World Congress

for freedom of scientific research

05/23/2017
Jessica M. Wyndham (Interim Director of the Scientific Responsibility, Human Rights and Law Program of the American Association for the Advancement of Science) and Margaret Weigers Vitullo (Director of Academic and Professional Affairs at the American Sociological Association) discuss the 2017 March for Science in the context of the human right to science for openDemocracy. The authors present key findings of an AAAS study on the right to science. In particularly, they highlught the fact that the benefits of science (1) go "beyond medicines and crop rotation techniques, beyond...
05/10/2017
As a young woman, I had no particular desire to be a mother. I was neither for nor against having and raising a child, and as things were at the time, the opportunity had not presented itself. That changed when I was 29 and met Jim, the man who would become my husband. In 2002, not long after we married, I gave birth to my son. In my 20s, I was neutral about parenthood partly because, as a woman with cerebral palsy, I was spared the usual intrusive questioning and expectations about having children that most women are subject to. People never pressured me to have children; they just...
05/08/2017
No issue in America is more toxic than abortion, and that’s partly because it is today so closely associated with religion. While many feminists see abortion as a matter of choice, some Christians see it as murder. Then there are people like Dr. Willie Parker. Dr. Parker is black, feminist and driven by his Christian faith to provide abortions in the South, where women seeking to terminate a pregnancy have few options.  Parker writes in his new memoir, “Life's Work.” “I am protecting women’s rights, their human right to decide their futures for themselves, and to live their lives...
05/01/2017
The Japan News/Yomiuri   TOKYO – The Japanese government plans to revise its basic policy on conducting research on human embryos, in an effort to implement state-led regulations on such research, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned. Aiming to meet the challenges posed by new technologies such as genome editing – a technology that efficiently alters genes – the government is considering limiting human embryo modification through genome editing to basic research, and prohibiting both the implantation of embryos with altered genes in a uterus and the live births of such embryos....
04/27/2017
Swedish midwife Ellinor Grimmark has decided to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights over Sweden’s hard line on conscientious objection. The Swedish Appeals Court decided earlier this month that the government can force medical professionals to perform and cooperate in abortions, or else be forced out of their profession. Because the ruling in Grimmark v. Landstinget i Jönköpings Län appears to contradict international law protecting conscientious objection, Grimmark wants to appeal to Strasbourg. Three different medical clinics denied her employment because she will...
04/24/2017
Deaths by euthanasia increased 10% in the Netherlands in 2016, according to a new report published by the country’s Regional Euthanasia Review Committees (RTE). The report states that in 2016, 6091 patients were euthanised, up from 5516 in 2015. Most of the cases of euthanasia involved people with cancer, serious heart or lung problems or diseases of the nervous system such as ALS. There were 32 more cases of assisted suicide involving people with dementia, most of whom were in the early stages of the disease. In addition, there were 60 cases involving people with severe psychiatric...
04/14/2017
ROME — The widow of an Italian man who became a protagonist in Italy's euthanasia debate turned herself into police on Friday after bringing another terminally ill man to Switzerland to die. Mina Welby told reporters outside the Tuscan police station that Davide Trentini had administered a fatal IV drip himself on Thursday in Switzerland after doctors there determined he was a suitable candidate for assisted suicide. Trentini, 53, had suffered for nearly two decades from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, the neurodegenerative disease better known as Lou Gehrig's disease, and said the pain had...
03/25/2017
Taking advantage of the country’s new law, Canadian transplant surgeons have harvested organs from dozens of euthanasia patients. According to the National Post, 26 people in Ontario who died by lethal injection have donated tissue or organs. This involved mostly corneas, skin, heart valves, bones and tendons. The National Post’s report only covered Ontario. Bioethicists, Transplant Quebec and an ethics committee of the Quebec government in Quebec argued last year that euthanasia could be a good source of organs, so it is quite possible that similar procedures have been carried out in...
03/21/2017
Judge Neil M. Gorsuch has written little about abortion, and we do not know whether he would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that established abortion as a fundamental right. But he has expressed a position on two related subjects, assisted suicide and euthanasia. In his Oxford dissertation and a later book, he defended the inviolability of human life. He rejected the role of states in granting the terminally ill a right to die and offered a legal framework that could be applied to abortion. Judge Gorsuch, who is President Trump’s nominee to fill the Supreme...
03/21/2017
Australia's Northern Territory has decriminalised abortion as part of wide-ranging reforms on the medical termination of pregnancy. Chief Minister Michael Gunner said the laws bring the territory in line with the rest of Australia. The reforms legalise the use of abortion drugs, such as RU486, up to nine weeks into a pregnancy. They also allow medical terminations to happen in specialist clinics, instead of solely in city hospitals. Previously, women in remote areas travelled hundreds of kilometres to Darwin or Alice Springs to access surgical abortions in hospital. "We hear of...

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