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Lifealerts 14 July 2010
UK - Abortion 'triples breast cancer risk': Fourth study finds
abortion linked to disease
Australia - Liberal MP defends abortion law change
Spain - New Abortion on Demand Law Takes Effect amid
Controversy
USA - Life over death

No news today
UK - GP's admission may lead to fresh charges
Holland - Euthanasia cases in Holland rise by 13 per cent in a
year
Scotland - Opponents deal a blow to MacDonald's assisted
suicide bill
Switzerland - The penniless founder of Dignitas 'now a multi-
millionaire'
UK - Doctor escapes trial over assisted suicide death

No news today
USA - Scientist believe they found a cure for AIDS/HIV
USA - Clinicians Attempt to Prenatally Prevent Homosexuality
No news today
USA - Fertility clinic gives patient wrong embryos
No news today
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UK - Sex domain gets official approval
No news today
Canada - Stem cell therapy may provide new approach to fight
infection
Japan - Stem Cell Treatment Heals Spinal Cord Injuries in Mice

New Zealand - Ex smoker presents his damaged heart to
committee
Singapore - Singapore's policy keeps drugs at bay
Brunei - Prevention Still the Best Defence Against Drug Abuse
USA - Prescription drug overdose cases skyrocket at
emergency departments

No news today
Ghana - MOH to integrate traditional medicine in health
delivery
South Africa - Ubhejane is not registered – TAC
Zimbabwe - Mum 'kills son, sells ear for $US20'
Uganda - Uganda registers witchdoctors

Abortion
UK - Abortion 'triples breast cancer risk': Fourth study finds terminations linked to disease
An abortion can triple a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer in later life researchers say. A
team of scientists made the claim while carrying out research into how breastfeeding can protect
women from developing the killer disease. While concluding that breastfeeding offered significant
protection from cancer, they also noted that the highest reported risk factor in developing the
disease was abortion. Other factors included the onset of the menopause and smoking. The
findings, published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, are the latest research to show a link
between abortion and breast cancer. It is the fourth epidemiological study to report such a link in
the past 14 months, with research in China, Turkey and the U.S. showing similar conclusions.
There has been an 80 per cent increase in the rate of breast cancer since 1971, when in the
wake of the Abortion Act, the number of abortions rose from 18,000 to nearly 200,000 a year.

Australia - Liberal MP Peter Abetz defends abortion law change
State Liberal MP Peter Abetz says many women who seek an abortion are being told their unborn
child is just a blob of tissue. Abetz has defended his decision to promote changes to Western
Australia’s abortion laws, including a requirement that women view an ultrasound of their unborn
child before going ahead with an abortion. "It still leaves women with the choice. But it will be a
better informed choice. They will have seen with their own eyes that it is deceitful to refer to their
unborn child as a blob of tissue”. Many women – and most MPs in 1998 – accepted that a foetus
below 20 weeks was just a blob of tissue. The foetus is just part of a woman’s body – no different
to an appendix or any other tissue. That is what women are still being told in abortion clinics
today. Strange, because even the pro-choice people tell us that those women, who have an
abortion, think very seriously about it before they have one. They don’t do it lightly, we are told.
But hang on a minute. “I have never heard of a woman going through much turmoil or having to
weigh it up carefully whether to have a mole removed, or have her appendix removed. Deep
down everyone has always known it is not just a lump of tissue: It is her unborn baby. “It is no
wonder that most abortion clinics refuse to allow women to see their ultrasound before having
their abortion.”


Spain - New Abortion on Demand Law Takes Effect amid Controversy
A new abortion law which will allow the procedure to be provided on demand during the first 14
weeks of pregnancy came into effect in Spain amid controversy about its constitutionality. Various
regional and provincial governments have implied that they will not fully comply with the law
unless it is confirmed by the nation's Constitutional Tribunal. The President of Murcia, Ramon
Luis Valcarcel, said that "for the moment there are no reasons to comply" with the law… We will
continue taking the juridical path… And when all of that is resolved, we will see what is done. For
the moment, there is no reason to comply with the law.” The more conservative of Spain's two
major parties, are seeking to overturn the law before the Constitutional Tribunal. The previous
law, which permitted abortion in cases of danger to the "psychological health" of the mother in
accordance with a 1985 ruling, was exploited by abortion clinics to rationalize the approval of over
a million abortions in the years following. The government of Navarra has said that it will make
referrals to other regions when abortions are requested, but will not perform them in the region
itself.

USA - Life over death
Every day, parents hear dire news hidden in clinical terms like "incompatible with life," "no quality
of life," and "termination of pregnancy." Despite the uncertainty and fear, these mothers often
have no regrets that they chose life for their children, no matter how brief. Here are stories of five
who continued their pregnancies despite medical advice to the contrary.
- The Illions’ baby was diagnosed with hydrocephalus—water on the brain. Doctors said he
would be a vegetable. Although he lags behind in areas like speech and potty training, he is otherwise a normal, healthy 5-year old. - Mary Mabeus was 18 weeks pregnant when her baby was diagnosed with Mosaic Trisomy 13, an extra chromosome in some cells. Although the boy died at 19 months his mother said, “We lived a lifetime in his 19 and half months… He was the most perfect little soul that I'll ever know in my lifetime." - JoAnne Cascia's baby Gabriel was diagnosed at 20 weeks of gestation with Thanatophoric Skeletal Dysplasia, a lethal form of dwarfism that affects the ribs, making them too small for lung development. He lived for 90 minutes after birth. Everyone was feeling blessed that they even had an hour and a half with him. - Rafie’s unborn child was diagnosed with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome: Only the left side of the heart was forming. Now 8 years old, Rafie’s girl lives her life "full speed ahead." - Liz Ledoux learned of her baby's medical condition at 26 weeks, when doctors told her that baby Cynthia had Exencephaly—her brain was forming outside of her skull. Cynthia was born and died after living for 90 minutes. Ledoux said, "She was beautiful… the smile, and the perfect little fingers, and the perfect little toes… Was it difficult? Absolutely. But I don't regret it. I had—in my eyes—one of the most beautiful babies in my arms for an hour and a half."
Cloning

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Euthanasia
Euthanasia - 20100625
UK - GP's admission may lead to fresh charges
Dr Howard Martin, a former GP, admitted to having helped dozens of his patients die by giving
them high doses of powerful painkillers. Even though Dr Martin admitted that it was murder,
Professor Sikora, an oncologist, believes that Howard Martin “just used old-fashioned pain-control
practices”. Whereas Professor Robert Forrest, a toxicologist, urged that the investigation be
reopened “on account of Dr Martin's own admissions and, in particular, his motivation and intent
to hasten death”. “Meanwhile, patient safety campaigners are calling for tighter checks for doctors
and nurses giving patients powerful painkillers.”

Holland - Euthanasia cases in Holland rise by 13 per cent in a year
In 2009, euthanasia killed 2636 Dutch people. Dutch medics have been accused of killing some
patients who could not consent properly. “Phyllis Bowman, the executive officer ,
said: ‘I am sure that the increase in numbers of people opting for euthanasia is largely a result of
inadequate pain control.’” According to the British campaign group, Dignity in Dying, “euthanasia
is open to abuse”. Furthermore, Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer, “insisted that
assisted suicide remained a crime punishable by up to 14 years in jail.”

Scotland - Opponents deal a blow to MacDonald's assisted suicide bill
Margo MacDonald's bid to introduce assisted suicide in Scotland has been dealt a blow. It was
found by the Scottish Parliament's Information Centre (Spice) that the vast majority of people
actually opposed this legislation. Pro-life campaigners who protested against the bill put forward
by Ms MacDonald”, welcomed this strong opposition.

Switzerland - The penniless founder of Dignitas 'now a multi-millionaire'
The man who founded Dignitas 12 years ago, Ludwig Minelli, was virtually penniless at that time,
but by 2007, the firm was “worth more than £1million”. In 2005, Soraya Wernli left Dignitas
convinced that the firm was just “a money-making machine”. A nurse that had worked there for
two and a half years “quit her job” because “she was so disturbed by its activities”. Furthermore,
“urns of ashes were found in Lake Zurich” and are “thought to be the remains of people who died
at Dignitas”.

UK - Doctor escapes trial over assisted suicide death
Director of Public Prosecutions, Mr. Starmer, announced that Dr Irwin, who admitted that he
helped a terminally ill man “commit suicide at the Dignitas facility in Switzerland”, “wouldn’t stand
trial because it was ‘highly unlikely’ that a court would jail a 79-year-old man”. This decision has
alarmed critics who fear that assisted suicide is being legalised by the back door. In addition,
according to Andrea Williams, Director of the Christian Legal Centre, “you don’t decide not to
prosecute just because someone’s old, if they’ve committed a crime”.


Gambling

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HIV/AIDS & STIs
USA - Scientist believe they found a cure for AIDS/HIV
Experts have discovered a way to avoid HIV infection, a fact that would prevent further spread of
the AIDS pandemic, according to a study published in the journal ‘Nature Biotechnology’.
Currently, there are over 33 million people in the world infected with HIV/AIDS who, so far, have
not found treatment to cure it. Experts from the University of Southern California explained in the
report how they managed to create cells in mice immune to the virus causing the disease. They
reported that if these cells could be developed in humans, the pathogen would be controlled. The
CCR5 receptor is a surface of white blood cells that HIV uses to infect cells. "The challenge now
is to apply the same method in humans, which would open the way to generate virus resistant
proteins that can produce HIV -resistant cells in all the counterparts it infects" , said Paula
Cannon, director of The US Labor Department.



Homosexuality
USA - Clinicians Attempt to Prenatally Prevent Homosexuality
Alice Dreger, professor of clinical medical humanities and bioethics at Northwestern University
Feinberg School of Medicine and collaborator Ellen Feder, associate professor and acting chair of
philosophy and religion at American University, have brought to national attention the first
systematic approach to prenatally preventing homosexuality and bisexuality. The "treatment" is
targeted at one particular population of girls. The girls and women in question have congenital
adrenal hyperplasia (CAH), a serious endocrine disruption that sometimes results in ambiguous
genitalia. Research has shown that females born with CAH have increased rates of tomboyism
and lesbianism. Most clinicians who use prenatal dexamethasone for CAH seek to prevent the
development of ambiguous genitalia. But the New York-based group of clinical researchers
whose work is traced by Dreger and Feder suggest that prenatal dexamethasone can also be
used in this population to prevent the "abnormality" of homosexuality, as well as the "abnormal"
interest these girls tend to have in traditionally masculine careers and hobbies.



Human Trafficking

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In Vitro Fertilization
USA - Fertility clinic gives patient wrong embryos

A woman who sought treatment from a prominent Connecticut fertility clinic received embryos
belonging to a woman with the same last name. The blunder occurred in April 2009 at the Center
for Advanced Reproductive Services at the University of Connecticut Health Center. The lab
technician apparently checked only the last name on the container of embryos and removed the
wrong ones from frozen storage. The woman who received the embryos was informed of the
error within an hour and used a “morning after pill” to terminate the pregnancy. The embryos
belonged to a woman who had been out of treatment since 2006 but had continued to store them
at the centre.


Organ Trafficking

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Pedophilia

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Pornography
UK - Sex domain gets official approval

Official approval has been given for the creation of an internet domain dedicated to pornography.
The board of net overseer Icann (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) gave
approval for the creation of the .xxx domain at its conference in Brussels. ICM Registry the
company which is backing the domain, said .xxx would make it easier to filter out inappropriate
content. The decision ends a long campaign by ICM Registry to win approval. Stuart Lawley,
chairman of ICM, welcomed the decision and said it was "great news for those that wish to
consume, or avoid, adult content". ICM has said it expected the first .xxx domains to go live in
early 2011. It said it had more than 110,000 pre-reservations for .xxx domains. Initial approval for
.xxx was given in 2005 but this was rescinded following protests from politically conservative
groups. In February 2010, a panel of US judges said Icann erred in denying the approval of the
domain. Icann accepted that ruling and began a public consultation process on whether the
domain should be approved.


Prostitution

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Stem Cells
Canada - Stem cell therapy may provide new approach to fight infection
Researchers at University Health Network in Toronto have discovered that the use of bone
marrow stem cells may be able to help treat sepsis, a deadly condition that can occur when an
infection spreads throughout the body. They used mesenchymal stem cells to test these cells in
mice with sepsis. Bacteria from the gut were released into the abdomen, resulting in severe
infection, inflammation and organ damage throughout the body. Six hours after inducing the
infection, approximately half the mice were given an intravenous injection of mesenchymal stem
cells. After five days, 50% of the mice that received stem cells were alive and had healthier lungs
and other organs, lower levels of bacteria and a more moderate level of inflammation.
Mesenchymal stem cells may provide a promising approach for treating organ damage caused by
severe infection and we are looking to test this in patients in the near future, said Dr. Stewart.

Japan - Stem Cell Treatment Heals Spinal Cord Injuries in Mice
A team of researchers from several Japanese universities announced they have been successful
in repairing the damaged spinal cords of mice using induced pluripotent stem cells. The treatment
though complex and lengthy, holds out hope to those who have suffered spinal cord injuries
causing varying degrees of paralysis. The safe use of iPS cells has long been a goal of
researchers worldwide, as these types of stem cells are sourced from adult cells and not human
embryos. They harvested 500,000 of the cells that had not formed tumors and injected them into
the damaged spinal cord of a mouse 9 days after its injury. The subject mouse, which had lost all
mobility in its hind legs, soon recovered the ability to use its legs.


Substance Abuse
New Zealand - Ex smoker presents his damaged heart to committee
Mohi Waihi took his damaged heart to the Maori Affairs committee, which were holding an inquiry
into the New Zealand tobacco industry. Waihi told the committee that he started smoking at 19
and had five heart attacks before getting a transplant from a 40-year-old female donor in 2005. "I
am just so glad I am here," he said. About 40% of New Zealand's 500 000 indigenous Maoris
smoke -double the rate of the total adult population - and 22% of Maori deaths are attributed to
smoking. Executives of tobacco giant Philip Morris International told the committee they accepted
that smoking caused disease and death, but that there is a consumer demand for it and that the
product is currently regulated and legally sold and bought.

Singapore - Singapore's policy keeps drugs at bay
Singapore pursues a comprehensive national strategy to combat the scourge of drugs,
comprising a high-profile public education campaign, treatment and rehabilitation of drug
offenders, as well as strict laws and stiff penalties against those involved in the drug trade. But
Singapore's tough stand against those involved in the drug trade, including capital punishment,
have sometimes come under criticism from people like Mr Patrick Gallahue and Mr Rick Lines of
the International Harm Reduction Association (IHRA). But Singapore has one of the lowest
prevalence of drug abuse worldwide. Over two decades, the number of drug abusers arrested
each year has declined by two-thirds, from over 6,000 in the early '90s to about 2,000 last year.
Fewer than two in 10 abusers released from prison or drug rehabilitation centres relapse within
two years. “We do not have traffickers pushing drugs openly in the streets, nor do we need to run
needle exchange centres” writes Michael Teo, Singapore's High Commissioner.

Brunei - Prevention Still the Best Defence Against Drug Abuse
Drug prevention, as opposed to harm minimisation techniques, is still the best line of attack
against drug abuse in the Sultanate, said the president of the National Anti-Drug Association of
Brunei (Basmida). Freshly returned from the second World Forum against Drugs in Sweden,
Datin Ali said that Basmida practices a "zero-tolerance" policy towards drug abuse. 'Warm
reduction techniques are no substitute for drug prevention programmes," said the Basmida
president. Citing examples from Australia and the Netherlands, Datin said that liberal drug
policies can lead to rampant drug abuse within communities and do not actually eliminate or
reduce drug use. "Politicians in these countries advocate harm minimisation such as providing
needle exchange for heroin users and coffee shops for cannabis smokers but if this continues
then drug abuse will continue," she said.

USA - Prescription drug overdose cases skyrocket at emergency departments
An FDA proposal could require opioid manufacturers to do more to educate physicians and
patients on the potential dangers of their products. With new data showing that prescription drug
misuse now rivals illicit drug use as a cause of emergency visits, the FDA in June released a
long-awaited proposal aimed at curbing recreational use of opioid analgesics. Fatal poisonings
from opioid overdoses tripled to nearly 14,000 deaths from 1999 to 2006, the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention reported in 2009. Emergency visits related to misuse of prescription or
over-the-counter drugs doubled from 500,000 in 2004 to 1 million in 2008, said the report. As
physicians have moved to treat acute cancer and chronic pain more aggressively using opioids,
the opportunity for recreational use of the drugs has grown, said Susan E. Foster, at the National
Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University. Physicians and other health
professionals should do more to tell patients, especially parents, about the dangers of letting their
opioids get into others' hands. "You, as a parent, may safeguard your gun or your alcohol from
your kids in order to protect them, yet you just leave your prescription drugs out there for the
taking."


Surrogacy

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Traditional Healers
Ghana - MOH to integrate traditional medicine in health delivery
The Ministry of Health is establishing a unit to integrate traditional medicine into the mainstream
health delivery system. The General Secretary of the Association said a Traditional Medicine
Division would be created to facilitate the program. He was speaking at a two-day seminar to
improve the efficiency of members of the Ghana Faith Healers and Traditional Birth Attendants.

South Africa - Ubhejane is not registered - TAC
On 22 June 2010 it was incorrectly reported in Business Report that Ubhejane was registered
with the Medicines Control Council (MCC). Ubhejane has not been registered as a medicine in
South Africa. There is no evidence that it is of any benefit to people with HIV. Mr Gwala claims
that Ubhejane will increase one's CD4 count and decrease one's viral load. Gwala is
consequently selling Ubhejane as an antiviral medicine. All antivirals must be registered by the
MCC before they are marketed in South Africa. Section 14(1) of the Medicines Act prohibits the
sale of medicines that are subject to registration and are not registered. In addition, section 29(b)
makes it clear that "any person who . contravenes or fails to comply with the provisions of
section 14(1) . shall be guilty of an offence." TAC has previously lodged a complaint with the
Department of Health's Law Enforcement Unit against Ubhejane but no action has been taken by
the Department.

Zimbabwe - Mum 'kills son, sells ear for $US20'
A Zimbabwean woman killed her infant son and sold one of his ears for $US20 to a traditional
healer wanted for ritual murders in neighbouring Mozambique, police said. "We can confirm that
the woman Christine Hofisi from Chipinge (near the Mozambican border) strangled her 18-month-
old son to death and cut off his left ear," deputy national police spokesman Oliver Mandipaka
said. Mandipaka said the traditional healer known as Maheza was facing criminal charges in his
home country after being found with 11 human skulls, but he skipped bail and is now believed to
be living in the border area. Ritual murders though not common in Zimbabwe often involve
traditional healers and business people who believe that the use of magic potions mixed with
human organs can bring them good fortune.

Uganda - Uganda registers witchdoctors
Districts of Uganda have started registering all traditional healers and witchdoctors operating in
villages across the country and all registered traditional healers will be given numbers and name
tags which they will have to display whenever on duty.

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

Source: http://www.doctorsforlife.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/Doctors-For-Life-International-20100714-Lifealerts.pdf

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