Indian authorities have discovered 19 aborted fetuses dumped in plastic bags in the western state of Maharashtra, as officials continue a major investigation into illegal sex-selective abortion in the country.
The fetuses were discovered in a sewer near a local medical clinic suspected of carrying out illegal abortions and have been sent for DNA testing to determine their sex. Police are also investigating the death of a local woman after a botched abortion performed at the clinic by a homeopathist.
Indian laws ban doctors and health workers from sharing an unborn child's sex with the parents, or carrying out tests to determine the child's gender. Yet police suspect there is a major interstate femal feticide racket currently operating in the West of the country.
Dr Ganesh Rakh, an outspoken campaigner against sex-selective abortion in India, said the recent case indicates that illegal sex determination and abortion is still practised in India.
"This is horrifying. Female foeticide is happening at the scale of a genocide in India. This case proves that people still prefer boys and girls are still unwanted," he said.Eight female foetuses were found in 2012 in a plastic bag near a lake in Indore city in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.
A State Senator in Hawaii, Breene Harimoto gave an emotional address this week to persuade his colleagues to vote against a bill for legalising physician-assisted suicide for the terminally ill. He said that in 2015 he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, which has a low survival rate and can be quite painful. But he was cured. “It is a miracle that I am still alive,” he said.
His point was that “terminal illness” is almost meaningless. Margaret Dore, a Seattle lawyer who lobbied against the bill, recalls an even more dramatic incident. “A few years ago, I was met at the airport by a man who at age 18 or 19 had been diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) and given 3 to 5 years to live, at which time he would die by paralysis. His diagnosis had been confirmed by the Mayo Clinic. When he met me at the airport, he was 74 years old. The disease progression had stopped on its own."
If Senator Harimoto or Ms Dore’s friend had the option of assisted suicide, they might stopped fighting their disease and chosen a quick death. They would have chopped decades off their lives. “Terminal illness” is a pillar of assisted suicide legislation – and it just doesn’t make sense.
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