Marlowe's Shade

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Dutch Expand Euthanasia Guidelines

From the AP. Hat tip: Discarded Lies

We saw this coming with the Groningen Protocols. But it's still shocking how slippery the Dutch slope has become.

The Dutch government intends to expand its current euthanasia policy, setting guidelines for when doctors may end the lives of terminally ill newborns with the parents' consent, The Associated Press has learned.

A letter outlining the new directives was expected to be submitted to parliament for discussion by mid-October, but the new policy will not require a change of law, Dutch Health Ministry spokeswoman Annette Dijkstra said Thursday.

The new guidelines are likely to spark an outcry from the
Vatican, right-to-life proponents and some advocacy groups for the handicapped who abhor the current policy that allows adult euthanasia if the patients request it and if certain conditions are met.

Proponents and opponents agree the change is doubly important because it will provide the model for how the Dutch will treat other cases in which patients are unable to say whether they want to live or die, such as the mentally retarded or elderly people who have become demented

In a sense the Dutch are only justifying what they are already doing. One recent report said that 8% of infant deaths in the Netherlands are euthanasia.
papijoe 1:16 PM |

Is the Brave New World Inevitable?

I find their editorial views wishy-washy at times, but in their October issue, Christianity Today has a great overview of the stem cell debate. It's a terrific guide for Christians perplexed by the stem cell media blitz. It presents a wide range of perspectives. I particularly liked this quote from Joni Eareckson Tada:

Joni Eareckson Tada, left a quadriplegic by a diving injury 38 years ago, is frustrated by what she sees as scientific hype. "The media have played out the human embryo as the holy grail of stem-cell research," Tada, who founded the Joni and Friends ministry in 1979, tells CT. "The biotech industry, linked with venture capitalists, would have us believe that an embryo is not a human being—it's just a mindless clump of cells not worthy of protection or legal rights. And we bought into it."

By taking the time to read it, you'll be better informed than 90% of the adult population.
papijoe 7:00 AM |

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Euthanasia Doc Removed from Medical Register

The headline of this Guardian article is "Euthanasia law must change, says struck-off doctor" As usual the liberal media bends over backwards to give a sympathetic portrayal of euthanasia.

A retired doctor vowed yesterday to continue to campaign for the legalisation of doctor-assisted suicide after he was struck off the medical register for obtaining pills in his own name to help a terminally ill friend end his life.
Michael Irwin, 74, a leading euthanasia campaigner, "abused his position as a doctor" and was unfit to practise, a General Medical Council panel found.

Despite the grandstanding, the facts of the case were never in question:

Kenneth Hobbs, the chairman of the panel, told the retired GP he had breached the requirements of a medical practitioner to be "honest and trustworthy" by committing "the serious criminal offence" of possessing temazepam, a class C controlled drug, with intent to supply.

"Furthermore, you admitted that you dishonestly self-prescribed this drug ostensibly for your own use when in fact it was intended for another. This, together with your repeated self-prescribing of supplies of temazepam for the purposes of stockpiling for your own use, against the advice of your general practitioner, amounts to an abuse of the trust placed in you as a doctor."

At least there is one medical organization in the UK that still upholds the Hippocratic Oath.
papijoe 5:40 AM |

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Euthanasia Doc Faces Medical Censure

UK physician and former head of the Voluntary Euthanasia Society Dr Michael Irwin was in the news last spring for his "Final Choice" holiday tour where the return trip is in a casket. Now he's being brought before the General Medical Council and may lose his medical license for his involvement in a plan to assist a friend's suicide.

A leading right-to-die campaigner, who agreed to help his friend commit suicide, had a "blatant disregard for the law", a hearing has been told.
Dr Michael Irwin, former head of the Voluntary Euthanasia Society and from Cranleigh, Surrey, is appearing before the General Medical Council.

Dr Irwin admits obtaining sleeping pills with the aim of helping a terminally ill friend to die.

He denies serious professional misconduct.

If the GMC finds him guilty, he could be struck off the medical register.

At 74, he admits he is too old to practise medicine, but says he is fighting the case to highlight his call for a change in the law.

The former UN medical director openly admits travelling to the Isle of Man in October 2003 with around 60 Temazepam sleeping pills to assist fellow campaigner Patrick Kneen to end his life.

Mr Kneen was too ill to take the medication and slipped into a coma, dying a few days later without Dr Irwin's assistance.
papijoe 5:51 AM |

Monday, September 26, 2005

Fetal Harvest

Bioethicist Wesley J Smith posted this stunning article in his blog Secondhand Smoke this weekend:

Up to now, embryonic stem cell advocates have claimed that they are only interested in stem cells harvested from embryos at the blastocyst (or five-to six-day) stage. They have denied any intention of implanting embryos either in the uterus of a volunteer or in an artificial womb in order to harvest cells, tissues, or organs at more advanced stages of embryonic development or in the fetal stage. Advocates are well aware that most Americans, including those who are prepared to countenance the destruction of very early embryos, are not ready to approve the macabre practice of "fetus farming." However, based on the literature I have read and the evasive answers given by spokesmen for the biotechnology industry at meetings of the President's Council on Bioethics, I fear that the long-term goal is indeed to create an industry in harvesting late embryonic and fetal body parts for use in regenerative medicine and organ transplantation.

Selling fetal body parts to researchers has already become a lucrative business for abortion clinics.

As bad as the goal of "therapeutic" cloning has been, the bioscience industry now appears to have a worse one:

...there is not a single embryonic stem cell therapy even in clinical trials. (By contrast, adult and umbilical cord stem cells are already being used in the treatment of 65 diseases.) All informed commentators know that embryonic stem cells cannot be used in therapies because of their tendency to generate dangerous tumors. However, recent studies show that the problem of tumor formation does not exist in cells taken from cows, mice, and other mammals when embryos have been implanted and extracted after several weeks or months of development (i.e. have been gestated to the late embryonic or fetal stage). This means that the real therapeutic potential lies precisely in the practice of fetus farming. Because the developmental process stabilizes cells (which is why we are not all masses of tumors), it is likely true that stem cells, tissues, and organs harvested from human beings at, say, 16 or 18 weeks or later could be used in the treatment of diseases.

If this sounds far-fetched, the legislation is already in place to make fetal farming a reality:

My suspicions and sense of urgency have been heightened by the fact that my home state of New Jersey has passed a bill that specifically authorizes and encourages human cloning for, among other purposes, the harvesting of "cadaveric fetal tissue." A "cadaver," of course, is a dead body. The bodies in question are those of fetuses created by cloning specifically to be gestated and killed as sources of tissues and organs. What the bill envisages and promotes, in other words, is fetus farming. The biotechnology industry put an enormous amount of money into pushing this bill through the New Jersey legislature and is now funding support for similar bills in states around the country.

The fact emerges that "embryonic" stem cell research is a bait and switch. The real purpose is harvesting fetal tissue for stem cell, which opens the door for the commercial exploitation of fetuses for other tissue "products" and organs.

To most of us this is instinctively repugnant. But our country has been moving away from a worldview that upholds the sanctity of life, so unless utilitarian arguments are countered with the facts,public opinion will eventually be swayed in favor of fetal harvesting. It has already worked in New Jersey. I find it hard to believe that public figures like Nancy Reagan and Michael J Fox really understand what they are promoting, but the bio-tech firm do. There really isn't much standing between us and this brave new world of baby farms.
papijoe 7:08 AM |

Friday, September 23, 2005

Blogfather on Pundit Review Radio

From Gregg and Kevin:

We wanted to let you know that Instapundit, Glenn Reynolds, will be our guest this weekend on Pundit Review Radio,

If you missed Ann Althouse last weekend, that interview is posted here.

Don't forget that you can get WRKO on the web if you aren't in Boston
papijoe 12:31 PM |

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Chinese Diplomats Fume at UK Pro-Life Protesters

From LifeSite

Pressure on China continues to mount over it's abortion policies and abuses.

Pro-life protesters outside the Chinese embassy in the UK have been given an historic thumbs-up by authorities who have normally discouraged or arrested those who tried to draw attention to human rights atrocities in the Communist country.

Police “embarrassingly” acknowledged the lawful right of British citizens to peacefully assemble on the pavement outside the Chinese Embassy in London's Portland Place, after about two-dozen members of the UK Life League assembled there Saturday morning. The group took the issue to a judge Sunday, after which time the police finally conceded the group’s right to peaceful assembly despite the vehement protests of police superintendent Morgan.

At one point, police were seen explaining to an irate Chinese diplomatic worker that British citizens, unlike the Chinese, have the right to peaceful protest.

papijoe 8:42 AM |

Death Underground

One tactic of the right-to-die movement is to point to illegally assisted suicides and use this criminal behavior to justify legalizing it. Aside from the fact that this method negates the rule of law in all areas, it also shifts the focus from the reasons why the laws are there in the first place.

Yesterday's LifeSite article on Vancouver euthanasia activist Russell Ogden illustrates this well:

Ogden’s continuing research reveals that euthanasia is far from the warm fuzzy Hallmark card experience most euthanasia activists would have the public believe. Ogden’s 1994 master’s thesis showed that many “botched” acts of euthanasia resulted in “horrific” acts of violence. Martindale writes that half of the 34 euthanasia cases Ogden studied were “botched” and “resulted in increased suffering.”

“In one instance, the individual who assisted in the suicide had to resort to shooting the patient—in another, to slitting his wrists with a razor blade. These failed attempts often led to the acts of euthanasia taking several hours or longer to complete; in one case, it took four days for the person to die.”

But Ogden himself, instead of condemning assisted suicide because of these horrors, concludes that the real problem was lack of medical “support” for the acts of killing. “[The killers] weren’t sure what they were doing,” he said.

Ogden embodies the extremes the right-to-die movement will go to legitimize itself:

Martindale highlights’ Ogden’s involvement with the organization, NuTech, a group that Martindale portrays as an ultra-secret underground of assisted suicide agents working to develop untraceable methods of killing. Ogden calls the movement the “deathing counterculture” and says, “They are taking the place of physicians to deliver virtually undetectable death assistance.”

This sick "ninjas of mercy" fantasy is intended to be shocking. The horror of it is supposed to make the legal variation of euthanasia look good. But what doesn't get brought up is that sanitizing and legalizing suicide doesn't change the intrinsic nature of the act.

As Canada moves closer to the Dutch model in its proposed legislation to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide, Parliamentary and Senate committees have used Ogden’s data to support the argument that, like abortion, euthanasia is inevitable and ought to be legalized in order to make it “safe.”

Schadenberg continues, “The reality is that Ogden is not only a euthanasia activist but he is part of the extreme death movement that includes Philip Nitschke, Derek Humphrey and a handful of others whose goal it is to bring euthanasia on demand to the world.”

Canada’s euthanasia bill, C-407, will first be debated during second reading in the Commons at the end of next month after which it is likely to move to the committee stage. The bill, proposed by Bloc MP Francine Lalonde, does not require that a person be terminally ill, only that he is suffering and “lucid.” It will also allow anyone, not necessarily medical personnel, to “assist” a person in committing suicide. Ogden would be undoubtedly be pleased if this passed

This bodes ill for Canada which is considering one of the worst pieces of euthanasia legislation ever. With views like Ogden's being considered as expert advice, it's getting easier to see why.
papijoe 7:05 AM |

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Chinese Abortion Workers Arrested

From LifeSite.

Several Chinese population control officials in Linyi have been arrested or fired after reports surfaced that they were involved in forced abortions and sterilizations. The surprising actions came after a local advocate who exposed the problems was detained under house arrest for 30 hours.
An official Chinese media outlet reports that the abuses were taking place in the eastern province of Shandong. Chen Guangcheng, the detained activist, told Time magazine in an interview before the arrest that 7,000 area people had been sterilized against their will.

China's National Population and Family Planning Commission said it had received "successive complaints" about the sterilizations and abortions in Linyi, a city of 10 million people 400 miles southeast of Beijing.

"Some persons concerned in a few counties and townships of Linyi did commit practices that violated law and infringed upon legitimate rights and interests of citizens while conducting family planning work," the commission said in a statement.

Yu Xuejun, NPFPC spokesman, said "Initial investigation indicates illegal family planning practices that violate people's legal rights and interests do exist."

"Those who are responsible have been dismissed from duty. Some are under investigation, some in detention. Further measures will be taken by government departments concerned according to legal competence and procedure," he said

It appears that Chen Guangcheng's revelations, combined with the decision of the US not to fund the UNFPA motivated the Chinese government to take action on these abuses. However there is no indication that the siege against the blind activist will be lifted.
papijoe 6:29 AM |

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

We Beat the Soviets But Lost the Cold War

BBC Radio did a poll of their listeners, inviting them vote for their favorite philosopher. Who do you think won? Plato? Aristotle? Kant?

No, comrades, it was Karl Marx.

Marx rolled over a field of the ten greatest philosophers of all time like a Soviet tank, with 28% of the vote. Skeptic David Hume was a distant second with a little less than 13% and the rest were far behind.

I'd like to write this off as more European idiocy, or blame the BBC's benighted global audience, but I think that would be a mistake. I might consider the BBC's audience ill-educated but they are not under-educated (this in fact might be part of the problem). The concern for me is despite the fall of the Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc, not only has communism not been discredited by it's dismal historical track record, but seems to be as popular as ever with world intellectuals. And in fact a stealthier form of Marx's ideas has captured the political imagination of Europe and even parts of the body politic in the US.

I'm starting to see what we called the Cold War in a different light and one recurring image is that tiered chess board from Star Trek. World Communism as fronted by the Soviets stalemated us militarily but collapsed economically and then politically. But what is now becoming apparent to me is that they had stunning success on our home front.

The "Red Scare" of the 1950's is a good example. Joe McCarthy did a fantastic job discrediting his own cause. He knew who had been involved with Communist front organizations but being more of a demagogue than a researcher, he never did his homework and eventually became an embarrassment to his own party. By the time the Venona Papers confirmed many of the suspicions of the HUAC [McCarthy actually served on a different committee] the press and public opinion were already had a hardwired view of the "witch hunts".

What the Venona Papers uncovered was a stunning infiltration of all levels of government, business and the media by Soviet agents. The Hollywood blacklists were just the tip of the iceberg. The list is mind-boggling but what I found most disturbing is how little concern this revelation created in 1986 when it was finally revealed. And when the Soviet Union fell less then 5 years later, it was completely forgotten.

The compromising of figures like the Rosenbergs, Fuchs and Sax had grave consequences for the course of our history, as did the Soviet infestation of the OSS, which later became the CIA. But we should be no less concerned with the infiltration of our media. Among the Venona contacts were CBS journalist Stephen Laird and Richard Lauterbach from Time. Also Richard Setaro, journalist/writer at CBS was on the list, as well as Anna Louise Strong, journalist for The Atlantic Monthly, Harper's, and The Nation, and finally IF Stone also of The Nation. This of course doesn't include journalists who were sympathetic to the Left without needing a KGB case officer.

Under the cover of this media black-out since the fall of Joe McCarthy, I propose much has been accomplished in our society that furthered the aims of the enemies of our society. The Soviets were one of these enemies, but I hope to demonstrate in future posts that they may not even have been chief among our adversaries. But I'd like to conclude this first installment with what I consider a particularly haunting installment that was introduced to me by Jaime at Song of Time. It was a list of Communist objectives that he found at Free Republic but had originally been published in book called The Naked Communist, as well as being entered into the Congressional Record in the early 60's. Were in not for this provenance, the list is so eerily accurate I would suspect it was an urban legend. I'll post the whole thing despite it's length. Note the agenda items that do not correspond to the Soviet ideal, I think they are particularly significant:

[From "The Naked Communist," by Cleon Skousen]


1. U.S. acceptance of coexistence as the only alternative to atomic war.

2. U.S. willingness to capitulate in preference to engaging in atomic war.

3. Develop the illusion that total disarmament [by] the United States would be a demonstration of moral strength.

4. Permit free trade between all nations regardless of Communist affiliation and regardless of whether or not items could be used for war.

5. Extension of long-term loans to Russia and Soviet satellites.

6. Provide American aid to all nations regardless of Communist domination.

7. Grant recognition of Red China. Admission of Red China to the U.N.

8. Set up East and West Germany as separate states in spite of Khrushchev's promise in 1955 to settle the German question by free elections under supervision of the U.N.

9. Prolong the conferences to ban atomic tests because the United States has agreed to suspend tests as long as negotiations are in progress.

10. Allow all Soviet satellites individual representation in the U.N.

11. Promote the U.N. as the only hope for mankind. If its charter is rewritten, demand that it be set up as a one-world government with its own independent armed forces. (Some Communist leaders believe the world can be taken over as easily by the U.N. as by Moscow. Sometimes these two centers compete with each other as they are now doing in the Congo.)

12. Resist any attempt to outlaw the Communist Party.

13. Do away with all loyalty oaths.

14. Continue giving Russia access to the U.S. Patent Office.

15. Capture one or both of the political parties in the United States.

16. Use technical decisions of the courts to weaken basic American institutions by claiming their activities violate civil rights.

17. Get control of the schools. Use them as transmission belts for socialism and current Communist propaganda. Soften the curriculum. Get control of teachers' associations. Put the party line in textbooks.

18. Gain control of all student newspapers.

19. Use student riots to foment public protests against programs or organizations which are under Communist attack.

20. Infiltrate the press. Get control of book-review assignments, editorial writing, policymaking positions.

21. Gain control of key positions in radio, TV, and motion pictures.

22. Continue discrediting American culture by degrading all forms of artistic expression. An American Communist cell was told to "eliminate all good sculpture from parks and buildings, substitute shapeless, awkward and meaningless forms."

23. Control art critics and directors of art museums. "Our plan is to promote ugliness, repulsive, meaningless art."

24. Eliminate all laws governing obscenity by calling them "censorship" and a violation of free speech and free press.

25. Break down cultural standards of morality by promoting pornography and obscenity in books, magazines, motion pictures, radio, and TV.

26. Present homosexuality, degeneracy and promiscuity as "normal, natural, healthy."

27. Infiltrate the churches and replace revealed religion with "social" religion. Discredit the Bible and emphasize the need for intellectual maturity which does not need a "religious crutch."

28. Eliminate prayer or any phase of religious expression in the schools on the ground that it violates the principle of "separation of church and state."

29. Discredit the American Constitution by calling it inadequate, old-fashioned, out of step with modern needs, a hindrance to cooperation between nations on a worldwide basis.

30. Discredit the American Founding Fathers. Present them as selfish aristocrats who had no concern for the "common man."

31. Belittle all forms of American culture and discourage the teaching of American history on the ground that it was only a minor part of the "big picture." Give more emphasis to Russian history since the Communists took over.

32. Support any socialist movement to give centralized control over any part of the culture--education, social agencies, welfare programs, mental health clinics, etc.

33. Eliminate all laws or procedures which interfere with the operation of the Communist apparatus.

34. Eliminate the House Committee on Un-American Activities.

35. Discredit and eventually dismantle the FBI.

36. Infiltrate and gain control of more unions.

37. Infiltrate and gain control of big business.

38. Transfer some of the powers of arrest from the police to social agencies. Treat all behavioral problems as psychiatric disorders which no one but psychiatrists can understand [or treat].

39. Dominate the psychiatric profession and use mental health laws as a means of gaining coercive control over those who oppose Communist goals.

40. Discredit the family as an institution. Encourage promiscuity and easy divorce.

41. Emphasize the need to raise children away from the negative influence of parents. Attribute prejudices, mental blocks and retarding of children to suppressive influence of parents.

42. Create the impression that violence and insurrection are legitimate aspects of the American tradition; that students and special-interest groups should rise up and use ["]united force["] to solve economic, political or social problems.

43. Overthrow all colonial governments before native populations are ready for self-government.

44. Internationalize the Panama Canal.

45. Repeal the Connally reservation so the United States cannot prevent the World Court from seizing jurisdiction [over domestic problems. Give the World Court jurisdiction] over nations and individuals alike.

Crossposted on Internet Journal of Public Policy
papijoe 8:12 AM |

Chinese Abortion Whistleblower Under Siege

From The Times Online via Mark Nicodemo

A disturbing story and a real hero for the Culture of Life.

HORRIFYING revelations of forced abortions and compulsory sterilisation in China embarrassed the Beijing government last week just as President Hu Jintao took the international stage.
The exposure of practices that break China’s own laws governing birth control was the work of a blind man who has led a campaign to bring officials to justice for their crimes.

However, Chen Guancheng, 34, the campaigner, is under house arrest this weekend in Linyi, a city of 10m people where family planning officials have committed the worst abuses documented in recent years. All involve poor people in and around Linyi, which lies in Shandong province, some 400 miles southeast of Beijing.

They have described brutal coercion that started last March when the local authorities panicked over the number of “unplanned births”.

The local officials that Guancheng has accused have come down on the blind activist with both feet: his determination to bring Shandong’s party officials to book, Chen broke a political taboo. He travelled to Beijing, met American diplomats and talked to the US media. Reaction was swift.

On September 6 a group of men attacked him in Beijing and threw him into a car. The abductors were security officials from Linyi who had pursued Chen to the capital. They were obliged by Beijing police to release him and he was put on a train back to Linyi.

There he remains, by his own account under siege in his home. The police have rigged up lights to keep watch, ordered taxi drivers not to pick him up, seized his home computer and cut off his telephone.

Spread the word, Chen Guancheng deserves our support!

Crossposted at ProLifeBlogs
papijoe 6:24 AM |

Monday, September 19, 2005

Right-To-Die Group Exploits Katrina Tragedy

In a recent press release, Barbara Coombs Lee the CEO of Right-to-die group Compassion & Choices took advantage of reports of doctors euthanizing patients to position her group's physician assisted suicide agenda.

Opponents of assisted suicide were swift to respond:

In response to Ms. Coombs Lee's statement, Marilyn Golden of the Disability Rights, Education and Defense Fund noted, "The circumstances of the New Orleans hurricane were so unusual that it is completely inappropriate to draw any general policy conclusions (about assisted suicide) from what happened."

The so called "Death with Dignity Act" that has so far failed overwhelmingly in California, and in 49 other states in which assisted suicide advocates have presented it, is not an acceptable or ethical response to the victims of a natural disaster -- especially the victims who are uninsured for health care.

If assisted suicide advocates like Barbara Coombs Lee and others were to legalize state sanctioned assisted suicide, one can imagine the circumstances that might follow. "Would assisted suicide have made it better on the Gulf Coast?" asks Dr. Rex Greene M.D. Instead of planning for evacuation procedures that accommodate the needs of people with disabilities or illness "would disaster relief have included the passing out of lethal overdoses to terminally ill patients who couldn't be evacuated?"

For me the most infuriating aspect of this press release is the disingenuousness of Coombs Lee"s organization. Compassion & Choices consistantly states that it opposes euthanasia and supports only physician assisted suicide. Yet it is a merger of two right-to-die groups which were strong advocates of euthanasia. For example Dr Ron Cranford served with both the Hemlock Club and Choices in Dying, and his advocacy of euthanasia is open.

But public support for the right-to-die agenda evaporates when it is linked with European-style euthanasia, so Compassion & Choices public policy reflects what it thinks will get physician assisted suicide laws on the books. Based on the European experience, the slippery slope will take care of the rest.

Speaking at a conference this weekend, bioethicist and disability rights advocate Stuart Ferst highlighted the concerns of the sick and disabled regarding the right-to-die agenda:

"They fear that euthanasia is the first step toward a society that will kill disabled people against their will," Ferst said. "There is a basic, implicit assumption that reasons life should be ended either if a person is in terrible pain, hates their life or is at the end of their productivity. People with disabilities fear that you can say that for someone who is disabled, whether they're six months old … or 80 years old.

"And because of the modern history of the way we treat people with disabilities, their fears are not irrational by any stretch of the imagination." He noted that it's only been in the past 40 years that the disabled have been brought out of institutions and become part of mainstream society — and despite legal mandates, Americans with disabilities still are discriminated against.

The right-to-die movement has again demonstrated its inherent lack of integrity in using this tragedy to promote its dishonest agenda.
papijoe 6:38 AM |

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Judge Roberts Vague on Euthanasia

ProLifeBlog's Naaman gets a hat tip in this LifeSite article:

...Roberts today told senators that any Supreme Court opinions he has on euthanasia “won’t be based on my personal views,” adding that “They will be based on my understanding of the law

Overall, Naaman's analysis is thorough and gives us hope that Roberts is the stealth nomimee that we will be pleased with. I hope he proves to be an ally against the Culture of Death.

Crossposted at ProLifeBlogs
papijoe 6:56 AM |

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

China Using Tissue from Executed Convicts and Fetuses for Cosmetics

From The Guardian via Discarded Lies

"A lot of the research is still carried out in the traditional manner using skin from the executed prisoner and aborted foetus." This material, he said, was being bought from "bio tech" companies based in the northern province of Heilongjiang, and was being developed elsewhere in China.

He suggested that the use of skin and other tissues harvested from executed prisoners was not uncommon. "In China it is considered very normal and I was very shocked that western countries can make such a big fuss about this," he said. Speaking from his office in northern China, he added: "The government has put some pressure on all the medical facilities to keep this type of work in low profile."

The agent said his company exported to the west via Hong Kong."We are still in the early days of selling these products, and clients from abroad are quite surprised that China can manufacture the same human collagen for less than 5% of what it costs in the west." Skin from prisoners used to be even less expensive, he said. "Nowadays there is a certain fee that has to be paid to the court."

The report from the British paper actually downplays the the fetal tissue aspect. Any use of human tissue in cosmetics is atrocious. Pro-life groups have been reporting the use of fetal tissue in cosmetics for some time. I'm glad the mainstream media is waking up and getting the word out on this terrible practice.
papijoe 6:40 AM |

Monday, September 12, 2005

China Poised to Reap Disaster from "One Child" Policy

From a Lifesite Special Report

Stephen Mosher was one of the first researchers allowed into China, of 20 that were admitted in 1979-80. “I have a confession to make,” he recently stated at a talk in Markham Ontario, “When I went to China I was not pro-life. I was pro-abortion. I thought it was a woman’s right to choose…I also thought when I went to China that China was overpopulated. China had too many people.”

What he found out about China's One Child policy not only changed his views on abortion and overpopulation, but resulted in his being labeled an international spy by the PRC government and got him kicked out of Stanford due to threats from China to ban all scholars from the university. But his testimony convinced the Reagan administration to cut off it's contribution to the UN Population fund that was supporting China's program:

That funding was re-instated under Clinton. But again under the Bush administration Mosher sent investigators into China to prove that the UN Population Fund was involved in China’s forced abortion, forced sterilization program. Again their evidence caused the United States to cut off funding to the UN fund. “We’ve cost them $150 million,” said Mosher. “And that’s the good news.”

Stephen is now president of the Population Research Institute which is one of the few NGOs challenging the UN's drive to depopulate the planet and addresses the myths that motivate these programs.

But while the UN and similar agencies seem to base their depopulation agenda on the long discredited theories of Malthus, John Ehrlich and the Club of Rome, the motivation of the People's Republic seems to be more simple:

“I began to realize that China’s problems, China’s backwardness at that point in time, hadn’t been caused by the fact that there was so many Chinese people, or that the Chinese people were having too many problems, but was caused because there was a corrupt government in power, a government that instead of letting the Chinese people develop China, had stood in the way.”

“Demographers have no conception of overpopulation. What they mean is poverty,” he alleged. “Famine and starvation does happen in the world, but it happens as a result usually of government interference with the production of food… We produce enough grain that everyone could eat a couple pounds of grain a day. We have a problem with distributing food, but we don’t have a problem with overall food production. The world today could feed about 12 to 14 billion people.”

The great famine under Chairman Mao, Mosher explained, had absolutely nothing to do with an actual shortage of food or an excess of population, but was rather the result of an escalation of destructive administrative errors, culminating in the direct confiscation of desperately needed grain from the poor and a refusal to seek assistance from wealthy Western countries.

“What has really held China back is the fact of government corruption and mismanagement…These Chinese people are China’s greatest resource; they can develop China if they’re given half a chance.”

Mosher goes on to point out two very grave unintended consequences of the One Child Policy,a gender imbalance of 25 million males and population where the elderly greatly outnumber the young. Some of the disasterous potential scenarios that are likely to result are as follows:

Does China seem to be aware of these dangers and the steps need to avoid them?

The Communist Party, despite the devastation of its one-child policy, Mosher revealed, is still strongly committed to the policy despite lulling media reports that it has been softening its stand. The pro-life China expert reported that the government is determined to follow all the way through on the recommendations of a government White Paper calling for its brutal policy to continue to about 2050 in order to reduce the country’s population to 600 million from its current 1.2 billion level.

The brutality will therefore increase rather than decrease in order to meet that unimaginable population reduction target. However, strictly from a pragmatic perspective, Mosher emphasized, this is certain to result in economic disaster for the still struggling nation since its population is its real economic strength. Mosher stated, “every abortion is hindering China’s economic development” but the Communists do not want to admit at this late stage that they have been wrong about their abortion policy.

With an outlook like this, it's little mystery why China has declared Stephen Mosher
persona non grata.

Crossposted on Internet Journal of Public Policy
papijoe 4:03 PM |

Patients Euthanized in New Orleans Hospitals

From Daily Mail via LifeSite

Doctors working in hurricane-ravaged New Orleans killed critically ill patients rather than leaving them to die in agony as they evacuated hospitals, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.
With gangs of rapists and looters rampaging through wards in the flooded city, senior doctors took the harrowing decision to give massive overdoses of morphine to those they believed could not make it out alive.

In an extraordinary interview with The Mail on Sunday, one New Orleans doctor told how she 'prayed for God to have mercy on her soul' after she ignored every tenet of medical ethics and ended the lives of patients she had earlier fought to save.

Her heart-rending account has been corroborated by a hospital orderly and by local government officials. One emergency official, William 'Forest' McQueen, said: "Those who had no chance of making it were given a lot of morphine and lain down in a dark place to die."

Euthanasia is illegal in Louisiana, and The Mail on Sunday is protecting the identities of the medical staff concerned to prevent them being made scapegoats for the events of last week.

The article itself is trashy biased journalism. But if the reports are true this adds another tragic dimension to this event.

Crossposted at ProLifeBlogs
papijoe 6:12 AM |

Saturday, September 10, 2005


From Cox and Forkum. Hat tip to lady redhawk.

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papijoe 3:33 PM |

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Most Belgian Euthanasia Not Reported

From Expatica

Actually that is an understatement.

There are 30 requests for assisted suicide lodged on average with the euthanasia committee every month.

However, commission chief Wim Distelmans suspects that many more people are undergoing euthanasia.

"If we compare our situation with the situation in the Netherlands, we can assume that the actual number of people undergoing euthanasia is five times as high or about 150," Distelmans said.

Why if euthanasia has been legal since 2002, are only 20% of the cases in Belgium reported? This is a huge red flag that abuses are occurring like this one. This is unregulated killing, pure and simple.
papijoe 5:41 AM |

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

More Problems with Embryonic Stem Cells

From LifeSite

BALTIMORE, September 6, 2005 ( - Human embryonic stem cells have long been known to be unstable and difficult to control. In some cases, where they have been used directly in therapeutic trials, the use of embryo stem cells has been disastrous for patients. Now a researcher from Johns Hopkins University, an institution that has backed the use of embryos for research, has found that embryonic stem cells that are cultured in the lab accumulate genetic changes that may be linked to cancer.

Like a genetic game of “telephone” the longer the cells are cultivated, the more the genetic errors grow. Says Dr. Aravinda Chakravarti a geneticist at the Institute of Genetic Medicine of Johns Hopkins University in a report in the journal Nature Genetics, “These mutations we are finding are a much bigger problem.”

I'm not a biologist, but this doesn't sound encouraging:

Chakravarti’s research team found that as they were cultured, stem cell lines went through 35 cell divisions and found that 90% showed changes in patterns of methylation – the process in which certain genes in a cell are turned on or off – 22% had mutations in mitochondrial DNA and 50% had major deletions or amplifications in the DNA. Moreover, it was the connection between the particular genetic problems the cells developed and the formation of tumours that was most worrying.

“[I]f it turns out these cells really do become unstable over time,” Chakravarti said, “then that would put limits on the practical life spans of the cells and their usefulness for therapeutic purposes.”

Don't expect to see this in the MSM:

Chakravarti told the New Scientist that a possible solution would be to use the cells only when they are new and before extensive cultivation and division. However, the use of embryonic stem cells for disease treatment depends upon a long process of cultivation and differentiation into particular tissue types. Chakravarti’s discovery may end any lingering hopes of using embryo stem cells directly in therapeutic applications.

The ESCR initiative in this country and the UK seems to be losing steam already. This should be a fatal blow to federal funding, but whether the media will sit on it remains to be seen. As Tim reported the other day on ProLifeBlogs, it may have to be pricipled scientists themselves that blow the whistle. We'll see if this is enough to stop this boondoggle.

Crossposted on ProLifeBlogs
papijoe 6:05 AM |

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Over a Third of Child Deaths in Holland Hastened by Doctors

Two new reports from the Netherlands shows a staggering prevalence of physicial assisted "suicide" and euthanasia among children.

The first study was based on questionnaires that followed death certificates:

The death certificate study showed that 36% of all deaths of children between the ages of 1 and 17 years in the study period were preceded by an ELD (Table 1). Of all deaths, 12% concerned a nontreatment decision and 21%, the use of drugs to alleviate pain or other symptoms with a possible life-shortening effect. Some 2.7% of all deaths involved physician-assisted dying, of which 0.7% took place at the request of the patient (euthanasia) and 2.0% did not. The latter cases were all performed at the explicit request of the family.

The second was direct interviews with doctors:

In the interviews, 76 of the most recent cases in which an ELD had preceded the death of a child were discussed: 20 cases of physician-assisted dying where a drug was used with the explicit intention to hasten death, 12 cases of deep sedation while forgoing artificial nutrition or hydration, and 44 cases of nontreatment decisions (Table 3) (Figure). In 2 of the cases of physician-assisted dying, the decision was made at the explicit request of the child; 1 of these concerned a case of euthanasia performed by a family doctor in which the respondent was involved. Another 16 cases followed an explicit request for physician-assisted death by the parents, of which 2 respondents reported having been involved in cases where a family doctor had ended a child’s life. In 2 other cases, the decision was made without an explicit request from either the child or the parents.

The report make no further comment on the last 2 cases where basically the doctors themselves decided to end the life of a child.

Traditionally even without any penalties for adult euthanasia, death certificates in Holland under-represent the number of cases, so there is a good chance the practice is more widespread than this report would indicate, since it is still technically illegal. The Dutch are using their typical justification of "We're doing it anyway, so let's make it legal."

Based on the small sampling of this report, we know of 2 case of children who died solely at the discretion of doctors who broke their Oath to do no harm. There are likely many more and this number will only increase if this practice is legalized.

Crossposted on ProlifeBlogs
papijoe 7:39 AM |

Monday, September 05, 2005

Unnatural Disaster

Hat tip: Zaide

From The Intellectual Activist

It took four long days for state and federal officials to figure out how to deal with the disaster in New Orleans. I can't blame them, because it also took me four long days to figure out what was going on there. The reason is that the events there make no sense if you think that we are confronting a natural disaster.

If this is just a natural disaster, the response for public officials is obvious: you bring in food, water, and doctors; you send transportation to evacuate refugees to temporary shelters; you send engineers to stop the flooding and rebuild the city's infrastructure. For journalists, natural disasters also have a familiar pattern: the heroism of ordinary people pulling together to survive; the hard work and dedication of doctors, nurses, and rescue workers; the steps being taken to clean up and rebuild.

Public officials did not expect that the first thing they would have to do is to send thousands of armed troops in armored vehicle, as if they are suppressing an enemy insurgency. And journalists—myself included—did not expect that the story would not be about rain, wind, and flooding, but about rape, murder, and looting.

But this is not a natural disaster. It is a man-made disaster.

The man-made disaster is not an inadequate or incompetent response by federal relief agencies, and it was not directly caused by Hurricane Katrina. This is where just about every newspaper and television channel has gotten the story wrong.

The man-made disaster we are now witnessing in New Orleans did not happen over four days last week. It happened over the past four decades. Hurricane Katrina merely exposed it to public view.

The man-made disaster is the welfare state.

Read the rest.

Crossposted on IJPP
papijoe 7:10 PM |

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Man Who Euthanizes Wife Goes Scot-Free

From The Independent

A 72-year-old man who killed his terminally ill wife in "an act of love" has been spared jail.

Donald Mawditt sedated his wife Maureen before suffocating her with a carrier bag at their home. He then rang 999 and said: "I've helped my wife kill herself."

Mr Mawditt, a retired nurse, yesterday pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility but walked free after a judge ruled that a jail sentence was not appropriate.

The grandfather, who had been married to his wife for 50 years, broke down in tears as he was given a three year conditional discharge.

Euthanasia campaigners said the case highlighted the need for a change in the law to protect those involved in mercy killings.

If I were the judge I would also have had a hard time sending Mr Mawditt to jail. But this is sickening:

His daughter Karen, 45, said: "I admire my dad for what he did. He definitely did the right thing.

"I know it's what mum wanted. I think she would have been proud of him too."

It is not known how many mercy killings take place each year, but campaigners say it could run into hundreds.

Deborah Annetts, chief executive of the Voluntary Euthanasia Society, said mercy killings would continue until the law was changed to give the terminally ill the right to die.

How stark the contrast is. Once the Culture of Death is embraced, those who once would have been considered murderers and now considered heroes. There are often reasons that seem good for doing what is wrong. Once upon a time this was called temptation.
papijoe 8:31 PM |

Friday, September 02, 2005

Michael Schiavo's Lawyer Back in the News

From Lifenews

After lying low for a while after his pivotal role in Terri Schiavo's execution, George Felos has surfaced:

During the international debate over the euthanasia of Terri Schiavo, considerable attention was focused on the involvement of her estranged Michael's lead attorney George Felos' involvement in activities backing assisted suicide. Now, Felos has been named to the board of directors of a group that backs euthanasia.
Project Grace, which stands for Guidelines for Resuscitation And Care at End-of-life, quietly named Felos to its board within days of Terri's late March death from starvation and dehydration.

Project Grace seems to have been a grey eminence in Michael's efforts to kill his wife:

Mary Labyak, is the executive director of Hospice of Florida Suncoast, which owns Woodside Hospice where Terri spent the last five years of her life. The hospice became ground zero in the battle over Terri's life in January. Labyak is a member of Project Grace's Executive Committee.

Felos is also a former member of the board of directors of Hospice of Florida Suncoast and was once the president.

Dr. James Avery, former medical director for Woodside and on the hospice staff at the time Terri was admitted there in April 2000, sits on Project Grace's advisory board.

The Empire Journal newspaper contacted Project Grace to determine exactly when Felos became a member of its board, but the organizations refused to respond. It also did not respond to a request for comment.

The Project Grace web site also specifically supports Michael's efforts to euthanize Terri.

The Empire Journal appears to have broke the story and gives more background:

Project Grace’s founder, Lofty Basta, continually campaigned against keeping Terri alive, and complimented Judge Greer on his decisions. Basta wrote articles in the media and campaigned extensively in churches in other forums. Basta even stated that people like Terri have to die because there is no money to pay for the elderly’s medication benefits, trying to get Pinellas’s elderly population to turn against Terri.

Clearly Project Grace is concerned with more than palliative care and living wills. Felos should fit right in.
papijoe 7:55 AM |