LIFEalerts 02 October 2014

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