LIFEalerts 29 April 2016

LIFEalerts 29 April 2016

Abortion Poland – Prime Minister backs call for full abortion ban USA – Missouri resolution to define a preborn baby as a person USA – New York Abortions Drop 21{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} in Last Seven Years USA – Alabama House Define Unborn Baby as a Person
Alternative Medicine India – Doctors warn diabetics against herbal drugs USA – Diabetes Patient Uses Herbal Remedies to Treat Disease UK – NHS to ditch acupuncture for patients with back pain
Euthanasia No news today
IVF& Surrogacy Sweden – Study links depression and anxiety to IVF outcomes
Medical Ethics USA – Unilateral ‘do not resuscitate’ orders: what neonatologists think USA – Crispr will lead to designer babies, says geneticist Italy – Ban on embryo research survives challenge
Pedophilia No news today
Pornography USA – Free Virtual Reality Porn Is Here If You Want It or Not South Africa – Child pornographer caught through traced IP address USA – Former porn star is exposing porn’s secrets USA – Charlie Sheen’s ex Bree Olson warns girls ‘don’t do porn’
Same Sex Attraction USAPaediatricians’ Group: Transgender Kids Need Help, Not Hormones UK – Sexual orientation, wellbeing and mental disorder USA – Doing the right thing by transgender kids is not easy USA – WPA condemns treatment for unwanted homosexual attraction
Sexual Exploitation UK – Safeguarding chairman backs calls for zero tolerance Yemen – 8-Year Old Child Bride Dies On Wedding Night France – Government overhauls prostitution laws, illegal to pay for services Germany – Plan to jail ‘johns’ stirs debate on forced prostitution  
Substance Abuse USA – Senate passes bill to combat heroin, painkiller abuse Australia – Medicinal cannabis legalised in Victoria Canada – Opioid Painkiller May Be New Treatment for Heroin Addicts
  Abortion   Poland – Prime Minister backs call for full abortion ban Support is growing for a law that would ban abortion in Poland. The proposed law will end up in Parliament soon after pro-life activists gather 100,000 signatures of support. The new law gives legal protection to all children from the moment of conception. This would make all abortions illegal in Poland. The bill specifically states that the doctor who causes an unborn child’s death trying to save a woman’s life will not be punished. The focus of the proposed law is not punishing women who do have abortions. Instead, it increases punishment for abortionists and people who harm pregnant women and force them to abort by ruse or threat. https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/polish-prime-minister-backs-call-for-full-abortion-ban   USA – Missouri resolution to define a preborn baby as a person “As a former embryo myself, I want that protection for all embryos, present and future.” said Missouri State Representative Mike Moon in support of a resolution to protect preborn babies in the state constitution. The resolution proposed by Moon would send to Missouri voters a ballot initiative, asking them to approve a constitutional amendment formally recognizing preborn babies as human beings with the right to life. Prominent pro-life speaker and advocate Rebecca Kiessling, who was conceived in rape, testified in favour of the resolution, arguing “I deserved to be protected, and every child deserves that same protection, I’m going to do everything I can to protect others.” http://liveactionnews.org/missouri-considers-personhood-amendment-to-state-constitution/   USA – New York Abortions Drop 21{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} in Last Seven Years New York Vital Statistics for 2014 reveals that the number of abortions state-wide reached an all-time low since abortion was legalized in 1970. Monroe County is the only county with a consecutive seven year reduction with abortion falling sharply by 42{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}. One of the contributing factors in Monroe County’s sharp decline is the black community’s abortion rate. By 2014 the rate shrank to 28{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}. Jim Harden, President of CompassCare Pregnancy Services said, “Women have abortions because they feel like they have no choice. We give women back their true autonomy with ethical medical care and comprehensive community support.” http://www.lifenews.com/2016/04/05/new-york-abortions-drop-21-in-last-seven-years-to-reach-historic-low-as-more-babies-saved/   USA – Alabama House Define Unborn Baby as a Person Alabama legislators moved forward with a bill that would define a person as “any human being from the moment of fertilization” in the state constitution. Alabama State Rep. Ed Henry said, “I just believe it’s not a direct attack on abortion. But if Alabamians believe life begins at conception, then it does cause abortion to be in conflict with our values.” Dr. Jim Belyeu, a pro-life obstetrician testified in support of the bill, saying the unborn child is a “totally separate” entity from the mother. Several other states, including Missouri and Oklahoma are considering similar measures to define personhood in their state constitutions in an effort to protect unborn babies from abortions. http://www.lifenews.com/2016/04/13/alabama-house-committee-passes-bill-to-define-unborn-baby-as-a-person-and-ban-abortions/   Alternative Medicine   India – Doctors warn diabetics against herbal drugs An article published in the Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology has created a controversy regarding alternative medicine therapy to treat diabetes, with many in the medical fraternity stating that these therapies were more hype and less science.  The article pointed out that the safety of ayurvedic preparations was a major concern. Ayurvedic medicines manufactured in the US and India contained detectable lead, mercury, or arsenic compounds, exceeding standards for acceptable daily intake of toxic metals. Dr Anil Bhoraskar, endocrinologist and scientific secretary of the Diabetes Association of India, said, “Certain herbal drugs that are not regulated by the FDA or drug controller of India are easily available. These drugs may not be fit for human consumption and need regulation”. http://www.dnaindia.com/health/report-docs-warn-diabetics-against-herbal-drugs-2201856   USA – Diabetes Patient Uses Herbal Remedies to Treat Disease Some diabetes patients in the Rio Grande Valley are taking an alternative approach to modern medicine. They’re using traditional Mexican remedies to cure their chronic illness. Guadalupe Garza said she found her favourite plant at a flea market. The leaves it bears are thought to make a person feel better. Garza said the leaves are bitter. The plant the diabetic patient uses for medicinal purposes is called Neem (Azadirachta Indica). “I use two or three of these leaves in a tea, every day,” Garza said. “My blood sugar was at 300. Now it’s at 140.”  Garza’s diagnosis came six months ago. “I have more faith in these herbs than the pills,” she said. http://www.krgv.com/story/31642158/diabetes-patient-uses-herbal-remedies-to-treat-disease   UK – NHS to ditch acupuncture for patients with back pain Exercise is the best medicine for bad backs, and acupuncture should no longer be prescribed for the problem, health officials have ruled. Professor Mark Baker, clinical practice director said fresh guidelines for the treatment of lower back pain state that exercise, including stretching, should be the treatment of choice. Acupuncture has been removed from the list of therapies, due to a lack of evidence that it works. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3508819/NHS-ditch-acupuncture-patients-pain-experts-say-exercise-best-medicine.html   <Back to Top>   Euthanasia   No news today   <Back to Top>   Same Sex Attraction   USAPaediatricians’ Group: Transgender Kids Need Help Not Hormones The American College of Paediatricians (ACP) issued a statement urging legislators to reject policies encouraging chemical or surgical gender reassignment for children. The statement reflects that parents are inflicting harm on gender-confused children by encouraging them to seek medical interventions placing them on life-long, risky hormone treatment. This leads to mutilating their healthy bodies. A Swedish study, on cross-sex hormones and sex reassignment surgery indicates a greater risk for cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Gender-confused children should be treated for gender dysphoria, a condition listed in the recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association. Paediatricians wrote that 98{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of gender-confused boys and 88 {01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of gender-confused girls accept their biological sex after passing through puberty. http://www.christianheadlines.com/blog/pediatricians-group-transgender-kids-need-help-not-new-hormones.htm   UK – Sexual orientation, wellbeing and mental disorder The research aim was to determine an estimate of the association between sexual orientation identity and poor mental health and wellbeing among adults. Previous studies indicated an increased risk of mental disorder symptoms, suicide, and substance misuse in LGB adults, compared to heterosexual adults. Data were pooled from the British Cohort Study 2012, involving comprehensive psychiatric interviews. Symptoms of poor mental health like  anxiety, depression , low wellbeing (e.g. not having ‘positive mental health’) are common in the adult population but there is established evidence that adults who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual are at higher risk of experiencing these symptoms. Evidence of poorer mental health in LGB people has been found in samples from the United States, Netherlands and England. http://bmcpsychiatry.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12888-016-0   USA – Doing the right thing by transgender kids is not easy A US$5.7 million study of the long-term outcomes of medical treatment for transgender youth will be located at four academic medical centres’ with dedicated transgender youth clinics including 280 young people with gender dysphoria .Children in early puberty will receive hormone blockers to suspend puberty – preventing the development of undesired secondary sex. Jack Drescher, psychiatrist at the William Alanson White Institute in New York City, said feelings about the ethics of gender dysphoria run high. Some ethicists regard hormone treatment as unethical. Denying children the ability to transition is unethical, bioethicist Simona Giordano of the University of Manchester, UK, said. Irreversible treatments are requested at younger ages and are rising says endocrinologist Courtney Finlayson from the University of Manchester. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/doing-the-right-thing-by-transgender-kids-is-not-easy/11815#sthash.lS7aS66i.dpuf   USA – WPA condemns treatment for unwanted homosexual attraction   The World Psychiatric Association (WPA) has joined national psychotherapy bodies in Europe and North America in condemning psychotherapies claiming to reduce or eliminate homosexual attraction in clients. Prominent Canadian psychiatrist Joseph Berger says the WPA statement represents a political position unsupported by science. The WPA’s statement allows psychiatrists treating homosexuals only to reduce distress, cope with discrimination, and develop acceptance of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Therefore, therapy “to treat something that is not a disorder is wholly unethical. Dr. Nicolosi, co-founder of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, noted that treating homosexuality is neither novel nor radical. “It is traditional psychotherapy and reports on scientific research shows change is possible and claims thousands of successes.” https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/worlds-largest-psychiatrist-org-condemns-treatment-for-unwanted-gay-attract   <Back to Top>   IVF&Surrogacy   Sweden – Study links depression and anxiety to IVF outcomes A study published in the journal Fertility & Sterility, including more than 23,000 women, is the largest so far assessing the association between depression, anxiety and antidepressants and the outcome of IVF. “We found that women undergoing their first IVF treatment who either had been diagnosed with depression or anxiety or had dispensed an antidepressant had lower rates of pregnancy and live birth rates compared to women who did not suffer from these conditions”, says author Carolyn Cesta, doctoral student at the Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics. “Importantly, we found that women with a depression or anxiety diagnosis without a prescription had an even lower chance of becoming pregnant or having a live birth.” http://www.news-medical.net/news/20160308/New-study-assesses-link-between-depression-anxiety-and-antidepressants-and-outcome-of-IVF.aspx   <Back to Top>   Medical Ethics   USA – Unilateral ‘do not resuscitate’ orders: what neonatologists think In an article in the Journal of Medical Ethics researchers discuss a survey of neonatologists’ opinions regarding Do Not Attempt Resuscitation (DNAR) orders. 77{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} respondents said it was ethically permissible to issue a unilateral DNAR for infants for whom survival was felt impossible. 61{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} said it was ethically permissible when survival was felt ‘unlikely’. However, only 51{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} said they would enter the order if they found themselves in such a situation. “The discrepancy…should also be considered in light of the professional climate in American medicine. It has been reported that physicians in the USA commonly initiate and continue treatment until it is virtually certain that the patient will die, taking a ‘waiting for near certainty’ approach to end of life.” http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/unilateral-do-not-resuscitate-orders-what-doctors-think/11807   USA – Crispr will lead to designer babies, says geneticist In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, geneticist Jennifer Doudna, of the University of California Berkeley, believes that designer babies are only a decade away. But for the moment, she believes that there should be a moratorium on editing the human genome, especially for traits like eye color and IQ. “It should not proceed until we have a chance to understand better how the technology operates in those kinds of cells, as well as to provide time for societal consideration,” she says. But she does believe that CRISPR should be used to cure genetic diseases such as cystic fibrosis and muscular dystrophy. When the wrinkles are ironed out, CRISPR will become as common as IVF is nowadays. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/crispr-will-lead-to-designer-babies-says-geneticist/11800   Italy – Ban on embryo research survives challenge Italy’s Constitutional Court has reaffirmed a ban on human embryo research by declaring a 2004 law on assisted reproduction constitutional. The legislation was challenged by a couple who had created several embryos in an IVF clinic and requested the defective ones be used for genetic research. Geneticist Bruno Dallapiccola, of the Bambino Gesù Children’s Hospital, was scathing in his comments. “The embryo is not simply a mass of cells, but something more which deserves to be respected. The Constitutional Court’s ruling, by maintaining the ban on using frozen embryos for research, confirms this principle.” He also expressed skepticism about the usefulness of human embryonic stem cells, in the wake of recent developments in stem cell research. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/ban-on-embryo-research-survives-challenge-in-italy/11824   <Back to Top>   Pedophilia   No news today   <Back to Top>   Pornography   USA – Free Virtual Reality Porn Is Here If You Want It or Not If you’ve ever found the characters in the porn you watch too two-dimensional then you may be interested in the newest offering from Pornhub. The platform just announced its decision to launch a free virtual reality porn channel. Pornhub is giving away 10,000 prototypes of Google Cardboard, which, true to its name, is a VR headset made of cardboard that uses a smartphone for its display. While the BaDoink site has been offering virtual reality content to paying customers for over a year, the new Pornhub videos will be available at no cost. They say it is their duty to provide their global audience with the latest in cutting edge technology. 3D porn was similarly heralded as the “future of porn”. http://www.refinery29.com/2016/03/106730/pornhub-virtual-reality porn?utm_source=nypost&utm_medium=syndication   South Africa – Child pornographer caught through traced IP address A Port Shepstone man has pleaded guilty to charges of sexual assault and the possession and creation of child pornography. The man was linked to an international pedophile ring and was arrested by the police after a tip-off by Interpol. They found he used an app called Giga Tribe to distribute child porn. Through the app they were able to get the IP addresses of users from 32 countries downloading the material. One of those IP addresses led to South Africa. Police found 1,000 copies of pornographic material in the South African man’s Uvongo home, containing images of children and teenagers involved in sexual activity. http://mybroadband.co.za/news/internet/159111-child-pornographer-in-south-africa-nailed-through-traced-ip-address.html   USA – Former porn star is exposing porn’s secrets Shelley Lubben, a porn former star calls pornography the “sexual exploitation industries”, rife with sexually transmitted diseases where actors don’t make the money they have been promised. There are no condoms allowed, HIV-tests are altered and 66{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} to 99{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of porn stars have herpes. Pornography fuels sex trafficking and every porn star has been trafficked at least once. Now with the Internet girls are told that if they don’t do certain scenes, their porn photos will be send to family and friends and if the porn star threatens to sue them they physically hurt them. https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/former-porn-star-porn-was-the-worst-darkest-thing-ive-ever-been-involved-in   USA – Charlie Sheen’s ex Bree Olson warns girls ‘don’t do porn’ Former porn star Bree Olson issued a tearful plea to young women keen to pursue a career in the adult film industry – saying “don’t do it”. Having got into the porn industry aged just 19, Bree once commanded a salary of between $30,000 and $60,000 a month. She quit aged 25 but says her six-year career has badly affected her chances of leading the normal life she so desperately craves. She cannot get rid of the guilt and shame that goes with this career. “We must support and encourage women to begin to speak up and speak out about the destructive impact these issues have on themselves, their families, and their communities. We have to work hard on education.” http://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/charlie-sheens-ex-bree-olson-7629445   <Back to Top>   Sexual Exploitation   UK – Safeguarding chairman backs calls for zero tolerance Bob Dyson, the Safeguarding Children Board’s independent chairman, has spoken out to mark National Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness Day today, which aims to highlight issues around child sexual exploitation, encourage everyone to think, spot, and speak out against abuse, and adopt a zero tolerance approach to adults who develop inappropriate relationships with children. “The Safeguarding Children Board is committed to tackling child sexual exploitation. There are a number of children in Barnsley subject to child sexual exploitation, including Rochdale, Oxfordshire and Rotherham. This is most likely to take the form of an inappropriate relationship where an adult forms a sexual relationship with a child much younger than themselves.” http://www.barnsley-chronicle.co.uk/news/article/12128/safeguarding-chair-backs-calls-for-zero-tolerance   Yemen – 8-Year Old Child Bride Dies On Wedding Night  An eight year-old child bride died in Yemen on her wedding night after suffering internal injuries due to sexual trauma. Human rights organizations are calling for the arrest of her husband, who was five times her age. The death occurred in the northwestern Yemen, which borders Saudi Arabia.  This brings even more attention to the already existing issue of forced child marriages in the Middle East. According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), between 2011 and 2020, more than 140 million girls will become child brides. https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?tab=wm#inbox/1540b0   France – Government overhauls prostitution laws, illegal to pay for services The French parliament has finally approved changes to the country’s prostitution laws. Legislators approved a bill against prostitution and sex trafficking that bans buying sex, not selling it. Customers breaking the law face fines and can be made to attend awareness classes on the harms of the sex trade. The legislation, which passed 64-12 in the parliament’s lower house, the National Assembly, makes the law one of the toughest against sex buyers in Europe. The new measure does away with a 2003 law that banned passive soliciting by sex workers on the street and thus put the legal onus on prostitutes. This new bill focuses the punishment on the client. http://www.smh.com.au/world/france-overhauls-prostitution-laws-makes-it-illegal-to-pay-for-services   Germany – Plan to jail ‘johns’ stirs debate on forced prostitution The latest German legislation would see pimps jailed for up to 10 years to combating human trafficking.  The cabinet agreed to push a law that would see “johns” who go to forced prostitutes face between three months and up to five years of jail. Justice Minister Heiko Maas said the law was meant to have a “preventative effect” to deter clients of prostitutes, who are victims of human trafficking. “As a state, we made a decision that we do not accept and also do not tolerate such a thing – a German middle way? Director of the group Anti-Slavery International said this law would see Germany sitting between Nordic and Dutch models with clients bearing a greater weight of legal responsibility. http://www.dw.com/en/german-plan-to-jail-johns-stirs-debate-on-forced-prostitution/a-19170214   <Back to Top>   Substance Abuse   USA – Senate passes bill to combat heroin, painkiller abuse The bill, which was passed on a 94 to 1 vote, would establish grant programs to help state and local governments improve education and treatment for drug abuse, encourage medical providers to reduce unnecessary prescriptions, commit resources to help veterans deal with addiction, and give local law enforcement and mental health officials tools to lower the death rate from overdoses. A key provision would provide states with incentives to make naloxone, which can counteract overdoses, more widely available by offering liability protections to officials who distribute it. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2016/03/10/senate-set-to-pass-bill-to-combat-opioid-abuse/?wpmm=1&wpisrc=nl_fed   Australia – Medicinal cannabis legalised in Victoria Victoria has become the first state in Australia to legalise the use of medicinal cannabis. Children with severe epilepsy will be the first to access the drug in 2017, Victoria’s Health Minister Jill Hennessy said, after the Access to Medicinal Cannabis Bill passed Parliament. The legislation enables the manufacture, supply and access to medicinal cannabis products in the state. Ms Hennessy has said access to the drug, available in a variety of forms including; tinctures, oils, capsules, sprays and vaporisable liquids would be rolled out gradually and eventually be made available for palliative care and those with HIV. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-04-12/victoria-becomes-first-state-to-legalise-medicinal-cannabis/7321152   Canada – Opioid Painkiller May Be New Treatment for Heroin Addicts Hydromorphone, an opioid painkiller, may be another treatment option for heroin addiction a new Canadian study suggests. The research included more than 200 heroin addicts in Vancouver. They hadn’t responded to commonly used treatments such as methadone or suboxone. This was the first study to assess the effectiveness of hydromorphone in treating heroin addiction. The participants were randomly selected to receive injections of either hydromorphone or diacetylmorphine (pharmaceutical-grade prescription heroin). After six months, patients in both groups reported fewer days of street heroin and other opioid use (three to five days a month). More than 47,000 Americans lost their lives to drug overdose in 2014, a 14{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} jump from the previous year. The findings were published in JAMA Psychiatry. http://health.usnews.com/health-news/articles/2016-04-06/opioid-painkiller-may-be-new-treatment-for-heroin-addicts   <Back to Top>   Disclaimer: the views and opinions expressed in these articles do not necessarily reflect those of Doctors for Life International]]>

LIFEalerts 13 April 2016

LIFEalerts 13 April 2016

Abortion USA – Kentucky State Senate passes ultrasound bill, on to the House USA – Mississippi House Passes Bill to Ban Dismemberment Abortions USA – Oklahoma House passes “Humanity of the Unborn Child Act” USA – Committee investigates fetal pain and babies born alive after abortion
Alternative Medicine USA – Senate bill would ban sale of Kratom herb to minors Israel – Herbal medicines may pose health risks for cancer patients
Euthanasia Canada – Canada takes another step on the slippery slope Switzerland – EXIT deaths jump in assisted suicide numbers Belgium – Euthanasia now past the slippery slope and on base jumping
IVF& Surrogacy No news today
Medical Ethics USA – Is there a difference between genetic engineering and eugenics? USA – Sanitizing the language of clinical trials USA – Panel on infant lives meets in Washington UK – Health service may harvest organs from babies with lethal defects
Pedophilia USA – Injured U.S. vets now hunting child predators
Pornography USA – Parent investigator easily navigates to porn using school ‘filter’
Same Sex Attraction Australia – Safe Schools LGBTI program’s funding should be ‘terminated’ USA – Court Removes ‘Husband,’ ‘Wife’ for of ‘Gender Neutral’ Terms USA – Psychiatrist: Transgender Sex Change ‘Biologically Impossible
Sexual Exploitation UK – Study reveals extent of impact on health from human trafficking UK – Term ‘child prostitution’ removed from Government publications Israel -12,000 women work in prostitution in Israel Sweden – Legalize incest and necrophilia says Liberals youth wing
Substance Abuse USA – Colorado visitors using marijuana end up in emergency room
  Abortion   USA – Kentucky State Senate passes ultrasound bill, on to the House There are 24 states with ultrasound laws. If the Kentucky House follows the lead of the Kentucky Senate, it will become number 25. The full Senate overwhelmingly passed SB 152 on a vote of 32-4. Abortion bills have been routinely blocked in recent past sessions in the Kentucky House where Democrats are in the majority. But that majority is a narrower this year, 50 Democrats to 46 Republicans with four vacant seats to be filled in special elections. http://www.nationalrighttolifenews.org/news/2016/03/kentucky-state-senate-overwhelmingly-passes-ultrasound-bill-on-to-the-house/#.VtbUXpx96Ul   USA – Mississippi House Passes Bill to Ban Dismemberment Abortions House Bill 519 was passed on a vote of 83-33. Dismemberment abortion, performed on a fully-formed, living unborn baby, is a barbaric and dangerous procedure in which the unborn child is literally ripped apart in the womb and pulled out in pieces. “Dismemberment abortion is unimaginably cruel and has no place in Mississippi,” said Barbara Whitehead Mississippi Right to Life President. http://www.lifenews.com/2016/02/26/mississippi-house-passes-bill-to-ban-dismemberment-abortions-tearing-babies-limb-from-limb/   USA – Oklahoma House passes “Humanity of the Unborn Child Act” “The Humanity of the Unborn Child Act (HB 2797) establishes a public education program for high school students to foster increased awareness of the growth and development of a baby during the nine months before birth,” explained Tony Lauinger, state chairman of Oklahomans for Life. “When young people have a good understanding – in advance – of the development and humanity of the unborn child, they are much less likely to view abortion as an acceptable ‘solution’ to an unwanted pregnancy.” The state of Oklahoma favors childbirth over abortion. HB 2797 now advances to the Oklahoma state Senate. http://www.nationalrighttolifenews.org/news/2016/03/oklahoma-house-passes-humanity-of-the-unborn-child-act/#.Vtk-rJx96Ul   USA – Senate Committee investigates fetal pain and babies born alive after abortions Dr. Colleen Malloy, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Neonatology at Northwestern University testified that “with advancements in neonatology and perinatal medicine, we have been able to push back the gestational age at which a neonate can be resuscitated successfully.”  Senator Thom Tillis commented: “I believe when a baby is born, we have a new patient and a new American citizen that we should take care of.” Dr. Malloy cited from the New England Journal of Medicine that, with the current technology, the survival rate of infants born at 22 weeks gestation is 23 percent      and at 26 weeks is 81 percent – with over 75 percent having no severe impairments. http://liveactionnews.org/senate-committee-investigates-fetal-pain-babies-born-alive-abortions/   Alternative Medicine   USA – Senate bill would ban sale of Kratom herb to minors A state Senate bill originally intended to prohibit the possession, use or sale of Kratom (Mitragyna Speciosa), a herbal supplement used by some as a stimulant, has been amended to ban possession by those under 18. According to state Sen. Martha Fuller Clark, the amendment was made to Senate Bill 540 after hearing testimony from people who claimed they had been helped by the substance. Kratom has not been approved for use by the U.S. FDA and consumption of Kratom can lead to a number of adverse health effects. Dr. Edward W. Boyer, University of Massachusetts Medical School recently told the “New York Times” that Kratom is “a fascinating drug,” but that more needs to be learned about it. http://www.fosters.com/article/20160302/NEWS/160309802   Israel – Herbal medicines may pose health risks for cancer patients Herbal remedies used in Middle Eastern traditional medicine have been shown to modify the effect of chemotherapy and also increase the risk of bleeding in patients with cancer. Turmeric and black cumin has been shown to modify the action of chemotherapeutic drugs. Gingko Biloba and green teas were associated to cancer patients with a higher risk of bleeding. These safety-related concerns were generally due to herb-drug interactions which alter the pharmacodynamics of cancer therapies and also the direct toxic effects of the herbs. These results came from a survey conducted by researchers from the Institute of Technology in Haifa. http://www.vinereport.com/article/cancer-news-herbal-medicines-may-pose-health-risks-for-cancer-patients/8418.htm   <Back to Top>   Euthanasia   Canada – Canada takes another step on the slippery slope A committee of the Canadian parliament has recommended that the federal government make doctor-assisted dying immediately available to all adults with “grievous and irremediable” medical conditions — including mental illnesses — and eventually allow “mature minors” to end their lives.  Belgium’s permissive euthanasia regime appears to be the model for Canada’s new right-to-die law. The committee says that new rules should be implemented in two stages. The first would apply immediately to those over 18 experiencing “intolerable” physical or mental suffering. The second stage — “no later than three years after the first” would extend it to “competent mature minors.” http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/canada-takes-another-step-towards-its-euthanasia-law/11773   Switzerland – EXIT deaths jump in assisted suicide numbers Swiss assisted suicide organisation EXIT helped 782 people end their lives in 2015 – 199 more than the previous year. Of the deceased, 55{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} were women and 45{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} men. Among them, the most common reason for wanting to die was terminal cancer, followed by age-related health problems and chronic pain disorders. The average age of each person at the time of death was 77.4. EXIT has welcomed thousands of new members. Membership is at about 96,000, and members must be residents of Switzerland. Switzerland has two main groups that cater to people who seek an assisted suicide: EXIT and Dignitas. http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/right-to-die_exit-reports-jump-in-assisted-suicide-numbers/41992602   Belgium – Euthanasia now past the slippery slope and on base jumping Three bills have been proposed by Laurette Onkelinx, the leader of the Belgian Socialists and a former Deputy Prime Minister. The first would remove a five-year sunset clause for advance declaration of a patient’s willingness to accept euthanasia. The second would force doctors to give a rapid turn-around to requests for euthanasia. If they refused, they would have to transfer the patient’s file to a doctor who would be willing to give a lethal injection. The third would remove the right of institutions like hospitals or nursing homes to refuse euthanasia on their premises. Ms Onkelinx insists that institutions have no right to conscientious objection; only doctors do. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/more-bracket-creep-in-belgian-euthanasia/11796   <Back to Top>   Same Sex Attraction   Australia – Safe Schools LGBTI program’s funding should be ‘terminated’ “It’s not an anti-bullying program it’s a social engineering program experiment said old Prime Minister tony Abbot, “ Its funding should be terminated.” Many say that the material presented to young children is hyper-sexual and inappropriate. Others say that it does not promote heterosexuality and urges young people to take radical measures to address their gender or sexuality concerns, such as chest-binding and penis tucking.  “This program is so narrowly focused on homosexual issues that it doesn’t provide the sort of balance one would hope,” said Tony Abbot. About 515 schools across the country take part in the program. Two eminent professors will undertake the Safe Schools review and will report back to the federal Department of Education. http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/mar/01/tony-abbott-attacks-safe-schools-program-as-social-e   USA – Court Removes ‘Husband,’ ‘Wife’ for of ‘Gender Neutral’ Terms The Ohio Supreme Court implemented a controversial to stop using gender specific terms such as “husband,” “wife,” “father” and “mother” on all rules and forms, opting instead to use gender neutral terms. “The terms were to ‘be construed as gender neutral where appropriate’ and to remain in effect until the rules and forms were ‘amended to reflect the changes contained in this Order,'” Court News Ohio reports”. Ohio Supreme Court rules and forms that address marriage and the related topics of divorce, child support, guardianships, adoption, domestic relations, and domestic violence have been amended to remove gender-specific terms.” http://www.christianpost.com/news/ohio-supreme-court-removes-husband-wife-mother-father-favor-gender-neutral-terms-159195/#OuHA53CADoWOFpR2.99   USA – Psychiatrist: Transgender Sex Change ‘Biologically Impossible Dr. Paul R. McHugh, former psychiatrist-in-chief for Johns Hopkins Hospital, currently Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry, said that transgenderism is a “mental disorder” that sex change is “biologically impossible,”  People who undergo sex-reassignment surgery do not change from men to women or vice versa. They become feminized men or masculinised women. Claiming this is civil-rights matter and encouraging surgical intervention is in reality, to collaborate and promote a mental disorder. He reported on a new study showing that the suicide rate among transgendered people who had reassignment surgery is 20 times higher than among non-transgender people. Also, for those who had sexual reassignment surgery, most said they were “satisfied” with the operation “but their subsequent psycho-social adjustments were no better than those who didn’t have the surgery.” http://cnsnews.com/news/article/michael-w-chapman/johns-hopkins-psychiatrist-transgender-mental-disorder-sex-change   <Back to Top>   IVF&Surrogacy   No news today   <Back to Top>   Medical Ethics   USA – Is there a difference between genetic engineering and eugenics? An oft-raised concern is that genetic engineering may one day morph into a eugenics movement. Many are trying to differentiate the two, arguing that genetic engineering is merely an exciting scientific development that will help humanity rather than enable an insidious ideology. Leading IVF specialist Lord Robert Winston commented “With the power of the market and the open information published in journals, I am sure that humans will want to try to ‘enhance’ their children and will pay large sums to do so. “Anybody undertaking these human experiments is likely to be highly vulnerable when things go wrong – though not as vulnerable of course as the unborn child. This may be an effective deterrent for the time being.” http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/is-there-a-difference-between-genetic-engineering-and-eugenics/11777   USA – Sanitizing the language of clinical trials Which would you rather participate in: a medical study or a medical experiment? Almost everyone prefers a “study”. Drug companies need volunteers to test products, so the image of medical research is crucial. Bioethicist Carl Elliott asks hard questions in the The Hastings Centre Report, about the ever-more sanitized language of clinical trials. He points out, “probably the most striking example is the argument now made by a number of prominent bioethicists that every citizen has a moral duty to enroll in research studies…there is an obligation that includes even research sponsored and designed by the pharmaceutical industry. “Whether a study is publicly or privately financed has little bearing on the obligation to participate in that study.” http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/sanitizing-the-language-of-clinical-trials/11785   USA – Panel on infant lives meets in Washington The US Senate Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives has met for the first time with several experts testifying against the procurement of fetal tissue for research. Radiologist Kathleen M. Schmainda of the Medical College of Wisconsin commented that if fetal tissue were needed to cure a disease like Parkinson’s which afflicts a million Americans; three or four aborted babies might be needed for each patient. “So, 4 million babies would need to be aborted to treat this one disease… Do we really want a world where the most vulnerable… are subject to the whims, desires and perceived needs of others? Clearly we will have created industrialized harvesting of preborn babies, a crime against the human race.” http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/panel-on-infant-lives-meets-in-washington/11793   UK – Health service may harvest organs from babies with lethal defects The UK’s National Health Service is to encourage pregnant women whose children have a fatal birth defect to bring them to term so their organs can be harvested. The proposal was apparently mooted at the annual conference of the British Transplantation Society. Transplant surgeon Niaz Ahmad, of St James’s University Hospital in Leeds, said: “We are looking at rolling it out as a viable source of organ transplantation nationally. Bioethicist Dr Trevor Stammers told the Mail that the suggestion was “abhorrent”. “It is a ghoulish suggestion that can only undermine public confidence in transplantation – one of the greatest medical advances of my lifetime. The concept reduces the baby to nothing more than a utilitarian means to an end. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/uk-health-service-may-harvest-organs-from-babies-with-lethal-defects/11797   <Back to Top>   Pedophilia   USA – Injured U.S. vets now hunting child predators The HERO (Human Exploitation Rescue Operative) program is designed for wounded, injured and ill veterans to receive training in sophisticated computer forensics, to join federal agents fighting against online child sexual exploitation. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children says its Victim Identification Program, which aids law enforcement in efforts to locate and rescue child victims, has reviewed more than 158 million images and videos, since 1998. In 2008, the Task Force network identified over 300,000 unique computers engaged in trafficking child pornography. A study by the University of New Hampshire found that 55 percent of those who possess or trade child pornography are hands-on offenders. http://edition.cnn.com/2016/02/29/us/freedom-project-hero-corps/index.html   <Back to Top>   Pornography   USA – Parent investigator easily navigates to porn using school’s ‘filter’ After an Ontario Catholic school board ignored parental concerns over children being able to access graphic pornography using school Wi-Fi networks, saying that the filters were sufficient, one parent decided to investigate the matter. He logged into the Wi-Fi network and performed searches using problematic key terms. The ease of accessing graphic content left the parent stunned and disgusted. The parents’ first two Bing searches easily turned up page after page of hardcore porn images – gay sex, and bestiality. Their six-year-old son came home from his grade one classroom claiming to have viewed lesbian porn on school-owned tablets. Granic Allen a parent demanded that the government should enact a new education policy that requires publicly funded schools to have clean internet. https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/parent-investigator-easily-navigates-to-porn-using-catholic-schools-filter   <Back to Top>   Sexual Exploitation   UK – Study reveals extent of impact on health from human trafficking A study on the health of trafficking survivors, published in The Lancet Global Health, was carried out by researchers from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine in the UK and the International Organization for Migration. “Our findings highlight that survivors of trafficking urgently need access to health care to address a range of needs, and that mental health care should be an essential component of this,” says lead author Dr. Ligia Kiss. “Research is needed to identify effective forms of psychological support that can be easily implemented in low-resource settings and in multilingual, multicultural populations.” According to the researchers, recent estimates suggest that over 18 million people worldwide are forced into human trafficking. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/290109.php   UK – Term ‘child prostitution’ removed from Government publications The term is being removed from official statistics over concerns it is an outdated phrase that encourages “victim-blaming”.  It has already been removed from legislation after a series of grooming scandals highlighted the extent of child sexual exploitation. Sarah Champion, Labour MP for Rotherham said the term was wrong as it infers criminality on the part on the child, and does not acknowledge that children cannot consent to sex themselves, but are instead exploited. Releases from January this year and October last year have been amended and the old term would be removed from all future publications.”Victim-blaming has been a barrier to justice for many; this change is another step in the right direction.” http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/pa/article-3480216/Term-child-prostitution-removed-Government-publications.html#ixzz42UB0bf7I Israel – 12,000 women work in prostitution in Israel A national survey reveals that some 12,000 women in Israel work in the sex trade, along with about 1,000 men. The Welfare Ministry study finds 62{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} are mothers, 11{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} are minors and  52{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} born in the in the country. The survey, conducted for the Welfare Ministry counted between 11,420 and 12,730 sex workers nationwide, with an estimated 95{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of the women and some 5{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} men. According to findings about 11{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of the women are minors.  About 9{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of women in prostitution started before their 18th birthday. Among the women, 62{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} are mothers and 20{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} have an academic degree.  Prostitution is illegal in Israel, yet remains an industry valued at some 1.2 billion annually. http://www.timesofisrael.com/12000-women-work-in-prostitution-in-israel-govt-says/   Sweden – Legalize incest and necrophilia says Liberals youth wing The youth wing voted to call for the decriminalization of sexual relations between siblings as well as sexual relations with a corpse, said Liberal Youth leader Cecilia Johnsson.  The motion filed states that sex between two consenting siblings 15 years of age and older should be allowed and that sex with a dead body should also be allowed as long as the deceased gave written permission prior to passing. “You should get to decide what happens to your body after you die, and if it happens to be that someone wants to bequeath their body to a museum or for research, or  to bequeath it to someone for sex. https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/swedish-liberal-party-youth-wing-passes-motion-to-legalize-incest-and-   <Back to Top>   Substance Abuse   USA – Colorado visitors using marijuana end up in emergency room Out-of-towners using marijuana in Colorado, which legally allowed sales of the drug in retail dispensaries since 2014, are ending up in the emergency room, reports a new study from North-western Medicine and the University of Colorado School of Medicine in the New England Journal of Medicine. Out-of-state visitors to the emergency room for marijuana-related symptoms accounted for 78 per 10,000 emergency room visits in 2012 compared to 163 per 10,000 visits in 2014, an increase of 109{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}. Among Colorado residents, the number of marijuana-related visits was 70 per 10,000 in 2012 compared to 101 per 10,000 in 2014, a 44{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} increase. The research took place in the emergency department of UC Health’s University of Colorado Hospital. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/02/160224223104.htm 10.1056/NEJMc1515009   <Back to Top>   Disclaimer: the views and opinions expressed in these articles do not necessarily reflect those of Doctors for Life International]]>

Statements from the National Institute of Drug Abuse and the American College of Pediatricians.

National Institute of Drug Abuse

Legalized Cannabis and the Brain-A Clinical Review.

 Researchers at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) are sounding the alarm over a possible increase in unknown cognitive and behavioural harms that widespread cannabis use may unmask. A clinical review conducted by NIDA points out that as legalization of the drug for recreational and medical use spreads, vulnerable populations, especially adolescents, are exposed to toxic effects of the drug. “This is not a problem that is specific to marijuana,” Dr Volkow states. “Young brains and drugs shouldn’t mix. Period.”

Powerful Disruptors

 Dr Volkow explained that young brains are engaged in a protracted period of “brain programming,” in which everything an adolescent does or is exposed to can affect the final architecture and network connectivity of the brain. “Drugs are powerful disruptors of brain programming because they can directly interfere with the process of neural pruning and interregional brain connectivity,” she added. In the short term, this kind of interference can negatively affect academic performance. However, long-term use can impair behavioural adaptability, mental health, and life trajectories. Currently, four states ― Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and Alaska ― as well as the District of Columbia have legalized cannabis for recreational use among adults. Twenty-three other states, plus the District of Columbia, also regulate cannabis use for medical purposes. As a result of this rising tide of legalized marijuana, Dr Volkow and colleagues believed a more focused and in-depth study of its use and consequences was urgently needed.

Neuro-psychological Decline

 “Emerging evidence suggests that adolescents may be particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of cannabis use,” the investigators write. Several studies, for example, have shown that individuals who use cannabis at an earlier age have greater neuropsychological impairment and that persistent use of cannabis from adolescence was associated with neuropsychological decline from the age of 13 to 38 years. This was not found to be the case when cannabis was first used in adulthood. There is also “fairly clear evidence” of structural alterations in a number of areas in the brain associated with exposure to cannabis, although some evidence suggests that associated drinking may explain some of the structural alterations attributed solely to cannabis use. In other words, alcohol or cannabis on their own are not good for the body, but put them together and you have a more potent toxic combination. MRI studies have also pointed to changes in neural activity among cannabis users, including inefficient processing during a working memory task. “There is both preclinical and clinical evidence supporting the view that cannabis use is associated with an ‘amotivational’ state,” said Dr Volkow. The term “cannabis amotivational syndrome” is distinguished by apathy(laziness) and difficulty with concentration. She also notes that long-term, heavy cannabis use has been associated with underachievement in terms of educational pursuits. On the other hand, it is also likely that diminished motivation could impair learning as well, inasmuch as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in cannabis, has been shown to disrupt reward-based learning. “Amotivation in chronic heavy users may also reflect the fact that cannabis itself has become a major motivator,” Dr Volkow writes, “so other activities (e.g., schoolwork) become demoted in the individual’s reward hierarchy.” What now needs to be established is whether higher concentrations of THC might make the risk of developing amotivation or even addiction more likely, investigators add.

Cannabis and Psychosis

 There is also a lingering controversy over whether cannabis can trigger psychiatric disorders, notably, psychotic disorders and schizophrenia. “It is recognized that cannabis with a high THC can trigger an acute psychotic episode,” Dr Volkow writes. However, she cautions that the extent to which cannabis can result in schizophrenia is still being debated, although the consensus is that cannabis use in those at risk for schizophrenia can trigger the disease and exacerbate its course. Particularly at high doses, THC has been known to trigger schizophrenia-like positive and negative symptoms. Studies have also consistently shown an association between the use of cannabis and schizophrenia in cases in which cannabis use precedes psychosis.  “The association between cannabis use and chronic psychosis (including a schizophrenia diagnosis) is stronger in those individuals who have had heavy or frequent cannabis use during adolescence, earlier use, or use of cannabis with high THC potency,” Dr Volkow and colleagues observe.
“From these studies, ever use of cannabis is estimated to increase the risk of schizophrenia by approximately 2-fold, accounting for 8{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} to 14{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of cases, with frequent use or use of cannabis with high THC potency increasing the risk of schizophrenia 6-fold.”
Dr Volkow cautions that legitimate controversy remains as to how much cannabis use contributes to psychosis and the degree to which cannabis can precipitate psychosis in patients who have no genetic predisposition for the illness.

Key Questions

 A number of key questions need to be adequately researched before a clearer picture emerges about the potential harms of cannabis use. The first is, how much cannabis use is too much? Dr Volkow noted that it is not clear whether the effects of cannabis among heavy users apply equally to those who use cannabis much more casually. The second is, at what age is cannabis use most harmful? It is fairly clear that cannabis does have negative effects among adolescent users, the researchers note, but it may also have negative effects in older adults who undergo changes in brain plasticity and age-related cognitive decline, both of which could make them more susceptible to toxic effects of the drug. “Physicians are in a key position to help prevent cannabis use disorder,” said Dr Volkow. “This will require that they screen adolescents and young adults for cannabis consumption and that they intervene to prevent further use,” she added. In cases in which the adolescent or young person already suffers from the disorder, physicians need to tailor their intervention on the basis of the severity of the disorder and the presence of comorbidities, such as anxiety or depression. “Science has shown us that marijuana is not a benign drug. The morbidity and mortality from legal drugs is much greater than that for illegal drugs, not because the drugs are more dangerous but because their legal status makes them more accessible and a larger percentage of the population is exposed to them on a regular basis,” she said. “The current ‘normalization’ movement presses on with complete disregard for the evidence of marijuana’s negative health consequences, and this bias is likely to erode our prevention efforts by decreasing the perception of harm and increasing use among young people, which is the population most vulnerable to the harmful effects of regular marijuana use.”

Contributor to Mental Illness

 Commenting, Oliver Howes, MD, PhD, Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London, United Kingdom, said he endorses the NIDA’s position on cannabis use. “I agree that there are potential issues around the use of cannabis, especially if you start it early, in adolescence,” Dr Howes said. “Early use seems to be what increases your risk of psychosis in particular, but it also seems to be associated with more marked effects generally, and we’ve certainly seen the effects of long- term, early cannabis use on the brain’s dopamine systems that are linked to effects on motivation, or rather the lack of motivation, that you commonly see in heavy cannabis users,” he added. Dr Howes also shared DFL and NIDA’s viewpoint that there is much that is not known about the long-term effects of cannabis use, especially heavy cannabis use. He also noted that “as a physician, I quite commonly see young adults who started using cannabis at the age of 12, 13, and 14 and who have come to see me in early adulthood with mental health problems.
“And yes, I do think early cannabis use contributes to the mental health problems that we see later on.”
http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/860535?nlid=102424_2982&src=wnl_dne_160318_mscpedit&uac=117551AJ&impID=1026869&faf=1 http://archpsyc.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=2488041&resultClick=3

American College of Pediatricians 

Gender Ideology Harms Children.

 The American College of Paediatricians urges educators and legislators to reject all policies that condition children to accept as normal a life of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex. Facts – not ideology – determine reality. 1.Human sexuality is an objective biological binary trait: “XY” and “XX” are genetic markers of health – not genetic markers of a disorder. The norm for human design is to be conceived either male or female. Human sexuality is binary by design with the obvious purpose being the reproduction and flourishing of our species. This principle is self-evident. The exceedingly rare disorders of sex development (DSDs), including but not limited to testicular feminization and congenital adrenal hyperplasia, are all medically identifiable deviations from the sexual binary norm, and are rightly recognized as disorders of human design. Individuals with DSDs do not constitute a third sex. (1) 2. No one is born with a gender. Everyone is born with a biological sex. Gender (an awareness and sense of oneself as male or female) is a sociological and psychological concept; not an objective biological one. No one is born with an awareness of themselves as male or female; this awareness develops over time and, like all developmental processes, may be derailed by a child’s subjective perceptions, relationships, and adverse experiences from infancy forward. People who identify as “feeling like the opposite sex” or “somewhere in between” do not comprise a third sex. They remain biological men or biological women. (2,3,4) 3.A person’s belief that he or she is something they are not is, at best, a sign of confused thinking. When an otherwise healthy biological boy believes he is a girl, or an otherwise healthy biological girl believes she is a boy, an objective psychological problem exists that lies in the mind not the body, and it should be treated as such. These children suffer from gender dysphoria. Gender dysphoria (GD), formerly listed as Gender Identity Disorder (GID), is a recognized mental disorder in the most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association (DSM-V).5 The psycho-dynamic and social learning theories of GD/GID have never been disproved. (2,4,5) 4.Puberty is not a disease and puberty-blocking hormones can be dangerous. Reversible or not, puberty- blocking hormones induce a state of disease – the absence of puberty – and inhibit growth and fertility in a previously biologically healthy child. (6) 5.According to the DSM-V, as many as 98{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of gender confused boys and 88{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of gender confused girls eventually accept their biological sex after naturally passing through puberty. (5) 6.Children who use puberty blockers to impersonate the opposite sex will require cross-sex hormones in late adolescence. Cross-sex hormones (testosterone and estrogen) are associated with dangerous health risks including but not limited to high blood pressure, blood clots, stroke and cancer. (7,8,9,10) 7.Rates of suicide are twenty times greater among adults who use cross-sex hormones and undergo sex reassignment surgery, even in Sweden which is among the most LGBT – affirming countries.(11) What compassionate and reasonable person would condemn young children to this fate knowing that after puberty as many as 88{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of girls and 98{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of boys will eventually accept reality and achieve a state of mental and physical health? 8.Conditioning children into believing a lifetime of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex is normal and healthful is child abuse. Endorsing gender discordance as normal via public education and legal policies will confuse children and parents, leading more children to present to “gender clinics” where they will be given puberty-blocking drugs. This, in turn, virtually ensures that they will “choose” a lifetime of carcinogenic and otherwise toxic cross-sex hormones, and likely consider unnecessary surgical mutilation of their healthy body parts as young adults. Michelle A. Cretella, M.D. President of the American College of Pediatricians Quentin Van Meter, M.D.Vice President of the American College of Pediatricians,Pediatric Endocrinologist Paul McHugh, M.D. University Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Medical School and the former psychiatrist in chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital References:
  1. Consortium on the Management of Disorders of Sex Development, “Clinical Guidelines for the Management of Disorders of Sex Development in Childhood.” Intersex Society of North America, March 25, 2006. Accessed 3/20/16 fromhttp://www.dsdguidelines.org/files/clinical.pdf.
  2. Zucker, Kenneth J. and Bradley Susan J. “Gender Identity and Psychosexual Disorders. “FOCUS: The Journal of Lifelong Learning in Psychiatry. Vol. III, No. 4, Fall 2005 (598-617).
  3. Whitehead, Neil W. “Is Trans-sexuality biologically determined?” Triple Helix (UK), Autumn 2000, p6-8. accessed 3/20/16 from http://www.mygenes.co.nz/transsexuality.htm; see also Whitehead, Neil W. “Twin Studies of Transsexuals [Reveals Discordance]” accessed 3/20/16 from http://www.mygenes.co.nz/transs_stats.htm.
  4. Jeffreys, Sheila. Gender Hurts: A Feminist Analysis of the Politics of Transgenderism. Routledge, New York, 2014 (pp.1-35).
  5. American Psychiatric Association: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, Arlington, VA, American Psychiatric Association, 2013 (451-459). See page 455 re: rates of persistence of gender dysphoria.
  6. Hembree, WC, et al. Endocrine treatment of transsexual persons: an Endocrine Society clinical practice guideline. J Clin Endocrinal Metab. 2009;94:3132-3154.
  7. Olson-Kennedy, J and Forcier, M. “Overview of the management of gender nonconformity in children and adolescents.” Up-to-date November 4, 2015. Accessed 3.20.16 from www.uptodate.com.
  8. Moore, E., Wisniewski, & Dobs, A. “Endocrine treatment of transsexual people: A review of treatment regimens, outcomes, and adverse effects.” The Journal of Endocrinology & Metabolism, 2003; 88(9), pp3467-3473.
  9. FDA Drug Safety Communication issued for Testosterone products accessed 3.20.16: http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/PostmarketDrugSafetyInformationforPatientsandProviders/ucm161874.htm.
  10. World Health Organization Classification of Estrogen as a Class I Carcinogen: http://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/topics/ageing/cocs_hrt_statement.pdf
  11. Dhejne, C, et.al. “Long-Term Follow-Up of Transsexual Persons Undergoing Sex Reassignment Surgery: Cohort Study in Sweden.” PLoS ONE, 2011; 6(2). Affiliation: Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Division of Psychiatry, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. Accessed 3.20.16 from http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0016885.
http://www.acpeds.org/the-college-speaks/position-statements/gender-ideology-harms-children Disclaimer: the views and opinions expressed in these articles do not necessarily reflect those of Doctors for Life International.]]>

LIFEalerts 15 March 2016

Abortion Northern Ireland – Plan for abortion expansion meets stunning defeat USA – Ohio defunds Planned Parenthood, redirects $1.3 million USA – Abortion Clinics Closing at Record Pace Alternative Medicine New Zealand – Feedback on natural health product regulations extended Euthanasia USA – Dutch psychiatric patients may get euthanasia too easily Netherlands – Dutch report applies the brakes on ‘completed life’ euthanasia USA – Oregon releases its 2015 ‘death with dignity’ stats IVF& Surrogacy UK – ‘Natural’ fertilisation device for IVF Medical Ethics USA – Three parent babies, but only males UK – Green light for UK CRISPR embryo research Brazil – Zika: still wrapped in mystery Scotland – Edinburgh to host world bioethics conference Pedophilia USA – New Requirements for Sex Offenders Traveling Abroad Pornography   Indonesia – Indonesia blocks Tumblr because it hosts pornography USA – School leaders, prosecutor discuss child pornography victim care USA – Rampant Exchange of Porn Emails among State Officials South Africa – FPB seeks two years in jail or a fine for revenge porn Same Sex Attraction USA – Advocate Compares March For Marriage To Civil Rights Movement USA Doctor fired from Boston hospital for objecting to its LGBT policy UK – Campaigner Peter Tatchell backs bakers in gay cake appeal Sexual Exploitation Indonesia – A way to deal with prostitution in the country by 2019 USA – More slaves today than during 400 years of the African Slave Trade UN – Officials Call for Strengthened Partnerships to Combat Trafficking UK – Tourists who pay for prostitutes abroad ‘should face prosecution in UK’ Substance Abuse UK – Study sheds light on source of drug addicts risk-taking behaviour USA – Marijuana Use May Lead to Abuse of Other Substances USA – New High: Legal Marijuana Sales Hit $5.4 Billion for 2015 Australia – “Medical marijuana” legalized in Australia   Abortion   Northern Ireland – Plan for abortion expansion meets stunning defeat The National Assembly, though divided into nine parties by religion and policy, managed to coalesce into a decisive majority to defeat two amendments to the law on abortion, one which would have allowed it in the case of children with fatal abnormalities (by 59 votes to 40), and when the pregnancy resulted from rape (by 64-30). Abortion advocates “are getting more and more vociferous,” Liam Gibson, Northern Ireland spokesman for the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, warned. “This issue will not go away. The judge said the current law did not represent the will of the people, but this decisive defeat of both amendments by the people’s elected representatives says otherwise.” https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/plan-for-northern-ireland-abortion-expansion-meets-stunning-defeat   USA – Ohio defunds Planned Parenthood, redirects $1.3 million Governor John Kasich signed legislation that will defund Planned Parenthood by forbidding the state from making health service contracts with any abortion-providing organization. Ohio is the 10th state in the union to take action to eliminate public subsidies to the abortion giant. The bill takes approximately $1.3 million per year that Planned Parenthood facilities in the state had been receiving, and instead directs it to federally qualified health centers, health departments, and other non-abortion health providers. There are 10 comprehensive health care clinics in Ohio for every Planned Parenthood facility. http://liveactionnews.org/ohio-defunds-planned-parenthood-redirects-roughly-1-3-million/   USA – Abortion Clinics Closing at Record Pace Abortion clinics are closing at a record pace across the country as they fail to meet new health and safety requirements and the demand for their business drops, according to a Bloomberg analysis. Many factors are involved, including the lack of business and fewer doctors willing to do abortions. Fewer women actually want abortions as more pro-life groups offer women alternatives to abortion and more women have access to the education and resources to choose life for their unborn babies. Since 2011, at least 162 abortion clinics have shut or stopped doing abortions. A report from Operation Rescue also showed 53 abortion clinics closed in 2015 alone. http://www.lifenews.com/2016/02/24/abortion-clinics-closing-at-record-pace-as-more-babies-saved-from-abortions/   Alternative Medicine   New Zealand – Feedback on natural health product regulations extended The government extended a deadline for feedback on regulations for a bill that will create a register and regulator for natural health products. The bill, supported by Natural Products NZ, an umbrella group that represents about 90{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of the $1.4 billion industry, missed the cut for a final reading in the pre-Christmas legislative logjam. The regulatory regime will help boost exports and provide assurance to consumers that products are safe. Natural Products NZ executive director Alison Quesnel says she is disappointed at what she calls scaremongering and misinformation over the proposed law change. The register already has 5500 ingredients approved for use in natural remedies and supplements and the list is expected to increase. http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/health-freedom-groups-win-extension-feedback-natural-health-product-regulations-b-184583   <Back to Top>   Euthanasia   USA – Dutch psychiatric patients may get euthanasia too easily The Journal of American Medical Associations, JAMA Psychiatry, has presented an alarming picture of physician evaluation of euthanasia requests in the Netherlands. Psychiatrist Dr. Scott Y. H. Kim examined 66 psychiatric cases which confirmed loneliness as a key driver behind requests by those suffering from mental illness. Dr. Paul S. Appelbaum, a professor of psychiatry, medicine and law at Columbia University commented, “the idea that people are leaving their treating physician and going to a clinic that exists solely for this purpose, and being evaluated not by a psychiatrist but by someone else who has to make these very difficult decisions about levels of suffering and disease, it seems to me like the worst possible way of implementing this process.” http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/the-dangers-of-euthanasia-for-the-mentally-ill/11750   Netherlands – Dutch report applies the brakes on ‘completed life’ euthanasia Although euthanasia in the Netherlands is often regarded as an unstoppable juggernaut, a government commission has suggested that the brakes be applied. Activists have been pressing for euthanasia on the basis of “completed life”, that is, for people who have simply lost interest in living, regardless of age or state of health. However, after a lengthy study, the Schnabel Commission has declared that expanding the boundary of euthanasia is not advisable. It believes that current legislation already provides for cases of “completed life”, which are equivalent to the symptoms of old age, in any case. The Dutch right-to-die association (NVVE) was surprised by the conservatism of the government’s response. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/a-dutch-report-applies-the-brakes-on-euthanasia/11756   USA – Oregon releases its 2015 ‘death with dignity’ stats Oregon’s annual “Death with Dignity” reports for 2015 shows the figures are not as straightforward as they might seem. During 2015, 218 people received prescriptions for lethal medications, but only 132 people died. Although uncontrolled pain is often seen as sufficient justification for legalized assisted suicide, relatively few people even mentioned it. The three main reasons were “less able to engage in activities making life enjoyable” (96{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}); “losing autonomy” (92{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}); and “loss of dignity” (75{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}). One curious detail from the statistics is that since 1997, 6 patients have regained consciousness after taking a lethal dose of medication. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/oregon-releases-its-2015-death-with-dignity-stats/11761   <Back to Top>   Same Sex Attraction   USA – Advocate Compares March for Marriage to Civil Rights Movement The president of an anti-gay organization, Brian Brown, has compared the group’s recent protest against same-sex marriage to the Civil Rights movement in America. Slate reports that a diverse crowd of over 5,000 people showed up for the march  NOM’s  (National Organization for Marriage) mission is “protecting marriage and the faith communities that sustain it,” according to its website. The March for Marriage was meant to show support for California’s Proposition 8 and the federal Defence of Marriage Act (DOMA), laws that seek to define marriage as between a man and woman only. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/anti-gay-movement   USA Doctor fired from Boston hospital for objecting to LGBT policy A respected member of the Harvard Medical School faculty has officially been expelled from his position at a major Boston hospital for voicing concerns about the hospital’s promotion of the LGBT lifestyle. His response noted the “evidence is irrefutable that behaviours common within the homosexual community are unhealthy and high risk for a host of serious medical consequences.” The board of directors of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre (BIDMC) informed Dr. Paul Church, from the Harvard faculty and a doctor for nearly 30 years at the hospital, that they will uphold his dismissal and that his medical privileges have been permanently rescinded. http://www.churchmilitant.com/news/article/dr.-church   UK – Campaigner Peter Tatchell backs bakers in gay cake appeal Mr. Tatchell has changed his mind about Asher’s Bakery in Belfast, who was found to have broken anti-discrimination laws when they declined an order by activist Gareth Lee for a cake with the slogan ‘support gay marriage’. He said: “Much as I wish to defend the gay community, I also want to defend freedom of conscience, expression and religion. It is an infringement of freedom to require private businesses to aid the promotion of ideas to which they conscientiously object. Discrimination against people should be unlawful but not discrimination against ideas and opinions. Should a Muslim printer be obliged to publish cartoons of Mohammed or a Jewish one the words of a Holocaust denier?” http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3427354/Tatchell-backs-bakers-gay-cake-appeal-Campaigner-says-changed-mind-firm-broke-anti-discrimination-laws-wants-defend-freedom-religion.html   <Back to Top>   IVF&Surrogacy   UK – ‘Natural’ fertilisation device for IVF A private UK fertility clinic is offering couples a new form of IVF treatment that lets conception occur in the womb rather than in the lab. Doctors hope that making fertilisation more natural will mean healthier pregnancies. The Complete Fertility clinic in Southampton is first in the UK to use the AneVivo device method. It is a tiny tubular capsule that is loaded with the sperm and egg before being placed into the uterus. Prof Macklon, head of the clinic said: “The aim is to maximise the time spent in the body rather than in the lab. The immediate benefit is reducing exposure at this very vulnerable time of human development when genes are being switched on and off.” http://www.bbc.com/news/health-35344195   <Back to Top>   Medical Ethics   USA – Three parent babies, but only males The US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine has recommended that US government allow mitochondrial DNA transfer in male embryos. The report argues that the procedure should be limited to male embryos because it is prudent to minimize the dangers of ‘passing on’ adverse effects of the procedure to future generations, and one way to do this is to begin with males only: “Intrauterine transfer for gestation [should be] limited to male embryos in order to prevent potential adverse and uncertain consequences of MRT from being passed on to future generations”. The sons-only recommendation has been criticized by researchers in the UK, whose parliament gave the go-ahead for mitochondrial replacement therapy last year without any such restriction. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/three-parent-babies-but-only-males/11739   UK – Green light for UK CRISPR embryo research Developmental biologist Kathy Niakan has received permission from the UK Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority (HFEA) to edit the genome of human embryos using the new CRISPR technology. “The reason why it is so important is because miscarriages and infertility are extremely common, but they’re not very well understood”, she said. Peter Saunders, of the Christian Medical Fellowship, is doubtful about the ability of embryonic gene-editing to redress genetic abnormalities: “Genetic abnormalities which result in implantation failure (either in IVF or naturally) or miscarriages are chromosomal abnormalities, not abnormalities in single genes. But only abnormalities in single genes can be fixed with gene editing of the sort that the Crick Institute is proposing. Gene editing does not fix chromosomal abnormalities.” http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/green-light-for-uk-crispr-embryo-research/11738   Brazil – Zika: still wrapped in mystery The World Health Organization says the Zika virus epidemic is a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern”. In the New England Journal of Medicine, Slovenian clinicians reported they had found the virus in the aborted remains of a baby with microcephaly whose mother contracted the disease in Brazil. But a report in the WHO’s Bulletin says a spike in microcephaly cases began in 2012, before the Zika epidemic in 2014. So there are still quite a few mysteries surrounding the virus. According to bioethicist Art Caplan and Lee H. Igel of New York University the situation is serious enough to cancel the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro this year. Given the risk to pregnant women holding them is “irresponsible”. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/zika-still-wrapped-in-mystery/11747   Scotland – Edinburgh to host world bioethics conference Edinburgh is the venue for the 2016 world congress of the International Association of Bioethics, whose theme is “Individuals, Public Interests and Public Goods: What is the Contribution of Bioethics?” and  will take place from June 14 to 17. According to the conference’s website, the event will be “… less of a traditional academic conference and more of a festival of knowledge that seeks to build a bridge between the questions and answers of how bioethics can contribute to some of the most pressing issues of our time – from genetic research to global pandemics, and from scarce resources to climate changes that affect us all.” http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/edinburgh-to-host-world-bioethics-conference/11748   <Back to Top>   Pedophilia   USA – New Requirements for Sex Offenders Traveling Abroad Sex offenders must now provide to the appropriate official any information relating to their intended travel outside of the United States. Under this new law, sex offenders convicted of sex crimes involving minors will have to have a passport with a unique identifying mark. “This is the first time in the history of our country that any American citizen will have a unique identifier on their passport, it violates so many constitutional rights of our citizens”, said lawyer Janice Bellucci from the California Reform Sex Offender Laws. “Who is the next group? Is it going to be Muslims if Donald Trump becomes president? This law is also designed to prevent the practice of “sex tourism” globally. http://www.lawyerherald.com/articles/31289/20160202/bill-make-harder-sex-offenders-travel-abroad-heads-obamas-desk.htm   <Back to Top>   Pornography   Indonesia – Indonesia blocks Tumblr because it hosts pornography Indonesia has banned Tumblr because the site hosted pornographic content. They banned them first and told them afterwards. Along with hosting adult content, Tumblr offers a quick way to make and search for photographs, supports conversations about mental health, and it even has a clothing line. Indonesian media recently banned nearly 500 sites in a broad crackdown, and earlier this month the Information and Communication Ministry demanded app maker Line remove LGBT-friendly stickers from its store. The country’s largest internet service provider, a state-owned company called Telekom Indonesia, blocked Netflix in January over concerns about the content it offered. http://www.engadget.com/2016/02/17/indonesia-blocks-tumblr-over-porn/   USA – School leaders, prosecutor discuss child pornography victim care Prince George’s County school leaders and the county’s state’s attorney are discussing how to help the young alleged victims of a man charged with making child pornography. There are at least 17 victims. They want to make sure the children involved in these cases have all the help and therapy they need so they can heal and they won’t be perpetrators themselves. http://wtop.com/prince-georges-county/2016/02/school-leaders-prosecutor-meet-to-discuss-child-pornography-victim-care   USA – Rampant Exchange of Porn Emails among State Officials The Pennsylvania government remains in a state of disarray after the state attorney general, recently exposed the rampant exchange of pornographic and vulgar emails by government officials. Attorney General Katherine Kane announced her findings about the inappropriate emails resulting in the resignation of Environmental Protection Secretary Christopher Abruzzo and Board of Probation and Parole member Randy Feathers. Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Seamus McCaffery also stepped down as well as Justice J. Michael Eakin. Police Commissioner Frank Noonan and Kevin Harley, former spokesperson for then Gov. Tom Corbett, were also cited in the discovery. Kane found the pornographic correspondence while looking into why it took the state three years to prosecute now convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky. http://christiannews.net/2016/02/21/pennsylvania-in-mess-after-exposure-of-rampant-exchange-of-porn-emails-among-state-officials/   South Africa – FPB seeks two years in jail or a fine for revenge porn Communications Minister Faith Muthambi and the Film Publications Board (FPB) will present this bill to Parliament’s communications committee. The bill, introduced to Parliament in November 2015 seeks to amend the Films and Publications Act by closing gaps in relation to online content regulation. “Revenge porn” is the distribution of private sexual photographs and films without consent from the individual featured. If passed, offenders could face up to two years in jail or a fine of up to R150 000. In terms of the proposed new law, no person may post private photos or films on the internet and social media sites without the consent of the person. http://www.timeslive.co.za/scitech/2016/02/22/FPB-seeks-two-years-in-jail-or-a-fine-of-up-to-R150000-for-revenge-porn   <Back to Top>   Sexual Exploitation   Indonesia – A way to deal with prostitution in the country by 2019 The Indonesian government announced a plan to close all 168 red-light districts across Indonesia by 2019 in order to deal with prostitution in the country. They managed to close Jakarta’s most notorious red-light districts and replace them with parks as the situation got out of control. As child sex tourism has become an issue at the resort islands many believe that red-light districts will affect children who live nearby negatively. Many women in Indonesia were indirectly forced to become prostitutes because the money was good and a way out of poverty. In other cases, the women were forced to enter prostitution by “family” and “friends. http://neurope.eu/article/government-plans-to-fight-prostitution-in-indonesia/   USA – More slaves today than during 400 years of the African Slave Trade Central Florida has become a slave-trafficking hotspot writes Rosie Reitze in the Central Florida Future. Earlier this year, Governor Rick Scott declared the month of January Human Trafficking Awareness Month. Scott signed four bills into law that went into effect to raise awareness of human trafficking. Jodi Cobb, an international photographer and author, photographed and produced the documentary “21st-Century Slaves” for National Geographic in 2003. “I think there’s a huge interest in human trafficking which has really grown since I did my story, the problem is, so has trafficking,” she said. “When I photographed it, there were more slaves in the world than the four centuries of the African slave trade combined, and now there’s even more.” http://www.centralfloridafuture.com/story/news/2016/02/10/modern-day-slavery-surrounds-ucf-orlando/80190768/   UN – Officials Call for Strengthened Partnerships to Combat Trafficking The scourge of Human Trafficking has victims spread across 152 different citizenships in 124 countries. “The promotion of human rights is central to our strategy,” Mogens Lykketoft said, urging all Member States to ratify and fully implement the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. In September, the United Nations will convene a high-level summit on “Addressing Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants”. UN assembly President Mogens Lykketoft noted that the General Assembly agreed to hold a high-level meeting in late 2017 to conduct the second appraisal of the Global Plan of Action against Trafficking in Persons, adopted in 2010. http://allafrica.com/stories/201602101555.html   UK – Tourists who pay for prostitutes abroad ‘should face prosecution in UK’ The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Prostitution by the campaigning group End Demand says payment for sex in the UK should be made illegal and “strongly considers” extending the offence to payments abroad. Research published by the British Medical Journal in 2014 found that among the 11 per cent of men in Britain aged 16 to 74 who have paid for sex, the majority (63 per cent) reported buying sex outside of the UK, mainly in Europe. http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/love-sex/sex-industry/sex-tourists-who-pay-for-prostitutes-abroad   <Back to Top>   Substance Abuse   UK – Study sheds light on source of drug addict’s risk-taking behaviour The study provides insight into how the brains of drug addicts may be wired differently. The findings which appear in the journal Psychopharmacology show that while drug users have strong motivation to seek out “rewards,” they exhibit an impaired ability to adjust their behaviour and are less fulfilled once they have achieved what they desire. Addressing this disconnect between the craving for a drug and the ability to regulate behaviour may be one of the keys to breaking the cycle of addiction. John Foxe, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Neuroscience at the University of Rochester Medical Centre said “It appears that the integrity of this system of assessment and self-regulation is impaired in substance abusers and this may contribute to their risk-taking behaviours and poor decision-making.” http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/02/160210135211.htm   USA – Marijuana Use May Lead to Abuse of Other Substances Based on national surveys three years apart, researchers found that adults who reported using pot in the first survey were two to nine times more likely to have a substance abuse problem by the time of the second survey.”Patients who may be considering using cannabis should know that by using cannabis they are approximately doubling their risk of developing a drug use disorder over the next few years,” said senior study author Dr. Mark Olfson of Columbia University Medical Centre and the New York State Psychiatric Institute in New York City. http://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/marijuana-use-may-lead-abuse-other-substances-n523071   USA – New High: Legal Marijuana Sales Hit $5.4 Billion for 2015 Legal U.S. pot sales soared to $5.4 billion for 2015, up 17.4 percent from $4.6 billion in 2014, according to data released Monday by the ArcView Group, which tracks the cannabis markets. The figures include medical and adult consumer sales. However, the annual gain was largely fuelled by the explosive growth in consumer sales, as some states have approved adult recreational marijuana use. Adult use sales grew to $998 million from $351 million in 2014, according to the research. http://www.nbcnews.com/business/business-news/new-high-legal-marijuana-sales-hit-5-4-billion-2015-n508851   Australia – “Medical marijuana” legalized in Australia The Australian parliament passed new national laws making the use of cannabis legal by people with “painful and chronic illness”. Amendments to the Narcotic Drugs Act permit legally-grown cannabis for the manufacture of medicinal cannabis products in Australia. The changes put “medical cannabis”, in the same category as restricted medicinal drugs such as morphine. Recreational cannabis cultivation and use remains illegal with state-based criminal laws still in place. http://www.businessinsider.com.au/medical-marijuana-is-now-legal-in-australia-2016-2   <Back to Top>   Disclaimer: the views and opinions expressed in these articles do not necessarily reflect those of Doctors for Life International]]>

LIFEalerts 18 February 2016

Abortion USA – March for Life aims to defend rights of the unborn Brazil – Activists use Zika epidemic to press for abortion USA – D.A. Who Indicted Daleiden Received Cash from Abortionists Attorney USA – Ohio Senate De-Funds Planned Parenthood by $1 Million Alternative Medicine UK – Alternative medicine faces ban USA – Kratom Can Offer Relief but Sometimes a Relapse Euthanasia Canada – First euthanasia case – but was it legal? USA -American medical Association debates assisted suicide Belgium – Euthanasia continues to rise in Belgium IVF& Surrogacy UK – Genetic pattern in womb linked to IVF failure Vietnam – Surrogacy offered to parents who qualify Medical Ethics UK – On the verge of editing the genome of human embryos USA – Embryo custody battles on the rise USA – Complications of “effective referral” UK – London sperm bank allegedly promoting eugenics Pedophilia Indonesia – Sex abusers of children to be chemically castrated UK – Viewers of child sex abuse could lose homes Pornography   USA – Man puts up Billboard Addressing the Destructive Nature of Porn USA – Porn viewing escalates in India even though it is banned Canada – Police are warning teenagers of the dangers of “sexting” Canada – Sex Education curriculum to be released soon Same Sex Attraction USA – Republican lawmaker seek bans on LGBT conversion therapy Sexual Exploitation USA – The 2016Polaris Project Report United Arab Emirates – A centre of human trafficking and prostitution USA – Victims of Human Trafficking Must Be Treated As Victims USA – Five Harmful Myths About Human Trafficking Substance Abuse South Africa – Children are overprescribed mind-altering drugs USA – Drug Overdoses Hit Record High USA – Supportive Home Environment Helps Kids of Meth Addicted Moms Canada – Teens who use cannabis at risk of schizophrenia   Abortion   USA – March for Life aims to defend rights of the unborn On Jan. 22, 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down all existing state laws protecting unborn children from abortion. The National Right to Life Committee estimates that over 58 million unborn children have been aborted in the United States since then. After 42 years of abortion on demand, numerous studies show that abortion hurts women spiritually, physically and emotionally. Post-abortive women have higher rates of sterility, miscarriage, substance abuse, and suicide as well as breast cancer. This year marks the 42nd annual March for Life in Washington, D.C. The March for Life is the longest consecutive demonstration in U.S. history. http://www.stltoday.com/news/opinion/mailbag/march-for-life-aims-to-defend-rights-of-the-unborn/article_f2959756-0ec8-5d41-b28d-b10d8e2c45a2.html   Brazil – Activists use Zika epidemic to press for abortion The abortion debate has been reignited in Brazil amid fears about severe birth defects linked to the Zika virus which causes defects such as microcephaly in foetuses, though the link is yet to be scientifically proven. A group of Brazilian academics and activists has created a petition to ask the country’s Supreme Court to allow abortions for women who have contracted the virus. The group, based around the Anis Institute of Bioethics, Human Rights and Gender at Brazilia University, successfully campaigned in 2012 to add a third exception to Brazil’s ban on abortion. Now in addition to medical emergencies and rapecases, women can legally seek an abortion if their child is suffering from anencephaly. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/zika-and-abortion-in-brazil/11733#sthash.h3JVL0yh.dpuf   USA – D.A. Who Indicted Daleiden Received Cash from Abortionists Attorney Devon Anderson’s re-election campaign received more than $25,000 from attorney, Chip Lewis who works for late-term abortionist, Douglas Karpen. Anderson’s personal relationship with Karpen’s attorney may have contributed to the failure of the grand jury to indict Karpen. Operation Rescue commented, “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire, and there’s just way too much smoke blowing Planned Parenthood’s way in Harris County for us to feel remotely comfortable that Anderson’s office can conduct a fair and impartial investigation”.  A Planned Parenthood board member Lauren Reeder also works for Anderson as an assistant district attorney. Although Anderson indicates Reeder had no role in the Daleiden indictment, there’s really no way of knowing if that is truly the case. http://www.lifenews.com/2016/01/28/d-a-who-indicted-david-daleiden-received-over-25000-from-attorney-for-late-term-abortionist/   USA – Ohio Senate De-Funds Planned Parenthood by $1 Million Legislation to de-fund Planned Parenthood (H.B. 294) was approved by the Ohio Senate on a 22-8 vote as the House passed the legislation, 62-30. House Bill 294 now heads back to the Ohio House for concurrence, and then on to the desk of Governor John Kasich, who has signed 16 Ohio Right to Life initiatives over the last five years. “With an infant mortality crisis like Ohio’s, our State has to be very deliberate in ensuring that funds combating that crisis go to programs that respect the whole continuum of life,” said Stephanie Ranade Krider, executive director of Ohio Right to Life. http://www.lifenews.com/2016/01/27/ohio-senate-de-funds-planned-parenthood-after-it-sells-aborted-baby-parts-cuts-1-million/   Alternative Medicine   UK – Alternative medicine faces ban Ministers in the United Kingdom recently announced that the National Health Service could ban doctors from prescribing homeopathic remedies. ”We need governments around the world to recognize the dangers of promoting homeopathy for life-threatening illnesses,” said Robert Hagan, a biomolecular scientist at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. We are calling on the WHO to condemn the promotion of homeopathy for treating TB, infant diarrhea, influenza, malaria and HIV. Homeopathy does not protect people from, or treat, these diseases. Paula Ross, chief executive of the Society of Homeopaths, agreed with the concerns about promoting homeopathy remedies. http://www.salon.com/2015/12/24/the_homeopathy_backlash_is_on_alternative_medicine_faces_ban_in_u_k_partner/   USA – Kratom Can Offer Relief but Sometimes a Relapse A Southeast Asian leaf called Kratom affects the brain like an opiate and can be addictive. “It’s a fascinating drug, but we need to know a lot more about it,” said Dr. Edward W. Boyer, University of Massachusetts Medical School and a co-author of several scientific articles on Kratom. Because it’s categorized as a botanic dietary supplement, the FDA cannot restrict its sale. The FDA did ban the import of Kratom into United States in 2014. However, the DEA has listed it as a “drug of concern” not a controlled substance, which would require proven health risks and abuse potential. Kratom’s narcotic effects have been known for centuries in its native Thailand who banned it decades ago amid widespread abuse. http://food.ndtv.com/opinions/an-alternative-for-addicts-kratom-can-offer-relief-and-sometimes-a-relapse-1261936   <Back to Top>   Euthanasia   Canada -Was the first euthanasia caselegal At least one person and perhaps three have been euthanized in Quebec since the Canadian province’s legislation went into effect in December. Dr Georges L’Espérance, president of the death-with-dignity group (l’Association québécoise pour le droit de mourir dans la dignité), said that he was not aware of the circumstances surrounding the deaths. Although the Supreme Court struck down the prohibition of assisted suicide and euthanasia in February 2015, the legality of the deaths is disputed, as the deaths in Quebec preceded the Supreme Court’s concession and thus were technically illegal. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/first-euthanasia-case-in-quebec/11720   USA -American medical Association debates assisted suicide The latest issue of JAMA (Journal of American Medical Associations) showcases the views of leading American doctors and lawyers on physician-assisted suicide (PAS). The theme is captured by the headline above one of the articles: “Physician-Assisted Dying: Turning Point?” After California legalized it last year, other US states could follow. Nothing novel emerges from the discussion, other than a sense of impending change. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/jama-debates-assisted-suicide/11721   Belgium – Euthanasia continues to rise in Belgium The latest statistics released by Belgium’s Federal Evaluation and Control Commission for Euthanasia, put the total of recorded cases in 2015 at 2021 (a rise of over 100 cases from 2014).Wim Distelmans, head of the commission, attributes the surge to an increase in the reporting of euthanasia by doctors. Distelmans said the actual total of deaths in 2015 might be much higher than reported. “Remember, there could be some euthanasia cases carried out but which are not declared so we cannot say for certain what the position is”. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/euthanasia-continues-to-rise-in-belgium/11735   <Back to Top>   Same Sex Attraction   USA – Republican lawmaker seek bans on LGBT conversion therapy A Republican lawmaker is proposing legislation in New Hampshire to ban therapy aimed at changing the sexual orientation of minors, a move that is sure to cause friction within the party. Eric Schleien said he doesn’t think it’s possible to change someone’s sexual orientation through so-called conversion therapy but some fellow Republican lawmakers say the effort could undermine religious liberty and parental rights. If Schleien’s bill passes, New Hampshire would become the fifth state to ban the practice. The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to legalize gay marriage nationwide last year ignited a new fight over religious liberty, with some people arguing that being forced to recognize gay marriage violates religious freedom. http://www.benningtonbanner.com/state/ci_28971669/republican-lawmaker-seek-bans-lgbt-conversion-therapy-new?source=rss_viewed   <Back to Top>   IVF&Surrogacy   UK – Genetic pattern in womb linked to IVF failure ‘Many women undergo a number of In- Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) cycles without success despite having good quality embryos and, up to now, it has been unclear whether or not the lining of the womb may be the cause of that,’ said Nick Macklon, Chair in obstetrics and gynaecology at the University of Southampton in UK.In this new study, scientists have identified a genetic pattern in the womb that could predict whether or not IVF treatment is likely to be successful. The discovery would help clinicians understand why IVF fails repeatedly in some women. The study was published in the journal Scientific Reports. http://www.financialexpress.com/article/lifestyle/health/genetic-pattern-in-womb-linked-to-ivf-failure-study/201800/?   Vietnam – Surrogacy offered to parents who qualify As Thailand closes its doors to commercial surrogacy, another South East Asian nation has tentatively begun to utilize surrogacy for couples unable to have children.Early last year Vietnam amended its marriage and family legislation to allow altruistic surrogacy. Altruistic surrogacy means a practice whereby a woman agrees, for no financial gain, to become pregnant and bear a child for another person or persons to whom she intends to transfer the child’s care at, or shortly after, the child’s birth.Under new regulations, couples must have not yet had a child, and must show that they are unable to conceive, even with IVF. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/surrogacy-comes-to-vietnam/11725#sthash.QZJ3HLyI.dpuf   <Back to Top>   Medical Ethics   UK – On the verge of editing the genome of human embryos Scientists at the Francis Crick Institute could begin genetically engineering human embryos as early as March if approved.A team led by Kathy Niakan plans to study how embryos develop by systematically disabling genes using CRISPR. However, Dr Calum MacKellar, Director of Research of the Scottish Council on Human Bioethics says:“Allowing gene editing of embryos opens the road to genetically modifying all the descendants of a person as well as full blown eugenics which was condemned by all civilized societies after the Second World War. It is the very future of the way in which societies accept persons with disabilities that is at play since such gene editing procedures infer that they should not have been brought into existence.” http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/uk-on-verge-of-editing-genome-of-human-embryos/11714   USA – Embryo custody battles on the rise Two embryos were “left over” after Jalesia McQueen and Justin Gadberry used IVF to have twins, now 8. A Missouri County Court ruled that the now divorced couple ‘jointly’ owns the remaining embryos. She wants more children and he wants the embryos destroyed. McQueen’s appeal to the Missouri Court of Appeals is indicative of a broader trend in embryo disputes: affected parties are increasingly appealing to the legal status of embryos as persons to prevent their destruction. Although no US jurisdiction treats embryos as persons entitled to constitutional protection, the Chicago-based Thomas More Society, which is providing legal assistance to McQueen, says that there is legislation in a number of US jurisdictions stating that life begins with conception. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/embryo-custody-battles-on-the-rise/11724   USA – Complications of “effective referral” Whether doctors with a conscientious objection to abortion or euthanasia have an obligation to refer patients is hotly debated. The Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons, for instance, strongly supports “effective referral” for euthanasia. However, the trial of a 95-year-old former healthcare worker at Auschwitz might make the position of conscientious objectors more plausible. 94-year-old Oscar Groening, dubbed “the bookkeeper of Auschwitz”, was convicted and sentenced to four years in jail, even though he had no direct involvement in the deaths of the camp’s inmates. Perhaps it makes sense for doctors to have misgivings about being complicit in controversial procedures. What is legal now may be condemned in the future and “effective referral” might not be accepted as an excuse. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/the-challenge-of-conscientious-objection/11722   UK – London sperm bank allegedly promoting eugenics Following complaints about a London Sperm Bank, the Human Fertility and Embryology Authority has asked why donors with medical conditions are being excluded. Fred Fisher, a 30-year-old dyslexic Oxford graduate software engineer was rejected by the sperm bank. “I told them this was eugenics. Would they turn away Richard Branson or Albert Einstein? Steve O’Brien, chair of the Dyslexia Foundation commented: “This is eugenics. It’s trying to say that dyslexics shouldn’t be in society.” A spokesperson for the London Sperm Bank denied that the company’s policy was eugenicist. However, in a now-withdrawn leaflet, it stated that it excluded men with certain conditions to “minimize the risk of transmitting common genetic diseases or malformations to any children born”. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/london-sperm-bank-allegedly-promoting-eugenics/11730   <Back to Top>   Pedophilia   Indonesia – Sex abusers of children to be chemically castrated President Joko Widodo is set to issue a regulation which stipulates a harsher sanction for anyone who commits sexual violence against children. This will involve injecting a hormone to reduce libido and sexual activity, in an attempt to minimize the chances of re-offending. http://www.iol.co.za/news/world/sex-abusers-to-be-chemically-castrated-1979784   UK – Viewers of child sex abuse could lose homes People who view images of child sex abuse could lose their homes or pensions under new US-style laws being proposed by a powerful coalition of children’s charities demanding action from the British government. The act would force offenders to pay damages that would help their victims to pay for medical services, therapy, lost income and legal fees.  John Carr, the coalition’s secretary, said a new law was urgently needed. Estimates suggest that pedophiles in the UK alone could be holding between 150 million and 360 million images of child abuse. “I think this could be a very effective. If guys know they could lose their house or their pension, they’ll think twice.” http://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/jan/16/internet-paedophiles-pay-damages-childrens-charities-michael-gove   <Back to Top>   Pornography   USA – Man puts up Billboard Addressing the Destructive Nature of Porn A Wisconsin 73-year old retired insurance broker, Jim Guell, got tired of seeing billboards advertising adult stores near his home, so he decided to take action. He struggled with pornography as a young man, so he knows how destructive it can be.Guell teamed up with a Catholic fraternal association and raised funds to design billboards which have slogans like “Porn Destroys Love” to counter the billboards being displayed.People are taking notice of the new billboard and have mentioned it to Guell who hopes it will make a difference. http://www.christianheadlines.com/blog/wisconsin-man-starts-effort-to-erect-billboard-stating-porn-destroys-love.html   USA – Porn viewing escalates in India even though it is banned Ban or no ban, India is watching more porn than ever. In 2015, India knocked out Canada to grab the third position behind the US and Britain in visiting one of the world’s largest adult websites Pornhub. PornHub received 21.2 billion visits in 2015 – 40,000 visits every minute or 2.4 million per hour. Visits from Smartphone’s alone now account for 53 percent of traffic shares, up from just 45 percent last year. http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/ban-or-no-ban-india-watching-more-porn-than-ever-survey-1264719   Canada – Police are warning teenagers of the dangers of “sexting” Police are warning teenagers of the dangers of “sexting” after numerous students are facing consequences for sending nude photos to one another.Durham Regional Police said a parent reported that nude photos of her child’s female classmate were being circulated by a male classmate.An investigation was launched after learning that there were some very disturbing images being passed between students at different schools according to Sgt. Bill Calder.Police have entered into “diversion contracts” with the teens, which are agreements that must be followed in order to prevent criminal charges being laid. http://globalnews.ca/news/2390587/police-issue-warning-on-sexting-after-ontario-teens-reprimanded-over-nude-photos/   Canada – Sex Education curriculum to be released soon Students will learn about the benefits and potential dangers of online activity in Grade 1 and about “sexting” in Grade 4 under Ontario’s revised sex education curriculum.The guide says students in Grades 1, 2 and 3 will learn initial searching skills and strategies for safe Internet use, including “how to get help for themselves or others if harassment or abuse happens either face-to-face or online.”The primary grade students will also learn the difference between real and fictional violence, in the media or with online games, and “respectful communications” in the gym, classroom and schoolyard. http://globalnews.ca/news/1844024/sexting-risks-part-of-ontarios-revised-sex-ed-curriculum/   <Back to Top>   Sexual Exploitation   USA – The 2016Polaris Project Report Thisreport provides 2015 data from the National Human Trafficking Resource Centre (NHTRC) hotline.In 2015, the NHTRC received 21,947 calls, 1,535 web-forms, 1275 emails and 1,472 SMS’s.Of these communications 5973 referenced potential cases of human trafficking.252 of the human trafficking cases reported occurred overseas.In total, 25,696 trafficking cases have been reported through the NHTRC since December 2007.More than 1,600 survivors of human trafficking reached out for help in 2015, a 24{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} increase over 2014.The top venue for sex trafficking was commercial front brothels and the top industry for labor trafficking was domestic work. https://polarisproject.org/resources/2015-hotline-statistics https://traffickingresourcecenter.org   United Arab Emirates –Dubai known as centre of human trafficking and prostitution Dubai, one of seven emirates, is known as a centre for prostitution and sex tourism in the Middle East. Some estimates have 30,000 sex workers there alone where prostitutes offer their services openly. Even though prostitution is strictly forbidden in the UAE and Sharia courts can impose flogging, Dubai, Sharjah and Ras al-Khaimah have shelters combating human trafficking after a law was passed in 2006 criminalizing it. In 2014 only 15 women took their cases to court. An activist for migrants’ rights from one of the Persian Gulf countries, who asked not to be named, says that “literally on a monthly basis” they receive reports about domestic workers sold into sex slavery upon arrival in Dubai. http://www.smh.com.au/world/dubai-in-united-arab-emirates-an-epicentre-of-human-trafficking-and-prostitution-20160115-gm6mdl.html#ixzz3xm11ZTY0   USA – Victims of Human Trafficking Must Be Treated As Victims January was Human Trafficking Awareness Month writes Preston Ship, a former prosecutor turned criminal justice reform advocate. It is estimated that half of the victims of human trafficking are children, with an average age between 11 and 14 years old when they enter the world of sex trafficking. Many of these children have run away from abusive or neglectful homes, are living on the streets and are forced into the commercial sex trade to acquire food, shelter, and clothing necessary for survival. They are easy targets for traffickers, who lie, manipulate, threaten, and violently force them into prostitution. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/preston-shipp/victims-of-human-trafficking_b_9090210.html   USA – Five Harmful Myths of Human Trafficking The Honorable Judy Harris Kluger, executive director of the Sanctuary for Families in the US says human trafficking is kept under wraps, overlooked and often ignored. Few reliable studies exist about its prevalence and it is important to dispel some often-repeated myths about trafficking. Kluger summarizes them as follows:1: Human trafficking only happens in countries far away from the United States.2: Only women are victims of human trafficking.3: Human trafficking requires physical force or restraint.4: Human trafficking is a small, underground industry that doesn’t affect many people.5: There is nothing I can do to end human trafficking. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/hon-judy-harris-kluger/five-harmful-myths-about-_b_8994544.html   <Back to Top>   Substance Abuse   South Africa – Children are overprescribed mind-altering drugs South Africa reports having one of the highest rates in the world of prescribed stimulants for children labelled with so-called Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder – a rate even higher than in the U.S. South Africa also shows antidepressants are being prescribed to children aged two and younger and powerful antipsychotics like Risperdal are approved to treat disruptive behaviour in children older than 5 with mental retardation. Wanting South Africa to avoid the epidemic of psychotropic drug abuse of children seen in the U.S., Citizens Commission on Human Rights International (CCHR) has launched a campaign to inform South African parents and teachers about prescribed psychotropic drug risks in children. http://www.health24.com/Medical/ADHD/ADHD-and-school/south-african-toddlers-prescribed-mind-altering-stimulants-antidepressants-and-antipsychotics-20160129   USA – Drug Overdoses Hit Record High In 2014 more than 47000 Americans died from drug overdoses fuelled largely by the abuse of narcotic painkillers and heroin- a 14 percent increase over 2013. Since 2000 nearly 500000 people have died from overdoses, according to a new report from the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. “The increasing number of deaths from opioid overdose is alarming,” CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden said in a statement. “To curb these trends and save lives, we must help prevent addiction and provide support and treatment to those who suffer from opioid use disorders,” he said. Oxycodone and hydrocodone, continue to be among the most commonly prescribed narcotic painkillers, and are responsible for more overdose deaths than any other narcotic. http://health.usnews.com/health-news/articles/2015-12-18/drug-overdoses-hit-record-high-cdc   USA – Supportive Home Environment Helps Kids of Meth Addicted Moms Abuse of methamphetamine during pregnancy remains a significant problem as a new study discovers nearly one-fourth of pregnant women seeking treatment at federal facilities were methamphetamine users. The study, scheduled for publication in The Journal of Paediatrics, found that while prenatal methamphetamine exposure can lead to targeted behavioural issues, a supportive home environment significantly decreases the severity and risk of these issues.“In the first study of its kind, we followed children who experienced prenatal methamphetamine exposure, up to the age of 7.5 years and found that adversities, such as poverty and continued drug abuse by a parent, contributed to behavioural and emotional control issues,” said Lynne M. Smith, M.D., lead researcher and corresponding author of the study. http://psychcentral.com/news/2016/01/25/supportive-home-environment-helps-kids-of-moms-hooked-on-meth/98145.html   Canada – Teens who use cannabis at risk of schizophrenia Researchers from Western University in Ontario have shed light on the significant, long-term impacts of THC on the adolescent brain, after exposing adolescent rodents to THC. Using a combination of behavioral and molecular analyses with in vivo neuronal electrophysiology, results showed substantial and persistent behavioral, neuronal and molecular changes that are identical to neuropsychiatric conditions, such as schizophrenia. Adolescent rodents with THC exposure were socially withdrawn and demonstrated increased anxiety, cognitive disorganization and abnormal levels of dopamine. This is consistent with sub-cortical DAergic dysregulation, a key characteristic of schizophrenia. Several prefrontal cortical molecular pathways were also profoundly altered. These changes continued into early adulthood, well past the initial exposure. Dr Steven Laviolette, PhD, led the research. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/305151.php   <Back to Top>   Disclaimer: the views and opinions expressed in these articles do not necessarily reflect those of Doctors for Life International]]>

LIFEalerts 22 January 2016

LIFEalerts 22 January 2016

Abortion USA – President Obama vetoes legislation defunding Planned Parenthood USA – Kansas Governor defunds Planned Parenthood Medicaid funding
Alternative Medicine No news today
Euthanasia Netherlands – Demented patients can now be euthanized
HIV/AIDS No news today
Homosexuality No news today
IVF & Surrogacy USA – The more cycles the better says study Italy – Treat surrogate parents as sex offenders says Italian minister
Medical Ethics USA – The top tech ethical issues of 2016 USA – Clinics obliged to offer fertility services to transgender people USA – Most research using fetal tissue is on infectious diseases
Pedophilia

Japan – Can Child Dolls Keep Pedophiles from Offending?

USA – Actor arrested for images of child sexual exploitation
Pornography USA – Study: Watching Porn Can Make You Sexually Aggressive USA – Possible link between pornography and dating abuse among teens USA – More than one in ten youth pastors addicted to porn USA – PornhHub statistics
Prostitution &Trafficking Netherlands – Sex is now acceptable tender for driving lessons USA – FBI has new plan to stop Super Bowl prostitution  
Stem Cells & Cloning No news today
Substance Abuse USA – Planned Parenthood gunman was a “marijuana newcomer” USA – Over 400 conditions co-occur with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders USA – Spike in Newborn Drug-Withdrawal Australia – Marijuana and Your Health: 20 Years of Research
  Abortion   USA – President Obama vetoes legislation defunding Planned Parenthood President Barack Obama vetoed legislation that would have ended $400 Million of the over $500 Million in forced taxpayer funding going to Planned Parenthood for 1 year. The measure would have shifted PP’s public subsidies to comprehensive health care clinics that offer more health services and outnumber the abortion giant 20 to 1. Bill H.R. 3762, which included efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, is the first bill to pass both houses of congress and make it to the president Obama’s desk. Obama shows blatant disregard for what the American people want and shows his close affiliation with PP and his pro abortion stance is clear. http://liveactionnews.org/breaking-president-obama-vetoes-legislation-defunding-planned-parenthood/   USA – Kansas Governor defunds Planned Parenthood Medicaid funding In his state address, Kansas governor Sam Brownback announced Planned Parenthood will no longer receive public funding through the state’s Medicaid program. Addressing a joint session of the Legislature, Brownback encouraged lawmakers to make the mandate state law.“The time has come to finish the job,” the governor urged. Brownback has ordered the state’s Department of Health and Environment to ensure “not a single dollar of taxpayer money goes to Planned Parenthood,” making Kansas the eighth state to defund the abortion giant. http://liveactionnews.org/kansas-defunds-planned-parenthood-blocks-group-from-receiving-medicaid-funds/   Alternative Medicine   No news today   <Back to Top>   Euthanasia   Netherlands – Demented patients can now be euthanized The Netherlands health ministry has revised its guidelines to allow severely demented patients to be euthanized. The guidelines acknowledge that patients often do not seem to be suffering unbearably because of their dementia. However, they still suffer from conditions like severe anxiety and pain. “In those cases a doctor may give euthanasia, even if a patient cannot make it clear in words or gesture,” says the ministry. “But there has to be a written request for euthanasia, that the patient drew up earlier.” http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/demented-patients-can-be-euthanized-in-netherlands/11706   <Back to Top>   HIV/AIDS & STI’s   No news today   <Back to Top>   Homosexuality   No news today   <Back to Top>   IVF &Surrogacy   USA – The more cycles the better says study Research published in The Journal of The American Medical Association looked at the likelihood of achieving a live birth from up to 9 cycles. The study included 157,000 UK-based women who received almost 260,000 IVF ovarian stimulation cycles between 2003 and 2010 and were followed up until June 2012. The median age at start of treatment was 35 years and the median duration of infertility for all cycles was 4 years. Professor Lawlor from the University of Bristol said: “These findings support extending the number of IVF cycles beyond 3 or 4. Scientists at the universities of Bristol and Glasgow said patients should not view the process as a “single shot”. Chances of success increased with the number of treatments. http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/ivf-two-thirds-of-couples-conceive-by-sixth-cycle-of-treatment-study-says-a6783341.html   Italy -Treat surrogate parents as sex offenders says Italian minister Surrogate parents should be treated as sex-offenders and jailed, according to Italy’s interior minister, Angelino Alfano. He described surrogacy as “the most vile, illegal trade that man has invented” in an interview. “We want wombs-for-rent to become a universal crime, punished with a jail term just as it happens for sex crimes.” 56 http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/treat-surrogate-parents-as-sex-offenders-says-italian-minister/11704#sthash.7CpOg5RN.dpuf   <Back to Top>   Medical Ethics   USA – The top tech ethical issues of 2016 The John J. Reilly Centre for Science, Technology and Values at the University of Notre Dame has released its annual list to get people thinking before controversial science or technology goes mainstream. Here are some of the ethical issues; CRISPR/Cas9 technology for gene editing; Rapid whole genome diagnosis – a way to record and catalogue the genomes of newborns in order to improve disease detection; Head transplants – a procedure that one doctor has promised to develop by 2017. Artificial wombs – the potential to grow a human foetus outside of a woman’s body is creating concerns with women’s rights advocates; Exoskeletons for the elderly – technology that helps people be more mobile and keep working but postpones retirement. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/the-top-tech-ethical-issues-of-2016/11696#sthash.QpgjDiKU.dpuf   USA – Clinics obliged to offer fertility services to transgender people The Ethics Committee of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine has issued a formal opinion that there are no reasons to view transgender parenting unfavourably. The committee argues that it would actually be wrong to deny patients this right. “Professional autonomy, while a significant value in deciding whom to treat, is limited in this case by a greater ethical obligation, and in some jurisdictions, a legal duty, to regard all persons equally, regardless of their gender identity.”  “The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry affirms that ‘there is no evidence to support that parents who are … transgender are per se deficient in parenting skills, child-centered concerns, and parent-child attachments compared with heterosexual parents’.” http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/us-clinics-obliged-to-offer-fertility-services-to-transgenders/11697   USA – Most research using fetal tissue is on infectious diseases Fetal tissue research has featured prominently in the headlines this year, after Planned Parenthood was filmed talking about sales of fetal parts to researchers. But less is known about what the scientists do with the tissue. Meredith Wadman, a journalist for Nature, found that the National institutes of health had funded 164 of these projects, at a cost of US$76 million – only 0.27{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of its grants. Here is what Nature found: 39{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} was used for HIV research, 18{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} for developmental biology, 14{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} for eye development and disease, 13 percent for infectious diseases like hepatitis, 8{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} for miscellaneous such as type 1 diabetes, 7{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} for in utero diseases, toxic exposure and congenital conditions, and 1{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} as a fetal tissue repository. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/most-research-using-foetal-tissue-focuses-on-infectious-diseases/11691   <Back to Top>   Pedophilia   Japan – Can Child Dolls Keep Pedophiles from Offending? Takagi a non-offending pedophile has founded a company that produces life-like child sex doll imitations of girls as young as five to clients around the world. “We should accept that there is no way to change someone’s fetishes,” Takagi said. “I am helping people express their desires, legally and ethically. So far, there is no research to indicate whether or not Takagi’s dolls would be successful, and Peter Fagan from the John Hopkins School of Medicine is skeptical that there ever will be. Citing cognitive-behavioral theory, the paraphilia researcher believes that contact with Trottla’s products would likely have a “reinforcing effect” on pedophilic ideation and “in many instances, cause it to be acted upon with greater urgency.” http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2016/01/can-child-dolls-keep-pedophiles-from-offending/423324/#article-comments USA – Actor arrested for images of child sexual exploitation                                                                                               Mark Salling has been found with more than 1000 images of “child sexual exploitation” on his computer. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5, the “extensive use of pornography depicting prepubescent children is a useful diagnostic indicator of a Pedophilic Disorder.” Researchers are still not sure what causes pedophilia. “The best information we have now suggests that it is really on the nature side,” said clinical psychologist James Cantor, an associate professor at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Medicine. Cantor says evidence suggests that a pedophile can’t be turned into a non-pedophile, but there are treatments, such as sex-drive-reducing medication and psychotherapy. https://www.yahoo.com/health/mark-salling-child-porn-215241330.html   <Back to Top>   Pornography   USA – Study: Watching Porn Can Make You Sexually Aggressive Spending too much time watching pornography can make you sexually aggressive, new research has found. The analysis of 22 studies from seven different countries found that pornography consumption is associated with sexual aggression across the countries among both males and females. Although the researchers acknowledge that “many pornography consumers are not sexually aggressive”, they ultimately concluded that “the accumulated data leave little doubt that, on the average, individuals who consume pornography more frequently are more likely to hold attitudes conducive to sexual aggression and engage in actual acts of sexual aggression than individuals who do not consume pornography or who consume pornography less frequently”. http://www.newindianexpress.com/world/Watching-Porn-Can-Make-You-Sexually-Aggressive-Study/2016/01/04/article3211300.ece   USA – Possible link between pornography and dating abuse among teens Teenagers who were victims of dating abuse reported viewing pornography twice as often as non-victimized peers, suggesting a possible link between dating abuse and pornography exposure, according to a new study led by a School of Public Health researcher, Emily Rothman, associate professor of community health sciences. The study was published in the journal Behavioral Sciences. The study found that more than half of all participants (51 percent) had been asked to watch pornography together by a dating or sexual partner. Overall, 44 percent of the youths reported that they had been asked to do something sexual that a partner saw in pornography. http://www.bu.edu/sph/2016/01/11/link-between-pornography-use-and-dating-abuse-among-urban-teens/   USA – More than one in ten youth pastors addicted to porn Josh McDowell Ministries commissioned the Barna Group to conduct a national survey of 3,000 people, including teens, pastors, and others. The survey claims to be the “most comprehensive, in-depth and wide-ranging study to date on pornography among the American population.” The massive survey found that teens, both boys and girls view porn weekly, and 41 percent have “sexted” a sexually explicit image. But perhaps the most disconcerting discovery of the McDowell survey is the high number of pastors at 21 percent of youth ministers and 14 percent of pastors who admit they struggle with pornography. Moreover, twelve percent of youth pastors and five percent of pastors admit they are addicted to internet porn. https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/porn-phenomenon-survey-finds-more-than-one-in-ten-youth-pastors-addicted-to   USA – PornhHub statistics People watched 4,392,486,580 hours of porn on PornHub in 2015. That means that in one year people around the world spent 501,425 years watching pornography, on one porn site. On PornHub, people watched 87,849,731,608 porn videos. As the porn site hastened to point out, that’s 12 porn videos viewed for every single person on the planet. https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/pornhub-just-released-their-2015-statistics.-and-its-sickening   <Back to Top>   Prostitution & Trafficking   Netherlands – Sex is now acceptable tender for driving lessons The Dutch have introduced a new law which says any driving student can use sex as payment as long as they are over the age of 18.  Prostitution is legal in the country with sex workers requiring an escort license and to pay taxes on a self-employment basis. The law has a thin line: driving students cannot offer sex for driving lessons. As long as the instructor makes the deal, two consenting adults have the green light to enter into such a contract. http://www.thesouthafrican.com/in-holland-sex-is-now-acceptable-tender-for-driving-lessons/   USA – FBI has new plan to stop Super Bowl prostitution For the first time in its efforts to crack down on sex trafficking during the Super Bowl, the FBI will try to reach out to women and girls selling sex. The FBI and local law enforcement agencies announced the arrests in February of 360 sex buyers and 68 traffickers and the recovery of 30 juvenile victims in a six-month operation in anticipation of the 2015 Super Bowl.” We want to do everything we can to put that victim at ease and put them in a situation where they feel more safe”. http://nypost.com/2016/01/12/fbi-has-new-plan-to-stop-super-bowl-hookers/   <Back to Top>   Stem Cells & Cloning   No news today   <Back to Top>   Substance Abuse   USA – Planned Parenthood gunman was a “marijuana newcomer” Robert Dear’s arrival in Colorado was part of a frenetic migration some locals derisively call the “green rush.” Just as people rushed haphazardly into the Rockies for gold in 1858, many of Hartsel’s newcomers moved there from across the country after recreational marijuana was legalized in 2012, rancher Keith Wells said. Locals identify Dear, the man accused of killing three people at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, with the marijuana migration because they often live in squalid, makeshift homes on the high plains. According to a New York Times profile, Dear sought companions with whom he could smoke marijuana in North Carolina, where he lived before moving to Colorado in 2014. http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_29214166/planned-parenthood-gunman-was-marijuana-newcomer-say-rural?source=infinite-up   USA – Over 400 conditions co-occur with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Researchers at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) have identified 428 distinct disease conditions that co-occur in people with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD), in the most comprehensive review of its kind. The results were published in The Lancet. “We’ve systematically identified numerous disease conditions co-occurring with FASD, which underscores the fact that it isn’t safe to drink any amount or type of alcohol at any stage of pregnancy, despite the conflicting messages the public may hear,” says Dr. Lana Popova, Senior Scientist in Social and Epidemiological Research at CAMH, and lead author on the paper. “Alcohol can affect any organ or system in the developing fetus.” http://www.statnews.com/2016/01/04/fda-2016-agency-agenda/   USA – Spike in Newborn Drug-Withdrawal More babies are being born with drug withdrawal syndrome, due to increased use of powerful prescription painkillers by pregnant women, according to the director of the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse. It’s estimated that 14{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}-22{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of pregnant women in the US are prescribed narcotic “opioid” painkillers. These drugs include brands such as OxyContin and Percocet. In addition, there has reportedly been an increase in the rate of painkiller abuse among pregnant women. Between 2000 and 2009, the incidence of drug withdrawal syndrome among newborns, also called neonatal abstinence syndrome, rose from 1.2 to 3.4 per 1,000 live births, NIDA Director Dr. Nora Volkow reported in an article published in the Jan 2016 edition of the BMJ. http://health.usnews.com/health-news/articles/2016-01-12/spike-in-newborn-drug-withdrawal-tied-to-prenatal-painkiller-use   Australia – Marijuana and Your Health: 20 Years of Research In a review, author Wayne Hall, a professor and director of the Centre for Youth Substance Abuse Research, University of Queensland in Australia, examined scientific evidence on marijuana’s health effects between 1993 and 2013. He found that adolescents who use cannabis regularly are about twice as likely as their nonuser peers to drop out of school, as well as experience cognitive impairment and psychoses as adults. Studies have also linked regular cannabis use in adolescence with the use of other illicit drugs, according to the review, published in the journal Addiction. It’s likely that middle-age people who smoke marijuana regularly are at an increased risk of experiencing a heart attack. These are a few of the statistics from the review. http://www.livescience.com/48171-marijuana-research-health-effects-review.html?cmpid=514627_20160114_56869406&adbid=10153190695391761&adbpl=fb&adbpr=30478646760   <Back to Top>   Disclaimer: the views and opinions expressed in these articles do not necessarily reflect those of Doctors for Life International]]>

LIFEalerts 22 December 2015

Abortion Dominican Republic – Court Upholds Abortion Ban Alternative Medicine No news today Euthanasia South Africa – Sean Davidson fails to comply with own controls HIV/AIDS No news today Homosexuality No news today IVF & Surrogacy China – Set to be the biggest IVF market in the world Poland – New Government Pulls State Funding for IVF  Sweden – Study concludes that Surrogacy is Mostly Positive Mexico – Tabasco bans surrogacy for same sex and foreign people Medical Ethics USA – So Forced feeding is not OK in Guantanamo but is in nursing homes USA – Summit fails to ban genetic engineering of human embryos Pedophilia

No news today

Pornography No news today Prostitution &Trafficking USA – Trafficking in Persons (Act) Report 2015 USA – Services for survivors of domestic sex trafficking Ireland – Increase in number of sex workers seeking help Vietnam – Trafficking of Women and Girls for Sexual Exploitation Stem Cells & Cloning No news today Substance Abuse South Africa – Methamphetamine sold as sweets to school children USA – FDA approves Naloxone nasal spray to reverse opioid overdose USA – DEA Chief Says Medical Marijuana Is a ‘Joke’ USA – Ohio Votes Against Marijuana USA – School Seniors More Likely to Smoke Pot Than Cigarettes   Abortion   Dominican Republic – Court Upholds Abortion Ban The Dominican Republic is holding fast to its pro-life principles after its highest court blocked a new law that would have legalized abortions. Last year, the country’s congress and President Danilo Medina approved amendments to their criminal code to allow abortion in cases of rape, incest, fetal deformity or danger to the woman’s life. However, several pro-life groups filed a complaint against the law, saying it violated the country’s constitution. The high court agreed that the amendments were unconstitutional. The amendment states:  “the right to life is inviolable from conception until death,” and passed 128 to 32. Central and South American countries are very pro-life, though they have witnessed a growing push from abortion advocates to legalize abortion. http://www.lifenews.com/2015/12/04/dominican-republic-court-upholds-abortion-ban-saving-unborn-children-from-abortions/   Alternative Medicine   No news today   <Back to Top>   Euthanasia   South Africa – Sean Davidson fails to comply with own controls Sean Davison and Dignity SA failed to answer a question on controls posed to him at the UCT Bioethics symposium and via a letter published in the Cape Times. The euthanasia issue will be back in the news in early 2016 when the Stransham-Ford appeal is heard.  Central to the motivation by Dignity SA is that if legalised, there would be ‘strict controls’ on euthanasia. Nevertheless, Sean Davison has admitted to violating his own proposed criteria twice and may have done so a third time, an allegation he has refused to confirm or deny four times.  How do Davison and Dignity SA expect such ‘strict controls’ to be enforced if he fails to comply with his own proposed controls himself? http://www.rootshosting.co.za/docforlife/philip-rosenthal-email-euthanasia/   <Back to Top>   HIV/AIDS & STI’s   No news today   <Back to Top>   Homosexuality   No news today   <Back to Top>   IVF &Surrogacy   China – Set to be the biggest IVF market in the world “Here we can do IVF with gender selection and you don’t need lots of documentation,” a doctor at the Guangdong clinic said, adding there had been a 50{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} jump in consultations since the one-child policy announcement. Patients and doctors in China said state IVF centres were often over-stretched – little surprise given each clinic serves around 3.8 million people, compared with 700,000 people per clinic in the United States. “Clinics are so busy it’s unbearable. Whichever hospital you go to it’s always rammed with people,” said a junior doctor at an IVF clinic in Shanghai, who asked not to be named. http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/11/30/china-population-ivf-idUSL3N13C13U20151130?rpc=401#hlAZLxLuMtEqUlKB.97   Poland – New Government Pulls State Funding for IVF In-vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment is used by couples who are unable to conceive. It consists of fertilizing an egg outside a woman’s body to produce an embryo that can then be implanted in her womb. In Poland, the previous liberal administration had introduced state funding for IVF, despite staunch opposition from the influential Catholic Church. But, now the new right-wing government has decided to cut this state funding for IVF. http://www.medindia.net/news/polands-new-right-wing-government-pulls-state-funding-for-ivf-155952-1.htm   Sweden – Study concludes that Surrogacy is Mainly Positive The Swedish government is considering a change of legislation to make surrogate motherhood legal in Sweden. The move is backed by research from a Nordic study that established that surrogacy as a rule works well for both the child and the surrogate mother. Among the published results…Children born as a result of surrogacy have no more health issues than children born from ordinary IVF. There are no negative signs concerning the child’s development up to the age of 10. Most surrogate mothers are well motivated, with a desire to help childless couples. Only a small number of surrogates have problems in handing over a child born as a result of this method. http://www.sensiblesurrogacy.com/swedish-study-concludes-that-surrogacy-is-generally-positive/ http://humupd.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2015/10/09/humupd.dmv046.short?rss=1   Mexico – Tabasco bans surrogacy for same sex and foreign people The Gulf coast state of Tabasco is currently the only Mexican state that allows surrogacy, supposedly on a non-commercial basis. It has attracted many foreign and same sex couples looking to have children. But the Tabasco state legislature voted 21-9 on Monday to restrict the option to Mexicans. It also says that couples looking for a child must include a mother aged 25 to 40 who can present proof that she is medically unable to bear a child. Mexico has become a low-cost alternative to the United States, where surrogacy can cost $150,000 or more. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/dec/15/mexico-tabasco-state-surrogacy-gay-men-foreign-couples   <Back to Top>   Medical Ethics   USA – So Forced-feeding is not OK in Guantanamo but is in nursing homes Dr. Haider Javed Warraich of Duke University Medical Centre has compared the practice of force feeding elderly patients to Guantanamo Bay. Tube feeding is often a result of family refusing to accept a disease has progressed beyond remedy. But doctors are often to blame. “… a survey revealed that almost two-thirds of them erroneously believed feeding tubes would improve survival in their patients. In fact, given that tube feeding has now been shown to be harmful in patients with dementia, it should not even be offered to this population.“ The article comes after a widely publicized court case involving an elderly Canadian woman who was fed by her doctors despite a directive asking for this not to happen. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/run-that-past-me-again-forced-feeding-is-not-ok-in-guantanamo-but-is-ok-in/11679   USA – Summit fails to ban genetic engineering of human embryos Gene-editing with the four-year-old CRISPR technique is already so promising that a meeting of American, British and Chinese scientists has been held in Washington to discuss how it should be regulated. The most controversial item on the agenda was genetic editing of human embryos and germ cells. Unsurprisingly, the International Summit on Human Gene-Editing declared that it would be “irresponsible to proceed with any clinical use of germline editing” until the risks were better understood. But it failed to endorse even a moratorium on human germline gene-editing, let alone a blanket ban. Harvard’s George Church argued that a ban would be unrealistic because it cannot be enforced so research will continue in countries where it is not banned. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/summit-fails-to-stop-genetic-engineering-of-human-embryos/11683   <Back to Top>   Pedophilia   No news today   <Back to Top>   Pornography   No news today   <Back to Top>   Prostitution & Trafficking   USA – Trafficking in Persons (Act) Report 2015 “This year’s 382 page, report places emphasis on human trafficking globally. It highlights the hidden risks, that workers encounter when seeking employment, and the steps that governments and businesses can take to prevent trafficking.” The bottom line is that this is no time for complacency. Across the globe, victims of human trafficking are daring to imagine the possibility of escape, the chance for a life without fear, and the opportunity to earn a living wage. I echo the words of President Obama and say to them: We hear you, and we will do all we can to make that dream come true. We will not rest until modern slavery is ended.” said John F. Kerry, Secretary of State. http://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/2015/index.htm http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/245365.pdf   USA – Services for survivors of domestic sex trafficking The last decade has seen advances in both scholarship and advocacy regarding the domestic sex trafficking (DST) of women and children, culminating in federal and state legislation addressing this human rights issue, writes Tasha Menaker in The Journal of Crime and Justice, Issue 3 2015. Prostituted women and girls continue to face stigma and blame for victimization. Studies have yet to fully explore perceptions of DST as it intersects with these forms of gendered violence. The current study uses a student sample of survey questionnaires to examine subject perceptions of gendered violence, with a focus on victim and perpetrator blame and appropriate social service responses for victims. Future research directions and policy implications are also discussed. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/0735648X.2014.996321   Ireland – Increase in number of sex workers seeking help An organisation helping women affected by prostitution says there has been an increase in the number of cases of sex trafficking dealt with last year. Based in Dublin, NGO Ruhama, says there has been an 8.5{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} increase in street prostitution and that they supported over 300 women from 37 different countries, including 88 victims of sex trafficking .The penalties for trafficking are extremely small compared to the enormous profits that can be gained and Ruhama has called for tougher sanctions to be imposed on those convicted.  The Garda National Protective Services Bureau, which is responsible for investigating the crime, needs to be adequately resourced as a matter of urgency. http://www.rte.ie/news/2015/1207/751734-prostitution/   Vietnam – Trafficking of Women and Girls for Sexual Exploitation Although the Vietnamese Government has many policies and laws to protect women’s rights and prevent violence against women, trafficking in women and children for sexual exploitation is increasing rapidly and complexly in Vietnam, says The Journal of US-China Medical Science, December 2015. Girls and young women from many provinces in Vietnam are trafficked daily to China. Many new chains of trafficking have been established and they are difficult to identify. Police and border guards cannot control all of them. It is estimated around 30 million women have been trafficked in Asia over the last several decades. http://www.davidpublisher.org/Public/uploads/Contribute/5631cb2e0bc14.pdf   <Back to Top>   Stem Cells & Cloning   No news today   <Back to Top>   Substance Abuse   South Africa – Methamphetamine sold as sweets to school children School children in Johannesburg, the Western Cape and KZN are being hooked on crystal meth when they buy sweets packaged to look like flavoured sugar straws. They are giving school children in Johannesburg a rush that only lasts a few seconds, but which is followed by a high which lasts for several hours. “Strawberry quick got its name from an urban legend, which became an actual reality in Johannesburg,” said Quintin van Kerken from the Anti-Drug Alliance SA. Prices vary dramatically, some dealer’s give them away for free the first few times, while others sell them from between R5 and R30. It all boils down to the dealer getting children addicted. 119 http://www.health24.com/Lifestyle/Street-drugs/News/drug-warning-crystal-meth-sold-as-sweets-to-schoolkids-20151127   USA – FDA approves Naloxone nasal spray to reverse opioid overdose The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health, is pleased to announce that intranasal naloxone –a nasal spray formulation of the medication designed to rapidly reverse opioid overdose – has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In 2013, more than 16,000 people died from a prescription opioid overdose, or approximately 44 people per day. In addition, another 8,000 died from heroin-related overdoses, a rate that has nearly quadrupled between 2002 and 2013. This FDA-approved intranasal delivery system could reduce the thousands of opioid-related deaths each year, and give patients a second chance to enter into long term addiction treatment. http://www.drugabuse.gov/news-events/news-releases/2015/11/fda-approves-naloxone-nasal-spray-to-reverse-opioid-overdose   USA – DEA Chief Says Medical Marijuana Is a ‘Joke’ DEA chief Chuck Rosenberg said the idea that marijuana can be used as medicine is a “joke.” “What really bothers me is the notion that marijuana is also medicinal — because it’s not,” Rosenberg said. “We can have an intellectually honest debate about whether we should legalize something that is bad and dangerous, but don’t call it medicine, that is a joke.” “..if you talk about smoking the leaf of marijuana, which is what people are talking about when they talk about medicinal marijuana, it has never been shown to be safe or effective as a medicine.” http://time.com/4101340/dea-medical-marijuana-joke/   USA – Ohio Votes Against Marijuana Ohio voters decided against legalizing marijuana and instead voted for the legislation that would disallow using the state constitution to create a monopoly. Sixty four percent of voters voted no, while thirty five percent voted yes. http://www.forbes.com/sites/debraborchardt/2015/11/04/ohio-votes-against-marijuana-and-monopolies/   USA – School Seniors More Likely to Smoke Pot Than Cigarettes For the first time, more U.S. high school seniors are smoking marijuana than tobacco, a new survey shows. Daily marijuana use remained relatively stable at 6 percent, while those seniors who said they smoked cigarettes every day dropped from 6.7 percent in 2014 to 5.5 percent, the researchers found. The same trend has been seen on college campuses, with a recent report showing that more college students (6 {01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}) now smoke a joint each day than light up a cigarette (5 percent). NIDA funded the survey, which was conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan. http://health.usnews.com/health-news/articles/2015-12-16/high-school-seniors-now-more-likely-to-smoke-pot-than-cigarettes-survey   <Back to Top>   Disclaimer: the views and opinions expressed in these articles do not necessarily reflect those of Doctors for Life International]]>

LIFEalerts 04 December 2015

Normal Logo Lifealerts

Abortion USA – Five abortion clinics shut down in the past five weeks USA – Planned Parenthood Clinic becomes Pro-Life Pregnancy Center
Alternative Medicine The Philippines – Bill seeks to regulate practice of acupuncture China – YangZheng XiaoJi May Stop Cancer Metastasis
Euthanasia Belgium – Expanding physician-assisted death to psychiatric cases Germany – Germany’s defeat of liberalized assisted suicide laws
HIV/AIDS No news today
Homosexuality UK – Sperm donor child ordered to develop relationship with father
IVF & Surrogacy UK – New drug provides safer IVF treatment India – Research Council Officially Ends Surrogacy in India Cambodia – Clinics Shift Business to “Lawless” Cambodia
Medical Ethics UK – Delusional but autonomous
Pedophilia UK – Is Pedophilia a Deviance or Disease Abu Dhabi – Tech industry fights online child sexual exploitation

Italy – Androgen deprivation therapy and pedophilia

Pornography Sweden – ‘Braille porn’ for blind people created by Swedish artist UK – Report claiming porn reduces the size of your brain UK – Police K-9s trained to sniff out child pornography USA – The Impact of pornography on individuals, families and children
Prostitution &Trafficking USA – Amnesty’s Human Rights Scandal USA – Guess who supports ditching prostitution laws  South Africa – High rate of disease among prostitutes in cities USA – Prostitution the most dangerous working environment Sweden – A prostitutes perspective on the Swedish model
Stem Cells & Cloning USA – Is the great stem cell debate over? USA – End ‘stem cell tourism,’ experts urge
Substance Abuse Syria – Captagon: The amphetamine fuelling Syria’s civil war USA – Medical doctor convicted of legal drug dealing
  Abortion   USA – Five abortion clinics have shut down in the past five weeks A total of 21 Abortion facilities have closed so far in 2015. Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue said “When abortion numbers come out for 2015, we expect that abortions will have decreased in each state where abortion clinics have closed”. Between September 28 and October 29, 2015, operations ceased at abortion facilities in Florida, Illinois, Wisconsin, Connecticut and Virginia. https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/five-abortion-clinics-shut-down-in-five-weeks   USA – Planned Parenthood Clinic becomes Pro-Life Pregnancy Center The Planned Parenthood facility where abortion center manager-turned pro-life advocate Abby Johnson worked is now a functioning pro-life pregnancy center. Hope Pregnancy Centers of Brazos Valley purchased the Bryan, Texas Planned Parenthood building last year after the abortion center closed. “What was once a place of death and grief where an estimated 6,400 abortions were performed has been transformed into a place of life,” Tracy Frank, executive director of Hope Pregnancy, said in a statement. Its free services include pregnancy tests, ultrasound, counseling about pregnancy options, baby supplies, STD testing, and more. http://www.lifenews.com/2015/11/09/former-planned-parenthood-abortion-clinic-re-opens-as-a-pro-life-pregnancy-center/   Alternative Medicine   The Philippines – Bill seeks to regulate practice of acupuncture Senator Miriam Santiago has filed a bill to regulate the practice of acupuncture in the country. Senate Bill 2966 seeks to standardize the practice of acupuncture to ensure that only licenses acupuncturists can perform the treatment. Under the bill, a Board of Acupuncture shall be created under the Department of Health. The board will be consisted of two licensed acupuncturists and one layperson who has never been an acupuncturist or member of any closely related profession. Santiago said any person is prohibited to practice acupuncture unless licensed. To become licensed acupuncturist the person must have completed a board-approved national certification process and have passed an examination administered by the board. http://www.sunstar.com.ph/manila/local-news/2015/11/02/bill-seeks-regulate-practice-acupuncture-439193   China – YangZheng XiaoJi May Stop Cancer Metastasis A study led by Cardiff University and Peking University, has found that a cocktail of non-toxic chemicals found in fruits and vegetables can be the key to stopping cancers from spreading. The study has found that YangZheng XiaoJi targets the formations of new blood vessels that supports tumor growth, blocks the pathway, and stops the spread of cancer cells, therefore stopping cancer metastasis. Clinical trials of YangZheng XiaoJi and its effects on lung and other cancers have started and it is showing positive results. http://www.healthaim.com/yangzheng-xiaoji-traditional-chinese-herbal-medicine-may-stop-cancer-metastasis/32692   <Back to Top>   Euthanasia   Belgium – Expanding physician-assisted death to psychiatric cases The latest addition by Hastings Center fellow Bonnie Steinbock, suggests assisted death for psychiatric cases is the logical consequence of current euthanasia legislation. Steinbock suggests that no good argument has been made in defense of the current prohibitions on euthanasia for the mentally ill.  She discusses the potential objections that could be made to broadening the scope of the law, and suggests that none of them is convincing. Many argue that the “terminal illness” requirement is appropriate. But Steinbock asserts that terminal illness is rarely the real motivation for patients seeking euthanasia. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/the-case-for-expanding-physician-assisted-death-to-psychiatric-cases/11640   Germany – Germany’s defeat of liberalized assisted suicide laws The German parliament has decided not to legalize organizations that promote or offer assisted suicide and to continue barring doctors from offering such assistance as a regular medical service. Lawmakers instead toughened the national stance against commercialized assisted suicide. Such acts will now be punished with up to three years in jail, even if a doctor claims to have acted to relieve a patient’s suffering. The bill was passed with 360 out of 602 votes. http://www.jewishjournal.com/world/article/german_jewry_applauds_defeat_of_liberalized_assisted_suicide_laws   <Back to Top>   HIV/AIDS & STI’s   No news today   <Back to Top>   Homosexuality   UK – Sperm donor child ordered to develop relationship with father A UK High Court has ordered a donor-conceived-girl to develop a relationship with her father and his same sex partner. She had been brought up since birth by her biological mother and her mother’s lesbian partner, but seven years ago her biological father petitioned the courts to have contact with her. High Court Justice Stephen Cobb ruled that the girl should have ‘indirect’ and ‘limited’ contact with her father, saying that “the significant void in their lives is the lack of any meaningful relationship with their fathers.”The decision, the culmination of a long running legal battle between the girl’s biological mother and father, goes against the will of the daughter, and she believes that litigation has “ruined her life”. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/teenage-sperm-donor-child-ordered-to-develop-relationship-with-her-father/11623   <Back to Top>   IVF &Surrogacy   UK – New drug provides safer IVF treatment During conventional IVF treatment doctors inject patients with the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin, which helps ovaries mature eggs that are later harvested. A potential side effect during this step is ovarian hyper-stimulation syndrome (OHSS), a potentially life-threatening condition. Severe OHSS occurs in up to 2{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of all patients but women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) are at much higher risk, with up to a quarter of such patients suffering severe OHSS. Researchers from Imperial College London, working with clinicians from Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, found that using Kisspeptin as an alternative hormone to HCG did not lead to OHSS, even in women at high risk of developing the condition. http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-11/sfe-ndp110215.php?   India – Research Council Officially Ends Surrogacy in India A letter from the Indian Council of Medical Research has officially ended surrogacy services for non-Indians, effectively immediately. The letter was issued at the behest of the Health Ministry and tells fertility clinics not to entertain any foreigners wanting surrogacy services in India. In a related move the government has banned the import of human embryos for IVF and surrogacy purposes. In a notification the “Import policy of the item ‘Human Embryo’ …has been changed to “Prohibited except for research purposes based on the guidelines of the Department of Health Research.” The government also told the Supreme Court this week that foreigners cannot rent a womb in India. Surrogacy services would only be available for Indian couples. http://www.sensiblesurrogacy.com/icmr-officially-ends-surrogacy-in-indi/   Cambodia – Clinics Shift Business to “Lawless” Cambodia The international market for surrogacy is proving to be very resilient in the face of legal and social disruption. Now that India, Nepal and Thailand have banned international clients from using local surrogates, clinics and brokers are shifting their business to Cambodia. Clients who travel to Cambodia to get a baby are taking a big risk. The business has sprung up overnight, as Cambodia’s first IVF baby was born in 2014 according to the Fertility Clinic of Cambodia. No laws govern surrogacy there and the legal system is “murky and corrupt”. If the authorities do step in, they could treat surrogacy as human trafficking. The future of the clients, the surrogate mothers and the babies could be at risk. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/surrogacy-business-shifts-to cambodia/11638#sthash.xFaXJl8o.dpuf   <Back to Top>   Medical Ethics   UK – Delusional but autonomous Can a confused, lonely, bi-polar 73-year-old with religious convictions refuse a life saving operation? Mr B will die of infection unless his leg is amputated below the knee. In the opinion of the judge he does not have the mental capacity to make a rational decision about his illness but points out that “Mr. B’s mental health and well-being will be further compromised following an operation. Further to that, his religious sentiments will undoubtedly continue and he will believe that the amputation was carried out against the Lord’s wishes.” The judge therefore decided that Mr. B’s best interests were to do what he wanted rather than what was good for him. His right to autonomy trumps his right to health. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/delusional-but-autonomous/11641   <Back to Top>   Pedophilia   UK – Is Pedophilia a Deviance or Disease Gunjan Sharma, a medical student at the Cardiff University School of Medicine writes in The MSPress Journal, Vol 2, No 2 (2015) that pedophilia is often described as society’s darkest taboo. This essay looks at Pedophilia from the perpetrator’s perspective, at how we can provide help to people before the offence takes place. Also the primary prevention strategies used across Europe and the difficult position the clinician may be placed under. Ultimately, this essay looks at pedophilia as a medical disorder and the pedophile as the patient, focusing on alleviating suffering for both the patient and for society. http://www.themspress.org/index.php/journal/article/view/112   Abu Dhabi – Tech industry fights online child sexual exploitation The world’s biggest search engine Google, social media and software firms have pledged to fight the abuse of the internet for online child sexual exploitation by developing new technology, tools and expertise by developing innovative technology like the Child Abuse Image Database. Yahoo has piloted the use of a Google tool which identifies indecent videos of children and Microsoft will enable more organizations to find indecent images of children using Photo DNA.  A dedicated team of Facebook engineers will be assisting in a technology upgrade for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) in the USA, to help them manage the increase in the number of reports resulting from the growing global collaboration to tackle online child sexual abuse. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/tech-industry-fights-online-child-sexual-exploitation

Italy – Androgen deprivation therapy and pedophilia

A research paper by Silvani, Mindaini and Zucchi in The Journal of Medicine and the Person, discusses andrology as an evolving discipline which embraces social problems like pedophilia. While international legislation aims to defend childhood it does not provide for compulsory treatment. Regarding chemical castration, the andrologist may perform an important role as part of a team of specialists and most literature refers to the use of leuprolide acetate rather than medroxyprogesterone and cyproterone acetate which presents more side effects. Current opinions on chemical castration for pedophilia are discordant. Some surveys confirm that therapy reduces sexual thoughts and fantasies, especially in pedophiles who relapse into the crime. However, others report that chemical castration does not modify the pedophile’s personality.

http://hlsjournal.org/index.php/aiua/article/view/aiua.2015.3.222   <Back to Top>   Pornography   Sweden – ‘Braille porn’ for blind people created by Swedish artist A Swedish artist, Nina Linde, 33, who created a ‘sensual Braille book’ for blind readers, has presented the saucy publication for the first time to the country’s national library. The tactile features X-rated images and is believed to be the first written material of its kind to offer erotic stimulation to the visually impaired. The book was created in 2010, but an official copy was given to the National Library of Sweden in Nov 2015. Lind insists that despite its graphic content, it should not be labelled ‘porn. And she said that she was inspired to produce it after visiting the Braille Library in Stockholm and discovering there was no dirty stuff for the visually impaired. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/swedish-artist-creates-braille-porn-for-blind-people-a6711496.html   UK – Report claiming porn reduces the size of your brain Conservative peer Ian McColl, a former surgeon, speaking in the House of Lords, has claimed that the constant use of pornography can reduce the part of your brain that registers pleasure. The study which examines 64 healthy men as they viewed sexually explicit videos and non-sexually explicit materials – found that constant pornography consumption can reduce the parts of the brain related to reward. He added that researchers involved in the study found participants who used pornography excessively needed increased amounts of stronger material in order to maintain similar levels of pleasure. There is increasing evidence to suggest that brain activity of those individuals who consume large volumes of pornography is similar to the brain activity of those with other addictions. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/house-of-lords-debate-porn-conservative-peer-cites-report-claiming-porn-reduces-the-size-of-your-a6722451.html   UK – Police K-9s trained to sniff out child pornography Sheriff’s deputies in Texas are using a new kind of cyber-crime detective to help them track down child pornography offenders. K-9s are being trained to sniff out storage media being used to keep child porn images. What the dogs actually smell is the glue that binds the electronic media – thumb drives and SD cards, which offenders go to great lengths to try and hide. A specially trained K-9 was a part of the raid on former Subway pitchman Jared Fogle’s home this past summer. In 2004, Fogle established the Jared Foundation, a nonprofit organization focused on raising awareness about childhood obesity through educational programs and tools provided to parents, schools, and community organizations. http://6abc.com/news/police-k-9s-trained-to-sniff-out-child-pornography/1080669/   USA – The Impact of pornography on individuals, families and children A 2015 study by the American College of Paediatricians reveals that: Male subjects demonstrated increased callousness toward women. Subjects considered the crime of rape less serious. They were more accepting of non-marital sexual activity and non-coital sexual practices such as oral and anal sex. They became more interested in more extreme and deviant forms of pornography. Subjects were more likely to say they were dissatisfied with their sexual partner and were more accepting of sexual infidelity in a relationship. They valued marriage less and were twice as likely to believe marriage may become obsolete. Men experienced a decreased desire for children, and women experienced a decreased desire to have a daughter. Subjects showed a greater acceptance of female promiscuity. http://www.acpeds.org/the-college-speaks/position-statements/the-impact-of-pornography-on-children?utm_source=email+marketing+Mailigen&utm_campaign=Pres+Message{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}3A+Pornography+Developments&utm_medium=email   <Back to Top>   Prostitution & Trafficking   USA – Amnesty’s Human Rights Scandal Alejandra Gil the Vice President of the Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP) that officially advised UNAIDS on its prostitution policy was jailed on Thursday 12th March for sex trafficking in Mexico City. Over 200 prostitutes were involved in a prostitution ring she was operating. Amnesty International also reference NSWP and the Advisory Group it co-chaired in its draft policy calling for brothel keeping to be decriminalised. NSWP is no fringe group. In 2009 it was appointed Co-Chair of the UNAIDS ‘Advisory Group on HIV and Sex Work’. So why is Amnesty International about to adopt their policy proposals? http://www.faber.co.uk/blog/a-human-rights-scandal-by-kat-banyard/   USA – Guess who supports ditching prostitution laws  The National Center on Sexual Exploitation is hosting White Ribbon week as a protest against pornography and request that people take a more personal role in combating porn by being aware of its harm, educating the public and fighting exploitation on another front in its ongoing fight with Amnesty International. Amnesty is working to decriminalize prostitution, which empowers sex trafficker and pimps around the world – not women. A group lobbying for “sex workers” was once led by a woman convicted of sex trafficking.  “These are the kinds of people who provided input to Amnesty’s policies,” says Lisa Thompson of National Center. “So it’s sort of like the fox guarding the hen house if you will.” http://www.onenewsnow.com/culture/2015/10/29/guess-who-supports-ditching-prostitution-laws   South Africa – High rate of disease among prostitutes in cities In Pretoria, a total of 1152 prostitutes compete for business at 30 different sites. This is according to a study on the state of homelessness conducted by the University of Pretoria and Unisa. The report, “Path Out of Homelessness”, warns of a multiplicity of social situations in the inner city where diseases proliferate. The report says that on average, 10 prostitutes ply their trade at a single site, but this can in places rise to as many as 200. Of 416 sex workers screened for HIV and TB since October last year, 187 were HIV-positive and of these 177 also had significant TB symptoms. http://www.timeslive.co.za/thetimes/2015/11/10/Disease-hookers-throng-capital-city   USA – Prostitution the most dangerous working environment The mortality data for prostitutes is staggering. The American Journal of Epidemiology published a meticulous study by a group of researchers, amongst whom, John J. Potterat, epidemiologist, formerly with the El Paso County Health Department, finding that the “workplace homicide rate for prostitutes” is 51 times that of the next most dangerous occupation for women, working in a liquor store. The average age of death of the prostitutes in the study was 34. “Women engaged in prostitution face the most dangerous occupational environment in the United States,” The Journal concluded. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/13/opinion/13kristof.html?ref=todayspaper&_r=0 http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/content/159/8/778.full   Sweden – A prostitute’s perspective on the Swedish model In “Lies about sex work in Sweden” Isabella Lund, a Swedish prostitute and debater espouses her experiences and details of why the Nordic Model implemented by Sweden in 1999 is not as effective as made out to be. Amongst other points; prostitutes must pay taxes for their incomes although nobody knows how, and they risk being evicted if found selling sexual services. They also risk losing custody of their children. She writes compellingly about the options available to prostitutes and that the effect of the legislation has just resulted in prostitution becoming much more hidden from society at large. She refers to numerous flaws in the model being touted by certain feminists as the solution to legislation regarding prostitution. https://sensuellqkonsult.wordpress.com/2007/05/26/lies-about-sexwork-in-sweden/   <Back to Top>   Stem Cells & Cloning   USA – Is the great stem cell debate over? Ten years ago the most controversial issue in bioethics was the use of human embryonic stem cells. Since these can only be obtained by destroying human embryos nearly every Western legislature had bitter debates. But then Shinya Yamanaka developed induced pluripotent stem cells which have all the potential of embryonic cells without the ethical baggage. Now a paper in Nature Biotechnology has suggested that iPS cells and hES cells are really functionally equivalent – meaning that there is no need to destroy embryos for research or for therapies. The report has not attracted a single comment but according to the findings of Konrad Hochedlinger and colleagues at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston it seems that the debate is over. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/is-the-great-stem-cell-debate-over/11629 http://news.sciencemag.org/biology/2015/10/reprogrammed-stem-cells-work-well-those-embryos   USA – End ‘stem cell tourism,’ experts urge According to a paper in BMC Medical Ethics by Kirstin Matthews of Rice University and Ana Iltis of Wake Forest University, disillusioned patients tired of waiting for stem cell cures they were promised more than 10 years, are approaching clinics around the world offering experimental stem cell-based interventions instead of waiting for scientists in the US to complete clinical trials. Central problems of stem cell tourism include the lack of patient protection, US liability standards, regulation of clinical sites and clinician licensing. “These interventions have insufficient evidence of safety and efficacy; patients may be wasting money and time, and they may be forgoing other opportunities for an intervention that has not been shown to be safe and effective,” they write. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/end-stem-cell-tourism-experts-urge/11656   <Back to Top>   Substance Abuse   Syria – Captagon: The amphetamine fuelling Syria’s civil war Separate investigations have found that the growing trade in Syrian-made Captagon, an amphetamine widely consumed in the Middle East, generated revenues of millions of dollars last year, some of which was almost certainly used to fund weapons, while combatants on both sides are turning to the stimulant to help them keep fighting. Saudi Arabia alone seizes 55m tablets a year, perhaps 10{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of the total thought to be smuggled into the kingdom. According to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, Syria has long been a transit point for drugs coming from Europe, Turkey and Lebanon. But the breakdown of law and order, collapse of the country’s infrastructure and proliferation of armed groups have turned it into a major producer. http://www.theguardian.com/world/shortcuts/2014/jan/13/captagon-amphetamine-syria-war-middle-east   USA – Medical doctor convicted of legal drug dealing A woman has become the first American doctor to be convicted of second degree murder for reckless prescriptions of painkillers. Dr. Lisa Tseng was found guilty of the deaths of 3 patients. Tseng prescribed crazy, outrageous amounts of medication to patients who didn’t need the pills. She ignored the deaths of several patients, even though one patient overdosed in her office and had to be revived. When she learned that she would be investigated, she fabricated medical records. Tseng earned about $5 million in three years. “You can’t hide behind a white lab coat and commit crimes,” said Deputy District Attorney John Niedermann. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/la-pill-mill-doctor-convicted-of-murder/11639#sthash.jQHaVgV0.dpuf   <Back to Top>   Disclaimer: the views and opinions expressed in these articles do not necessarily reflect those of Doctors for Life International]]>

What Amnesty Did Wrong: by Anna Djinn

Sexual Exploitation:

What Amnesty Did Wrong: by Anna Djinn

At a meeting in Dublin on 11 August 2015, Amnesty International’s International Council adopted a resolution to authorise their International Board to develop and adopt a policy on “sex work”. Here is a quote from their press release: “Sex workers are one of the most marginalized groups in the world who in most instances face constant risk of discrimination, violence and abuse.” The resolution recommends that Amnesty International develop a policy that supports the full decriminalization of all aspects of consensual sex work.

1. Amnesty ignored international human rights treaties

The 1949 United Nations Convention on the Suppression of the Trafficking in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others states that, “prostitution and the accompanying evil of the traffic in persons for the purpose of prostitution are incompatible with the dignity and worth of the human person and endanger the welfare of the individual, the family and the community”. This therefore defines prostitution as incompatible with the UN Declaration of Human Rights 1948 which guarantees human dignity and integrity to all.

2. Amnesty presented the arguments dishonestly

Amnesty presented the arguments in such a way that unless you were already well informed, you would get the impression that many people are calling for those involved in prostitution to be criminalized. However, in fact, not a single feminist or human rights group or organisation working in the field is calling for this. This way of arguing is sometimes called a straw man argument and is often the sign of a poor argument or an ulterior motive.

3. The resolution is contradictory

Having presented the proposal as all about “sex workers” rights and about protecting and decriminalising “sex workers” it is extraordinary that the final point of the resolution includes the following: “States can impose legitimate restrictions on the sale of sexual services.” That’s right! Amnesty says states can criminalize selling sex but not buying sex or the “operational aspects” of the industry! This is the exact opposite of what the human rights treaties mentioned above require for compliance and the exact opposite of what the survivor movement and many feminists are calling for.

4. The first version of the policy was written by a pimp

a. If you think that Amnesty, a leading human rights organisation, developed the proposal from a position of protecting the most vulnerable parties – the women and children stuck in prostitution – you would be wrong.

The original policy proposal, from which the resolution developed, was written by Douglas Fox, founder and business partner of Christony Companions – one of the UK’s largest escort agencies – i.e. a pimp who has a powerful vested financial interest in the decriminalisation of pimps and punters.

b. Furthermore, Alejandra Gil the Vice President of the Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP) that officially advised UNAIDS on its prostitution policy was jailed on Thursday 12th March for sex trafficking in Mexico City. Over 200 prostitutes were involved in a prostitution ring she was operating. Amnesty International also reference NSWP and the Advisory Group it co-chaired in its draft policy calling for brothel keeping to be decriminalised. NSWP is no fringe group. In 2009 it was appointed Co-Chair of the UNAIDS ‘Advisory Group on HIV and Sex Work’. So why is Amnesty International about to adopt Douglas Fox’s proposals as a pimp as well as those of a foremost “madam” (female pimp)? (See complete article further down which is named Annexure: Full Article for Point 4b)

5. Amnesty’s position was decided in advance

The feminist journalist Julie Bindel obtained notes of an Amnesty International meeting held in the UK in 2013 that show that the International Secretariat (IS) had the clear intention of supporting the full decriminalisation of the sex trade prior to the consultation process. Given that Amnesty International’s Secretariat had decided on their position in advance, it is not a surprise that their consultation was something of a sham.

6. The consultation was a sham

When the draft policy/background paper was leaked in early 2014; many survivor and feminist groups condemned the proposal. Members were then offered three weeks (2-21 April 2014) to provide feedback on the document, although most members did not receive notification of this and that members are spread around the globe in more than 70 countries. It is not uncommon to give more notice for a birthday party. The Coalition Against Trafficking of Women (CATW) published an open letter signed by over 400 advocates and organisations, condemning “Amnesty’s proposal to adopt a policy that calls for the decriminalization of pimps, brothel owners and buyers of sex — the pillars of a $99 billion global sex industry.” Former President Jimmy Carter set up a petition advocating Amnesty to adopt a Nordic Model approach. What is the point of a consultation if you ignore the responses you get?

7. Listening to “sex workers” – but only if they agree

In the run up to the vote in Dublin on 11 August 2015, Amnesty emphasized the importance of listening to “sex workers”. But what does that mean when, as Douglas Fox explained in his interview with Julie Bindel and Cath Elliott, many pimps and brothel owners describe themselves as “sex workers”? And, as Raquel Rosario Sanchez eloquently explains in ‘How to manufacture consent in the sex trade debate’, people who describe themselves as “sex workers” are, almost by definition, in favour of decriminalisation of the sex industry. Amnesty appears to have deliberately ignored the voices of survivors. And also of the women in prostitution who do not agree with full decriminalisation. Most people in prostitution are marginalised and ignorant of the possible approaches, including that of the Nordic Model.

8. Amnesty’s proposal is based on a false premise

The sex industry is a $99 BILLLION money making machine. It requires a continuous stream of new blood – because women get used up and men demand new faces. But women who have real choices – for example, for decent well-paid work in the computer industry, medicine, nursing, banking or academia – do not usually choose prostitution. Prostitution is not on the menu of career options given to girls from comfortable middle class homes.

9. Conflicts of interest

As mentioned earlier, there is evidence that pimps and others who profit from the sex trade have joined Amnesty in order to influence its policy on prostitution. But there are other powerful vested interests at play. Amnesty receives significant funding from George Soros and the Open Society Foundation, both of whom lobby for the decriminalisation of the sex industry. In addition there is evidence that Amnesty has received funding from governments, including the UK and US governments, both of which support the neoliberal project of maximising profits at more or less any cost. But the conflict of interest goes deeper than funding. It goes to the root of the relationship between the sexes in our patriarchal capitalist society.

10. Amnesty’s research was flawed

Amnesty conducted research in 4 countries (Papua New Guinea, Norway, Argentina and Hong Kong) that have a variety of legislative approaches to prostitution, including one country (Norway) that has implemented the Nordic Model. Amnesty did not make the full reports publicly available but the leaked final draft policy includes a summary of the “overarching” research findings. This states that they interviewed “80 sex workers” – i.e. an average of 20 in each of the four countries, which is too small a sample to draw conclusive results. Also, as we saw earlier, the “sex worker” term may include pimps and others with vested interests in the decriminalised approach that Amnesty recommends. The research purports to show “the human rights impact of criminalization of sex work.” However, they did not conduct research in a country (like Holland or Germany) that has implemented a fully decriminalised approach. To show that full decriminalisation is the solution to the problems that they observed, they would need to show that these problems are not present in countries that have implemented that solution.

11. Amnesty is silent on how to address trafficking and child sexual exploitation

Amnesty’s resolution mentions the obligation that states have to prevent and combat sex trafficking and child sexual exploitation. But they are silent about how states should go about this. This is a huge and glaring omission. The reality is that sex trafficking and child sexual exploitation are driven by the enormous profits that can so easily be made. The profits come because large numbers of men are prepared to pay large amounts of money to buy (mainly) women and children for sex. In the UK we regularly hear that traffickers and pimps sell girls and young women for £500-£600 an hour. Anything that legitimizes prostitution inevitably leads to an increase in this demand from men.

12. Amnesty lied about who they’d consulted

In an email response to a protest about Amnesty’s proposed policy, Jackie Hansen, Major Campaigns and Women’s Rights Campaigner, Amnesty International Canada, said the following: “Internationally, Amnesty International has held discussions with hundreds of organizations and many more individuals.” Rachel Moran, survivor of prostitution and co-founder of SPACE International, confirmed in a tweet that in spite of pledging to consult with them in a Committee for Justice Meeting of the Northern Ireland Assembly on 30 January 2014, Amnesty did not in fact consult with SPACE International. Resources Prostitution, a feminist campaigning organisation, confirmed in a tweet that after months of calling Amnesty begging to talk to them about their proposals, Amnesty responded after the crucial vote on 11 August.

13. So what should Amnesty do now?

It is not too late for Amnesty to admit that it has made very many, very serious mistakes in this matter, not least in allowing itself to be influenced by powerful vested interests. And it is not too late for Amnesty to abandon its current proposals. I sincerely urge Amnesty to do this as a matter of urgency.  
  Reference: for Points 1 – 13 http://prostitutionresearch.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/What-Amnesty-did-wrong.pdf Annexure: Full Article for Point 4b

A Human Rights Scandal: by Kat Banyard

The Vice President of a group that officially advised a top UN body on its prostitution policy was jailed earlier this year for sex trafficking. So why is Amnesty International about to adopt their policy proposals?
On Thursday 12th March 2015, 64 year old Alejandra Gil was convicted in Mexico City of trafficking and sentenced to fifteen years in prison. Gil reportedly controlled a pimping operation that exploited around 200 women. Known as the “Madam of Sullivan”, she was one of the most powerful pimps of Sullivan Street, an area of Mexico City notorious for prostitution. Gil and her son were connected with trafficking networks in Tlaxcala state – site of Mexico’s “epicenter for sex trafficking.” Madai, a twenty-four year old woman who was trafficked to Mexico City, was one of those who gave evidence against Gil. Speaking to a reporter in Mexico she said, “[Gil’s] job was to watch us from the car. Her son or her took us to hotels and charged us fees. She kept records. She had a list where she kept records of everything. She even wrote down how long you took”. Madai met her trafficker when she was 19 years old. “He wooed me, made me fall in love, and I believed everything he told me. That I would go live with him, that he was going to marry me… He was the one who took me to Alejandra Gil and her son”. Héctor Pérez, the lawyer representing the victims in Gil’s case, told me Gil was handed a fifteen year sentence because, “she received trafficked victims and deceived to exploit them through the exercise of [prostitution].” In addition to her daily pimping duties, Alejandra Gil side-lined as President of Aproase, an NGO that supposedly advocated for the rights of people in prostitution, but in practice functioned as a useful cover for her pimping operation. And until Gil’s arrest last year, the “Madam of Sullivan” was Vice President of an organisation called the Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP). NSWP is no fringe group. In 2009 it was appointed Co-Chair of the UNAIDS ‘Advisory Group on HIV and Sex Work’. UNAIDS is the international body responsible for leading global efforts to reverse the spread of HIV, and the advisory group was established to “review and participate in the development of UNAIDS policy, programme or advocacy documents, or statements.” Alejandra Gil is also personally acknowledged in a 2012 World Health Organisation (WHO) report about the sex trade as one of the “experts” who dedicated her “time and expertise” to developing its recommendations. NSWP’s logo is on the front cover, alongside the logos of WHO, UNAIDS and the United Nations Population Fund. Amnesty International also reference NSWP and the Advisory Group it co-chaired in its draft policy calling for brothel keeping to be decriminalised – a proposal that has been condemned by prostitution survivors and equality groups around the world, including SPACE International, Women’s Aid and the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women. Amnesty’s policy, due to be finalised this month, cites “human rights organisations” that endorse their proposal: “Most significantly,” they write, “a large number of sex worker organisations and networks, including the Global Network of Sex Work Projects, support the decriminalisation of sex work”. How could this happen? How could a pimp wind up second in command at a global organisation that officially advised UN agencies on prostitution policy and that is referenced in Amnesty International’s draft policy? And did the “Madam of Sullivan” divorce her interests as a pimp when she was putting demands to governments and global institutions on behalf of NSWP? She didn’t have to. NSWP campaigned for “third parties” in prostitution to be decriminalised. This, they state, includes “managers, brothel keepers… and anyone else who is seen as facilitating sex work”[i]. The organisation also insists that “Sex workers can be employees, employers, or participate in a range of other work related relationships.”[ii] According to NSWP policy, as a pimp Alejandra Gil was a “sex worker” who’s precise role was a “manager” in the trade. The organisation lobbies for pimping and brothel keeping to be legally recognized as legitimate work. To fulfil her role as Vice President of NSWP, Gil didn’t have to mask her vested interests as a pimp; she had a mandate to pursue them. Those interests have been pursued with startling success through some of the world’s top human rights institutions. What happened in 2007 is key to understanding how Gil’s group pulled it off. That year UNAIDS published a ‘Guidance Note‘ on how countries should respond to the HIV crisis in the context of a prostitution trade. They rightly concluded that to tackle the HIV crisis it was important to tackle demand for prostitution: “it is possible and timely to achieve social change, and consequently behavioral change among men, to reduce the demand for sex work.” Unsurprisingly, this didn’t go down well with Gil’s organisation, which expressed its “concern”, via a working group, about the report’s “emphasis on reducing commercial sex”[iii]. Inexplicably, UNAIDS responded by appointing NSWP – which openly promotes pimping and brothel keeping as ordinary ‘work’ – as Co-Chairs of its new Advisory Group on HIV and Sex Work. A revised version of UNAIDS’ Guidance Note was duly published, this time carrying an annex prepared by the Advisory Group. It recommends: “States should move away from criminalizing sex work or activities associated with it. Decriminalisation of sex work should include removing criminal laws and penalties for purchase and sale of sex, management of sex workers and brothels, and other activities related to sex work.” That report is now a go-to reference for groups lobbying governments to make pimping and brothel keeping legal. It is the legal model advocated by NSWP – full decriminalisation of the sex trade – that Amnesty International’s leadership voted in August to endorse, and plans to adopt as official policy this month. Amnesty maintains their policy is the result of two years research and is the best option available to protect the human rights of people that some men pay for sex. Having myself spent the last two years researching the sex trade for a book, I can confidently say that to suggest Amnesty’s researchers ‘missed a bit’ doesn’t even come close to accounting for the travesty that is the organization’s draft policy. Brothel keeping, pimping, paying for sex: these are forms of commercial sexual exploitation. Amnesty International is about to call for a form of violence against women to be decriminalised, allowing states to take on a role akin to a pimp: sanctioning and licensing brothels, and taxing the women in them. As Esohe Aghatise, Anti-Trafficking Manager at Equality Now, says “It is shocking that a convicted trafficker would influence policy, which is, in itself, incompatible with human rights and international law. We need to end the demand which fuels sex trafficking, rather than decriminalize those who benefit from the exploitation of others. UN agencies need to urgently clarify their position on the sex trade – particularly in light of this new damning evidence”. Without question, those who are paid for sex should be completely decriminalised. But those who sexually exploit – pimps, brothel keepers and sex buyers – should not. They are perpetrators – not entrepreneurs or consumers. Mia de Faoite, a survivor of prostitution, told me, “I left prostitution utterly destroyed as a human being and I cannot fathom how that level of violence could ever be sanctioned and classed as ‘work’.” That convicted trafficker Alejandra Gil and her group have been so closely involved in UN agencies’ policy making on prostitution is nothing short of a human rights scandal. Clearly, UNAIDS must urgently conduct a thorough, transparent review of all policies NSWP has advised it on and investigate how this could have happened. As for Amnesty International, it would be abhorrent to see the organisation proceed with its call for full decriminalisation of the sex trade – because it really doesn’t take a conviction for trafficking by a leading proponent to work out who benefits most when states make brothel-keeping and pimping legal. http://www.faber.co.uk/blog/a-human-rights-scandal-by-kat-banyard/]]>

LIFEalerts 05 November 2015

Abortion

USA – Over five hundred babies saved from abortion in Arizona

Nepal – The scary advance of gendercide in Nepal

USA – Planned Parenthood to stop receiving payments for fetal tissue

China – government to end one-child policy and allow two children

Alternative Medicine

South Africa – Proposed new bill to better manage medication backlogs

USA – ‘Health’ supplements send 23,000 to emergency rooms

Swaziland – Missing man found mutilated and stuffed in bags

USA – FDA Issues Warnings on Homeopathy for ADHD Patients

Euthanasia

California – Assisted Suicide and Suicide Contagion

Netherlands – Euthanasia on the Rise

Australia – ‘Dr Death’ forced to stop promoting suicide

Belgium – Not enough doctors to staff Belgium’s euthanasia commission

HIV/AIDS

No news today

Homosexuality

South Africa – Dutch Reformed Church to recognize same sex marriage

USA – More LGBT Americans come out on Facebook than last year

IVF & Surrogacy

Canada – IVF success rates improved with stem cells

UK/USA – Novel DNA test could more than double success rates

USA- Baby farming business is exploding

India – New Delhi moves toward banning surrogacy in India

Medical Ethics

France – UN panel calls for moratorium on editing human genome

USA – Gene editing technique makes pig organ transplants possible

USA – 23andMe to resume supplying health data

USA – A fine way to give blood

Pedophilia

Indonesia – Government to use chemical castration for pedophiles

Pornography

USA – Playboy magazine to stop publishing nude images

South Africa – South Africans’ secret porn viewing habits

Germany – Porn may reduce your brain size

South Africa – Violent porn may be to blame for sexual coercion

Prostitution &Trafficking

USA – Legalizing prostitution is prison for the exploited

UK – Family jailed for trafficking Hungarian women for prostitution

USA – What Amnesty Did Wrong Regarding Prostitution

Stem Cells & Cloning

Australia – Researchers grow organ in Petri-dish

Substance Abuse

UK – Use of Legal Highs on the Increase

USA – Promising new target for addiction treatment

Switzerland – Study: THC doesn’t reduce postoperative nausea or vomiting

Scotland – Massive rise in heroin and methadone drug problems

USA – New study on the use of “Novel Psychoactive Substances”

Abortion

USA – Over five hundred babies saved from abortion in Arizona

Abortions in Arizona dropped 3.7 percent in 2014, according to a report from the state Department of Health Services. There were 12,900 abortions reported last year, compared to 13,401 in 2013. In between 2009 and 2014, Governer Jan Brewer signed into law 24 life-saving measures that have directly contributed to the drop in abortions. Existing law prohibits partial-birth abortion, late-term abortion, and sex-selection abortions. Arizona also requires a 24-hour waiting period with an ultrasound, informed consent about abortion risks and fetal development, parental consent for minors’ abortions, and medical standards for abortion mills. The state also places a variety of prohibitions on taxpayer funding for elective abortions.

http://liveactionnews.org/501-babies-saved-from-abortion-in-arizona-as-abortion-rate-falls-3-7-percent/

Nepal – The scary advance of gendercide in Nepal

Sex-selective abortion in Nepal is incredibly high, even though the practice is technically prohibited and hardly ever mentioned in Western media. University of Oxford demographer Melanie Dawn Frost was the lead author of a paper in BMJ Open about widespread sex-selective abortion in Nepal since abortion was legalized in 2002. “Nepal has seen one of the most dramatic fertility declines in history, with the total fertility rate falling from 4.1 to 2.6 in just 10 years,” she observed. In the late 2000s (2007-2010) the sex-ratio for second-order births was drastically skewed, with just 742 girls being born per 1000 boys. Prior to legalization of abortion (1998-2000), that ratio was 1021 to 1000.

http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/the-scary-advance-of-gendercide-in-nepal/11611#sthash.9veK4aor.dpuf

USA – Planned Parenthood to stop receiving payments for fetal tissue

Planned Parenthood has announced that it will no longer accept any form of reimbursement for supplying fetal tissue, says president Cecile Richards in an open letter to National Institutes of Health director Dr. Francis S. Collins. “Planned Parenthood’s policies on fetal tissue donation already exceed the legal requirements,” Ms. Richards wrote. “Now we’re going even further in order to take away any basis for attacking Planned Parenthood to advance an anti-abortion political agenda.” The organization’s critics are far from convinced. David Deleiden of the Center for Medical Progress depicted Planned Parenthood’s shift as “an admission of guilt”. “If the money Planned Parenthood has been receiving for baby body parts were truly legitimate ‘reimbursement,’ why cancel it?” he asked.

http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/planned-parenthood-to-stop-receiving-payments-for-foetal-tissue/11607#sthash.Hc4tKAIC.dpuf

China – government to end one-child policy and allow two children

The one child policy introduced nationally in 1979, is estimated to have prevented about 400 million births. Couples who violated the one-child policy faced a variety of punishments, from fines and the loss of employment to forced abortions. The decision to allow families to have two children was designed “to improve the balanced development of population” and to deal with an aging population, according to the statement from the Community Party’s Central Committee. Currently about 30{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of China’s population is over the age of 50. The total population of the country is around 1.36 billion. “As long as the quotas and system of surveillance remains, women still do not enjoy reproductive rights,” said Maya Wang of Human Rights Watch.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-34665539

Alternative Medicine

South Africa – Proposed new bill to better manage medication backlogs

Opposition parties have rallied around the proposal of a new bill that will better manage backlogs in medication and ensure its quality. DA MPL Dr Imram Keeka said the Medicines and Related Amendments Bill looks to rectify the shortcomings of Act 101 from 1965. Keeka said the bill seeks to establish new authority, called the South African Health Product Regulatory Authority, which would deal with the medication backlog and regulate alternative and prepared traditional medicines. Keeka said although the natural, alternative and complimentary medication sectors would be affected by following a regulatory process for selling medicines, it was “only fair”. “At the end of the day, it is the public’s safety that is the main concern,” Keeka said.

http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/Proposed-new-bill-to-better-manage-medication-backlogs-20151006

USA – ‘Health’ supplements send 23,000 to emergency rooms

Dietary supplements – those “all natural” products people consume for weight loss, extra energy or to self-treat various conditions send +-23,000 people, many of them children, to the emergency room in the U.S. each year. Just over 9{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} require hospitalization. Many patients report heart symptoms. Supplements include herbal products, amino acids, vitamins, minerals and other “complementary” nutrition products hawked for a wide range of uses, often with little or no testing to back up claims. The new study “illustrates that something that’s ‘natural’ is not necessarily safe, and these products do not come without risk,” said Curtis Haas, director of pharmacy for the University of Rochester Medical Center and a past-president of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/10/14/us-health-supplements-toxicity-idUSKCN0S82QN20151014

Swaziland – Missing man found mutilated and stuffed in bags

Magidi Mlambo, a man from the Mambane area who was reported missing has been found dead, with his body mutilated. The recovery of the deceased’s body comes only a day after police took in two traditional healers for questioning concerning the disappearance of the man. The witch doctors led the police to the mountains on Monday evening, where the body was found with some parts missing. Mlambo went missing after he went to the forest to collect some herbs with a well known traditional healer from the area. Traditional healers then led police to the indvuna who is said to have assisted in transporting some of the parts which were eventually sold to another traditional healer at Hosea.

http://www.observer.org.sz/news/76608-missing-man-mutilated-stuffed-in-bags.html

USA – FDA Issues Warnings on Homeopathy for ADHD Patients

Recent reports say the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has taken measures on the widespread use of homeopathic treatments, especially in children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Reports have reached the FDA in which children diagnosed with ADHD turn out to be victims of quackery or fraudulent treatments. The FDA has issued warnings about side effects such as stunted growth and psychiatric problems and has tightened their regulations on such treatments.

http://qna.mortgagenewsdaily.com/questions/fda-issues-warnings-on-homeopathy-on-adhd-patients

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Euthanasia

California – Assisted Suicide and Suicide Contagion

Ten percent of Americans now have access to assisted suicide after Jerry Brown, governor of California, approved Assembly Bill 15. Physician Assisted Suicide (PAS) is now legal in California, Oregon, Washington, Montana and Vermont, as well as throughout Canada. Will California’s new assisted suicide law actually result in fewer people committing suicide as its supporters have promised? Dramatic new findings about the Oregon experience with PAS have been published in the Southern Medical Journal which suggest that this is not true.  In a fine-grained statistical analysis of the experience in the 4 American states where PAS is currently legal, British academics David Albert Jones and David Paton show that the introduction of PAS induces more self-inflicted deaths than it inhibits.

http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/assisted-suicide-now-legal-in-california/11601#sthash.dV2nBbdi.dpuf

http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/fears-of-suicide-contagion-after-victory-in-california/11600#sthash.FUsnYDj5.dpuf

http://sma.org/southern-medical-journal/article/how-does-legalization-of-physician-assisted-suicide-affect-rates-of-suicide/

Netherlands – Euthanasia on the Rise

Deaths by euthanasia in the Netherlands have increased by 10{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} in 2014 according to a new report released by the regional euthanasia review committee of Holland. A total of 5306 cases of assisted dying were reported to the regional committees in 2014, including 5033 cases of euthanasia (a 10{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} increase on the 4501 cases reported in 2013). The overall number of reported cases has doubled since 2009.

http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/euthanasia-on-the-rise-in-netherlands/11605#sthash.FDF2wtH9.dpuf

https://www.euthanasiecommissie.nl/overdetoetsingscommissies/jaarverslag/

Australia – ‘Dr Death’ forced to stop promoting suicide

The world’s foremost promoter of assisted suicide and euthanasia, Australia’s Dr Philip Nitschke, has agreed to cease his advocacy in exchange for retaining his medical registration. The Medical Board of Australia (MBA) said that these measures were necessary “to protect the public”. The agreement puts “an end to his involvement in providing any advice or information to any patient or member of the public about how to commit suicide. This includes workshops, the Peaceful Pill Handbook, videos or on-line information”. An immediate consequence of the MBA’s decision is that Dr Nitschke has been forced to resign as director of Exit International, the organization he founded to promote methods of committing suicide.

http://www.mercatornet.com/careful/view/australias-dr-death-forced-to-stop-promoting-suicide/17085

Belgium – Not enough doctors to staff Belgium’s euthanasia commission

Belgium’s Federal Evaluation and Control Commission for Euthanasia have lost its mandate after failing to find replacements for vacancies on its executive committee. The minister for Health, Maggie De Block, gave her word in Parliament that the wheels were turning smoothly and that Belgians had nothing to fear from illegal euthanasia – even though news of the vacancies had already emerged in the press. This does not inspire much confidence that anyone really knows what is going on.

http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/not-enough-doctors-to-staff-belgiums-euthanasia-commission/11625

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HIV/AIDS & STI’s

No news today

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Homosexuality

South Africa – Dutch Reformed Church to recognize same sex marriage

A landmark vote means same sex relationships will now be recognized by the Dutch Reformed Church. With a 64 percent majority the church voted in favor of acknowledging same sex unions and allowing same sex ministers to be ordained without the need for them to be celibate. Dutch Reform Church moderator Nelis Janse van Rensburg said, it is historical because with this decision we actually are at a point where there can be no doubt that the Dutch Reformed Church is serious about human dignity. The church will also help ministers to get the necessary legal documentation to ratify civil unions.

https://www.enca.com/south-africa/dutch-reformed-church-recognise-gay-marriage

USA – More LGBT Americans come out on Facebook than last year

new study out of Facebook’s research and data science division indicates that people in the US who identify as LGBT are now saying so on the social network at a rapidly increasing pace. 6 million of US users identify as LGBT, 800,000 of which came out last year. The number of users coming out per day has tripled since then. Since June’s Supreme Court ruling which legalized same sex marriage, one out of every five people come out on Facebook. LGBT pages have increased by 25 percent this year and the top 300 most popular LGBT people get support from 5.7million Americans.

http://www.theverge.com/2015/10/15/9541431/facebook-social-research-LGBT-study

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IVF &Surrogacy

Canada – IVF success rates improved with stem cells

Doctors in Canada have begun a new chapter in medical history, delivering the first in a wave of babies expected to be born through a technique some experts think can dramatically improve the success rate of IVF. This is a possible solution to infertility caused by poor egg quality by using pristine stem cells of healthy, yet-to-be developed eggs that can help make a woman’s older eggs act young again. Unlike other kinds of stem cells, which have the ability to develop into any kind of cell in the body these precursor cells can only form eggs. It’s not available in the U.S., since the Food and Drug Administration considers the process of introducing mitochondria a form of gene therapy.

http://time.com/3849127/baby-stem-cells-augment-ivf/

UK/USA – Novel DNA test could more than double success rates

In the US, the majority of women undergoing IVF have a success rate of 20-35{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}. Now, researchers have created a test that they say could boost success rates to as much as 80{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}. The test, called MitoGrade, works by measuring the levels of abnormal mitochondrial DNA present in embryos, allowing doctors to determine which embryos are most viable for a successful pregnancy. It emerged in recent years that the number of chromosomes in an embryo can influence the outcomes of IVF. More recently, researchers from the University of Oxford and genetics laboratory Reprogenetics, both in the UK, found that the levels of mitochondrial DNA in embryos are a key factor in IVF success.

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/301257.php

USA – Baby-farming business is exploding

American women are being paid to put themselves at significant physical risk every day in this country to produce babies for others,” said Jennifer Lahlof the Centre for Bioethics and Culture Network. These women are injected with powerful hormones and other drugs to maximize chances of pregnancy, virtually without government oversight. Surrogacy is booming following the legalisation of same-sex marriage, as same sex couples look to have families. Celebrities and wealthy American women are increasingly using surrogates to carry their own children, to avoid the body changes that come with pregnancy. Idaho has become a hotspot for surrogacy because of its permissive legislation and lower costs. Parents from all over the world are coming to Idaho to have children.

http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/idaho-surrogate-mother-dies-from-pregnancy-complications/11614#sthash.XJNAFIMi.dpuf

India – New Delhi moves toward banning surrogacy in India

New legislation proposed by the Indian Health Ministry aims to regulate and supervise clinics performing IVF and surrogacy in India, as well as to ensure the safe and ethical practice of fertility services. The bill also includes provisions that would ban surrogacy for all foreign couples. According to a 2012 study, the estimated value of the commercial surrogacy business in the country was pegged at more than $400 million a year, with more than 3,000 practicing clinics. In 2012 the country added restrictions to the practice, allowing surrogacy only for married, heterosexual couples from countries where surrogacy was allowed by law. Other than India, only a select number of countries allow surrogacy; USA, UK, Australia, Mexico, Canada, Russia, and Ukraine.

http://www.sensiblesurrogacy.com/law-would-ban-surrogacy-in-india/

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Medical Ethics

France – UN panel calls for moratorium on editing human genome

A United Nations panel has called for a moratorium on “editing” the human genome, pending wider public debate lest changes in DNA be transmitted to future generations or foster eugenics. While acknowledging the therapeutic value of genetic interventions, the panel stressed that the process raises serious concerns, especially if editing the human genome be applied to the germline, thereby introducing hereditary modifications. The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) said in a report by its International Bioethics Committee, that “Interventions on the human genome should be admitted only for preventive, diagnostic or therapeutic reasons and without enacting modifications for descendants.” The alternative would “jeopardize the inherent and therefore equal dignity of all human beings and renew eugenics.”

http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/un-panel-calls-for-moratorium-on-editing-human-genome/11597

USA – Gene editing technique makes pig organ transplants possible

A team led by George Church, of Harvard, has used the CRISPR gene editing technique to remove all 62 copies of a pig retrovirus which is dangerous for humans. This is a significant step on the road to generating pig organs for possible xenotransplantation. Worldwide, human organs for transplant are in short supply. While pig organs have long been considered a viable option, porcine endogenous retroviruses in all pigs’ DNA can be transmitted to humans and cause disease. This has resulted in a worldwide moratorium on these transplants. In an article in Science, the researchers reported that they had managed to modify more than 60 genes in pig embryos – ten times more than have been edited in any other animal.

http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/gene-editing-technique-makes-pig-organ-transplants-possible/11612

USA – 23andMe to resume supplying health data

After some operations of genetic company 23andMe were suspended in 2013 CEO Anne Wojcicki reports the FDA has authorized tests for inherited diseases and profiling customer ancestry and personal traits. Customers will receive reports on 36 inherited conditions like cystic fibrosis and sickle cell anemia, a breakdown of genetic predispositions including non-medical inherited traits like lactose intolerance, and cosmetic characteristics like dimples or curly hair. The test will not screen for conditions that last raised concerns like heart attack, asthma and hip fractures. “The new product focuses on carrier mutations, or specific gene changes, known to cause health issues when children receive them from both parents,” Brian Zikmund-Fisher at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, told New Scientist.

http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/23andme-to-resume-supplying-health-data/11624

USA – A fine way to give blood

Judge Marvin Wiggins told a courtroom crowded with people to be fined for offences ranging from hunting after dark to drug possession that they would get a US$100 credit toward their fines if they donated blood. Apart from concern about the legality and even constitutionality of the unusual option, there is an obvious bioethical angle. The offenders were effectively being forced to participate in donating an organ, something which must always be voluntary, even if donating blood is the least onerous of all organs. “What happened is wrong in about 3,000 ways,” said bioethicist Art Caplan, of NYU Langone Medical Center. “You’re basically sentencing someone to an invasive procedure that doesn’t benefit them and isn’t protecting the public health.”

http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/a-fine-way-to-give-blood/11621

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Pedophilia

Indonesia – Government to use chemical castration for pedophiles

President Joko Widodo has voiced approval for a law that provides for chemical castration for convicted pedophiles. Social Affairs Minister Khofifah Indar Parawansa said the president supported castration in addition to jail terms for child sex offenders. The chemical castration could involve injecting a female hormone to reduce the sex drive of the offender. Indonesia will join a small group of nations that allows such punishment, including Poland, Russia, and Estonia, as well as some U.S. states. In 2011, South Korea became the first Asian country to use chemical castration as a punishment.

http://www.news24.com/World/News/Child-sex-offenders-to-be-chemically-castrated-20151021

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Pornography

USA – Playboy magazine to stop publishing nude images

Playboy will no longer publish nude photographs of women, the New York Times reported in an article quoting Scott Flanders, the company’s chief executive. Founder and Editor-in-chief Hugh Hefner, 89, who in his trademark silk pajamas has embodied the Playboy lifestyle, agreed last month with a suggestion by top editor Cory Jones to stop publishing images of naked women, the Times said. At a time when every teenage boy has an internet connected phone and the web is rife with pornography, the magazine has opted to continue featuring women in provocative poses, just not completely nude.

https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?tab=wm#inbox/150662698a08e9ed

South Africa – South Africans’ secret porn viewing habits

South Africa is not one of the top 20 countries in the world who spend their time watching porn online, but they do watch. On average, South Africans spend 10 minutes and 14 seconds per visit. This is 21 seconds less compared to 2013 but still higher than the world average of 9 minutes and 16 seconds of which 71{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} is watched on mobile devices, according to research done by Pornhub on their website. But there are consequences. There is the risk of losing a partner, an increase in marital or relationship problems, feelings of spiritual emptiness, feelings of hopelessness and despair, failed efforts to control your sexual behavior, acting against your own values and beliefs, and a decrease in work productivity.

http://www.health24.com/Sex/News/Kim-Kardashian-what-SA-looks-for-when-watching-porn-20150121

Germany – Porn may reduce your brain size

Men who report watching a lot of pornography tend to have less volume and activity in regions of the brain linked to rewards and motivation, according a new German study published in JAMA Psychiatry. The results provide the first evidence for a link between pornography consumption and reductions in brain size and activity. The researchers found that the volume of the striatum, a brain region that has been associated with reward processing and motivated behaviour was smaller the more pornography consumption the participants reported. Another brain region that is also part of the striatum and is active when people see sexual stimuli shows less activation the more pornography participants consume.

http://www.health24.com/Medical/Vaginal-discharge/News/Porn-may-reduce-your-brain-size-20140602

South Africa – Violent porn may be to blame for sexual coercion

Nearly one in 10 teenagers and young adults has coerced or forced a peer to engage in some form of sexual activity, and violent pornography is partly to blame, according to a new study.

The study of more than 1 000 young people aged 14 to 21 found that 9{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} reported forcing or pressuring a peer to engage in sexual activity. Perpetrators were five times more likely to have been exposed to X-rated media that showed a person being physically hurt during sex, the study found, according to study co-author Michele Ybarra, president and research director of the Centre for Innovative Public Health Research in San Clemente, California. The young people also recounted a disturbing lack of consequences for their actions.

http://www.health24.com/Sex/News/Violent-porn-to-blame-for-sexual-coercion-20131008

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Prostitution & Trafficking

USA – Legalizing prostitution is prison for the exploited

Lisa Thompson of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation says,” oppose Amnesty International’s proposal to decriminalize prostitution worldwide for people over 18. It is a bad idea. No Amnesty for Pimps”. Prostitution is where people are supplied as public sexual commodities and it is rife with violence and crime. When suggesting that sex is work you’re also suggesting sexual exploitation is part of the job. In countries that have decriminalized prostitution violence is not reduced and sexually transmitted infections still prevail. Decriminalization increases demand giving full license when criminal penalties are removed. If there is more demand there will be a need for more supply. That supply, will come from poor countries, exploited women and children.

http://www.onenewsnow.com/culture/2015/10/14/legalizing-prostitution-is-prison-not-freedom-for-exploited

UK – Family jailed for trafficking Hungarian women for prostitution

A family who trafficked and enslaved two Hungarian women and forced them into prostitution have been jailed. Police rescued the women aged 30 and 21 from a home in Manchester. Four family members pleaded guilty to sex trafficking offences and were jailed for between three and six years each. Judge Peter Davies, passing sentence, described the victims’ ordeal, which lasted for more than six months, as a life “characterized by fear”. http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-manchester-34358630

USA – What Amnesty Did Wrong Regarding Prostitution

In an extended document by Anna Djinn from a feminist blog, thirteen points are addressed and expanded on regarding Amnesty Internationals mistakes regarding their decision to support the legalization of prostitution. What we found particularly interesting was the fact that the first version of the policy was written by Douglas Fox, a very successful pimp. In “The Equality Illusion: The Truth About Women and Men Today”, Kat Banyard identifies Douglas Fox as “founder and business partner of Christony Companions – one of the UK’s largest escort agencies.”

http://prostitutionresearch.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/What-Amnesty-did-wrong.pdf

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Stem Cells & Cloning

Australia – Researchers grow organ in Petri-dish

A team of researchers from Murdoch Children’s Research Institute at the University of Queensland have grown a mini-kidney in a laboratory, opening the possibility for powerful non-human clinical drug and therapy trials.  The kidney was grown from human induced pluripotent stem cells. The researchers reported in Nature they had generated kidney organoids which “represent powerful models of the human organ for future applications, including nephrotoxicity screening, disease modeling and a source of cells for therapy”. Stem cell biologist Melissa Little said the approach could be used for drug screening in two years, potentially saving drug developers hundreds of millions of dollars. The kidney is one of the organs typically poisoned by drugs, along with the liver and heart.

http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/researchers-grow-organ-in-petri-dish/11610

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Substance Abuse

UK – Use of Legal Highs on the Increase

Incidents involving legal highs have more than doubled in 2 years from 1,431 in 2013 to 3,807 incidents in 2014, according to data compiled by the Centre for Social Justice. Ms Harrison, an advanced paramedic said health workers are also seeing a surge in the number of people overdosing after taking legal highs. Biochemists from Liverpool’s John Moore University analysed 5 separate brands of legal high, marketed as Ching, Cherry Bomb, Pandora’s Box Unleashed, Gogaine and Exodus Damnation. In three of the products they discovered a mismatch between the ingredients listed on the packet and what the substance actually contained. The chemicals are made in countries like China and India and then packaged and distributed throughout Europe.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-34603665

USA – Promising new target for addiction treatment

The latest issue of Biological Psychiatry presents the results of three studies implicating metabotropic glutamate receptor 2 (mGluR2) as a new molecular target for the treatment of addiction. These three studies were conducted using different addictive substances. All the studies suggest that the use of compounds that selectively target mGluR2 have the potential to successfully treat addiction. Dr. John Krystal, Editor of Biological Psychiatry, summarized, “It is unusual to have three papers supporting a new treatment mechanism emerge at the same time. Enhancing mGluR2 function may hold promise for the treatment of addiction.”

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/09/150914110551.htm

http://www.biologicalpsychiatryjournal.com/article/S0006-3223(15)00126-2/abstract

http://www.biologicalpsychiatryjournal.com/article/S0006-3223(15)00083-9/abstract

http://www.biologicalpsychiatryjournal.com/article/S0006-3223(15)00129-8/abstract

Switzerland – Study: THC doesn’t reduce postoperative nausea or vomiting

Intravenous THC had a “negligible” effect on postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV), as well as having “unpredictable psychotropic and sedative side effects,” according to a clinical trial by Dr. Lorenz G. Theiler and colleagues of University of Bern, Switzerland. At a time of growing interest in the uses of medical marijuana, the results suggest that marijuana compounds (cannabinoids) aren’t a good option to prevent PONV.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/10/151006124001.htm

http://journals.lww.com/anesthesia-analgesia/pages/articleviewer.aspx?year=9000&issue=00000&article=98206&type=abstract

Scotland – Massive rise in heroin and methadone drug problems

Massive rises in heroin and methadone-related drug problems amongst over-40s have driven drug-related hospital stays to a record high, official figures show. The number of hospital stays linked to opioids, have risen fivefold from 791 in 1996/97 to 4,511 in 2014/15. The rate of opioid-related admissions per head of population has risen even faster, from around 10 per 100,000 population to almost 90, figures from NHS Scotland’s Information Services Division (ISD Scotland) show. There were almost as many hospital stays linked to opioid use as there were for alcohol dependence (4,747) in 2014/15. Scotland’s controversial methadone substitution therapy for heroin addicts is fuelling the drug problem and is of major concern to many politicians and academics.

http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/13843922.Figures_show_massive_rises_in_heroin_and_methadone_drug_problems_among_over_40s/

USA – New study on the use of “Novel Psychoactive Substances”

In recent years, there has been an increase in emergence and use of a variety of new drugs, so-called “novel psychoactive substances” (NPS) in the US and worldwide. A new study, published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence by researchers affiliated with New York University’s Centre for Drug Use and HIV Research, examined self-reported use of 57 different new. The researchers found that almost all (95{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}) subjects who reported use of a new drug also reported lifetime use of alcohol, marijuana, or cigarettes, and lifetime use of ecstasy (79.4{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}), opioids (79.1{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}), cocaine (74.3{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}), and LSD (73.7{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}).

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/09/150915105940.htm

http://www.drugandalcoholdependence.com/article/S0376-8716(15)01622-1/abstract

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

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