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


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. 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. <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. 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. <Back to Top>


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. <Back to Top>


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. 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.” 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. 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”. <Back to Top>


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. 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. 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.” 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. <Back to Top>


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. 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. <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. 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. <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. 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. 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. 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.–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. 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. 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. 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.  <Back to Top> Disclaimer: the views and opinions expressed in these articles do not necessarily reflect those of Doctors for Life International]]>