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In the Press

  • St Augustine rest home was fined €6,000 after it stopped doctors from giving a lethal injection to a 74-year-old woman

    Judges in Belgium have fined a Catholic nursing home for refusing to allow the euthanasia of a lung cancer sufferer on its premises.

    The St Augustine rest home in Diest was ordered to pay a total of €6,000 after it stopped doctors from giving a lethal injection to Mariette Buntjens.

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  • A new technique to genetically screen IVF embryos should be considered for use in the UK, fertility experts say. The call comes after research revealed it could help doctors select embryos that have the best of chance of leading to a pregnancy.

    Pre-implantation genetic screening (PGS) is more common in the US than the UK, and is used by doctors to flag up embryos with an abnormal number of chromosomes - the main reason why embryos fail to implant in the womb.

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  • Scotland is almost 200 health visitors short of the number needed in by the NHS, ahead of the roll out of the Government's named person scheme next month, in which they will play a key role.

    Campaigners against the scheme, which will see a named guardian allocated to each child in Scotland, called for it to be delayed or scrapped on the back of new NHS workforce figures.

    They showed that one in eleven health visitor posts in Scotland is currently vacant with health visitors expected to take on the role of named person for all pre-school children.

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  • The risks of offering a home to 50 destitute men – most of them addicted to alcohol or drugs or suffering mental health problems – were fully apparent to the congregation of the Highway House church in Tottenham. But seven years ago, the congregation decided to transform their church into a homeless shelter for some of the most marginalised people in society: those whom even the statutory homeless charities could not, or would not, help.

    A report launched on Monday indicates that for every £1 invested in the project, up to £8 is returned to society.

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  • It is impossible to translate the Qur’an,” writes Kader Abdolah, at the start of his translation of the Qur’an. Prior to 9/11, Abdolah – then a popular émigré Iranian novelist in the Netherlands – had never even read the Qur’an, despite being raised in a Muslim family. But with the fall of the twin towers came the necessity to do so; the new focus on Islamic extremism in the West meant that suddenly everyone had opinions about the book, although most had not read it. As a leading voice in the liberal Netherlands, Abdolah was expected to have a view.

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  • RE teaching has come under the microscope at schools across Lincolnshire in a blow-by-blow report by Ofsted.

    Some schools have been told they are not doing enough good teaching - but others have been praised highly.

    A report being considered by Lincolnshire County Council this week has confirmed that continuing Ofsted inspections specifically about RE teaching in primary and secondary schools ranks the subject highly.

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  • Canada is exploring the use of gender-neutral options on identity cards, Justin Trudeau told a television station on Sunday as he became the first Canadian prime minister to march in a gay pride parade.

    Trudeau, who participated in the downtown Toronto parade along with other politicians, did not give details, saying only the government was exploring the “best way” and studying other jurisdictions.

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  • The proportion of over-50s living in a rented home has grown strongly in the last five years, according to research.

    More than a third of people aged 50 and over currently rent, up from just over one in four in 2011, according to the findings among more than 13,700 people in this age group from across the UK.

    Divorce rates could be partly behind the numbers of over-50s starting life afresh in rented homes, Saga Home Insurance suggested.

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  • In Toronto, owing to the marvels of artificial procreation, a mother who qualifies for the seniors menu at Denny’s is raising a 19-month-old toddler.

    The now 57-year-old postmenopausal woman’s unnatural conception — made possible using eggs purchased from a much younger donor — raised eyebrows when reported last year, even among doctors in a field that routinely pushes the biological limits of childbearing.

    But now, as more older women pursue motherhood, Canada’s fertility doctors and ethicists are asking: when is old too old?

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  • A cheap and simple technique to scratch the lining of the womb could double fertility rates in women, research suggests.

    The major global study found that women who underwent the procedure during natural or assisted conception had birth rates 2.2 times of those who did not.

    There has long been debate among fertility experts about the merits of performing an "endometrial scratch" - in which a tiny tube, smaller than a drinking straw, is used to disturb the womb lining.

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