LIFEalerts 21 October 2014

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