adolescent pregnancy: CAMPAIGN TO PREVENT TEEN PREGNANCY
adolescents:: STD KNOWLEDGE
chemical (medical) abortion: MORNING AFTER (ABORTION) PILL
choose life license plate: FLORIDA
cloning: INFERTILITY TREATMENT?
ectopic pregnancy: METHOTREXATE
eugenics: PRINCETON’S PETER SINGER
health care: END OF LIFE CARE
imposed death (euthanasia): BELGIUM, NETHERLANDS
pregnancy: MATERNAL/FETAL CONFLICT
selective reduction: CHORIONIC VILLUS SAMPLING (CVS)
you: CALIFORNIA RIGHT TO LIFE
reflection for prayer: ST. JOHN CHRYSOSTOM
COMPLICATION: A case study involving ovarian vein thrombosis prompts the writers to warn, “ovarian vein thrombosis might occur after elective first-trimester abortion and have an atypical presentation.” They further state that significant morbidity and mortality is associated with this condition.
(Reading: “Ovarian Vein Thrombosis After Elective Abortion,” Obstetrics and Gynecology, 11/00 P. 828-829; subscription required)
NATIONAL CAMPAIGN TO PREVENT TEEN PREGNANCY: A new public service ad campaign addresses “sex has consequences” topics. The ads promote concepts such as “cheap” condoms, “dirty diapers,” and others. To view the ads, which are directed at continuing promiscuity with a full range of “protection/reproductive choices” as the antidote, see Sex has consequences.
STD KNOWLEDGE: More than 500 inner city high school students from Toronto, Canada were surveyed to determine the level of awareness among teens regarding human papillomavirus. HPV is the most frequent sexually transmitted disease in North America. The study found that the urban adolescent population had very little knowledge of the disease or how it is acquired. Researchers comment that health belief models that “postulate that individuals will engage in preventive health behavior if they believe themselves at risk of contracting a condition” do not work for adolescents.
(Reading: “Knowledge About Human Papillomavirus Among Adolescents,” Obstetrics and Gynecology, 11/00, p. 653-656; subscription required)
chemical (medical) abortion
MORNING AFTER (ABORTION) PILL: Researchers warn of possible negative interactions between warfarin, prescribed for those suffering from blood clots, and levonorgestrel, which is a component of the progestogen only morning after pill. Thus far Wyeth, manufacturer of the pill, has not received any reports describing this interaction.
(Reading: “Apparent Interaction Between Warfarin and Levonorgestrel Used for Emergency Contraception,” British Medical Journal, 12/2/00)
choose life license plate
FLORIDA: The long-awaited Florida license plate is now available. The organization at the forefront of getting this license plate approved is willing to help anyone in the country do likewise, and can be contacted at Choose Life. The statewide publicity director is Russ Amerling.
INFERTILITY TREATMENT? The ethics committee of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine has published a statement on “the science of reproductive somatic cell nuclear transfer” focused on the need to research the therapeutic value and the “ethical implications of cloning, especially for infertile couples.”
(Reading: “Human Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer (Cloning),” Fertility and Sterility, 11/00, p. 873-876, click on current issue.)
METHOTREXATE: Researchers report that though methotrexate is deemed safer than surgical intervention for the treatment of ectopic pregnancy, the failure rate is high in cases where patients experience “pain or vaginal bleeding.” A second article points out “Increasing knowledge of the natural history of ectopic pregnancy after the methotrexate therapy has facilitated the identification of both appropriate candidates for non-surgical therapy and the potential complications of therapy.”
COMMENT: Methotrexate is deemed an illicit treatment for ectopic pregnancy because its use is a direct attack on the embryonic person, with the intended effect of killing that person.
(Reading: “Predictors of Treatment Failure for Ectopic Pregnancy Treated with Single-dose Methotrexate,” Fertility and Sterility, 11/00, p. 877-880, click on current issue; “Nonsurgical Treatment of Ectopic Pregnancy,” The New England Journal of Medicine, 11/2/00, p. 1325-1329)
PRINCETON’S PETER SINGER: The latest Singer book, “The Essential Singer: Writings on an Ethical Life” was reviewed by the Chicago Sun Times’ Sabrina Walters. She points to ideas set forth in the book, including the alleged ethical acceptability of selectively killing disabled infants and the supposedly acceptable practice of euthanasia on the terminally ill or the elderly if their care “would drag on society’s well being,” etc.
(Reading: “Activist Sees Merit in Killing Disabled,” Chicago Sun-Times, 11/27/00)
END OF LIFE CARE: The Journal of the American Medical Association devotes an entire issue (11/15/00) to the topic of caring for the dying and the elderly (subscription only).
imposed death (euthanasia)
BELGIUM: Researchers report a survey based on a 20% random sample of 3,999 deaths in Flanders between January 1 and April 30, 1998. Physicians who signed the death certificates were surveyed, and 52 percent responded. 1925 deaths were described in the completed surveys, and were the basis for estimating annual rates based on the 56,354 actual deaths in Flanders reported in 1998. Researchers estimated that 705 deaths resulted from euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide, and that 1,796 patients were given lethal drugs without requesting them.
(Reading: “End-of-life Decisions in Medical Practice in Flanders, Belgium: A Nationwide Survey,” The Lancet, 11/25/00, p. 1806-1811)
NETHERLANDS: An October 30 landmark court decision in Haarlem, the Netherlands, acquitted a physician from charges that he had assisted in the suicide of an 86-year-old former senator who was diagnosed as suffering “from life itself.” No medical disorder was involved.
(Reading: “Dutch Court Allows Physician-assisted Suicide without a Medical Disorder,” The Lancet, 11/11/00, p. 1666)
PRO-LIFE: Pharmacists for Life International features a section on their web site for locating a pro-life pharmacist near you.
BUSH: Republican National Coalition for Life points out that the Bush selection of Andrew Card as White House chief of staff should be a warning to pro-lifers — that is, if Bush is named president. Card is not pro-life. Further, Colin Powell is not pro-life, and there are concerns that pro-abortion Governor Christine Todd Whitman of New Jersey will find her way into the Bush administration as well.
MATERNAL/FETAL CONFLICT: Drug abuse, when discovered in mothers who are with child, has led to several court cases in recent months. Feminists argue that such cases are discriminatory and reflect gender inequality. Such questions are discussed in a recent article, which asks whether or not the law should treat women differently because they are or could be pregnant. The writer quotes, among others, pro-abortion, feminist attorney Lynn Paltrow, “Can becoming pregnant be a crime?”
(Reading: “Rethinking Maternal-fetal Conflict: Gender and Equality in Perinatal Ethics,” Obstetrics and Gynecology, 11/00, p. 786-791; subscription required)
prenatal testing/selective reduction
CHORIONIC VILLUS SAMPLING (CVS) I: Researchers recommend the use of CVS prior to determining which preborn babies to destroy. The study involved 166 “fetuses” of whom 3 had abnormalities. The mothers in question had undergone reproductive technological treatment for infertility and were carrying multiple children. The use of CVS assisted in eliminating imperfect babies when the selective reduction was performed so that only a single baby would be born alive. Researchers found that pregnancy loss rates are lower when the single baby is the goal rather than when the mother wishes to deliver twins.
(Reading: “Chorionic Villus Sampling Before Multifetal Pregnancy Reduction,” American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 11/00, p. 1078-1081; abstract only available without paid subscription)
CHORIONIC VILLUS SAMPLING (CVS) II: A different article examines CVS testing during the first trimester when the mother is carrying twins, and concludes “first-trimester CVS is an accurate means of prenatal genetic diagnosis in twins, offering early selective termination in cases of abnormal genetic results in one of the fetuses.”
(Reading: “Outcome of Twin Gestations After First Trimester Chorionic Villus Sampling,” Obstetrics and Gynecology, 11/00, p. 715-720; subscription required)
CALIFORNIA RIGHT TO LIFE is hosting a pro-life dinner on January 27, 2001. Professor Charles Rice is the speaker. For details contact CRTL, 1610 Oak Park Blvd., Suite 1, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523 or call toll-free 877-795-5433.
reflection for prayer
Be as cunning as serpents and as innocent as doves.
A snake will surrender everything and will put up no great resistance even if its body is being cut in pieces, provided it can save its head.
So you, the Lord is saying, must surrender everything but your faith: money, body, even life itself. For faith is the head and the root; keep that, and though you lose all else, you will get it back in abundance.
The Lord therefore counseled the disciples to be not simply clever or innocent; rather he joined the two qualities so that they become a genuine virtue. He insisted on the cleverness of the snake so that deadly wounds might be avoided, and he insisted on the innocence of the dove so that revenge might not be taken on those who injure or lay traps for you. Cleverness is useless without innocence.
Do not believe that this precept is beyond your power. More than anyone else, the Lord knows the true natures of created things; he knows that moderation, not a fierce defense, beats back a fierce attack.
-Saint John Chrysostom