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MPs attack ‘shocking’ claims from ethicists over newborn babies and other health stories

A round-up of the health news in the papers on Thursday 1 March

‘Profoundly shocking’ and ‘disturbing’, are some of the words used by Lord Alton, chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group in response to a new BMJ article in with ethicists claim doctors should have the right to kill newborn babies at birth.

Quoted in the Daily Mail, Lord Alton says: ‘It is ..indeed shocking… to see the way in which opinion formers within the medical profession have ditched the professional belief of the healer to uphold the sanctity of human life for the impoverished and inhumane defence of child destruction’. Dr Francesca Minerva, philosopher and ethicist at the University of Melbourne theorises in the BMJ that ‘a young baby is not a real person and so killing it in the first few days after birth is little different to aborting it in the womb’.  

Scientists have developed a new IVF method which has sent successful fertilisation rates soaring, and gives 40% more chances of success, the Daily Mail reports. The new technique created by researchers at the Newcastle Fertility Centre is actually inspired by mother nature. They now use a series of interlinked incubators to allow delicate embryos to be kept free from exposure to the harsh air and temperature changes which harm the embryos. 

The Guardian writes of a new and potentially life-saving scientific development in gene therapy. Chronic Granulomatous Disorder is an x-linked condition which damages the immune function of neutrophils. The paper reports that young sufferers are often resigned to hospitilisation with severe bacterial and fungal infections which oppress their immune systems.