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All articles in category Ethics

News

March 2019
News > Ethics

Netherlands: Quarter of all deaths ‘induced’

Fifteen years after euthanasia was legalised in the Netherlands, over a quarter of all deaths in 2017 were ‘induced’, according to a report in The Guardian newspaper. In the report, journalist Christopher de Bellaigue traces the history of euthanasia in the Netherlands from when it was introduced for extreme cases to now being applied more freely. ‘The process of bringing in euthanasia legislation began with a desire to deal with the most heart-breaking cases — really terrible forms of death’, said Theo Boer, who teaches ethics at the Theological University of Kampen. ‘But there have been important changes in the way the law is applied....

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News

March 2019
News > Ethics

Woman launches court case to liberalise abortion law in NI

Abortion activist Sarah Ewart has started a court case to force the liberalisation of the abortion law in Northern Ireland. She has launched a judicial review of the legislation in Northern Ireland, and the case will be ruled upon by judges in the High Court. It comes after a previous Supreme Court appeal, led by the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (NIHRC), failed last year. In that case, the judges said Northern Ireland’s ban on abortion was incompatible with human rights laws in the case of fatal foetal abnormality and sexual crime. However, the case failed because the judges said the NIHRC did not have...

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News

March 2019
News > Ethics

Ashers bakery will not seek costs over ‘gay cake’ case

The owners of Ashers bakery in Northern Ireland say they won’t seek to recover legal costs from those who pursued them in the courts. The bakery’s backers, The Christian Institute, said Ashers do not wish to set a precedent which may damage other religious liberty cases in the future. And the Institute also says that by not seeking costs, Ashers are being consistent with arguments made at earlier stages of their legal case. The case centred on whether the Christian owners of the bakery could be forced to provide a cake with the slogan ‘support gay marriage’. When the case first went to trial, the...

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News

February 2019
News > Ethics > Persecution > Religious liberty > Society

Christian magistrate can challenge his dismissal over gay adoption comments

A Christian former magistrate has won the right to legally challenge his dismissal over remarks he made about same-sex couples adopting children. Richard Page, from Kent, lost his role after saying in a BBC interview that a child would be better looked after by a man and a woman rather than a gay couple. His comments came after Mr Page, along with two other Magistrates, considered an application by a same-sex couple to adopt a child in Kent in July 2014. He was later sacked for ‘serious misconduct’ by the then Justice Secretary Michael Gove and Lord Thomas, who said his comments suggested he was...

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News

February 2019
News > Ethics > Family > Society

‘There was no way we could kill our babies’

A mother has explained how she refused to consider abortion when doctors told her that her triplets were not developing as expected. Katie Johnson and her husband Patrick were told at a twelve-week scan that their babies, Oscar, Aurelia and Oliver, had life-threatening growth problems. Doctors advised Katie to abort one or two of them to give the others a better chance of survival. She said: ‘There was a risk to all of them. Oliver was 25 per cent smaller than his brother, and the blood flow wasn’t getting to him properly. If Oliver died, Oscar could have died too. ‘But there was no way...

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News

February 2019
News > Ethics > Society

Ealing censorship zone to be reviewed by Court of Appeal

The Court of Appeal has granted permission to appeal a High Court decision that upheld a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) around an abortion facility in the London Borough of Ealing. The Ealing PSPO, which took effect in April last year, imposed a censorship zone that criminalised a wide range of conduct, including prayer, peaceful protest and the offering of leaflets. The PSPO was subject to a legal challenge shortly after coming into force in April of last year, but in July the High Court found that Ealing Council’s PSPO was lawful. However, the Court of Appeal has now agreed to hear an appeal. Laurence...

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News

February 2019
News > Ethics > Society

Abortion rate highest in 10 years, Down’s abortions up 50%

Revised abortion statistics published by the Department of Health (DoH) show that the number of abortions carried out in England and Wales is at its highest in ten years. The DoH revealed that in 2017 more than 197,000 abortions were carried out, the highest number since 2008. The statistics also revealed a large increase in abortions among women over the age of 30. The abortion rate for 30 to 34-year-old women has climbed the highest since 2007, to a rate of 18.5 abortions per 1,000 women, up from 15.1. The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children said: ‘Showing the extent to which abortion is...

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News

February 2019
News > Ethics > International

Netherlands: Dementia patient euthanised despite saying she ‘didn’t want to die’

A doctor has been charged with unlawfully ending a patient’s life in the first case of its kind since euthanasia was legalised in the Netherlands in 2002. The nursing home doctor, who remains anonymous, administered a lethal injection to a 74-year-old dementia patient despite the fact that her will was ‘unclear and contradictory’. Prosecutors have said that the doctor had ‘not acted carefully’ and ‘overstepped a line’. Though the dementia-sufferer had earlier expressed a desire for euthanasia when ‘the time was right’, in the days before she was killed, she had said she did not want to die.

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News

January 2019
News > Ethics

Young woman with Down’s syndrome campaigns against disability screening

Heidi Crowter, a 23-year-old woman from Coventry, has voiced her experience of life with Down’s syndrome and spoken out against disability screening, in an interview with The Christian Institute. Heidi said that parents ‘are being told lies’ about Down’s syndrome and she hopes that her example of life and faith will challenge the misconceptions. She is actively involved with ‘Don’t Screen Us Out’, a campaign group highlighting that Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT) is likely to result in a large number of abortions in the UK. Latest figures for Great Britain reveal that around 92 per cent of pregnancies, where Down’s syndrome is identified, result in...

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News

January 2019
News > Ethics

Government launches ‘safeguarding’ consultation for Sunday schools

The Department for Education has launched an open consultation to write a draft code of practise on safeguarding in out-of-school settings, Premier Christian Radio reports. This will affect various groups like the Scouts, but it will also include any religious settings which offer education in their own faith, such as Sunday schools. The Department for Education is asking for contributions of opinion to try to provide a sector-wide safeguarding framework for all out-of-school settings, saying, ‘While the majority do behave in a safe environment, there are some settings which do not.’ The department said, ‘We are inviting the views of out-of-school settings providers, staff and...

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News

January 2019
News > Ethics

Assisted suicide appeal denied at the Supreme Court

The UK Supreme Court has rejected an attempt to legalise assisted suicide. The ruling by Lady Hale, Lord Kerr and Lord Reed upholds the decision by the Court of Appeal, which rejected the same arguments in June 2018. The Supreme Court’s decision means that Mr Conway’s case cannot proceed any further in the British courts. Right to Life spokesperson, Clare McCarthy said, ‘We welcome the Supreme Court’s decision. ‘Our current law protects people with disabilities and vulnerable people from being coerced into ending their lives. This ruling upholds previous decisions by Parliament and judges making it clear that the current protections provided by the current...

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News

January 2019
News > Ethics > Uncategorised

Peers criticise PM over failure to grant asylum to Asia Bibi

In a letter to The Times, members of the House of Lords have strongly criticised the UK government over its handling of Asia Bibi’s plea for asylum. Asia Bibi was convicted in Pakistan of blasphemy against Islam and sentenced to death, but was recently acquitted. However, there are fears she will be killed by hardliners unless she flees the country. Lord Alton of Liverpool, Baroness Cox and other peers said in their letter that failing to offer her sanctuary here was a ‘serious betrayal’ by the UK. They wrote, ‘We are deeply concerned by reports that Theresa May is refusing asylum to Asia Bibi, who...

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