News: Ethicists say sorry for ‘newborn death’ article







Ethicists who wrote paper saying abortion was no different to killing a newborn say sorry

It created a media storm that few were prepared for. Australian academics Alberto Giubilini, from Monash University, and Francesca Minerva, from the University of Melbourne, wrote a foetus and a newborn are equivalent in their lack of a sense of their own life and aspiration and therefore killing them would be the same as abortion. The pair were published in the Journal of Medical Ethics, adding to the philosophical debate. In their apology on the British Medical Journal blog, they wrote:

“We are really sorry that many people, who do not share the background of the intended audience for this article, felt offended, outraged, or even threatened.  We apologise to them, but we could not control how the message was promulgated across the internet and then conveyed by the media.  In fact, we personally do not agree with much of what the media suggest we think.

We did not recommend or suggest anything in the paper about what people should do (or about what policies should allow).

If we wanted to suggest something about policy, we would have written, for example, a comment related the Groningen Protocol (in the Netherlands), which is a guideline that permits killing newborns under certain circumstances (e.g. when the newborn is affected by serious diseases).  But we do not discuss guidelines in the paper.  Rather we acknowledged the fact that such a protocol exists and this is a good reason to discuss the topic (and probably also for publishing papers on this topic).”

Bob Katter

Bob Katter’s ‘Australian Party’ releases homophobic campaign ads

Seemingly forgetting same sex marriage is a federal issue, and that Queensland’s LNP leader Campbell Newman pledged to repeal civil unions if he were to win the March 24 election, Bob Katter’s political party has released homophobic ads targeting the leader as ‘for gay marriage’.

The Australia Party’s Queensland leader, Aidan McLindon, says the ad is confronting and it is meant to be. “Campbell Newman has tip-toed on this issue and tried to say ‘yes I am for gay marriage’ on one hand, but then of course he gets all the Christian lobby groups and says another,” he told the ABC.

Carl Katter, the half brother of Bob, said he was concerned about the “damage this kind of ad can do”.

“He and rabble of bigots do bother me and I worry for the people that receive the hate that is incited by such ads,” he said on Twitter.

“They a using the politics of fear & hate to win vote. They truly are desperate to use such grubby tactics!”

– Carl Katter demands Bob Katter apologise to families of suicide victims.

Judge for yourself:

Health Minister Tanya Plibersek

Subsidised breast screens for breast implant women

The Australian Government has announced it will allow the Medicare rebate to be claimed on breast screens for women whose doctors strongly suspect health concerns over PIP breast implants, which have been rupturing at alarming rates overseas.

The French government instructed women there have the implants removed after they were linked to higher rupture rates and a rare form of cancer.

But Health Minister Tanya Plibersek says the Australian Government is taking a more cautious approach.

She has announced that women who know their breast implants were made by PIP will be entitled to Medicare rebates for MRI scans to determine if their implants are structurally sound.

The rebate will also be available in cases where a woman’s doctor strongly suspects she has PIP-made implants.

“Every time someone has surgery, there are risks in having that surgery, so we’re not at this stage recommending routine removal,” Ms Plibersek said.

“We need to be cautious and we need to gather the data about whether these implants have a higher rupture risk than others.”

The latest figures on the TGA website indicate there have been 171 confirmed cases in Australia of the implants rupturing and 26 unconfirmed reports.

The sex talk needs to be had earlier

Research by the Commission for Children and Young People (CCYP) shows some 32 per cent of Year 10 students have had sex and around 40 per cent of sexually active teens don’t practice safe sex. The figures reinforce calls for parents to have the ‘one-on-one’ safe sex chat with their children before its too late.

Gregor Macfie, CCYP director for policy and research, said schools were doing an excellent job teaching sexual health to the majority of teens.

But the age at which information was given may need to be re-examined, he said.

“I think we do have to look at what age the messages are targeted,” Mr Macfie said.

“We need to build the message at the appropriate age. One of the things we have been thinking of is talking to them before they move into adolescence.”


Obama condemns sickening soldier attack on Afghan civilians

The President of the United States of America Barack Obama has condemned an attack on Afghan civilians. An American soldier walked off his base early in the morning and opened fire on civilians in their homes. 16 were killed, nine of them children. He was arrested in the area.

The US Embassy in Kabul confirmed the incident, extending “its deepest condolences to the families of the victims of today’s tragic shooting incident in Kandahar province”.

“We are saddened by this violent act against our Afghan friends. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and their entire community. US Forces are providing the highest level of care for those injured,” the statement said.

ISAF deputy commander, Lt Gen Adrian J Bradshaw, expressed his “profound regrets and dismay at the actions apparently taken by one coalition member in Kandahar province.”

“One of our soldiers is reported to have killed and injured a number of civilians in villages adjacent to his base. I cannot explain the motivation behind such callous acts, but they were in no way part of authorised ISAF military activity,” he said.

Japan marks one year since devastating earthquake, tsunami

The nation of Japan, especially those on the north-east coast, paused yesterday to mourn the loss of life after a large 9.0 magnitude earthquake unleashed a sweeping tsunami that struck the shore and wiped out entire towns on March 11, 2011. More than 19,000 people died and a nuclear emergency was triggered as the damaged Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant approached meltdown, which was avoided after days of improvised intervention. This is how Mamamia covered the then unfolding crisis.

German tabloid ‘Bild’ ends front page nude girl

Princess Charlene in Victoria

The naked girl might be a staple of low-brow tabloids around the world – think The Sun’s Page 3 girl which started in the 1970s – but Germany’s highest selling has decided to do away with its front page racy women for good. “It is perhaps a small step from the viewpoint of women,” the paper wrote in an editorial-style report. “But it is a big step for Bild and for every man in Germany.” It made the decision on International Women’s Day when it gave all female staff the day off. Some criticised the move as a belated grab for women readers as the tabloid fought to keep its dwindling readership.

Princess Charlene of Monaco visits Australia

And the scene of her first ever official visit was Melbourne and, later, Bendigo. The Princess was in town to open an exhibition dedicated to the life and fashion of Grace Kelly, the late mother of her husband, Prince Albert. She was said to have spoken for only a matter of minutes, and softly at that with nerves showing, but locals said she was a hit. Some 700 adults and children showed up to wish her well. The Princess, a former Olympic swimmer for her native South Africa, was last in Victoria when she was Charlene Wittstock when she won gold for the 100m backstroke in the 2002 swimming World Cup.

Princess Charlene was recently married, an event that raised a few eyebrows including ours.

Ian ‘Turps’ Turpie

Game show host Ian Turpie dies

Turps, as he was better known, succumbed to a year-long battle with cancer. He was most famous for his role hosting The New Price is Right but was a staple on Australian television and in the entertainment industry.

nailed it

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