Doctor cleared of mercy-killing
LONDON – The family doctor who once admitted hastening the deaths of 300 people has been cleared of murdering a dying, 85-year-old cancer patient with an overdose of painkillers. David Moor had maintained that he did not believe in euthanasia, but was prepared to give terminally ill patients potentially fatal doses of drugs to ease their suffering and help them “die peacefully.” The jury in the case apparently bought that argument, taking just 65 minutes to decide on its not guilty verdict after an 18-day trial. The decision was greeted with glee by some, including the Voluntary Euthanasia Society, which characterized the decision as “lifting a dark cloud over doctors.” The society claims that up to 100,000 people are quietly euthanized in the United Kingdom each year by thousands of GPs who take the same course as Moor, but are silent about what they do.
UN action in Kosovo criticized
NEW YORK – The Population Research Institute is warning that the United Nations may be violating the human rights of Kosovar women caught in the current Balkan conflict. The charges centre around the UNFPA’s marketing and distribution of so-called reproductive health kits in refugee camps. The UNFPA had announced its intentions to distribute the kits – containing condoms, birth control pills, intra-uterine devices and manual vacuum aspirators (for abortions) – to 350,000 people for six months. Some doctors on the scene have complained that contraceptives and abortifacients have supplanted other medical supplies and even food from supply convoys. “I don’t want to seem ungrateful,” said one doctor, “but much superfluous material has arrived. Today a shipment of birth control. Explain to them that we need other things.” PRI president Steve Mosher said that given the traumas suffered by so many helpless Kosovar women, and the filthy conditions of refugee camps and “reproductive health” facilities, he is concerned about the women’s health, safety and rights.
Illegal abortion shuts hospital
OKO-OBA, Lagos – Security agents temporarily shut down Kenny Hospital here after its operators were allegedly involved in an illegal abortion that resulted in the death of a teenager. Medical staff, including a doctor, are reported to have been arrested. Teenager Folosade Oladunjoye was rushed to the hospital for an abortion, and allegedly underwent the procedure for what was described as a “whopping” sum of money, but without supporting medical documentation. The girl reportedly died during the process. The girl’s father took action immediately upon hearing the news, and police swooped down, made arrests and closed the hospital. Oladunjoye’s body was sent for an autopsy and other hospital workers were being interviewed by police to obtain their accounts of the illegal abortion.
New Zealand abortions down
AUCKLAND – Statistics New Zealand is reporting that there were fewer abortions in the country last year compared to the year before. A little over 15,000 were performed, a 1.2 per cent decrease from 1997 figures. The drop marks a departure from trends during the mid-1990s, when the rate kept increasing by as much as 8.4 per cent a year. There were also 2.5 per cent fewer abortions last year among women aged 15 to 19. Repeat abortions were on the rise, however. Nearly one-third of women having abortions in 1998 had also had one previously.
Pakistan faces de-population