Saturday, 15 August 2009

Catholic Church in Scotland challenges Scottish government and GPs on abortions on under-15s

It was instructive to wake up in Scotland this morning and to read about the Scottish Catholic Church's attack on the Scottish government for its abortion policy. (I am in Glasgow for a meeting of SPUC's Scottish Board which will be discussing exciting plans for the next international student pro-life conference in March 2010. Contact Lucy McCully for more information at lucy@spucscotland.org).

Peter Kearney (pictured right), a spokesman for the Catholic Church in Scotland, makes no bones about where the blame lies for the "appalling and distressing" abortion figures for girls under the age of 15. He says:
"If anything it indicates that the government's sexual health strategy, which was created by the last administration and perpetuated by the current administration, is working perfectly.

"Because part of that strategy was fast and instant access to widespread abortion services. Unfortunately, it is completely the wrong strategy."
In the Scottish edition of today's Daily Telegraph, Peter Kearney is even more challenging. He says:
"They are all girls below the age of consent and that asks a very serious question of GPs in Scotland. To what extent did they follow this up and make sure cases were referred to the relevant authorities? Each of these cases represents a potential crime."
This is the kind of challenge which churches, pro-life groups, and parents should be making to the British government. Its policies have the potential to lead to crimes - crimes against life, crimes against the family and breaches of the criminal law in relation to the age of consent.

Earlier this week I referred to the state-sponsored abuse of children in Yorkshire, courtesy of the National Health Service in Sheffield. And I have frequently expressed my concern about the ambiguous policy of the Catholic Education Service of England and Wales which welcomes the presence in Catholic schools of Connexions. Connexions is a government agency which is committed to giving schoolchildren, under the age of 16, access to abortion and abortifacient birth control drugs and devices without parental knowledge or permission. As a result of this policy, it's clear that children in Catholic schools are being given such access, in spite of Connexions' undertaking to respect the Catholic ethos of the schools.

Whatever the disastrous chain of decisions which led to the CES policy, it must be changed.

Why should parents have to fear having their children handed over to the abortionists?

The robust comments of Peter Kearney are exactly the kind of thing that's needed  - from headteachers, parents, church-leaders and authorities acting on behalf of bishops.


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Friday, 14 August 2009

Two pro-life talks, London, this coming Monday, 17 August

This coming Monday (17 August), there will be two pro-life talks at St Patrick's Catholic church, Soho Square, London, W1D 4NR (nearest underground station is Tottenham Court Road).

The evening's schedule is as follows:
  • 6:30pm: Mass.
  • 7pm: talk, "Why Catholics have to be visibly active in ending abortion", by Janet Morana, executive director of Priests for Life and co-founder of the Silent no More Awareness Campaign.
  • Questions.
  • 8pm: talk, "The Rachel's Vineyard Apostolate and the need for Catholics to reach out to those hurt by abortion", by Theresa Burke, founder of Rachel’s Vineyard, co-author of "Hidden Grief, the Unspoken Pain of Abortion" with David C.Reardon (Acorn Books).
  • Questions.

The evening's organiser is The Good Counsel Network, a Catholic, pro-life group which provides advice, information and practical support to women facing a crisis pregnancy. Contact The Good Counsel Network for details or to book: telephone (020) 7723 1740 or email info@goodcounselnetwork.freeserve.co.uk

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Thursday, 13 August 2009

The BBC reports on the practice of "slow euthanasia" in Britain

Adam Brimelow, BBC news health correspondent, warns in a report yesterday that "there is evidence that some clinicians may already be using continuous deep sedation (CDS), as a form of 'slow euthanasia'".

Quoting Clive Seale, professor of medical sociology at Bart's and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, the BBC reports that "there are fears that CDS is being used inappropriately". According to Professor Seale, in the UK "the prevalence of continuous deep sedation until death" is very high indeed, "16.5% of all UK deaths" which is twice as high as in Belgium and the Netherlands.

The BBC report echoes concerns voiced last year by Dr Adrian Treloar in a letter to the British Medical Journal. Dr Adrian Treloar, a senior consultant and lecturer in old age psychiatry, wrote about the Liverpool Care Pathway and, particularly, "serious weaknesses in its design".

"The Liverpool care pathway (LCP) is the UK’s main clinical pathway of continuous deep sedation and is promoted for roll out across the NHS", he wrote.

The NHS claims that the Liverpool Care Pathway is "used to care for residents in the last days or hours of life once it is known they are dying". However, in his letter to the BMJ, Dr Treloar warned:

"The eligibility criteria do not ensure that only people who are about to die are allowed on to the pathway. They allow people who are thought to be dying, are bed bound, and are unable to take tablets on to the pathway. In chronic diseases such as dementia, dying can take years, but such patients may be eligible ... GPs often put patients on to such a pathway without palliative care advice ... "
Quoting a previous study published by the British Medical Journal (Murray SA, Boyd K, Byock I. Continuous deep sedation in patients nearing death. BMJ 2008;336:781-2. [12 April.]), Dr Treloar reiterated the concern expressed in that study:

" ... that sedation is being used as an inexpensive alternative to assessment and specialist treatment."
Dr Treloar continued:
"The LCP recommends sedatives and opiates for all patients on an 'as required' basis, even when they are not agitated, in pain, or distressed. An automatic pathway towards prescribing heavy sedatives incurs risks. Moreover, the LCP recommends setting up a syringe driver within four hours of a doctor’s order. This is laudable, if it is needed. But the pathway encourages the use of syringe drivers even when symptoms can be managed without them ... "
Dr Treloar goes on to cite the research of Dr Judith Reitjens and others also writing in the British Medical Journal (Rietjens J, van Delden J, Onwuteaka-Philipsen B, Buiting H, van der Maas P, van der Heide A. Continuous deep sedation for patients nearing death in the Netherlands: descriptive study. BMJ 2008;336:810-3. [12 April.]):

"The pathway doesn’t mention the need for food and fluids. Reitjens et al show that withholding artificial nutrition and hydration is the norm. The LCP’s omission of prompts to reconsider nutrition and hydration may allow serious errors in the care of dying patients. It is not acceptable, as Murray et al suggest, that assessing nutrition and hydration are not part of the pathway.

"Sedation is right in some situations. But as Murray et al point out, the anticipated outcome of continuous deep sedation is death. We must learn from Reitjens et al’s observation that continuous deep sedation may replace euthanasia. If the methods and pathways that we use for continuous deep sedation in the UK are flawed, then patients will die as a result of inappropriate use. I hope that the LCP will be reviewed and modified."
Last year in the British Medical Journal was not the first time Dr Treloar had spoken out about the nutrition and hydration of patients. His warnings about the Liverpool Care Pathway must be taken very seriously and the BBC's report yesterday  highlights a much wider, more serious, problem being encountered throughout Britain.

SPUC’s Patients First Network receives calls from distressed relatives saying that their loved ones are not being fed properly. Patients First Network is a support group which promotes good medical care until natural death. Anyone concerned about a friend or relative can call the Patients First Network confidential telephone support service on 0800 1691719.

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Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Kenya's Vice-President calls on Kenyans to support anti-abortion campaign

Kalonzo Musyoka (pictured), the vice-president of Kenya, has called on Kenyans to support the anti-abortion campaign. Speaking at a dinner last Friday, he praised Kenya's Protecting Life Movement for not only supporting a religious stand on the right to life, but also expressing African cultural values about human life.

"I know that the Cabinet or even parliament will not pass any Bill that would legalise abortion ... the legislation would definitely be shot down", Vice-President Musyoka said.

By way of contrast, President Obama, three days after his presidential inauguration, took decisive action to seek to destroy these "African cultural values about human life" to which Vice-President Musyoka refers. Infamously, Barack Obama, whose father was from Kenya, signed an order "that will put hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars into the hands of organizations that aggressively promote abortion as a population-control tool in the developing world" according to the US National Right to Life Committee (NRLC).

The Bill to which Vice-President Musyoka refers is the "Reproductive Health and Rights Bill" which, if passed, will promote and allow easy access to abortion on demand, with virtually no safeguards to protect unborn children.

Southern Cross Bioethics Institute (SCBI) has prepared on SPUC's behalf a commentary on the bill.

Earlier this year Cardinal Njue, the archbishop of Nairobi, called on Kenyan Catholics to "stand firm against this evil of abortion" in a powerfully worded message; and Dr Stephen Karanja, the head of the Kenyan Catholic Doctors Association, said about the result of the US election: “They have no business electing a person who is going to destroy our countries. And that is what they have done. This is something that a lot of people don’t realise, that what these Americans do affects innocent people thousands and thousands of miles away.”

Let's pray that Kenya's vice-president, and the Kenyan people, can stand firm against President Obama's neo-colonialist plans: to kill Africa's babies, undermine the health and welfare of African women, and to seek to destroy Africa's culture and values.



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Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Compulsory sex education involves state-sponsored abuse of abused children

There's a serious danger that compulsory sex education will involve state-sponsored child abuse of already abused children.  Let me explain.

Reuters reports on a study published yesterday (in Pediatrics, online August 10, 2009) that:
"all types of maltreatment, physical abuse, emotional abuse, neglect, and sexual abuse, increase the risk for emotional distress at age 12 and sexual intercourse by age 14 and 16".
According to the researchers:
"adolescents who had suffered any kind of maltreatment, not only sexual abuse, were far more likely to have sexual intercourse by age 14 and age 16 than adolescents who had not been maltreated".
It's not unlikely that the area covered by the National Health Service (NHS) in Sheffield, Yorkshire, has its share of maltreated children. Sheffield is the area where the Government has published a pamphlet called "Pleasure - a booklet for workers on why and how to raise the issue of sexual pleasure in sexual health work with young people".

The booklet says: "Health promotion experts advocate five portions of fruit and veg a day ... What about masturbation twice a week?!"

There then appears a mock-up of a teenager's diary reproduced here.
Do the government's experts seriously believe that promoting such ideas amongst teenagers (including, probably, some teenagers who have been abused) will help them develop into mature, well-adjusted, adults? Isn't the State, by blatantly promoting sexual activity in this way - alone or with others - subjecting youngsters who may already have been abused to state-sponsored child abuse?

And isn't the Catholic Education Service, by supporting the principle of making sex education lessons compulsory (providing that what's taught is in line with parents' wishes and upholds the ethos of the particular school) also running the risk of effectively supporting state-sponsored child-abuse? What if what the Sheffield NHS's corrupt material is upheld by the ethos of the school - does that make it OK?

I urge all concerned parents to contact me at SPUC if you're concerned.  It's vital that parents take a stand against government authorities and church authorities whose policies lead to usurping parents' rightful role - the role spelled out so clearly yesterday by a leading official of the Catholic Church at the World Congress of Families in Amsterdam. Bishop Carlos Simon Vasquez, the under secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Family, said:
“Only the vocation to paternity and maternity can transmit a responsible education in responsible procreation, which brings with it the necessary union between personal and social ethics through a harmonious existence that only the family can offer.”
This is kind of thing the Catholic educational authorities in England and Wales should be promoting, not compulsory sex education, albeit hedged around with provisos which still result in our children being thrown to the wolves.



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Monday, 10 August 2009

Sarah Palin is right to be worried about a "death panel"

Sarah Palin's concern about a "death panel" which decides who gets treatment should be taken seriously. If Britain's experience is anything to go by, as a loving mother, Mrs Palin is right to worry about health-care rationing and the long-term interests of Trig, her baby son, who has Down's Syndrome, in an anti-life political environment.

Only yesterday, the Guardian newspaper reported that the UK's National Health Service (NHS) was "developing a simple blood test that could save the lives of hundreds of unborn babies". However, the real purpose of the blood test, known as non-invasive prenatal diagnosis (NIPD), becomes clearer as the article proceeds - to search more efficiently for disabled babies, including Down's Sydrome babies, over 90% of whom will be aborted.

In 2005 the British Government went to the trouble of working out the cost to the country of prohibiting the abortion of disabled babies. They announced:
"The extra cost to care for disabled children is estimated at £5 million a year ... An approximate estimate of the additional cost (excluding normal living costs) to care for 240 severely disabled children is likely to be of the order of £4 million a year ... and it is assumed that the extra costs to care for 240 moderately disabled children about be about a quarter of this cost (£1 million.)"
The British Government went on to outline the overall financial benefit to the National Health Service of maintaining Britain's permissive abortion legislation as follows:
" ... The option also saves the NHS the cost of funding 185,000 maternity events, estimated at £576 million a year, based on an average total cost of £3,117 per birth, which gives the NHS a net saving of £500 million, if the cost of NHS funded abortions (£76 million) is deducted ... "
Negative attitudes to those with disability permeate the health system in Britain. Last month, Lady Jane Campbell, who has spinal muscular atrophy and is 50 years old ...", spoke about the struggle she and her husband had to convince doctors to provide her with necessary life-saving treatment when she was rushed to hospital at the brink of death with acute respiratory problems.

''Those of us who know what it is to live with a terminal condition are fearful the tide has already turned against us,'' Baroness Campbell warned in a House of Lords debate on assisted suicide in July.

Maybe Sarah Palin's maternal instinct is telling her that the tide is turning against the disabled in Obama's America. Given his commitment to killing innocent human lives, this would hardly be surprising.

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Sunday, 9 August 2009

Pro-abortion lobby acknowledges "huge surge in maternal deaths" in South Africa

For decades the pro-abortion lobby has fought for legalized abortion in order, they claim, to reduce maternal mortality, in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

Now the IPPF, the world's largest abortion-promoting agency, is acknowledging a huge surge in maternal deaths in South Africa where abortion was legalized with the implementation of the Freedom of Choice Act in 1996. The Centre for Reproductive Rights, which campaigns for legalized abortion worldwide, boasts that South Africa's "is one of the world's most liberal abortion laws".

It's high time that the pro-abortion lobby were honest with women and with politicians and that they now go on to acknowledge facts like the following: that countries like the Republic of Ireland, with its constitutional ban on abortion, also has the lowest maternal mortality rate in the world, according to figures published by the World Health Organization in 2007; that Northern Ireland, with its comparatively restrictive abortion legislation, has the lowest maternal mortality rate in the UK; that pro-abortion claims about illegal abortion being a major cause of maternal deaths are, according to the UN population division in World Population Monitoring 2002, "quite speculative since hard data are missing for the large majority of countries"; and that the legalization of abortion does nothing to solve the underlying problem of poor health care in the developing world.


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