Charlie Gard, Alfie Evans and Indi Gregory: finding the hope

Hope

Indi Gregory was not simply another tragic case of a very poorly infant nor the latest case of another contentious end-of-life court case, though her case was the latest in a line of cases where courts sided with doctors against the wishes of parents. Indi was a beloved child, and everyone involved in her care wanted the best for her. The problem was they disagreed on what was best. Unfortunately, it is likely that there will be similar cases in the future which is why it is fruitful to reflect on attitudes and principles underlying decision making in these heart-breaking cases.

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The family – the basic building block of society (part two)

demographic decline

In the first part I wrote about the situation of families that do have children. However, have you thought recently about how old the population looks when you go out onto the street? This is not just because people are living longer. Where are the prams, pushchairs and babies? Pope Francis has talked about how we are moving towards a “demographic winter”.

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Transparency, capacity and the nature of palliative care – the case of Sudiksha Thirumalesh

palliative care

In the majority of cases patients and their families trust their doctors. However, there is a growing number of high-profile cases hitting the media where patients, and especially the parents of very young and very poorly infants, simply do not agree with their doctors. Significantly, these cases are where the life of the patient is at stake and doctors believe that it is better to withdraw or withhold treatment and allow the patient to die ‘with dignity’.  

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Human Rights – on the 75th Anniversary of the UN Declaration

+Stephen Wright

“Following the 75th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on 10th December 2023, Bishop Stephen Wright from the Department for Social Justice of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales issued a brief explanation of the Christian origins of human rights and a reflection on the state of human rights at the current time. Bishop Stephen writes:

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When the AI tool has a name and the embryo a number

Pregnancy test

CHLOE is not only a popular girls name. CHLOE is also the name of a new AI-based decision support tool in use in a handful of fertility clinics. Developed by the Israeli company Fairtility, “Cultivating Human Life through Optimal Embryos” (CHLOE) has been promoted as a tool to, in the words of the company, help improve IVF outcomes by helping to determine the likelihood of an embryo becoming a viable pregnancy. CHLOE is used to monitor and analyse embryos so that embryologists can make ‘better decisions’ on which embryos to implant. The AI tool has been clinically tested on over 50,000 embryos and works by grading and giving a score to an embryo based on an algorithm. The AI tool has a name, CHLOE, the human being at his or her early stage has a number, is analysed, graded, and given a score for quality.

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The right to life as the foundation of all rights

Dr. Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King

This article is an abridged version of a speech delivered at the annual dinner of the Pro-Life Campaign in Dublin in 2023

75 years ago, in 1948, as the world emerged from the horrors of the Holocaust and the second of two World Wars, enlightened leaders crafted two hugely important international documents, the Convention on the Crime of Genocide and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

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The Season of Creation – (Faith) responses to (rapid) climate change

rapid climate chnage

There are clear signs e.g. herehere and here that rapid climate change is no longer a possibility that can be dismissed. Indeed, if the analogy of a boiling kettle being a tipping point that is preceded by fizzing as an indicator that the water is about to boil is relevant, current indications might mean that rapid and even runaway climate change is upon us.

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