This is an abridged edition of International News prepared by editorial staff prior to their departure to complete an overseas assignment.


In recent remarks to the Citizens Assembly in Ireland, Dr. Peter McParland, an ob-gyn at National Maternity Hospital, pointed to a sign of things to come. “In Iceland,” the doctor said, “every single baby diagnosed with Down syndrome, are aborted.” The horrors of the statement above can scarcely be grasped. Iceland has become the first nation to boast of eradicating Down syndrome from its country. Dr. McParland expounded on this systematic annihilation stating, “There hasn’t been a baby with Down syndrome born in Iceland in the past five years.” Iceland is not alone in its aspirations to create a “Down syndrome-free” world. The holocaust of Down syndrome babies is a global epidemic, taking the lives of human beings created in the image of God on the basis of a prenatal diagnosis indicating Down syndrome.


Denmark follows closely behind Iceland and predicts it will be a “Down-syndrome free” nation in the next 10 years. Meanwhile, 90 percent of babies diagnosed with Down syndrome in the womb are aborted in Great Britain and the United States. Among the many reasons these statistics are so tragic is that some babies diagnosed in utero with Down syndrome are born without the condition, while in other cases, doctors who fail to recognize markers for Down syndrome through prenatal testing are open to shockingly titled “wrongful birth” lawsuits. Even assuming all diagnoses are correct, exactly who are we eradicating from our planet?


NBC News points to studies showing the following:


99% of people with Down syndrome are happy with their lives.

97% of people with Down syndrome like who they are.

96% of people with Down syndrome like how they look.


Statistically the vast majority of people with Down syndrome are happy, satisfied, and affectionate members of society, something that couldn’t be said of people born without the disability. Down syndrome does not have to be a death sentence. As our world increasingly devalues life to the extent of attempting (and in some cases, succeeding) to “cleanse” the world of anyone who may have a disability, Heartbeat International’s 24-7 contact centre, Option Line is standing against these cultural forces. The urgent need for Option Line, and the many pregnancy help organizations connected to Option Line, increases daily. In January, alone, Option Line consultants answered a total of 23,660 calls, texts, emails and live chats from women and men seeking help during an unexpected pregnancy.


One of those calls came from a woman pregnant with twins and desperately seeking help. Her doctor had just delivered the devastating news: “Your test results are positive for Down syndrome.” The woman felt alone, confused and conflicted on what to do next. It was her first pregnancy and she had not anticipated receiving such news. In most cases, medical professionals would urge this woman to consider terminating her pregnancy through abortion. Instead, Option Line’s highly trained consultant was able to offer her hope and practical help. The Option Line consultant explained that no matter what the outcome of her pregnancy, support was available. She was able to connect the frightened mother to a local pregnancy help centre immediately.


The Option Line consultant ended the conversation by praying with the mother. By the end of the call, the mother felt assured and courageous as she faced the future. It is never easy for a parent to receive devastating news during a pregnancy. But the overwhelming majority of parents who have a child with Down syndrome report their outlook on life is much more positive because of their child. The value of a child born with any disability cannot be eradicated by any nation. They are created in the image of God. That’s no less true in Iceland and Denmark than it is in Ireland and the U.S. And it’s no less true based on a person’s chromosome count.

Source: LifeSiteNews

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The Hawaii state House of Representatives has effectively killed a proposed “Medical Aid in Dying Act”. The Hawaii State Senate Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection and Health recommended passage of SB-1129, but after heated debate the state’s House Health Committee “deferred” it for changes and amendments. Patterned after Oregon’s assisted-suicide law, the Medical Aid in Dying Act would transform killing a patient into a legal medical treatment for terminal illness. SB-1129 expands its prototype Oregon law in many ways, including allowing certain nurses, not just licensed physicians, to both diagnose a patient’s terminal illness and to prescribe the lethal drugs to kill him or her.


Other areas of concern include: Patients who do not want to die may choose to be euthanized in order to no longer “burden” their family. Oregon’s records show nearly 50 percent of assisted suicides chose to be killed to avoid burdening their family, friends or caregivers. Contrary to the report issued by the State Senate Committee, the bill applies not just to patients at the end of life. People with years or decades to live may qualify for assisted suicide. Eligibility for assisted suicide is based on the patient’s desire to die after a terminal diagnosis.  But “terminal diagnosis” is defined in the bill as probable death within six months of non-treatment. In other words, controllable medical conditions such as diabetes, types of leukaemia, conditions needing dialysis, disabilities requiring a ventilator, etc., would qualify for euthanasia.


Family members, especially heirs, may pressure patients who do not want to die to choose assisted suicide. The bill bans “coercion” but “does not prohibit someone from suggesting, advising, pressuring, or encouraging a patient to request prescribed suicide.” Insurers may apply financial pressure on patients to choose death. Both Oregon and California insurance companies denied coverage for medical treatment but approved coverage for euthanasia. The bill does not require self-administration of the poisonous drugs, raising the possibility of involuntary action. A witness testifying to the patient’s desire to die and authorizing his/her “mercy” killing may legally be “an heir who will financially benefit from the patient’s death.”


The bill does not require a doctor present when the deadly dose is administered. In fact, there is no oversight. If the patient changed his or her mind, or even struggled against receiving the fatal injection, no one would know. The lethal drugs are water soluble, so they could be given to a restrained or a sleeping person without consent. The death certificate must “list the underlying terminal disease as the cause of death,” and not the lethal drugs that actually killed the patient. The “manner” of death must be listed as “natural.” The significance of this is that any questioning or possible criminal investigation is thwarted before it even begins, as a “natural” death by “disease” is unprosecutable.


Later questioning or inquiry is thwarted, too. The Department of Health’s records of legal compliance “shall not be a public record and may not be made available for inspection by the public,” and one year after the records are made “all documentation is destroyed.” There continues to be political pressure to expand “eligibility.” Oregon has proposed to lengthen diagnoses to one year. New Hampshire has twice proposed making diseases eligible for assisted suicide if they may cause “premature death.” Many times diagnoses of terminal illness are wrong. In 2000, Jeanette Hall was given a diagnosis of six months to live. She decided to be euthanized, but her doctor convinced her to be treated. Last year, she wrote, “This July, it will be 16 years since my diagnosis. If my doctor had believed in assisted suicide, I would be dead.”



Source: LifeSiteNews

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