Gentle Fudge
religion, politics, current events, and other fashionable dinner conversation.
Thursday, February 01, 2007
Organ Harvesting in China
Gives the phrase "Made in China" new meaning. Article below:

Chinese army 'harvesting body parts'
From correspondents in Ottawa, CA

February 01, 2007 08:27am

CHINA'S military is harvesting organs from unwilling live prison inmates, mostly Falungong practitioners, for transplants on a large scale - including to foreign recipients- according to a study.

The report's authors - Canada's former secretary of state for the Asia Pacific region David Kilgour and human rights lawyer David Matas - implicated dozens of hospitals and jails throughout China in July, after a two-month investigation.

Chinese officials denied those allegations.

Mr. Matas and Mr. Kilgour's second report, released today, includes interviews with organ recipients in 30 countries and Canadian hospital staff who cared for more than 100 patients who had undergone suspicious transplant surgeries in China.

"The involvement of the People's Liberation Army in these transplants is widespread,'' Mr. Kilgour said at a press conference.

Like many civilian hospitals in rural China, military hospitals turned to selling organs to make up for government funding cuts in the 1980s, the report said.

But military personnel could operate with much more secrecy, it said.

"Recipients often tell us that even when they receive transplants at civilian hospitals, those conducting the operation are military personnel,'' the report said.

Hospitals in Canada's biggest cities - Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto - confirmed "a substantial number'' of Canadians had travelled to China for dubious organ transplants, Mr. Kilgour said.

"We're in the three digits, up over 100 (from Canada each year), and the trend is accelerating,'' Mr. Matas said.

To curb what they called a "disgusting form of evil", the pair asked pharmaceutical firms to stop selling organ anti-rejection drugs to China.

They also asked countries to post travel advisories warning about China's alleged organ harvest, asked states to cease offering follow-up care for patients who had dubious organ transplants in China and asked foreign doctors to cut ties with their Chinese counterparts suspected of such practices.

The authors said states should enact legislation to ban citizens from traveling to China for organ transplants from unwilling donors, although they admitted that such cases would be difficult to prosecute.

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posted by Sara @ 4:18 PM   0 comments
The Least of These
There has been a lot of debate over who is better suited to raise children following the news that Mary Cheney and her 15-year partner, Heather Poe, are expecting. I'm very glad Ms. Cheney gave a public statement denouncing the pregnancy as a political statement: “This is a baby. This is a blessing from God. It is not a political statement. It is not a prop to be used in a debate by people on either side of an issue. It is my child.” I agree. Children should never be used as salve to save a marriage or as bartering chips in a disintegrating relationship, to prove to overbearing parents that you're reallyreally an adult now (stomp foot for effect), to provide undying love and affection for a lonely adult when a housepet is far more appropriate, to be molded into a miniature clone for reliving unfulfilled dreams or correcting mistakes, toted as a trendy fashion accessory or because all your friends have one, or groomed as a poster child for a cause.

It's not hard to have children. Paris Hilton is proof. It is, however, hard to raise them. You see evidence of this day after day. Super Nanny and Nanny 911 show the results of parents who won't be parents, who refuse to discipline or set proper boundaries and rules because the child might not like them or may think they're *gasp* uncool. The horror! We hear heartbreaking stories of children who are abused or neglected because the kid is interfering with a previously thriving social or lovelife. In a Russian hospital, orphaned infants were found gagged with tape or plaster because their cries were too loud and distracted the nurses from their "important" duties.

Many feel that a child thrives when raised by a stable, loving family; the controversy lies with what sexes comprise that family life. Focus on the Family has been openly critical of Ms. Cheney's pregnancy due to her unmarried status. (Ok, so let her get married, then. No, wait, you don't want that either...) During a CNN interview, Wolf Blitzer took a cheap-shot at Vice President Dick Cheney, asking if he cared to respond to the criticism. Mr. Cheney rightly refused to comment on the personal matter:

BLITZER: We're out of time, but a couple of issues I want to raise with you. Your daughter, Mary. She's pregnant. All of us are happy. She's going to have a baby, you're going to have another grandchild. Some of the -- some critics, though, are suggesting -- for example, a statement from someone representing Focus on the Family, "Mary Cheney's pregnancy raises the question of what's best for children. Just because it's possible to conceive a child outside of the relationship of a married mother and father doesn't mean it's best for the child." Do you want to respond to that?

CHENEY: No, I don't.

BLITZER: She's, obviously, a good daughter...

CHENEY: I'm delighted -- I'm delighted I'm about to have a sixth grandchild, Wolf. And obviously I think the world of both my daughters and all of my grandchildren. And I think, frankly, you're out of line with that question.

BLITZER: I think all of us appreciate...

CHENEY: I think you're out of line.

BLITZER: ...your daughters. No, we like your daughters. Believe me, I'm very, very
sympathetic to Liz and to Mary. I like them both. That was just a question that's come up, and it's a responsible, fair question.

CHENEY: I just fundamentally disagree with you.

BLITZER: I want to congratulate you on having another grandchild.

Quick editorial: If Mr. Blitzer wanted to merely congratulate Mr. Cheney on having another grandchild, why didn't he just say those nine words without implying this was controversial? Many conservative groups and blogs latched onto this political teat, crying that if the VP felt so strongly about gay rights that he needed to blast his own party instead of attacking poor journalists. I found it rather humorous since most right-wingers shun liberal media as evil, biased filth -- especially CNN. Also, numerous authors and researchers cited in Mr. Dobson's letter and other writings demanded that he refrain from quoting their research as much was taken out of context and selectively eliminated findings on gay parenthood.

So what is best for the child, then? Ask any adult who survived childhood and let him educate you:
  • Children need to know they are loved no matter what.
  • Children need to know that there are rules and consequences.
  • Children need consistency and trust.
  • Children need basic physical, emotional, and spiritual needs met.
  • Children need safety and security.
  • Children need encouragement to pursue ambitions.
  • Children need guidance during disappointments and trials.
  • Children need to receive and learn patience.
  • Children need ears to listen when it feels like they are the only one in the world who has experienced pain or loss.
  • Children need to know that everyone (including parents) makes mistakes.
  • Children need to learn "please," "thank you," and "I'm sorry."
  • Children need to know that it's never too late to start over.
  • Children (like adults) need to learn that the world does not revolve around them and that helping others is the best thing they can contribute.
Just because someone does not have a child of his or her own due to infertility, physical problems, personal choice, or sexual orientation, does not mean that (s)he is suddenly rendered incapable from becoming a healthy, loving parent to a biological, foster, or adopted child. Raising a child becomes a conscious decision instead of scrambling to line up "Plan C."

There are no perfect parents and we all will screw it up massively at least once. We just have to brush ourselves off, keep going, and keep our ego at the back of the line. We have been entrusted with a weighty responsibility -- someone else's life. It won't matter if Jenny has a mommy and a daddy, two mommies, or none that are even related.

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posted by Sara @ 12:35 PM   0 comments
About Me

Name: Sara
Home: gypsy wanderer, United States
About Me: Those who know me find me stubborn, opinionated, open-minded, strong-willed, of some intelligence, and yet they still hang around.
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Love God. Love all. Serve both.

There is wisdom in turning as often as possible from the familiar to the unfamiliar: it keeps the mind nimble, it kills prejudice, and it fosters humor. -George Santayana, philosopher (1863-1952)

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