to abortUSA – Abortion clinic quits fight to keep doing procedures Alternative Medicine No news today Euthanasia USA – Media ethics 101: How not to report suicideThe Netherlands – Is fear of nursing homes a reason for euthanasia?Switzerland – Swiss suicide tourism doubles in four years HIV/AIDS No news today Homosexuality France – European High Court rules that same sex marriage not a rightUK – Leading homosexual activist appointed to House of LordsUganda – Seeks to reinstate anti-gay bill USA – String of same-sex marriage rulings broken IVF & Surrogacy China – The world of Chinese surrogacyCanada – Controversy over clinic’s mixed-race IVF prohibitionAustralia – Government could recognize multiple parents Medical Ethics Iran – Calls for regulation as kidney trade spirals out of controlUSA – What students think about conscientious objectionUSA – Should we compensate organ donors? USA – WHO endorses use of untested Ebola treatments Pedophilia Germany – Study: Onset of pedophilia can be detectedUK – At a glance: Rotherham child sexual exploitation report USA – Virtuous Pedophiles group gives support therapy cannot Pornography UK- Brash porn act is shaping an unhealthy sexual culture among teens Prostitution &Trafficking Norway – Actual evidence shows the Nordic model worksSpain – Countries should not include prostitution in their GDPZimbabwe – ‘Street kids’ turn to prostitution UK – Swedish prostitution law is spreading worldwide Stem Cells & Cloning UK – ‘Stem cells show promise in stroke recovery’ Substance Abuse Canada – “Medical marijuana” regime is ‘bad medicine,’ CMA head warnsUSA – Did smoking marijuana give these young men heart attacks?USA – The Risks of Smoking Pot While Breastfeeding Uruguay – people can grow their own pot  

Abortion

Poland – The doctor who refused to abort Bogdan Chazan lost his post heading a government-run maternity hospital after he said his conscience prevented him from killing an unborn child. A woman whose physician had detected severe developmental defects in an unborn baby, ask for abortion and Chazan refused. The Warsaw Mayor Hanna dismissed Chazan from his position as director of the hospital. She said Chazan did not have the right to refuse the abortion, and said Polish law obliged him to offer the woman an abortion referral. Chazan is accused of ordering unnecessary tests and prolonging her pregnancy beyond “viable” period of 24 weeks of gestation. The hospital was also fined $23,000, and Chazan was given a three-month job termination notice and placed on leave. http://www.worldmag.com/2014/08/the_doctor_who_refused_to_abort USA – Abortion clinic quits fight to keep doing procedures An abortion clinic that was fighting the state of Ohio to remain open has decided it will stop performing surgical abortions. At the heart of that fight is a rule that abortion clinics, as with all ambulatory surgical centers in Ohio, must have a patient transfer agreement with a local hospital in the event complications arise. The Sharonville clinic had been fighting to overturn a decision former Health Director Ted Wymyslo made in January that denied the clinic a variance to the transfer agreement rule. The variance would have allowed it to remain open. Ohio Right to Life, which lobbied for the transfer agreement change in state law, achieved a victory it has been seeking for the last 30 years. http://www.cleveland.com/open/index.ssf/2014/08/clinic_quits_fight_to_keep_doi.html  

Alternative Medicine

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Euthanasia

USA – Media ethics 101: How not to report suicide After the recent suicide of US, comedian Robin Williams many experts in media ethics expressed their horror of the media reports. Sharon Mallon of the Open University implored newspapers to show restraint when reporting these sensitive issues to prevent copycat suicides by vulnerable people: “If we are to prevent imitative suicides, all reporting must simultaneously provide the public with enough information to understand the death, while providing an image of suicide that is sensitively managed through careful reporting. Meanwhile in Australia, Dr Nitschke told ABC News that he had been inundated by requests for information about suicide despite the bad publicity. However, most of his clients are just vulnerable elderly rather than vulnerable teenagers. http://www.bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/11102 The Netherlands – Is fear of nursing homes a reason for euthanasia? A Dutch euthanasia clinic is being investigated for helping an elderly woman to die because she did not want to live in a nursing home. The clinic’s doctors decided that this was the case, based on some of her gestures and her repeated use of the words ‘kan niet’ which they interpreted as ‘I can’t go on any longer like this’. This is the second time in four months that the Levenseindekliniek (End of Life Clinic) in The Hague has been reprimanded. In the two years after it opened in March 2013, 322 people were killed there. The authorities are studying whether to proceed with a prosecution – something which apparently has not happened since euthanasia was legalized. http://www.bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/11125 Switzerland – Swiss suicide tourism doubles in four years Germans and British make up the bulk of the numbers, with neurological conditions, such as paralysis, motor neuron disease, Parkinson’s, and multiple sclerosis, accounting for almost half of the cases, findings show. 611 non-residents had been helped to die between 2008 and 2012, all but four of whom had gone to Dignitas. Their ages ranged from 23 to 97. In all, residents from 31 different countries were helped to die in Switzerland between 2008 and 2012, with German (268) and UK (126) nationals making up almost two thirds of the total. Virtually all the deaths were caused by taking sodium pentobarbital. Four people inhaled helium—deaths which were widely publicized and described as “excruciating,” said researchers. http://www.bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/11118 <Back to Top>

HIV/AIDS & STI’s

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Homosexuality

France – European High Court rules that same sex marriage not a right The European Court of Human Rights has re-affirmed its position that member states do not have to recognize same-sex ‘marriage’. The decision has been hailed as ‘monumental’ by Joseph La Rue of Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF). He argues that because US judges have previously cited European Court judgments, the ruling could have a major impact on an upcoming same-sex case at the US Supreme Court. In its decision, the ECHR highlighted the fact that there is no European consensus on same-sex ‘marriage’. 37 countries within the Council of Europe area do not recognize it and only 10 are in favor of it. http://www.christianconcern.com/our-concerns/same-sex-marriage/european-court-rules-that-same-sex-marriage-is-not-a-right UK – Leading homosexual activist appointed to House of Lords A co-founder of Stonewall, Britain’s powerful LGBT lobby group, and the longtime head of the European Parliament’s Intergroup on LGBT Rights, was named to the House of Lords last week by Prime Minister David Cameron’s coalition government. Michael Cashman was one of the principal figures within Stonewall pressuring the group to adopt as a lead policy the demand to change the definition of marriage – to which the coalition government acquiesced for England and Wales amid vituperative debate in 2013. A spokesman for the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) told LifeSiteNews.com they are concerned that with the appointment, Michael “Cashman will use his role in Britain’s ‘revising chamber’ to continue his campaigning against life and family.” http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/gay-activist-appointed-to-british-house-of-lords Uganda – Seeks to reinstate anti-gay bill Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni wants to reinstate a divisive anti-gay law that was rejected by a court, but without tough penalties for consenting adults, a ruling party legislator has said. “We agreed to come up with a new version that doesn’t hurt our Western friends but also protects Ugandans,” Medard Bitekyerezo said on Tuesday. “(The president) said he wants the law back in the house but now says if two consenting adults go into their room and decide to be stupid, let them be,” he said. “What he said he doesn’t want, and which we must even increase the penalties (for), is recruitment of children and exploiting financially vulnerable youths.” http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2014/08/uganda-seeks-reinstate-anti-gay-bill-20148138256501947.html USA – String of same-sex marriage rulings broken A judge in Tennessee upheld the state’s Constitutional authority to define marriage as the union of a man and a woman. What about arguments that claim there is a fundamental right to same-sex marriage? Judge Russell E. Simmons explains that while “marriage is a fundamental right,” there is no right to redefine marriage. Simmons continued: “neither the Tennessee Supreme Court nor the United States Supreme Court has ever decided that this fundamental right under a state’s laws extends beyond the traditional definition of marriage as a union between one man and one woman. Simmons explains: “The battle is not between whether or not marriage is a fundamental right but what unions are included in the definition of marriage.” Yes, the fundamental policy question in this debate is. What Is Marriage and who gets to define it. Simmons ruled it “should be the prerogative of each State.” http://dailysignal.com/2014/08/12/judge-upholds-states-authority-define-marriage-union-man-woman/ <Back to Top>

IVF &Surrogacy

China – The world of Chinese surrogacy Although it is technically illegal, there are many loopholes and China now has an estimated 1,000 surrogate mother brokers. The CEO of Baby Plan Medical Technology Company says that his business has four branches and a track record of 300 babies. The children are expensive: US$240,000. The NY Times features a surrogate from the impoverished countryside who hopes to solve her financial problems with the pregnancy. Baby Plan provides her with good medical care but sequesters her in a flat for the duration of her pregnancy. “Our liaison staff tells them every day that the baby in your stomach isn’t your baby,” says the CEO. “A nice way of putting it is emotional comfort; less nice is brainwashing.” http://www.bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/11092 Canada – Controversy over clinic’s mixed-race IVF prohibition A Canadian fertility clinic has come under intense scrutiny for refusing to provide IVF for parents of different races.  Dr. Calvin Green, the clinic’s administrative director, claimed that mixed-race IVF promotes a designer baby culture: “I’m not sure that we should be creating rainbow families just because some single woman decides that that’s what she wants”. In a statement last month the clinic announced that it now provides mixed-race IVF. “If the assumption is that it is not in the best interest to be in a racially mixed family, that’s very bizarre”, said bioethicist Kerry Bowman from the University of Toronto. “Women will decide for themselves how they want their family to be constructed.” http://www.bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/11088 Australia – Government could recognize multiple parents Australian law could be revised to allow more than two parents, if the “Report On Parentage And The Family Law Act” is accepted. Adoption and new reproduction technologies are placing new strains on what “parent” means in contemporary society. Because of “the evidence of family diversity and children’s views about who is a parent”, the Family law Council has recommended that the word “parent” be replaced by “other significant adults” or “other people of significance to the child” and that references to “both” (which implies only two) parents should be omitted. The report was commissioned by the previous Labor government and was completed last December. http://www.bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/11107 <Back to Top>

Medical Ethics

Iran – Calls for regulation as kidney trade spirals out of control The body overseeing Iran’s kidney trade is lobbying the government for tighter regulation on foreign nationals procuring kidney transplants. According to Mostafa Qasemi, of the Charity Association for the Support of Kidney Patients (CASKP), many foreigners are enter the country with false documentation and procure transplants from unscrupulous doctors. “These patients enter the country with false documents; doctors do not examine their documents and are paid millions to carry out a kidney transplant for them”, he said. Iran is the only nation in which buying and selling of kidneys is legal. The market is regulated by the CASKP and the Ministry of Health’s Charity Foundation for Special Diseases. More than 2,300 kidney transplants are done in the country each year. http://www.bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/11086 USA – What students think about conscientious objection A study in the Journal of Medical Ethics by a group of researchers from the University of Oslo, canvassed the views of 531 fifth and sixth year medical students in Norway. 62{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of said they would object to participating in euthanasia – a surprisingly high proportion considering that the majority of Norwegians are said to support legalising euthanasia. Only between 12.5{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} to 19{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}, said they would object to participating in abortions depending on the stage of pregnancy and disabilities just (4.9{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}) said they would object to referring patients for abortions. Norway has strict regulations on conscientious objection to abortion. Doctors are required by law to refer patients to abortionists, even if they have moral reservations. http://www.bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/11114 USA – Should we compensate organ donors? There are 23,000 people on US organ donation waiting lists but only 29,000 organ transplants took place in 2013. Sally Satel of the American Enterprise Institute said “altruism, as a strategy, is simply not producing enough organs. It needs to be supplemented with compensated donation”. However, Dr. Jeremy Chapman of Sydney’s Westmead Hospital argues the US is better off fixing problems in the current system, rather than abandoning altruism as a basis for donation: “[Many] ignore the hundreds of donated kidneys that must be discarded each year in the United States. They ignore the lessons that can be learned from the successful organ procurement regions of the country that derive twice as many organs per capita as the least successful programs.” http://www.bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/11115 USA – WHO endorses use of untested Ebola treatments The WHO has endorsed using untested Ebola interventions on patients infected with the disease through a 12-member panel of bioethicists. Assistant director-general Marie-Paule Kieny said, “In the particular circumstances of this outbreak, and provided certain conditions are met, the panel reached consensus that it is ethical to offer unproven interventions with as yet unknown efficacy and adverse effects, as potential treatment or prevention.” The two American victims of the virus, as well as Spanish victim Rev. Miguel Pajares, received an experimental anti-ebola drug called ZMapp. Pajares has since died, but the American patients are in a stable condition. Small shipments of Zmapp have arrived in the Liberia for use on infected doctors. http://www.bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/11097 <Back to Top>

Pedophilia

Germany – Study: Onset of pedophilia can be detected Scientists in Germany have confirmed that pedophiles could be scanned and spotted in the near future, as brains of child abusers are oddly tuned to be attracted to children’s faces.” The critical new finding is that face processing is also tuned to face cues revealing the developmental age that is sexually preferred,” says the paper submitted by the team of researchers, led by Dr Jorge Ponseti from Christian-Albrechts University in Kiel, Germany, which has been published in the Royal Society Journal. The study claims that human faces can motivate either a nurturing characteristic or a sexual one, when looking at pictures of children. In the case of pedophiles, their sexual attraction is directed towards children who are sexually novice. http://www.ibtimes.co.in/soon-x-rays-will-be-able-spot-paedophiles-607113 UK – At a glance: Rotherham child sexual exploitation report An estimated 1,400 children were sexually exploited in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013 is among the key findings of an independent report by Professor Alexis Jay into the handling of child sexual exploitation (CSE) by social services and police in the South Yorkshire town. Children were raped by multiple attackers, trafficked to other towns and cities in the north of England, abducted, beaten and intimidated, the report revealed. The report said several staff members were afraid they would be labeled racist if they identified the race of the perpetrators, while others said they were instructed by their managers not to do so. http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-28942986 USA – Virtuous Pedophiles group gives support therapy cannot Mr. Edwards from Pennsylvania, co-founded an online support group called Virtuous Pedophiles. The 330-member group, which is designed to help admitted pedophiles talk through their conditions and curb their desires, is completely anonymous. The Virginia-based National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children fears that sites like these operate merely under the guise of helping pedophiles remain celibate, but instead enable them to trade tips and tricks on how to groom children for sexual purposes. But James Cantor, from Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, calls it a “wonderful organization” that helps a largely invisible group support each other to keep from committing crimes. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/virtuous-pedophiles-group-gives-support-therapy-cannot-1.2710160 <Back to Top>

Pornography

UK- Brash porn act is shaping an unhealthy sexual culture among teens A study, published in the journal BMJ Open, found that some young men weren’t concerned about getting consent for anal sex from young women. According to Dr. Cicely Marston, senior lecturer in social science at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, “The overwhelming feeling from the people who had engaged in anal sex was that it exists in a coercive environment.” Cindy Gallop, founder of MakeLoveNotPorn.com, said, “In the absence of any healthy, accurate, honest, truthful conversation about sex in the real world, young women and men are getting their sex education from porn.” The researchers are pushing for more open discussion with parents and sex educators to help reduce these harmful attitudes. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/relationships/this-brash-porn-act-is-shaping-an-unhealthy-sexual-culture-among-teens/article20084111/ <Back to Top>

Prostitution & Trafficking

Norway – Actual evidence shows the Nordic model works A study commissioned by Norway’s government shows that criminalizing the purchase of sex has decreased trafficking and has not caused violence against women to increase, as some have claimed. Johns have been criminalized in Norway since 2009, following in Sweden’s footsteps. “The nearly 200-page report is based on six months of research, including interviews with male and female prostitutes, police and support organizations. It is no real surprise that organized crime has taken over the trade in places that have legalized. Women and girls are trafficked because there just aren’t enough of them who enter the trade willingly — demand begets exploitation; reduce demand and you reduce exploitation. Meanwhile, claims that legalizing or decriminalizing the purchase of sex would make it safer have not proven to be true and countries like Germany and New Zealand are reconsidering their laws. http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/feminist-current/2014/08/actual-evidence-shows-nordic-model-works Spain – Countries should not include prostitution in their GDP Elena Valenciano, Chair of the Subcommittee on Human Rights of the European Parliament, has asked the European Commission to prevent countries from including prostitution in the calculation of their GDP, as this would be a violation of human rights. Valenciano sharply criticized the European System of National and Regional Accounts of the European Union “which makes it mandatory for countries to include prostitution in their gross domestic product.” https://www.euroweeklynews.com/finance/item/122367-countries-should-not-include-prostitution-in-their-gdp Zimbabwe – ‘Street kids’ turn to prostitution In the Midlands capital of Gweru, most girls who live on the streets have turned to sex work because of the escalating economic challenges facing the country. After suffering repeated abuse from relatives and boys on the streets who took turns to rape her, Elina decided to indulge in sex work. Even though prostitution is not an easy profession, the burden of taking care of her young sister, also presents a serious challenge to the orphan. “Begging does not bring much, so desperation drove me into this,” she said with a muffled voice. http://bulawayo24.com/index-id-news-sc-local-byo-52329.html UK – Swedish prostitution law is spreading worldwide Supporters of the Swedish approach argue that it does not encourage trafficking. In 1999, when Sweden passed a law criminalizing the buying but not the selling of sex, many outsiders were dubious. Norway adopted it in 2008 and Iceland in 2009. Canada’s government recently proposed a version of it. In the Netherlands, where pimping and brothel keeping were legalized, trafficking has increased and the welfare of prostitutes has suffered. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/aug/08/criminsalise-buying-not-selling-sex <Back to Top>

Stem Cells & Cloning

UK – ‘Stem cells show promise in stroke recovery’ Infusing stem cells into the brain may help boost recovery after a stroke, according to a pilot study by Imperial College London. Scientists found most patients were able to walk and look after themselves independently by the end of the 6 month trial, despite having suffered severe strokes. Dr Tim Chico, from the University of Sheffield said: “It is important to understand this is only the very earliest step towards a possible new treatment for stroke and does not prove the stem cell treatment improved these patients’ recovery. “A much larger trial will be needed to compare stem cell treatment with no stem cell treatment. The study is published in Stem Cell Translational Medicine. http://www.bbc.com/news/health-28694656 <Back to Top>

Substance Abuse

Canada – “Medical marijuana” regime is ‘bad medicine,’ CMA head warns The Canadian government’s new marijuana (dagga) regime is “awkward” and “strains the patient-doctor relationship,” said Canadian Medical Association (CMA) head, Dr. Louis Francescutti. Doctors are asked to prescribe a ‘medication’ that hasn’t been put through the rigorous testing process that all other medications on the market are subject to, he said. “It’s just bad medicine to be asked to authorize a product that we don’t know how it works.” Francescutti said. “Where are the studies? We try to base what we do on evidence.” Doctors are facing pressure from patients who insist it helps them, from a burgeoning marijuana industry that is making “outrageous claims” about its benefits, and a regime that calls on doctors to “blindfoldly” prescribe it. http://www.ctvnews.ca/health/medical-marijuana-regime-is-bad-medicine-cma-head-warns-1.1964794#ixzz3B3fepNQ0 USA – Did smoking marijuana give these young men heart attacks? Marijuana smoking is becoming more prevalent,” said Dr. William Abraham, a cardiologist at Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center, “and this does give us an opportunity to better study and better understand what its health consequences are. As awareness grows, so does the information available on the potential dangers of marijuana smoking. In a larger study in France, published this year in the Journal of the American Heart Association, researchers identified 35 cases of cardiovascular complications, amounting to 1.8 percent of all serious side effects from cannabis use reported to a government database. Nine of the patients died. http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/08/21/did-marijuana-smoking-give-these-young-men-heart-attacks/ USA – The Risks of Smoking Pot While Breastfeeding It’s true that few studies have looked at the risks of smoking marijuana while breast-feeding. However, several organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, discourage the use of marijuana by breast-feeding mothers, in part because of concern that the drug may affect the baby’s brain development. What is clear is that the drug can get into breast milk, and into the baby’s body. The active ingredient in marijuana, THC, is fat soluble and can be stored in the fat tissue for quite a while. Any drug that is fat soluble gets into fat [tissue], and breast milk has lots of fat because that’s what’s good for the baby,” said Dr. David Mendez, a neonatologist at Miami Children’s Hospital. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/18/smoking-pot-while-breastfeeding_n_5688853.html Uruguay – people can grow their own pot People in Uruguay who want to grow their own marijuana at home were able to register to do so on Wednesday as the government launched the latest phase in its first-of-its-kind legalisation program. Under a law that went into effect in May, citizens of Uruguay or legal residents who are at least 18 can grow marijuana for personal use if they register. There is a limit of six female plants, with an annual harvest of up to 480g. Uruguay is the first in the world to attempt to regulate the cultivation and sale of marijuana on a nationwide scale. http://www.iol.co.za/news/world/uruguay-s-people-can-grow-their-own-pot-1.1742390#.U_83QdKSzmU <Back to Top> Disclaimer: the views and opinions expressed in these articles do not necessarily reflect those of Doctors for Life International]]>