Thursday, December 14, 2006

New Embryo Proposals in UK

LifeSiteNews reported Tuesday (HT: WorldNetDaily) on some new proposals in the UK regarding human embryos.

British researchers would be permitted to create human/animal embryo hybrids using test tube technology, under sweeping new proposals to be introduced by government health officials this week, the Sunday Telegraph reported yesterday.

Known as "chimeras", the embryos would be produced by combining human and animal genetic material within a laboratory setting--the North East England Stem Cell Institute has already requested permission to create an embryo that is part human and part cow."

I'm having trouble understanding what good they're going to get from a human-cow hybrid. Are they trying to avoid the problem of exploiting young women by harvesting their eggs to produce embryos for stem cells? Would it be a cow egg with human sperm? I don't see how that would help solve human medical problems. I must lack the kind of imagination that goes beyond Frankenstein and into a whole new realm of horror.

The other proposals aren't as deeply planted in fantasy, but they're still problematic.

The overarching aim is to pursue the common good through a system broadly acceptable to society," British Health Minister Caroline Flint said in a report on the policy changes obtained by the Sunday Telegraph.

Other changes include removing the current requirement that a child's need for a father must be considered when a woman seeks fertility treatment. Single women and lesbian couples would have the same access to fertility treatments as heterosexual couples.

Screening embryos for genetic conditions which have the potential to lead to "serious medical conditions, disabilities or miscarriage" would be allowed, as would screening embryos in order to select a child that would be a tissue match for a sibling suffering from a "life-threatening illness."

However, screening for sex selection would not be permitted under any circumstances.

The new proposals would also forbid the creation of a human embryo by using the genetic material from two women, bypassing the need for a male.

So it would be OK to ignore the need for a father in the child's life, but it wouldn't be OK to ignore the need for a male to produce the child. It sounds so arbitrary.

As does the genetic screening policy. We've already seen the way "serious medical conditions, disabilities or miscarriage" have been interpreted to include such easily corrected conditions as a cleft palate or a club foot. This new policy falls right in line with the selfishness of people who require physical perfection in their children.

The other disturbing policy is the one allowing selection of embryos for tissue matches to siblings. This fosters more of the attitude that people are to be used as tools and spare parts for other people, and we'll just toss out the people who serve no purpose. It cheapens human life and makes people disposable.

Oh, but of course they would never allow sex selection. Well, why the heck not? They're allowing embryo selection for stupider reasons.

It's hard to believe the people making these policy decisions haven't looked down the road to see where their policies will lead. God help them if they ever cease to be useful to society. They may not like being disposed of when they come to the other end of life.


Anonymous said...

Two words: "Slippery Slope".

Anonymous said...

Two words: "Slippery Slope".