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e-newsletter : 12 March 2008

HFE Bill

Your Easter Triple Helix and CMF News update you on developments, but things are moving fast. On the face of the Bill are controversies about animal-human hybrids, further commodification of children, and the place of fathers in the family. Follow developments on these from CMF and from the Parliamentary Pro-life Group.

108 senior academics (including CMF members) had a letter in The Times on 7 March demanding the government allow a free vote on 'conscience' matters. You can sign the petition to PM Gordon Brown about this or write directly to the PM and separately to the government Chief Whip. Please also write to your own MP with concerns about the Bill. Click here for email addresses for all MPs.

Abortion is not on the face of the Bill but both sides will be seeking amendments. CMF is involved through our membership of the 'Alive and Kicking' Campaign. Please sign the petition, mobilise others, follow abortion-related developments, and find out about your own MP's voting record on abortion.

The CMF Cambridge day conference on 8 March reviewed issues in the Bill, which will probably appear in the Commons in April. Please pray and act.

Staff and Committee news

Gwen Gowers starts on 31 March as the new PA to Peter Saunders. Thanks for your prayers about the new Head of International Ministries post to be filled by this summer. Six applications were received. Please pray we appoint the right person. Thank you too for your prayers about the recent CMF Executive and Special General Meeting. Good decisions were taken about finance, IT, and logistics matters.

National Conference 25-27 April

You have just received another programme for Great Expectations: living in the light of the future. This will consider the Diamond Anniversary of the NHS and our place in its present state, and will give us 'fresh hope, energy and inspiration for the future'. Book now.

Ethics events:

The Faraday Institute has a weekend course in Cambridge 11-13 April on 'Ethics on the Frontiers of Science: Religion – Help or Hindrance?' CMF's Tim Maughan is among the speakers.

The Linacre Ethics Forum presents Catholic healthcare ethics to junior healthcare professionals and students. Monthly meetings. Next on 3 April on fertility treatments.

CARE's Brave New Britain? bioethics roadshow is aimed at churches and runs from 27 April to 2 May. It visits Reading, Crowborough, Chelmsford, Southampton, Birmingham and Glasgow.

The GMC has a lively website, Good medical practice in action, with interactive case studies to help doctors with difficult ethical problems and to help other visitors understand the issues.

Luxembourg legalises assisted dying

On 20 February the Luxembourg Parliament enacted the first of two steps of legislation for euthanasia and physician assisted suicide. All 3 Benelux countries will now allow doctors to kill.

Doctor needed for hospice Council of Management

Perhaps our hospices are the main reason we don't have such law in the UK. Havens Christian Hospice provides adult and children's hospice care in Southend, Essex, and needs a Christian doctor with an interest in palliative care to join its Council of Management. Email Andy Smith, Chief Executive.

'I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.' (John 16:23-24)

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