Saturday, 26 March 2011

Euthanasia is being practised widely in the NHS, says doctors' leader

Dr Clare Walker, the president of the Catholic Medical Association, was quoted yesterday saying that euthanasia is being practised widely in the NHS (read the full report in Independent Catholic News).

Paul Tully, SPUC's general secretary, gave his reaction yesterday to Dr Walker's statement:
"We must be grateful to Dr Walker for speaking out about the growing anti-life ethos in British medicine. The practice of euthanasia by neglect is insidious and will lead to more and more pressure for active euthanasia - this is the aim of the pro-euthanasia lobby.

"Intentional killing by neglect has become more entrenched in England and Wales since the passing of the Mental Capacity Act 2005. This was designed to permit doctors to end the lives of certain seriously ill or disabled people by withholding treatment and care - including even food and fluids in some cases. Without water, people die. Although active euthanasia (such as giving patients a lethal injection) remains rare in our experience, passive euthanasia is a major problem.

"Dr Walker rightly highlights the dangers of the Liverpool Care Pathway. The LCP can mean that tick-box medicine replaces proper care tailored to the person. In some places it is used inappropriately - the LCP implies high doses of morphine may be used which are not necessary for all patients, and which can hasten death. In some places it has become feared as a way of getting rid of those who aren't 'dying quickly enough'.

"The importance of having a sound ethical foundation when caring for patients who may be dying, or nearing death, is increasingly evident. It is not only experts, like doctors, pro-life campaigners and chaplains who see the growing disregard and lack of proper care for those who are nearing death. Relatives of disabled or elderly people are often distressed by the way their loved ones are treated in hospitals and care homes. This can range from not getting necessary help with feeding and toileting to withdrawal of vital care, like simple intravenous fluids."
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Friday, 25 March 2011

Today's must-read pro-life news-stories, Friday 25 March

Anglican bishop Michael Nazir-Ali
Abortion
Embryology
Euthanasia
Sexual ethics
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The Spanish bishops have launched a new video against the culture of death

ETWN reports that:
"The Bishops’ Conference of Spain recently announced its 2011 Pro-Life Campaign titled, “There is Always a Reason to Live.” ... The two and a half-minute video encourages Catholics to commemorate the Day of the Unborn Child on March 25, the Solemnity of the Annunciation."
Do watch this moving video against the culture of death. Once you've watched it, spread the word about it. That would be a very fitting way of honouring our Lady and the Christ-embryo conceived on this great pro-life day!



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Thursday, 24 March 2011

SPUC's international youth pro-life conference was a great success

Joe Lee of SPUC Scotland, who organised last weekend's Fourth International Youth Pro-Life Conference in Loch Lomond has just sent me this report:
"The 4th International Youth Pro-Life Conference was a huge success. Over 120 people attended the conference and left feeling encouraged and strengthened in the battle to defend human life.

The keynote speaker was Fr. John Fleming, member of the Pontifical Academy for Life and SPUC’s bioethical consultant. He spoke on “The Practice of Eugenics Today”, offering a startling insight into the minds of those who promote abortion and euthanasia today. He clearly demonstrated how the ideas that influenced the early eugenics movement and the philosophies of Nazi Germany are still very much alive today, albeit sometimes practised in more subtle ways, disguised in ‘compassionate’ terms.

Other speakers included Andy Pollard, who has spoken at many previous SPUC events. His original and dynamic presentations illustrated the demographic crisis that Scotland, the UK and Europe faces, so drastic are the consequences of abortion. John Deighan, Parliamentary Officer for the Catholic Church in Scotland, spoke on how this has been facilitated by the manipulation of internationally agreed human rights principles to suit the pro-abortion lobby. Sr. Andrea Fraile from the Cardinal Winning Pro-Life Intiative presented on how the pro-life movement attempts to limit the damage of abortion, by offering real practical help to women in crisis pregnancies and throught the newly introduced into Scotland, Rachel’s Vineyard. These powerful retreat weekends can heal the pain of abortion and allow post-abortive women to finally move past the pain of abortion.

There was plenty of homegrown talent at the conference, with SPUC’s own Anthony Ozimic and myself speaking on the work of SPUC, both at home and abroad. Edinburgh Branch member Lynn Murray shared her own story of how her daughter Rachel has Down’s Syndrome and how abortion is very often seen as the only ‘cure’ for disability.

Once again, the International Youth Pro-Life Conference had a profound impact on those who attended. One delegate told of how the conference has ‘rapidly changed my life and my view of abortion.’ This is high praise indeed and testimony to the power of these conferences, which are essential to the future development of the pro-life movement in the UK."
And here is some more recommendations from the youth who attended the conference:
"What an amazing trip to Loch Lomond. We heard some truly inspirational speakers, made many friends and have much to think about over the next few weeks..."
"I am THOROUGHLY impressed at how many young people just like me want to be so involved. Time of my life!"
"I had a really great time and will definitely come back"
"very inspirational"
"loved it! Good job!"
"much learned, highly recommend to others"
"Better than expected"
"A very inspiring, insightful and welcomingly truthful weekend!"
Bryan Kemper, the US pro-life leader who also spoke at the conference, has posted his own tribute on his excellent blog.

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This afternoon's must-read pro-life news-stories, Thursday 24 March

Abortion
Euthanasia
Sexual ethics
General
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This morning's must-read pro-life news-stories, Thursday 24 March

Abortion
Embryology
Euthanasia
Sexual ethics
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Wednesday, 23 March 2011

This afternoon's must-read pro-life news-stories, Wednesday 23 March

Abortion
Population
Sexual ethics
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Parents are standing up for their rights as primary educators

The Vaughan Parents' Action Group (VPAG) has kindly sent me a letter which it has just sent to parish priests in London (full letter published with permission). The letter seeks to set the record straight regarding the group's dispute with the Catholic archdiocese of Westminster. My interest as SPUC director in highlighting this matter is to help uphold the rights of parents (Catholic or non-Catholic) to protect their children against prevailing ideas in sex education, ideas which are promoted by the Catholic Education Service (CES) and Paul Barber, director of the Westminster Diocese Education Service.

The letter, among other things, says:
"Many parents feel that there are a number of ways in which both the Catholic Education Service and the Westminster Diocesan Education Service are failing to listen to the views of parents who, in their role as “primary educators” of their children, have both the right and the responsibility to choose the sort of education they feel is best suited to their child.

In particular, we are concerned about the following:
• The actions of the Catholic Education Service and The Westminster Diocese Education Service suggest a greater desire to promote a political ideology rather than Catholic faith and teaching. There have been feelings of disquiet about Catholic education for some time, but this disquiet began to grow last year when the CES appeared to collude with the last Government over the Sex and Relationships Education provisions of the Children, Schools and Families Bill.
...
• The Vaughan is well known for its strong and authentic Catholic ethos. The Adjudicator’s comment suggests that the actions of the Diocese are an attempt to dilute the ethos of the Vaughan.
...
Cardinal Grocholewski’s 2009 letter to Presidents of Bishops’ Conferences points out that: 'Parents who have the primary and inalienable right and duty to educate their children must enjoy true liberty in their choice of schools'
...
• Parents want to know why Paul Barber [the Diocesan Education Director] has been appointed to the Governing Body of the Vaughan school ... We would be interested to know what Mr Barber’s definition of a highly successful Catholic school is.
...
• The Diocese has chosen not to appoint current parents as Foundation Governors at the Vaughan ... We wonder why the Diocese was prepared to go to court rather than find two current parents of its choice.
...
Parents have been marginalised and ignored. We are practising, faithful, supportive Catholics and we have been portrayed as self-interested 'super Catholics' by the Church we have tried to support and defend. We have been left feeling confused and betrayed. It is time some questions were asked about the motivation and intentions of the WDES and the CES. The future of Catholic education is at stake."
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This morning's must-read pro-life news-stories, Wednesday 23 March

Abortion
Sexual ethics
General
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Tuesday, 22 March 2011

"My Sister's Keeper" is a powerful examination of the ethics of saviour siblings

Every year the International Youth Pro-Life Conference (organised by SPUC and held in Scotland) opens with a film with a challenging message about ethics. This year's conference, held last weekend, opened with "My sister's keeper". It is a powerful examination of the ethics of saviour siblings, set in the context of a family which is being torn apart following a diagnosis of leukaemia. The film, released in 2009 and based on Jodi Picoult's 2004 novel of the same name, features leading Hollywood actors. Films can illustrate powerfully the issues and emotions surrounding bioethical decision-making, when sometimes academic articles can be too abstract to reflect human realities effectively. Do watch the promotional trailer (below) and visit the official website for how you can see the full film.

Anthony Ozimic, SPUC's communications manager who spoke at the conference, tells me that the conference was a great success, with young people left thoroughly inspired to go out and be actively pro-life. I'll be sharing more reports from the conference with you this week. 



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This afternoon's must-read pro-life news-stories, Tuesday 22 March

Embryology
Euthanasia
Sexual ethics
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This morning's must-read pro-life news-stories, Tuesday 22 March

Lord Nicholas Windsor (r) w/J. Meaney (HLI)
Abortion
Euthanasia
Sexual ethics
General
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Monday, 21 March 2011

Watch this beautiful music-video tribute of love for people with Down's Syndrome

I've just discovered an amazingly powerful music-video by Matty B, a talented seven year-old rapper. It's a loving tribute from Matty to his sister Sarah-Grace, who has Down's syndrome. Watch it, be moved and spread the word!



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This afternoon's must-read pro-life news-stories, Monday 21 March

Abortion
Embryology
Euthanasia
Population
Sexual ethics
General
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