Last Dreams - Poslední sny

If you are interested in topic like  death, dying and human dignity, than I would strongly recommend this movie: "Last Dreams - Poslední sny" /Estephan Wagner /Dánsko/2013/59 min./.

"Hanne wonders about contacting her daughter in an attempt to reconcile. Britt would like to see her lifelong friend from Norway one last time. Myrna wants to spend her final moments with her husband, and to stand up once more and feel the sun on her face. Can they all fulfil their wishes? This intimate portrait of three women during the last weeks of their lives in a Danish hospice opens up a topic that is still taboo in the Czech Republic. Although the death of our loved ones is full of hardship, the director shows that empathetic nurses, psychologists and priests can help us be prepared. A touching and sensitively made film showing that our final journey can be taken with dignity."

More at: http://www.oneworld.cz/pit/films/33
See also review at: http://www.final-cut.dk/films2.php?mit_indhold_id=3&films_id=14 

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Children with three genetic parents

Such an interesting debate in bioethics today. It is the subject of considerable controversy in the field of bioethics... My question is: are we playing God?

What is the mitochondrial treatment performed in the UK? Will have a child patient three parents? Will the law authorizing the adoption of this type of interventions to break the religious and political taboos? What are the risks implied and what new therapies bring?

The legal, ethical and scientific dimensions of the new gene therapy session will discuss Havran dinner with former constitutional judge Professor John Drgonec, a bioethicist and professor Joseph Glasa, physician and biologist and philosopher Professor Peter Sykora.

More at http://www.rtvs.sk/televizia/archiv/7865/61574

See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three-parent_baby

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Death and dying...

I would like to recommend the following article/video titled as "What doctors don't learn about death and dying" from TEDTalks about death and dying:

"This reality has been largely hidden, as the final phases of life become less familiar to people. As recently as 1945, most deaths occurred in the home. By the 1980s, just 17 percent did. Those who somehow did die at home likely died too suddenly to make it to the hospital — say, from a massive heart attack, stroke or violent injury — or were too isolated to get somewhere that could provide help."

"Dying and death confront every new doctor and nurse. The first times, some cry. Some shut down. Some hardly notice. When I saw my first deaths, I was too guarded to cry. But I dreamt about them..."

More at: http://ideas.ted.com/death-and-the-missing-piece-of-medical-school/ 

Another good TEDTalks about death: http://ideas.ted.com/how-to-answer-the-question-am-i-dying/

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Just recently, European Commission lunched projects – IMPACT and EURO IMPACT. They bring together important research partners and stakeholders in European palliative and end-of-life care. During an invitational conference, last October 2013, they have launched a declaration with 10 recommendations for policy- and decision makers in order to improve the quality of and access to palliative care in an age-friendly Europe. These recommendations are based on recent scientific insights. The more signatures this declaration receives, the stronger the message to the policy and decision makers will be.

I strongly recommend signing the declaration at http://palliativecare2020.eu/declaration/ and spreading it to your national and international contacts.

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Jasbir T. Singh: Trudeau flunks catechism 101

Jasbir T. Singh: Trudeau flunks catechism 101: After Sunday Mass (May 18th, 2014) I was thrilled to find this document from the Archbishop of Ottawa (below) at the entrance of the Churc...


A new method of creating versatile stem cells from a relatively simple manipulation of existing cells

A new method of creating versatile stem cells from a relatively simple manipulation of existing cells could further reduce the need for any stem-cell research involving human embryos, according to leading ethicists. Although the process has only been tested in mice, two studies published Jan. 29 in the journal Nature detailed research showing success with a process called stimulus-triggered acquisition of pluripotency, or STAP.  Scientists from Japan's RIKEN research institute and Harvard's Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston were able to reprogram blood cells from newborn mice by placing them in a low-level acidic bath for 30 minutes. Seven to 9 percent of the cells subjected to such stress returned to a state of pluripotency and were able to grow into other types of cells in the body.

"If this technology proves feasible with human cells, which seems likely, it will offer yet another alternative for obtaining highly flexible stem cells without relying on the destructive use of human embryos," said Fr. Tadeusz Pacholczyk, director of education at the National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia. "This is clearly a positive direction for scientific research."

The Catholic church opposes any research involving the destruction of human embryos to create stem cells. Richard Doerflinger, associate director of the U.S. bishops' Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities, said if the new method were used to create stem cells so versatile that they could form placenta tissue and make human cloning easier, "then we would have serious moral problems with that." But there is no indication so far that the scientists could or would do so, he added. "You could misuse any powerful technology, but the technique itself is not problematic" in terms of Catholic teaching, Doerflinger said. David Prentice, senior fellow for life sciences at the Family Research Council in Washington, said the new STAP process is yet another indication that "there are all these different ways to create stem cells without ever having to endanger a human being." He said adult stem cells -- drawn from living human beings without harming them, as well as from umbilical cord blood or bone marrow -- "are the only stem cells that have ever proven to help a single patient." More than 60,000 patients around the world are receiving treatments for a variety of diseases from adult stem cells, he added. Another type of adult stem cells, called induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells, is still being used only in animal models, said Prentice, who holds a doctorate in biochemistry and was a founding member of Do No Harm: The Coalition of Americans for Research Ethics. Japanese scientist Shinya Yamanaka received the 2012 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his discovery of the iPS technique.

 *More at: http://ncronline.org/news/politics/new-stem-cell-method-offers-another-alternative-embryonic-research

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Every human life is beautiful, every human life is precious!

With last Sunday’s Day for Life in Ireland the Church began a month of prayer dedicated to the theme ‘Choose Life!’ Parishes and individuals will be invited to pray a special ‘Prayer for the Child in the Womb’ during Masses from October 7 through to the Feast of All the Saints of Ireland on 6 November, a press release for the campaign explained. The bishops also published a pastoral message entitled: “Every human life is beautiful, every human life is precious - Choose Life!” It highlights the equal right to life of a mother and the child in her womb, and the right of each to be treated as individual persons. “When we say that human life is sacred we are recognising something that is sensed not only by religious people but by everyone who appreciates the wonder of human life,” the letter explained. “By virtue of their common humanity, the lives of both a mother and her unborn baby are sacred,” the letter insisted. “If our concern for human rights is to mean anything, it must include concern for the most basic human right of all – the right not to be killed,” the letter continued. It also noted that this year’s annual Day for Life coincides with a decisive moment for Ireland. In the coming weeks, the Government will decide how to respond to a 2010 judgment of the European Court of Human Rights. “Despite what some have asserted, the Irish Government is under no obligation to legislate for abortion because of this ruling of the European Court,” the letter stated. “On the contrary, our Government is free to respond by seeking full protection in Irish law for the right to life of the baby in the womb. This could be done while ensuring that women in pregnancy continue to receive every treatment necessary to safeguard their lives,” the letter said.
Summary of key points from Choose Life: From the moment of conception, every human life is beautiful, every human life is precious and every human life is sacred. Government does not have to provide for abortion in Ireland to comply with the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights. Legislating for abortion denies the humanity and dignity of the child in the womb and violates the most basic human right of all – the right to life. It is never necessary to target the life of the baby in the womb to save the life of the mother. Ireland, without abortion, is consistently one of the safest countries in the world in which to be pregnant. Many women who have had abortions speak of their deep regret, and research also confirms the harm that abortion can cause women. International experience shows that once abortion is legalised, even in apparently very limited situations, it becomes more widespread than was first intended. ---
Choose Life: Prayer for the Child in the Womb Lord Jesus, you are the source and lover of life. Reawaken in us respect for every human life. Help us to see in each child the marvellous work of our Creator. Open our hearts to welcome every child as a unique and wonderful gift. Guide the work of doctors, nurses and midwives. May the life of a mother and her baby in the womb be equally cherished and respected. Help those who make our laws to uphold the uniqueness and sacredness of every human life, from the first moment of conception to natural death. Give us wisdom and generosity to build a society that cares for all. Together with Mary, your Mother, in whose womb you took on our human nature, Help us to choose life in every decision we take. We ask this in the joyful hope of eternal life with you, and in the communion of the Blessed Trinity. Amen. ---
www: Choose Life Web site - http://www.chooselife2012.ie/ --- Source: http://www.zenit.org/article-35685?l=english

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