ACL compiles a daily media monitoring service of stories of interest to the Christian constituency relating to children, family, drugs and alcohol, marriage, human rights, religious freedom etc. Visit the ACL’s website each day to see what’s of interest in the news. Please note that selection of the articles does not represent ACL endorsement of the content.



'Brain-dead' definition flawed, says ethicist

Barney Zwartz - The Age

Patients in intensive care are being declared brain dead for organ donation when they may still be legally alive, the Melbourne bioethicist Nicholas Tonti-Filippini says in a new book. He says medical practice has moved ahead of the law by accepting a lesser standard of brain death than the law prescribes: the irreversible loss of all brain function.

The deadly dilemma

Barney Zwartz - SMH

Here, literally, is a life and death decision. When do you know someone is dead, irreversibly, so that you may safely take her organs for transplant into people who need them desperately? The answer is not always so simple as one might think, especially when the patient is in intensive care, hooked to various life support machines, the body’s systems being kept alive artificially. It’s a very contemporary problem, thanks to advances in medical technology.

Children & Family

Social revolution at work: mums go back to their jobs as reality hits home

George Megalogenis - The Australian

Almost half of all mothers in two-parent families are back at work before their youngest child turns one, completing a social revolution than has seen the dividing line between home and career disappear in less than a generation. The proportion of stay-at-home mothers with a child aged less than one year old dropped from 57 per cent in 2006 to just 52 per cent at the 2011 census. By contrast, the figure for single mothers edged down from 74.9 per cent to 73 per cent.


Snared in the tentacles of a dark and dangerous place

Julie Henry - SMH

As one of Britain's foremost child psychotherapists, Julie Lynn Evans thought she had long since heard every parental nightmare. But last week, after reading the tragic story of 15-year-old Tallulah Wilson, who killed herself after visiting websites about self-harm and anorexia, she found herself in tears.

Drugs & Alcohol

Prescription opioids: a painful problem

Health Canal

The harm caused by prescription opioids has captured the media's attention in recent weeks. This was in part prompted by new data on accidental opioid deaths in Australia presented in a report by the University of NSW's National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC). The report found that in 2008 alone, there were 551 accidental overdoses due to opioids, of which 70 per cent were thought to be due to pharmaceutical opioids. Research has also shown a 152 per cent increase in oxycodone prescriptions from 2002-2008.

Adolescent males at increased risk of reporting longtime OTC drug use

News Medical

As crackdowns get tougher on alcohol, tobacco sales, and illicit drugs, there's a growing trend among youth to turn to another source to get a high: their parent's medicine cabinet. A new University of Cincinnati study suggests adolescent males are at a higher risk of reporting longtime use of over-the-counter drugs, compared with their female peers. Early results of the study by Rebecca Vidourek, a UC assistant professor of health promotion, and Keith King, a University of Cincinnati professor of health promotion, will be presented on Oct. 29, at the 140th annual meeting of the American Public Health Association in San Francisco.

Study scam blast from magistrate following the drug charges of eight men

Emily Portelli - Herald Sun

A Magistrate has hit out at the Department of Immigration, saying it should "take a good look at itself" after a Vietnamese man on a student visa was alleged to be involved in an international drug ring. Nhat Pham, 31, and seven others were charged with manufacturing and trafficking large quantities of drugs after police uncovered Victoria's biggest clandestine laboratory in the western suburbs on Friday.


More conditions for Browse LNG project


Further environmental protection conditions will be imposed on Woodside Petroleum's proposed $30 billion Kimberley gas hub following an investigation into appeals against a report supporting the project. Former CSIRO chief executive Roy Green was appointed by the West Australian government to review appeals against the Environmental Protection Authority report recommending the Browse LNG project at James Price Point site, about 60km north of Broome, go ahead.


Proof of the medical profession's lethal arrogance over the use of the Liverpool Care Pathway

Melanie Phillips - UK Daily Mail

The LCP is intended to ease the final hours of patients who are close to death and to spare them the suffering associated with invasive treatment. On Saturday, for example, the Mail told the story of 82-year-old Patricia Greenwood, who was put on the Liverpool Care Pathway by doctors in Blackpool, who removed all her feeding tubes and drips. But then her family defied orders and gave her water, which sparked the beginning of a remarkable recovery. Now she is planning to go on a world cruise.


Indigenous recognition Act released

Lisa Martin - AAP

The first Australians are set to be acknowledged in an Act of Recognition that will be stepping stone to an eventual referendum on constitutional change. The federal government put plans for a referendum to constitutionally acknowledge indigenous Australians on the backburner last month, until there's more community awareness and support for the plan. Instead, it will legislate an Act of Recognition as an interim measure and has released a draft bill.


Getting married causes stress, being married not so much

Roy Morgan Research

More than 4.25 million Australians aged 14+ years (22.7%) report experiencing stress in the last 12 months, according to the latest data from Roy Morgan Research for July 2011 — June 2012. Looking at the incidence of stress by marital status reveals an interesting picture.

Overseas Aid

TB clinic doctor defends action

Sarah Elks - The Australian

The specialist doctors who ran now-axed tuberculosis clinics in the Torres Strait argue the remote centres saved hundreds of lives, despite a new report which claims they made the situation "much worse". The Queensland Health clinics on Saibai and Boigu islands were treating more than 90 sick Papua New Guineans when they were closed in June, after a funding fight between the state and federal governments.


Tax issues flare up as talks begin

Noel Towell - Canberra Times

The ACT's political war over tax reform continued to rage yesterday as formal negotiations began between the two main parties and the balance-of-power Greens.

Unlikely bedfellows are lovers no more

Tony Maher - The Punch

Despite a recent surge in the polls, Labor has a shrinking and ageing membership base and is in need of some rehabilitation. And typical in a case of poor health, there are plenty of well-meaning spectators hovering around, googling treatment options and offering up advice. “Just join up with the Greens” is a good one. After all, they have progressive policies. And isn’t it crazy for parties of the left to squabble in the face of the serious threat on the right?


Australian mainland to be excised from migration zone

Simon Cullen - ABC

The Opposition has accused Labor of plumbing new depths of hypocrisy over moves to excise the entire mainland from Australia's migration zone as part of efforts to stop asylum seeker boats. The change would strip away any legal advantage asylum seekers get from reaching the mainland compared with those who are taken directly to Christmas Island.

Religious Freedom & Persecution

Christians persecuted throughout the world

Rupert Shortt - Telegraph

Imagine the unspeakable fury that would erupt across the Islamic world if a Christian-led government in Khartoum had been responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Sudanese Muslims over the past 30 years. Or if Christian gunmen were firebombing mosques in Iraq during Friday prayers. Or if Muslim girls in Indonesia had been abducted and beheaded on their way to school, because of their faith.

Salafis disrupt unity concert

Luiz Sanchez - Daily News Egypt

A large crowd of Salafi Muslims disrupted an Eid Al-Adha concert in the city of Menya Sunday night to protest what they perceived to be the promotion of Christianity through the use of hymns. Urging participants to uphold the morality of Islam and the teachings of the prophet Muhammad, the Salafis distributed leaflets titled “a lesson and a warning.” The crowd surrounded the Menya concert hall, which was hosting thousands of people for the event, within the first twenty minutes of the concert. The concert was meant to be a celebration of Egyptian national unity, with songs titled “the heart of Egypt,” being sung by groups of Christian and Muslim performers.

Sexualisation of Society

Readers getting younger: Is Girlfriend moving in on Dolly?

Melinda Tankard Reist Blog

Reading the October issue of Girlfriend, I found myself checking the front cover to make sure I’d picked up Girlfriend and not Dolly. I’m wondering if perhaps Girlfriend is moving in on Dolly’s readership. And, if so, could this see Dolly pitching openly to 9 and 10-year-olds?


Sex swap teen wants to be a boy again


Less than 12 months ago, Ria Cooper made headlines across the world after becoming Britain’s youngest sex change patient, at just 17 years of age. She had begged her family and the British health system, the NHS, for the operation to turn her into a girl and underwent thorough psychological assessment and counseling before getting the go-ahead. However, after becoming deeply unhappy with life as a woman, Ms Cooper has now decided to change back into a man.

Women speak out on female genital mutilation in Australia

Australian Broadcasting Corporation

A brutal crime under the guise of a cultural custom is taking place in Australia. The perpetrators are mostly women and their victims are young girls. S me call it female circumcision, but in truth it is genital mutilation. It's practised widely in parts of Africa, the Middle East and Asia, but it's also happening here.

Halloween - are you for or against it in Australia?

The Daily Telegraph

The tradition of Halloween, seen as an American tradition, has become more popular the last couple of years. Should we make it an Aussie tradition too?