USA - Funds are about to run dry for the abortion business
Ireland - Abortion changes our culture
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Switzerland - Assisted suicide clinic founder charged with profiteering
Portugal - Government votes down legalization of euthanasia
USA - Doctors forced by legislation to participate in euthanasia
IVF and Surrogacy
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UK - Nuffield Council releases study of AI in healthcare
USA - Concern mounts over biohacking “stunts”
USA - Is salt bad for you? Let’s feed prisoners low-salt food and see
USA - 'Show Dogs' pulled as parents say it grooms kids for sexual abuse
USA - Pedophiles try to lure an 8-year-old girl into child porn on an app
South Africa - What you need to know about revenge porn laws in SA
USA - Virginia school teaches that there is no biological sex
Same Sex Attraction
Canada - Transgender demands woman to wax his genitals
USA - Victory for parents over LGBT books in public library
USA - Another hotel cancels an event eroticizing violence against women
South Africa - ‘Voices of the people’ called for in sex work research
USA - Study Reveals More children are overdosing on ADHD Drugs
South Africa - People smoking in public could be jailed for up to 3 months
USA - Over a Dozen People Hospitalized for Synthetic Marijuana
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) has released proposed regulations to block Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers from receiving Title X family planning funds, as well as ban any abortion referrals. Clinics receiving Title X funds also would be required to keep records of specific actions taken to encourage family participation in a minor seeking abortion - unless it's suspected that the minor is a victim of sexual abuse. The proposed regulations focus on issues of sex trafficking, child abuse, molestation, incest, rape and domestic violence by mandating annual training for grantee clinics and setting up site-specific protocols to protect victims.
The Bridgehead shared a short video excerpt from an Irish television show on which John McGuirk from Save the 8th Campaign shares why he opposes removing the right to life for unborn babies. Browsing the UK abortion statistics for 2016, 11 babies were lethally injected into the heart through the womb for having a cleft pallet, 141 babies were lethally injected and delivered dead for being twins and the parents only wanting one child – not two In Australia parents were expecting twins but one of the two had a heart defect and they chose to abort the child only for the doctor to abort the healthy baby instead. Mr McGuirk finished off by saying “when you legalize abortion; you changed the culture of a country – utterly. You change the way we think about life, you change the way we as a society relate to each other so that absolutely horrifying things can be done behind closed doors to unborn children who would otherwise, in a couple of weeks, be living, breathing human beings and no one asks about it.”
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Ludwig Minelli, founder of the Dignitas assisted suicide clinic has been charged for profiteering in the deaths of his clients. Accusations that Minelli charges inappropriate fees at the Dignitas clinic have circulated for years. Several years ago Soraya Wernli, a former Dignitas employee, told the Daily Mail that Minelli was selling the personal effects of his dead clients at pawn shops and charging some clients exorbitant fees. Providing assisted suicide in Switzerland is not illegal but it is illegal to do so for profit, under the threat of a maximum five year prison sentence. Prosecutors are seeking a fine of 7,000 Swiss francs (£5,200) and a further suspended fine of 65,000 francs (£48,000).
The Portuguese General Assembly voted down four government legislative proposals to legalize euthanasia in Portugal. The Socialist Party proposed law was defeated with 115 votes against 110 in favor and four abstentions. The head of the Portuguese Catholic Doctors Association, Pedro Afonso, congratulated parliamentarians and declared the vote to be a “victory for medicine and for life.” At the same time he criticized the proposals as “a subterfuge by those claiming to eliminate suffering who instead eliminate the sufferer”. Another opponent from the medical profession repeated a well-known fact that approximately 80% of gravely ill Portuguese people have no access to palliative care and the government should focus on this rather than assisting death.
Laws regarding medical staff participation in euthanasia are geared at forcing medical doctors and medical staff to violate medical ethics and practice - for example, lying on death certificates. Several state laws legalizing assisted suicide force MD’s who assist suicides to falsify death certificates on public documents needed for the accrual of vital statistics stating that the cause of death was the underlying disease and not a self-administered drug overdose. Minnesota legalization proposal SF1572 states that unless otherwise prohibited by law the attending physician may sign the qualified patient’s death certificate. The qualified patient’s underlying terminal illness shall be listed as the cause of death. No report of a public agency may refer to the practice of obtaining and self-administering life-ending medication to end a qualified patient’s life as suicide or assisted suicide, and shall refer to the practice as medical aid in dying, making sure that the term “assisted suicide” is banned from use in public communications, documents and announcement.
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AI in healthcare is developing rapidly, with many applications currently in use or development worldwide. The Nuffield Council on Bioethics examines the applications of AI in health care in the briefing note, ‘Artificial Intelligence (AI) in healthcare and research’. A number of AI applications are already in use such as: The early detection of infectious disease outbreaks and sources of epidemics, robotic tools controlled by AI to carry out specific tasks in keyhole surgery like tying knots to close wounds and analyzing speech patterns to predict psychotic episodes and identify and monitor symptoms of neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease. But there are some important questions to consider: Who is responsible for the decisions made by AI systems? Will increasing use of AI lead to a loss of human contact in care? What happens if AI systems are hacked? The briefing note outlines some of the key ethical issues that need to be considered if the benefits of AI technology are to be realized and public trust maintained. The challenge, says the Nuffield Council, will be to ensure that innovation in AI is developed and used in ways that are transparent, that address societal needs, and that are consistent with public values.
Alan Traywick who gained worldwide notoriety after injecting himself with a highly experimental herpes treatment in front of an aghast audience at a biohacking conference in Austin, Texas has died from a suspected drowning after a Ketamine overdose. This has intensified the debate over whether biohacking -- body modification and augmentation with the aim of gaining enhanced abilities – should be subject to strict regulation. Other biohacking stunts have included DIY biologists injecting themselves with CRISPR and with experimental HIV treatments. Harvard biologist George Church says that synthetic biologists should be closely monitored: “Anyone who does synthetic biology should be under surveillance and anyone who does it without a license should be suspect.” But University of Queensland biologist Kostas Vavitsas said, “I don’t think that biohackers need a license; they need to be encouraged and allowed to cultivate transparency and a sense of responsibility within their communities. And so far they are doing a great job”.
A group of medical researchers has proposed a clinical trial in American prisons to test whether too much salt is bad for you. In an editorial in Hypertension researchers argue that a randomized clinical trial in a controlled environment is needed to settle the matter once and for all. The military, nursing homes and retirement communities were suggested and discarded. But prisons seem almost ideal. The ethics of clinical trials on prisoners is a fraught area, with many abuses in the past. “Consent means something very different in the prison environment,” Marc Morjé Howard, director of the Prisons and Justice Initiative at Georgetown said. Prisoners who participate so they can get access to health care or to stay on the right side of prison authorities may not be choosing freely. “It’s hard to overstate the importance of food in prisons,” says Keramet Reiter, a criminologist at the University of California at Irvine. Food is a major ingredient of happiness in prisons. It even serves as currency. Changing to a bland, low-salt diet could lead to major disruption.
The producers of a controversial child’s movie critics say grooms children for sexual abuse are pulling it from cinemas worldwide. The “talking dog” comedy Show Dogs will be cut from theaters. Life Site News and the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) criticized Show Dogs for conveying a message that genital touching must be endured and to submit to pedophiles. Global Road Entertainment offered an apology to anyone who “feels that Show Dogs sent an inappropriate message.” NCOSE stated that it normalized the potential for sexual abuse. Executive director Karen Hawkins indicated that the implied reward for enduring the unwanted touching and the advice to retreat to a “Zen like place” were similar to tactics used by child molesters. Critics have panned Show Dogs for its reliance on jokes about genitals and bodily functions.
An 8-year-old girl was coerced into taking her clothes off by pedophiles on an app called Live.me. The girl's mother found the video saved on her tablet a week after it was live streamed."The men were saying 'Change your clothes. I'll give you more likes' and ‘where's your mom?'" Live.me says the site should not be used by anybody under the age of 13 and prohibits sexual or violent content. Within minutes of downloading the app using a fake age 12 News witnessed several videos of women dancing in a sexual manner. Experts warn parents of the dangers apps can present, especially the live streaming apps with location services that tell viewers exactly where the person is located.
South Africa has pending cyber legislation which includes criminalising the distribution of intimate images without consent. The proposed Bill includes possible jail time of up to 3 years and/or a fine if a message is found to be intimate in nature (e.g. nudity) and is distributed without the consent of the person involved. While these new laws are yet to come into effect there is an alternative and perhaps rather unusual remedy, in copyright law, which may assist victims in jurisdictions to have the images removed.
In an apparent competition among American public school boards to see which sex-education program can be made the most graphic and politically correct, there’s likely a new leader. The Fairfax County School Board in Northern Virginia is considering teaching children there is no such thing as “biological sex” and also that “clergy” are not to be trusted if students have questions. These 80 hours of sex-ed lessons evolve around ‘sexual identity’, the proper handling of contraceptive drugs and devices, and how to give consent for sex. They also teach children they weren’t actually born male or female. Advisers scrubbed ‘biological sex’ from all lessons.
In the 12th grade, the teacher is to present, show, and advertise pornographic magazines such as Playboy, Playgirl, and Penthouse.
A spa in Ontario is being sued by a man who is a transgender ‘female’ who wanted his genitals waxed. The man became enraged when a Muslim female employee refused to do so because of religious convictions. The manager of the spa said that anyone is welcome and that staff members are available to wax male genital areas, but he also respects the female staff members who do not feel comfortable with being so close to a man. The Federalist’s Kaeley Haver opposes the irrational behaviour of the transgender ‘female’ and expressed on twitter that any man who believes it is okay to force a woman into doing what she feels uncomfortable with is promoting a rape culture.
In Texas, parents and citizens fought a long battle over LGBT books on display in a public library. Parents and citizens argued that if Temple library wanted to promote “gay pride” then they must tell the whole story and also include books like The Health Hazards of Homosexuality. The library board did not want to cooperate at first but eventually was forced to as parents did not take no for an answer. The new policy is very vague but a victory nonetheless. It was also discovered that a well-funded national group with ties to the pornography industry sought to “advise” the library board on behalf of LGBT issues. Parents won this round but the fight is far from over.
A few months ago the National Centre on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) learned about a “Black and Blue” event that eroticizes violence against women, happening in a Sheraton Hotel in Houston. We sent a letter to the corporate headquarters of this company and asked our friends, Love People Not Pixels in Houston, if they could lead the local charge directly in getting this event canceled. Love People Not Pixels collaborated with the Houston Area Against Trafficking Coalition to successfully get the event cancelled! Events like this “Black and Blue” weekend normalize bondage, domination and sado-masochistic behavior and even the torture of women for pleasure.
The legislation on sex work was recently on the agenda for the Multi-party Women's Caucus in Parliament. Currently, The Sexual Offences Act of 1957 forbids prostitution, brothel-keeping and procuring, and other activities related to prostitution. The purpose of the meeting was for women’s caucus members to finalize decisions and make proposed recommendations. However, this did not happen as members felt that more needed to be done. Cynthia Majeke, a member of the UDM said that more voices need to be heard before decisions can be made. “We don’t want a situation where you call a meeting in a room like this and say you have reached stakeholders. We want a situation where you go to even the rural areas and we hear the voices of people before we can take any decision.” Her sentiments were echoed by Nthabiseng Khunou of the ANC. “If we really want to say this is a clear representation of our country and the demographics of the country are taken seriously we need to make it a point that we go to different provinces, get as many submissions as possible.” Speaking on the abuse that sex workers experience at the hands of police, and the comments of stakeholders at the summit on the role played by police in the policing of sex work, ANC MP Machwene Semenya, said that the ministry should be more involved. “We want the Minister of Police to take up the issues.” A call has been put out that more people should be included in the research. Members of Parliament in attendance and the organisations present agreed that all South Africans need to be represented. No follow-up dates were provided at the meeting.
A study published by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) reveals an increase in overdoses of Attention Deficit and Hyper Activity disorder (ADHD) drugs among children. The study examined data on pediatric exposures from the National Poison Data System between 2000 and 2016. The report found that poison control centers in the US received reports of over 150,000 exposures to ADHD drugs during that period. While some exposures were credited as therapeutic error, substance abuse accounted for a significant number of exposures. Half of those reported exposures among the adolescent age group were the result of intentional misuse or abuse. The report concludes that the rising rate of pediatric exposure to ADHD drugs, particularly the increase in intentional misuse and substance abuse is of serious concern.
The draft Control of Tobacco Products and Electronic Delivery Systems Bill proposes three month prison sentences for smoking in public. Among the many new provisions proposed are that dedicated smoking areas in restaurants will be removed. South Africans have until August 9 to comment on the bill. South Africans may be jailed up for up to three months for smoking in public and employers for up to a year if employees are unwillingly exposed to smoking. Smoking will also be banned in vehicles with passengers and specifically for children under the age of 18. Manufacturers of cigarettes and electronic tobacco devices will be forced to remove all branding on packages with an exception of a company logo or risk a five-year prison sentence.
More than a dozen people were hospitalized in Brooklyn, New York for what police are claiming is bad synthetic marijuana. The cause is a toxic batch of “spice,” otherwise known as “K2” or simply synthetic marijuana. Unlike cannabis, spice can cause aggression, hallucinations, severe anxiety, and overdoses. Users were found by police unconscious, having trouble breathing, and vomiting. Each of the hospitalized was treated with naloxone, an anti-overdose drug usually associated with opioids. New York City hospitals have recorded 600 emergency room visits caused by synthetic cannabis this year. A warning also recently came from the Centre’s for Disease Control about synthetic cannabis containing Brodifacoum, a rat poison. Four people died and 153 were sickened by spice in central Illinois as well. Most states have banned synthetic cannabis.
Disclaimer: the views and opinions expressed in these articles do not necessarily reflect those of Doctors for Life International