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Uk News

News in Brief

  • Guidelines relaxed

    The Telegraph

    On October 16 it was reported that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DoPP), Alison Saunders, has relaxed prosecution guidelines for doctors and nurses who assist a person in committing suicide.

    They are now less likely to face prosecution unless they are directly involved in that person’s care, in which case the deterrent still applies. Dr Peter Saunders of Care Not Killing said: ‘This is very concerning, the DoPP is effectively, at a stroke of her pen, decriminalising assisted suicide by medical staff as long as they don’t have an existing relationship with the patient. It weakens the protections for sick and vulnerable people.’

  • Engineered people

    The Right to Life Charitable Trust

    Some leading international scientists have, in early October, raised concerns that tests on animals have fuelled fears that people born using the ‘three parent’ technique could face problems such as reduced fertility, shorter lives, learning difficulties and cancer.

    One, Stuart Newman, highlights that any person brought into being using the controversial technique will be a product of ‘wholesale genetic engineering’.

  • Bigot dropped

    Christian Concern

    Stonewall, announced in early October that it is dropping its controversial ‘Bigot of the Year’ Award.

    In the past, those who have spoken out against the redefinition of marriage have been nominated – provoking a campaign against the award. In 2012 Coutts advised Stonewall that they would withdraw funding unless the category was removed. In 2013, Barclays and PwC dropped their sponsorship of the event after being contacted by Christians who objected to the award.

  • A ban on thinking

    The Christian Institute

    The decision to ban a pro-life group from the freshers’ fayre at Dundee University early in September has been criticised by sociologist Dr Tiffany Jenkins.

    Writing in The Scotsman, she said that such actions mean ‘denying youngsters the chance to formulate their own views’. The sociologist defended the right of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), to share its views with students despite disagreeing with them.

  • STI tests in school

    The Christian Institute

    Pupils at schools around Brighton and Hove have been offered tests for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) during lessons without their parents’ knowledge as part of a sexual health programme, it was reported in mid-September.

    Parents at Blatchington Mill School in East Sussex criticised teachers for not informing them of the tests, which one pupil described as humiliating.

  • Cabinet RS rift

    The Christian Institute

    Plans to change the Religious Studies GCSE so that faith schools must teach other religions have allegedly caused a rift in the Cabinet, it was reported in early September.

    Currently the syllabus says pupils should study one ‘world religion’, which is usually the faith of the particular school. The proposal comes in response to the ‘Trojan Horse’ scandal in Birmingham and appears to be aimed at preventing Islamist extremism in schools.

  • New pregnancy centres


    A new national network for pregnancy centres with a Christian ethos was launched on September 27 at St Michael’s Church, Chester Square, London. There were around 90 delegates from 30 centres nationwide.

    A new initiative to reach the churches about abortion called ‘Open’ was introduced. The keynote talk was delivered by Prof. John Wyatt, author of Matters of Life and Death and Professor of Neonatal Paediatrics at UCL. He re-established the heart of the pregnancy centres’ work in an inspiring way: that we are called to be Jesus to our clients and that we are called to see Jesus in our clients.