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

No news today <Back to Top>

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]]>

LIFEalerts 18 August 2014

Abortion USA – Texas abortions down 13{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} due to new law, study says Alternative Medicine No news today Euthanasia Australia – Nitschke suspended from medical register Lithuania – Euthanasia could be option for poor, says health minister HIV/AIDS No news today Homosexuality UN – Human Rights Council Passes Resolution to “Protect the Family USA – All homosexuals should take ARV drugs USA – States against Bills That Seek to Ban Conversion Therapy UK – Stonewall chief targets under-fives IVF & Surrogacy Thailand – Crackdown on surrogacy Medical Ethics USA – Have some American homeless become lab rats? USA – Botched execution sparks outcry Pedophilia UK – ‘Pedophilia is natural and normal for males’ USA – Google ‘reveals user’ over G-mail child abuse images Pornography USA – Planned Parenthood Promoting X-Rated Advice to Underage Girls Prostitution &Trafficking Philippines – Legal prostitution won’t stop HIV, says prostitute Stem Cells & Cloning No news today Substance Abuse USA – Cannabis dependence alters brain’s response to drug paraphernalia USA Welfare Cash for Weed in Colorado USA – FDA to Consumers: Avoid Powdered Caffeine USA – Synthetic marijuana blamed for sickening 15 over 4 days in NYC   Abortion   USA – Texas abortions down 13{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} due to new law, study says Texas abortion facilities will perform nearly 10,000 fewer procedures this year, according to a new study attributing the 13 percent drop to the state’s adoption of some of the tightest abortion restrictions in the country. State Rep. Jeff Leach, R-Plano said “We are reassured and encouraged to hear that 9,200 lives annually are being saved as a result of House Bill 2.” The legislation, which sparked a fierce debate and nationally watched filibuster, banned most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, restricted medical abortions using pills and required doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, among other provisions. http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/politics/texas/article/Study-Abortion-rate-falls-under-new-Texas-law-5642369.php   Alternative Medicine No news today Euthanasia Australia – Nitschke suspended from medical register The Medical Board of Australia has decided to suspend Nitschke after he admitted to supporting Nigel Brayley in his decision to commit suicide, despite not being terminally ill. The board said that Nitschke “presented a serious risk to the health and safety of the public”. Nitschke called the decision “political“ and “a dirty little midnight assassination“ aimed at silencing him.  He has vowed to fight the suspension. Beyond Blue spokesperson Jeff Kennett welcomed the decision, saying, “We cannot allow the debate to start that it’s alright for a 16-year-old, or a 45-year-old, simply because they’re having an off day, to attempt to take their own life. It is not acceptable.” http://www.bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/11066 Lithuania – Health minister: Euthanasia could be option for poor The health minister of Lithuania without making any specific proposals told local media that Lithuania was not a welfare state with palliative care available for all, especially the poor, and that euthanasia might be an option for people who did not want to torment relatives with the spectacle of their suffering. The minister has also raised the idea of euthanasia for children. Dr Andrius Narbekovas, who is both a priest and a doctor, and a member of the Health Ministry’s bioethics commission, told the media: “The Ministry of Health should protect health and life, instead of looking for ways to take life away.” http://www.bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/11071 HIV/AIDS & STI’s No news today <Back to Top> Homosexuality UN – Human Rights Council Passes Resolution to “Protect the Family The Human Rights Council adopted a resolution on “Protection of the Family” with a traditional definition of the family last Thursday. It recognizes the importance of the family for society and individuals, and that countries must strengthen and protect the family. The resolution not only echoes language from the U.N.’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights about the family as the “natural and fundamental unit of society,” it also states that the family is the “natural environment” for the education and development of children. The resolution passed by a comfortable margin, with 26 votes for, 14 against, and 6 abstentions. It was greeted by thunderous applause. http://c-fam.org/en/issues/un-organizations/7900-u-n-resolution-on-the-family-dampens-gay-pride-festivities USA – All homosexuals should take ARV drugs “Rates of HIV infection among men who have sex with men remain high almost everywhere and new prevention options are urgently needed,” said the World Health Organization (WHO). The likelihood of a homosexual who will become infected is approximately 19 times greater than the general population, the agency reported. Female sex workers, WHO estimates, are 14 times more likely to have HIV than other women. So now, for the first time, the WHO is strongly recommending that men who have sex with other men consider antiretroviral medications to help prevent HIV infection. The approach, called pre-exposure prophylaxis, calls for the no inflected to take a preventive pill every day. http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2014/07/14/citing-exploding-hiv-epidemic-who-says-for-first-time-all-gay-men-should-take-antitretroviral-drugs/ USA – States against Bills That Seek to Ban Conversion Therapy While two states have successfully banned conversion therapy for homosexual youth, a majority of state legislatures have voted down bills that would implement such bans after hearing the testimonies of ex-gays who say they’ve benefited from sexual orientation change therapy.  Proposed bans similar to California’s and New Jersey’s laws prohibiting sexual orientation change therapy, or Sexual orientation change efforts for minors have been voted down or withdrawn in Virginia, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, Washington, Ohio, Florida, Wisconsin, Hawaii and Rhode Island. http://www.christianpost.com/news/majority-of-states-are-blocking-bills-that-seek-to-ban-conversion-therapy-for-gay-youth-123953/ UK – Stonewall chief targets under-fives The new chief executive of LGBT activist group, Stonewall, has called for preschool children to be taught to “celebrate” being gay as part of a proposed Government-funded campaign to tackle ‘homophobia’ in schools. Ruth Hunt said she wanted Stonewall to commission a series of books “celebrating difference in all its forms” to encourage under-fives to “think about different families”, including same-sex households. Ms Hunt said that the proposed initiative had the backing of the new Equalities Minister and Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan, who last year voted against the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act. http://www.christianconcern.com/our-concerns/education/new-stonewall-chief-plans-to-target-under-fives-with-gay-propaganda IVF &Surrogacy Thailand – Crackdown on surrogacy An Australian couple who commissioned a surrogate mother abandoned a Down syndrome twin and left him with his impoverished mother. The story of 21-year-old Pattharamon Janbua, who is married with 2 children, emerged as the couple asked her to abort the Down syndrome boy, but she refused. This is “an incredibly sad story,” said Prime Minister Tony Abbott. “I guess it illustrates some of the pitfalls involved in this particular business.” The Thai government plans to ban commercial surrogacy. From now on, the intended parents have to be married, heterosexual and medically infertile, the transaction must be altruistic, and the surrogate must be related to the intended parents. http://www.bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/11083 Medical Ethics USA – Have some American homeless become lab rats? An article written by bioethicist Carl Elliott, “The Best-Selling, Billion-Dollar Pills Tested on Homeless People: How the destitute and the mentally ill are being used as human lab rats” says it all. Elliott investigates in Philadelphia, with a large homeless population, medical schools and pharma companies. He says companies run clinical trials, even for dangerous drugs, cheaper and faster than universities. The companies pay participants and for the destitute and mentally ill, it is money for jam. He writes: “None of the bioethicists or review board managers I spoke to were willing to publicly defend paying mentally ill homeless subjects to take part in clinical trials, although most did not seem especially surprised to hear that the practice was occurring. http://www.bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/11082 USA – Botched execution sparks outcry Joseph Rudolph Wood took almost two hours to die after being injected with midazolam and hydromorphone, a new barbiturate combination being trialled in some US states. “I counted 660 times that he gasped,” said  journalist Michael Kiefer. Shortly after the execution, Arizona governor Jan Brewer issued a statement in which she ordered a full review of the execution process. She was nevertheless adamant that the execution had been lawful and did not involve undue pain. “What happened today to Mr. Wood was an experiment that the state did its best to hide,” Arizona  ACLU Director Alessandra Soler said. The new drugs being used are intended to replace others that pharmaceutical companies now refuse to sell to US correctional facilities. http://www.bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/11067  Pedophilia UK – ‘Pedophilia is natural and normal for males’ The statement that pedophilia is “natural and normal” was made not three decades ago but last July. It was made not in private but as one of the central claims of an academic presentation delivered to many of the key experts in the field at a conference held by the University of Cambridge. The Cambridge University conference, on July last year, was about the classification of sexuality in the DSM. Other presentations included “Liberating the pedophile: a discursive analysis,” and “Danger and difference: the stakes of hebephilia. Unnoticed amid the furore is a much more current threat: attempts, right now, in parts of the academic establishment to push the boundaries on the acceptability of child sex. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/10948796/Paedophilia-is-natural-and-normal-for-males.html USA – Google ‘reveals user’ over G-mail child abuse images Google has revealed the identity of a user after discovering child abuse imagery in the man’s G-mail account. David Drummond, the chief legal officer for Google, has previously said while” there is no simple technology fix “to eradicating images of child abuse online the company is “committed to do everything possible to stop the distribution of this awful content.” http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-28639628 Pornography USA – Planned Parenthood Promoting X-Rated Advice to Underage Girls Another Planned Parenthood clinic has been caught on camera providing X-rated advice to underage girls. Some girls like being “spanked,” “hit,” or “whipped,” said the counsellor. Other instructions ranged from encouraging the minor to read “Kama Sutra” books to watching “educational pornos” online. This is not the stuff of sex education, but rather a disturbing ideology consciously being pushed on our nation’s youth. The Daily Signal previously reported on Planned Parenthood staffers promoting controversial sexual behaviors to minors in Denver, where one counsellor suggested a 15-year-old girl read the erotic novel “Fifty Shades of Grey” and search online “to see kind of how they execute it.” http://www.teaparty.org/another-planned-parenthood-caught-promoting-x-rated-advice-underage-girls-48824/ Prostitution & Trafficking Philippines – Legal prostitution won’t stop HIV, says prostitute Carla Soledad said she is not happy being a prostitute. At the convention of HIV-AIDS experts this week, women were placed in the spotlight after some sectors pushed for the legalization of prostitution as a prescription to stop the spread of HIV. According to Carla she doesn’t know about legalizing prostitution as a way to protect them because they are not supposed to be there in the first place, “Legalizing prostitution is not the solution to decreasing the infection. Are we sending the message to the future generation that selling your body for sex is a viable job? Legalizing prostitution is not the answer.” http://www.ucanews.com/news/legal-prostitution-wont-stop-hiv-says-philippines-sex-worker/71514 Stem Cells & Cloning No news today Substance Abuse USA – Cannabis dependence alters the brain’s response to drug paraphernalia New research from The University of Texas at Dallas, published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence, demonstrated that different areas of the brain activated when dependent and non-dependent users were exposed to drug-related cues. To find this effect, Dr. Francesca Filbey and colleagues conducted brain-imaging scans, called functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), on 71 participants who regularly used marijuana. While being scanned, the participants were given either a used marijuana pipe or a pencil of approximately the same size that they could see and feel. “We found that the reward network is actually being driven by other areas unrelated to reward, like the areas in memory and attention or emotion,” Filbey said. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140716090846.htm USA Welfare Cash for Weed in Colorado For the past six months since legalized cannabis, welfare beneficiaries in Colorado have withdrawn their cash benefits at cannabis (marijuana) retailers and dispensaries at least 259 times, according to a new analysis by National Review Online (NRO). These beneficiaries used their electronic-benefit transfer (EBT) cards to access public assistance, withdrawing a total of $23,608.53 in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) cash, NRO’s examination found. These withdrawals are only a fraction of the more than 500,000 total EBT transactions that have occurred since recreational weed became legal in Colorado. But one wonders how much of that welfare money was also used to buy pot. In 2012, Colorado alone used $124 million in TANF money from the federal government. http://www.nationalreview.com/article/383334/welfare-cash-weed-colorado-jillian-kay-melchior USA – FDA to Consumers: Avoid Powdered Caffeine The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning, suggesting that Americans avoid powdered caffeine. The decision was likely triggered by the death of an 18-year-old Logan Steiner, who accidentally overdosed on the powdered version of the stimulant this May. The FDA is particularly concerned about bulk bags of powdered caffeine being sold over the internet. The product is essentially 100 percent caffeine, with one teaspoon of the substance roughly equivalent to the amount of caffeine in 25 cups of coffee. Even very small amounts can cause an overdose. http://www.fda.gov/food/recallsoutbreaksemergencies/safetyalertsadvisories/ucm405787.htm USA – Synthetic marijuana blamed for sickening 15 over 4 days in NYC Synthetic cannabis is getting New Yorkers dangerously high and making them gravely ill, with more than a dozen people hospitalized in the past few days after smoking the imitation pot, city officials said. The marijuana-like substance has left 15 people with “severe adverse effects” since Thursday, causing reactions including seizures and hallucinations, according to the NYC’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.“K2, Spice, Green Giant — no matter what you call it, synthetic cannabinoids are dangerous and illegal,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett. http://nypost.com/2014/07/27/fake-marijuana-blamed-for-sickening-15-over-4-days-in-yc Disclaimer: the views and opinions expressed in these articles do not necessarily reflect those of Doctors for Life International]]>

LIFEalerts 31 July 2014

LIFEalerts 31 July 2014

Abortion UK – Half of Down syndrome abortions missing from registerIreland – Baby Megan survived a miscarriage and an abortion
Alternative Medicine No news today
Euthanasia Scotland – Rights groups back right to die for childrenUK – Doctors strike back at BMJ editors over assisted suicide stance Netherlands – We were wrong: former regulator of Dutch euthanasia
HIV/AIDS No news today
Homosexuality Paraguay – Nations reject same-sex unionsIreland – Legal committee votes against homosexual marriage Jamaica – Leave homosexuality out of sex education curriculum Singapore – Homosexual penguin book removed from libraries
IVF & Surrogacy Thailand – Couples flock to Thailand for sex selective IVF
Medical Ethics USA – Inducing death to give life – without patient consentUSA – Virginia’s compulsory vasectomy UK – What are the issues in post-mortem sperm retrieval? Australia – Can patients enjoy a life of disability?
Pedophilia UK – Dark net ‘used by tens of thousands of pedophiles’
Pornography UK – Pornography Fuels Addictive Patterns in the Brains of Sex Addicts
Prostitution &Trafficking UK – UN warns Britain over child voodoo, sex tourists
Stem Cells & Cloning Portugal – Nasal growth on woman’s back after treatment
Substance Abuse USA – Black Market Weed Rampant USA – Suboxone being sold on streets UK – Decriminalizing cannabis is ‘misguided’ says UN watchdog UK – Synthetic cannabis ‘not medicinal’, EU top court says
  Abortion UK – Half of Down syndrome abortions missing from register An investigation by the independent National Down’s Syndrome Cytogenetic Register (NDCR), an organisation notified of any Down’s Syndrome diagnoses, has revealed that half of these abortions go unrecorded. They found that out of 994 terminations, only 496 were properly recorded. Out of the 498 missing cases, around 50 had been recorded but alternative reasons given. Fiona Bruce, chairman of the independent parliamentary inquiry into abortion for disability, said it was clear doctors had broken the law: “We now know that nearly half of abortions for Down’s Syndrome were incorrectly recorded. How many doctors were referred for investigation? None.” The Department of Health said they were working with the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists to tighten up the system. http://www.bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/11012 Ireland – Baby survives a miscarriage and an abortion Megan’s mother Michelle was bleeding heavily on her way to the Hospital who confirmed she lost the baby. The devastated mother was prescribed two abortion pills to ensure nothing was left in her uterus that could cause infection. But ten days after the miscarriage, as Michelle was preparing for a final treatment to clear her uterus, medical staffers identified a heartbeat on a scan. She had been pregnant with twins, and one of them had incredibly survived both the miscarriage and abortion. Doctors had missed the second baby on the scans. Megan was born perfectly healthy. The doctor said that in all his 25 years he’d never come across another case like this. http://www.mamamia.com.au/news/baby-survives-miscarriage-and-abortion Alternative Medicine No news today <Back to Top> Euthanasia Scotland – Rights groups back right to die for children Only weeks after taking their cue from Belgium, the Scottish Alliance for Children’s Rights is looking into voluntary euthanasia for youngsters with terminal illnesses. They argue that children have the same rights as adults. Scotland would be in breach of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the child if it denied children with sufficient maturity the right to die. A spokesman for Care Not Killing told the media: “Right-minded people will be baffled that such an idea can be advanced, not least from one organisation purporting to represent the interests of children. Such a monstrous idea should be unthinkable.” http://www.bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/11023 UK – Doctors strike back at BMJ editors over assisted suicide stance The British Medical Journal (BMJ) is editorially independent from the British Medical Association (BMA) but is paid for by the subscriptions of BMA members, most of whom do not support changing the law. They say that the BMJ editors Fiona Godlee and Tony Delamothe are long-time supporters of decriminalizing assisted suicide and have frequently used their editorial position in Britain’s most widely read medical journal to advance their cause. “While autonomy is important it has to be balanced against other principles including public safety. “None of us believes autonomy is absolute, if we did we would have to say that there was no place for law because every single law restricts personal autonomy.” Godlee and Delemothe appear not to understand that autonomy has limits. They are also well out of step with medical opinion and do not speak for the medical profession. http://www.nationalrighttolifenews.org/news/2014/07/doctors-strike-back-at-bmj-editors-over-assisted-suicide-stance/#.U793mNGrl8E Netherlands – We were wrong: former regulator of Dutch euthanasia Theo Boer is professor of ethics at the Protestant Theological University at Groningen. For nine years, he was a Member of a Regional Review Committee. For the Dutch Government. I used to be a supporter of legislation. But now, with 12 years of experience, I take a different view. At the very least, wait for an honest and intellectually satisfying analysis of the reasons behind the explosive increase in the numbers. Is it because the law should have had better safeguards? Or is it because the mere existence of such a law is an invitation to see assisted suicide and euthanasia as normality instead of a last resort? Before those questions are answered, don’t go there. Once the genie is out of the bottle, it is not likely to ever go back in again. http://www.mercatornet.com/careful/view/14424 <Back to Top> HIV/AIDS & STI’s No news today <Back to Top> Homosexuality Paraguay – Nations reject same-sex unions Many Latin American countries rejected recommendations to approve same-sex unions during the Organization of American States General Assembly held in Paraguay. The debate began after Brazil presented a proposition calling all member states to “avoid interference in the private life” of “homosexuals, bisexuals and transsexuals.” Over 47,000 people signed a petition on CitizenGo asking the Organization of American States (OAS) to “defend the dignity of Latin America in presence of the imposition from feminist and homosexual pressure groups.” Several local media outlets expressed concern that homosexual issues raised more attention than human rights violations happening in Cuba and Venezuela. http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/latin-american-nations-reject-gay-agenda-at-international-assembly Ireland – Legal committee votes against homosexual marriage In Finland, attempts to redefine marriage have been defeated by an outright majority three times. The legal affairs committee rejected the same-sex marriage Bill by 10 votes to 6, compared to a 9-8 vote by the same committee in March 2013. Callum Webster, a spokesman for The Christian Institute, commented: “The people of Northern Ireland are clearly opposed to redefining marriage and it’s only the political elite who are trying to force the change on the Province.” http://www.christian.org.uk/news/redefining-marriage-rejected-in-finland-for-second-time/ Jamaica – Leave homosexuality out of sex education curriculum Of 10,400 respondents to a recent Observer Online poll an overwhelming 88 per cent feel that homosexual activities should not be included in sex education programs for schools. The poll results come after revelations that human rights group Jamaicans for Justice (JFJ) implemented in six privately-run institutions for children, a sex education program – ‘Healthy Sexual Growth and Development in Marginalized Youth: Rights, Responsibilities and Life Skills’ – which contained age inappropriate content. In the program, controversial issues surrounding anal penetration and same sex unions were explored. The program sparked a negative response from Youth Minister Lisa Hanna, as her ministry and the Child Development Agency (CDA) said that they were unaware of the program and its content until after its implementation. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/ONLINE-POLL–Leave-homosexuality-out-of-sex-education-curriculum Singapore – Homosexual penguin book removed from libraries Singapore authorities have withdrawn from libraries two children’s books featuring same-sex couples, sparking controversy amid a debate on gay rights in the conservative city-state. Gay sex is illegal in Singapore, and a recent gay rally drew an unprecedented backlash from religious groups. The two books were removed earlier this week after a library user wrote into the National Library Board expressing concern about the books’ content. It has been the subject of intense controversy in the United States, and has consistently made it to the American Library Association’s list of books which receive the most number of removal requests. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-28243356 <Back to Top> IVF &Surrogacy Thailand – Couples flock to Thailand for sex selective IVF Thailand has become the top tourist destination for women seeking gender selective IVF. Hundreds of women from China and Hong Kong travel to Thailand each year, and that number is set to increase. Alfred Siu Wing-fung – just one of a number of Hong Kong health tourism agents – sells ‘gender selection IVF packages’ to about 200 Chinese couples a year and he estimates that about 10,000 gender selection cycles were carried out in Bangkok last year, at an average cost of $15,000 per treatment. The Medical Council of Thailand is campaigning to have the practice banned but in light of recent political instability, the legislative change remains low on the government’s list of priorities. http://www.bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/11057 <Back to Top> Medical Ethics USA – Inducing death to give life – without patient consent A new emergency procedure trialed in the US has bioethicists nervous. Emergency Preservation and Resuscitation involves replacing a trauma patient’s blood with freezing saltwater that stops the heart and lowers body temperature to 10 degrees Celsius. At this temperature doctors have one to two hours to operate before brain damage occurs. The procedure stops rapid blood loss and dramatically slows the onset of brain damage. At normal body temperatures, surgeons typically have less than five minutes to restore blood flow before brain damage occurs. Doctors – not patients will decide whether the procedure will be performed. Some ethicists have expressed reservations about the lack of informed consent although but they recognize the difficulties of obtaining such patient approval. http://www.bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/11011 USA – Virginia’s compulsory vasectomy A petty criminal has been sentenced to 20 months and 5 years probation for driving violations – and a vasectomy. But it was for none of these that prosecutor Ilona White imposed the condition. “It was primarily due to the fact he had seven or eight children, all by different women, and we felt it might be in the commonwealth’s interest for that to be part of the plea agreement,” she explained. The sentence has been called “temporary negative eugenics” and “reproductive coercion”. In 2002, Virginia Governor Mark Warner publicly apologized for the state’s past involvement in eugenics. After nearly a century, perhaps the commonwealth of Virginia has come full circle in its attitude toward eugenics. http://www.bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/11026 UK – What are the issues in post-mortem sperm retrieval? Niklas Evans was assaulted, ended up in a coma and died after 10 days. His mother requested retrieval of her 21-year-old son’s sperm to create a grandchild with a surrogate. Did she and her doctors act ethically in removing sperm from his body without consent? Anna Smajdor, of  East Anglia University, tackles this question in the Journal of Medical Ethics. She writes:  If the person testifying as to the patient’s wishes and providing proxy consent is also the one who stands to gain from the tissue that is made available, there is a clear conflict of interest. She recommends the discretionary authority of the Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority, be rescinded so it cannot permit exporting gametes obtained without consent. http://www.bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/11042 Australia – Can patients enjoy a life of disability? Severe head injuries sometimes require a life-saving procedure called “decompressive craniectomy” where a piece of the skull is removed to allow swelling in the brain to subside. The problem with this is that patients often survive with severe disabilities. However such patients are in no position to give consent to a decompressive craniectomy. Would they give retrospective consent? In other words, are they happy that doctors save their life, even if it unfolds as a life of disability? A team of researchers in Perth interviewed 20 patients who had survived for at least 3 years with an unfavorable outcome and published their results in the Journal of Medical Ethics. Although there were difficulties in getting responses from some of the patients, surprisingly, a majority of them were happy that the operation had been performed and saved their lives. http://www.bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/11035 <Back to Top> Pedophilia UK – Dark net ‘used by tens of thousands of pedophiles’ Pedophiles are using the so-called dark net to trade images of sexual abuse, an investigation by BBC News indicates. The dark net is the term used to refer to parts of the internet that are hidden and can be hard to access without special software. These sites cannot be found using Google or other regular search engines. The threat posed by these kinds of sites has been recognized by governments around the world. But IT experts are divided as to whether it’s possible to create a workable “backdoor” which would allow users to be identified. Several countries’ police forces are working together, under the banner of The Virtual Global Taskforce, to tackle online child exploitation worldwide. http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-27885502   <Back to Top> Pornography UK – Pornography Fuels Addictive Patterns in the Brains of Sex Addicts A recent study from the University of Cambridge found that pornography can fuel activity in the brain that’s linked to drug addiction among sex addicts. Study findings revealed that three brain regions were significantly more active in people with compulsive sexual behavior when they had been exposed to pornography. According to researcher Dr. Valerie Voon, “In many ways, they show similarities in their behavior to patients with drug addictions. We wanted to see if these similarities were reflected in brain activity, too. There are clear differences in brain activity between patients who have compulsive sexual behavior and healthy volunteers. These differences mirror those of drug addicts,” added Voon. “Our research does not necessarily provide evidence that these individuals are addicted to porn – or that porn is inherently addictive. Much more research is required to understand this relationship between compulsive sexual behavior and drug addiction.” More information regarding the findings can be seen via the journal PLOS One. http://www.scienceworldreport.com/articles/15986/20140712/pornography-fuels-addictive-patterns-in-the-brains-of-sex-addicts.htm <Back to Top> Prostitution & Trafficking UK – UN warns Britain over child voodoo, sex tourists According to a UN watchdog Hundreds of children are believed to have been kidnapped in Africa and brought to Britain for brutal voodoo rituals, urging London to do more to combat the scourge. They are used in so-called voodoo rituals, and are also raped and sexually abused. Child trafficking for rituals was part of a wider problem, with thousands of minors brought into Britain every year for sexual exploitation and labor. Meanwhile a national group led by the Home Office interior ministry will look at how the police and other agencies can better identify and combat sexual offending. http://www.news24.com/World/News/UN-warns-Britain-over-child-voodoo-sex-tourists-20140620 <Back to Top> Stem Cells & Cloning Portugal – Nasal growth on woman’s back after treatment An experimental stem cell trial has resulted in a woman developing a nasal growth on her back. In 2006 the woman attended a hospital where tissue containing olfactory stem cells were taken from her nose and implanted in her spine. The hope was that these cells would develop into neural cells and help repair nerve damage in her spine. Eight years later she had a spinal growth removed which was composed of “mostly of cysts lined by respiratory epithelium, sub mucosal glands with goblet cells, and intervening nerve twigs”. The case shows that experimental stem-cell treatment remains risky even when carried out in respectable hospitals. The findings of the investigation were published in the Journal of Neurosurgery. http://www.bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/11059 <Back to Top> Substance Abuse USA – Black Market Weed Rampant Black market marijuana, which many expected to disappear after the substance was legalized, is thriving. It is grown on public land owned by the federal government in the state. Worse it is controlled by Drug Trafficking Organizations. According to the latest information from the U.S. Forest Service marijuana production is booming. The facts are alarming. “By legalizing marijuana in Colorado, we have become the black market for about 40 other states that we can document,” said Tom Gorman, director of the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area. “So instead of eliminating it we have become it. We are also the black market for those under twenty-one.” http://www.mainstreet.com/article/money/investing/black-market-weed-rampant-colorado-public-land?page=1 <Back to Top> USA – Suboxone being sold on streets Suboxone, a popular and highly touted medicine designed to get people off opioids such is increasingly being abused, sold on the streets and inappropriately prescribed, according to doctors and drug control and law enforcement officials. The drug combines buprenorphine, an opioid, and naloxone, which counters the effects of an overdose. Prescriptions for Suboxone and its generic equivalent rose 63 percent in Kentucky between the first quarter of 2012 and the first quarter of this year, to 113,713 from 69,640. Fourteen percent, or 45, of the 330 Kentucky physicians authorized to prescribe buprenorphine “have a history of discipline by the medical board.” http://www.wdrb.com/story/25959578/life-saving-drug-comes-with-warning-concerns UK – Decriminalizing cannabis is ‘misguided’ says UN watchdog Decriminalizing cannabis is a “misguided” initiative and risks people’s long-term health, a UN drugs watchdog has warned. The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), a body monitoring drug treaties criticised moves to weaken drug laws around the world in its annual report. Raymond Yans, the President of the INCB, said: “Drug traffickers will choose the path of least resistance, so it is essential that global efforts to tackle the drug problem are unified.” The INCB’s annual report warned that Colorado’s policy change to allow the commercial sale of cannabis for medical reasons had led to more car accidents involving “drug drivers”. It also noted an increase in adolescent cannabis-related hospital admissions. http://www.christian.org.uk/news/decriminalising-cannabis-is-misguided-says-un-watchdog/ UK – Synthetic cannabis ‘not medicinal’, EU top court says The European Court of Justice (ECJ), the European Union’s top court says designer drugs that mimic cannabis, which are already illegal in many countries, cannot be classed as medicinal. The court says the term “medicinal product” cannot apply to “substances which simply have the effect of modifying physiological functions but are not such as to have any immediate or long-term beneficial effects on human health”. The case arose because two German vendors of synthetic unregulated drugs were convicted for selling unsafe medicinal products. The EJC was asked by Germany’s Federal Court to clarify the classification of such drugs. The case now goes back to the German courts. ECJ rulings are binding across the European Union. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-28243083 Disclaimer: the views and opinions expressed in these articles do not necessarily reflect those of Doctors for Life International]]>

LIFEalerts 27 June 2014

Abortion UK – Abortion doctors may consult via Skype Alternative Medicine South AfricaState to oppose alternative medicine court action Euthanasia Belgium – Five killed in Belgium Every Day as euthanasia soarsSwitzerland – Group to allow assisted dying for not terminally ill elderlyUSA – More patients participating in Washington assisted suicide program HIV/AIDS No news today Homosexuality West Indies – AIDS expert fired for testifying on the harm of homosexualityAustralia – Relationship problems a leading cause of homosexual suicides UK – Psychiatrists in climb-down on ‘born gay’ claimUSA – Texas favors ‘reparative therapy’ for homosexuals IVF & Surrogacy No news today Medical Ethics USA – Should doctors take part in executions?USA – The ethics of preimplantation diagnosisUK – Top employment strategies for discouraging conscientious objectionIsrael – Should we allow organ transplants from HIV positive donors? Pedophilia No news today Pornography USA – Many countries still do not consider child porn a crime Prostitution &Trafficking South Africa – Child prostitute says punish my pimp Stem Cells & Cloning No news today Substance Abuse South Africa – Call to suspend all dagga prosecutionsUSA – Pot patients don’t know what they’re gettingUSA – National study links marijuana use to adverse effectsGhana – Marijuana may affect fertility in young men


  Abortion   UK – Abortion doctors may consult via Skype Doctors will be able to give an opinion by Skype or telephone on whether a woman is eligible for a government funded abortion. New Department of Health guidance states clearly that UK law does not require either of the two doctors who must approve an abortion to have a face-to-face interview with a woman. They must consider her case, but are not required to have personal contact with her. Josephine Quintavalle, of Comment on Reproductive Ethics, was scathing about the new guidance: “A telephone consultation to ensure authorization – presumably with a pro-choice doctor – completely ignores the life-taking nature of abortion, makes a complete mockery of the original Act and would surely not be tolerated in any other branch of medicine.” http://www.bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/10993   Alternative Medicine   South AfricaState to oppose alternative medicine court action Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has been served with legal papers that seek to prove that alternative medicine is safe but a Health Department spokesman said they will oppose the matter. The Health Products Association of SA approached the High Court in Pretoria about new government regulations which they said could wipe 60 percent of products off the shelf. However, Mandisa Hela, registrar at the medicine controls council, told the newspaper that if the market was unregulated, it made it “possible to market unsafe products or products of doubtful efficacy”. Certain products labels did not disclose “unsafe” substances such as yohimbine, teas containing cocaine, and slimming products with dangerous levels of scheduled ingredients. http://www.sowetanlive.co.za/news/2014/05/26/aaron-motsoaledi-served-with-legal-papers-about-alternative-medicine       Euthanasia   Belgium – Five killed in Belgium Every Day as euthanasia soars Figures published in Sudpresse, Belgium’s leading French-speaking newspaper, showed that 1,816 cases of euthanasia were reported in 2013 compared to 1,432 in 2012, an overall increase of 26.8 per cent. ‘You could say that currently there are 150 cases of euthanasia per month in Belgium or, even more telling, five people euthanized a day,’ the newspaper said. Of the total number of cases in 2013, 51.7 per cent were male patients and 48.3 per cent were female. Anti-euthanasia campaigners have argued that safeguards have consistently proved to be meaningless. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2641773/Five-people-killed-EVERY-DAY-assisted-suicide-Belgium-euthanasia-cases-soar-27-cent-year-alone.html   Switzerland – Group to allow assisted dying for not terminally ill elderly A Swiss organisation that helps people take their own lives has voted to extend its services to elderly people who are not terminally ill. Exit added “suicide due to old age” to their statutes at an annual general meeting held over the weekend, allowing people suffering from psychological or physical problems associated with old age to end their life. The move has been criticised by the Swiss Medical Association amid fears it will encourage suicide among the elderly. http://newsok.com/swiss-group-to-allow-assisted-dying-for-elderly-who-are-not-terminally-ill/article/4851326   USA – More patients participating in Washington assisted suicide program The Washington state Department of Health in their annual report shows about 175 people were given lethal doses of medication between January 1 to December 31 in 2013. Participation rose by 43 percent in 2013 from 2012. The 173 prescriptions were written by 89 different physicians and were dispensed by 23 different pharmacists. Those who died after receiving the lethal medications were between the ages of 29 and 95. Following the trend in previous years, many of the patients listed their concern over the loss of independence as the reason for participating. http://www.keprtv.com/news/local/More-patients-participating-in-Washington-assisted-suicide-program-261895601.html       HIV/AIDS & STI’s   No news today       Homosexuality   West Indies – AIDS expert fired for testifying on the harm of homosexuality Professor Brendan Bain, who served as director of the regional coordinating unit of the Caribbean HIV/AIDS Regional Training Network (CHART) at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica, was fired after homosexual activist groups demanded he be removed from his job because of testimony he gave in 2010 in defense of Belize’s sodomy ban. My responsibility as a Public Health practitioner is to assess the cost of behavior, not just to the individual ‘actor,’ but also to the community,” Bain wrote. Bain argued that one such behavior is anal intercourse, which significantly increases the risk not only of HIV/AIDS, but other sexually transmitted diseases and cancer. http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/university-fires-aids-expert-for-testifying-homosexuality-is-bad-for-public/   Australia – Relationship problems a leading cause of homosexual suicides Dr. Delaney Skerrett led a team of researchers from the Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention  in studying suicides in Queensland. He found that a leading cause of suicide among “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex” (LGBTI) people is stress from their romantic partners. “We tend to assume that the psychological distress LGBTI people are often going through is due to family rejection. But it seems that’s not so much the case. The conflict seems to be largely related to relationship problems, with partners,” Dr. Skerrett said. In fact, “The numbers are telling us there’s a general acceptance at the family level.” http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/homosexuals-more-likely-to-commit-suicide-due-to-problems-with-gay-lovers-t   UK – Psychiatrists in climb-down on ‘born gay’ claim In a dramatic policy change, the Royal College of Psychiatrists has altered its position on the nature of same-sex attraction. It now believes that same-sex attraction is not fully determined at birth. According to a new position statement, issued quietly, the Royal College now believes that sexual orientation is “determined by a combination of biological and postnatal environmental factors”. It also rejects the notion that sexual orientation is unchangeable, saying that “it is not the case sexual orientation is immutable”. Instead it recognizes that sexual orientation may vary during someone’s life. http://us2.campaign-archive1.com/?u=bed173cc9adfcad1e0e442a35&id=cbf1acb3e2&e=134f1da7d9   USA – Texas favors ‘reparative therapy’ for homosexuals Texas Republicans have adopted a party platform that includes support for voluntary psychological “therapy” for homosexuals who want to be heterosexual. The measure states that “We recognize the legitimacy and efficacy of counseling, which offers reparative therapy and treatment for those patients seeking healing and wholeness from their homosexual lifestyle. No laws or executive orders shall be imposed to limit or restrict access to this type of therapy.” Spearheading the endorsement is Cathie Adams, president of the conservative Texas Eagle Forum. She stressed that the measure calls for allowing people to choose the treatment. “Nothing is mandatory,” wrote Adams. “If a person chooses counseling, then it should be made available. It’s a freedom issue.” http://www.cnn.com/2014/06/08/us/texas-gop-gay-therapy?sp=fb060914texas1pvodtoplink       IVF &Surrogacy   No news today       Medical Ethics   USA – Should doctors take part in executions? It is unethical for American physicians to participate in executions, according to a commentary in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Robert D. Truog, a bioethicist, I. Glenn Cohen, a law professor, and Mark A. Rockoff, a doctor, all of Harvard University, assert forcefully that “Regardless of whether execution is justified … it must never be perceived as a medical procedure.” The Harvard academics were responding to a study by the Death Penalty Committee of The Constitution Project, a group of eminent lawyers who oppose capital punishment. Recommendation 39 was that doctors should be involved in those executions which do happen in order to ensure that they are humane as possible – even if medical associations object. http://www.bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/10980   USA – The ethics of preimplantation diagnosis An article in the Journal of Medical Ethics argues for a novel, preference based assessment of Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD). Bioethicist Tomasz Żuradzki asserts there are situations where couples have a moral obligation to request PGD, “no matter what moral doctrine [they] subscribe to”. He imagines a situation where embryos have already been prepared for implantation. He departs from the traditional argument of future benefits for the baby to be born; and argues from the perspective of the ‘hypothetical preferences’ of the embryos. We must assume the embryos are rational, and that they would chose to be screened for genetic predispositions. Parents must honour these preferences of embryos, for “we should respect the hypothetical choices of rational agents.” http://www.bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/10977   UK – Top employment strategies for discouraging conscientious objection In a Journal of Medical Ethics article, bioethicist Francesca Minerva argues for limiting the number of conscientious objectors in Italian hospitals. She asserts that conscientious objection “prevents access to certain treatments”, and proposes to set up disincentives for objectors in hospitals such as offering higher salaries for non-objectors and establishing ‘conscientious objector quotas’. In response, Oxford ethicist and theologian Roger Trigg argues that conscientious objection is a necessary part of the practice of medicine: “Once we discount conscientious moral reasoning, medicine is reduced to a technical issue about procedures, without any regard to their effect on the greater human good.” Regarding abortion, he suggests that high rates of conscientious objection might indicate a need to reconsider the original policy. http://www.bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/10989   Israel – Should we allow organ transplants from HIV positive donors? In a controversial article in the Journal of Medical Ethics three Israeli bioethicists from leading academies in Israel, argue there are times when it would be ethically permissible for doctors to transplant organs from HIV positive individuals to uninfected recipients. “If the potential recipient demonstrates full awareness of the risks of receiving an organ from an HIV-positive donor, he or she has the right via the principle of autonomy to accept those risks along with the potential life-saving benefits… to deny patients the right to take on the risk of HIV, when transplantation is the best and often the only recourse available to them, would then be a unique limit on autonomy.” http://www.bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/11006       Pedophilia   No news today       Pornography   USA – Many countries still do not consider child porn a crime During the past seven years a 100 countries have enacted new laws to protect children from child pornography. However, according to the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC), 53 countries still have no law and do not consider child pornography a crime. The number of countries deemed to have sufficient law has climbed from 27 in 2006 to 69 in 2012. Yet, 53 countries still have no law at all that specifically criminalizes child pornography. “The problem of child pornography is widely misunderstood,” said Ernie Allen, President and CEO of ICMEC. “These are crime scene photos, images of a child being sexually abused. Every time these images are traded, distributed or downloaded, the child in the photo is re-victimized. http://www.icmec.org/missingkids/servlet/NewsEventServlet?LanguageCountry=en_X1&PageId=4877       Prostitution & Trafficking   South Africa – Child prostitute says punish my pimp A schoolgirl, who started prostituting herself at 13-years-old for R50 per sexual encounter, said she wanted to see nothing more than her pimp punished. “I am still angry with him. I will never forget what he did [to me] even when I sleep. I would truly like for him to be punished for that”.  She was responding to a question in court about whether she was angry at, the man who allegedly operated a prostitution ring out of Durban’s Inn Town Lodge. Zweni, Dr Genchen Rugnath, Rugnath’s wife Ravina, Nonduzo Dlamini, and Bhabha Dubazini are accused of running a brothel using girls as young as 12. They have pleaded not guilty to 156 charges, including assault, rape, sexual exploitation of a child, and racketeering. http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/Child-prostitute-Punish-my-pimp-20140530       Stem Cells & Cloning   No news today       Substance Abuse   South Africa – Call to suspend all dagga prosecutions The Western Cape High Court is to decide on an application to stay the prosecutions of people facing dagga-related charges. The applicant, Jeremy Acton, leader of the Dagga Party of SA, was in court when Judge Nolwazi Boqwana heard argument on Friday. Acton asked that the court order a temporary halt to the prosecution of people across the country facing charges over dagga possession or dealing pending the outcome of a legal challenge against the legislation that criminalises dagga. Thomas Bokaba, SC, for the Directorate of Public Prosecutions, argued that the effect of such a “far-reaching” order would be the “decriminalisation” of dagga. http://www.iol.co.za/news/crime-courts/call-to-suspend-all-dagga-prosecutions-1.1693751#.U6qbC9KSzmU   USA – Pot patients don’t know what they’re getting Testing shows that marijuana strains are not what they purport to be in name, chemical content and genetics. Jessica Tonani, CEO of Verda Bio, a small Seattle biotech company, is researching the consistency and variety in so-called ‘medical-marijuana’ strains. One popular strain widely known for its high-Canabanoids (CBD) is called Harlequin. But when Tonani and a leading Seattle lab analyzed 22 samples from various growers and dispensaries, five of them were high in THC and had virtually no CBD. This means people trying to take ‘medicine’ were just getting high instead, perhaps during work time or behind the wheel. “You don’t want a 6-year-old with epilepsy being put on a bus under the influence of a psychedelic chemical,” Tonani said. http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2023759490_pottestingxml.html   USA – National study links marijuana use to adverse effects An analysis of studies on the effects of marijuana use published in the New England Journal of Medicine establishes that the drug can reduce teens’ IQ, impairs driving, and that today’s version is more potent than in the past. The review, authored by scientists from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), links the drug to several significant adverse effects including addiction. Research shows that marijuana impairs critical thinking and memory functions during use and that these deficits persist for days after using. “Physicians in particular can play a role in conveying to families that early marijuana use can interfere with crucial social and developmental milestones and can impair cognitive development,” said lead author and NIDA Director Dr. Nora Volkow. http://www.themorningsun.com/general-news/20140604/national-study-links-marijuana-use-to-adverse-effects   Ghana – Marijuana may affect fertility in young men If you’re a cannabis user and you’re trying for a baby … stop.” This advice comes from Dr. Allan Pacey, senior lecturer in andrology at the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom and lead author of a new study that suggests using marijuana could increase a man’s risk of fertility problems. The study, published in the journal Human Reproduction, looked at how a man’s lifestyle affects his sperm morphology: the size and shape of sperm. Researchers collected data from 1,970 men who provided semen as part of a fertility assessment. http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/health/artikel.php?ID=312079       Disclaimer: the views and opinions expressed in these articles do not necessarily reflect those of Doctors for Life International]]>

LIFEalerts 28 May 2014

Abortion UK – Ireland women not entitled to free NHS abortions in EnglandUSA – Missouri lawmakers approve 72-hour waiting periodUSA – With New Bill, Abortion Limits Spread in South Alternative Medicine South Africa – Herbal remedies can be toxic: researcher Euthanasia UK – TV personalities agree to assisted death pactBelgium – Belgian doctor shows where the slippery slope ends HIV/AIDS No news today Homosexuality USA – Syphilis Cases Climbing Among homosexual menUSA – Conversion therapy bans stall across the nationUSA – Judge to be impeached after homosexual marriage ruling South Africa – Lifting of ban on homosexuals donating blood IVF & Surrogacy USA – Older infertile couples should try in vitro fertilization first Medical Ethics UK – Concern over new medical experimentation billUK – Conscientious objectors barred from qualification in UK Pedophilia Germany – Pedophile brains ‘abnormally tuned to children’ Pornography USA – Porn magazines to be banned from military basesUSA – The truth about the porn industryUSA – Porn is a public health issue Prostitution &Trafficking Canada – Use provincial laws to fight prostitution Stem Cells & Cloning USA – Controversy over cardiac stem cells could sink “heart failure cure”USA –  bioethics commission calls for ethics education in neuroscience Substance Abuse USA – Synthetic Marijuana Hospitalizes 45 in TexasUSA – Recreational Marijuana May Be Linked To Brain ChangesUSA – WHO says alcohol killed 3.3 million in 2012 USA – Marijuana Legalization In States Making Waves At UN


Abortion

UK – Ireland women not entitled to free NHS abortions in England

Women from Northern Ireland are not legally entitled to free abortions on the NHS in England, the High Court in London has ruled. The case was brought by a 15-year-old girl and her mother who live in Northern Ireland. Unlike the rest of the UK, abortion is only allowed in very restricted circumstances in Northern Ireland. More than 1,000 women each year travel from NI to have an abortion in other parts of the UK. Because Northern Ireland is not covered by the 1967 Abortion Act, which applies in the rest of the UK, the judge, Mr Justice King, has ruled this was not a discrimination issue.

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-27325363

USA – Missouri lawmakers approve 72-hour waiting period

Missouri’s Legislature gave final approval Wednesday to legislation requiring a woman to wait three days after first seeing a doctor before having an abortion. The measure would triple Missouri’s current 24-hour waiting period and put the state in line with Utah and South Dakota as the only states to mandate a 72-hour time frame. The House voted 111-39 in favour of the measure Wednesday. Under both current law and the new legislation, Missouri’s abortion waiting period doesn’t apply in instances deemed by a doctor to be a medical emergency. But women do have to wait in cases of rape and incest.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/05/15/missouri-lawmakers-pass-3-day-abortion-wait-period/

USA – With New Bill, Abortion Limits Spread in South

The Louisiana State Legislature has passed a bill that could force three of the state’s five abortion clinics to close, echoing rules passed in Alabama, Mississippi and Texas, and raising the possibility of drastically reduced access to abortion across a broad stretch of the South. The new rules passed by Republican legislatures require that doctors performing abortions must have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. Abortion providers and many medical experts call the requirement a thinly disguised effort to shut down clinics and undermine the right to abortion under Roe v. Wade. The Louisiana House of Representatives passed the legislation by an 88-to-5 vote. The bill passed the State Senate last week.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/22/us/politics/new-bill-spreads-abortion-limits-in-south.html?hpw&rref=us&_r=0

Alternative Medicine

South Africa – Herbal remedies can be toxic: researcher

A researcher has revealed that some herbal remedies can contain very toxic elements. “The toxic constituents are capable of causing adverse health effects when consumed, for instance, there are some plant species that contain cardiac glycosides that causes heart problems in humans,” says Salmon Adebayo, a Doctoral Degree candidate at the Tshwane University of Technology. A Ugandan study published in the online journal Plos One, found that “traditional herbal medicine use was independently associated with a substantial increase in significant liver fibrosis in both HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected study participants.” Adebayo’s presentation revealed that more than 80{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of South Africans use herbal remedies for their primary healthcare needs.

http://www.timeslive.co.za/lifestyle/2014/05/12/herbal-remedies-can-be-toxic-researcher

Euthanasia

UK – TV personalities agree to assisted death pact

Two TV personalities Judy Finnigan and husband Richard Madeley have said they have agreed to an assisted death pact should one of them fall seriously ill. This, even though these headline-grabbing comments go against advice of organizations like the World Health Organisation, which says that discussions about suicide and assisted suicide need to be handled very carefully, to prevent taking your own life or helping someone to die appear normal. Changing the law so you can kill a loved one, or be killed would put many vulnerable people at risk who might be pressured into ending their life, because they might feel that they had become either a care or financial burden.

http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-27371266

Belgium – Belgian doctor shows where the slippery slope ends

Dr Wim Distelmans, is organizing an instructional tour to Auschwitz, the Nazi extermination camp in October, according to him, an ‘inspiring’ surrounding in which to ‘clarify confusion about euthanasia’. What it does show is how little distance there is between Belgian euthanasia in 2014 and Nazi death camps in 1944. Linking the right to die and the Nazis is a no-no in most circles. In fact, they lost their arguments as soon as they mention the word “Nazi”. Dr Kevin Fitzpatrick the Director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition Europe and a leader of Not Dead Yet UK, and Dr Tom Mortier, replied, ‘we have never, ever, linked him to the atrocities, the inhumanity, and the repellent euphemisms of the Nazi era. He has done this all by himself.’

http://www.mercatornet.com/careful/view/14082

HIV/AIDS & STI’s

No news today

Homosexuality

USA – Syphilis Cases Climbing Among homosexual men

Cases of the sexually transmitted disease, once almost eliminated in the United States, have more than doubled among men who have sex with men (msm) since the year 2000, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “We are very concerned about what we consider this rising epidemic of syphilis among msm,” said Dr. Gail Bolan, director of the CDC’s division of STD prevention. “This is a consistent, disturbing trend.” In 2000, the year with the fewest cases of syphilis, there were 6,000 cases nationwide. In 2013, there were more than 16,000 cases of syphilis, 91 percent of these in men. “We haven’t seen case numbers like that since back in the ’90s,” Bolan said.

http://www.webmd.com/sexual-conditions/news/20140509/syphilis-cases-climbing-among-gay-men-cdc

USA – Conversion therapy bans stall across the nation

A movement to ban the controversial practice of “conversion therapy” that counsels homosexual children and teens on how to become straight is meeting with unexpected problems. Christopher Doyle, a licensed clinical professional counselor who supports sexual orientation change efforts, said the bills were losing because of coordinated efforts by ex-gays. They are also arguing that there can’t be a scientific basis for the claim that the therapy is harmful to children since “there is actually not one study” on sexual orientation change efforts and the impact on minors, Mr. Doyle said.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/may/4/gay-conversion-therapy-bans-stall-across-the-natio/

USA – Judge to be impeached after homosexual marriage ruling

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee a former presidential candidate and staunch social conservative, called on the state’s current governor, Mike Beebe (D), to call a special session of the state legislature to remove Judge Christopher Piazza from office who struck down the homosexual marriage ban that he signed into law 17 years ago. ” Huckabee asserted, Piazza “decided that he is singularly more powerful than the 135 elected legislators of the state, the elected Governor, and 75 percent of the voters of the state. Huckabee also blasted Piazza for issuing his ruling after the close of business Friday, which made “it impossible for the attorney general or other attorneys to file for an immediate stay of his overreaching decision.”

http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/205887-huckabee-wants-judge-impeached-after-gay-marriage-ruling

South Africa – Lifting of ban on homosexuals donating blood

In the past, homosexual men were seen as being at high risk of being infected with HIV and could only donate blood to SANBS if they had been celibate for six months or longer. The policy made in 2006 was widely criticised as discriminatory, unfairly targeting homosexual men while allowing heterosexual people who engaged in equally risky or casual sex to donate. Vanessa Raju, SANBS Communications Manager, confirmed that the non-discriminatory policy had been put in place that favors people in monogamous relationships, regardless of sexuality.

http://www.timeslive.co.za/local/2014/05/21/south-africa-lifts-ban-on-gay-men-donating-blood

IVF &Surrogacy

USA – Older infertile couples should try in vitro fertilization first

Middle-aged couples who want to have a baby but are having trouble conceiving should go straight to in vitro fertilization (IVF), skipping other types of fertility treatment, a new clinical trial recommends. Researchers found that women aged 38 and older were more than twice as likely to become pregnant through IVF within their first two cycles of treatment than if they used oral or injectable fertility drugs. They also were twice as likely to have a successful birth from that pregnancy. These findings should cause insurance officials to reconsider their refusal to cover IVF, given that pregnancy occurs more rapidly with IVF and with fewer complications, said Dr. Tomer Singer, a reproductive endocrinologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

http://www.myfoxaustin.com/story/25443503/older-infertile-couples-should-try-in-vitro-fertilization-first#ixzz31DKS0sWf

Medical Ethics

UK – Concern over new medical experimentation bill

Experts are seriously alarmed at the new Medical Innovation Bill, intended to allow doctors greater freedom to experiment on dying patients. Legal philosopher Jaquline Laing concludes: “In short, medical experimentation on patients is mainstreamed while no clear conditions as to what would constitute degrading and inhuman treatment are anywhere outlined. Indeed, the very possibility of degrading and inhuman treatment is not considered, whether in the language of the bill or in any preamble, and safeguards nowhere outlined.” The Academy of Royal Medical Colleges is opposing the bill on similar grounds. They argued that the prudential requirements set out by the bill were too lax, and furthermore that the bill could turn medical innovation into an individual activity.

http://www.bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/10943

UK – Conscientious objectors barred from qualification in UK

The UK Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has barred doctors and nurses from qualifications if they refuse to prescribe or administer contraceptives. Dr. Peter Saunders, head of the Christian Medical Fellowship, said,  “If you look at non-Catholic Christians there would be many who may have no objection to contraception and see it as responsible behaviour but who draw the line at prescribing contraceptives meant to be taken after fertilization”. David Jones, director of the Anscombe Bioethics Centre in Oxford, said, “This is a form of unjust discrimination against professionals on the basis of their personal beliefs and, indirectly, a form of discrimination against patients who share the same beliefs and who may wish to be treated by professionals with a sympathetic understanding of their position.”

http://www.bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/10945

Pedophilia

Germany – Pedophile brains ‘abnormally tuned to children’

The brains of pedophiles are abnormally “tuned” to be attracted to the faces of children, according to a study conducted by Dr Jorge Ponseti from Christian-Albrechts University in Kiel, Germany. 56 male brains were scanned by scientists, including 24 pedophiles, while they looked at photos of men, women, boys and girls faces. The same face and sexual processing regions of the brain were stimulated when adults saw photos of men and women and when pedophiles looked at images of children. The findings confirmed previous research showing that human face processing reflects sexual preferences. However, the study found no reason as to why pedophile brain’s preferred children.

http://www.itv.com/news/2014-05-21/paedophile-brains-abnormally-tuned-to-children/

Pornography

USA – Porn magazines to be banned from military bases

Morality in the Media has demanded the Pentagon take pornography magazines off the shelves at military bases because they are ‘sexually exploitative’. Also, military wives have complained that easy access to porn at bases is breaking up their marriages because their husbands come back from deployment addicted to porn. Pornography is sexually exploitative and the military has a sexual exploitation problem, according to deputy executive director for Morality in Media, Casey Capozzoli. Selling sexually explicit material on base is against the law, according to the Military Honor and Decency Act, passed in 1996. The Department of Defense Appropriations Bill 2014, to be released in June, directs military officials to start the process of pulling the magazines off the shelves.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2353643/Porn-magazines-set-banned-military-bases-servicemens-wives-claim-causes-marriage-break-ups.html#ixzz31xkHy9w2

USA – The truth about the porn industry

Gail Dines, an academic and author of an explosive new book about the sex industry, ‘Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked Our Sexuality’, interviewed a number of men in prison who had committed rape against children. All were habitual users of child pornography. They all said that they got bored with ‘regular’ porn and wanted something fresh. They were horrified at the idea of sex with a prepubescent child initially but within six months they had all raped a child. Child porn has increased significantly in popularity in recent years, with almost 14m internet searches for “teen sex” in 2006, an increase of more than 60{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} since 2004.

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2010/jul/02/gail-dines-pornography

USA – Porn is a public health issue

The Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation is looking at pornography as a complex social problem that should be framed as a public health issue. Dawn Hawkins of Morality in the Media says porn sites get more visitors per month than Netflix, Amazon and Twitter combined. A third of all downloads contain porn and the Internet hosts 4.2 million porn websites. Porn is without doubt the most powerful form of sex education today, with studies showing the average age of first viewing porn is between 11 and 14. According to Mary Anne Layden of the University of Pennsylvania, who specializes in sexual trauma, pornography has been a factor in every case of sexual violence that she has treated as a psychotherapist.

http://www.iol.co.za/lifestyle/love-sex/sex/porn-is-public-health-issue-1.1689487#.U348jdiKCUk

Prostitution & Trafficking

Canada – Use provincial laws to fight prostitution

The federal government is expected to introduce amendments to the Criminal Code soon that will revamp the current law, by targeting pimps and johns but exempting prostitutes from prosecution.  A different approach to the problem is needed and if prostitution is to be eradicated, it must also be fought at the provincial level because provincial laws move faster, have fewer procedural impediments, and could pose a far more immediate threat to the sex-trade industry if properly deployed.  We need to stop regarding prostitution as an issue that can only be addressed by the federal government and with tougher criminal laws. A more coordinated approach, using existing provincial laws, could go a long way to reducing the problem.

http://www.westmanjournal.com/article/20140507/BRANDON0304/140509981/-1/BRANDON/use-provincial-laws-to-fight-prostitution

Stem Cells & Cloning

USA – Controversy over cardiac stem cells could sink “heart failure cure”

An experimental treatment led by Dr Piero Anvera using cardiac stem cells to regenerate heart tissue which was heralded as a revolutionary breakthrough and as a “heart failure cure” in The Lancet, has been retracted, with The Lancet issuing “an expression of concern” about the much-cited paper. “This notice of concern, coupled with the recent retraction, is extremely troubling because of the large number of clinical trials inspired by reports from this group, the many desperate patients potentially affected, and the large amount of federal and private money that has been diverted from other areas of promising research to pursue these ideas,” Professor Jonathan Epstein, of the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine commented.

http://www.bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/10960

USA –  bioethics commission calls for ethics education in neuroscience

Calling for the integration of ethics into neuroscience, the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues released the 1st of 2 volumes on the ethics of brain research. The commission’s deliberations were shaped by a number of high-profile ethical disasters such as the fad for transorbital lobotomy, a psychosurgical procedure which cured “delusions, obsessions, and nervous tensions. As Chairperson, Amy Gutmann, of the University of Pennsylvania wrote in the Chronicle of Higher Education: “By integrating ethics into neuroscience research early and thoroughly, we can avoid the need for a future bioethics commission to perform a painful postmortem on the Brain Initiative. Ethics in science must not come to the fore for the first time after something has gone wrong.”

http://www.bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/10970

Substance Abuse

USA – Synthetic Marijuana Hospitalizes 45 in Texas

During a 48-hour period over a weekend, 30 people in Dallas were admitted to local hospitals for reportedly overdosing on a synthetic marijuana product known as K2. An APD spokesman said in Texas there is an ongoing investigation into the most recent string of what he called “overdoses.” “This is the first time we’ve seen synthetic marijuana overdoses in ‘mass’ quantities like this. We need to figure out where this stuff is coming from.” Dr. James E’tienne, an emergency physician at Baylor University Medical Center, told Dallas media outlet WFAA-TV, “Several of [the patients] came in with similar symptoms of psychosis, altered mental status, abnormal behavior–ranged from very sedated to an agitated state.

http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-Texas/2014/05/05/Synthetic-Marijuana-Hospitalizes-45-Smokers-In-Texas

USA – Recreational Marijuana May Be Linked To Brain Changes

New research reports that for each additional joint a person smokes per week, the greater the odds of structural changes to areas involved in motivation, reward, and emotion. “This study raises a strong challenge to the idea that casual marijuana use isn’t associated with bad consequences,” said study author Hans Breiter, psychiatry and behavioral sciences professor at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and psychiatrist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. “Some of these people only used marijuana to get high once or twice a week. People think a little recreational use shouldn’t cause a problem, if someone is doing OK with work or school. Our data directly says this is not the case.

http://ballardcoalition.org/even-recreational-marijuana-may-linked-brain-changes-alice-walton/

USA – WHO says alcohol killed 3.3 million in 2012

More than 3 million people died from using alcohol in 2012, for reasons ranging from cancer to violence. More needs to be done to protect populations from the negative health consequences of alcohol consumption, said Oleg Chestnov, a WHO expert on chronic disease and mental health. He added there was “no room for complacency”, warning that drinking too much kills more men than women, raises people’s risk of developing more than 200 diseases, and killed 3.3 million people in 2012. Poorer people are generally more affected by the social and health consequences of alcohol, he said.  More also needed to be done to raise awareness of the damage alcohol can do to people’s health.

http://www.iol.co.za/news/world/alcohol-killed-3-3-million-in-2012-who-1.1686974#.U3Fx0EpZCSB

USA – Marijuana Legalization In States Making Waves At UN

With Washington State and Colorado opening the door to legal recreational marijuana use, a United Nations report has been published which takes issue with this drift towards legalization. This year’s annual report commented on the legalization of marijuana in Colorado which, it says, has increased the number of drugged driving accidents. INCB President Raymond Yans urges national governments to look at drug policy through a wide angle lens. What is best for the health of the country? The science behind medical marijuana is sketchy and is seen by the U.N. group as dangerous to public health. Although the U.S. has permitted states to approve marijuana for medical use there is no solid research showing it to have legitimate medical applications.

http://www.addictiontreatmentmagazine.com/addiction/drug-abuse/marijuana-legalization-in-u-s-states-making-waves-at-the-u-n/

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

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