LIFEalerts 19 October 2015

LIFEalerts 19 October 2015

Abortion USA – 11th New Video: Harvesting intact brains from aborted babies USA – Website to Find Alternatives to Planned Parenthood
Alternative Medicine Korea – Research on positive effects of turmeric on diseased livers USA – Yohimbine Supplements Contain Drug Like Doses
Euthanasia UK – Assisted dying sinks in UK Parliament by 3-1 margin Belgium – Unbearable suffering” questioned in Belgian euthanasia Canada – Ontario doctors squeezed on objection to assisted suicide Netherlands – Dutch doctor sued for not approving the euthanasia
HIV/AIDS No news today
Homosexuality No news today
IVF & Surrogacy UK – Widespread incompetence at IVF Clinics Switzerland – Court: Homosexual Surrogacy is “reproductive tourism” says USA – For Sale: “High Quality” designer babies Denmark – Fertility treatment can succeed with fewer hormones
Medical Ethics Canada – Coerced sterilization of Canadian indigenous women Italy – European court strikes down challenge to embryo law USA – New research ethics guidelines planned for US UK – Researcher applies for embryo gene-editing license
Pedophilia USA – Association between hypersexuality and pedophilic interest
Pornography USA – FBI has new tactic to fight child pornography
Prostitution &Trafficking USA – John’s more likely to rape and commit sexually aggressive acts Germany – Legalized Prostitution Does Increase Human Trafficking
Stem Cells & Cloning No news today
Substance Abuse Canada – City grants new medical marijuana business licenses USA – Case Report: Levamisole-contaminated cocaine South Africa – Study by the MRC reveals the extent of drug abuse USA – Landmark study: Substance Abuse & Cognitive Development
  Abortion   USA – 11th New Video: Harvesting intact brains from aborted babies During an interview with Live Action President Lila Rose on TV, David Daleiden of The Centre for Medical Progress released never-before-seen footage showing a Texas Planned Parenthood abortionist Dr. Amna Dermish, who does abortions up to 24 weeks, describing how she manipulates the child into “breech” position, which resembles illegal partial-birth abortion, in order to obtain more intact body parts. Rose, who co-hosted the program, noted that the children being killed in Planned Parenthood abortion facilities are viable and able to survive outside the womb. Five states have defunded Planned Parenthood, and multiple federal and state investigations into the abortion giant have been launched. http://liveactionnews.org/new-video-planned-parenthood-abortionist-jokes-about-harvesting-intact-brain-from-aborted-babies/   USA – Website to Find Alternatives to Planned Parenthood GetYourCare.org features an interactive map that allows people to search for health care providers in their local area. The website’s goal is to give women everywhere in America access to information about the thousands of quality health care options women have. The Charlotte Lozier Institute and Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) contend there are many health care centers that should receive federal funding instead of Planned Parenthood. Some states have already defunded Planned Parenthood and are sending funds to health clinics. Casey Mattox, senior counsel with ADF, explained, “What these graphics put into pictures is what the data has been telling us for a long time. Planned Parenthood is really a small part of the national health care picture in America.” http://www.lifenews.com/2015/09/18/pro-life-groups-launch-website-to-help-patients-find-alternatives-to-planned-parenthood/   Alternative Medicine   Korea – Research on positive effects of turmeric on diseased livers Turmeric is one of the most popular therapeutic spices nowadays. It is a major ingredient of herbal companies who manufacture dietary supplements. The spice is popularized by its therapeutic ingredient called curcumin which is believed to have antibacterial antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. A new clinical trial in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine has shed some light on the impressive liver-protective and regenerative properties of turmeric. The Clinical Trial Center for Functional Foods Chonbuk National University Hospital’s South Korean researchers conducted research to test their hypothesis about turmeric having the ability to improve liver function. It reduces enzymes associated with liver damage (asparate transaminase and gamma-glutamyltransferase). http://www.menafn.com/1094351770/Research-Highlights-The-Positive-Effects-Of-Turmeric-On-Diseased-Livers   USA – Yohimbine Supplements Contain Drug Like Doses A supplement touted for revving up sex lives contains doses of a natural compound so high that the product acts like a drug, with dangerous side effects. Researchers analyzed the contents of about 50 dietary supplements sold in the United States that contained the ingredient Yohimbine, a compound found in small amounts in the bark of an African tree called Pausinystalia Johimbe. Supplements made from Johimbe bark extract are expected to have low levels of Yohimbine; the new study found high doses of up to 12 milligrams in the supplements, prescribed doses are 5 to 10 milligrams. “What was surprising was how much Yohimbine,” was in supplements, said study co-author Dr. Pieter Cohen, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. http://www.livescience.com/52255-yohimbine-supplements-drug.html   <Back to Top>   Euthanasia   UK – Assisted dying sinks in UK Parliament by 3-1 margin A private member’s bill to legalise assisted suicide has been defeated in the British House of Commons by a crushing 3 to 1 margin. Despite high-profile support from the former director of public prosecutions, Sir Keir Starmer, now a Labour MP, and former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey, MPs defied opinion polls and voted against the measure by 330 votes to 118. However, the issue is far from dead. Sarah Wootton, chief executive of the group Dignity in Dying, which lobbied hard for the bill, says that the battleground will shift to Britain’s courts, which have sympathised with the view that assisted suicide is a human right. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/assisted-dying-sinks-in-uk-parliament-by-3-1-margin/11561#sthash.0bpcsMdG.dpuf   Belgium – Unbearable suffering” questioned in Belgian euthanasia Journalist Brett Mason interviews two patients about their request for euthanasia and asks a number of doctors and public figures whether the increasing number of cases for unbearable suffering can be justified. Peter Ketelslegers is a 33-year-old father of two who suffers from cluster headaches which according to Belgian doctors – is untreatable. Simona de Moor is 85, physically fit and mentally sharp. But five minutes after her beloved daughter died, she decided on euthanasia. Dr Van Hoey is an old hand at euthanasia. How many has he killed, Mason asks? “To be frank, I don’t know, maybe hundreds, or over a hundred,” he replies. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/unbearable-suffering-questioned-in-documentary-on-belgian-euthanasia/11574   Canada – Ontario doctors squeezed on objection to assisted suicide The legalization of physician-assisted suicide in Canada after February’s decision by the Supreme Court is starting to affect doctors. The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario has quietly issued a directive that conscientious objectors must help them find someone willing to do so. This policy requires physicians who are unwilling to provide procedures for reasons of conscience or religion to make “an effective referral to another health-care provider”. This is defined as “a referral made in good faith, to a non -objecting, available, and accessible physician, other health-care professional, or agency.” http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/ontario-doctors-squeezed-on-conscientious-objection-to-assisted-suicide/11572   Netherlands – Dutch doctor sued for not approving the euthanasia The death of nineteen year old Milou de Moor could become an important legal precedent. She suffered from lupus. It had severe psychological effects, depression, mood swings, anger, blackouts and nerve pain. Three years ago she requested euthanasia and it appeared that all the necessary people had agreed in accordance with the Dutch law. Her parents supported her decision and a date was set for her death. The doctor reneged and said that she did not believe that euthanasia was appropriate and so the hospital declined to go ahead. When Milou heard the news, she went off in a panic and hanged herself. The family feels stabbed in the back and has filed a complaint with the Medical Regulatory Board to sue the doctor for refusing permission. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/dutch-doctor-in-hot-water-for-refusing-to-approve-euthanasia/11584   <Back to Top>   HIV/AIDS & STI’s   No news today   <Back to Top>   Homosexuality   No news today   <Back to Top>   IVF &Surrogacy   UK – Widespread incompetence at IVF Clinics IVF clinics have been accused of incompetence by a High Court judge as 5 heterosexual couples and 2 same-sex couples were victims of sloppy paperwork. After the baby was born they learned that they might not be the legal parents. This is not the first time that the IVF sector has been embarrassed by lack of attention to detail. In 2013, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) found that 51 clinics 46{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} had anomalies in their records. The HFEA revealed that there have been a further 75 of these anomalies.1 parent interviewed said clinics had made simple clerical mistakes and appeared to be blasé about their legal responsibility to ensure our children were just that in name and in law. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/widespread-incompetence-in-uk-ivf-clinics/11573#sthash.JrJedtxe.dpuf   Switzerland – Court: Homosexual Surrogacy is “reproductive tourism” In 2011 two Swiss men who lived in the US registered their partnership. Two months later, they had a child through surrogacy. Once back in Switzerland in 2014, the federal court ruled against the status they acquired in the US. The Swiss court stated that the principles informing the decision weren’t informed by considerations on same-sex parenting, but rather by an ethical stand on surrogacy itself. The court explained; a child must be protected from being downgraded to a commodity which can be ordered from a third party. The two men knowingly bypassed the Swiss law, recognizing their status would encourage “reproductive tourism.” The Swiss law on assisted reproduction only allows IVF that doesn’t require egg or sperm donation. http://www.sensiblesurrogacy.com/gay-surrogacy-is-reproductive-tourism-says-swiss-courts/   USA – For Sale: “High Quality” designer babies A documentary profiles a former Facebook executive, 46-year-old Natalie Lovett, who decided on single motherhood and a designer baby. She had to select both a sperm donor and an egg donor. She designed the embryos carefully, specifying that the donors had to have tertiary qualifications and no addictions. She discovered that the clinic had created 25 embryos for her. Reluctant to give them to science or to destroy them, she decided to advertise her “high quality embryos” to prospective mothers. They had to sign an agreement stipulating that the children and their families have to get together once a year. The agreement is called “Lexi’s Village”. Doctors for Life does not support embryo enhancement, except in as a valid medical reason. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/creating-lexies-village/11595   Denmark – Fertility treatment can succeed with fewer hormones Women undergoing IVF treatment have had to use a hormonal gel on a daily basis for at least 14 days after embryo transfer. This increases the chances of pregnancy but it may also cause some side effects in the form of irritation and discharge. Two test groups and a control group were examined in this randomized trial. The women had standard care including the hormonal gel, whereas the test groups only administered a small daily injection of the pregnancy stimulating hormone HCG over a 2-week period. “The chances of becoming pregnant are equally good although the study group who was treated with daily injections perceived this as considerably more patient friendly,” says Professor Peter Humaidan. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/08/150825103115.htm   <Back to Top>   Medical Ethics   Canada – Coerced sterilization of Canadian indigenous women Coerced sterilization of indigenous Canadian women did not end until at least 1974 and according to Karen Stote, professor of women’s studies at Wilfrid Laurier University; the problem was far wider than was previously known. “Consent forms (for sterilizations) were not translated into indigenous languages, people weren’t necessarily understanding what was happening in the doctor’s office … In some areas, they (doctors working for the government) were promoting birth control to reduce the size of indigenous communities.” Dr Stote claims that “the government also wanted to reduce their population to lessen the state’s responsibilities under treaties it had signed with indigenous groups.” http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/more-revelations-about-past-sterilization-of-canadian-indigenous-women/11562#sthash.YeNBINdJ.dpuf   Italy – European court strikes down challenge to embryo law The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that Adelina Parillo, who with her partner created five embryos in 2002, does not have a right to donate her embryos to scientific research. Parillo claimed that existing Italian law regulating embryo research violated the right to privacy and private property. The court found 16-1 that Italy had not contravened Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights on the right to respect for private and family life and was to be given considerable room for maneuver due to the lack of a European consensus, and international texts on the issue. There was also no evidence the woman’s deceased partner would have wished to donate the embryos for medical research. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/european-court-strikes-down-challenge-to-embryo-law/11558#sthash.IyjfpKy7.dpuf   USA – New research ethics guidelines planned for US The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has proposed an overhaul of existing human research ethics guidelines in an attempt to deal with advances in science. The suggestions include proposals to modify informed consent for bio specimen research, improve the understandability of consent forms, and mandate single institutional review board (IRB) oversight of research. Many researchers and policy-analysts say that the existing framework is inadequate for studies involving new genomic technologies, and hinders multi-site research. The proposed changes will have significant implications for a wide range of stakeholders across the life sciences and health care industries, including drug and device manufacturers, hospitals, academic medical centers, universities and medical schools, IRBs, contract research organizations, laboratories, and tissue banks. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/new-research-ethics-guidelines-planned-for-us/11578   UK – Researcher applies for embryo gene-editing license Just months after the release of a controversial Chinese study into embryo gene-editing, British scientists have requested permission to genetically modify human embryos using the ground-breaking CRISPR-CAS9 technique. Dr Kathy Niakan, a leading developmental biologist affiliated with the Francis Crick Institute in London, believes the research would provide us with “fundamental insights into early human development”. Niakan’s application to the Human Fertilization and Embryo Authority (HFEA) comes in the wake of an important statement released by a group of leading British gene-editing research funders. In that document, the funding bodies expressed cautious support for embryo gene-editing research, and encouraged the broader community to explore the ethical and regulatory considerations in a ‘timely manner’. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/uk-researcher-applies-for-embryo-gene-editing-license/11583   <Back to Top>   Pedophilia   USA – Association between hypersexuality and pedophilic interest Much is currently known about hypersexuality among sexual offenders; the degree to which hypersexual behavior is linked to paraphilic and especially pedophilic interests in non-forensic populations has not been established. A recent online study by Alexander Schmidt from University of Luxembourg, suggests that there is no association between aggregated sex drive, and sexual abusive behavior in the multivariate analyses. 8,718 German men participated in the study. http://orbilu.uni.lu/handle/10993/21100   <Back to Top>   Pornography   USA – FBI has new tactic to fight child pornography The FBI is taking bold steps to stop the making and distribution of child pornography by taking over websites and keeping them up and running so they can catch predators in the act. This is a relatively new investigative technique the FBI is using. A child pornography website was seized but not immediately shut down and the FBI continued to run it for two months. During that time, investigators were monitoring the log-ons of users on that website. The technique allows the FBI to catch those running the website and those using the website to share pictures of child pornography. Federal prosecutors have said catching users of child pornography websites is just as important as shutting down the websites. http://www.click2houston.com/news/fbi-has-new-tactic-to-fight-child-pornography/35674978   <Back to Top>   Prostitution & Trafficking   USA – John’s more likely to rape and commit sexually aggressive acts Neil Malamuth, professor of communication and psychology at UCLA said “Findings indicate that men who buy sex share certain key characteristics with men at risk for committing sexual aggression”. “Both groups tend to have a preference for impersonal sex, a fear of rejection by woman, a history of having committed sexually aggressive acts and a hostile masculine self-identification.  Those who buy sex, on average, have less empathy for woman in prostitution and view them as intrinsically different from other woman.” Traits of sexual aggression include antisocial behavior, a preference for impersonal sex and “hostile masculinity”, a narcissistic personality trait. One man who was interviewed for the study said prostitutes were like coffee cups: “When you’re done, you throw it out.” http://www.medicaldaily.com/prostitution-and-sexual abuse-men-who-pay-sex-may-be-more-likely-commit-rape-350700   Germany – Legalized Prostitution Does Increase Human Trafficking Countries with legalized prostitution are associated with higher human trafficking inflows than countries where prostitution is prohibited. These are among conclusions from a study concluded at the University of Heidelberg in Germany conducted by Prof. Dr. Axel Dreher, President of the European Public Choice Society. Countries with legalized prostitution report a greater incidence of human trafficking inflows. The effect of legal prostitution on human trafficking inflows is stronger in high-income countries than middle-income countries. Because trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation requires that clients in potential destination countries have sufficient purchasing power, domestic supply is a constraint. Criminalization of prostitution in Sweden resulted in the shrinking of the prostitution market and the decline of human trafficking inflows. http://journalistsresource.org/studies/international/human-rights/legalized-prostitution-human-trafficking-inflows   <Back to Top>   Stem Cells & Cloning   No news today   <Back to Top>   Substance Abuse   Canada – City grants new medical marijuana business licenses In two separate votes, Kimberley City Council granted business licenses to two more medical marijuana businesses. Each business will be allowed to dispense medical cannabis products, but each with a limitation – there will be no production allowed. The businesses must source their product from growers elsewhere. The Council was unanimous in granting the business license. All councillors agreed it was just another business for Kimberley, although they also all agreed to limit the license to dispensing, not growing. Mayor Don McCormick said that the federal government appeared to have the goal of having a few large manufacturers rather than small growers. http://www.dailybulletin.ca/breaking_news/327704191.html   USA – Case Report: Levamisole-contaminated cocaine “Doctors, in particular, dermatologists and rheumatologists are seeing more and more people who are affected by levamisole-contaminated cocaine,” said Dr. Anthony Rossi, a dermatologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre in New York City. Skin lesions like those of the woman in a case report are a classic symptom, they occur when blood vessels near the surface of the skin are severely damaged; without enough blood, the skin dies. It’s unknown why levamisole is added to cocaine, but one possible explanation is that both drugs are similar in appearance; they’re both white powders, so the addition may be intended to increase the weight of cocaine in a way that users won’t notice. There’s also speculation that levamisole may cause euphoria. http://www.livescience.com/52169-contaminated-cocaine-docs-puzzled.html   South Africa – Study by the MRC reveals the extent of drug abuse Ecstasy, LSD and methamphetamine are commonly used by younger persons as is the inhaling of solvents. Dagga, Mandrax and glue are used predominantly by people in disadvantaged communities. Cocaine and Ecstasy are more commonly used by middle and upper class strata. Dagga, Mandrax, alcohol and crack cocaine are both frequently used by sex workers. Excluding alcohol, the most common ingestion of drugs in South Africa is via smoking. Local research has found rates of foetal alcohol syndrome in excess of 30 per 1000 in high risk communities, at least 3x higher than the highest rates reported in high risk communities in the USA. The Medical research Council estimates that crime committed to support drug users’ habits is in excess of R10 billion per year. http://www.health24.com/Mental-Health/Drugs/Drug-abuse-trends-in-SA-20120721   USA – Landmark study: Substance Abuse & Cognitive Development The National Institutes of Health awarded 13 grants to research institutions around the USA as part of a landmark study about the effects of adolescent substance use on the developing brain. The Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study will follow 10,000 children, ages 9 to10, before they initiate drug use, through the period of highest risk for substance use and other mental health disorders. Scientists will track exposure to substances (including nicotine, alcohol, and marijuana), academic achievement, cognitive skills, mental health, and brain structure and function using advanced research methods. “With advances in neuroimaging and other investigative tools, we will be able to look in greater detail at the impact of substance use on young people,” said Nora D. Volkow, M.D., director of NIDA. http://www.drugabuse.gov/news-events/news-releases/2015/09/nih-launches-landmark-study-substance-use-adolescent-brain-development   <Back to Top>   Disclaimer: the views and opinions expressed in these articles do not necessarily reflect those of Doctors for Life International]]>

LIFEalerts 16 September 2015

LIFEalerts 16 September 2015

Abortion USA – 2,030 Babies Saved After Three Abortion Clinics Close Down USA – 662 Babies Saved After Planned Parenthood Funding Cut USA – Protests planned at Planned Parenthood Clinics in 300 Cities
Alternative Medicine South Africa – Combining herbal remedies & medical drugs can be harmful USA – High use of alternative medicine in oncology patient seniors
Euthanasia Australia – Children contest will of Nitschke follower UK – Anscombe Centre Releases New resource on euthanasia USA – Euthanasia in Belgium and the Netherlands on a Slippery Slope Netherlands – Euthanasia activists send ‘educational kits’ to schools
HIV/AIDS No news today
Homosexuality No news today
IVF & Surrogacy Australia – New technique uses signalling molecule in mother’s uterus Australia – Couple denied IVF because of fears they would harm the child India – New surrogacy laws in India alarm conservatives USA – Egg Donor vs. Egg Bank: What is the difference?
Medical Ethics UK/USA – The eternal return of the embryo debate USA – Trust in the system USA – Policy analysts criticize non-medical sex-selection
Pedophilia No news today
Pornography UK – New Revenge Porn Laws Are ‘Having an Impact’ Canada – Police face battle against ‘unspeakable’ child porn Australia – MPs propose private members bill banning revenge porn USA – Adult videos being phased out at Hilton properties
Prostitution &Trafficking Netherlands – Control methods used for sexual exploitation in trafficking United States – Prostitution Ideology and Trafficking: Australia and US South Africa – Foreign national arrested for human trafficking
Stem Cells & Cloning Japan – Skepticism greets new stem-cell regulations in China USA – Witherspoon institute calls for cloning ban
Substance Abuse USA – Teens Using E-Cigarette Devices to Smoke Marijuana Scotland – Heroin substitute methadone linked to half of drugs deaths Mexico – Stopping the Drug Menace in its Tracks USA – Lack of Meaning in Life Linked to Substance Abuse, Depression
  Abortion   USA – 2,030 Babies Saved After Three Abortion Clinics Close Down A new Ohio health department report shows 21,186 abortions in 2014, which is down from 23,216 abortions in 2013 – showing 2,030 babies saved. Mike Gonidakis, president of Ohio Right to Life credits new pro-life provisions in the state budget and the closing of three abortion clinics in 2014 for helping lower the number of abortions. In July, Ohio Governor John Kasich signed into law a pro-life state budget that funds pregnancy centers providing women with abortion alternatives and could close abortion clinics that can’t meet basic health and safety standards expected of legitimate medical centers. http://www.lifenews.com/2015/09/02/2030-babies-saved-from-abortion-in-ohio-after-three-abortion-clinics-close-down/   USA – 662 Babies Saved in After Planned Parenthood Funding Cut A newly released Department of Health Services report shows there were 6,462 abortions performed in 2013 and 5,800 in 2014 – 662 fewer abortions after cuts in taxpayer funding to Planned Parenthood. In 2013, Gov. Scott Walker signed an ultrasound bill (Senate Bill 206) giving women the opportunity to see their unborn children It also requires abortionists to have admitting privileges within thirty miles of their facility. Abortion clinics have closed down that can’t comply with basic health and safety requirements. http://www.lifenews.com/2015/08/26/662-babies-saved-from-abortions-in-wisconsin-after-planned-parenthood-fund   USA – Protests planned at Planned Parenthood Clinics in 300 Cities Tens of thousands of pro-lifers are expected to protest at over 300 Planned Parenthood locations in 47 states and 5 countries in response to its selling of aborted babies and their body parts. “The media is finally starting to pay attention to the atrocities that Planned Parenthood has made a central part of their business model. They are too horrific and gruesome to ignore,” Troy Newman of Operation Rescue told LifeNews. “We need to show the politicians that the American people are waking up. They are seeing exactly what happens in these Planned Parenthood houses of horror, and they want it stopped.” http://www.lifenews.com/2015/08/21/pro-life-people-will-protest-at-planned-parenthood-clinics-in-over-300-cities-tomorro   Alternative Medicine   South Africa – Combining herbal remedies & medical drugs can be harmful A popular herbal remedy Moringa Oleifera (MO)‚ interferes with antiretroviral treatment (ART) and can have toxic effects when used with ART and other conventional medicine. “In South Africa up to 8 in 10 people with HIV use traditional medicines‚” says Dr Charles Awortwe‚ a researcher in Clinical Pharmacology at Stellenbosch University. Taking MO as an herbal supplement could potentially worsen the health conditions of patients on drug treatment. Herbal products interfere with the enzymes responsible for the chemical breakdown of drugs in the body. According to Awortwe‚ one-third of cases of acute kidney failure in Africa are estimated to be caused by traditional medicines. “Patients already taking MO as supplement should inform their doctors about this to avoid further harm.” http://www.sowetanlive.co.za/news/2015/08/30/combining-herbal-remedies-with-conventional-drugs-can-be-harmful-researcher-warns   USA – High use of alternative medicine in oncology patient seniors Many seniors with cancer are using complementary or alternative medicines that could interfere with their cancer treatment. CAMs are thought to be harmless and helpful for a wide range of discomforts and illnesses. Although they’re marketed as “natural,” they often contain active ingredients that can react chemically and biologically with other therapies. Few oncologists are aware of the alternative medicines their patients take, says Ginah Nightingale, PharmD, and Assistant Professor of Pharmacology at Thomas Jefferson University.  A number of CAMs interfere with certain cancer treatments, for example St. John’s wart can make some cancer therapy less effective, and others can interfere with anesthesia during surgery for cancer. Dose and potency can vary widely between products, and between patients. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/08/150826093018.htm   <Back to Top>   Euthanasia   Australia – Children contest will of Nitschke follower Bill O’Brien a healthy 89-year-old Australian man, who lived in Perth, went to a hotel room and took a lethal dose of Nembutal in July last year. He left his 1.8 million estate to Exit International to be spent on hiring a full-time political lobbyist, but only $5,000 each to his son and daughter. He was a personal friend of Dr Nitschke and one of three directors of Exit. Dr Nitschke said that Mr. O’Brien was not close to his children and that in any case they are “wealthy adults”. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/children-contest-will-of-nitschke-follower/11548   UK – Anscombe Centre Releases New resource on euthanasia As debate over end-of-life issues intensifies in the UK, the Anscombe Centre has released a comprehensive ‘evidence guide’ on the issue of euthanasia. The aim is “to help people assess and judge for themselves whether they are reassured or whether they are alarmed by the experience of countries where euthanasia or assisted suicide is legal.” David Albert Jones, director of the Anscombe Centre, says that “the evidence from all these countries [where assisted dying has been legalized] shows a steady increase in deaths by assisted suicide or euthanasia, a steady expansion to include patients with different conditions, and a steady decrease in the use of safeguards such as psychiatric assessment.” http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/new-resource-about-euthanasia/11531   USA – Euthanasia in Belgium and the Netherlands on a Slippery Slope According to a report by Art Caplan and co-author Barron H. Lerner in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Belgium and the Netherlands are on a slippery slope to the abuse of vulnerable groups. Although pro Euthanasia supporters all over the world say abuse in non existent these bioethicists say that statistics out of Belgium and Holland should raise alarm bells even for the USA. http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleID=2426425   Netherlands – Euthanasia activists send ‘educational kits’ to schools A secondary school in Amsterdam was the first ever to use a new “educational kit” developed by the Dutch “Voluntary End of Life Association” (NVVE) on September 3, the annual “Living Will Day” in the Netherlands. The propaganda package was officially presented at the Hyperion Lyceum by NVVE’s new president, Robert Schurink. The kit was created in order to supply facts, figures, and other information about euthanasia to Dutch high school students, who are required to conduct debates about contemporary issues. Euthanasia is currently the subject that is chosen most often. https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/dutch-voluntary-end-of-life-association-creates-educational-propaganda-kit   <Back to Top>   HIV/AIDS & STI’s   No news today   <Back to Top>   Homosexuality   No news today   <Back to Top>   IVF &Surrogacy   Australia – New technique uses signalling molecule in mother’s uterus IVF will soon benefit from an option that cultures an embryo in an environment that closely mimics what occurs naturally in a mother during conception. The GM-CSF molecule protects the embryo from stress, making it stronger and more robust in the days following conception. Embryos are cultured for an additional 2 days (to the blastocyst stage), so that the best embryo can be selected on day 5 and implanted. Associate Professor Louise Hull, researcher at University of Adelaide’s Robinson Research Institute and Fertility Specialist at Fertility SA, is leading the first Australian BlastGen clinical trial. “This is a great example of how good medical research can translate into a treatment that makes a real difference in people’s lives,” she says. http://medicalxpress.com/news/2015-06-ivf-technique-molecule-naturally-mother.html   Australia – Couple denied IVF because of fears they would harm child A couple are being denied fertility treatment because of concerns they would harm the child, in a rare ruling by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal. The tribunal heard that the couple, who had never lived together and who were both on pensions, had five children, four of whom had been removed from their custody by the Department of Child Protection at various times. They are still able to try conceiving naturally if they choose. http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/aug/17/victorian-couple-denied-ivf-because-of-fears-they-would-harm-child   India – New surrogacy laws in India alarm conservatives Indian mothers whose children were born by surrogacy in India will be entitled to maternity leave, following a high court ruling in Delhi. Opponents fear that this could open the door for legalizing surrogacy for gay couples. The judgement essentially rules that motherhood is not based on the circumstances of child’s birth, and that the intrinsic need of the mother and child to bond is not limited to the baby’s birth mother. Commercial surrogacy in India is legal, although regulations stopped most foreign couples and all same-sex couples from using Indian surrogate mothers to carry their children. Now only men and women who have been married for two years are granted visas for the purpose of surrogacy in India. http://www.sensiblesurrogacy.com/surrogacy-laws-in-india-alarm-conservatives/   USA – Egg Donor vs. Egg Bank: What is the difference? A study has shown that fresh donations have a higher rate of successful pregnancies and live births. Surrogates undergoing IVF are less likely to give birth if they use frozen eggs instead of fresh donor eggs. “Our research demonstrated that contrary to some claims made mostly by commercial interests, frozen eggs offer a lower chance of pregnancy and delivery chance after IVF than fresh eggs,” said Dr. Norbert Gleicher, medical director and chief scientist with the Centre for Human Reproduction in New York City. “Patients should be made aware of this fact.” Donors have no idea that their eggs are being resold to several couples that they had never met or heard of, while being paid for just a single donation. http://www.sensiblesurrogacy.com/egg-donor-vs-frozen-egg-bank/ Study: http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=2425734   <Back to Top>   Medical Ethics   UK/USA – The eternal return of the embryo debate A statement by the Wellcome Trust, Medical Research Council and other leading funding bodies urges “global stakeholders” to actively review existing restrictions on embryo experimentation, in light of the possibilities arising from new biotechnological developments: They encourage “biomedical and social scientists, ethicists, healthcare professionals… and the public” all to engage in the debate. But while British funding bodies are keen to reconsider embryo experimentation, the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) are very apprehensive. In a statement published in Nature, NIH director Francis Collins says that the question of editing embryos is not a new one, and is “viewed nearly universally as a line that should not be crossed. NIH will not fund any use of gene-editing technologies in human embryos.” http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/the-eternal-return-of-the-embryo-debate/11556   USA – Trust in the system In the latest edition of the American Journal of Bioethics Drs Maureen Kelly (Oxford) and Sandra Soo-Jin Lee (Stanford) consider how patients perceive consent to Research on Medical Practices (ROMP). “Research on medical practices, including medical record reviews, comparative effectiveness research, quality improvement interventions, and point-of-care randomization is critically important to improving medical care, reducing risks to patients, and decreasing costs.” The authors found that developing relationships of trust are crucial to ensuring patient confidence and “The simple act of ‘being asked’ bolstered a sense of trust. Harvard health policy lecturer Emily A. Largent commented that doctors need to be transparent with patients about the distinction between patient care and research (done for the good of society and future generations). http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/trust-in-the-system/11540   USA – Policy analysts criticize non-medical sex-selection Leading bioethicists have criticized the practice of non-medical sex-selection in American IVF clinics which involves a woman producing embryos which are genetically tested before implantation.  The process is known as “family balancing”. Bioethicist Arthur Caplan warned that this could easily become a smoke screen for families who want boys.  “When you are treating the fertile in order to produce something that they prefer as opposed to a disease, I do think you’re really opening the door to a potential slope toward eugenics,” he said. Family-balancing services are advertised prominently on many IVF clinics’ websites and about half of the patients seeking the service come from overseas. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/policy-analysts-criticise-non-medical-sex-selection/11532   <Back to Top>   Pedophilia   No news today   <Back to Top>   Pornography   UK – New Revenge Porn Laws Are ‘Having an Impact’ New laws designed to tackle revenge porn are “having an impact” in bringing offenders to justice. Ahead of sentencing of a 21-year-old man who posted, texted and emailed intimate photos without a woman’s consent, the Director of Public Prosecutions remarked that it was right for revenge porn to be a recognized offence. The offence can now carry a maximum of two years’ imprisonment. The DPP described the crime, often committed by vengeful ex-partners, as “a violation of trust between two people, with a purpose to publicly humiliate”. Police across the UK are currently tackling the largest ever volume of revenge porn cases and potential victims range from 11-year-olds to pensioners. http://news.sky.com/story/1531730/new-revenge-porn-laws-are-having-an-impact   Canada – Police face battle against ‘unspeakable’ child porn Investigators are battling an inundation of child pornography cases but are having a tougher time fighting the “unspeakable” crimes as they contend with legal hurdles and offenders who find new ways to share graphic images. According to Alberta Law Enforcement investigations have grown increasingly difficult and complex as it’s an on-going challenge to stay a step ahead of the technology. In addition, a ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada in 2014 means police must now get a warrant to obtain Internet subscriber information, which adds time to their investigations. Many arrests have been made but it is a drop in the bucket. The reality is, child sexual abuse photos and videos are being shared at a growing rate. http://calgaryherald.com/news/crime/eight-albertans-charged-in-child-porn-sting   Australia – MPs propose private members bill banning revenge porn So-called revenge porn could be outlawed under legislation being flagged by the federal opposition. The bill would make it a criminal offence to distribute sexually explicit images of an ex-partner without their consent. Both Victorian and South Australian governments have moved to criminalize the act, along with the United Kingdom and New Zealand. The Federal Parliament also needed to tackle the issue and a strong message should be sent to men that the taking of private, intimate, sexual pictures should be viewed in the same way as other illegal sexual conduct. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-09-03/labor-mps-propose-private-members-bill-banning-revenge-porn/6747764   USA – Adult videos being phased out at Hilton properties At the Hilton Doubletree Hotel and other Hilton properties worldwide adult videos will no longer be available in rooms as the chain will be phasing them out. According to the National Centre on Sexual Exploitations, Dawn Hawkins, Hilton will be taken off the so called “Dirty Dozen” list. She is very grateful for this decision because pornography is causing a public health crisis and it leads to increased demand for sex trafficking, and child exploitation. Hawkins also remarked that Marriott hotels changed their policy a few years ago and that’s when we turned out attention to Hilton. We are now also going after retailers. http://www.myfoxorlando.com/story/29808445/adult-videos-being-phased-out-at-hilton-properties   <Back to Top>   Prostitution & Trafficking   Netherlands – Control methods used for sexual exploitation in trafficking This study examines control methods used against 137 victims of human trafficking for sexual exploitation. A multidimensional scaling analysis of 23 control methods derived from a content analysis of police files from the Netherlands revealed three distinct forms of control. These could be interpreted in terms of Canter’s Victim Role Model that has been the basis for differentiating offending styles in other violent interpersonal offences. Further analysis showed a relationship between these control styles and different types of prostitution. The three, Victim as Object, Victim as Vehicle and Victim as Person modes are consistent with different control methods identified in previous research. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17440572.2014.979915#abstract   United States – Prostitution Ideology and Trafficking: Australia and USA Debates over the legitimacy and legality of prostitution have characterized human trafficking discourse for the last two decades. An article in the Journal of Women, Politics & Policy identifies the extent to which competing perspectives concerning the legitimacy of prostitution have influenced anti-trafficking policy in Australia and the United States and argues that each nation-state’s approach to domestic sex work has influenced trafficking legislation. The legal status of prostitution in each country, and feminist influences on prostitution law reform, has had a significant impact on the nature of the legislation adopted. http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/ah7p67d2Gh2uXpmGkaVW/full#.VfAqidKqqko   South Africa – Foreign national arrested for human trafficking A 30-year-old Nigerian national has been arrested in Johannesburg for human trafficking following the escape of a victim in May this year‚ the South African Police Service (SAPS) said. Two women allegedly lured the victim to a house “under the pretence that they were going to meet one of the ladies’ boyfriends. Upon arrival the victim was drugged and forced to wear a miniskirt and was used as a sex slave. “The Hawks are still hot on the heels of the two women who are believed to be the ones used by the main suspect to recruit women to be used as prostitutes. “The suspect will appear before the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court.” http://www.timeslive.co.za/local/2015/09/03/Nigerian-national-arrested-for-human-trafficking   <Back to Top>   Stem Cells & Cloning   Japan – Skepticism greets new stem-cell regulations in China China’s National Health Commission says all stem cell treatments are deemed experimental, except bone marrow transplants. There must be informed consent, clinical-grade stem cells must be used, and treatment may only happen at authorized hospitals which do not advertise or charge. However, Douglas Sipp, stem-cell policy expert at the RIKEN Centre for Developmental Biology in Japan, told Nature News: “In principle, I applaud any efforts to rein in practice of predatory clinics that take advantage of patients. But the fact that these new rules do not appear to have penalties leaves open the question of how effective they will be. I have seen China crack down on stem-cell clinics at least twice in the past, and the results were inconclusive.” http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/scepticism-greets-new-stem-cell-regulations-in-china/11547   USA – Witherspoon institute calls for cloning ban While cloning may have tiptoed out of news rooms, it lingers in laboratories, says bioethics group the Witherspoon Council on Ethics and the Integrity of Science, which includes former members and staffers from the Presidents Council on Bioethics. With the lull in the debate, now is the time for legislative reform to ban all forms of human cloning and the creation of embryos for research. “The justification for engaging in cloning-for-biomedical-research is weaker than ever before, thanks to the availability of viable alternative sources of pluripotent stem cells.  The practice of science in a free society is not exempt from democratic oversight, and in the case of cloning, such oversight is urgently needed. The time to act is now.” http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/us-bioethics-group-calls-for-cloning-ban/11552   <Back to Top>   Substance Abuse   USA – Teens Using E-Cigarette Devices to Smoke Marijuana A Yale University study published in the journal Pediatrics, found that of 3,847 Connecticut high school students surveyed, 28 percent reported using e-cigarettes. Of those, 18 percent have used the devices to vaporize concentrated liquid marijuana or hash oil, which contain concentrated THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the principal psychoactive ingredient in cannabis. Users said they prefer vaping because it offers secrecy and cannot easily be detected. But researchers said the practice can produce a higher-potency high that can be injurious to teens and young adults during crucial brain-development years. Meghan E. Morean, Ph.D., is the lead author of the study. http://www.healthline.com/health-news/teens-using-e-cigarette-devices-to-smoke-marijuana-090915#6   Scotland – Heroin substitute methadone linked to half of drugs deaths A new report on drug mortality has highlighted a worrying trend in Ayrshire, with the heroin substitute methadone contributing to more than half (25 out of 43) of Ayrshire’s drug deaths in 2014. Authors of the National Record of Scotland report have branded the figure “unusually high” and it has led to renewed calls for a review of the controversial program which treats recovering addicts. Ayr MSP John Scott said “The attempts of recent years to simply manage the problem, based on harm reduction and an over-reliance on methadone, have just not worked. The challenge is to expand the range of rehabilitation services on offer and move to abstinence and recovery.” South Ayrshire currently treats 485 on methadone. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/local-news/heroin-substitute-methadone-linked-more-6375513   Mexico – Stopping the Drug Menace in its Tracks Mexico’s drug cartels hold a firm grip on the lucrative U.S. drug trade, controlling 70{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of all drugs trafficked into the U.S. and over 90{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of the cocaine trade. Each year, more than 8,000 minors under 18 are recruited into the cartels, many as young as 10 or 12 years old and it’s not rare for a child of 10 to use cannabis and quickly progress to harder drugs. While Mexican police forces say they are powerless to keep minors from slipping into the drug world, there are organizations training police in Mexico who guard them in schools, distribute pamphlets and speak to them about their choices and drugs. http://www.drugfreeworld.org/newsletter/2015-summer-stop-drug-menace-in-mexico.html   USA – Lack of Meaning in Life Linked to Substance Abuse, Depression A lack of ultimate meaning in life, considered an important dimension of spirituality, is associated with alcohol abuse and drug addiction, as well as other mental health problems including anxiety and depression, according to a new study at Florida Atlantic University (FAU). They found that encouraging people’s creative talents (painting, writing), giving them opportunities to serve others, and helping them to connect to core values and their true self through prayer and meditation helped them to discover ultimate purpose and meaning as part of their recovery process. The study is published in the Journal of Social Service Research. http://psychcentral.com/news/2015/08/15/lack-of-meaning-in-life-linked-to-substance-abuse-depression/90907.html   <Back to Top>   Disclaimer: the views and opinions expressed in these articles do not necessarily reflect those of Doctors for Life International]]>

Lifealerts

LIFEalerts 26 August 2015

Abortion USA – Planned Parenthood Selling Aborted Babies without Patient Consent USA – Planned Parenthood on How to Break Law to Sell Aborted Babies
Alternative Medicine Australia – Alternative menopause therapies not best choice Uganda – Child sacrifice for wealth and power in Uganda
Euthanasia South Africa – Doctors fight assisted suicide ruling Belgium – Patients with depression most likely to use euthanasia Netherlands – Sharp rise in euthanasia for psychiatric patients
HIV/AIDS No news today
Homosexuality No news today
IVF & Surrogacy Australia – Cancer survivor gives birth after ovarian tissue transplant Nepal – Illegal Surrogacy Trade Revealed
Medical Ethics USA – Taking a swing at bioethics USA – ‘I can see what you’re saying’ USA – Incoming World Medical Association head under a cloud
Pedophilia Australia – Pedophiles need specialist preventative counseling
Pornography Australia – Victoria: New internet child pornography laws close loopholes India – India blocks 857 websites citing pornography’s threat to decency USA – Survey of US men shows over 60s and 70s viewing pornography USASymposium looks at evidence of the destructiveness of pornography
Prostitution &Trafficking UK – Amnesty International approves decriminalization of sex trade India – Prostitution should not be legalized USA – Law takes new tack in fight against prostitution South Africa – US State department 2014 Trafficking in Persons Report
Stem Cells & Cloning No news today
Substance Abuse South Africa – Do not legalise Nyaope says Depression and Anxiety Group USA – Oregon airports adjust to new ’Carry-on cannabis’ law
  Abortion   USA – Planned Parenthood Selling Aborted Babies without Patient Consent A new video includes Holly O’Donnell, a licensed phlebotomist, describing tissue procurement workers’ coordination with abortion providers, the pressure placed on patients, and disregard for patient consent. According to O’Donnell, Planned Parenthood gave StemExpress workers access to patient records and schedules so that the harvesting company could plan for the days when patient “supply” would be greatest. David Daleiden, the head of The Center for Medical Progress, comments that Planned Parenthood is not a safe place where vulnerable women can be cared for, but a harvesting ground for saleable human ‘product.’ http://www.lifenews.com/2015/08/12/6th-shocking-video-catches-planned-parenthood-selling-aborted-babies-without-patient-consent/   USA – Planned Parenthood on How to Break Law to Sell Aborted Babies New undercover footage shows Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains’ (PPRM) Vice President and Medical Director, Dr. Savita Ginde, negotiating a fetal body parts deal, agreeing multiple times to illicit pricing per body part harvested, and suggesting ways to avoid legal consequences. Ginde also suggests ways for Planned Parenthood to cover-up its criminal and public relations liability for the sale of aborted body parts. “Putting it under ‘research’ gives us a little bit of an overhang over the whole thing,” Ginde remarks. “If you have someone in a really anti state that’s going to be doing this for you, they’re probably going to get caught.” Ginde implies that PPRM’s lawyer, Kevin Paul, is helping the affiliate skirt the fetal tissue law. http://www.lifenews.com/2015/07/30/4th-video-catches-planned-parenthood-vp-discussing-how-to-break-the-law-to   Alternative Medicine   Australia – Alternative menopause therapies not best choice Too many Australian women are using treatments for menopause symptoms that don’t work. If you’re using complementary and alternative medicines like phytoestrogens, evening primrose oil, black cohosh or ginseng to help, you’re wasting your money. Nearly 500,000 women a month are using these medicines to control vasomotor symptoms like night sweats and hot flushes says Dr Roisin Worsley, from Monash University’s School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine.” But none of these [remedies] have been proven in scientific studies to actually be of any benefit,” Worsley says. Most alternative menopause therapies cause short term side effects including nausea, headache and upset stomach. Side effects of ginseng include hypertension, diarrhea and sleeplessness. http://www.abc.net.au/health/features/stories/2015/08/06/4288056.htm   Uganda – Child sacrifice for wealth and power in Uganda Kanani and Sylvia a brother and sister aged 9 and 8, were grazing cattle in rural Uganda. Sperito Bisekwa accused them of allowing cows to eat his fodder; he dragged them into a forest and attacked Kanani. The boy awoke with a machete wound on his neck. Sylvia’s body had been gruesomely mutilated for use in witchdoctor rituals. Child sacrifice is a phenomenon in Uganda and the government has established a special taskforce. Activists say child sacrifice is not about tradition but greed. People seek quick routes to wealth or power and with elections due in 2016 killings will increase. Bisekwa admits sending body parts to his brother, a witch doctor, in exchange for $16,500. http://www.sowetanlive.co.za/news/2015/06/15/child-sacrifice-for-wealth-and-power-in-uganda   <Back to Top>   Euthanasia   South Africa – Doctors fight assisted suicide ruling Three months ago, the Pretoria High Court gave cancer patient Robin Stransham-Ford the go-ahead to get a doctor to help him die. But council president Professor Samuel Mokgokong said the council had joined the ministers of justice and health in appealing against the decision as assisted suicide was “unethical”. Dr Mzukisi Grootboom, the chairman of the SA Medical Association, agreed with Mokgokong, saying that “doctors should never use their medical skill to assist patients to commit suicide”. http://www.iol.co.za/news/crime-courts/doctors-fight-assisted-suicide-ruling-1.1893237#.Vb8t17VGSeg   Belgium – Patients with depression most likely to use euthanasia Study co-author Dr. Lieve Thienpont, of University Hospital Brussels in Belgium, and colleagues published their findings in the journal British medical Journal Open. More than one psychiatric illness was identified among 90{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of patients, according to the team, with depression being the most frequent diagnosis, affecting 58 patients. Personality disorders were the second most common mental illness and affected 50 patients. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/297348.php   Netherlands – Sharp rise in euthanasia for psychiatric patients In the first six months of this year, 18 people with severe psychiatric problems have been helped to die at a special euthanasia clinic. This is more than double the total figure of 17 in 2014. In addition, almost 100 psychiatric patients are on the waiting list for help. The clinic was set up in 2012 to help people whose doctors are unwilling to grant euthanasia requests and operates a nationwide network of teams made up of doctors and nurses. Last year, some 14,000 people in the Netherlands were helped to die, most of who were suffering from cancer. http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2015/07/sharp-rise-in-euthanasia-for-psychiatric-patients/   <Back to Top>   HIV/AIDS & STI’s   No news today   <Back to Top>   Homosexuality   No news today   <Back to Top>   IVF &Surrogacy   Australia – Cancer survivor gives birth after ovarian tissue transplant In 2006, the then 37-year-old had a small piece of ovarian tissue removed and frozen before starting chemotherapy and radiotherapy for breast cancer. “Her only option was to freeze a little bit of her tissue, and when I saw her there were only one or two pregnancies in the world from this technology,” Dr Burmeister said. In April 2012, the tissue was re-implanted and the now 44-year-old began ovulating again, even though she had gone through menopause. The woman then began IVF treatment and four months later she conceived. The successful pregnancy offers hope for thousands of women, with doctors effectively reversing the effects of menopause and turning back the biological clock. http://monashivf.com/another-first-for-monash-ivf-breast-cancer-survivor-has-given-birth-to-a-little-miracle-after-her-fertility-was-restored-following-an-australian-first-ovary-transplant/   Nepal – Illegal Surrogacy Trade Revealed After the 2013 Indian government ban on the use of local surrogates by non-married, homosexual or single parents, surrogacy agents have turned to Nepal where the procedure is less regulated. While Nepalese locals tend not to act as surrogates, there is no official government ban and scores of migrant women rent their wombs in cities like Kathmandu. Surrogacy agencies in Nepal lure clients on the Internet with rates that are about a fourth of the prices in the United States. The packages cost between $35,000 and $65,000. The mothers earn between $5,000 and $6,000 of that, the price of a house in that part of Asia. The rest goes into the pockets of doctors and agencies. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/nepalese-surrogacy-unearthed/11492   <Back to Top>   Medical Ethics   USA – Taking a swing at bioethics One of America’s leading intellectuals’, psychologist Steven Pinker says: “the primary moral goal for today’s bioethics can be summarized in a single sentence. Get out of the way.” “A truly ethical bioethics should not bog down research in red tape, moratoria, or threats of prosecution based on nebulous but sweeping principles such as ‘dignity,’ ‘sacredness,’ or ‘social justice.’* First, slowing down research has a massive human cost. Even a one-year delay in implementing an effective treatment could spell death, suffering, or disability for millions of people. Second, technological prediction beyond a horizon of a few years is so futile that any policy based on it is almost certain to do more harm than good.” http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/a-wild-swing-at-bioethics/11507   USA – ‘I can see what you’re saying’ In a study published in the journal Frontiers of Neuroscience scientists were able to observe how the brain planned speech acts and then activated the muscles before the speech itself became audible. Duke University Professor Nita Farahany has previously addressed questions about ‘mental privacy’ and, literally, ‘freedom of thought’ saying: “Some of the forward-looking questions we should be deliberating about now are whether individuals have a legal interest to mental privacy that could safeguard against being compelled to submit to EEG, fMRI, or other brain-based interrogations? What role could or should neuroscience play in helping to validate eyewitness memory? Should we as a society protect freedom of thought? Does neuroscience challenge any of our existing norms upon which legal and constitutional doctrines are built? http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/i-can-see-what-youre-saying/11500 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4235375/pdf/fnins-08-00373.pdf   USA – Incoming World Medical Association head under a cloud The World Medical Association is in turmoil over its incoming president, Dr Ketan Desai, of India, who is fighting allegations he corruptly conspired to lobby to allow a medical school to add more students. Charges which were brought in 2009 and 2010 are unlikely to be resolved by 2016, when he is scheduled to take office. “The whole force of the WMA is its moral authority,” Arthur Caplan told Reuters. “You can’t have a compromised leader, you just can’t…. people will just point toward your president and say: “Why should we care? You have a leader who is morally suspect. You’re not in a position to lecture us about anything.” http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/incoming-world-medical-association-head-under-a-corruption-cloud/11513   <Back to Top>   Pedophilia   Australia – Pedophiles need specialist preventative counselingDr Kelly Richards a criminologist from Queensland University of Technology and other researchers are urging Australia to adopt a German initiative, called The Prevention Project Dunkelfeld (PPD). PPD is persuading pedophiles – including those who have abused children – to undergo confidential therapy. Dr Kelly Richards said between 3 and 5 per cent of the adult population has an inappropriate attraction to children. In Australia, psychologists are required to notify authorities if they believe a child is at risk. Dr Richards said this prevents many men from seeking help, even if they want to stop. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-07-15/specialist-counselling-needed-to-prevent-paedophiles-offending/6622980   <Back to Top>   Pornography   Australia – Victoria: New internet child pornography laws close loopholes New laws will be introduced into the Victorian Parliament, making it easier to catch and prosecute those who engage in the “absolutely evil trade” of internet child pornography, according to Victoria’s Attorney-General. Three new offences will be created to tighten a number of loopholes and the maximum penalty for child porn offences will be doubled to 10 years’ imprisonment. The new offences include administering a child porn website, encouraging the use of a website dealing with child porn, and a new offence about providing assistance to any other person. Every one of these child pornography images has come at the expense of an innocent child. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-08-04/new-internet-child-pornography-laws-to-close-loopholes-on-27ev/6670060   India – India blocks 857 websites citing pornography’s threat to decency India ordered Internet service providers to block access to 857 pornographic and humor websites posing a threat to public morality in the world’s second-most populous country. Among those listed by the Department of Telecommunications are humor site 9GAG, CollegeHumor and Playboy. ISPs were told to immediately confirm compliance with the order, which also mentioned websites Barstool Sports and Adult Friendfinder. The ban comes after a lawyer petitioned the Supreme Court to block sites featuring pornography on grounds that they fueled crimes against women and children and were a threat to public order. India has the world’s second-largest number of Internet users with about 350 million people accessing the Web on personal computers and mobile devices. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-08-04/india-blocks-857-websites-citing-pornography-s-threat-to-decency   USA – Survey of US men shows over 60s and 70s viewing pornography A study of 2000 men over 50 in the US has found porn is being watched by a large number of older men, many in their 60s and 70s. The survey, undertaken for Stop Procrastinating, a productivity research website, found that 47{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of men over 60 had admitted to viewing porn in the last two months. Almost all respondents said their use of porn had increased since they had access to the Internet. Tim Rollins, research director at Stop Procrastinating, said: “Our survey shows that Internet pornography is now affecting every generation. Older men are either turning to pornography out of loneliness or because they have access to it through the Internet.” http://www.gilmermirror.com/view/full_story/26775283/article-Survey-of-US-men-shows-over-60s-and-70s-viewing-pornography?instance=lead_story_left_column   USASymposium looks at evidence of the destructiveness of pornography The National Centre on Sexual Exploitation held a symposium exposing pornography as a public health crisis and how porn fuels sex trafficking, child exploitation and sexual violence. “Pornography is one of the root causes of sexual exploitation,” said Dawn Hawkins, vice president and executive director of the Centre. Neurosurgeon, Don Hilton from the University of Texas, presented evidence of the impact pornography can have on the human brain. The more pronounced pornography usage, the more shrinkage occurs in the reward area of the brain that occurs, he said. Former president and CEO of the National Centre for Missing & Exploited Children, Ernie Allen, called upon Congress to pass legislation to curb the availability of graphic online pornography. http://www.thebostonpilot.com/article.asp?ID=174268   <Back to Top>   Prostitution & Trafficking   UK – Amnesty International approves decriminalization of sex trade Amnesty International approved a controversial policy to endorse the de-criminalization of the sex trade, rejecting complaints from women’s rights groups who say it is tantamount to advocating the legalization of pimping and brothel owning. Amnesty’s decision is important because it will use its heft to lobby governments around the world to accept its point of view. Women’s’ groups believe a serious mistake has been made. The organization Against Trafficking in Women, has argued that while it agrees with Amnesty that those who are prostituted should not be criminalized, full de-criminalization would make pimps “businesspeople” who could sell the vulnerable with impunity. It really is a slap in the face to survivors and women’s rights groups around the world. http://www.foxnews.com/world/2015/08/12/amnesty-international-approves-policy-to-decriminalize-sex-trade-rejecting/?intcmp=hphz11   India – Prostitution should not be legalized Every hour four girls enter prostitution, three of them against their will. There are 2.8 million prostitutes and poverty and illiteracy are the main causes which drive them into prostitution. A survey conducted by the Indian Health Organization states that 20 percent of prostitutes are children who are usually abducted and sold, and that 6 percent were raped and sold. Minor girls between ages 9-20 are brought every year from Nepal and 15 percent of women in prostitution have been sold by their husbands. Most men refuse to wear condoms and 200 million prostitutes suffer from STD’S like gonorrhea, genital herpes and HIV AIDS. Prostitutes do not gain respect and recognition but will be exploited and discriminated against. http://www.topcount.co/5-reasons-why-prostitution-should-not-be-legalized/ /   USA – Law takes new tack in fight against prostitution Authorities have made arrests under a new state law that shifts prosecution to the people who profit from the sale of sex. The new tack in the fight against prostitution focuses on the rehabilitation of women, and more severe consequences to the men who profit from the sex-for-sale business. The law criminalizes the effort to lure women into sex trafficking and increases the prospect of prison time. It also dramatically increases prison time in cases where a juvenile is involved and criminalizes the mere recruitment of females into the sex trade. http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/va-law-takes-new-tack-in-fight-against-prostitution/2015/07/10/0f7c5916-26e3-11e5-b621-b55e495e9b78_story.html   South Africa – US State department 2014 Trafficking in Persons Report South Africa is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking but the government has failed to reduce the overall demand for commercial sex. Although the Cape Town Vice Squad arrested nine males for soliciting sex from trafficking victims, the South African National Defense provided anti-trafficking training to South African troops prior to deployment abroad, and prosecuted troops who perpetrated sex crimes while serving on missions abroad, the report says the government did not undertake efforts to reduce the demand for forced labor or commercial sex acts during the reporting period. http://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/countries/2014/226816.htm#st_refDomain=&st_refQuery Report: 2014 Trafficking in Persons Report   <Back to Top>   Stem Cells & Cloning   No news today   <Back to Top>   Substance Abuse   South Africa – Do not legalise Nyaope says Depression and Anxiety Group Professor Jannie Hugo says legalising nyaope, which contains heroin, dagga, ARVs and rat poison, would make the drug addiction manageable. “Legalise the drug, I’m not apologetic about it. I know there might be other effects but we work with nyaope-addicted children and I am telling you, it would be better if this thing was legal,” said Hugo. “Legalise nyaope so that you can control it. We need to focus on controlling it but now the focus is on the crime part of it.” But the SA Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) is having none of it. “Legalising the drug will open up more problems. It will be accessible and lead to more people being addicted,” said director Cassey Chambers. http://www.timeslive.co.za/local/2015/08/06/Legalise-nyaope-says-UP-professor   South Africa – WHO says 15{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of population have a drug problem Drug abuse in South Africa is nothing new but the problem is on the rise. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 15{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of South Africa’s population have a drug problem. This high level of drug abuse costs South Africa over R20-billion a year. These statistics have earned the country the dubious reputation of being one of the drug capitals of the world. Dr. David Bayever from the Central Drug Authority (CDA) said “The drug problem in South Africa remains very serious with drug usage being twice the world norm in many cases…and we are only dealing with what we know about.” http://www.health24.com/Medical/Addiction/About-addiction/15-of-South-Africans-have-a-drug-problem-20150625   USA -. Oregon airports adjust to new ’Carry-on cannabis’ law It’s now fine to fly out of Oregon’s Portland International Airport with cannabis if you’re flying to one of the 4 other Beaver State airports. Signs in the PDX terminal remind passengers that state and federal laws prohibit taking marijuana across state lines. “But it is permitted to travel [with pot] within the state, provided you’re 21 or over and in possession of the legal amount,” said Kama Simonds, spokeswoman for Portland International Airport. The new rule applies to travelers flying in-state from Portland to Redmond, Pendleton, Eugene or North Bend airports and was adopted on July 1, when Oregon joined Alaska, Colorado, Washington and the District of Columbia in legalizing recreational marijuana. http://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/flights/2015/07/21/oregon-airports-marijuana-law/30457135/   <Back to Top>   Disclaimer: the views and opinions expressed in these articles do not necessarily reflect those of Doctors for Life International]]>

LIFEalerts 24 July 2015

LIFEalerts 24 July 2015

Abortion USA – Anti-abortion group says Planned Parenthood sells fetal organs
Alternative Medicine No news today
Euthanasia Belgium – Life? I’m not really that into it any more!Netherlands – Dutch pediatricians back euthanasia for under-12’s USA – The Economist to campaign on Belgian model of euthanasia Colombia – Country opens its doors to euthanasia Netherlands – Pressure on patients is cause for concern
HIV/AIDS No news today
Homosexuality No news today
IVF & Surrogacy Australia – Suppression of Clinic Success RatesSpain – Sharp drop in live births for women in their early 40’s
Medical Ethics France – Senate overrules assembly to reject ‘deep sleep’ billUSA – What should we do with frozen embryos? USA – Planned Parenthood offers aborted fetus body parts
Pedophilia UK – 750,000 men want child sex
Pornography IndonesiaMore children get caught up in pornography and cybercrimeUSA – ‘Tsunami’ of pornography shaping next generation
Prostitution &Trafficking India – 13-year-old girl ‘sold for sex’ by parentsUSA – Shutting down ads for prostitutes China – Cameras used to combat prostitution South Africa – Human trafficking in SA is a statistical nightmare
Stem Cells & Cloning No news today
Substance Abuse USA – Heroin Use Skyrockets in the United States
  Abortion   USA – Anti-abortion group says Planned Parenthood sells fetal organs According to the Center for Medical Progress (CMP), Dr. Deborah Nucatola, senior director of medical services at Planned Parenthood, admitted to supplying intact body parts by using partial-birth abortions. The CMP describes itself as a group of citizen journalists dedicated to monitoring and reporting on medical ethics and advances. David Daleiden led the undercover project and urged elected officials to get involved. “Planned Parenthood’s criminal conspiracy to make money off of aborted baby parts reaches to the very highest levels of their organization,” Daleiden said in a statement. “Elected officials must listen to the public outcry for Planned Parenthood to be held accountable to the law and for our tax dollars to stop underwriting this barbaric abortion business.” http://www.kptv.com/story/29554551/anti-abortion-group-releases-secret-video-says-planned-parenthood-sells-fetal-organs   Alternative Medicine   No news today   <Back to Top>   Euthanasia   Belgium – Life? I’m not really that into it any more! News flash from Brussels, the nihilism capital of the world! A 24-year-old healthy woman named Laura will soon be euthanized. The reason? ‘Leven, dat is niets voor mij’ – ‘life, that’s not for me’. And Belgian doctors are happy to accommodate her, even though she is young and even though she is healthy. If she’s not really into life, why not check out the alternative? She grew up in a dysfunctional household. Her father was drunk and abusive and her mother left him when she was only a year old. By the age of six she was already thinking of suicide, and because of that three psychiatrists have approved her application for euthanasia. http://www.mercatornet.com/careful/view/life-im-not-really-that-into-it-any-more/16392   Netherlands – Dutch pediatricians back euthanasia for under twelve’s The NVK (the Dutch Pediatricians’ Association) recommended that deliberate termination of life be available when palliative care is ineffective. “We feel that an arbitrary age limit such as 12 should be changed,” said Professor Eduard Verhagen, of Groningen University, a long-time champion of euthanasia for children. “Each child’s ability to ask to die should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.” Belgium has already removed the age limit on euthanasia and the Netherlands is lagging behind. “If a child under 12 satisfies the same conditions, pediatricians are currently powerless. It’s time to address this problem,” said Professor Verhagen. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/dutch-paediatricians-back-euthanasia-for-under-12s/11502   USA – The Economist to campaign on Belgian model of euthanasia The Economist, the world’s most influential news magazine, has a new editor-in-chief, Zanny Minton-Beddoes – and one of the very first issues on which she has chosen to campaign is the legalization of euthanasia. This week’s cover story is “The right to die: why assisted suicide should be legal”. It is illustrated by a snuffed candle with a smoking wick. Minton-Beddoes says that there are three reasons for her stand. First, assisted dying is one of the great moral questions of our time, especially in the light of ageing populations around the world. Second, it fits neatly into The Economist’s philosophy of promoting autonomy and reducing government meddling. And third, public opinion can truly make a difference. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/the-economist-to-campaign-on-belgian-model-of-euthanasia/11501   Colombia – Country opens its doors to euthanasia Colombian officials have approved the country’s first legal death by euthanasia. After a week-long legal battle, 79-year old Ovidio Gonzalez exercised his “right to die” at a medical clinic, ending his battle with terminal throat cancer. Colombia became the first Latin American country and one of several countries worldwide to legalize assisted suicide in 1997 but the government delayed approving the regulation until this year. http://www.worldmag.com/2015/07/colombia_opens_its_doors_to_euthanasia   The Netherlands – Pressure on patients is cause for concern Around one in five patients who choose euthanasia in the Netherlands act under pressure from family members. Professor Theo Boer based the estimate on his experience of nine years as a member of one of five review committees that assess every euthanasia case, helping to judge around 4,000 case files. Boer also voiced concern about the steady rise in the number of people who choose euthanasia and assisted suicide, which has trebled from around 1,800 in the early years to 4,829 in 2013. http://www.expatica.com/nl/news/country-news/DN-Dutch-Pressure-on-patients-is-cause-for-concern-euthanasia-expert_478335.html   <Back to Top>   HIV/AIDS & STI’s   No news today   <Back to Top>   Homosexuality   No news today   <Back to Top>   IVF &Surrogacy   Australia – Suppression of Clinic Success Rates Each year ANZARD, an initiative of the National Perinatal Epidemiology and Statistics Unit and the Fertility Society of Australia (FSA), releases generalized figures of success rates in clinics. But individual clinics are not named, leaving would-be-parents in the dark about standards at an individual clinic. This is problematic, considering that individual clinic success rates vary wildly from 4.0{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} to 30.9{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} according to the 2012 report. Year after year, the poor performance of Australia’s worst IVF clinics fails to be explained. Yet these figures raise serious concerns about the practices of the clinics responsible. The issue is that there is no obvious plausible scientific explanation for IVF success rates in the single digits. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/ivf-woes-1-australia/11497   Spain – Sharp drop in live births for women in their early 40’s A new study of declining IVF success rates indicates a drop in live births for women in their early 40s. The 12-year study, led by Dr. Marta Devesa indicated that the chances of women having a baby through IVF was only 1.3{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} in those aged 44 and above, but 24{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} in those aged 38 to 39. Perhaps more significant, the study found that in a 2-year period between 41 and 43, success rates halved. Among 40 to 41-year-olds the IVF success rate was 15.6{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}, which dropped to 6.6{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} in those aged 42 and 43. The results from the study involving 4,195 women and 5,841 IVF cycles were presented at the annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/ivf-woes-2-older-women/11498   <Back to Top>   Medical Ethics   France – Senate overrules assembly to reject ‘deep sleep’ bill The French senate has rejected a bill that would legalise the ‘deep sedation’ –of patients with a terminal and incurable illness. The bill which passed by a significant majority in the legislative assembly would allow doctors to put patients into an irreversible comatose state and withdraw life-sustaining treatment. The bill goes even further, stipulating that doctors would be obliged to follow end-of-life instructions from patients regarding terminal sedation and stopping treatments if they agree the practices wouldn’t improve their condition. However, unlike the lower house, the senate was overwhelmingly against the bill, voting it down 196-87. “The Senate’s overwhelming rejection is good news for ethical medicine–at least for now”, wrote bioethicist Wesley Smith. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/french-senators-reject-deep-sleep-bill/11499   USA – What should we do with frozen embryos? Policy analysts are questioning how authorities should deal with hundreds of thousands of frozen embryos that have been abandoned or have a disputed legal status. This appears to be a predominating concern in the US – a lack of regulation in legal jurisdictions across the country. Author KJ Dell’ Antonia cautioned against a tendency to ‘ignore’ embryos that haven’t been needed by parents. “When it comes to unused embryos, loving and supporting those who become children is the easy part – and the happy personal stories almost a distraction from the harder questions about the embryos that are not donated, are abandoned or become the subject of litigation, as well as decisions about how embryos can be created or change hands.” http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/what-should-we-do-with-frozen-embryos/11494   USA – Planned Parenthood offers aborted fetus body parts A new video shows a Planned Parenthood executive discussing how they provide fetal organs and tissues to researchers opens a debate that split bioethicists decades ago: Is it ethical to use the remains of aborted fetuses for medical research? Arthur Caplan, a bioethicist at New York University who previously described fetal tissue research as “the ticking time bomb of medical ethics” summarized the objections to fetal tissue research with three other bioethicists in a 1991 article thus: The transplantation of tissue from an electively aborted fetus is morally inseparable from the morality of elective abortion. Fetal tissue transplant will cause more abortions, change how doctors do abortions and cause women to abort in order to donate. http://www.vox.com/2015/7/14/8964513/planned-parenthood-aborted-fetuses   <Back to Top>   Pedophilia   UK – 750,000 men want child sex An analysis by the National Crime Agency (NCA) reveals that about one in 35 adult males pose a potential risk of being a child abuser or of seeking out child sex images online. Phil Gormley, the deputy director general of the NCA said, ‘We are starting to get a real sense of the scale.’ Among new measures being developed is   software that would alert minors when they are being groomed by men posing as fellow children when talking to them through Facebook or other social networking sites. The figures come from estimates based on academic research and the best available evidence from other sources. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3132884/750-000-British-men-want-sex-children-Shock-new-abuse-statistics.html   <Back to Top>   Pornography   IndonesiaMore children get caught up in pornography and cybercrime The number of children involved in pornography and cybercrime cases has increased rapidly over the years, a report from the Indonesian Child Protection Commission (KPAI) states. Apart from being victims, children have also become perpetrators of sexual violence on the internet, the report adds. KPAI deputy chairperson, Maria Advianti, criticized the government’s attempt to block pornographic sites based only on complaints received despite the fact that millions of new websites appear each day. However, she applauded the existence of a team within the Communication and Information Ministry that actively monitors pornographic sites, although she also urged parents to be cautious when buying smart-phones for their children. http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/06/27/more-children-get-caught-pornography-cybercrime.html

USA – ‘Tsunami’ of pornography shaping next generation

A “tsunami” of obscene, violent and degrading pornography is harming children, women, men and the American culture, a panel of experts told a Capitol Hill briefing recently. Panellists urged members of Congress to see that pornography is linked to sexual victimization, prostitution, human trafficking, child abuse and addiction. Solutions included stepping up enforcement of federal and state adult obscenity laws, which prohibit distribution of hardcore pornography on the internet, on cable/satellite TV, in hotels and motels and in retail shops and by carriers. No-smoking campaigns work to keep tobacco out of lungs; now it’s time to “keep pornography out of their eyes,” said Dr. Donald Hilton, a neurosurgeon and professor at the University of Texas, Health Sciences Centre. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/jul/14/tsunami-of-pornography-misshaping-next-generation-/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}3A+Nation-TheWashingtonTimesAmericasNewspaper+(Nation{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}2FPolitics+-+The+Washington+Times)   <Back to Top>   Prostitution & Trafficking   India – 13-year-old girl ‘sold for sex’ by parents Police in the southern Indian state of Kerala have arrested the mother and stepfather of a teenage girl for allegedly forcing her into the prostitution trade for two years. The 13-year-old has been rescued and taken to a state-run shelter home.  She told counselors that her parents would solicit customers and force her to have sex with the men. Her mother has told a news channel that she would charge 3,000 rupees (£30; $47) from a customer for her daughter. Police said they had identified 25 of the 40 customers who had allegedly paid for sex with the teenager. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-33456885   USA – Shutting down ads for prostitutes Law enforcement officials have been unable to shut down Backpage, a website for personals and prostitution ads by legal means so they have resorted to a more indirect approach: asking credit card companies to deny transactions by prostitutes seeking to pay for ads on Backpage. Recently, they succeeded in convincing Visa and Mastercard to stop processing payment for Backpage ads. http://www.pri.org/stories/2015-07-09/shutting-down-ads-sex-workers-might-hurt-them   China – Cameras used to combat prostitution Security cameras installed along streets known as venues of sex sellers and buyers have helped eliminate prostitution. One night a prostitute ran from a ‘red light’ point that was raided by but she was stopped and detained. She   rejected   police allegations that she was a prostitute but after an officer showed her images recorded by the cameras, she could do nothing but admit that she sold sex for a living. After giving her an administrative penalty police set her free with the purpose that she would tell other prostitutes about the presence of such cameras so that they would give up the trade. http://tuoitrenews.vn/society/28148/vietnam-police-use-cameras-to-combat-prostitution-in-red-light-areashttp://tuoitrenews.vn/society/   South Africa – Human trafficking in SA a statistical nightmare Thirty thousand children are trafficked into the country annually as part of the sex trade. The same figure has been used by the Department of Home Affairs to justify recently introduced visa regulations aimed at combating child trafficking.  But this number has been discredited as “exaggerated and unsubstantiated”. A new act aimed at preventing trafficking is expected to be operational in the next few weeks. It defines trafficking to include the recruitment, transportation, sale or harbor of people by means of force, deceit, the abuse of vulnerability and the abuse of power for exploitation. The hidden nature of the crime requires unconventional thinking and flexible methodologies to scope the problem. http://www.timeslive.co.za/local/2015/07/16/Human-trafficking-in-South-Africa-an-elusive-statistical-nightmare   <Back to Top>   Stem Cells & Cloning   No news today   <Back to Top>   Substance Abuse   USA – Heroin Use Skyrockets in the United States Heroin-related overdose deaths in the U.S. have increased 300{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} in recent years, and a new report from the federal government shows people who use the drug are not confined to a particular income level or age group. The U.N. found increasing demand for the drug as U.S. states experiment with legalizing or decriminalizing it. From 2002 to 2013, heroin overdose deaths in the country increased by 286{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Food and Drug Administration. More than 8,200 people died of a heroin-related overdose in 2013 alone. The annual average rate of past-year heroin use in the U.S. has also increased by more than 62 percent in roughly the past decade. http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/data-mine/2015/07/07/heroin-use-skyrockets-in-us-cdc-says   <Back to Top>   Disclaimer: the views and opinions expressed in these articles do not necessarily reflect those of Doctors for Life International]]>

LIFEalerts 25 June 2015

LIFEalerts 25 June 2015

Abortion USA – More Than 100 Studies Show Abortion Link to Premature BirthsUSA – Abortions declining in nearly all US statesUSA – Missouri Legislature Boosts Funding for Abortion Alternatives
Alternative Medicine USA – Smart bandages, bacteria-sensing gloves and moreAustralia – Chinese medicine ‘a tragedy for Australian science’, critic warns
Euthanasia USA – California Senate approves debated physician-assisted suicide billBelgium – Euthanasia law under fire againNetherlands – Laws as ‘stepping stones’ toward even more radical changes
HIV/AIDS No news today
Homosexuality No news today
IVF & Surrogacy USA – Vitrification versus slow freezingTaiwan – New IVF device may improve fertility treatmentUK – A British lawyer has slammed Britain’s “inhumane surrogacy laws”
Medical Ethics USA – White House backs review of gene-editing technologyAustralia – Not nature OR nurture but nature and nurtureUSA – The bioethics of genetic diversity
Pedophilia Australia – Child sexual abuse can shorten life expectancy, shrinks brainCanada – Pedophiles Are Often Left-Handed With Physical Deformities
Pornography South Africa – Porn viewing surges online in SA USA – Google to ban porn from Blogger China – China wins fight against porn
Prostitution &Trafficking Burma – Corpses of trafficking victims wash ashoreUSA – Utah massage parlors raided in human trafficking crackdownUK – Nigerian trafficking ‘top priority’, commissioner says Scotland -Campaign launches to bring end to prostitution
Stem Cells & Cloning No news today
Substance Abuse USA – A Blind Eye to AddictionUSA – Cannabis Legalization: Child Pot Exposure Rose 148{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}South Africa – Codeine is the most abused over-the-counter drug in SA USA – Colorado Adult Marijuana Use Almost Double the National Average  
  Abortion   USA – More Than 100 Studies Show Abortion Link to Premature Births Over 100 peer-reviewed studies have found that abortion is a risk factor for premature birth in subsequent pregnancies according to Dr. Byron Calhoun, Professor and Vice-Chair in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the West Virginia University-Charleston. A study in the Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics, found a history of combined surgical-medical abortion is associated with increased preterm birth risk of over 200{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}. It also found an increased risk of over 360{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} for women who had medical abortion with curettage. According to the World Health Organization Global Action Report on Preterm Birth, about 15 million babies are born prematurely every year. That is more than 1 in every 10 babies born around the world. http://www.lifenews.com/2015/06/01/more-than-100-studies-show-abortion-is-linked-to-premature-births/   USA – Abortions declining in nearly all US states Nationwide, the Associated Press survey showed a decrease in abortions of about 12 percent since 2010. Elizabeth Nash, a state-issues expert for the Guttmacher Institute, said a total of 267 abortion restrictions have been enacted in 31 states since 2011. While some of the new laws have been blocked by lawsuits, most have taken effect, contributing to closure of about 70 abortion clinics in a dozen states since 2010. One major factor has been a decline in the teen pregnancy rate, which in 2010 reached its lowest level in decades. The biggest decrease in abortion, percentage-wise, was in Hawaii, where abortions fell from 3,064 in 2010 to 2,147 in 2014. http://www.foxnews.com/health/2015/06/08/abortions-declining-in-nearly-all-states-survey-finds/   USA – Missouri Legislature Boosts Funding for Abortion Alternatives A bill adopted by the Missouri Legislature, Senate Bill 24, known as the “Strengthening Missouri Families Act”, will make approximately $4.3 million in new annual funding available for alternatives to abortion programs.  Sam Lee, director of Campaign Life, observes that amount is twice the level of funding ever appropriated. The Missouri Senate approved Bill 24 by a vote of 25-8.  The House endorsed the measure on a vote of 115-44. http://www.lifenews.com/2015/06/09/missouri-legislature-boosts-funding-for-abortion-alternatives/   Alternative Medicine   USA – Smart bandages, bacteria-sensing gloves and more Scientists envision bio-sensing gloves, which could selectively react to different pathological agents. The ability to print antibiotics in topographical patterns could address the need for “smart” bandages, where therapeutics are incorporated and delivered to match a complex injury. Researchers created and tested a custom library of inkjet-printable, functional silk inks doped with bioactive components such as antibiotics, enzymes, nanoparticles, and growth factors. The natural silk polymer stabilized the agents over time and enabled printing in varied mechanically robust formats. When printed on surgical gloves in functional silk inks doped with bacteria-sensing agents, the word “contaminated” changed from blue to red after exposure to E. coli. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/06/150617104537.htm   Australia – Chinese medicine ‘a tragedy for Australian science’, critic warns The inclusion of traditional Chinese medicine in the free trade agreement between Australia and China is a step backwards for the health system and for science, one critic warns. Chinese medicine was the subject of a side letter from Australia’s Trade Minister Andrew Robb to the Chinese government, which outlined plans to strengthen cooperation on traditional medicine and could open the door for hundreds of contractual service providers from China to be officially registered to work here. According to Professor of neurophysiology and co-founder of the group Friends of Science in Medicine, Dr Marcello Costa the agreement would give unwarranted legitimacy to Chinese medicine. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-06-18/chinese-medicine-free-trade-agreement-critic/6556532   <Back to Top>   Euthanasia   USA – California Senate approves hotly debated physician-assisted suicide bill The California Senate approved a physician-assisted suicide bill that would allow some terminally ill patients to obtain medication to end their lives, even as opponents criticized the bill as dangerous. The bill, which was approved 23-13 in the Senate, now moves on to the state Assembly, said Kathy Smith, a spokeswoman for Democratic Senator Bill Monning. If it becomes law in California, the most populous U.S. state would join Oregon, Washington State, Montana and Vermont in allowing some form of physician-assisted suicide. The bill got a boost last month after the California Medical Association dropped its three-decade opposition to physician-assisted suicide, changing its position to neutral, in the first such move by a state medical association. http://news.yahoo.com/california-senate-approves-physician-assisted-suicide-bill-201637101.html   Belgium – Euthanasia law under fire again A leading academic has published a stinging critique of how Belgium administers its euthanasia law. In the Journal of Medical Ethics, Rafael Cohen-Almagor, professor of politics at the University of Hull, says Belgians should be alarmed by the deliberate shortening of lives of some patients without their explicit voluntary request. Consent is supposed to be a cornerstone of Belgium’s euthanasia act, but after surveying reports and articles of the number of patients who are killed outside of the law it is disturbing. “Ending patients’ lives without request is more common than euthanasia. Social and peer pressure makes it difficult for those who oppose euthanasia to uphold their position in the liberal culture that has been developing,” says Cohen-Almagor. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/belgian-euthanasia-under-fire-again/11470   Netherlands – Laws as ‘stepping stones’ toward even more radical changes Former member of one of the Dutch Euthanasia Evaluation Commissions, Theo Boer, had changed his mind and had begun to warn other countries of his concerns about the Dutch experiment. “Perhaps the mere existence of a law is an invitation to see assisted dying as normal instead of as a last resort. The Dutch and Belgian laws on assisted dying, instead of being a respectful compromise, much rather function as stepping stones towards more radical changes in the way we organize our deaths. The offer of assisted dying may be a relief to some. But it also sends unwanted signals to terminal patients, elderly citizens, to people suffering from life, yes, to anyone who knows that life can be very, very hard.” http://www.nationalrighttolifenews.org/news/2015/06/dutch-and-belgian-laws-as-stepping-stones-toward-even-more-radical-changes/#.VXbnSFLAOeh   <Back to Top>   HIV/AIDS & STI’s   No news today   <Back to Top>   Homosexuality   No news today   <Back to Top>   IVF &Surrogacy   USA – Vitrification versus slow freezing Vitrification in contrast to slow freezing is an efficient method for cryopreservation of human cleavage stage embryos which provides a higher survival rate, minimal harmful effects on post-warming embryo morphology and it can improve clinical outcomes. Successful cryopreservation of human embryos was first reported in 1983 by Trounson and Mohr with multicellular embryos that had been slow-cooled using dimethyl sulphoxide (DMSO). Subsequent modifications of the technique, introducing 1,2-propanediol and sucrose as cryoprotectants and slow-cooling to −30°C prior to plunging into liquid nitrogen, has resulted in the introduction of cryopreservation as a standard method offered by virtually every full-service IVF program world-wide. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2729856/   Taiwan – New IVF device may improve fertility treatment A team of researchers from National Tsing Hua University and the National Health Research Institutes in Taiwan has developed a technique to more effectively grow and screen embryos prior to implantation. The results, published in the journal Biomicrofluidics, from the American Institute of Physics, could facilitate more targeted selection of embryos to implant leading to higher IVF success rates and ultimately lower costs. Researchers developed a way to culture embryos in a plate of open micro-wells, so each well contains just one or two embryos. The system gives each embryo its own microenvironment, allowing researchers to determine on a case-by-case basis which ones are the most viable. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/04/150428124723.htm   UK – A British lawyer has slammed Britain’s “inhumane surrogacy laws” Following a decision in the High Court to take a one-year-old girl from her surrogate mother and give her to her gay parents, well-known British solicitor and legal analyst Jon Holbrook argues that bearing a baby in utero is a morally significant fact that courts should take into account. It is a gross injustice to ignore the intense psychological and emotional bond that arises from childbearing: “The law on surrogacy now treats the birth mother as little more than a vessel.” He argues that we need to rethink the contractualism of surrogacy laws like those in Britain to take into account the emotional complexities of surrogacy. 106 http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/surrogacy-law-a-child-of-our-times/11477   <Back to Top>   Medical Ethics   USA – White House backs review of gene-editing technology The White house has backed calls for an in-depth ethical review of gene-editing technology. The move came swiftly after Chinese scientists announced they had altered the genome of non-viable human embryos. John P. Holdren, the white House science advisor said that “The Administration believes that altering the human germline for clinical purposes is a line that should not be crossed at this time.” “Research along these lines raises serious and urgent questions about the potential implications for clinical applications that could lead to genetically altered humans. The full implications of such a step could not be known until a number of generations had inherited the genetic changes made, and choices made in one country could affect all of us.” http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/white-house-backs-review-of-gene-editing-technology/11465   Australia – Not nature OR nurture but nature AND nurture The enduring question of whether our health is governed by nature or nurture has been settled, say researchers from the University of Queensland and VU University of Amsterdam who reviewed almost every twin study across the world from the past 50 years, involving more than 14.5 million twin pairs. The findings, published in Nature Genetics, reveal that on average the variation for human traits and diseases is 49 per cent genetic, and 51 per cent due to environmental factors. “The findings show that we need to look at ourselves outside of a view of nature versus nurture, and instead look at it as nature and nurture”, said Dr Beben Benyamin of the Queensland Brain Institute. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/not-nature-or-nurture-but-nature-and-nurture/11469 Study: http://www.nature.com/ng/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ng.3285.html   USA – The bioethics of genetic diversity In a series of fourteen articles the American Journal of Bioethics examines the topic of new reproductive technologies and the ethical issues surrounding the protection of genetic variation in a population. Monash bioethicist Robert Sparrow says if we desire to conserve genetic variation and naturally occurring instances of disability in our world, then why shouldn’t we protect disability and – in extreme cases where disability begins to disappear – impose disability on populations. In a response bioethicist Rosemarie Garland-Thompson argues that the very project of trying to design “the future people we want” is inherently problematic, as we do not have the power to predict all the contingencies of the future world. Hence we should neither impose disability nor attempt to eradicate it. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/the-bioethics-of-genetic-diversity/11476 Study: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/uajb20/current   <Back to Top>   Pedophilia   Australia – Child sexual abuse can shorten life expectancy, shrinks brain Psychiatrist Dr Carolyn Quadrio, an Associate Professor at the University of New South Wales, appeared as a witness at a hearing of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse. Dr Quadrio told the hearing the sexual abuse of children damaged brain development and, at worst, resulted in shrinkage of the brain and a shortened life expectancy of 10 to 20 years. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-05-25/child-sexual-abuse-can-shorten-life-expectancy-shrink-brain/6494934   Canada – Pedophiles Are Often Left-Handed With Physical Deformities A study conducted at the University of Windsor in Canada has found that pedophiles tend to be left-handed and often have superficial facial flaws, known as Minor Physical Anomalies. Results show that certain aspects of neural development could affect a person’s risk for pedophilic tendencies. http://www.medicaldaily.com/spotting-pedophile-men-pedophilic-tendencies-are-often-left-handed-physical-338034   <Back to Top>   Pornography   South Africa – Porn viewing surges online in SA According to statistics from global online pornography provider Pornhub, South Africans love porn. Locals spent 10 minutes 35 seconds per visit on the porn platform, more than the global average of eight minutes, 56 seconds. Gauteng is the most prolific visitor to the site, accounting for 55{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of page impressions, followed by the Western Cape (26{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}) and KwaZulu-Natal (12{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}). South Africans also have a wide variety of porn appetites. Globally, the top search term on Pornhub was “teen”, followed by “lesbian”, “milf” and “step mom” and the top country delivering traffic to the platform was the US, followed by the UK, Canada and India. http://www.fin24.com/Tech/News/Porn-viewing-surges-online-in-SA-20150603   USA – Google to ban porn from Blogger Google has said it will ban sexually explicit content or “graphic nudity” on its Blogger platform, asking users to remove the material by March 23. In an update to its policies, it would still allow nudity if the content offers a substantial public benefit, for example in artistic, educational, documentary, or scientific contexts. The update explains that users with sexually explicit content may remain on the platform as a “private” blog that can only be viewed by the administrator and persons with whom the link is shared. Users will also be able to export the blog to another platform if they don’t want to remain on Google, the policy said. http://www.fin24.com/Tech/News/Google-to-ban-porn-from-Blogger-20150225   China – China wins fight against porn China deleted more than three million pieces of pornographic content from the internet in 2014, state media reported on Saturday, as part of a campaign to cleanse the country’s online sphere. Zhou Huilin, a vice director of the National Anti-Pornography and Anti-Illegal Publications Office, said his office had been “remarkably effective” last year. http://www.fin24.com/Tech/News/China-wins-fight-against-porn-20150112   <Back to Top>   Prostitution & Trafficking   Burma – Corpses of trafficking victims wash ashore Dozens of corpses have washed ashore in Myanmar’s western state of Rakhine in the last month. Some were believed to be Rohingya Muslims trying to escape trafficking ships, while others were Bangladeshi. At least 47 bodies washed up on beaches and the mouths of rivers, many so badly decomposed they were unrecognizable. They drowned while trying to swim to shore.  Myanmar has denied blame for a humanitarian crisis that has gripped Southeast Asia since early May, with more than 4,600 desperate and hungry boat people rescued in five countries after a massive, regional crackdown on human trafficking prompted some captains to abandon their human cargo at sea. http://www.thestarphoenix.com/Corpses+trafficking+victims+wash+ashore/11107596/story.html   USA – Utah massage parlors raided in human trafficking crackdown A strike force aimed at cracking down on crimes involving undocumented immigrants raided nearly a dozen massage parlors and apartments targeting human trafficking and prostitution. The Utah Attorney General’s SECURE (Statewide Enforcement of Crimes by Undocumented REsidents) Strike Force raided 11 parlors taking women into custody, citing customers for soliciting prostitutes and arresting the owner. “We believe it’s a criminal enterprise. Authorities believe the women who work in the parlors are being forced into the sex trade, working to pay off debts after being brought into the United States.” http://fox13now.com/2015/06/09/utah-massage-parlors-raided-in-human-trafficking-prostitution-crackdown/   UK – Nigerian trafficking ‘top priority’, commissioner says Hundreds of people are believed to be brought from Nigeria to virtual slavery in the UK every year. Clamping down on the problem of Nigerians being trafficked to the UK is a main priority, the first independent anti-slavery commissioner, Kevin Hyland said. Research published by the Home Office in December estimates that there are between 10,000 and 13,000 potential victims of slavery in the UK. “The Modern Slavery Strategy”, which was published in November, last year, sets out an ambitious plan, including work with international partners, to increase collaboration and target human traffickers. http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-33159899   Scotland -Campaign launches to bring end to prostitution A bold move launches across Scotland to challenge the root of prostitution. The campaign – led by Women Support Project WSP) and the Glasgow Violence Against Women Partnership will call on the Scottish public to put pressure on the Scottish Government to tackle the root cause of commercial sexual exploitation.  According to James Coleman the campaign aims to secure legislation in Scotland which criminalizes the buyers of sex, decriminalises those exploited by prostitution and provides support and services to help people exit prostitution safely.  According to Liz Curran, from the WSP, prostitution is abuse, often extreme or violent in nature. Prostitution is never a matter of choice, nor is it a human right, as some campaigners argue. http://www.thenational.scot/news/campaign-launches-to-bring-end-to-prostitution.3835   <Back to Top>   Stem Cells & Cloning   No news today   <Back to Top>   Substance Abuse   USA – A Blind Eye to Addiction Addiction is America’s most neglected disease. According to a Columbia University study, “40 million Americans age 12 and over meet the clinical criteria for addiction involving nicotine, alcohol or other drugs.” That’s more Americans than those with heart disease, diabetes or cancer. An estimated additional 80 million people in the USA are “risky substance users,” meaning that while not addicted, they “use tobacco, alcohol and other drugs in ways that threaten public health and safety.” The costs to government alone (not including family, out of pocket and private insurance costs) exceed $468 billion annually. Overdose deaths from opioids (narcotic pills like OxyContin, Percodan and Methadone and heroin) have become the fastest growing drug problem throughout the USA. http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/policy-dose/2015/06/01/america-is-neglecting-its-addiction-problem   USA – Cannabis Legalization: Child Pot Exposure Rose 148{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} From 2006 to 2013, children’s exposure to cannabis (marijuana) products rose 147.5 percent across the U.S., according to a study published in the journal Clinical Pediatrics. In states with legal medical marijuana, that figured jumped to 610 percent. Most children were exposed after swallowing marijuana edibles. “The high percentage of ingestions may be related to the popularity of marijuana brownies, cookies and other foods,” said Henry Spiller, a co-author of the study and director of the Central Ohio Poison Centre at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. The majority of children – 75 percent – who ingested pot were under 3 years of age, according to the report. http://www.ibtimes.com/marijuana-legalization-means-more-children-accidentally-consuming-pot-products-1956745   South Africa – Codeine is the most abused over-the-counter drug in SA Cough syrup containing codeine is being abused by people seeking a cheap high. South Africa is 1 of the top 50 codeine selling countries in the world. The Hawks on a bust in Germiston confiscated hundreds of boxes of cough syrup. While the sting was underway, a woman dropped by at the dispensary claiming that she was collecting Broncleer to the value of R100 000 for her brother. The depot owner purchased more than 200 000 units of Broncleer, estimated to be worth over R1.7 million, since July last year. Codeine converts into morphine and is an opioid medication used for the relief of mild to moderate pain and to suppress coughing. Use of codeine can lead to tolerance and eventually abuse when more of the drug is needed. http://www.health24.com/Medical/Cough/Cough-medication/The-most-abused-over-the-counter-drug-in-SA-20150603   USA – Colorado Adult Marijuana Use Almost Double the National Average A new a new statewide survey funded by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment found that 13.6{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of adults in Colorado are now regular users of cannabis (marijuana).  This is almost double the national rate of 7.4{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}. Denver, which is home to the most number of marijuana stores, leads the state with 18.5{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of adults as current users. Perhaps equally, if not more shocking, 1 in 5 marijuana users reported driving after using the drug. “This study shows once again that legalization promotes marijuana use and worsens its consequences,” stated SAM President Kevin Sabet. “According to state estimates of the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, adult use has risen in Colorado almost 20{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} since 2012”. http://smartapproaches.bangordailynews.com/2015/06/17/marijuana/colorado-adult-marijuana-use-now-almost-double-the-national-average/ Study: http://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/NSDUHStateEst2012-2013-p1/Maps/NSDUHsaeMaps2013.htm#fig1blongdesc   <Back to Top>   Disclaimer: the views and opinions expressed in these articles do not necessarily reflect those of Doctors for Life International]]>

LIFEalerts 8 June 2015

LIFEalerts 08 June 2015

Abortion

USA – House Passes Bill Banning Abortions After 20 Weeks

USA – Bill that would force abortion clinic to close or move passes

Alternative Medicine

Australia – Homeopathy is not an effective treatment, says study

USA – Drinking chamomile decreases risk of death in older women

Euthanasia

USA – Terminally Ill California Mom against Physician Assisted Suicide

UK – Fear of death driving push for euthanasia, says medical ethicist

HIV/AIDS

No news today

Homosexuality

No news today

IVF & Surrogacy

Spain – Test improves implantation chances by pinpointing fertility window

Australia – Karyomapping in Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD)

Switzerland – Country to vote on embryo regulation

UK – Unregistered surrogate-born children creating ‘legal time bomb’

Medical Ethics

Canada – Bioethicist questions value of Down syndrome detection

Pedophilia

South Africa – ‘Sex with a child is always rape’

Argentina – Convicted Sex Offender Gets Sentence Reduced

UK – Is sex crime genetic?

Pornography

Canada – Underground child porn trade moving toward youngest victims

UK – Pornography industry proposes user ID checks for adult webs

Prostitution &Trafficking

USA – Washington Congress finally passes anti-human trafficking bill

UK – Buckinghamshire girl abused by 60 men in ‘ring of horror’

Stem Cells & Cloning

Italy – Leading stem cell surgeon accused of ‘scientific misconduct’

Australia/USA – Stem cell clinics are the ‘Wild West’ of medicine

Substance Abuse

USA – Marijuana Study Finds Legal Weed Contains Potent THC Levels

USA – Get high grades, get high – parents offer drugs as ‘bargaining tool’

USA – Multiple ER Visits Linked to Risk of Prescription Overdose Death

USA – Increase in babies born to mothers addicted to pain medications

Abortion

USA – House Passes Bill Banning Abortions after 20 Weeks

The House of Representatives approved a pro-life bill that bans abortions from after 20-weeks of pregnancy up to the day of birth. The vote for the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act broke down on mostly partisan lines with Republicans supporting the ban on late-term abortions and Democrats opposing it. The House approved the bill on a 242-184 vote. Pro-life groups hope to use the measure as an election tool in 2016 in an attempt to wrest control of the White House and approve a pro-life president who will sign it into law. This is the second time the House has voted for the legislation having approved it in May 2013.

http://www.lifenews.com/2015/05/13/house-passes-pro-life-bill-banning-late-term-abortions-after-20-weeks/

USA – Bill that would force abortion clinic to close or move passes

A bill that would ban abortion clinics within 2,000 feet of public schools was approved by the Alabama House and now moves to the Senate. If signed into law, House Bill 527 from Rep. Ed Henry, R-Hartselle, would close the only clinic in Huntsville. The bill was approved on a 79-15 vote. The Tennessee Valley’s all-Republican House delegation voted in favor of the legislation “This (bill) is just saying that a child in a public school shouldn’t be subjected to the goings on (with protesters on either side of the issue) at abortion clinics,” Henry said.

http://www.timesdaily.com/news/local/bill-that-would-force-huntsville-abortion-clinic-to-close-or/article_5b831563-6c1a-58b2-8191-5344eebbd3c5.html

Alternative Medicine

Australia – Homeopathy is not an effective treatment, says study

After reviewing 225 research papers, the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) has concluded that homeopathy is not effective for treating any medical condition. Based on the evidence of effectiveness of homeopathy, NHMRC concludes that there are no health conditions for which there is reliable evidence that homeopathy is effective. According to Paul Glasziou, chair of the NHMRC Homeopathy Working Committee, the findings would lead private health insurers to stop offering rebates on homeopathic treatments and force pharmacists to reconsider stocking them. While some studies reported homeopathy was effective, the quality of those studies was poor and suffered serious flaws in their design and did not have enough participants to support the idea that homeopathy worked any better than a sugar pill.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/health-fitness/health-news/Homeopathy-is-not-an-effective-treatment-says-study/articleshow/46536760.cms

USA – Drinking chamomile decreases risk of death in older women

A new study by University of Texas Medical Branch shows drinking chamomile tea was associated with a decreased risk of death from all causes in Mexican-American women over 65. Chamomile is one of the oldest, most-widely used and well-documented medicinal plants in the world and has been recommended for a variety of healing applications. The study examined a seven-year period during which researchers tracked the effects of chamomile and the cause of death in older Mexican – Americans. The researcher’s analyzed data from 1,677 women and men.14{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of the people in the study drank chamomile tea. The data showed that consuming chamomile was associated with a 29{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} decreased risk of death from all causes among women.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/05/150520160312.htm

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Euthanasia

USA – Terminally Ill California Mom against Physician Assisted Suicide

After suffering a series of debilitating lung infections, Stephanie Packer went to a doctor who diagnosed her with scleroderma, a terminal lung disease. The autoimmune disease causes hardening of the skin and some days are good while others are marked by low energy and pain that only sleep can relieve. Physician Assisted Suicide isn’t something she is considering and Stephanie says she hopes other terminally ill people consider palliative medicine and hospice care. “Death can be beautiful and peaceful,” she says. “It’s a natural process that should be allowed to happen on its own.” She is hoping for a lung transplant which could give her a few more years. This year marks three years since her doctor gave her three years to live.

http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/05/20/405204480/terminally-ill-california-mom-speaks-out-against-assisted-suicide

UK – Fear of death driving push for euthanasia, says medical ethicist

Responding to a report by The UK Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, Timothy James, senior lecturer in Medical Law and Ethics said: “For most people, dying at home isn’t about autonomy; it’s about dealing with the fear of dying in a hospital with poor end of life care. The fear of dying in misery in hospital is what is driving the assisted dying debate. For a long time now the option should be available for terminally ill patients to die at home. We are seeing too many cases where proper pain control is not given.” Some of the cases investigated over the last four years include a 29-year-old male dying of cancer who was admitted to hospital and left without pain relief for 11 hours.

http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/fear-of-death-driving-push-for-euthanasia-says-medical-ethicist/11454

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HIV/AIDS & STI’s

No news today

<Back to Top>

Homosexuality

No news today

<Back to Top>

IVF &Surrogacy

Spain – Test improves implantation chances by pinpointing fertility window

Infertile couples could benefit from a new test that tailors the timing of IVF treatment to a woman’s individual cycle. This test assesses the activity of genes of the womb lining to pinpoint a woman’s optimum time for treatment. Prof Garcia-Velasco is leading a clinical trial of the test, involving 2,500 patients in more than ten countries, including Britain. In the test, a biopsy of the endometrium is taken and the gene activity is analysed. As the cells enter the receptive phase a series of genes switch on and off in a reliable sequence that scientists can read like a clock. The test was given to 85 women who had each experienced IVF failure, 33{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of those treated had a successful implantation.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/mar/09/ivf-test-pinpoints-womans-fertility-window-implantation

Australia – Karyomapping in Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis

New karyomapping technology is a significant advancement for couples wanting to avoid the transmission of a serious genetic disease to their children. Specialized Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) testing for each couple normally takes months to complete but with the new karyomapping technology individualized tests do not need to be developed so there will be a significant reduction in the time taken for patients to access PGD for single gene disorders. The Karyomapping test will be suitable for about approximately 90{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of couples. Karyomapping is a single nucleotide polymorphism test which provides a universal genome-wide linkage based analysis, to determine which disease mutations, if any, embryos have inherited from their parents. Additionally one can look for chromosomal errors that cause implantation failure and miscarriage.

http://mivf.com.au/fertility-treatment/genetic-testing-pgd

Switzerland – Country to vote on embryo regulation

Swiss law currently only permits three embryos to be created but the country will hold a referendum to decide whether to legalize preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). If the constitution is altered, it will become possible to create 12 embryos, some of which could be tested for genetic diseases and the others frozen. Marco Romano, a parliamentarian for the Christian Democrats, was in favor of it until he spoke to doctors in a clinic: “I spoke at length with a professor and I had the impression that the specialists want to use anything that technology makes possible, to the point of playing with life. In accepting PGD, we open a door and we don’t know exactly where it will take us.”

http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/swiss-to-vote-on-embryo-regulation-in-june/11452

UK – Unregistered surrogate-born children creating ‘legal time bomb’

Addressing a conference on the rapid expansion of surrogate births, Dame Lucy Theis said that without a court-sanctioned parental order and improved international legal frameworks children could end up “stateless and parentless”. It is estimated that as many as 2,000 children a year are born to surrogate mothers, mostly overseas, before being handed over to British parents. Last year only 241 applications were made for parental orders. A parental order extinguishes the rights and responsibilities of the surrogate birth mother, who would otherwise be recognized in law as the true parent. In most cases the birth mother is not the genetic mother but carries a fertilized embryo to full term for the parents.

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/may/18/unregistered-surrogate-born-children-creating-legal-timebomb-judge-warns

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Medical Ethics

Canada – Bioethicist questions value of Down syndrome detection

Bioethicist Chris Kaposy asks if we really need ever-more accurate tests to detect Down syndrome in unborn children and questions “a ‘corporate arms race’ to develop prenatal tests for Down syndrome.” Most of the time women who test positive undergo an abortion. Research by Dr Brian Skotko at Massachusetts General Hospital suggests Down syndrome people and their families are happy with their lives. “… The social utility of these tests is incommensurate with the effort needed to create them. In contrast to the scientist who devotes their life to the treatment of cancer, … devotion to create a test that helps parents avoid the birth of people who tend to enjoy their lives seems somehow less ambitious, or off the mark.”

http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/canadian-bioethicist-questions-value-of-down-syndrome-detection/11449

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Pedophilia

South Africa – ‘Sex with a child is always rape’

The High Court in Pretoria turned down a man’s appeal against his life sentence for raping the daughter of a family friend. His defence was that the child insisted they have sex because she loved him. He said he had obliged to prove his love. He told the court that when he asked, the girl said she was 16, although she did appear to be younger. The man said they had consensual sex. But Judge NV Khumalo said the law was clear that whether a child of 11 gave consent or not, having sex with such a young child was rape and a criminal offence.

http://www.iol.co.za/news/crime-courts/sex-with-a-child-is-always-rape-1.1850963#.VV4zC1Kzmc4

Argentina – Convicted Sex Offender Gets Sentence Reduced

Two Argentina judges are under fire for reducing the sentence of a convicted child abuser. In the newly publicized 2014 ruling, the judges cut the sentence of Mario Tolosa, from six years to 38 months. One of the judges, Horacio Piombo, defended the ruling saying that before Mr. Tolosa molested the boy, the child had already been molested before by his own father. The judge said that as a result of that experience, the child ‘was showing signs of being gay’. Under Argentine law, “simple abuse” is punishable by three to 20 years in prison. Harsher sentences are imposed for “aggravated abuse” which Mario Tolosa was originally convicted of.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-32806811

UK – Is sex crime genetic?

Men are up to five times more likely to commit a sex crime than the average male if they have a brother or father who has also been convicted of a serious sexual offence. A study of 21,566 men convicted of rape and other sexual crimes in Sweden between 1973 and 2009 has revealed a strong genetic component to sex offending. Titled “Sexual offending runs in families: A 37-year nationwide study,” the paper was published in the International Journal of Epidemiology. It was written by five experts from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, University of Ottawa, and Oxford University. 99

http://edition.cnn.com/2015/04/09/europe/sex-offenders-genetic-predisposition/

Study: Sexual offending runs in families: A 37-year nationwide study

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Pornography

Canada – Underground child porn trade moving toward youngest victims

Data from the Canadian Centre for Child Protection shows that sexualized images of children under the age of 9, depicting explicit sexual acts, represent the largest and fastest-growing category in Canada’s underground child pornography trade, according to exclusive data obtained from the Canadian Centre for Child Protection. Their abusers are overwhelmingly family and friends. The data shows 73 per cent of the images of young victims depicted sex acts that included “bondage” and “torture.” That figure was up 12 per cent over the previous year.

It is the first time that the age category from newborn to 8 accounted for more than half of the material. Images of children in older age categories dropped or held steady.

http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2015/04/26/underground-child-porn-trade-moving-toward-youngest-victims.html

UK – Pornography industry proposes user ID checks for adult webs

Britons may soon face identity checks to access adult material on the internet, according to discussions between Whitehall (the British governmental administration) and the private sector. A scheme proposed by the pornography industry would see adult sites verifying visitors’ identity with organizations such as banks, credit reference agencies or even the NHS. It comes ahead of an expected new law demanding age checks for online pornography and threatening a block on any sites which don’t comply. The Digital Policy Alliance, which acts for online companies, suggests using information already on their files across central and local government and the private sector.

http://www.theguardian.com/culture/2015/may/26/pornography-industry-user-id-checks-adult-websites-privacy

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Prostitution & Trafficking

USA – Washington Congress finally passes anti-human trafficking bill

Much later than expected, the House has given final congressional approval to legislation to expand law enforcement efforts and provide help for victims of human trafficking — a crime that forces young victims into the sex trade and hard labor with little or no pay. The House vote was 420-3. Under section 118 of this bill, the advertising of sex for trafficking will result in a mandatory penalty of 10 or 15 years, depending on the circumstances of the crime. The bill now goes to President Barack Obama, who is expected to sign it into law. http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/05/congress_finally_passes_anti-h.html

UK – Buckinghamshire girl abused by 60 men in ‘ring of horror’

Eleven men deny sex charges against two vulnerable schoolgirls. One aged 12 or 13 at the time, alleges she was abused and passed between 60 men who had sex with her. The prosecutor said the girls were conditioned into believing their “horrifying” ordeal was normal .This case concerns child sexual exploitation on a massive scale. They were looking for excitement, attention, for somewhere to hang out away from school and home. And they were easy prey for a group of men wanting casual sexual gratification that was easy, regular and readily available. The girls were befriended and given gifts such as alcohol, DVDs, food, and occasionally drugs.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-32781942

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Stem Cells & Cloning

Italy – Leading stem cell surgeon accused of ‘scientific misconduct’

Italian celebrity surgeon Paolo Macchiarini, who created artificial windpipes with cadaver-derived scaffolding and stem cells, has been found guilty of scientific misconduct by an investigator from Sweden’s Karolinska Institute. Dr Macchiarini’s operations were widely reported and seemed to bring almost miraculous relief to three patients. But the post-operative reality was different. Two of the patients have died, and the third has been hospitalized in intensive care for nearly three years. The investigation was prompted by doctors caring for the patients who found that their condition was not nearly as good as Dr Macchiarini described in his publications. According to the investigator, the surgeon “omitted some data and also fabricated or falsified some data regarding the postoperative state of patients”. 119

http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/leading-stem-cell-surgeon-accused-of-scientific-misconduct/11451

Australia/USA – Stem cell clinics are the ‘Wild West’ of medicine

Doctors in the United States and Australia are treating dozens of conditions ranging from sports injuries to multiple sclerosis to dementia to hair loss but they don’t know how the stem cells work and there often is no evidence that they do work, other than optimistic anecdotes. “It’s sort of this 21st century cutting-edge technology. But the way it’s being implemented at these clinics and how it’s regulated is more like the 19th century. It’s a Wild West,” said Dr. Paul Knoepfler, a stem cell researcher at the University of California. And Dr Martin Pera, of Stem Cells Australia said that “Immediate action is required to curb the growth of exploitative unproven and unfounded practices”.

http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/stem-cell-clinics-are-the-wild-west-of-medicine-say-critics/11448

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Substance Abuse

USA – Marijuana Study Finds Legal Weed Contains Potent THC Levels

Typical THC levels are well below 10{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} but in Colorado the average THC level is 18.7{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} and some contains 30{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} THC or more. Andy LaFrate’s Denver lab is licensed by the state and paid by marijuana businesses to measure the THC strength in their products. After analysing more than 600 samples of marijuana provided by certified growers and sellers, he detected little medical value and lots of contamination. Some green buds viewed were covered in fungi; he also examined more than 200 pot extracts or “concentrates” and found some contained solvents like butane. Families who have moved to Colorado so children suffering from seizures can get help through medicinal marijuana instead now run the risk of the seizures increasing.

http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/legal-pot/legal-weed-surprisingly-strong-dirty-tests-find-n327811

USA – Get high grades, get high – parents offer drugs as ‘bargaining tool’

A pair of Floridian parents is facing child abuse charges after offering their two daughters marijuana and cocaine to do chores and excel in school. Joey and Chad Mudd are now facing multiple felony child abuse charges, after giving the kids marijuana. Chad has also been charged with giving them cocaine – which he allegedly snorted with them earlier this year in his truck. Joey Mudd meanwhile admitted to smoking dagga with her kids on five occasions, saying it works as a ‘bargaining tool’. She is employed at a paediatrics care unit. Joey Mudd has been released on a $5,000 bond with an order not to contact her children, while Chad is still locked up. 120

http://www.timeslive.co.za/world/2015/05/08/get-high-grades-get-high—parents-offer-kids-drugs-as-bargaining-tool

USA-Multiple ER Visits Linked to Risk of Prescription Overdose Death

A study, by researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, was recently published online in the journal Annals of Epidemiology. People with four or more ER visits in the past year were 48 times more likely to die of prescription drug overdose compared to those who visited an ER once or not at all. With three visits a year, the risk of overdose death from a prescription drug was 17 times greater and nearly 60 percent of drug overdose deaths involved prescription drugs. In 2011, improper use of prescription drugs led to 1.4 million ER visits. Joanne Brady, an adjunct assistant professor of epidemiology analyzed data from more than 5,400 people who visited ERs in New York State between 2006 and 2010. http://health.usnews.com/health-news/articles/2015/05/14/multiple-er-visits-linked-to-risk-of-prescription-drug-overdose-death

USA – Increase in babies born to mothers addicted to pain medications

New research supports recent recommendations to screen or test pregnant women for substance abuse. Done over three years at one U.S. hospital, the study included 40 painkiller-exposed newborns in the first year, 57 in the second year, and 63 in the third year. Researchers determined that 50 percent to 60 percent of the babies developed neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), which includes withdrawal symptoms and complications. These infants remained in the hospital after birth for an average of 23 days whereas a healthy drug-free newborn usually only stays in the hospital for one or two days. The findings were in the Journal of Addiction Medicine.

http://health.usnews.com/health-news/articles/2015/05/22/more-babies-born-to-mothers-addicted-to-pain-meds

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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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LIFEalerts 21 May 2015

Abortion

Israel – Jewish Pro-Life Group Saves 35,000 Babies From Abortion

USA – Johns Hopkins reverses ban on detailed pro-life display

USA – Colorado Passes Unborn Victims Bill After Baby Cut Out of Womb

USA – Ohio Bill To Be Ban Down Syndrome Abortions

Alternative Medicine

USA – FDA calls for tighter regulation of Homeopathic Medicine

Euthanasia

Colombia – Country moves closer to legal euthanasia

HIV/AIDS

No news today

Homosexuality

South Korea – Schools banned from teaching about homosexuality

USA – Supreme Court divided on homosexual marriage

USA – Prominent M.D. says ‘Gender confusion’ a fleeting mental disorder

USA – Supreme Court upholds ban on conversion therapy

IVF & Surrogacy

China – Scientists edit the genome of human embryos

UK – Mother becomes surrogate for son’s baby

New Zealand – Professionalize surrogacy say academics

Medical Ethics

USA – WHO says unreported clinical trial data “unethical”

USA – The complexities of brain death

USA – Germline tinkering sparks more controversy

USA – Drug giant appoints bioethicist to head compassionate use panel

Pedophilia

No news today

Pornography

Canada – Underground child porn trade moving toward youngest victims

South Africa – Porn channel fined R25,000 for pleasing its 284 subscribers

USA – Ontario child porn investigation triggers international operation

Prostitution &Trafficking

Ireland – Men asked to support campaign: “Prostitution – We Don’t Buy It”

Nepal – Quake survivors face threat from sex traffickers

USA – Truckers against trafficking combat prostitution at rest stops

Stem Cells & Cloning

No news today

Substance Abuse

USA – New drug called Flakka is Insanity for $5

USA – Most Americans say medical marijuana shouldn’t be used by kids

USA – Too many high employees prompts company to leave Colorado

USA – Newborns Enduring Drug Withdrawal

Abortion

Israel – Jewish Pro-Life Group Saves 35,000 Babies From Abortion

An organization called EFRAT  has helped save 35,000 children from abortion in Israel. When women in Israel register for abortions for financial reasons, they are given EFRAT’s number. After a volunteer talks with them and assesses their needs, they may receive services from the organization. Pregnant moms have diapers, formula, canned and dry food delivered to their door for a year. EFRAT has over 3,000 volunteers in Israel.

http://www.lifenews.com/2015/04/22/jewish-pro-life-group-efrat-saves-35000-babies-from-abortion/

USA – Johns Hopkins reverses ban on detailed pro-life display

Officials at Johns Hopkins University reversed a decision banning a pro-life display that had appeared for decades at the school’s Spring Fair. The display was sponsored by the student group JHU Voice for Life. It shows models of unborn fetuses in various stages of development, but was initially rejected this year on the grounds that it “contains triggering and disturbing images.” “Abortion is disturbing, that’s the reason we have such a table,” Andrew Guernsey the president of the group said. Experts on free speech say attempts to restrict pro-life arguments are very common on campuses throughout the country. So at Hopkins, for now, the pro-life group and the fetal development display have survived.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2015/04/15/johns-hopkins-reverses-ban-on-disturbing-pro-life-display/

USA – Colorado Passes Unborn Victims Bill After Mom’s Baby Cut Out of Womb

A Colorado state Senate committee approved a vote bill that would provide justice for unborn children who are killed or injured in violent crimes against their mother. The state lacks an unborn victims law to hold criminals accountable. The importance of this legislation came to light in March when Dynel Catece Lane was arrested in Longmont, Colorado after she attacked Michelle Wilkins and cut her seven month old unborn baby out of her womb. Senate president Bill Cadman is the sponsor of the unborn victims bill, Senate Bill 268, that mirrors federal law and the laws of dozens of states.

http://www.lifenews.com/2015/04/23/colorado-senate-panel-passes-unborn-victims-bill-after-moms-baby-cut-out-of-her-womb/

USA – Ohio Bill To Be Ban Down Syndrome Abortions

Seventy ninety percent of unborn babies with Down syndrome are victimized by abortions. North Dakota eventually became the first state in the United States to ban abortions on babies diagnosed with Down Syndrome. With the governor’s signature on the ban in 2013, Republican Gov. Jack Dalrymple took that state in a decidedly pro-life direction. Ohio is now considering a similar ban on abortions of babies with Down syndrome. Right to Life’s Down Syndrome Non-Discrimination Act (H.B. 135) has received its first legislative hearing. “Prohibiting discriminatory abortions is a critical step in Ohio’s efforts to sow a more empathetic and diverse culture across our state,” said Stephanie Ranade Krider, executive director of Ohio Right to Life.

http://www.lifenews.com/2015/05/05/bill-would-make-ohio-second-state-to-ban-abortions-based-on-down-syndrome-2/

Alternative Medicine

USA – FDA calls for tighter regulation of Homeopathic Medicine

Homeopathic treatments could receive greater scrutiny from the Food and Drug Administration in the near future, as their popularity has led some critics to call for tighter regulation. The makers of homeopathic medicines would have to demonstrate the safety and effectiveness of their products before they could be sold in drug stores and natural food shops. The agency last reviewed its regulation of homeopathic products in 1988 and the market has grown since that time. Then it was a multi-million dollar industry, and now it’s a multi-billion dollar industry. The FDA has seen some emerging safety concerns with these products and because of the passage of time, the growth of the industry, and these concerns, they thought it was time to take another look.

http://health.usnews.com/health-news/articles/2015/04/21/fda-weighs-tighter-regulation-of-homeopathic-medicines

USA – Untested Stimulant Found to Persist in Some Supplements

A number of supplements marketed for weight loss and improved athletic performance contain a synthetic compound that is similar to the drug amphetamine which has not been tested in people. The Food and Drug Administration has known about the presence of this drug in supplements for two years, but still has not warned consumers about the issue or acted to take the supplements off the market. The FDA “did a lot of hard work to figure out this brand-new designer stimulant was in supplements … and then failed to inform the public,” said Dr. Pieter Cohen, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and co-author a study. “It’s inexplicable and inexcusable,” Cohen said.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/some-supplements-still-contain-untested-stimulant/

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Euthanasia

Colombia – Country moves closer to legal euthanasia

Colombia’s Health Ministry has finally drawn up guidelines for voluntary euthanasia, 18 years after the country’s Supreme Court ruled that it was a constitutional right. Health Minister Alejandro Gaviría told media that only competent adults would be able to request the procedure, that only patients with a terminal illness would be eligible, and that if the patient is unconscious, relatives must present audio, video, or written proof that they wanted to be euthanized. Minors and patients with degenerative diseases will not be able to receive a lethal injection.

http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/colombia-close-to-legal-euthanasia/11411

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HIV/AIDS & STI’s

No news today

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Homosexuality

South Korea – Schools banned from teaching about homosexuality

Training materials issued to education offices in every province of South Korea state that ‘teaching about homosexuality is not permitted.’ ‘Sex education is not intended to be an opportunity for teachers to share their views on sexuality,’ it added. The document forbids using terms for non-heterosexual orientations and orders schools to remove LGBTI information from current curriculum’s. ‘It is urgent that we create sex-ed standards that move away from abstinence education, but staunch opposition from conservative groups to the initial draft made it difficult to reach a compromise,’ a Ministry of Health official said. ‘Our plan is to publish the standards that are possible right now and to work to create a social consensus moving forward,’ the official said.

http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/south-korea-schools-banned-teaching-about-homosexuality020415

USA – Supreme Court divided on homosexual marriage

The U.S. Supreme Court seems sharply divided on whether the Constitution guarantees a right to same-sex marriage. The court’s four liberal justices seem willing to vote in favour while the conservatives appear inclined to back the right of states to restrict the definition of marriage. Arguments focused on whether the Constitution’s guarantees of due process and equal protection mean states must allow homosexual couples to marry, and whether states must recognize same sex marriages performed in other states. The justices are due to deliver probably their most anticipated ruling of the year by the end of June. The arguments centered on homosexual marriage bans in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee, four of the 13 states that currently prohibit it.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/04/28/us-usa-court-gaymarriage-idUSKBN0NI20G20150428

USA – Prominent M.D. says ‘Gender confusion’ a fleeting mental disorder

According to former Johns Hopkins Hospital psychiatrist-in-chief Paul R. McHugh, M.D., a person changing the sex he or she was born with is “biologically impossible.” He went on to declare that LGBT advocates who encourage “gender confused” individuals to have “sexual reassignment surgery” are guiding them down the path to suffer from mental illness, and quite possibly, suicide. McHugh points to a Swedish study tracking “transgenders” , some for nearly three decades, stressing how the decision often celebrated in the media to go through sex changes often proves fatal because of the mental toll it takes on individuals.

http://calconservatives.com/prominent-m-d-gender-confusion-a-fleeting-mental-disorder/

USA – Supreme Court upholds ban on conversion therapy

The U.S.Supreme Court upheld a ban on homosexual conversion therapy in New Jersey for patients under 18. In the case King v. Governor of New Jersey, the court declined to hear a challenge on the ban, following a similar decision in 2014 that also upheld a similar ban in California. Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed a bill banning the practice in 2013. Supporters of the therapy attempted to present the issue as a restriction of free speech of doctors and counselors. Justices did not comment after issuing the order dismantling the challenge.

http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2015/05/04/Supreme-Court-upholds-ban-on-gay-conversion-therapy-in-New-Jersey/6981430758566/

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IVF &Surrogacy

China – Scientists edit the genome of human embryos

The aim of the scientists was to modify the gene for β-thalassaemia a potentially lethal blood disorder with a gene-editing technique known as CRISPR/Cas9. They used non-viable human embryos from IVF clinics. The idea was to eliminate the gene in one-cell embryos so they would develop into children who would not suffer the disease. They injected 86 embryos and examined them after 48 hours when they had grown to 8 cells. 71 survived and 54 were analyzed. 28 successfully spliced the target gene, but only a fraction of these contained the correct replacement gene. They also found that there were a number of “off-target” mutations somehow caused by CRISPR/Cas9.

http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/china-ignites-debate-over-genetic-engineering/11414

UK – Mother becomes surrogate for son’s baby

Kyle Casson 24, a supermarket worker was desperate for a child. A relative volunteered to be a surrogate, but pulled out for medical reasons and Kyle’s mother then stepped forward. So Kyle found a donor with the right hair and eye color and organised fertilization and implantation at an IVF clinic. This is the first time that a single man has had a baby through surrogacy in the UK. The relationships of the 3 people are complex. Anne-Marie is the mother of Kyle, and both the mother and the grandmother of Miles. Miles is both the half-brother and the son of Kyle. Kyle is both the son and the “husband” of Anne-Marie. How this will affect Miles only time will tell.

http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/british_mum_becomes_surrogate_for_sons_baby/11356

New Zealand – Professionalize Surrogacy say Academics

Academics have proposed that surrogacy become a profession like nursing or teaching and is fully integrated into the health system. Their discussion centers on decisions about whether to abort a surrogate mother’s fetus if there is a substantial abnormality. It would be unethical for commissioning parents to request abortion for a minor abnormality like a cleft palate, but in cases of severe abnormality, abortion would be the morally responsible thing to do. Payment should not be tied to the delivery of a healthy infant. Where the surrogate agrees to an abortion she should still receive full payment so that she is not penalized for doing the right thing. The intended parents are not buying a baby but a service.

http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/professionalise_surrogacy_say_new_zealand_academics/11338

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Medical Ethics

USA – WHO says unreported clinical trial data “unethical”

The World Health Organization has called for the disclosure of results from clinical trials for medical products, whatever the result. There is increasing empirical evidence that results of many clinical trials are suppressed from the public. The move aims to ensure that decisions related to the safety and efficacy of vaccines, drugs and medical devices are supported by the best available evidence. WHO has recommended that the findings of every clinical study should be submitted to a peer-reviewed journal within 12 months after data collection ends and be published in an open-access journal. “It’s unethical to conduct clinical research without reporting the results,” says immunologist Dr. Vasee Moorthy, author of a paper discussing the rationale behind the WHO’s new statement.

http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/unreported-clinical-trial-data-unethical/11403

USA – The complexities of brain death

An article in the journal Neurology by a team of neurologists and medical researchers from clinics and universities around the US, found that institutional protocols were absent or poorly understood in a significant number of low-income countries.” Doctors around the world leave different periods of time following initial neurological deterioration before they declare brain death, with reported results from less than 5 hours to more than 25 hours.“ “There were several discrepancies regarding the conduct of apnea testing”, and views about the import of ancillary testing (EEGs, Dopler ultrasounds etc.) differed significantly between countries, the authors report. In their discussion of the results of the study, the authors flagged a need for greater collaboration between medical institutions from different countries.

http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/the-complexities-of-brain-death/11407

Study: http://www.neurology.org/content/early/2015/04/08/WNL.0000000000001540.short

USA – Germline tinkering sparks more controversy

Responding to Chinese attempts to modify the human genome using new gene editing technology, director of the US National Institutes of Health, Francis S. Collins, declared the NIH would not fund such research. “The strong arguments against engaging in this activity remain. These include the serious and unquantifiable safety issues, ethical issues presented by altering the germline in a way that affects the next generation without their consent, and a current lack of compelling medical applications justifying the use of CRISPR in embryos. Critics of the controversial experiments to correct a defect in a single-cell embryo’s DNA believe the technology will be used for genetic engineering and ultimately, human enhancement and Nature and Science refused to publish the research, despite its show-stopping potential.

http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/germline-tinkering-sparks-more-controversy/11417

USA – Drug giant appoints bioethicist to head compassionate use panel

Johnson & Johnson has appointed Art Caplan, of New York University to head a company panel examining cases of desperately-ill patients who believe a drug not approved yet will help them. Compassionate use is an attempt to strike a balance between patient autonomy and informed consent. On the one hand, patients are making their own choices after being informed of the risks. On the other hand, they may be too sick or may not have the background to understand the risks As the New England Journal of Medicine says, “it may well not be in the interest of patients, however sick they may be, to have easier access to products that are ineffective and may actually worsen their clinical status.”

http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/drug-giant-appoints-bioethicist-to-head-compassionate-use-panel/11432

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Pedophilia

No news today

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Pornography

Canada – Underground child porn trade moving toward youngest victims

Data from the Canadian Centre for Child Protection shows that sexualized images of children under the age of 9, depicting explicit sexual acts, represent the largest and fastest-growing category in Canada’s underground child pornography trade, according to exclusive data obtained from the Canadian Centre for Child Protection. Their abusers are overwhelmingly family and friends. The data shows 73 per cent of the images of young victims depicted sex acts that included “bondage” and “torture.” That figure was up 12 per cent over the previous year.

It is the first time that the age category from newborn to 8 accounted for more than half of the material. Images of children in older age categories dropped or held steady.

http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2015/04/26/underground-child-porn-trade-moving-toward-youngest-victims.html

South Africa – Porn channel fined R25,000 for pleasing its 284 subscribers

Digital satellite TV broadcaster StarSat got more than just a telling off by the broadcasting watchdog for continuing to show pornographic content after a court order forbade it to. The company was fined R25,000 by the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA) for “knowingly” continuing the unauthorised service while its application to appeal the court’s decision had not yet been lodged. The company asked to be let off without a fine but this only served to reduce its fine from the BCCSA maximum penalty of R60,000. The council of the Justice Alliance of South Africa‚ which lodged the complaint with the BCCSA‚ argued that regardless of the content and protections‚ providing an unauthorised service knowingly justified more than a reprimand.

http://www.timeslive.co.za/entertainment/2015/05/07/porn-channel-fined-r25000-for-pleasing-its-284-subscribers

USA – Ontario child porn investigation triggers international operation

Dozens of suspects, including some as young as 12, have been arrested in connection with a child pornography investigation known as Project Hydra. The project began with one child victim in the York region and through investigation has grown into a significant international project with thousands of potential victims according to Inspector Tim Kelly. Police said 41 suspects have been arrested and 110 charges have been laid in North America. The charges include possession, distribution and accessing of child pornography. Seventeen of the suspects were arrested in Canada. A young person had allegedly uploaded the images. Police contacted owners of the website used by the young person and identified suspects around the world.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/new-brunswick-man-charged-after-2000-boys-allegedly-lured-online/article24283269/

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Prostitution & Trafficking

Ireland – Men asked to support campaign: “Prostitution – We Don’t Buy It”

The campaign is supported by Justice Minister Fitzgerald and her Northern counterpart David , coincides with a new Red C Poll, which shows the vast majority of Irish men do not use prostitutes .The survey finds that 88 per cent of men have never bought sex – just 8 per cent of men say they have – and 4 percent did not respond. The vast majority of people surveyed also believe that women who sell sex have been pimped or trafficked into the sex industry. The idea that prostitution is a time honored profession is a myth .There’s are lot of myths about why men buy sex and many are tied up with the idea that men are lonely

-http://www.newstalk.com/Men-on-both-sides-of-the-border-are-being-asked-to-support-a-new-campaign-called-Prostitution–We-Dont-Buy-It

Nepal – Quake survivors face threat from sex traffickers

Criminal networks are using the cover of rescue efforts to target poor rural communities in country where an estimated 15,000 girls are trafficked a year, warn NGOs. Tens of thousands of young women from regions devastated by the earthquake in Nepal are being targeted by human traffickers supplying a network of brothels across south Asia. Some are taken overseas, to South Korea and as far as South Africa. But the majority end up in Indian brothels where tens of thousands are working in appalling conditions. “This is the time when the brokers go in the name of relief to kidnap or lure women. People here are desperate now and will take any chance.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/may/05/nepal-quake-survivors-face-threat-from-human-traffickers-supplying-sex-trade

USA – Truckers against trafficking combat prostitution at rest stops

When truck drivers break at a rest stop they’re often confronted by young girls working in the sex trade. The FBI set up a series of countrywide stings at truck stops where they found a number of pimps dispensing their prostitutes. To educate drivers on how to protect these girls, and potentially liberate them from being trafficked, Truckers Against Trafficking has launched a campaign .The program trains drivers how to identify a prostitute and encourages them to contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline if they come into contact with trafficked workers. Truckers are the eyes and ears of nation’s highways and can make a substantial difference in this fight.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/05/truckers-against-sex-trafficking_/9.h

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Stem Cells & Cloning

No news today

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Substance Abuse

USA – New drug called Flakka is Insanity for $5

James Hall, an epidemiologist at the Center for Applied Research on Substance Use and Health Disparities at Nova Southeastern University in Florida said, “Even though addicted, users tell us they are literally afraid of this drug,” Flakka is a synthetic stimulant with a reputation for its nasty side effects, including a tendency to give people enormous rage and strength, along with intense hallucinations. The street name for the chemical alpha-PVP is Gravel. The body overheats and users become delusional and violent. Flakka was banned by the DEA in 2014. Police are generally called, but it takes up to six officers to restrain an individual. 10 people have died from overdoses in the last few months.

http://www.livescience.com/50502-what-is-flakka.html

USA – Most Americans say medical marijuana shouldn’t be used by kids

Marijuana and children don’t mix, even if its claimed to be used for medical purposes, most Americans say. While nearly two-thirds of people agree that their state should allow so-called ‘medical marijuana’ for adults, only half as many — about a third — say it should be allowed for children, according to the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/04/150420084545.htm?utm_source=feedburner

USA – Too many high employees prompts company to leave Colorado

Marc Brawner, the owner of the company Little Spider Creations, says since Colorado legalized marijuana, too many employees were coming in high. He was firing too many people, and made the decision to move to South Carolina. Brawner says you could definitely see the difference in employees work quality when they were high, and he says they were just not as productive and had an “it’s good enough” attitude. The Colorado-based employment service has calls from employers asking for advice on what to do if an employee comes into work high, adding to the social and economical cost due to marijuana legalization.

http://www.9news.com/story/news/local/2015/04/23/little-spider-creations-marijuana-employees/26241529/

USA – Newborns Enduring Drug Withdrawal

infants admitted to neonatal intensive care units (NICU) to treat symptoms of drug withdrawal have nearly quadrupled since 2004. Neonatal abstinence syndrome, a drug-withdrawal syndrome that occurs after exposure to prescription narcotic painkillers during pregnancy affected only 7 babies for every 1,000 admitted to a NICU in 2004. By 2013, that number had jumped to 27 infants out of 1,000 babies in the NICU. The Baylor University Medical Center found the percentage of days spent in a NICU attributed to drug withdrawal went from 0.6{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} to 4{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} over that decade. Eight neonatal centers reported that more than 20{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of NICU days were spent caring for these infants in 2013. The findings were published online in the New England Journal of Medicine.

http://health.usnews.com/health-news/articles/2015/04/26/more-us-newborns-enduring-drug-withdrawal-study

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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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LIFEalerts 30 April 2015

Abortion USA – Louisiana Bill Will Ban Sex-Selection Abortions
Alternative Medicine South Africa – Traditional healers in a fix over new law
Euthanasia USA – Connecticut Defeats Legislation to Legalize Assisted Suicide
HIV/AIDS No news today
Homosexuality USA – Agencies allowed to refuse homosexual adoptions UK – Force schools to endorse homosexual relationships USA – Former North Carolina magistrates sue over same-sex marriages USA – White House opens first gender-neutral restroom
IVF & Surrogacy India – Law Student Beaten up after refusing to be Surrogate Mother China – Government bans surrogacy UK – First country to approve law to allow babies from three people
Medical Ethics Australia – Informed consent dilemma: Jehovah witness and child die USA – Bioethics commission report on neuroscience and law
Pedophilia No news today
Pornography UK – Children Fear Addiction to Internet Pornography UK – ChildLine campaign confronts issue of young people and porn UK – Charity steps up removal of child sex abuse image
Prostitution &Trafficking Netherlands – Prostitutes protest closure of brothel ‘windows’ USA – Colorado Springs police try public shaming to fight prostitution USA – Police use high tech tactics to stop prostitution Germany – Girls as Goods: Forced Prostitution in Berlin
Stem Cells & Cloning No news today
Substance Abuse USA – The Terrible Truth about Cannabis France – Parliament approves experiment of safe injection rooms USA – Cannabis remains a Schedule 1 drug federal judge rules

Abortion

USA – Louisiana Bill Will Ban Sex-Selection Abortions Research has shown that sex-selection abortion has made its way from Asia to the United States and pro-lifers are moving forward with legislation to ban it. Rep. Lenar Whitney has filed H.B. 701, the Louisiana Pre-Natal Non-Discrimination Act (PRENDA) and it will be considered soon before the House Health and Welfare Committee. Rep. Whitney said: “Louisiana, as a leader in protecting human life, has a responsibility through this legislation to ensure that this form of discrimination does not take place within our borders. I look forward to passing this legislation and placing it on Gov. Jindal’s desk for his signature.” http://www.lifenews.com/2015/04/15/louisiana-bill-would-ban-sex-selection-abortions-targeting-girl-babies/

Alternative Medicine

South Africa – Traditional healers in a fix over new law Traditional healers will have to be registered with a healers’ council by May 1 or face a fine or imprisonment, according to the Traditional Health Practitioners’ Act. But they are going to have a hard time complying – the council appears not to exist. The Times could not find its address, website, phone number or names of those involved in it. The Department of Health has failed to respond to questions about the council’s existence sent to it last week. Phepsile Maseko, head of the Traditional Healers’ Organisation, which claims 69000 members said the council was “not functional”. A council would enforce accountability among healers because patients could lodge complaints about them that could be investigated, said Maseko. http://www.timeslive.co.za/thetimes/2015/04/09/traditional-healers-in-a-fix-over-new-law

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Euthanasia

USA – Connecticut Defeats Legislation to Legalize Assisted Suicide Connecticut will not follow Oregon, Washington and Vermont as the fourth state to legalize assisted suicide. Backers of the bill said they would try again next year in an attempt to get the state legislature to sign off on such a bill. Again a coalition of pro-life groups, disability rights advocates and religious and medical organizations, as has happened in other states, was crucial to stopping the measure. http://www.lifenews.com/2015/04/10/connecticut-defeats-legislation-to-make-it-4th-state-to-legalize-assisted-suicide/

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HIV/AIDS & STI’s

No news today

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Homosexuality

USA – Agencies allowed to refuse homosexual adoptions The Florida House voted for a “conscience protection” bill allowing private adoption agencies to refuse placement of children with same-sex couples. The 75-38 vote sending the proposal to the state Senate came after more than 90 minutes of often impassioned debate. The bill does not specifically mention homosexuals. It permits agencies with written codes of ethics to refuse adoptions sought by parents whose lifestyles are at odds with the agency. http://www.tallahassee.com/story/news/2015/04/09/house-allows-agencies-block-gay-adoptions/25533447/ UK – Force schools to endorse homosexual relationships Schools should be required to give children a positive portrayal of same-sex relationships, according to a major teachers’ union. The National Union of Teachers (NUT) backed the promotion of LGBT History Month and an ‘LGBT inclusive’ curriculum at its annual conference in Harrogate this weekend. However, The Christian Institute said it would force Christian teachers “to have to choose between their faith and their job”. Chris McGovern, of the Campaign for Real Education, said: “The rights of groups who oppose gay marriage on sincere religious grounds should be respected as much as those who support homosexual marriage. http://www.christian.org.uk/news/force-schools-to-endorse-gay-relationships-says-nut/ USA – Former North Carolina magistrates sue over same-sex marriages Two former North Carolina magistrates who stepped down from their posts after a ruling that allowed same-sex marriages in the state have filed a lawsuit that says they should not have to perform same-sex ceremonies. Former Swain County magistrate Gilbert Breedlove and former Graham County magistrate Thomas Holland are listed as plaintiffs in the lawsuit that was filed in Superior Court. “Defendants forced Plaintiffs to choose between taking an act that violates their sincerely held religious beliefs or being criminally prosecuted,” says the lawsuit. It says the men resigned under duress and should be reinstated. They’re seeking injunctive relief, damages, and attorneys’ fees. http://abc11.com/news/former-north-carolina-magistrates-sue-over-same-sex-marriages/644674 USA – White House opens first gender-neutral restroom The White House has opened its first gender-neutral restroom in what is seen as a symbolic step by President Barack Obama to protect the rights of the LGBT community in the workplace. In Florida, the “Bathroom Surveillance Bill” would ban transgender people from using bathrooms, locker rooms and other sex-segregated facilities except those designated for their gender at birth. Transgender advocates have attacked the laws as discriminatory and accused legislators in some states of “attacking the dignity and humanity of transgender and gender non-conforming people”. “It is heartening that … at least the White House is still moving in the direction of dignity and common sense,” said Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality. http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/04/09/us-gay-rights-whitehouse-idUSKBN0N02CA20150409

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IVF &Surrogacy

India – Law Student Beaten up after refusing to be Surrogate Mother A 22-year-old was allegedly sexually harassed and beaten by a guest house owner and his accomplices for refusing to be a surrogate and five persons, including workers at a private hospital, were arrested. The victim was sent for medical examination and her statement will be recorded before a magistrate. A case has been registered with charges of rape, abducting in order to murder, and assault or criminal force to a woman with intent to outrage her modesty. Surrogacy if allowed needs to be governed by strict policy to avoid women being taken advantage of and such incidents avoided. http://zeenews.india.com/news/uttar-pradesh/meerut-shocker-law-student-raped-beaten-for-rejecting-surrogacy_1543902.html China – Government bans surrogacySurrogacy upsets the natural order of childbirth and poses health risks,” a government statement said. The practice contradicts the government’s population policy and a health commission spokesman later said that regulators will ban any businesses related to the practice. This is the strongest signal about surrogate motherhood that the government has ever sent. China’s surrogates usually come from rural areas and are desperate for cash. They earn anywhere between 10 000 to 100 000 yuan for carrying a baby. The demand for surrogate mothers has risen along with infertility as a 2012 study showed that about 12{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of women in the country were infertile. The problem with underground surrogacy is the women involved are desperate for money, so they conceal health problems. http://www.marketwatch.com/story/china-cracks-down-on-surrogate-births-even-as-infertility-rises-2015-04-14 UK – First country to approve law to allow babies from three people This procedure will prevent babies inheriting deadly genetic diseases. Scientist explained that mitochondria are the tiny compartments inside nearly every cell of the body that convert food into useable energy and a genetic defect in it means that the body has insufficient energy to keep the heart beating or the brain functioning. This new technique will use a modified version of IVF to combine the healthy mitochondria of a donor woman with DNA of the 2 parents and will result in babies with 0.1 percent of their DNA from the second woman, is a permanent change that would echo down through the generations. The first baby with the new technique could be born as early as 2016. http://www.medindia.net/news/uk-approves-three-person-babies-with-help-of-modified-ivf-version-146924-1.htm

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Medical Ethics

Australia – Informed consent dilemma: Jehovah witness and child die

In a case in the Internal Medicine Journal, doctors at Prince of Wales Hospital in Sydney report that a 28-year-old woman with acute promyelocytic leukemia refused all blood products even though she knew that her decision might lead to her death. Her foetus died in utero and she died several days later. However, the doctors note that: “maternal autonomy was respected – which reflects broad legal and ethical consensus that competent adults may refuse any form of medical intervention – even where that intervention is lifesaving… Circumstances where foetal and maternal autonomy conflict, or where foetal beneficence conflicts with maternal autonomy, create challenges…  as more foetal-specific treatments become available, conflict between the best interests of mother and foetus will increase.”

http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/informed-consent-dilemma-jehovah-witness-and-child-die/11394

USA – Bioethics commission report on neuroscience and law The US Presidential Commission into the Study of Bioethical Issues has released its report Grey Matters: Topics at the intersection of neuroscience, ethics, and society, which examines three key areas in which neuroscience intersects with ethics. Perhaps the most topical is the role of neuroscience in the courtroom. The report catalogues the various contributions that neuroscience could potentially make to our understanding of human action and also examines ethical concerns such as the potential for misinterpretation and overstatement of the implications of neuroscientific research. The authors of the report call for educational tools to help judges and lawyers grasp the rudiments of neuroscience and cautions against the perennial temptation to overstate the implications of scientific research. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/us-bioethics-commission-releases-report-on-neuroscience-and-law/11395

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Pedophilia

No news today

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Pornography

UK – Children Fear Addiction to Internet Pornography The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children interviewed 700 children for a study, and found 12{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of respondents admitted to making an explicit video. One in 10 children aged 12 or 13 say they have made a sexually-explicit video or been part of one. Almost one in 10 (9{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}) are worried that they had become addicted to pornography. One in five children (18{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}) said they had seen pornographic images that had shocked. The founder of ChildLine, Dame Esther Rantzen, indicated that the research pointed to a need for better education in schools regarding the difference between real life relationships and the fantasy world of porn because young people are turning to the internet to learn about sex and relationships. http://news.sky.com/story/1455776/children-fear-addiction-to-internet-pornography UK – ChildLine campaign confronts issue of young people and porn Sue Minto, Head of ChildLine service explains why the issue of porn is being addressed with latest campaign. As a charity that fights for every child they have launched the ChildLine FAPZ campaign (the Fight Against Porn Zombies). They received 18,000 visits every month about exposure to porn on their discussion forums from children that are worried they are addicted to porn. Animations are used as a hook to direct young people to a range of information and advice on the ChildLine website. Since they launched their campaign on 13 March, their videos have attracted more than 140,000 viewers. At least 10 per cent of the viewers went on to look for further helpful information about pornography on the ChildLine website. http://www.nspcc.org.uk/fighting-for-childhood/news-opinion/sue-minto-we-cannot-shy-away-talking-about-porn/ UK – Charity steps up removal of child sex abuse image The UK-based Internet Watch Foundation said it assisted in the removal of 31,266 sexually explicit web pages depicting youngsters in 2014, compared with 13,182 in 2013. The charity is taking a proactive approach, seeking out child abuse imagery rather than just acting on reports. The UK’s four biggest internet service providers committed an extra £1m to fund its efforts. Fewer than 0.3{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of the web pages detected were hosted in the UK, 56{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} were hosted in North America, 41{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} were hosted in Europe, including Russia. “There is a lot of research being done on automatically detecting the images themselves and what keywords to look for in related text, according to Prof Alan Woodward, who advises Europol on the issue. http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-32288650

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Prostitution & Trafficking

Netherlands – Prostitutes protest closure of brothel ‘windows’ Hundreds of sex workers and supporters protested in Amsterdam against plans to reinvigorate the city’s famed red light district by closing some of the windows where sex workers sit to draw clients. The famously open-minded city has proposed shutting down some of the brothels in the district to help in the fight against human trafficking and other crimes. About 115 of the 500 red and pink-lit windows have already been closed in recent years. About 7 000 sex workers ply their trade in Amsterdam and some 75{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of them come from poorer countries, particularly in eastern Europe. http://www.news24.com/World/News/Sex-workers-protest-closure-of-brothel-windows-20150410 USA – Colorado Springs police try public shaming to fight prostitution Colorado Springs police have a new way to combat prostitution: public shaming. The police department have started announcing the names of johns, or people convicted of soliciting for prostitution. Many johns were featured, along with their mug shots in a news release to media outlets, which also was posted on the police department’s Facebook page. Some agencies publicized johns on billboards or public access television, and in Corpus Christi, Texas, convicted johns had to put bumper stickers on their cars saying “Stop Prostitution”. Some departments announced arrests while other conducted social media campaigns after johns were convicted http://gazette.com/search USA – Police use high tech tactics to stop prostitution Police in Lubbock are using the internet to catch people participating in prostitution. It’s just like patrolling neighborhoods except they patrol internet. Police put advertisements offering sex for money and once they have a buyer, they set up a meeting. Are they 110{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} sure when they read whatever it is on the internet that they are soliciting prostitution? Absolutely. But how do they know they have the right person when they make the arrest? There’s no doubt when they show up that’s who came to meet them because of conversations, time, place, date or what they’re driving. Police are hoping this sting will lead to catching bigger criminals, child predators or drug traffickers. http://www.kcbd.com/story/4825084/police-use-high-tech-tactics-to-stop-prostitution Germany – Girls as Goods: Forced Prostitution in Berlin A Television documentary is showing how young women see their way to Germany as the only way to secure a better life for themselves and their families. Girls growing up in poverty can be easy game for traffickers. Young girls from Romania and Bulgaria, some of them underage, are forced to have sex with up to 15 men a day, often without protection. Forced prostitution is a business that earns pimps and unscrupulous businessmen millions every year at the expense of enslaved girls and women who’re often desperately looking for a way out. Many of them don’t have passports and don’t speak German. In particular, young girls from Eastern Europe are increasingly falling prey to unscrupulous traffickers. http://www.dw.de/girls-as-goods-forced-prostitution-in-berlin/a-18324810

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Stem Cells & Cloning

No news today

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Substance Abuse

USA – The Terrible Truth about Cannabis According to a 20 year study by Professor Wayne Hall, drugs advisor to the World Health Organisation: “If cannabis is not addictive then neither is heroin or alcohol; it’s harder to get people who are dependent on cannabis through withdrawal than heroin; we just don’t know how to do it. Those trying to stop cannabis suffer anxiety, insomnia, appetite disturbance and depression. Even after treatment, less than half can stay off the drug for six months.” 1 in 6 teenagers who smoke the drug become dependent and it doubles the risk of developing psychotic disorders including schizophrenia. Smoking doubles risk of having a car crash and those smoking cannabis are more likely to use harder drugs. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2783111/The-terrible-truth-cannabis-Expert-s-devastating-20-year-study-finally-demolishes-claims-smoking-pot-harmless.html France – Parliament approves experiment of safe injection rooms The French Parliament has adopted the experimentation of safe injection rooms. After more than four hours of lively debate between the parties, Article 9 of the bill on the modernization of the healthcare system was adopted by 50 votes against 24. These facilities, which have already been recognized in other countries, aim to reach out to drug addicts who usually adopt risky behaviors such as injecting in unhealthy conditions, often in the street. This begs the question, should we be condoning addictive behavior and saying it’s ok to abuse drugs as long as it is done in a controlled environment, or rather promote a healthy drug free society where addiction is treated rather than nurtured. http://idpc.net/alerts/2015/04/french-parliament-approves-experimentation-of-safe-injection-rooms USA – Cannabis remains a Schedule 1 drug federal judge rules A federal judge in California declined to remove marijuana from the list of most dangerous drugs. U.S. District Judge Kimberly Mueller said “This is not the court and this is not the time” to overturn federal law, and pointed out that courts are not designed to act as a maker of public policy. This decision lies with the FDA and scientists. The call to reclassify marijuana came out of a 2011 criminal complaint over pot plants illegally grown in California. Attorneys for the defendants had sought to dismiss the charges on the grounds that pot should not be listed among Schedule 1 drug that has no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. http://www.dailynews.com/general-news/20150415/marijuana-remains-a-schedule-1-drug-just-like-heroin-and-lsd-judge-rules

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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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LIFEalerts 14 April 2015

LIFEalerts 14 April 2015

 
Abortion USA – Women in Arizona, Arkansas must be told abortion can be “reversed”
Alternative Medicine No news today
Euthanasia Belgium – Many patients euthanized for psychiatric reasons
HIV/AIDS No news today
Homosexuality Canada – Leading psychiatrist slams homosexual therapy ban USA – An honest letter by a woman who was raised by lesbians USA – Fox, CNN and MSNBC Agree: ‘We’re for homosexual Rights France – Keep ban on homosexuals giving blood
IVF & Surrogacy USA – Acupuncture and Chinese medicine in IVF India – New rules for foreign nationals visiting India for surrogacy USA – Infertile Couples may Have Kids from IVF
Medical Ethics UK – Woman wins right to refuse life-saving amputation USA – The bioethics of Googling France – Parliament divided over deep sleep bill USA – New genetic editing technology raises ethical questions
Pedophilia No news today
Pornography UK – Studies show young people wish they were better informed about sex Denmark – Porn belongs in the classroom, or does it? New Zealand – New sexual integrity sex education for schools USA – Connection with Sex Trafficking and pornography
Prostitution &Trafficking Ireland – Testimony of a former prostitute UK- Human traffickers may face life sentence under slavery bill
Stem Cells & Cloning No news today
Substance Abuse USA – Saturation of methadone/suboxone centers increases crime USA – Marijuana Extract CBD for Children With Epilepsy Is Questioned USA – Man shoots himself after eating marijuana candies Scotland – Methadone programme ‘is a black hole’, says drug expert
 

Abortion

USA – Women in Arizona, Arkansas must be told abortion can be ‘reversed’

New laws in Arkansas and Arizona require doctors to inform women that drug-induced abortions can be “reversed” mid-procedure. The Arkansas law took effect after Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed it. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey signed his state’s bill into law earlier this month. “No medical reason exists to deny mothers the opportunity to choose life by sharing with them all their options,” Charmaine Yoest, president of Americans United for Life, said in a statement. The laws are part of a wave of state legislation aimed at reducing access to abortion rather than banning it outright.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2015/04/07/arizona-arkansas-tell-women-drug-induced-abortion-can-be-reversed/

Alternative Medicine

USA – What is Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Nearly 40{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of adults report using Complementary Alternative Medicine (CAM), often combining them with mainstream medical treatment. This is called “integrative medicine.” Alternative medicine changes constantly as treatments undergo testing. They’re classified by the National Centre for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) as follows; whole medical systems, mind-body medicine, biologically based practices, manipulative and body-based practices and energy medicine but it’s possible that some therapies overlap. Some CAM practitioners make exaggerated claims about curing diseases, and some ask you to forgo treatment from your conventional doctor. For these reasons, many doctors are cautious about recommending these therapies. It is also often too expensive to do comprehensive studies on these treatments.

www.mayoclinic.org/…ternative-medicine/art-20045267

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Euthanasia

Belgium – Many patients euthanized for psychiatric reasons

At least 50 patients are euthanized each year for purely psychiatric reasons, according to the leading figure in Belgian euthanasia, Dr Wim Distelmans. This is a small group – 50 to 60 patients – but it is not a negligible number: 2 to 3 percent of the 1,924 people who were euthanized last year. They feel that they are no longer comfortable in this world: They are in their 20s or 30s; they have been followed medically since they were children; they have a history of institutionalization. Their parents were originally radically against euthanasia, but eventually they agreed with it because nothing more could be done. Traditionally euthanasia was not used for psychiatric reasons, just another example of the slippery slope in Belgium.

http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/50-or-60-belgian-patients-euthanased-annually-for-psychiatric-reasons/11371

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HIV/AIDS & STI’s

No news today

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Homosexuality

Canada – Leading psychiatrist slams homosexual therapy ban

A highly-respected psychotherapist says the Ontario New Democrats’ bill banning treatment of unwanted same-sex attractions for teenagers is “very ill-advised.” Dr. Joseph Berger, the past president of the Ontario district of the American Psychiatric Association, former assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Toronto and for 27 years an examiner of prospective psychiatrists, said that such therapy was “often successful” and that he had helped several clients with homosexual feelings to live productive, heterosexual lives. But “no competent therapist,” he added, would attempt to treat a teenager or adult who did not want to change his or her sexual orientation. He had been successful with several clients himself. “One of them is now a grandfather”, he said.

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/leading-toronto-psychiatrist-slams-extremists-and-fanatics-who-want-to-ban

USA – An honest letter by a woman who was raised by lesbians

Heather Barwick:Growing up, and even into my 20s, I supported and advocated for same-sex marriages. It’s only with some time and distance from my childhood that I’m able to reflect on my experiences and recognize the long-term consequences that same-sex parenting had on me. And it’s only now, as I watch my children loving and being loved by their father each day, that I can see the wisdom in traditional marriage and parenting. I loved my mom’s partner, but another mom could never have replaced the father I lost. It is a strange and confusing thing to walk around with this deep-down unquenchable ache for a father, for a man, in a community that says that men are unnecessary.

http://thefederalist.com/2015/03/17/dear-gay-community-your-kids-are-hurting/

USA – Fox, CNN and MSNBC Agree: ‘We’re for homosexual Rights’

The “Code of Ethics” of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) says that the media should “avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived.” But on the issue of homosexual rights, the media, from the left to the right, have taken a side. This includes the Fox News Channel, which many conservatives had hoped would stay true to its word of being “Fair & Balanced,” on the issue of homosexual rights. The Fox News Channel is joining CBS News and CNN as “silver” sponsors of the upcoming National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA) 20th annual New York “Headlines & Headliners” fundraising event. Gold sponsors include ABC News and Comcast Universal, owner of NBC and MSNBC.

http://illinoisfamily.org/media/fox-cnn-and-msnbc-agree-were-for-gay-rights/#.VRMe9Cbk1MM.facebook

France – Keep ban on homosexuals giving blood

France’s National Consultative Ethics Committee (CCNE) has advised the government to maintain its current ban on homosexuals giving blood. The committee said in a statement that further research was needed before considering lifting the ban, adding that changing the law now “could expose people to medical risks which should be taken into consideration from an ethical point of view”. “Giving blood is not a right. What matters most is the health and the protection of the receiver,” said Jean-Claude Ameisen, president of the CCNE.

http://www.thelocal.fr/20150401/france-should-keep-ban-on-gay-men-giving-blood

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IVF &Surrogacy

USA – Acupuncture and Chinese medicine in IVF

USA is seeing a growing trend to incorporate acupuncture and Chinese medicine into IVF. Studies show acupuncture before embryo transfer may increase pregnancy rate. In one study of more than 1,400 cycles, 3 acupuncture sessions before and after embryo transfer improved the fertilization rate, especially in women over 35 who used fresh embryo transfer and in women 35 – 39 who used frozen embryo transfer. Another study of 258 women showed that needle acupuncture boosted the pregnancy rate by 10{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}. Another study showed among 83 women, who either got or didn’t get acupuncture, that the technique made no difference in whether they got pregnant.

http://www.webmd.com/infertility-and-reproduction/features/new-trends-in-infertility-treatment?page=4

India – New rules for foreign nationals visiting India for surrogacy Only couples who have been married for at least two years will be allowed to visit India for the purpose of surrogacy. The appropriate visa category for foreign nationals coming to India for surrogacy will be ‘medical visa’. This is to ensure in such cases that the surrogate mother is not cheated. A letter from the embassy of the foreign country in India or the foreign ministry of the country should be enclosed with the visa application stating clearly that the country recognises surrogacy and the child to be born to the couple through the Indian surrogate mother will be permitted entry into their country as a biological child. An agreement between the couple and surrogate involved shall also be required. http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/strict-rules-for-commissioning-surrogacy-union-minister-kiren-rijiju-747684 USA – Infertile Couples may Have Kids from IVF New research shows that infertile couples may finally be able to have children through IVF after scientists achieved a key breakthrough in making sperm and eggs from skin cells, by converting them into the “primordial germ cells” normally found within the testes and ovaries. These develop into mature sperm and eggs. This could also lead to a better understanding of the “epigenetic” changes within human cells that contribute to ageing and cancer because of the insights it will give scientists about how adult human skin cells can be reprogrammed into sperm and eggs. This was the first step in demonstrating that scientists could make primordial germ cells without putting them into patients to verify they were genuine. http://www.medindia.net/news/infertile-couples-may-have-kids-from-ivf-145273-1.htm#ixzz3UdqkGSZ2

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Medical Ethics

UK – Woman wins right to refuse life-saving amputation A dramatic example of informed consent in medicine comes from Britain. A 62-year-old woman who has suffered from paranoid schizophrenia for most of her life has refused to allow doctors to amputate a gangrenous leg. Despite her psychological disability, the woman was living a reasonably independent life and held down a responsible job. Mr Justice Peter Jackson said “Anyone capable of making decisions has an absolute right to accept or refuse medical treatment, regardless of the wisdom or consequences of the decision. The decision does not have to be justified to anyone. In the absence of consent, any invasion of the body will be a criminal assault. The fact that the intervention is well-meaning or therapeutic makes no difference. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/uk_woman_wins_right_to_refuse_life_saving_amputation/11365 USA – The bioethics of Googling Is it ethical to Google your patients? A recent article in the Journal of General Internal Medicine examines this question, with Penn State College of Medicine researchers contending that professional medical societies must update or amend their Internet guidelines to address the ethics behind it. “Many physicians would agree that seeking information about their patients via Google seems to be an invasion of privacy, violating trust between patients and their healthcare providers,” explain the researchers. “However, it may be viewed as ethically valid, and even warranted under certain circumstances.” The researchers label the lack of current guidelines the “google blind-spot”, and suggest that medical associations have an ethical imperative to address the issue. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/the-bioethics-of-googling/11375 France – Parliament divided over deep sleep bill France’s parliament is debating a ‘deep sleep’ bill which will give patients with ‘hours or days to live’ the right to be placed under general unaesthetic until the moment they die. Sedation would be titrated so there would be no chance of the patient regaining consciousness. Pro-life groups have criticised the proposed legislation, claiming it authorizes a passive form of euthanasia. In an open letter published in Le Monde, leaders from Christianity, Islam and Judaism, described the bill a threat to human dignity “We are launching a joint appeal, anxious and pressing, that this possible new law will not in any way violate this basic principle: all human life must be respected particularly at the moment when most fragile”. http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/france_divided_over_deep_sleep_bill/11367

USA – New genetic editing technology raises ethical questions

A group of leading biologists have called for a halt to the use of a powerful new gene editing technique. Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) is the name for a natural defense system bacteria use to fend off harmful infections by recognizing specific patterns of DNA from foreign invaders, and decapitating them. Research groups led by Dr Zhang of Massachusetts of Institute of Technology and Dr Church of Harvard University have successfully modified this basic mechanism and turned it into a powerful tool that can cut human genomic DNA at any desired location. However, due to the fear of unforeseen disastrous outcomes prominent scientists in the field have recently called for ethical guidelines for doing such modifications.

http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/crispr-technology-brings-precise-genetic-editing-and-raises-ethical-questio/11387

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Pedophilia

No news today

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Pornography

UK – Studies show young people wish they were better informed about sex

Researchers investigating how young people learn about sex found a gap between the type of sex education young people want and what they receive. Many young people want to receive more information about sex and relationships from their parents, according to researchers. Two studies, published in BMJ Open, utilized data from the third National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Natsal-3). In particular, they reported wanting more information on “sexual feelings, emotions and relationships,” in addition to STIs. The fact that many young people told us they wanted to get more information from a parent shows that parents also have an important role to play. A study published earlier this year demonstrated the risks of obtaining information through “other sources”.

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/290528.php

Denmark – Porn belongs in the classroom, or does it?

Leading sexologist Prof Christian Graugaard, has called for pornography to be shown in the classroom, claiming that starting a debate about the industry could help teenagers become conscientious and critical consumers who are able to tell the difference between pornography and the reality of sexual relationships. Graugaard’s proposal is not simply following in the long tradition of sexually permissive Scandinavia. It is, he insists, a sensible way of teaching teenagers that pornography is nothing like real sex. His proposal is to critically discuss pornography with 8th and 9th graders as part of a sensible didactic strategy, carried out by trained teachers.

http://www.theguardian.com/culture/2015/mar/16/pornography-belongs-classroom-professor-denmark

New Zealand – New sexual integrity sex education for schools

A unique, realistic new sex education programme for schools that deals explicitly with developing positive, ‘whole person’ sexuality while addressing issues such as pornography, consent, rape and teen pregnancy will be introduced to New Zealand by its Australian author, sexologist Liz Walker. According to Ms Walker these programs were developed to create awareness with young people that “sexual integrity is the foundation of meaningful and authentic connections. It empowers young people to gain the necessary foundational skills to develop healthy, respectful and equal relationships.”

http://auckland.scoop.co.nz/2015/02/explicit-new-sex-education-programme-for-high-schools-coming/

USA – Connection with Sex Trafficking and pornography The supply for sex trafficking is fuelled by the demand for pornography.¹ In 2011, a couple from Missouri was charged with forcing a girl who was mentally handicapped to produce porn. To get her to comply, they beat, whipped, suffocated, electrocuted, drowned, mutilated, and choked her. One of the photos of the young woman ended up being used on the cover of a major porn publication. In that same year, two Miami men were charged with spending five years luring women, through advertising modeling roles, into a human trafficking trap. When women showed up, the two men drugged, kidnapped, raped, and videotaped their acts of violence and then sold these videos to pornography stores and businesses throughout the country. http://chognews.org/2015/02/16/pornography-a-personal-connection-with-sex-trafficking/

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Prostitution & Trafficking

Ireland – Testimony of a former prostitute A survivor of prostitution describes being repeatedly raped, of being urinated on having objects inserted inside her, and how in the end prostitution brought her to her “knees”. Mia de Faoite, told how she got drawn into prostitution on Dublin’s Burlington Road, to pay for heroin, from 2005 to 2010. “In prostitution a woman ceases to be seen as a human being in the eyes of others and becomes a trapped mind that lives in a body that no longer belongs to her. I looked at the man on top of me. I looked straight into his eyes. I thought, ‘You can’t see me, can’t hear me’…He looked straight through me.” She exited with the help of a social worker. http://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/in-prostitution-a-woman-ceases-to-be-seen-as-a-human-being-in-the-eyes-of-others-1.2139162 UK- Human traffickers may face life sentence under slavery bill This new law aims to protect those at risk of being enslaved. Before traffickers were sentenced 14 years but this law concerns not enough being done to stop slavery. This momentous piece of law, which has been shaped and reformed and improved so much by all parts of Britain gives protection to the victims who need it and ensures that the perpetrators cannot practice their crimes anymore. The Home Affairs Office estimates there were up to 13,000 victims of slavery in Britain in 2013, most of them from Albania, Nigeria, Vietnam and Romania. http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2015/mar/27/human-traffickers-face-life-sentence-britain-slavery-bill/

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Stem Cells & Cloning

No news today

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Substance Abuse

USA – Saturation of methadone/suboxone centers increases crime In 2014, the Central Baltimore Partnership put together a task force to study the high concentration of opioid centers and other social services providers in the north central area of the city of Baltimore.  In their findings, Robert Mara, representative of the Harwood Community Association, testified that in the Old Goucher section of the Charles Village area, where they have two methadone and one suboxone clinic, crime was almost five times the rate of 3 other sectors that did not have these opioid dispensaries. Only 20{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of those arrestees lived within that area. Less than 18{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of patients seeking treatment actually live in that area. What’s more, only 20{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} of those arrestees lived within that sector. http://baltimorepostexaminer.com/opioid-treatment-research-shows-saturation-treatment-centers-increases-crime/2015/02/25 USA – Marijuana Extract CBD for Children With Epilepsy Is Questioned A dozen states in the past year, have legalized the substance cannabidiol, or CBD (a cannabis extract), despite a lack of hard evidence of its effectiveness in controlling seizures. While being hailed as a ‘wonder drug’ by some, research results show that some children after taking CBD, didn’t respond or even worsened. “We don’t have enough data at this point to recommend marijuana products for families,” said Kevin Chapman, a neurologist and co-author of a study. “We have clear and well-established mechanisms to determine if therapies are safe and effective,” said Dr. Amy Brooks-Kayal, president of the American Epilepsy Society. “To have legislatures bypass that process before they have that information poses risks to people who choose to use that therapy.” http://www.cbsnews.com/news/man-fatally-shoots-himself-after-eating-5-marijuana-candies/ USA – Man shoots himself after eating marijuana candies The family of a Tulsa man who shot himself in Keystone, Colorado is blaming his suicide on his ingestion of edible marijuana candies. “It was completely a reaction to the drugs,” Kim Goodman said about her son Luke’s suicide. Caleb Fowler said his cousin became “jittery” then incoherent and talking nonsensically after taking them. Fowler says Goodman became “pretty weird and relatively incoherent after taking 5 times the recommended dose. It was almost like something else was speaking through him.” He then shot himself. Luke Goodman’s death is now the third death in Colorado linked to marijuana edibles. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/two-denver-deaths-tied-to-recreational-marijuana-use/ Scotland – Methadone programme ‘is a black hole’, says drug expert Referring to the methadone programme in Scotland, Dr Neil McKeganey, from the Centre for Drug Misuse Research, said “it is literally a black hole into which people are disappearing” and its “out of control” Data obtained by BBC Scotland showed pharmacists were paid £17.8m for handling nearly half a million prescriptions of methadone in 2014. Figures released by the NHS in 2012 revealed that methadone-implicated deaths increased dramatically in cases where the individual had been prescribed the drug for more than a year. Recent figures from the National Records of Scotland also reveal methadone was implicated in nearly the same number of deaths as heroin in 2013. http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-31943109

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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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LIFEalerts 18 march 2015

Abortion UK – Parliament Rejects Major Abortion Amendment USA – Study finds maternal health statistics best where abortion restricted UK – Research: Abortion increases risk of mental health problems Alternative Medicine UK – Once again experts find no evidence homeopathy works Euthanasia USA – Oregon’s slippery slope another degree downhill HIV/AIDS No news today Homosexuality USA – Conversion therapy bill clears Oklahoma House committee Italy – Top court: ‘No right to same-sex marriage’ USA – Research: Homosexuals Diagnosed With Cancer More Often USA – Health Warnings of Ocular Syphilis Cases in Homosexuals IVF & Surrogacy USA – The facts about preimplantation genetic diagnosis Thailand – Government Bans Commercial Surrogacy Australia – Convicted Sex Offender Allowed To Keep Surrogate Baby UK – “My brother is the father of my son” Medical Ethics USA – The bioethics of precision medicine Australia – More research needed on the Pill-brain nexus Liberia – Ebola threat fades in West Africa Iraq – Doctors under the black flag of the Islamic State Pedophilia USA – A prospective examination of the abused-abuser theory Pornography

South Africa – Research reveals disturbing findings on youth and porn

USA – Google will ban pornography from its Blogger site

USA – Parent to child talks can curtail pornography UK – Children produce porn themselves Prostitution &Trafficking South Africa – South Africa vows to fight human trafficking South Africa – Hawks rescue seven women from brothel USA – Indiana billboards hope to reduce human trafficking Stem Cells & Cloning No news today Substance Abuse USA – Washington DC legalizes Cannabis use and possession USA – Substance Abuse among Pregnant Teens USA – New Drug Trends in Teens – Pharm Parties USA – Energy drinks in Elementary schools

Abortion

UK – Parliament Rejects Major Abortion Amendment Sex-selective abortion is a controversial subject that has seen heated debate over recent weeks in the UK parliament. The abortion law needs to be amended to take into consideration a rise in gender-based terminations. The proposal was firmly rejected with 291 to 201 voting to clarify in law that abortions decided on the grounds of gender are illegal. http://www.marieclaire.co.uk/news/548554/mps-rejected-a-major-abortion-amendment-last-night.html USA – Study finds maternal health statistics best where abortion is restricted A 10-year study, conducted by the MELISA Institute found that in 32 Mexican states, maternal deaths were 23{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} lower and deaths from complications after abortions were 47{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} lower in the states with restrictive laws. http://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=24188 UK – Research: Abortion increases risk of mental health problems One in 10 of all mental health problems in the UK is a result of an abortion. Tory MP Nadine Dorries, backed by Labor’s Frank Field, has put down an amendment to a Health Bill which requires women seeking abortion to see an independent counsellor first. A study by Professor Coleman of 22 separate projects which analyzed the experiences of 877,000 women of whom 163,831 had had an abortion, showed a 34{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} greater chance of anxiety disorders, 37{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} higher possibility of depression, more than double risk of alcohol abuse, a 3 times greater risk of cannabis use, and 155{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} greater risk of trying to commit suicide. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/8734378/Abortion-increases-risk-of-mental-health-problems-new-research-finds.html

Alternative Medicine

UK – Once again experts find no evidence homeopathy works

There’s no reliable evidence that health conditions can be effectively treated with homeopathic medicine, according to a statement by the National Health and Medicine Research Council (NHMRC). The statement of the NHMRC’s draft paper was put out for public consultation and there had been a decline in the use of homeopathy in the UK since that report. This lack of scientific research into the use of homeopathic medicine is not unusual and is mirrored across most alternative treatments said Paul Komesaroff, professor of medicine from Monash University and medical practitioner.

http://theconversation.com/health-experts-find-no-evidence-homeopathy-works-again-38651

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Euthanasia

USA – Oregon’s slippery slope another degree downhill According to the Oregon Public Health Division the reasons for 2013 physician-assisted suicides were: Loss of autonomy (93.0{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}), decreasing ability to participate in activities that made life enjoyable (88.7{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}), loss of dignity (73.2{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}), and fear of being a burden on family and friends (49.3{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}). Fear of pain was a concern in only (28.2{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}) of cases. There were 105 assisted suicide deaths in 2014 – up from 73 in 2013, a 44{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} increase and 155 prescriptions for suicide in 2014 – up from 105, a 48{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} increase. Now Oregon assisted suicide Bill HB 3337 is being debated to expand the definition of people with 6 months to live to 12 months. So citizen jack and Jill came tumbling down and Oregon followed after. public.health.oregon.gov/ProviderPartnerResources/EvaluationResearch/DeathwithDignityAct/Documents/year17.pdf

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HIV/AIDS & STI’s

No news today

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Homosexuality

USA – Conversion therapy bill clears Oklahoma House committee

House Bill 1598, which now goes to the full House, says the state will not prohibit or restrict counseling intended to remove attraction to those of their own gender. It also seeks to protect parents who want such counseling for their children. Nothing prevents this type of counseling now. “All across the nation, bills are being introduced to ban parents from having the right to take their children for counseling if they are struggling with same-sex attractions,” says Rep. Sally Kern. Kern also said the debate comes down to those who believe homosexual tendencies are present at birth and those who believe these feelings are subject to change.

http://newsok.com/kerns-gay-conversion-therapy-bill-clears-oklahoma-house-committee/article/5396127

Italy – Top court: ‘No right to same-sex marriage’

Italy’s highest appeals court has rejected same-sex marriage stating that there is nothing in the constitution to require the Government to redefine marriage. The court, known as the Cassation Court, did however state that homosexual couples should have “the right to a ‘protective’ law that would ensure same-sex couples have the same rights as unmarried Italian couples”. Italy’s constitution defines the family as “a natural society founded on marriage.” There is strong public opinion against homosexual marriage and the courts have rejected previous attempts to give legal recognition to same-sex couples.

http://www.christian.org.uk/news/italys-top-court-no-right-to-same-sex-marriage/

USA – Research: Homosexuals Diagnosed With Cancer More Often

Homosexuals get cancer almost twice as often as heterosexual men, and lesbian and bisexual women who are cancer survivors reported being less healthy than heterosexual women who had the disease. The greater prevalence of cancer among gay men may be caused by an excess risk of anal cancer, and may also reflect the higher rate of HIV infection, which is linked to certain tumors, according to the report in the journal Cancer. “We want to really inform physicians who treat homosexuals, lesbian and bisexual populations to focus on cancer screening,” said the study’s lead author, Ulrike Boehmer, an associate professor at Boston University’s School for Public Health.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2011-05-09/gay-men-diagnosed-with-cancer-at-higher-rates-researchers-say

USA – Health Warnings of Ocular Syphilis Cases in Homosexuals

Since December 2014, as many as 15 cases of ocular syphilis, a sexually transmitted disease which has led to blindness in several of the individuals, have been reported in men who have sex with men on the West Coast. Confirmed cases in Washington State, San Francisco as well as two suspected cases found in Los Angeles that are currently under investigation are raising alarm among public health officials, community care providers and prevention specialists. Ocular syphilis is typically a complication of primary or secondary syphilis and some strains of Treponema pallidum, the bacterium that causes syphilis, may be more likely to cause eye or central-nervous-system disease.

http://www.aidshealth.org/#/archives/21073

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IVF &Surrogacy

USA – The facts about preimplantation genetic diagnosis

Preimplantation genetic diagnosis begins with IVF; eggs are harvested and fertilized. Over three days embryos will divide into eight cells. PGD involves removing one or two cells from the embryo. The cells are then evaluated to determine if the inheritance of a problematic gene is present in the embryo, sex of the child may also be chosen. Once embryos free of genetic problems have been identified, the embryo will be placed back in the uterus and implantation will be attempted. Other embryos that are free of genetic problems are either frozen or destroyed while embryos with the problematic gene are destroyed. Life begins at conception therefore the destruction of embryos can’t be condoned.

http://americanpregnancy.org/infertility/preimplantation-genetic-diagnosis/ Thailand – Government Bans Commercial Surrogacy Thailand’s legislative assembly has closed loopholes in the country’s public health laws that allowed commercial surrogacy. The law bans all foreign and same-sex couples from seeking surrogacy services. Only married heterosexuals with a Thai partner can apply. There are no fees allowed and the surrogates must be Thai and over 25. They must also be relatives of the parents. No advertising or promotions are allowed and all surrogate agencies and unregistered clinics will be closed. Last year around 150 Thai surrogates carrying babies for Australians were expected to give birth by the end of 2015. Australian officials have negotiated a transition period to enable children and their parents to depart Thailand. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/feb/20/thailand-bans-commercial-surrogacy Australia – Convicted Sex Offender Allowed To Keep Surrogate Baby Western Australian couple, Wendy and David Farnell, were accused of leaving a twin boy, known as Baby Gammy, with his surrogate mother after they discovered he had Down syndrome. The Baby Gammy case made headlines in August 2014 when Thai surrogate Pattaramon Chanbua alleged the couple abandoned Gammy and returned to Australia with his healthy twin sister, Pipah. Farnell, a convicted child sex offender, retained custody of Pipah late last year after an investigation by the WA Department for Child Protection. Through support of charities and the public, Baby Gammy, Pattaramon and her family have a new home in Thailand. He is also receiving the medical treatment he needs. Pattaramon also applied for Australian citizenship for Gammy and it was granted. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/feb/20/thailand-bans-commercial-surrogacy

UK – “My brother is the father of my son”

Mary Portas, a lesbian, asked her brother two years ago to donate sperm to impregnate her spouse. Melanie Rickey, said that with her brother’s help, she was able to have a genetic relationship with her son. Horatio calls Ms Portas ‘Mama’ and Ms Rickey ‘Mummy’ while her brother is referred to as ‘Daddy’. IVF specialist Simon Fishel said “It would have been more unusual ten years ago. Now that kind of situation pops up once a month. If they can go for a family donor, that will be preferable and then it would be to a known donor. There’s a very close relationship. You know where the genes are coming from. They are trying to keep it in the family.”

http://www.bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/11331

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Medical Ethics

USA – The bioethics of precision medicine President Obama has promised to invest $215 million in a ‘precision medicine’ initiative which will give clinicians tools to identify the specific molecular genetic profile underlying a patient’s condition to offer more effective, targeted treatments. But De Paul University bioethicist Craig Klugeman has raised questions about privacy controls on genetic information: “Privacy is the main bioethical issue raised by the framers of this initiative. Given the record of companies and institutions with maintaining online privacy, I’m not sure we should yet be confident that privacy could be assured. And the Duke Center for Personalized and Precision Medicine points out that studies of publically-available sequence data have shown that patients in research studies can be identified by their genome sequences. http://www.bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/11334 Australia – More research needed on the Pill-brain nexus One request universally spurned by doctors is for steroids as performance-enhancing drugs as they damage the liver and heart, among other problems. Then why haven’t the neurological effects of the steroid-based contraceptive pill on women been studied as thoroughly? Three Austrian researchers argue in the journal Frontiers in Neuroscience that it is time to study what the pill does to the brain. “Changes in brain structure and chemistry cause changes in cognition, emotion and personality and consequently in observable behaviors. If a majority of women use hormonal contraception, such changes could cause a shift in society dynamics. Since the pill is the major tool for population control, it is time to find out what it does to our brain. http://www.bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/11348 Liberia – Ebola threat fades in West Africa Fears of a public health catastrophe are fading in West Africa after the last known Ebola patient in Liberia was discharged from hospital. No new cases have been reported in Liberia for 13 days, although there could be some in remote areas. Authorities are still tracking about 100 people who may have been exposed to the virus. According to the World Health Organization, there have been over 23,900 reported cases of Ebola in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, with over 9,800 reported deaths. Liberia has suffered the highest number of fatalities, 4,117. About 860 health workers have been infected in these three countries, with nearly 500 deaths. http://www.bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/11351 Iraq – Doctors under the black flag of the Islamic State Looking for dramatic examples of dilemmas in medical ethics? Try being a doctor in territory ruled by the Islamic State. One report said ten doctors had been executed for refusing to treat ISIS soldiers because they had forced regular patients out to make room for their own. There are allegations that ISIS is trafficking in organs and that a dozen doctors had been executed for refusing to cooperate. Bioethicist Craig Klugman points out that “The tough question is whether a physician is required to sacrifice his or her life in order to not commit an unethical act. If the physician’s family or self is threatened with death for not participating, should that ultimate price be paid?”  http://www.bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/11352

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Pedophilia

USA – A Prospective Examination of the abused-abuser theory A study by Dr Cathy Wisdom from John Jay College of Criminal Justice empirically examined the commonly held belief that sexually abused children grow up to become sexual offenders and specialize in sex crimes. 908 cases of physical and sexual abuse and neglect aged 0 to 11 years were matched with 667 children without such histories. Both groups were followed up into adulthood. The study concluded that the widespread belief that sexually abused children are uniquely at risk to become sex offenders was not supported by prospective empirical evidence. http://archpedi.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleID=2086458

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Pornography

South Africa – Research reveals disturbing findings on youth and porn

The Youth Research Unit (YRU) of the Bureau of Market Research (BMR) within the College

of Economic Management Sciences at the University of South Africa recently conducted a ground breaking Internet safety survey among 1 500 secondary school learners in Gauteng. The YRU research study highlights that a majority (97.7{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}) of learners who participated in the study have access to the Internet and 95.7{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} are registered social network services. Approximately a third of learners (31.4{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}) encountered people who tried to get them to talk online about sex against their will. Also, almost a quarter (22.8{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}) was asked online to perform sexual acts. Furthermore, the BMR study shows that only a third (31.8{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}) of learners who experience online sexual grooming report the incident.

www.unisa.ac.za/contents/…/BMR_2015_ONLINE{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4}20SAFETY.pdf

USA – Google will ban pornography from its Blogger site

Google announced to people using their bloggers site that as from March 23, they will no longer be able to publicly share images and videos that are sexually explicit or show graphic nudity. Sites that continue to host pornography after March 23 will be made “private, which means the content will be allowed to remain up, but it will only be accessible to the site’s owner and the people who the user directly shared the blog with. The site will allow nudity if the content offers a public benefit, such as artistic, educational, documentary, or scientific contexts. The announcement is part of a larger campaign by Google to cut down on the amount of porn served by its network.

http://money.cnn.com/2015/02/24/technology/google-porn-blogger/

USA – Parent to child talks can curtail pornography Talking with adolescents can influence self-esteem and curtail pornography viewing in the future. College of Media and Communication assistant professors Eric Rasmussen and Rebecca Ortiz, and doctoral student Shawna White recently completed research published online and soon to be included in the Journal of Children and Media. They discovered the more parents talked with kids about pornography as teenagers, the less those kids viewed pornography after leaving home for college. Talking to them changes attitudes about pornography and encourages them not to look at pornography. Research indicates that starting a dialogue during adolescence can influence their perception of pornography later, as adults. http://today.ttu.edu/2015/01/research-shows-early-parent-child-discussions-on-pornography-effective/#sthash.X5x4KWdC.dpuf http://today.ttu.edu/2015/01/research-shows-early-parent-child-discussions-on-pornography-effective/ UK – Children produce porn themselves A new research study concludes there is an increasing trend for distribution of sexually explicit content produced by younger children using laptop webcams. The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) and Microsoft participated in the study, examining 3,803 images and videos of “youth-produced sexual content” depicting young people, and uploaded by the children or covertly recorded by a third party. Children producing and distributing child pornography is a profoundly disturbing trend, according to Dawn Hawkins, Executive Director, National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCSE). She continued that we are in the midst of a public health crisis on pornography. Every person must work to solve this crisis. We know that the long-term consequences to our children involved with pornography are monumental. https://www.iwf.org.uk/ http://outbreaknewstoday.com/disturbing-trend-in-youth-produced-child-porn-reported-study-72838/

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Prostitution & Trafficking

South Africa – South Africa vows to fight human trafficking “We have long grappled with human trafficking,” said Connie Nxumalo, deputy director-general of the Ministry of Social Development. She said South Africa had legislation banning human trafficking, but needed to implement it. In Africa and the Middle East between 2010 and 2012, sexual exploitation accounted for 53 percent according to the UN’s 2014 Global Report on Trafficking in Persons. An advocate of the Department of Home Affairs said the department had provided temporary permits to legalize their stay in the country.

http://www.worldbulletin.net/world/155454/s-africa-vows-to-fight-human-trafficking

South Africa – Hawks rescue seven women from brothel Several young women have been ‘rescued’ after a raid and two Ugandans have been arrested. Police became aware from a whistleblower who claimed to know of girls who were detained in a flat as prostitutes. The Hawks also found drugs and pornographic materials. The girls were taken to a place of safety where they will receive counselling and treatment. and the suspects will appear in court on charges of dealing in drugs, the Sexual Offences Act and human trafficking. Hawks Major General Mthandazo said they are aware that brothels and prostitution can lead to organized crime and they are sending a message to the traffickers that they will not get away.(103 words)

http://www.timeslive.co.za/local/2015/03/04/hawks-rescue-seven-women-from-brothel

USA – Indiana billboards hope to reduce human trafficking New billboards aimed at reducing human trafficking are on display across Indiana. They are the result of a collaborative effort between Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller, advertisers and anti-human trafficking groups. They say the goal is to spread awareness of the crime, not just to locals but to visitors traveling to Indiana. There need to be a recognition that this is not voluntary activity on the part of the girls and that primarily they have been abused and trafficked. The ads include statistics and one says that human trafficking was reported in 50 states last year. http://wishtv.com/2015/03/11/indiana-billboards-hope-to-reduce-human-trafficking/

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Stem Cells & Cloning

No news today

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Substance Abuse

USA – Washington DC legalizes Cannabis use and possession Citizens of Washington DC are now able to smoke cannabis recreationally and grow a few plants. The limit for the amount of cannabis you are able to posses is 56 grams. Buying and selling is still illegal which begs the question; where do you get your cannabis from in the first place? People from other states will obviously bring in cannabis and distribute it illegally. Washington is not a state but a federal district which means congressional approval is needed for legalization. Due to a loophole according to Mayor Muriel Bowser she hasn’t done anything illegal. Congressmen warned that by legalizing cannabis she would be “Doing so in knowing and willful violation of the law.” http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-31634827 USA – Substance Abuse among Pregnant Teens The largest study on substance abuse during pregnancy shows 3 out of 5 teens have used drugs or alcohol during pregnancy. This study shows teens aren’t listening to the messages about the damage you can cause to the unborn baby through drug abuse. What surprised researchers the most was that pregnant teens engaged in substance abuse at a rate much higher than what is seen in teens who are not pregnant. Saint Louis University’s School of Social Work professor and co-author of the study Michael G. Vaughn said, “We found the odds of substance use were roughly 50{01b0879e117dd7326006b2e84bcaac7e8fa1509c5c67baf2c9eb498fe06caff4} lower among pregnant teens reporting consistent parental support as well as those who expressed strong positive feelings about going to school.” http://www.valiantrecovery.com/substance-abuse-among-pregnant-teens-is-growing-leading-to-alarming-trend.html USA – The new drug trends among teens is ‘Pharm Parties’ Brittany Gaydosh, 14, went to a party, drank some alcohol then went to a bag filled with pills and took four ecstasy pills and a Xanax. There were also Percocets, Valium and more in the bag. Gaydosh has gone to a lot of these parties called ‘Pharm parties’ which have become popular amongst teens in the USA. Teens are taking painkillers and highly addictive opioids such as OxyContin and Vicodin confirms Dr. Levounis, director of the Addiction Institute of New York in Manhattan. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found more people die from prescription painkillers than from heroin and cocaine overdoses combined. “Addiction to prescription opioids has become the most important problem we face,” Levounis said. http://www.livescience.com USA – Energy drinks in Elementary schools There is a new epidemic involving elementary school students who are drinking highly caffeinated energy drinks to get high. These drinks are extremely dangerous to kids’ health. ”Energy drinks are gateway for elementary school kids,” said Mike Gimbel, a national substance abuse educator. Gimbel said he has also observed a growing fascination amongst students with caffeinated gel strips that you place on the tongue. “One strip is equal to a cup of coffee, but kids are putting five or six in their mouth at once,” he said. Taking just four strips can lead to overdose. The over consumption of caffeine in young children can cause seizures, strokes and even sudden death according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. http://www.livescience.com

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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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