THE FOREMOST Catholic institute specialising in health care ethics, the Linacre Centre, is launching an appeal to raise £137,500, its new annual income target.
The centre, set up in 1977, aims to help Britain's Catholic community meet the many ethical challenges raised by recent developments in the medical field. A registered charity, the centre receives almost a third of its funds from donations via bishops iri Britain and Ireland.
According to Bishop Christopher Budd of Plymouth. who heads the Joint Committee on Bio-Ethics, the Centre makes "a very important contribution because of recent developments in bio-technology which strike many Catholics as quite frightening".
Bishop Budd said that the centre is at present debating comatose patients' right to life, the focus of a Government recommendation scheduled for publication in September.
The centre's Deputy Director, Agneta Sutton, said that nurses constitute the group which rings the centre for information most frequently. The general public, she said, also often ring but doctors "hardly ever do". Abortion and euthanasia gave rise to the greatest number of calls.