by Steven Ertelt
May 18, 2007
British Government Will Allow Research on Human-Animal Hybrids
London, England (LifeNews.com) — British government ministers have caved to pressure from the medical community to allow the creation of hybrid animal-human embryos for stem cell research. Prime Minister Tony Blair’s Minister of Public Health told British media that she and other cabinet members would present a proposal to lawmakers that would update a 1990 package of legal provisions on human fertilization and embryology. Under the proposed legislation, scientists would only be permitted to create the embryos for research into serious human illnesses, and they would require a government license to do so. In the proposed law, the embryos created would not be allowed to survive for more than 14 days — meaning they must all be killed. The medical community has welcomed the government’s new proposal, but opponents of stem-cell research and Britain’s pro-life movement have reacted with predictable animosity. Josephine Quintavalle, speaking to the BBC on behalf of her campaign group Comment on Reproductive Ethics, said: "It is appalling that the government has bowed to pressure from the random collection of self-interested scientists and change its prohibitive stance." "This is a highly controversial and terrifying proposal, which has little justification in science and even less in ethics," added Quintavalle.
Disabled Woman Wants to Make China the Next to Accept Legal Euthanasia
Beijing, China (LifeNews.com) — A disabled woman in China wants the Asian nation to be the next to legalize euthanasia or assisted suicide. Li Yan, a 29-year-old with muscular dystrophy, has become the focus of a national debate after she wrote on a blog in March asking the National People’s Congress to legalize the grisly practice. "I don’t want to live with my brothers and sisters-in-law after my parents’ death, let alone go to an orphanage or welfare institute," she said. "So I would like to apply for euthanasia when I’m still able to sit and talk." The central government has been guarded, hinting in the state media that China wasn’t ready to join the few nations that have legalized euthanasia. but in a country where death at the early stages of life — thanks to forced abortions and infanticides — is commonplace, death at the end may be next. Zhang Zanning, a professor of medical law at Dongnan University in Nanjing, told the Los Angles Times: "China’s atheism education, people’s practical mind-set and poverty all add up to a willingness to accept euthanasia. I think the supporting rate for euthanasia is very high. In terms of public opinion, now is a good time for legislation."
Family of Conjoined Twins in Canada Upset Doctor Suggested Abortion
Vancouver, Canada (LifeNews.com) — The family of conjoined twins Tatiana and Krista Hogan in Canada is upset that Canadian doctor wrote an opinion column suggesting that they be aborted. "My girlfriend in the U.S. found the Web sites," said the twins’ grandmother, Louise McKay. "She was Googling the girls’ names and she buzzed me and said, ‘You have to see this … this is crazy."’ According to CanWest News Service, McKay’s friend pointed her first to an article by Dr. Ken Walker, whose syndicated column is published in about 500 newspapers under the pen name Dr. W. Gifford-Jones. Walker wrote that Vernon, B.C., resident Felicia Simms, the twins’ mother, may be a caring parent — but not a rational one. The Toronto-area doctor suggested Simms should have had an abortion rather than condemning her twins "to be stared at as a freak of nature as long as they live." "Physically they are destined for ill health, lying on their backs forever. They will become obese and develop the myriad of diseases that accompany this problem. Their lives will be a living hell," he wrote. McKay said those comments were shocking because the columnist is a physician. "We figured that doctors take oaths to preserve lives," she said. "He obviously hasn’t been keeping track of their progress. They’ve been sitting up, eating and playing like any seven-month-old child does. Of course, people are going to have their opinion, but this is a doctor." McKay said some people simply can’t handle it when people are different.
Oregon Abstinence Education Program Targeted by ACLU
Eugene, OR (LifeNews.com) — The ACLU is targeting an Oregon abstinence education program saying that it is improperly using public funds for religious purposes. The pro-abortion group sent letters to HHS and the Oregon Department of Human Services saying the Lane Pregnancy Support Center is unconstitutionally using public funds for its "Stop and Think" program because it requires that all program presenters "hold particular religious beliefs." According to the Register-Guard, the Northern Hills Pregnancy Care Center in Spearfish, S.D., in 2002 signed a contract with the "Stop and Think" program that required presenters and supervisors of its curriculum "possess an authentic relationship with Jesus Christ." The ACLU has asked state and federal officials to launch an immediate investigation and to stop "the flow of funds to grantees who have used them unlawfully." The ACLU added that it will pursue possible legal action if an appropriate response is not made by the end of the month. Brick Lantz, president of the center’s board of directors, said he is not sure how or why the Northern Hills contract included the disputed language. He added that presenters are barred from discussing God or religion during their presentations because of the state funding. Kristin Hansen — spokesperson for CareNet, a national network of pregnancy counseling centers said the ACLU is enaging in a "national campaign to shut down abstinence education programs." "Clearly, their concern lies in forwarding an anti-religious agenda rather than promoting programs that benefit the health and well-being of our nation’s youth."