World Congress

for freedom of scientific research

05/18/2016
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada apologized repeatedly to the House of Commons after some jostling on its floor, in which he was accused of manhandling a Conservative member of Parliament and elbowing a female legislator. Mr. Trudeau had grown visibly irritated as the opposition Conservative and New Democratic parties tried to stall a vote to limit debate on the government’s assisted suicide legislation. The Supreme Court of Canada has given Parliament until June 6 to pass a law allowing physician-assisted deaths. Arcane parliamentary tradition means that voting cannot begin...
05/08/2016
New lab techniques have provided the first good look at a crucial but mysterious stage in the development of human embryos, scientists reported Wednesday. The researchers said follow-up research might eventually lead to new treatments for infertility and perhaps new forms of birth control. The work extends the amount of embryonic development that can be observed in a laboratory. In the first week after fertilization, an egg grows into a hollow ball of cells, and scientists have long been able to watch that happen. But then this early embryo, about the size of a grain of salt , ...
04/26/2016
An Oklahoma bill that could revoke the license of any doctor who performs an abortion may soon head to the governor, with opponents saying the measure in unconstitutional and promising a legal battle against the cash-strapped state if it is approved. In the Republican-dominated legislature, the state's House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a Senate bill late on Thursday. Governor Mary Fallin, a Republican, has not yet indicated whether she will sign it. The Senate needs to approve minor changes to the bill before it can go to the governor, lawmakers said. Under the bill,...
04/16/2016
Former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke has emerged as a strong supporter of legalised euthanasia. In an interview on ABC Radio, he said that some people were dying in terrible pain and should be able to schedule their own deaths. In his judgement, it is an “inarguable case”: “In my judgement, there's no moral or ethical grounds for the absurdity of having a position where a person is in terrible pain and for some quasi-religious or moral reason you're going to make them suffer and suffer and suffer.” For Hawke, a Rhodes Scholar who became the longest-serving Labor PM since...
04/03/2016
What do bioethicists think of Donald Trump? Probably not much. Trump views on bioethical issues are either ill-defined or extreme: He flip-flopped on abortion this week, appearing to change position three times in the space of a day. And after the Brussell’s terrorist attacks he called for a liberisation of US laws on turture of terrorist suspects. Yet there’s perhaps more to the story than these off-the-cuff remarks. Leading US bioethicist and former presidential advisor Johnathan D. Moreno believes Trump implicitly represents a certain attractive moral conservativism; at least, a...
03/24/2016
CHICAGO — Indiana’s governor signed a bill on Thursday that adds broad limits to women’s access to abortions, banning those motivated solely by the mother’s objection to the fetus’s race, gender or disability, and placing new restrictions on doctors. The law, which passed both chambers of the Republican-controlled General Assembly with large majorities, builds on Indiana’s already restrictive abortion rules, and was cheered by anti-abortion groups that had encouraged Gov. Mike Pence to sign it. “We are pleased that our state values life no matter an individual’s potential disability,...
03/06/2016
Retired Japanese airline employee Tarou Tanzawa said he hadn't thought much about his own death until his 84-year-old mother was diagnosed with malignant lymphoma and decided against costly and invasive life-prolonging treatment. He watched his mother die peacefully at a nursing home where she received only palliative care after checking out of the hospital where she was diagnosed. Soon after, Tanzawa made his own "living will", stipulating he did not want life-prolonging treatment if he became terminally ill or was in a vegetative state. "I felt it was too soon (for my mother to die...
01/27/2016
France's Parliament has approved a bill that will let doctors keep terminally ill patients sedated until death comes but stops short of legalizing euthanasia or assisted suicide. After years of tense debate over the issue and a long journey through Parliament, the bill was passed by the country's lower house and Senate Wednesday. The text is the result of a consensus of Socialist and conservative lawmakers. The new law will allow patients to request "deep, continuous sedation altering consciousness until death" but only when their condition is likely to lead to a quick death. Doctors...
12/01/2015
Although only one-third of British people are aware that it is impossible for the average woman in Northern Ireland to have an abortion, a number of significant cases across the Irish Sea have raised the profile of this struggle. A landmark ruling – though undoubtedly welcome – serves primarily as a reminder of just how far there is to go. A High Court judge ruled that the ban on abortions for women carrying babies with fatal abnormalities, or who have been victims of rape or incest, amounted to a breach of human rights. That it has taken this long to reach such a pass is disturbing....
09/11/2015
Sharon Bernstein reporst from Reuter: The California legislature on Friday approved a bill to legalize physician-assisted suicide for terminally ill patients despite opposition from religious and disability rights groups, sending it to Democratic Governor Jerry Brown for his approval or veto. The bill would allow mentally competent patients to request a prescription that would end their lives if two doctors agree the patients have only six months to live. The measure, based on a similar law in Oregon, passed the state Senate on Friday on a vote of 23-14, after passing the Assembly on...

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