WMA DECLARATION ON EUTHANASIA AND PHYSICIAN-ASSISTED SUICIDE

Adopted by the 70th WMA General Assembly, Tbilisi, Georgia, October 2019

The WMA reiterates its strong commitment to the principles of medical ethics and that utmost respect has to be maintained for human life. Therefore, the WMA is firmly opposed to euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide.

For the purpose of this declaration, euthanasia is defined as a physician deliberately administering a lethal substance or carrying out an intervention to cause the death of a patient with decision-making capacity at the patient’s own voluntary request. Physician-assisted suicide refers to cases in which, at the voluntary request of a patient with decision-making capacity, a physician deliberately enables a patient to end his or her own life by prescribing or providing medical substances with the intent to bring about death.

No physician should be forced to participate in euthanasia or assisted suicide, nor should any physician be obliged to make referral decisions to this end.

Separately, the physician who respects the basic right of the patient to decline medical treatment does not act unethically in forgoing or withholding unwanted care, even if respecting such a wish results in the death of the patient.

WMA DECLARATION ON EUTHANASIA

DFL member Dr de Vos takes a stand against abortion and then gets charged by HPCSA for misconduct.”

Please read the following articles about Dr de Vos:

SOWETAN LIVE

A hearing by the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) against an anti-abortion doctor got off to a rocky start and had to be temporarily adjourned on Tuesday in Cape Town. Jacques de Vos, 32, is facing charges of unprofessional conduct and was prohibited from practising medicine due to his views on abortion. READ MORE

EYEWITNESS NEWS

A doctor, prohibited from practising medicine over his views on abortion, will face the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) on Tuesday. Doctor Jacques de Vos reportedly believes abortion constitutes the killing of an unborn human being. De Vos was a medical intern at 2 Military Hospital in Wynberg when he made the utterance to a patient. He was then fired more than two years ago. READ MORE

IOL NEWS

An intern doctor and anti-abortionist appeared before a disciplinary hearing yesterday for allegedly dissuading a pregnant woman from terminating her pregnancy and likening it to the “killing of a human being”. READ MORE

ALGOA FM

A former military hospital doctor will appear before a disciplinary inquiry in Cape Town on Tuesday after being barred from practising as a doctor. Dr Jacques De Vos, who was a medical intern at 2 Military Hospital, was suspended two years ago after advising a patient that abortion is the killing of an unborn human being. READ MORE

DOCTOR CHARGED FOR ADVISING THAT UNBORN BABIES ARE HUMAN

Former Military Hospital doctor, Dr Jacques de Vos, has been charged by the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) for advising that abortion is the killing of an unborn human being. Dr De Vos, who is a member of Doctors For Life International (DFL) will finally be able to respond to charges after waiting more than two years since being barred from practicing as a doctor.

Dr De Vos was a medical intern at 2 Military Hospital when he was suspended from the gynaecology rotation and refused to be signed off. As a result, Dr De Vos has also been prevented from commencing his community service year, effectively barring him from practicing medicine in South Africa for the past two years. Despite numerous efforts by Dr De Vos and his legal team, Dr De Vos has not received any assistance from the SA Military Health Service or the HPCSA to continue with his career.

Adv Keith Matthee SC, instructed by De Wet Wepener Attorneys, will represent Dr De Vos when he appears before a six-member panel disciplinary enquiry scheduled for 27 and 28 August 2019 in Cape Town. This case is likely to attract great interest in the medical community as healthcare practitioners such as Dr De Vos are often victimized and discriminated against for upholding the sanctity of life for unborn children and for advising women of the adverse effects of abortion on the mother of the unborn child.

The hearings are open to the public. The venue is yet to be confirmed by the HPCSA.

For more information, contact Martus de Wet of De Wet Wepener Attorneys at 057 004 0004 or [email protected]

LIFEalerts 10 November 2016

Abortion USA – Pro-Abortionists Oppose Law to Bury or Cremate Aborted babies USA – Are third trimester abortions for real? Alternative Medicine Vietnam – Dubious herbal medicines harm kidneys USA – Study finds cranberries ineffective against urinary infections Euthanasia USA – Washington, D.C Approves Physician-Assisted Suicide IVF& Surrogacy No news today Medical Ethics EU – European regulator to release all data from clinical trials Japan – What if we could make eggs and sperm from skin cells? UK – Power to the patient: new consent regulations USA – WHO to create universal right to a child Pedophilia China – Child bride alarms for Chinas gender imbalance Indonesia – President to ‘wipe out pedophilia’ with chemical castration UK – Brains of pedophiles who abuse are different Turkey – Introduction chemical castration for sex offenders Pornography UK – 13,000 request help to quit child sex abuse images in one year Ireland – Taoiseach in call for national debate on pornography Same SexAttraction USA – North Carolina loses jobs due to LGBT law China – No guarantee on same-sex vote SexualExploitation Qatar – Country to set up committee that fights human trafficking USA – Hair salons join in the fight against human trafficking Germany – Letter to UN women South Africa – Human trafficking on the rise in Northern Cape Substance Abuse USA – A FAAH Better Thing for Cannabis Users South Africa – Alarming drug statistics USA – Pot Smokers Face a Higher Risk of Drinking Problems UK – Professor: Get addicts off heroin rather than open shooting gallery

Abortion

USA – Pro-Abortionists Oppose Law to Bury or Cremate Aborted babies Pro-abortion activists flocked outside the office of the Health and Human Services in Texas to oppose the state’s proposed rule to bury or cremate aborted babies. Pro-Choice activists claimed the state is attempting to deny access to abortion. Presently, aborted babies are thrown away like rubbish. They are sometimes incinerated or dumped in a sanitary landfill. Health commission spokesman Bryan Black said the new regulations are meant to keep the “human dignity” of aborted babies. Activists claimed the new rule would increase costs of procedures and hinder those that want the abortion. However, health spokeswoman Carrie Williams said the new rule will offset costs currently being spent by facilities that transport, store, incinerate, and/or landfill disposal. http://www.gospelherald.com/articles/67566/20161028/pro-abortion-activists-oppose-texas-proposed-law-to-cremate-or-bury-aborted-fetuses.htm USA – Are third trimester abortions for real? Former abortion clinic director turned pro-life advocate, Abby Johnson, confirmed that late-term abortion is legal and performed up until birth in the U.S. Johnson exposes the lie of those who defend late-term abortion as only done in cases of terminal diagnoses, either of the mother or baby. Johnson said that late-term abortion is done for any reason as long as the mother checks a box on her chart saying it affects her ‘life or health.’ No proof is needed.  Many obstetricians noted that late-term abortion is never necessary to save the life of the mother. A medical induction may be necessary, but never an abortion. https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/are-third-trimester-abortions-for-real-yes-about-18000-per-year-in-u.s.-abb <Back to Top>

Alternative Medicine

Vietnam – Dubious herbal medicines harm kidneys Patients with chronic kidney failure are putting their lives at risks when they use herbal medicines of unclear origins. Speaking at a conference on drug quality and origin control last month, Truong Quoc Cuong, head of the Drug Administration of Vietnam under the Health Ministry, announced that traditional herbal medicines of poor quality dominated the domestic market. Pham Vu Khanh, head of the Traditional Medicine Association, said that only 2.3 per cent of herbal medicines consumed in the country are imported with clear origin, which implies rampant smuggling. Traditional medicines should be purchased at certified medical centers in order to reduce health risks. http://english.vietnamnet.vn/fms/societ555 y/165483/dubious-herbal-meds-harm-kidneys.html USA – Study finds cranberries ineffective against urinary infections Another folk medicine remedy bites the dust. Cranberry capsules didn’t prevent or cure urinary infections in nursing home residents in a study challenging persistent unproven claims to the contrary. The new study led by Dr Manisha Juthani-Mehta, a Yale University infectious disease specialist, published online in the Journal of the American Medical Association, used rigorous methods and the results are convincing, according to a journal editorial. People who think they have a urinary infection should avoid cranberry products “in place of proven treatments for infections”, according to the National Institutes of Health alternative medicine branch. http://www.health24.com/Medical/Kidney-and-bladder/News/study-finds-cranberries-ineffective-against-urinary-infections-20161031 <Back to Top>

Euthanasia

USA – Washington, D.C Approves Physician-Assisted Suicide The Washington, D.C council approved the law by 11-2 votes although it still has to be passed into law, with the dissenters requesting their names be recorded. Physician-assisted suicide is also legal in California, Washington State, Vermont, Oregon and Montana. http://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/health/2016/october/fmr-olympian-scott-hamilton-leaning-on-god-after-3rd-brain-tumor-detected-nbsp <Back to Top>

IVF&Surrogacy

No news today <Back to Top>

Medical Ethics

EU – European regulator to release all data from clinical trials The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is implementing a policy of publishing all clinical data it receives from pharmaceutical companies, to promote transparency in clinical trials. The EMA intends to release all Clinical Study Reports applications since 1 January 2015. The policy, adopted in 2014, “will benefit academic research and the practice of medicine as a whole”, says EMA executive director Guido Rasi. The policy shift comes in the wake of an ongoing campaign by lobbyists to have all trials registered and results reported. Some 700 medical and patient organizations had lobbied for data release under the AllTrials campaign. The US branch of AllTrials is actively lobbying the Food and Drug Administration to adopt a similar policy to the EMA. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/european-regulator-to-release-all-data-from-clinical-trials/12052 Japan – What if we could make eggs and sperm from skin cells? Reproductive biologist Katsuhiko Hayashi and team from Kyushu University in Japan have managed to create eggs from the skin cells of mice, and have used the eggs to produce several new mice. They reprogrammed the skin cells into to embryonic-like stem cells and then into primordial germ cells which give rise to gametes – which are used to form mature eggs, which can then be inseminated with sperm and brought to term. While scientists say it will be several years before anyone creates “oocyte-like” human eggs, reproductive biologist Azim Surani from the University of Cambridge told Nature, “This is the right time to involve the wider public in these discussions, long before and in case the procedure becomes feasible in humans.” http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/what-if-we-could-make-eggs-and-sperm-from-skin-cells/12054 UK – Power to the patient: new consent regulations The Royal College of Surgeons published new guidelines for surgeons, instructing doctors to make no assumptions about the information a patient might want or need; the patient should decide which risks are material. In 2015 Supreme Court case Montgomery vs Lanarkshire Health Board, seven judges agreed that doctors must tell patients not only what they think they need to know but also the risks that might matter to the patient. Nadine Montgomery, whose son has cerebral palsy, was awarded £5.25m compensation because doctors did not explain the very small risk associated with a normal birth in her case – she is small and a type 1 diabetic. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/power-to-the-patient-new-uk-consent-regulations/12064 USA – WHO to create universal right to a child The World Health Organisation may redefine infertility so everyone who wants a child but cannot will be considered infertile. Dr David Adamson, an American IVF physician said: “The definition of infertility is now written in such a way that it includes the rights of all individuals to have a family, and that includes single men, single women, homosexual men and women. It says an individual’s got a right to reproduce whether or not they have a partner. It fundamentally alters who should be included in this group and who should have access to healthcare.” Currently the WHO defines infertility as “a disease of the reproductive system defined by the failure to achieve a clinical pregnancy after 12 months or more of regular unprotected sexual intercourse”. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/who-to-create-universal-right-to-a-child/12068 <Back to Top>

Pedophilia

China – Child bride alarms for Chinas gender imbalance A pregnant 12 year old Vietnamese girl has shocked China, highlighting the impact of a gender imbalance that is not expected to improve for some time. The girl was a victim of human trafficking, police said. Public prosecutors in Xuzhou said she had been abducted in her home country before being transported to China and sold to a 35-year-old man for $4,465. A cultural preference for sons meant that female babies were aborted and/or abandoned. China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission admitted in 2015 that the country had a serious and widespread gender imbalance and announced that it would ease family planning restrictions to allow all couples to have two children. http://www.cnbc.com/2016/10/12/vietnamese-child-bride-alarms-china-as-official-says-gender-imbalance-to-weigh-for-years.html Indonesia – President to ‘wipe out paedophilia’ with chemical castration Indonesian President Joko Widodo has defended the introduction of chemical castration for pedophiles, saying there can be “no compromise” when it comes to wrestling sex crimes. Widodo introduced a series of tough punishments for child sex offenders in May through an emergency decree, including chemical castration, following an outcry over the fatal gang-rape of a schoolgirl. “In my opinion… chemical castration, if we enforce it consistently, will reduce sex crimes and wipe them out over time,” he said. Indonesia is among other places worldwide which use this method, including Poland and some states in the USA. In 2011 South Korea became the first Asian country to legalise the treatment. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/10/19/indonesian-president-vows-to-wipe-out-paedophilia-with-chemical/ UK – Brains of pedophiles who abuse are different Researchers, led by Dr Christian Kaergel, of University of Duisburg-Essen, suggested their research could help lead to new treatments for pedophilia as they were able to distinguish between offending and non-offending people. Scientists used an MRI scanner to study the brains of 40 Pedophiles and 37 pedophiles that never abused, along with 40 people used as controls. The researchers found “inhibition-related activation” of two areas of the brain; the left posterior cingulate and left superior frontal cortex, in the non-offending group. They wrote in the journal Human Brain Mapping. “Data suggests that heightened inhibition-related recruitment of these areas also decreased amount of commission errors is related to better inhibitory control in pedophiles who successfully avoid offences.” http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/paedophile-brains-difference-child-sex-abusers-those-who-dont-study-a7378911.html Turkey – Introduction chemical castration for sex offenders Turkey has introduced chemical castration to eliminate the sexual drive of convicted pedophiles. The regulation was published in the Official Gazette on Wednesday, 26 July. The regulation also says further punishments will be given to non-compliant convicts. Under the new regulation, sex offenders are obliged to join treatment programmes. They are also barred from approaching areas where their victim works or lives, and cannot work where they would be in contact with children. The regulation won’t apply to under 18’s. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/turkey-chemical-castration-introduced-sex-offenders-laws-a7158486.html <Back to Top>

Pornography

UK – 13,000 request help to quit child sex abuse images in one year According to a leading charity called STOP IT NOW, more than 13,000 people have sought help to stop viewing indecent images of children. A further 1,615 people with concerns about their online behaviour called the charity’s confidential hotline. Constable Bailey said: “Viewing sex images of children is illegal and it is not a victimless crime, children in these images are abused when an image is first taken and repeatedly victimised every time that image is viewed.’’ Founder of Stop it Now, Donald Findlater, said many such men started out looking at adult pornography but ended up looking at pornography of increasingly younger people, including children. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/13500-paedophiles-request-help-stop-looking-children-porn-indecent-images-abuse-a7359881.html Ireland – Taoiseach in call for national debate on pornography Enda Kenny, the Taoiseach (head of government) has called for a national debate on pornography and the effects on young people being exposed. According to Kenny some young minds are being “tainted and even corrupted” by such material. He asked for a national conversation about what is important for their children and what a priority is for their children. Mr Kenny stated the matter is part of their agenda for a better and caring Ireland where kids can deal with these things when they come across them. His comments were welcomed by the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. https://www.rte.ie/news/2016/1026/827139-pornography-debate/ <Back to Top>

Same Sex Attraction

USA – North Carolina loses jobs due to LGBT law North Carolina’s law bans transgender people from using the bathroom and prevents municipalities from protecting LGBT people from discrimination. Because of this PayPal backed out of a 400-job expansion and Deutsche Bank froze a 250-job expansion, both companies openly stating they refused to expand in a state with a discriminatory law. They have also lost several prominent sporting events, such as the NBA All-Star Gamevarious NCAA championships, and the ACC championships, each a significant economic impact the state will no longer enjoy. Additionally, there are countless conventions, entertainers, and film companies that have backed out of economic commitments in North Carolina. Numerous states have even banned state-funded travel to the state. https://thinkprogress.org/north-carolina-hb2-costar-backlash-4c80461b815#.g13vfax26 China – No guarantee on same-sex vote No major party has made any commitment to push or allow a floor vote on same-sex marriage, despite claims of support by legislators. Representatives of the Taiwan LGBT Family Rights Advocacy Association met separately with representatives of each of the legislature’s four caucuses. The reality was that some legislators are worried about pressure from their districts, adding that the KMT caucus decided to designate legalization as an “open” issue, allowing lawmakers to vote their conscience. Thirteen legislators are opposed. http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2016/10/27/2003658018 <Back to Top>

Sexual Exploitation

Qatar – Country to set up committee that fights human trafficking Qatar’s cabinet on Wednesday approved a proposal by the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs to set up the human trafficking committee. It will be tasked with devising a national strategy to combat human trafficking in Qatar and preparing an annual report on its efforts in the field. Qatar remains on the US government’s human trafficking ‘watch list’ for the third year running. The 2016 report said that Qatar was making “significant” efforts to tackle the problem but more work needed to be done. http://www.arabianbusiness.com/qatar-set-up-committee-fight-human-trafficking-648868.html USA – Hair salons join in the fight against human trafficking Janai Hunt, the owner of Prime Hair Studios in Lyndhurst along with 100,000 other cosmetologists throughout the state of Ohio, is the latest allies in the fight against human trafficking. More than 1,000 girls and boys, between the ages of 12 and 17, are involved in the sex trade. Last year, Ohio’s state cosmetology board approved a requirement that human-trafficking awareness training become a mandatory part of obtaining a cosmetology license. Part of the training is how to spot potential victims, example: Officials say traffickers take a victim to a hair salon to change appearances to avoid detection. Things a stylist can look out for when a victim is in the chair; victim’s attire, eye contact, and who pays. http://fox8.com/2016/10/11/hair-salons-join-in-the-fight-against-human-trafficking/ Germany – Letter to UN women by scientists Dr. Ingeborg Kraus a psychologist and expert in psychotraumatology and a group of scientists and health experts in Germany that offer prostitutes therapy and medical assistance, authored a manifesto declaring that there is no ‘’good prostitution.’’ They demand a law that penalises the sex buyers because it is contradictory on the one hand, that they ‘’repair women’’ while a policy incites men to ‘’break women’’. They want to make known the realities of prostitution and its harmful effects on health, also the disastrous effects of a law legalising prostitution, and draw attention to the presence and voice of health experts who are in direct contact with the victims of prostitution. This manifesto was signed by most influential trauma psychologists and specialists in Germany. http://www.trauma-and-prostitution.eu/en/2016/11/02/letter-to-un-women/ South Africa – Human trafficking on the rise in Northern Cape Human trafficking is on the rise in Kuruman, Northern Cape. The Hawks say syndicates are targeting vulnerable rural girls, who are looking for better opportunities. The crime fighting unit has embarked on an awareness campaign, cautioning parents and traditional leaders about the growing trend. Hawks Provincial Head, Major-General Kholekile Galawe, says, “It’s not easy for a victim to come forward freely. If I may give an example of a prostitute, some of those people you see out there are not doing that job for their own benefit. They are working for other people.” The Hawks say it’s an uphill battle, trying to persuade victims to testify in court. Victims and their families often get death threats from the syndicates. http://www.sabc.co.za/news/a/633200004ecff3d88c62eef5a9947ffb/Human-trafficking-on-the-rise-in-Northern-Cape–20161101 <Back to Top>

Substance Abuse

USA – A FAAH Better Thing for Cannabis Users A new paper in Biological Psychiatry reports that chronic cannabis users have reduced levels of an enzyme called fatty acid amide hydrolyses (FAAH). The enzyme has been considered for treatment for cannabis dependence because it breaks down substances made in the brain that have cannabis-like effects, called endocannabinoids, rendering them inactive. “This exciting study sheds new light on cannabis dependence,” said John Krystal, Editor of Biological Psychiatry. The study provides clues that may help develop treatments for cannabis use disorder for which none currently exist, due in part to our poor understanding of how cannabis affects brain systems. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/10/161025084708.htm South Africa – Alarming drug statistics Drug use in South Africa is twice the world norm and 15{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of the population have a drug problem. Drug abuse costs ZAR20-billion and 60{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of crimes nationally were related to substance abuse. The perpetrators of these crimes are either under the influence of substances or trying to secure money for their next fix. Since the SA Narcotics Bureau closure in 2004 drug-related crimes have increased by 30{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} and the United Nations World Drug Report had named SA as one of the world’s drug capitals. The abuse of alcohol and usage of dagga has led to the country being one of the top ten narcotics and alcohol abusers in the world. https://christiandrugsupport.wordpress.com/most-commonly-used-drugs/sa-statistics/ USA – Pot Smokers Face a Higher Risk of Drinking Problems Of the more than 2,400 people surveyed, 18 percent said they tended to use alcohol and marijuana simultaneously and were three times more likely to drive drunk, 6.5 times more likely to experience alcohol-related financial problems and four times more likely to experience alcohol-related health problems, compared with those who used only alcohol, according to the study. They also reported drinking more frequently, and consuming higher amounts of alcohol. The survey took place from 2014 to 2015 in Washington State where recreational marijuana use was legalized in 2012. Researcher Meenakshi Subbaraman, a biostatistician at the Alcohol Research Group presented the study at the American Public Health Association. http://www.livescience.com/56718-alcohol-marijuana-mix.html UK – Professor: Get addicts off drugs rather than open shooting gallery The UK’s first heroin “shooting gallery” allowing drug addicts to inject themselves is set to open in Glasgow, after the controversial project was approved by council chiefs. The facility aims to provide clean needles and a connected facility will give some addicts “medical-grade” heroin. However, Professor Neil McKeganey of the Centre of Drug Misuse Research said NHS and council resources should be put into getting addicts off drugs altogether rather than helping them continue with their destructive habit. “We surveyed over 1,000 drug addicts in Scotland [where] less than 5{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} said they wanted to help to inject more safely and the overwhelming majority said they wanted help to become drugs free,” he argued. https://inews.co.uk/essentials/news/uk/uks-first-heroin-shooting-gallery-cleared-open-glasgow/  <Back to Top> Disclaimer: the views and opinions expressed in these articles do not necessarily reflect those of Doctors for Life International]]>

LIFEalerts 26 October 2016

Abortion Norway – Foreign women pregnant with twins to have selective abortions Alternative Medicine USA – Anti-tuberculosis drug disrupted by botanical supplement Euthanasia Netherlands – Dutch may legalise assisted dying for those tired of living USA – Enter the vultures, those that really score off other’s death South Africa – Tutu backs assisted suicide but out of touch with statistics IVF& Surrogacy Sweden – Woman ‘recycles’ her mother’s womb Argentina – New destination for fertility tourists Canada – Surrogacy to benefit from new legal definition of ‘parents’ Medical Ethics Netherlands – Compulsory contraception and reverse democracy UK – Controversy swirls around AIDS drug Sweden – Scientist begins gene-editing experiments on human embryos Mexico – First ever baby born with DNA from 3 people Pedophilia Indonesia – Law to chemically castrate and microchip offenders Philippines – Officials want death penalty for Australian sex offender USA – Yesterday homosexual marriage, now pedophiles want ‘’equal rights’’ Pornography No news today Same SexAttraction USA – Pastors challenge child same-sex attraction therapy law Australia – Debate over Same-Sex marriage Vote USA – LGBT Group Threatens Johns Hopkins over sexual orientation report SexualExploitation South Africa – Police and STOP unite to stop human trading in Limpopo India – Preparing to stand against rising human trafficking South Africa – Police save more from slave trade Substance Abuse USA – Addiction Medicine formally recognized as a medical subspecialty USA – Costs of US prescription opioid epidemic estimated at $78. 5 billion UK – Cannabis excess linked to bone disease and fractures UK – Early marijuana use associated with abnormal brain function, lower IQ

Abortion

Norway – Foreign women pregnant with twins to have selective abortions Norway’s health ministry has ruled foreign women pregnant with twins can have selective reduction abortions, which means aborting one or more foetuses and leaving at least one behind, in the country’s hospitals even if the foetus is healthy. The ruling means women from neighbouring Sweden and Denmark where “selective reduction” abortions are illegal can come to Norway for the procedure. As hospitals are not required to ask for a fixed address there are fears the move could lead to a rise in “abortion tourism”. It comes after lawyers at the Department of Justice ruled that selective reduction procedures should be treated no differently to other types of abortion under Norwegian law. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/norway-pregnant-selective-abortion-foreign-women-womens-rights-pro-choice-a7368421.html <Back to Top>

Alternative Medicine

USA – Anti-tuberculosis drug disrupted by botanical supplement A new study in partnership with scientists in Africa has uncovered evidence that the botanical supplement Sutherlandia may disrupt the effectiveness of a common anti-tuberculosis drug. William Folk, professor of biochemistry at the University Of Missouri School Of Medicine and his colleagues monitored South African patients who were taking either Sutherlandia or a placebo, along with the world standard anti-tuberculosis drug, Isoniazid. They observed that several patients taking the Southerlandia supplement developed active tuberculosis despite taking Isoniazid.”Isoniazid is very reliable in preventing the active form of this potentially deadly microbe, which is present in nearly one-third of all humans, but if individuals concurrently take a botanical supplement, they could undo the good that the scientifically proven drug is accomplishing. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/10/161010120134.htm <Back to Top>

Euthanasia

Netherlands – Dutch will probably legalise assisted dying for those tired of living Health Minister Edith Schippers told Parliament that a new kind of assisted suicide is needed for people who are not terminally ill or suffering, but who want to die because they are tired of living. The government’s decision ignores a committee of experts who said a “completed life” should not make people eligible for euthanasia. The committee, headed by a well-known sociologist, Paul Schnabel, was established after a man helped his 99-year-old mother to die because she thought that her life was at an end. He was acquitted of murder. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/dutch-will-probably-legalise-assisted-dying-for-people-tired-of-living/12049 USA – Enter the vultures, those that really score off other’s death According to JAMA Oncology, the price of just one lethal drug increased about 640{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}. Secobarbital, also known as Seconal increased from $388 in 2010 to $2,878 in 2016. “Honestly, I really think it’s just pharmaceutical companies jacking up the price of the drug,” according to lead author Veena Shankaran, of the University of Washington and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. The drug was first developed in 1929 and has been off-patent for years, but the only manufacturer in the United States is Valeant Pharmaceuticals. Its use for assisted suicide is not covered under insurance plans, so patients have to pay for the full sticker price. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/could-it-become-too-expensive-to-ask-for-assisted-suicide/12048 http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaoncology/article-abstract/2565159 South Africa – Tutu backs assisted suicide but out of touch with statistics The Euthanasia lobby may think they have scored by enlisting Nobel Peace Prize laureate, a hero of the struggle against apartheid, Desmond Tutu, “I believe in the sanctity of life. I know that we will all die and that death is a part of life. Terminally ill people have control over their lives, so why should they be refused control over their deaths? Why are so many instead forced to endure terrible pain and suffering against their wishes?” This argument is a bit odd, as “terrible pain and suffering” do not play a major role in decisions to request suicide. As statistics from Oregon states show, the main reason (96{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}) was “Less able to engage in activities making life enjoyable”. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/nobel-laureate-desmond-tutu-backs-assisted-suicide-in-district-of-columbia/12047 <Back to Top>

IVF&Surrogacy

Sweden – Woman ‘recycles’ her mother’s womb A Swedish woman has given birth to a son using the womb of her own mother. Emelie Eriksson, 30, was born without a womb and thought that she would never be able to have a child of her own. But when she learned of the pioneering work of Swedish Doctor Matts Brannstrom, she realized that it might be possible. He is the only doctor in the world to conduct successful womb transplants. So far, five of his patients have given birth. This means that Marie’s uterus carried both her daughter and her grandson. The birth took place in 2014 after an embryo was created with IVF. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/swedish-woman-recycles-her-mothers-womb/12038 Argentina – New destination for fertility tourists The home of Pope Francis has become a surprising destination for fertility tourism. Since 2013, the government has subsidised IVF for everyone, including gays and single women. In the United States, a single cycle of IVF can cost as much as US$15000-30000; in Argentina, $4000-7000. People seeking donor eggs and cheap IVF are coming from as far away as the US and Australia, as well as other South American countries. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/argentina-a-new-destination-for-fertiltiy-tourists/12031 Canada – Surrogacy to benefit from new legal definition of ‘parents’ An Ontario law will change the legal definition of parents to accommodate homosexual couples who have produced children through surrogacy in Canada. The change in the current law will benefit LGBTQ couples with families conceived through reproductive technologies. Under the new law a non-biological parent will not have to go to court, as is the case now, to establish parenthood of a child conceived through IVF or through surrogacy. Up to four people may be recognized as possible co-parents of the child under the new rules. http://www.sensiblesurrogacy.com/surrogacy-canada-benefit-new-legal-definition-parents/ <Back to Top>

Medical Ethics

Netherlands – Compulsory contraception and reverse democracy The Rotterdam City Council wants to administer compulsory contraception for “vulnerable women”, saying that birth control is a form of “child protection”. Counsellor Hugo De Jonge, an alderman responsible for youth welfare in Rotterdam, said compulsory contraception will prevent children being born to women who are manifestly unfit for parenting: “[the proposal] concerns children who are born into families where it turns everybody’s stomach to think that they’re having a child. Our primary concern used to be the interests of the parents, but now we pay more attention to the interests of the child. Not being born is a form of child protection too.” http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/the-netherlands-compulsory-contraception-and-reverse-democracy/12034 UK – Controversy swirls around AIDS drug The UK’s National Institute for Health and Care has published an evidence summary on the use of Truvada, a drug for HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). The question is whether it should be government funded. On a public health level, there are concerns that men might neglect condom use and expose themselves to other sexually-transmitted diseases. On an ethical level, there are fears it will promote promiscuity. Kevin Fenton, the former chief of HIV/AIDS for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said a few years ago: “Some studies suggest that even a small increase in risk behavior due to a false sense of security about the pills’ effectiveness could actually increase HIV infections, an outcome we cannot afford.” http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/controversy-swirls-around-aids-drug-in-uk/12039 Sweden – Scientist begins gene-editing experiments on human embryos A Swedish scientist has begun what are believed to be the first gene-editing experiments on healthy human embryos. Developmental biologist Fredrick Lanner from the Karolinska Institute is using CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing technology to identify the function of specific genes in the human genome, and learn more about the causes of infertility and miscarriages. Marcy Darnovsky, Executive Director of the Center for Genetics and Society, is concerned that embryonic gene-editing research will be a precursor to the production of genetically modified human beings. “The production of genetically modified human embryos is actually quite dangerous…It’s a step toward attempts to produce genetically modified human beings. This would be reason for grave concern.” http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/swedish-scientist-begins-gene-editing-experiments-on-embryos/12018 Mexico – First ever baby born with DNA from 3 people In a controversial technique American scientists in Mexico were able to remove some of the mother’s DNA from an egg and leave out the disease-causing DNA. The healthy DNA was slipped into a donor’s egg, which was then fertilized. Thus, the child inherited DNA from two parents and the egg donor. The baby boy, born five months ago, was at risk of inheriting a severe neurological disorder called Leigh syndrome. Dr. John Zhang, of the New Hope Fertility Center in New York, who led the team that carried out the technique, told New Scientist, “To save lives is the ethical thing to do.” Zhang’s findings are detailed in the journal Fertility & Sterility. http://www.foxnews.com/health/2016/09/28/first-ever-baby-born-with-dna-from-3-people.html <Back to Top>

Pedophilia

Indonesia – Law to chemically castrate and microchip offenders Indonesian President, Joko Widodo, demonstrated his support for a new law to be signed that ensures convicted pedophiles be micro chipped before they serve jail terms. They will also be monitored 24/7 after they are released and could be forced to undergo chemical castration and increased jail time. Presently the jail time for a sex-offender is 15 years. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/indonesia-could-pass-law-that-sees-paedophiles-castrated-and-microchipped-widodo-a7034276.html Philippines – Officials want death penalty for Australian sex offender Philippines’ Officials are reportedly considering bringing back the death penalty for an Australian man accused of horrific brutal sex attacks on children. Peter Scully allegedly filmed the despicable sex crimes; some committed against 18-month-old baby, and sold the sex videos for up to $10,000 to European and American buyers. https://au.news.yahoo.com/a/32704194/philippines-considering-bringing-back-death-penalty-for-accused-australian-paedophile/#page1 USA – Yesterday homosexual marriage, now pedophiles want ‘’equal rights’’ Author Ashley Edwardson wrote: Using the same tactics used by “gay” rights activists, pedophiles have begun to seek similar status arguing their desire for children is a sexual orientation no different than heterosexual or homosexual. Experts of the homosexual lifestyle have warned that once it became acceptable to identify homosexuality as simply an “alternative lifestyle” or sexual orientation, logically nothing would be off limits. The ruling on same sex marriage has many unintended consequences. https://www.allenbwest.com/ashleyedwardson/that-was-fast-yesterday-it-was-gay-marriage-now-look-who-wants-equal-rights <Back to Top>

Pornography

No news today <Back to Top>

Same Sex Attraction

USA – Pastors challenge child same-sex attraction therapy law Five pastors in the US are mounting a legal challenge against a state law they say hampers their work with children experiencing a same-sex attraction. Pastor Steven Stultz said: “I have personally witnessed many people change their sexual orientation through counselling and know it is possible.”The government is interfering with someone’s private decisions. This ban on counselling creates fear in the people most in need of comfort and support.” They point out; the current law breaks their constitutional right to freedom of speech and religious practice. https://www.premierchristianradio.com/News/World/US-pastors-challenge-child-same-sex-attraction-therapy-law Australia – Debate over same sex marriage vote Australia’s major political parties support marriage equality but disagree on the process of legalization. Leaders of Australia’s opposition Labour Party said Tuesday they will oppose the government’s plan to hold a national plebiscite on same-sex marriage in 2017, making it unlikely the vote will take place. In order for the plebiscite to pass the Senate, the ruling Liberal coalition would need to convince nine senators to support the vote, an attempt the 26 member Labour Party, 9 member Green party, 3 member Nick Xenophon Team, and Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party have vowed to oppose. This leaves only seven remaining votes in play. http://www.theatlantic.com/news/archive/2016/10/australia-block-same-sex-marriage-vote/503600/ USA – LGBT Group Threatens Johns Hopkins over sexual orientation report America’s largest LGBTQ civil rights organization has threatened to penalize Johns Hopkins University if it does not denounce a report from two of the institution’s scholars which concludes that there is little scientific evidence that people are born gay or transgender. The New Atlantis, titled Sexuality and Gender: Findings from the Biological, Psychological, and Social Sciences, Dr. LS. Mayer, a professor of biostatistics, epidemiology, biomedical informatics and clinical research and Dr. Paul McHugh, professor of psychiatry and behavioural sciences also at John Hopkins conclude there is very little evidence supporting the “born that way” and other theories on sexual orientation. “Some of the common views about sexual orientation, like the ‘born that way’ hypothesis, simply are not supported by science. http://www.christianpost.com/news/lgbt-human-rights-campaign-threatens-johns-hopkins-report-science-born-gay-transgender-new-atlantis-170770/#mQE9sVKU6D8VhXQ4.99 <Back to Top>

Sexual Exploitation

South Africa – Police and STOP unite to stop human trading in Limpopo In Polokwane, 77 cases of human trafficking are currently being investigated. As part of human trafficking week police held a media briefing to help raise awareness on the pressing concern. STOP (Stop trafficking of People) united with police to train them on what to be on the lookout for in these cases. Most victims that fall prey to human traffickers are from Malawi, Ethiopia and Swaziland. Areas where the latest cases of victims being transported in vehicles have been reported are Mankweng, Marble hall, and Lephalale. http://reviewonline.co.za/176387/police-ngo-unite-to-stop-human-trading/ India – Preparing to stand against rising human trafficking Latest government data shows reports of human trafficking in India increased by 25 per cent in 2015 compared to 2014. The state of West Bengal is often called the hub of trafficking, where girls as young as 7 years old are sold to brothels. A new bill aims to change the law so survivors’ needs are prioritised, traffickers face harsher penalties and existing laws are unified. But artist Leena Kejriwal says it is not just a government issue. “I want to tell everybody that we are responsible for the girls going missing. We can’t say it’s not our issue, because, even with your passiveness, you are driving it.” Ms Kejriwal often talks to groups of schoolchildren about her project. http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2016/09/19/india-prepares-stand-against-rising-human-trafficking South Africa – Police save more from slave trade The police have rescued 110 victims – 69 women and 41 children. In 2015, it saved 89 female trafficking victims in partnership with security cluster departments. Social development MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza said official numbers did not reflect the full extent of human trafficking.  “In South Africa, the numbers of reported victims of human trafficking remain low despite media coverage and training on human trafficking.  The MEC said that we need more of these cases to be reported, and when they are reported we want arrests and convictions. “Police need more training. Sometimes they can’t distinguish between a human-trafficking victim and an illegal migrant.  The national emergency helpline is 0800 222 777. http://www.timeslive.co.za/thetimes/2016/10/11/Police-save-more-from-slave-trade <Back to Top>

Substance Abuse

USA – Addiction Medicine formally recognized as a medical subspecialty A major milestone was reached on March 14, 2016, when the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) formally announced recognition of the field of Addiction Medicine as a medical subspecialty. This is a development with enormous symbolic and practical implications for health care and for those affected by drug and alcohol use disorders, including nicotine addiction. It signals the legitimacy of Addiction Medicine as a field of specialized study and practice, and it will enable the accreditation and expansion of Addiction Medicine training programs. https://www.drugabuse.gov/about-nida/noras-blog/2016/03/major-step-forward-addiction-medicine USA – Costs of US prescription opioid epidemic estimated at $78. 5 billion Prescription opioid overdose, abuse, and dependence carries high costs for American society, with an estimated total economic burden of $78.5 billion, according to a study in the October issue of Medical Care. The journal is published by Wolters Kluwer.”More than 40 Americans die each day from overdoses involving prescription opioids. Families and communities continue to be devastated by the epidemic of prescription opioid overdoses.” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD, MPH. “The rising cost of the epidemic is also a tremendous burden for the health care system.” https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/09/160914105756.htm http://pt.wkhealth.com/pt/re/lwwgateway/landingpage.htm;jsessionid=XrhFPp4QHgTwLQ0y0WwhJv37WKL6qSFYQ43bBvltk027f1XfvDxD!-1552860756!181195628!8091!-1?sid=WKPTLP:landingpage&an=00005650-201610000-00002 UK – Cannabis excess linked to bone disease and fractures While smoking marijuana is associated with increased appetite and the munchies, a recent study has found people who regularly smoke large amounts of cannabis have reduced bone density and are more prone to fractures. The study found that heavy cannabis users have a lower body weight and a reduced body mass index (BMI), which could contribute to thinning of their bones. The study was published in the American Journal of Medicine. Lead researcher Professor Stuart Ralston, of the University of Edinburgh’s Centre for Genomic and Experimental Medicine said,” There is a real concern that this may put them at increased risk of developing osteoporosis and fractures later in life.” https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/10/161012132657.htm http://www.amjmed.com/article/S0002-9343(16)30851-8/abstract UK – Early marijuana use associated with abnormal brain function, lower IQ In a new study by Dr. Elizabeth Osuch, a Scientist at Lawson Health Research Institute and Dr. Joseph Rea, specialist in Mood Disorders at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry at Western University, a Canadian leader in studying both mood and anxiety disorders and the effects of marijuana, discovered that early use may result in abnormal brain function and lower IQ. Participants who used marijuana from a young age had highly abnormal brain function in areas related to visual-spatial processing, memory, self-referential activity and reward processing. The study found that early marijuana use was also associated with lower IQ scores. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/10/161005160733.htm http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/acps.12629/abstract <Back to Top> Disclaimer: the views and opinions expressed in these articles do not necessarily reflect those of Doctors for Life International]]>

John Kelly’s Testimony Opposing New Jersey Assisted Suicide Bill A2451

published on the Not Dead Yet website on September 6, 2016. [Editor’s Note: John Kelly lived in New Jersey in his younger years and traveled back there to testify on October 6, 2016 in opposition to the latest assisted suicide bill, A2451. His oral testimony is below, and his full written testimony is here.] Chair Burzichelli, Vice Chair Lagana, Members of the Committee: My name is John Kelly, and I am the New England Regional Director for Not Dead Yet, the national disability rights group that has long opposed euthanasia and assisted suicide. I am also the director of Second Thoughts Massachusetts, Not Dead Yet’s Massachusetts affiliate. We are concerned that this bill is before the Appropriations Committee. It suggests that cost-containment really is a major factor behind the push for assisted suicide laws. So when in the state of Oregon, Barbara Wagner and Randy Stroup received letters from Oregon Medicaid denying coverage for prescribed chemotherapy. The letters did, however, offer to cover the negligible cost of assisted suicide. Because assisted suicide will always be the cheapest treatment, its availability will inevitably affect medical decision-making. This will actually end up constraining choice. A2451 threatens you, every single resident of New Jersey, because all of us are vulnerable to misdiagnosis. “Terminally ill” is defined as: “Terminally ill” means that the patient is in the terminal stage of an irreversibly fatal illness, disease, or condition with a prognosis, based upon reasonable medical certainty, of a life expectancy of six months or less.” When it comes to life and death, there is no such thing as “reasonable medical certainty.” Of the millions of misdiagnoses every year, many are terminal misdiagnoses. We know this because of the thousands of people who “graduate” from hospice each year. Every year in Oregon, people have lived longer than their six-month terminal diagnosis. Every year in New Jersey, it is estimated that 1/10 people over the age of 60 are abused, almost always by adult children and caregivers. Although “self-administration” is touted as one of the key “safeguards”, in about half of Oregon program deaths, there is no evidence of consent or self-administration in the death. If the drugs were administered by others without consent, no one would know. The request form constitutes a virtual blanket of legal immunity covering all participants in the process. Assisted suicide laws inevitably take the lives of innocent people through mistakes, coercion, and abuse. Please reject this bill. http://alexschadenberg.blogspot.co.za/2016/10/john-kellys-testimony-opposing-new.html?utm_source=News+{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}26+Information+Website&utm_campaign=f1894f7f9b-Euthanasia_Deception_documentary_counter10_7_2016&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_b9d6bb980e-f1894f7f9b-198483333&m=1  ]]>

LIFEalerts 13 September 2016

Abortion USA – Abortions Drop to Record Low in North Dakota UK – Marie Stopes suspends abortions in UK after safety inspections USA – Abortions Drop 37{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} in Memphis USA – Is Zika the cause of Microcephaly? Alternative Medicine USA – DEA will ban chemicals contained in Kratom Euthanasia Belgium – Gold medalist paralympian from Belgium seeks euthanasia USA – California grants assisted suicide to disabled, but not to prisoners Australia – New euthanasia lobby group launched in Australia Belgium – Euthanasia tourism on the rise in Belgium IVF& Surrogacy India – Government to ban all commercial surrogacy Medical Ethics USA – Have embryonic stem cells hit the wall? USA – More people donating their bodies to science USA – Legal heads-up on decapitation Switzerland – Bioethicists challenge right to conscientious objection Pedophilia Gambia/Tanzania – Governments ban child marriage Australia – Travel by Australian paedophiles must be blocked Sweden – Could this injection cure Paedophilia? Pornography Australia – Many high school girls victims of online ‘pornography ring’ UK – Pornography ‘desensitising young people’ USA – Ex-Playmate Pamela Anderson: ‘Porn Is for Losers’ Canada – Get religious to stay away from pornography Same SexAttraction Colombia – Thousands march in protest of homosexual school programs SexualExploitation South Africa –  A haven of sex slavery and child trafficking USA – Massachusetts Senate toughens anti human trafficking laws Substance Abuse USA – Legalized pot makes lower class poorer and less responsible South Africa – Dagga Activists Case Postponed USA – Increase in Number of Adults using Marijuana USA – Five States Will Vote on Marijuana Legalization in November

Abortion

USA – Abortions Drop to Record Low in North Dakota North Dakota, like so many other states across the country who are seeing historic low abortion totals, have passed several pieces of pro-life legislation in recent years. The Red River Women’s Clinic in Fargo performed 1,166 abortions last year, down from 1,264 in 2014, according to the state Department of Health.  Bishop John Thomas Fulda of Fargo said the downward trend is a testament to the hard and often difficult work of pregnancy centers, adoption agencies and maternity homes. http://www.lifenews.com/2016/08/12/abortions-drop-to-record-low-in-north-dakota-at-almost-100-babies-saved-from-abortion/ UK – Marie Stopes suspends abortions in UK after safety inspections Marie Stopes International has suspended its surgical abortion operations across the United Kingdom after surprise inspections by government Care Quality Commission (CQC) officials found women could be at risk. It was unclear if staff had the competence or training to administer sedation and anesthesia. There were also “immediate concerns about issues of consent’. NHS England referred the 250 women scheduled for abortions at MSI to the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), one of the country’s largest private abortion providers, and NHS hospitals. But the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) has “condemned” the CQC’s “reaction to the dangerous and illegal abortion practices in private abortion clinics,” excoriating its position as “inadequate, immoral and unlawful collusion in criminal activity. https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/marie-stopes-suspends-abortions-in-uk-after-gvmt-safety-inspection USA – Abortions Drop 37{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} in Memphis Abortions dropped sharply by 36.6 percent from 2011 to 2014 in Shelby County.  In 2011, there were 4,595 abortions in the county, but by 2014, the numbers dropped to 2,914, according to a report from the Tennessee Department of Health. The ratio of abortions to live births also fell dramatically, from 326.4 per 1,000 in 2011 to 208.3 per 1,000 in 2014. The reasons for the decline are increased use of so-called long-acting reversible contraceptives, like implants and intrauterine devices as well as laws restricting abortion. Brian Harris, president of Tennessee Right to Life, said campaigns like the one that brings mobile ultrasounds to pregnant women so they can “see the humanity of their unborn child” have averted many abortions. http://www.lifenews.com/2016/08/29/abortions-drop-37-in-memphis-tennessee-as-more-babies-saved-from-abortion/ USA – Is Zika the cause of Microcephaly? It is suspected that the Zika virus is linked to microcephaly. The US Centers for Disease Control and the New England Journal of Medicine both concluded the link is there. But a recent, expansive study has cast legitimate doubt on the Zika/microcephaly connection. The study looked at nearly 12,000 pregnant Colombian women infected with Zika. None had babies with microcephaly. So what is the culprit? Some scientists believe pesticides may be the source. Pyriproxyfen may also have a detrimental effect on developing unborn babies. These early findings aren’t conclusive, but they do open the distinct possibility that Zika may not be the only cause of the increase in microcephaly cases. Pro-abortion activists are not happy about this. http://www.lifenews.com/2016/09/02/of-12000-women-infected-with-zika-all-gave-birth-to-healthy-baby-women-dont-need-abortion/ <Back to Top>

Alternative Medicine

USA – Government to ban chemicals contained in Kratom The Drug Enforcement Administration has announced its intention to temporarily ban the chemicals contained in Kratom, a plant from Southeast Asia that activates some of the same receptors as opioids.  The DEA has announced plans to temporarily classify two of Kratom’s psychoactive chemicals as Schedule 1 — the same category in which heroin, LSD, marijuana, and ecstasy are listed. The Food and Drug Administration has been trying to crack down on the substance, banning its import and ordering seizures of illegally packaged Kratom product. Barbara Carreno DEA spokeswoman said that the Department of Health and Human Services needs to study the substance in question. A handful of states have banned it as well. https://www.statnews.com/2016/08/30/kratom-ban-dea-schedule-1/ <Back to Top>

Euthanasia

Belgium – Gold medalist paralympian from Belgium seeks euthanasia The end-of-life wishes of a gold medalist at the Paralympics have again raised the question of what makes a Belgian eligible for euthanasia, Marieke Vervoort won silver in the 200 meters wheelchair sprint and gold in the 100 meter event. But she has told the media that she may request euthanasia after competing at Rio. Ms Vervoort has a degenerative disease which causes her great pain, but she can still compete at a high level in a range of sports, including basketball, swimming and triathlons’. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/gold-medallist-paralympian-from-belgian-seeks-euthanasia/11956 USA – California grants assisted suicide to disabled, but not to prisoners Following the legalization of assisted suicide in California, the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) has proposed regulations that will prohibit prisoners from receiving “aid in dying”. Prisoners are to be provided with “healthcare appropriate and necessary to their situation”, and the regulations are said to “ensure the health, safety and security of inmates”. The End of Life Option Act states that Californian residents with a terminal illness and less than six months to live are eligible to receive assistance in dying. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/california-grants-assisted-suicide-to-disabled-but-not-to-prisoners/11958 Australia – New euthanasia lobby group launched in Australia Influential Australian journalist Andrew Denton has launched a new campaign for assisted dying in Australia, and called on the Catholic Church to “stay out” of the euthanasia debate. Denton claimed that the failure to legalise euthanasia in the country was the result of a “subterranean” network of religious politicians and businessmen. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/new-euthanasia-lobby-group-launched-in-australia/11960 Belgium – Euthanasia tourism on the rise in Belgium A rising number of “euthanasia tourists” are flocking to Belgium to end their lives, according to doctors in the country. Last year 2023 people were medically killed in Belgium, more than double the figure of five years earlier. Of these, many appear to be foreign nationals seeking assisted dying. “It’s a phenomenon that did not exist five or six years ago,” At the Brugmann University hospital, where Dr Vermylen works, 7 of 15 euthanasia cases last year involved French people. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/euthanasia-tourism-on-the-rise-in-belgium/11985 <Back to Top>

IVF&Surrogacy

India – Government to ban all commercial surrogacy The Indian government plans to impose a complete ban on commercial surrogacy and to permit it only for legally married Indian couples. The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill 2016 would ban unmarried couples, single parents, live-in partners and homosexuals from engaging surrogate mothers. Nothing but altruistic surrogacy would be permitted. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/india-may-ban-all-commercial-surrogacy/11975#sthash.ThnXkdqq.dpuf <Back to Top>

Medical Ethics

USA – Have embryonic stem cells hit the wall? “Will Embryonic Stem Cells Ever Cure Anything?” is a skeptical headline you might read in a conservative journal like the National Review or the Weekly Standard. However, it is bit surprising to find it in the MIT Technology Review, in a profile of Douglas Melton, a Harvard stem cell scientist. … ‘No field of biotechnology has promised more and delivered less in the way of treatments than embryonic stem cells. Only a handful of human studies have ever been carried out, without significant results. The cells, culled from IVF embryos, are capable of developing into any other tissue type in the body, and therefore promise an unlimited supply of replacement tissue. Sounds simple, but it hasn’t been.’ http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/have-embryonic-stem-cells-hit-the-wall/11954 USA – More people donating their bodies to science The surge in bodies being donated for dissection has been a bonanza for medical schools anatomy and surgery classes. “Not long ago, it was taboo. Now we have thousands of registered donors,” said Mark Zavoyna, manager of Georgetown University’s body donation program. ScienceCare, “the world’s largest accredited whole body donation program” appeals to generosity and altruism but there are other factors like the cost of cremation and funerals and weakening religious objections to dissection and cremation. Bodies used by medical schools are cremated and returned to families, often at no expense. According to Time magazine, for the first time in the US, more people were cremated than buried in 2015. In 1980, fewer than 10{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of people chose cremation. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/more-donating-their-bodies-to-science/11966 USA – Legal heads-up on decapitation As a Chinese doctor plans the world’s first head transplant, renowned medical law expert professor Nita Farahany at Duke University said the operation – which the international medical community agrees has virtually no chance of success – would likely not even satisfy the legal criteria for consent if it were performed in the US. As Farahany observes, “a patient cannot consent to intentional or reckless homicide”. Alternately, is the right way to analyze a proposed head transplant as an assumable risk in surgery? We permit surgeons to operate on patients every day, even though they may die, and many do. Is this head transplant surgery just a very risky surgery to which a patient can, or should be able, to legally consent? http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/legal-heads-up-on-decapitation/11979 Switzerland – Bioethicists challenge right to conscientious objection Over a dozen bioethicists at the Brocher Foundation signed a “Consensus Statement on Conscientious Objection in Healthcare” and said “healthcare practitioners’ primary obligations are towards their patients, not towards their own personal conscience”. Practitioners exempted from performing procedures on conscientious grounds should compensate society and the health system by providing public-benefitting services. Medical students should also not be exempted from learning how to perform basic medical procedures they consider to be morally wrong.” American bioethicist Wesley Smith was indignant. Writing in the National Review, Smith said: “Medical professionals are being pushed toward what I call ‘medical martyrdom;’ either be complicit in killing, commit what the professional considers a grievous sin, or suffer professional discipline, perhaps even loss of license.” http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/bioethicists-challenge-right-to-conscientious-objection/11988 <Back to Top>

Pedophilia

Gambia/Tanzania – Governments ban child marriage Gambian President Yayha Jammeh announced that anyone marrying a girl under 18 would be jailed for up to 20 years. And in Tanzania, the high court imposed a landmark ruling outlawing marriage under the age of 18 for boys and girls. 30{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of underage girls are married in Gambia, while in Tanzania the rate is 37{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}, Before the Tanzania ruling, girls as young as 14 could marry with parental consent, while it was 18 for boys. Gambia’s President speaking at the end of Ramadan, said parents and imams who perform the ceremonies would also face prison. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-36746174 Australia – Travel by Australian paedophiles must be blocked A number of men convicted of sex crimes in Australia are largely free to pursue their vile crimes overseas. Data obtained by Fairfax Media reveals 753 Victorian registered sex offenders have tried to travel overseas or succeeded in doing so since 2011. Previous data indicate child-sex tourism hotspots in south-east Asia are popular destinations. In 2014, 250 Australian child-sex offenders went to the Philippines alone. Registered child-sex offenders in Australia must inform police of their travel plans so that the destination country is informed and local authorities can decide to allow, monitor, or resist their travel request. Senator Derryn Hinch used his address to the Melbourne Press Club last week to cancel passports of convicted paedophiles. http://www.theage.com.au/comment/the-age-editorial/travel-by-australian-paedophiles-must-be-blocked-20160816-gqtukl.html Sweden – Could this injection cure Paedophilia? Dr Christoffer Rahm from the Karolinska Institute is investigating the cancer drug Degarelix to reduce sexual urges in potential abusers. Just one injection of the substance can reduce testosterone to undetectable levels within three days. Scientists want to see if the drug can help volunteers keep their sexual urges in check without causing unacceptable side effects. Unlike some other hormone treatments, the drug does not cause an initial “flare” that actually boosts levels of testosterone. The institute has launched a crowd-funding project to raise £38,000 for carry out further research into Degarelix. http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/658875/Christoffer-Rahm-Karolinska-Institute-Sweden-Stockholm-paedophile <Back to Top>

Pornography

Australia – Many high school girls victims of online ‘pornography ring’ More than 2,000 graphic images of female students from over 70 schools have been shared by teen boys on a website. Young men use the group to nominate a high school or area they’re looking for nudes from, or full names of girls they are “hunting,” according to the Australian news organisation. The site also features “wanted” lists with members able to “contribute” by posting personal information about the young women including physical features, friendship circles, phone numbers and addresses. The Australian Federal Police are aware of the existence of a website which encourages users to upload images of a sexual nature and that they are working with taskforces in other states to determine an appropriate cause of action. http://mashable.com/2016/08/16/australian-students-victims-pornography-ring/#Rcu9ZytMXEq1 UK – Pornography ‘desensitising young people’ About 53{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of 11- to 16-year-olds have seen explicit material online and (94{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}) had seen it by 14, a Middlesex University study found. The researchers questioned 1,001 children aged 11 to 16 and found 65{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of 15- to 16-year-olds reported seeing pornography, as did 28{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of 11- to 12-year-olds. Most of the boys saw it as a realistic depiction of sex. More than a third (39{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}) of the 13- to 14-year-olds and a fifth of the 11- to 12-year-olds boys saying they wanted to copy the behaviour they had seen. A 13-year-old boy related that one of his friends has started treating women like he sees on the videos. USA – Ex-Playmate Pamela Anderson: ‘Porn Is for Losers’ Former Playboy model Pamela Anderson has teamed up with a rabbi to speak out against pornography. An opinion piece by Anderson and Rabbi Shmuley Boteach published by the Wall Street Journal cites the latest sexting scandal involving former Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner in calling for “an honest dialogue” about the dangers of pornography and “an honour code to tamp it down.” The essay calls pornography “a public hazard of unprecedented seriousness.” It closes by saying “porn is for losers” and calls it “a boring wasteful and dead-end outlet for people too lazy to reap the ample rewards of healthy sexuality.” http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2016/09/02/us/ap-us-pamela-anderson-anti-porn-pledge.html Canada – Get religious to stay away from pornography Researchers have found that attending religious services can keep the youth away from the adult sites. According to Kyler Rasmussen, lead author of the study and a PhD student at University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada it was found that there is a barrier effect at play where religious social control encourages adolescents to view less pornography over time. This increase in pornography consumption as adolescents get older isn’t as drastic among those who attend religious services. We can see that religious attendance is a factor in shaping the habit of pornography viewing in adolescents, Rasmussen noted. The findings are based on a telephone survey of 3,290 teenagers and their parents. The study was published in the Journal of Adolescence. http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/magazines/panache/get-religious-to-stay-away-from-pornography/articleshow/53079877.cms <Back to Top>

Same Sex Attraction

Colombia – Thousands march in protest of homosexual school programs Colombians joined in protest against a new initiative of the country’s homosexual Minister of Education, Gina Parody, on implementing homosexual and transsexual gender ideology programs in Colombian schools. In the past two weeks, the Constitutional Court has ruled twice that “transgender” students in two different schools must be allowed to wear clothing appropriate to the opposite sex. Parody’s plan for revising the student handbooks includes a pamphlet she designed in conjunction with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and other UN agencies to instruct schools on how to induce students to “respect” and “value” transgenderism and homosexuality. https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/thousands-of-colombians-join-nationwide-protest-of-gender-ideology-in-publi <Back to Top>

Sexual Exploitation

South Africa – A haven of sex slavery and child trafficking Statistics reveal SA could have as many as 100 000 young girls working in underground sex dens as sex slaves. Lorraine Botha MP, DA Western Cape Spokesperson on Community Development said in a Press release “I will submit parliamentary questions to the Minister of Social Development in the Western Cape, Albert Fritz, to determine whether the Department has a programme which focuses on identifying and eradicating this practice and if there is any record of the number of sex slaves in the Western Cape. I will also ask whether the Department has a rehabilitation programme for the victims.’ http://www.health24.com/Sex/News/sa-a-haven-of-sex-slavery-and-child-trafficking-20160406 USA – Massachusetts Senate toughens anti human trafficking laws Sen. Mark Montigny sponsor’s a Bill that strengthens the state’s antihuman trafficking laws. He says the measure will close legal loopholes that allow individuals to practice so-called “bodywork therapy” without having to meet the licensing requirements needed for massage therapy. The bill would also extend from three years to 10 years the time that victims can file civil suits against their traffickers. It would help law enforcement improve their data collection to better track human trafficking crimes. The New Bedford Democrat says the loophole allows human traffickers to maintain the facade of a legitimate business while operating in local communities. The bill would now require licenses for bodywork practitioners. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/jul/24/senate-oks-bill-to-toughen-state-anti-human-traffi/ <Back to Top>

Substance Abuse

USA – Legalized pot makes lower class poorer and less responsible A recent study by Steven Davenport of RAND and Jonathan Caulkins of Carnegie Mellon notes that “despite the popular stereotype of marijuana users as well-off and well-educated; they lag behind national averages” on both income and schooling. People who have a household income of less than $20,000 a year comprise 19{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of the population but make up 28{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of marijuana users. Even though those who earn more than $75,000 make up 33{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of the population, 25{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of them are marijuana users. Having more education also seems to make it less likely that you are a user. College graduates make up 27{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of the population but only 19{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of marijuana user. http://nypost.com/2016/08/20/legalized-pot-is-making-americas-lower-class-poorer-and-less-responsible/ South Africa – Dagga Activists Case Postponed A full bench of the court postponed the case‚ brought by Gareth Prince‚ a Rastafarian‚ and Jeremy Acton‚ the leader of the Dagga Party of South Africa‚ until December 13. This is to allow government departments to respond to a criminologist’s report that was handed to court. http://www.timeslive.co.za/local/2016/08/31/{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}E2{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}80{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}98The-people-of-SA-need-dagga{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}E2{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}80{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}9A{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}E2{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}80{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}99-say-activists-as-legalisation-case-postponed USA – Increase in Number of Adults using Marijuana An increasing number of US adults are using marijuana, as fewer people perceive the drug as harmful, according to a survey of over 500000 US adults conducted between 2002 and 2014 published in The Lancet Psychiatry. As marijuana has become increasingly potent over the past decade, the authors say that the findings suggest the need for improved education and prevention messages regarding the risks of marijuana. The number of adults who first used marijuana increased from 823000 in 2002 to 1.4 million in 2014 and that the overall number of marijuana users increased from 21.9 to 31.9 million. The number of daily or near daily users was 8.4 million 2014, an increase from 3.9 million in 2002. http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanpsy/article/PIIS2215-0366(16)30208-5/abstract https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/08/160831223748.htm USA – Five States Will Vote on Marijuana Legalization in November Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada will all vote in November on the legalization of marijuana. Given all the information available, the best estimate is that California is most likely to grant legalization, followed by Maine and Nevada. Arizona has taken the toughest stance against legalization, followed by Massachusetts. http://www.alternet.org/drugs/its-official-these-5-states-vote-marijuana-legalization-november?akid=14535.8847.7QMUfO&rd=1&src=newsletter1061910&t=8   <Back to Top>  

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

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LIFEalerts 01 August 2016

Abortion Ireland – Parliament Defeats Bill to Legalize Abortions on Disabled Babies Russia – Government Signs Agreement with Church to Prevent Abortions Alternative Medicine No news today Euthanasia UK – Media bias on assisted suicide IVF& Surrogacy No news today Medical Ethics UK – Parliament to study freedom of conscience for doctors UK – What does Brexit mean for bioethics? South Africa – Dikgang Moseneke joins Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics Pedophilia No news today Pornography UK – British Government seeks to verify age of porn site visitors USA – 12 Year olds admit to being addicted to porn UK – Startup trying to solve bitcoin’s child pornography problemSouth Africa – Experts say child porn is increasing Same SexAttraction USA – Homosexuality Poses High Risks to Human Health USA – Your genes did not make you do it SexualExploitation USA – Study from US State department for 2016 South Africa – Decriminalization of prostitution not likely to happen Substance Abuse USA – Study: Marijuana use dampens brain’s response to reward over time

Abortion

Ireland – Parliament Defeats Bill to Legalize Abortions on Disabled Babies Life Institute spokeswoman, Niamh Uí Bhriain, said that this bill attempted to deny the humanity of unborn babies with disabilities and was a cruel and cynical exercise to push a much wider abortion agenda. Mattie Mc Grath said that “We all need to recognize that there is no monopoly on compassion when it comes to this issue. We all want the best medical and clinical outcomes for mothers and children.” “In light of that we need to be guided by the actual medical reality which clearly states that there is no legitimacy to the terms ‘fatal foetal abnormality’ or ‘incompatible with life,” concluded Deputy McGrath. http://www.lifenews.com/2016/07/07/irish-parliament-defeats-bill-to-legalize-abortions-on-disabled-babies-2/ Russia – Government Signs Agreement with Church to Prevent Abortions The Health Ministry has signed an agreement with the Russian Orthodox Church to prevent abortions and rather provide palliative care. The agreement was signed by the Health Minister and head of the Russian Orthodox Church. It includes the creation of crisis pregnancy centers at hospitals with psychologists and representatives of organizations from the Russian Orthodox Church, as well as “joint efforts to provide assistance and support to pregnant women whose prenatal diagnosis indicates a malformation of the fetus, as well as mothers who give birth to a child with developmental disabilities”. http://www.pravmir.com/russia-church-and-state-sign-agreement-to-prevent-abortion/ <Back to Top>

Alternative Medicine

No news today <Back to Top>

Euthanasia

UK – Media bias on assisted suicide As one might expect, media coverage of assisted suicide is skewed towards ringing-the-changes rather than steady-as-she-goes. However, when a proposal to adopt a neutral stance by British doctors failed by a huge margin, 63{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} to 37{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}, in June, it was only reported by a few blogs. So whatever the main stream media reports, the Royal College of Physicians, the Royal College of General Practitioners and British Geriatrics Society are all officially opposed to a change in the law, along with 82{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of members of the Association for Palliative Medicine. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/british-doctors-reject-neutrality-on-assisted-dying/11939 <Back to Top>

IVF&Surrogacy

No news today <Back to Top>

Medical Ethics

UK – Parliament to study freedom of conscience for doctors A new UK Parliamentary Inquiry into conscientious objection was launched this month, focusing specifically on the participation of healthcare professionals in abortion. The Parliamentary Inquiry into Freedom of Conscience in Abortion Provision will consider the scope of section 4 of the UK Abortion Act (1967). The so-called “conscience clause” of the act requires that “no person shall be under any duty, whether by contract or by any statutory or other legal requirement, to participate in any treatment authorized by this Act to which he has a conscientious objection”. Christian Medical Fellowship Chief Executive Peter Saunders welcomed the announcement of the Inquiry and encouraged healthcare professionals to submit evidence. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/UK-Parliament-to-study-freedom-of-conscience-for-doctors-over-abortions/11936 UK – What does Brexit mean for bioethics? According to the Christian Medical Fellowship, that the UK will remain in the Council of Europe (CoE) after Brexit is significant, as this is the umbrella organisation for what is known as the Committee on Bioethics, an influential policy body that seeks to apply principles outlined in the Convention on Human Rights and Medicine to new issues in medical technology and research. The European Court on Human Rights (ECHR) also falls within the purview of the CoE. Importantly, the ECHR has handed down significant decisions within the area of conscientious objection in healthcare. There are however, significant concerns about the effects of Brexit on UK public health policies that are underpinned by legislation from the European Parliament. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/what-does-brexit-mean-for-bioethics/11934 South Africa – Dikgang Moseneke joins Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics Former deputy chief justice Dikgang Moseneke who retired from the Constitutional Court in May has been appointed honorary professor of bioethics at the Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics, Faculty of Health Science at Wits University. Professor Ames Dhai said Moseneke’s ethical integrity would be invaluable to the centre in its efforts to further the discipline of bioethics. “His combination of qualities as a jurist and a scholar of the highest acclaim would support further growth and development of the centre and its many activities.  We look forward to working closely with him and benefiting from the valuable guidance and advice he will impart to us when grappling with the many ethical dilemmas which form part of our day-to-day work”, said Professor Dhai. http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/dikgang-moseneke-joins-steve-biko-centre-for-bioethics-as-honorary-professor-20160624 <Back to Top>

Pedophilia

No news today <Back to Top>

Pornography

UK – British Government seeks to verify age of porn site visitors The UK government is proposing new legislation that will require all sites containing pornographic content to request age verification of visitors to their sites. Rather than porn sites putting an “18+ to enter” button that can be clicked just as easily by an 8-year old as a 28-year old, internet providers will access public information that will help to identify the age of the visitor. This is a huge step forward in protecting minors from the harmful effects of pornography. The motivation behind this effort is to keep children safe on the internet, preventing them from viewing material which is proven to be damaging to children. http://fightthenewdrug.org/british-government-verifying-age-of-all-porn-site-visitors/ USA – 12 Year olds admit to being addicted to porn A recent study conducted by the NSPCC ChildLine found that a tenth of 12 to 13-year-olds fear they may be addicted to pornography. Why is this happening, and why at such an early age? It’s all about accessibility and desensitization. Dame Esther Rantzen, founder of ChildLine, reports that young people are turning to the internet to learn about sex and relationships. Children are frequently stumbling across porn, often unintentionally, that it is having a damaging and upsetting effect on them. One girl reported being assaulted at age 12 by her boyfriend, who was addicted to pornography. Will Gardiner, CEO of Childnet and Director of the UK Safer Internet Centre, warned parents that they must face reality. http://fightthenewdrug.org/the-percentage-of-12-year-olds-who-admit-being-addicted-to-porn-will-shock-you/ UK – Startup trying to solve bitcoin’s child pornography problemWritten byAnanya Bhattacharya Obsession Future of Finance July 07, 2016 Bitcoin, a currency with the promise of anonymity and no government regulation, is a potential hotbed for nefarious activities. The London-based bitcoin startup Elliptic announced that it was teaming up with the International Watch Foundation, a non-profit in the UK that monitors online child abuse, to curb the cryptocurrency’s role in the spread of child pornography. Over the past years bitcoin saw an increasing amount of bitcoin activity connected to purchasing child sexual abuse material online. Elliptic’s role is to identify and flag all forms of illicit activity on the bitcoin blockchain. http://qz.com/725828/a-startup-is-trying-solve-bitcoins-child-pornography-problem/ South Africa – Experts say child porn is increasing Child pornography is on the increase and technology is driving it by immortalising images of abuse, over and over again. That’s the view of Dr. Monique Emser from the University of the Free State. Emser unpacked some alarming and highly disturbing trends such as an increase in the demand for baby porn, for live video streaming of sexual acts with children and for so-called bespoke material. Cybersex dens are also on the increase. With credit cards linking transactions to people, Emser says transactions are being paid for not with money, but with other pornographic images. According to Emser there was a 70{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} increase in child sexual material focused on girls under the age of 10 with abuse material involving toddlers and babies not being uncommon. http://www.sabc.co.za/news/a/25fa9f804c3bd54282cddfc0c0d1c749/Childundefinedpornundefinedonundefinedtheundefinedrise:undefinedExperts-20163103 <Back to Top>

Same Sex Attraction

USA – Homosexuality Poses High Risks to Human Health According to a recent and extensive survey, homosexual people have “excess health problems. They suffer from “impaired physical and mental health, heavy alcohol consumption, and heavy cigarette use. The National Health Interview Survey included 69,000 participants and was published in Journal of the American Medical Association .The leader is Gilbert Gonzales of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. The survey found that a sexually non-normative lifestyle takes a particular toll on women and bisexuals. Lesbians are 91 percent more likely to report inferior health outcomes and bisexual women are 100 percent more likely to report chronic health conditions including heavy drinking and smoking. The simple truth is that homosexual behaviour is harmful physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. http://www.afa.net/the-stand/homosexuality/2016/06/homosexuality-is-a-danger-to-human-health/#.V3UDwH5ginm.facebook http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=2530417 USA – Your genes did not make you do it Geneticists, psychologists, neuroscientists and medical researchers agree that genetically dominated same sex attraction caused by a cluster of genes, could not suddenly appear and disappear in families, as it does. It would persist through every generation for many generations. If homosexuality is genetically dictated, homosexual practices will be identical or very similar in all cultures.  Sexual dimorphism of the brain mainly occurs at puberty and experts still have difficulty identifying structural differences between adult male and female brains, let alone heterosexual and homosexual. Studies examining effects of very high doses of female hormones to mothers show no effect on males and a dubious effect on women. Therapy changing levels of adult male and female sex hormones affects sex drive but not orientation. http://mygenes.co.nz/summary.htm <Back to Top>

Sexual Exploitation

USA – Study from US State department for 2016 “When we talk about ‘human trafficking,’ we’re talking about slavery – modern-day slavery that still today claims more than 20 million victims at any given time, all people,  just like everybody everyone else. They have names and families in many cases. However, they are enforced to endure a hell – a living hell in modern times that no human being should ever have to experience.” said a Senior State Department official from Washington DC. http://www.state.gov/j/tip/index.htm South Africa – Decriminalization of prostitution not likely to happen The Deputy Minister of Justice addressed the World Aids Conference and he said that decriminalization of prostitution is not likely to happen in SA any time soon or ever. He listed among other reasons; increase in sex trafficking victims, increase in the number of women drawn into prostitution and increase in foreign women coming to SA for sex work. He also said that South Africa is a conservative nation and if put to a public vote it would likely not be supported. This is great news and a step in the right direction to the total abolishing of prostitution in SA. http://www.rootshosting.co.za/docforlife/breaking-news-aids-conference-2016/ <Back to Top>

Substance Abuse

USA – Study: Marijuana use dampens brain’s response to reward over time Most people would get a little ‘rush’ out of the idea that they’re about to win something. If you could look into their brain at that very moment, you’d see activity in the part of the brain that responds to rewards. For marijuana users, that rush isn’t as big and gets smaller over time. It opens them up to more risk of addiction. The new results come from the first long-term study of young marijuana users that tracked brain responses to rewards over time. It was performed at the University Of Michigan Medical School, published in JAMA Psychiatry, and shows measurable changes in the brain’s reward system with marijuana use. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/07/160706114407.htm http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2016.1161 <Back to Top> Disclaimer: the views and opinions expressed in these articles do not necessarily reflect those of Doctors for Life International]]>

LIFEalerts 28 June 2016

Abortion USA – Oklahoma College Offers Pro-Life Courses USA – Activists Attack Governor for Shutting Down Abortion Clinic Alternative Medicine China – Traditional Chinese Medicine Seen to Block Lung Fibrosis in Mice Euthanasia Belgium – Will Belgium grant euthanasia for unwanted sexual attraction? Holland – Let’s increase organ transplant rates by encouraging euthanasia IVF& Surrogacy No news today Medical Ethics France – Top court allows export of sperm to circumvent dead donor rule USA – Bioethicists clash over death of terminally ill 5-year-old Pedophilia No news today Pornography USA – Rhode Island prohibits malicious practice of “Revenge Porn” USA – New Gallup Poll: How Accepted is Pornography in America? Same SexAttraction South Africa – Hopes and worries about hate crime legislation Peru – First Research to show the risks of chest binding SexualExploitation USA – Amnesty International defends pimps and traffickers Canada – A case for arresting Vancouver’s Johns and pimps UK – The dangers of rebranding prostitution as ‘sex work’ South Africa – Human trafficking thrives as economy slows Substance Abuse USA – Long-term marijuana use changes brain’s reward circuit USA – lifelong marijuana use correlated with troubled middle age UN – World drug abuse statistics   Abortion  USA – Oklahoma College Offers Pro-Life Courses Oklahoma Wesleyan University (OKWU) plans to offer students an applied bioethics certificate for training in pro-life activism and pregnancy centre management. The program is in partnership with the Life Training Institute, a pro-life apologetics organization, and CareNet, one of the largest pregnancy resource organizations in the world. University spokeswoman Megan England said OKWU wants the program to train “leaders who are prepared to defend and protect the innocent in ways that are more than abstract.” http://www.lifenews.com/2016/06/07/most-colleges-are-training-grounds-for-abortion-activists-but-this-one-offers-pro-life-courses/   USA – Activists Attack Governor for Shutting Down Abortion Clinic Kentucky’s new pro-life Governer Matt Bevin has done a lot to protect unborn babies and crack down on the abortion industry. His administration has filed two lawsuits against abortion clinics after state inspectors discovered they were aborting without a state license. Bevin also signed the first pro-life law to reach a Kentucky governor’s desk in more than a decade. His administration recently won a court victory when a judge ruled the state could shut down a filthy abortion clinic that was masquerading as a doctor’s office. Bevin also signed the first pro-life law to reach the governor’s desk in more than a decade. The law requires consultation between a doctor and woman at least 24 hours before having an abortion. http://www.lifenews.com/2016/06/22/activists-attack-governor-for-shutting-down-abortion-clinic-with-a-sick-song-crotch-crucifix/   <Back to Top>   Alternative Medicine  China – Traditional Chinese Medicine Seen to Block Lung Fibrosis in Mice Salvianolic acid B, a compound isolated from red sage and a main component of the traditional Chinese medicine known as Yiqihuoxue formula, prevented fibrotic changes both in bleomycin-treated mice and in cell culture models. Research from Fudan University in China recently found that traditional blend could lessen skin and lung fibrosis. The study indicated that this was likely mediated by preventing changes in gene expression and cell signaling pathways, induced by TGF-β. Findings, published in the journal Scientific Reports, showed that Salvianolic acid B also had similar properties when tested in a cell type derived from human lung epithelium, where scientists triggered fibrosis using both TGF-β and TNF-α, an inflammatory molecule also believed to be involved in fibrotic processes. http://pulmonaryfibrosisnews.com/traditional-Chinese-medicine-ingredient-blocks-fibrosis-in-mice   <Back to Top>   Euthanasia  Belgium – Will Belgium grant euthanasia for unwanted sexual attraction? Along with unbearable physical pain, mental suffering, and dementia, a new reason for seeking euthanasia in Belgium has emerged in the media – pedophilia. Gilles Genicot, a bioethicist at the University of Liege, also a member of Belgium’s euthanasia review committee said: “It’s more likely he has psychological problems relating to his sexuality. I cannot find a trace of actual psychic illness here. But what you cannot do is purely rule out the option of euthanasia for such patients.” http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/will-belgium-grant-euthanasia-for-unwanted-sexual-attraction/11911   Holland – Let’s increase organ transplant rates by encouraging euthanasia Ethicists and transplant specialists say, according to an article in the Journal of Medical Ethics that about 40 people in Belgium and the Netherlands have successfully combined euthanasia with organ donation since 2005. The doctors are so enthusiastic about the procedure that they have proposed legal changes which will speed up the procedure and maximize the number of donations. Although the numbers are still low, the idea is becoming more popular in both countries, according to the authors. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/lets-increase-organ-transplant-rates-by-encouraging-euthanasia-patients-to/11912#sthash.SrKgMBD8.dpuf   <Back to Top>  IVF&Surrogacy No news today   <Back to Top>  Medical Ethics  France – Top court allows export of sperm to circumvent dead donor rule A French Court has ruled in favour of allowing a dead man’s sperm to be sent to a foreign IVF clinic, despite France’s prohibition on insemination using sperm from deceased males. The Council of State ruled in favour of Spanish national, Nicola Turri, who requested that the sperm of her deceased Italian husband be exported to Spain where she lives now. Mr Turri was diagnosed with cancer of the lymphatic system and froze his sperm before starting chemotherapy, a routine procedure due to the treatment causing infertility. The court acknowledged that Spanish law permits post-mortem insemination, and decided that the denial of the application would constitute “an excessive interference” with the widow’s “rights to respect for private and family life”. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/french-court-green-lights-export-of-sperm-to-circumvent-dead-donor-rule/11901   USA – Bioethicists clash over death of terminally ill 5-year-old Julianna Snow, a terminally ill five-year-old girl who suffered from a common inherited neurodegenerative condition called Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease has died. After undergoing painful medical, Julianna expressed to her parents a desire to forgo treatment even if it meant her death. New York University bioethics professor Arthur Caplan said, “This doesn’t sit well with me. It makes me nervous. I think a 4-year-old might be capable of deciding what music to hear or what picture book they might want to read. But I think there’s zero chance a 4-year-old can understand the concept of death. That kind of thinking doesn’t really develop until around age 9 or 10.” http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/bioethicists-clash-over-death-of-5-year-old/11928 <Back to Top>  Pedophilia No news today <Back to Top>   Pornography  USA – Rhode Island prohibits malicious practice of “Revenge Porn” The Rhode Island House of Representatives has passed legislation that would prohibit a malicious practice known as “revenge porn.”Attorney General Peter Kilmartin announced that lawmakers approved the bill which would prohibit the posting of naked pictures on a website without the permission of the person in the photos. The images are often posted by ex-spouses, former partners or extortionists demanding ransoms to remove the photos. A person convicted of revenge pornography would face up to a year in prison. Second and subsequent convictions would be felonies punishable by up to three years behind bars. Extortion involving sexually explicit images would result in up to five years in prison. http://www.dailyjournal.net/view/story/593db011727e413b94c30c5b9cd6e3e4/RI–Revenge-Porn-Bill  USA – New Gallup Poll: How Accepted is Pornography in America? A Gallup poll found that pornography is viewed as largely unacceptable by the majority of Americans with 61{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} finding pornography unacceptable. The movement against pornography and all sexual exploitation is gaining momentum across ideological and political spheres. TIME magazine recently ran a cover story on the physiological harms of pornography. The Washington Post ran a series addressing the negative impact pornography has on public health and gender equality. Utah has also declared pornography a public health crisis. http://endsexualexploitation.org/articles/new-gallup-poll-accepted-pornography-america/   <Back to Top>  Same Sex Attraction  South Africa – Hopes and worries about hate crime legislation The threat of violence against people because of their sexual orientation is not uncommon in South Africa, but will new laws help? Although South Africa has anti-discrimination legislation to address unfair bias, the Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill distinguish hate crimes and hate speech as independent categories and provide specific sentencing guidelines. The bill is set to be tabled in Parliament in September, after local elections, and will undergo a public consultation process. The bill has not been free of controversy and the concern is that such legislation will limit freedom of speech. http://www.groundup.org.za/article/targeting-hate-crime/  Peru – First research on the risks of chest binding For the first time ever some well known information about chest binding has finally been done by the International Association for the Study of Sexuality, Culture and Society empirically and published in Culture, Health and Sexuality:  An International Journal for Research, Intervention and Care. The data was collected in the form of an online survey, where participants self-reported about their preferences, habits, and symptoms, as it relates to binding their chests.  The sample size was 1,800 people, from 38 countries, ages 18-66 years old, who were either assigned female at birth or intersex. 97.2{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of respondents reported at least one negative outcome from binding.  The most common symptoms were: back pain, rib or spine changes, shoulder joint “popping”, fatigue, weakness, and digestive issues. https://janitorqueer.com/2016/06/21/28-risks-of-chest-binding   <Back to Top>  Sexual Exploitation  USA – Amnesty International defends pimps and traffickers Dawn Hawkins, executive director of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation says Amnesty International’s new policy of advocating full decriminalization of prostitution “is a gift to pimps, sex buyers, and sex traffickers. Through their “irresponsible policy”, pimps and exploiters become mere “sex business operators” and “customers” while sexual violence and abuse inherent to prostitution is normalized as a form of ‘work. They have undermined the human rights of persons in the sex trade, mainly females, and has advocated for impunity for perpetrators of sexploitation. By decriminalizing pimps and sex buyers, they are sanctioning the abuses experienced by those in prostitution. Decriminalization of prostitution in no way rectifies the conditions of inequality, abuse, violence and dehumanization in prostitution. http://www.wnd.com/2016/06/amnesty-international-defends-pimps-and-traffickers/#dKuLsvDU7pFKgdmT.99  Canada – A case for arresting Vancouver’s Johns and pimps A situation has united people who have been calling on Vancouver Police and city to stop demand by stopping the men who buy women. Not a single charge has yet been made against a John under Canada’s prostitution laws. Amy, a resident of a Vancouver neighborhood, says she’s frustrated watching the sex trades operate right in front of her house. She understands some people may see prostitution as a choice, but says she sees girls who are young and manipulated, and clearly living in poverty. She says the trade comes with its trappings, like drugs and discarded needles, and that the trolling Johns are raising concerns among women. http://www.cknw.com/2016/06/14/draft-the-prostitution-trade-in-vancouver/  UK – The dangers of rebranding prostitution as ‘sex work’ The steady creep of “sex work” into 21st-century vernacular is neither incidental nor accidental. The term didn’t just pop up and go viral. The Global Network of Sex Work Projects, an organization that openly campaigns for brothel-keeping and pimping to be recognized as legitimate jobs, credits itself as largely responsible for “sex work” replacing “prostitution” as the terminology for institutions such as the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/Aids (UNAIDS). The notion that being paid to perform sex acts should be recognized as a kind of service work is the rationale underpinning legalized prostitution regimes. https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#search/The+dangers+of+rebran/155297cf4bcc382f  South Africa – Human trafficking thrives as economy slows As the economy declines there is an increase in human trafficking because criminals view it as an easier crime to get into, as little or no capital input is needed, said advocate Dawn Coleman-Malinga of the Sexual Offences and Community Affairs Unit of the National Prosecuting Authority. It generates billions in profit each year and is one of the world’s fastest growing criminal activities. Internationally, it is the third most profitable business of organized crime after drug dealing and the small arms trade. Victims are seduced by offers of legitimate employment due to poverty, unemployment, lack of education, domestic violence and ignorance. Stockholm syndrome, which is a psychological phenomenon in which hostage’s express empathy and sympathy towards their captors, is also a problem. http://www.iol.co.za/news/crime-courts/human-trafficking-thrives-as-economy-slows-2036895   <Back to Top>   Substance Abuse  USA – Long-term marijuana use changes brain’s reward circuit Chronic marijuana use disrupts the brain’s natural reward processes, according to researchers at the Centre for Brain Health at The University of Texas at Dallas. In a paper published in Human Brain Mapping, researchers demonstrated for the first time with functional magnetic resonance imaging that long-term marijuana users had more brain activity in the mesocorticolimbic-reward system when presented with cannabis cues than with natural reward cues.”This study shows that marijuana disrupts the natural reward circuitry of the brain, making marijuana highly salient to those who use it heavily.” said Dr. Francesca Filbey, director of Cognitive Neuroscience Research in Addictive Disorders. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/06/160607151239.htm  USA – lifelong marijuana use correlated with troubled middle age In a study in the journal Clinical Psychological Science researchers followed about 1,000 people from birth to age 38. “Our study found that regular cannabis users experienced downward social mobility and more financial problems such as troubles with debt and cash flow,” said Magdalena Cerdá, an epidemiologist at the University of California. “Regular long-term users also had more antisocial behaviours at work i.e. stealing money or lying to get a job and experienced more relationship problems, such as intimate partner violence and controlling abuse.” At age 18, those who went on to use marijuana heavily were no different from the rest of the cohort in their IQ, motivation, or impulsivity. http://www.popsci.com/does-heavy-marijuana-use-really-make-you-broke-and-troubled-in-middle-age?con=TrueAnthem&dom=fb&src=SOC http://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/newsroom/pdf/2016_APS_Persistent-cannabis-dependence.pdf  UN – World drug abuse statistics An estimated quarter of a billion people between the ages of 15 and 64 years, abused at least one drug in 2014 but that figure and the number of drug-related deaths have remained relatively steady over recent years, according to a U.N. report. At the same time, the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) report said that the number of heroin users in the United States in 2014 was nearly triple that of 2003 with five times as many deaths related to the drug than in 2000. UNODC put all drug-related fatalities at an estimated 207,400 worldwide in the 15-64 age groups. http://medicalxpress.com/news/2016-06-world-drug-abuse-deaths-pretty.html   <Back to Top>  Disclaimer: the views and opinions expressed in these articles do not necessarily reflect those of Doctors for Life International]]>

LIFEalerts 09 June 2016

Abortion USA – Kansas permanently defunds Planned Parenthood USA – 175 babies saved from abortion pill USA – New meta-study confirms link between abortion and preterm birth Alternative Medicine USA – Herbal remedies an overlooked health hazard USA – Alternative Medicine Users More Likely To Delay Chemotherapy USA – Acupuncture Licensing Signed into Law USA – Home Remedy For Skin Cancer May Cause Damage Euthanasia Netherlands – Dutch pediatricians seek child euthanasia Netherlands – Dutch euthanasia cases up by 4{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} Australia – Searching for meaning at the end of life USA – Suicide on the rise IVF& Surrogacy UK – Court decision broadens scope of surrogacy Medical Ethics UK/USA – Calls to extend 14-day embryo rule France – Paris conference investigates CRISPR potential USA – Scientists discuss synthetic human genome behind closed doors USA – Experimentation continues on chimera embryos Pedophilia No news today Pornography USA – Revenge Porn: Is It Legal? UK – Queen’s Speech forces porn sites to verify users Same SexAttraction USA – Are homosexuals born that way? SexualExploitation USA – Stomping Johns: The Demand Side of Prostitution USA – Inconvenient truths: sex buyers and prostitution harm denial USA – Amnesty ignores downside of decriminalizing prostitution USA – Five reasons Amnesty’s policy should worry you Substance Abuse South Africa – Pro marijuana advocates get high on dagga policy shift South Africa – “Sizzurp” cough syrup craze hits Cape teens USA – Pennsylvania Legalizes Medical Marijuana UK – More than half of UK toddler poisoning deaths caused by methadone   Abortion  USA – Kansas permanently defunds Planned Parenthood Kansas defunded Planned Parenthood and in doing so expanded access to healthcare for poor women. Kansas Senate Bill 436  reallocates $61,000 from the abortion provider to full-service healthcare clinics. Gov. Sam Brownback made the following statement: ”The time has come to finish the job. We must keep working to protect our most innocent Kansans, the unborn. Every year since I became governor we have enacted pro-life legislation. We have come a long way, but there is still work to be done.” http://liveactionnews.org/kansas-permanently-defunds-planned-parenthood-sends-money-to-health-clinics/  USA – 175 babies saved from abortion pill In 2006, Dr. Matthew Harrison from North Carolina was called to help a young woman that has taken the RU-486 abortion pill. There was no known antidote or treatment to stop the abortion. Focusing on how RU-486 works, he gave her a shot of progesterone. She received progesterone shots twice a week until about halfway through the pregnancy when her body began producing enough progesterone to support the pregnancy. She delivered a healthy baby at 40 weeks gestation. To date, 175 babies have been born alive and healthy, and 100 more are on the way, thanks to Dr. Harrison’s discovery. The success rate of saving babies after the first pill has been taken is about 53 percent. https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/doctors-save-175-babies-from-abortion-through-abortion-pill-reversal  USA – New meta-study confirms link between abortion and preterm birth A new study appearing in the latest issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology finds that abortion comes with a “significantly higher risk” of premature births in future pregnancies. The study, a meta-analysis of 36 international studies and over a million women, finds a 52{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} increase in the risk, as well as heightened possibility of lower gestational and birth weights. http://liveactionnews.org/new-meta-study-confirms-link-between-abortion-and-preterm-births/ <Back to Top>  Alternative Medicine  USA – Herbal remedies an overlooked health hazard Millions of people around the world use herbal health remedies and many of our allopathic medicines are derived from herbs. But researchers Dr. Donald M. Marcus, professor emeritus of medicine and immunology at Baylor, and Dr. Arthur P. Grollman, distinguished professor of pharmacological sciences at Stony Brook University, discussed the scientific evidence showing that the plant Aristolochia commonly known as birthwort, Pipevine or Dutchman’s pipe can cause aristolochic acid nephropathy (AAN). People with this condition experience interstitial nephritis, renal failure and cancers of the urinary track. According to the national prescription database, between 1997 and 2003, 8 million people were exposed to herbs containing Aristolochia. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/05/160503130532.htm  USA – Alternative Medicine Users More Likely To Delay Chemotherapy Women with early stage breast cancer who resort to alternative medicine are more likely to delay recommended chemotherapy, a new study suggests. This is one of the first studies evaluating the impact of complementary and alternative medicine use on decisions about chemotherapy. Led by Heather Greenlee, ND, PhD, associate professor of Epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, the researchers studied a group of 685 women with early-stage breast cancer who were recruited from Columbia University Medical Centre, Kaiser Permanente Northern California, and Henry Ford Health System and enrolled 2006-2010. The women were younger than 70 with non-metastatic invasive breast cancer. http://reliawire.com/cam-users-delay-chemotherapy/  USA – Acupuncture Licensing Signed into Law Governor Sam Brownback signed House Bill 2615 into law on Friday, May 13, 2016.  HB2615 includes provisions for the licensure of Acupuncturists in the State of Kansas. Previously, untrained and inexperienced practitioners had equal footing to perform acupuncture as fully trained acupuncturists. The Bill requires Kansas Acupuncturists to complete a nationally accredited certification program, pass national exams, and carry professional liability insurance. HB2615 goes into effect in July, 2016, even though it was removed from the list of therapies in the UK due to a lack of evidence that it works. http://news.sys-con.com/node/3827311  USA – Home Remedy for Skin Cancer May Cause Damage Despite the promise of an “easy and natural” treatment for skin cancer, home remedies such as black salve, also known as Cansema, can actually make things worse, new research shows. “There is a misperception that black salve ‘draws the cancer out,’ when, in fact, it just indiscriminately damages anything it touches,” study co-author Dr. Mark Eliason, a dermatologist at the University of Utah, said in a news release from the American Academy of Dermatology. “One of the reasons black salve treatment is so dangerous is that many users have no idea how harmful it can be.” http://news.health.com/2016/05/23/home-remedy-for-skin-cancer-may-cause-damage-mask-new-growth/ <Back to Top>  Euthanasia  Netherlands – Dutch pediatricians seek child euthanasia After neighboring Belgium passed legislation in 2014 enabling child euthanasia, doctors and activists in the Netherlands are keen to catch up. The Dutch Health Minister, Edith Schippers, has earmarked almost 400,000 Euros for a study of whether to expand eligibility for euthanasia to children between 1 and 12. At the moment, children under 1 may be killed with the consent of their parents following criteria set out in the Groningen Protocols, where children older than 12 are already eligible. The Dutch Paediatric Association (NVK) kicked off the debate on the topic last year. They already strongly support a change. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/dutch-paediatricians-seek-child-euthanasia/11857 Netherlands – Dutch euthanasia cases up by 4{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} According to the latest statistics released by the government, in 2015 there were 5,516 euthanasia or assisted suicide cases. This is rise of 4{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} over the figures for 2014. The most intriguing feature of the statistics was the steep rise in euthanasia for end-stage psychiatric disorders (56, up from 41 in 2014, 73{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}) and dementia (109, up from 81, 74{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}). According to the Dutch protocols for euthanasia, each doctor is supposed to lodge a report with one of the five regional review committees. In 4 out of the 5,516 cases, the committees detected some irregularities, which will be investigated further. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/dutch-euthanasia-cases-up-by-41/11860  Australia – Searching for meaning at the end of life Researchers from Australia and the UK have called for greater attention to be paid to ‘spiritual care’ in the treatment of elderly patients.  Psychiatrists John Wattis and Stephen Curran of the University of Huddersfield discussed the need for clinicians to provide holistic treatment for elderly patients: “The technical and the interpersonal aspects of clinical care should go together. Being prepared to assess spiritual need and deal with it – or signpost the patient to those who can help – should be part of good medical practice.” http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/searching-for-meaning-at-the-end-of-life/11881 USA – Suicide on the rise Columbia University psychiatrist Jeffrey A. Lieberman has criticized the lack of funding for research into suicide prevention. A report from the National Center for Health Statistics gives a sobering set of statistics that the suicide rate has increased during the period 1999-2014. The average percent increase in the age-adjusted suicide rate was about 1{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} per year from 1999 to 2006, which increased to 2{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} from 2006 to 2014. The suicide rate for females aged 10-14 years had the largest percent increase, a 200{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} increase. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/doctors-call-for-government-action-as-suicide-increases/11883 <Back to Top>  IVF&Surrogacy  UK – Court decision broadens scope of surrogacy In a landmark decision, the High Court in the UK has ruled that it is discriminatory to prevent single men or women from becoming the parents of babies born to surrogate mothers. The government will probably have to update its legislation to make it compatible with the ruling. Until now, only couples in a stable relationship could become parents of a child born to a surrogate mother. Single people could adopt children, but they were not automatically entitled to be regarded as a parent if their child was born to a surrogate. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/landmark-uk-decision-broadens-scope-of-surrogacy/11896#sthash.y9ObuDs0.dpuf <Back to Top>  Medical Ethics  UK/USA – Calls to extend 14-day embryo rule Policy analysts are calling for a change to the 14-day embryo experimentation rule requiring scientists to terminate embryos in vitro before two week of development after new embryology research in Nature, where scientists kept embryos alive until the 14-day mark. University of Manchester bioethicist John Harris argued a 21-day deadline would allow scientists to better understand miscarriages and stem cells to treat diseases. The Nuffield Council on Bioethics said they are considering whether to advocate for legal change. US ethicists writing in Nature this week called for clarification and re-evaluation of existing regulations. Reverend Tadeusz Pacholczyk of the National Catholic Bioethics Centre suggested the 14-day-rule was flawed and only paid “lip service to the moral status of the human embryo”. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/calls-to-augment-14-day-embryo-rule/11867  France – Paris conference investigates CRISPR potential CRISPR and other gene-editing technologies hold great promise for treating disease but provoke ethical concerns, especially about germline modification and altering the genetic heritage of future generations. Two conferences in Paris were attended by leading figures in stem cell research to discuss regulation, governance, and ethical issues surrounding human gene-editing research. Irish lawyer Caroline Simons summarized the proceedings on the blog of Paul Knoepfler’s stem cell lab.1.  Germline gene editing technologies are not ready for clinical application in humans.2.  No country has regulated specifically for these technologies, but some consider that their regulations would encompass, or at least not prohibit, somatic gene editing.3.  Most countries prohibit germline gene editing. Click to read the other points. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/paris-conference-investigates-crispr-potential/11871 http://www.ipscell.com/2016/05/meeting-report-from-april-29th-paris-human-gene-edit-meeting/  USA – Scientists discuss synthetic human genome behind closed doors Scientists, lawyers and entrepreneurs have gathered behind closed doors at Harvard to discuss creating a synthetic human genome. This could lead to the creation of humans without parents, genetically-engineered humans or copies of existing people. The NY Times said the goal of the meeting was to synthesize a complete human genome in a cell line within 10 years. Drew Endy of Stanford, and Laurie Zoloth at Northwestern University, were highly critical of the secrecy surrounding the meeting. The creation of new human life is one of the last human-associated processes that has not yet been industrialised or fully commodified. It remains an act of faith, joy, and hope. Discussions to synthesise a human genome should not occur in closed rooms. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/scientists-discuss-synthetic-human-genome-behind-closed-doors/11884  USA – Experimentation continues on chimera embryos US Scientists continue to conduct research on human-animal hybrid embryos, despite a moratorium on funding from the National Institutes of Health. Pablo Ross, a reproductive biologist from the University of California, Davis, has been working to grow human organs in developing porcine foetuses. “We’re not trying to make a chimera just because we want to see some kind of monstrous creature; we’re doing this for a biomedical purpose.” Some bioethicists are concerned about creating chimera embryos. Stuart Newman, professor of cell biology and anatomy at New York Medical College, said “If you have pigs with partly human brains you would have animals that might actually have consciousness like a human.” “It might have human-type needs. We don’t really know.” http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/experimentation-continues-on-chimera-embryos/11882 <Back to Top>  Pedophilia  No news today <Back to Top>  Pornography  USA – Revenge Porn: Is It Legal? A recent national survey shows that 36{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of Americans plan to send intimate content to their partners. Additionally, one in ten ex-partners threatened to expose racy images online and carry out the threat 60{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of the time. Revenge porn is unwilling individuals being exploited for the entertainment of others. There are no federal laws criminalizing revenge porn. However, due to recent advocacy efforts twenty-eight states now have revenge porn laws in place. Revenge porn is a real problem that federal lawmakers are only recently starting to realize. http://endsexualexploitation.org/articles/15014-2/  UK – Queen’s Speech forces porn sites to verify users Porn sites will be forced to verify users’ ages as part of a crackdown, confirmed today in the Queen’s Speech. Strict rules in the Digital Economy Bill will force porn-lovers to go beyond just saying “yes, I’m 18” – and could ask for their credit card details. The law will apply to all sites showcasing material in the UK according to officials. http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/queens-speech-forces-porn-sites-7996602  <Back to Top>  Same Sex Attraction  USA – Are homosexuals born that way? In spite of the latest Gallup poll, 51 percent of Americans say that people are born gay or lesbian, while only 30 percent say outside factors such as upbringing and environment determine sexual orientation. However no fewer than eight major studies from around the world have found homosexuality is not a genetic condition. Physychiatrists William Byne and Bruce Parsons summarize the evidence favouring a biologic theory to be lacking.  Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council says that these numerous, rigorous studies of identical twins have now made it impossible to argue that there is a “gay gene. Some homosexuals openly admit that their lifestyle is a choice. https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/for-the-first-time-a-majority-of-americans-believe-homosexuals-are-born-tha <Back to Top>  Sexual Exploitation  USA – Stomping Johns: The Demand Side of Prostitution Samantha Bergh says since 2003, she has primarily worked against men’s demands for prostitution and pornography. The phrase “red light district” refers those neighborhoods in every sizable city where men can go to sexually prey on girls with society’s permission. They are the rape neighborhoods, where rape is a little more okay than it is elsewhere and everyone knows it. When sex is “work,” rape is theft; a man raping a woman is more akin to a man shoplifting than a man inflicting life-wrecking torture. A man’s agreement to pay $150 for sex makes the rape he commits a crime worth $150 in the public changing minds. There’s a role for everyone who wants to do something about sex-based slavery. http://worldnewstrust.com/stomping-johns-the-demand-side-of-prostitution-mickey-z USA – Inconvenient truths: sex buyers and prostitution harm denial The truth about prostitution is often concealed behind the lies, manipulations and distortions of sex trade pimps, managers and others who profit from the business, says research by Melissa Farley on the psychosocial and psychobiological realities. Just like other coercive systems, are dehumanization, objectification, sexism, racism, misogyny, lack of empathy/pathological entitlement (pimps and clients), domination, exploitation, and chronic exposure to violence and degradation that destroys the personality and the spirit?  Prostitution cannot be made safe by legalizing or decriminalizing it. Prostitution needs to be completely abolished as they are being chronically sexually harassed, endangered, and raped.  Most women in prostitution suffer from severe PTSD and want to get out. http://logosjournal.com/2016/farley-2/  USA – Amnesty ignores downside of decriminalizing prostitution Laws applying to all involved in the sex trade overlook the abuse and expolitatation at its heart.  Should prostitution be legalized?  Cynthia Dills answer implicitly endorses the full decriminalization policy proposed by Amnesty International and other watchdog organizations. This policy would decriminalize everyone from the marginalized (mostly) woman and girls who are the merchandise, to the buyers and middlemen who exploit them.  Instead, Amnesty International’s acceptance of prostitution with the recommendations made by attendees at the Carter Center’s World Summit to End Sexual Exploitation, held in May 2015 in Atlanta.  They state:  “Commercial sexual exploitation is gender-based violence and a public health crisis made possible by unethical and ungrounded male entitlement, which disproportionately affects the most venerable among us. http://www.pressherald.com/2016/05/22/another-view-dill-amnesty-international-ignore-downside-of-decriminia USA – Five reasons Amnesty’s policy should worry you Darren Geist from Rolling Stones magazine reports: 1. Decriminalization will Increase sex trafficking. 2. It will reduce the quality of life for prostitutes and hinder efforts to provide protection and improve health care. 3. It ignores complicated issues of consent in prostitution, where most prostitutes are victims of exploitation. 4. It will fuel rape culture. 5. it’s promoting a form of economic libertarianism, typically anathema to the human rights left. Amnesty’s proposal perverts human-rights and women’s-rights principles. It sacrifices concerns and welfare of the vast majority of prostitutes. Amnesty has staked out a position that will be a boon to pimps and sex traffickers, and do great damage to the human rights of the men, women and children caught up in the sex industry. http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/6-reasons-to-be-wary-of-amnestys-prostitution-policy-20160601 <Back to Top>  Substance Abuse  South Africa – Pro marijuana advocates get high on dagga policy shift Pro-dagga activists welcomed the Central Drug Authority’s policy shift as “a move in the right direction”. In a position statement in the South African Medical Journal, the authority contradicted its own National Drug Master Plan, now recommending the adoption of an “immediate focus” on decriminalising dagga. In a recommendation on the medical use of dagga, the authority said, “ingredients of the cannabis plant should undergo standard evaluation by the Medicines Control Council to assess benefits and risks for the treatment of particular medical conditions”. http://www.timeslive.co.za/thetimes/2016/06/02/Dopeheads-get-high-on-dagga-policy-shift South Africa – “Sizzurp” cough syrup craze hits Cape teens Parents and caregivers have been warned to hide cough syrup from their teenagers, as the American drug craze called “sizzurp” takes off on the Cape Flats. The mixture which can contain cough syrup, pain killers, sweets, fizzy drinks and alcohol is also referred to as “purple drank”, and is apparently being consumed by the litre by school children. The Western Cape Education Department said it causes feelings of euphoria, followed by a “sleepy and calm state”. The drink was made famous by various rappers and Hollywood celebrities. http://www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/western-cape/rappers-cough-syrup-craze-hits-cape-teens-2028837  USA – Pennsylvania Legalizes Medical Marijuana Pennsylvania joined 23 other states in legalizing medical marijuana. Lawmakers hope pot can help curtail the state’s painkiller abuse problems. https://www.sciencedaily.com/videos/93ffef91889b3739e6beda3f3f24e87a.htm  UK – More than half of UK toddler poisoning deaths caused by methadone The number of teens being poisoned over the past 20 years has risen sharply with more than half (57{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}) of toddler deaths from drug poisoning caused by methadone, the medicine used to help heroin addicts kick their habit Dr. Mark Anderson, of the Great North Children’s Hospital, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne, said: “It is the second most common cause of drug related death in England and Wales after heroin or morphine.” The researchers analyzed national data on childhood poisonings and hospital treatment and admissions to intensive care for unintentional poisoning between 2001 and 2013. The research came as a study by the University of Nottingham, published in the journal Injury Prevention. http://www.wakefieldexpress.co.uk/news/local-news/more-than-half-of-uk-toddler-poisoning-deaths-caused-by-methadone-1-7916491 <Back to Top>  Disclaimer: the views and opinions expressed in these articles do not necessarily reflect those of Doctors for Life International]]>