Saturday, 19 May 2007

Consultation ?? Oh Really??

I have a warm and fuzzy feeling each time I hear that I'm being consulted. I'm a trusting soul, and believe everything I read and hear. Oh, yeah... and the moon is made of Green Cheese...

Despite my cynical demeanour, when I heard on the radio that the HFEA has decided that we ought to allow the creation of human-animal hybrid embryos for the purposes of experimentation, I thought I must have mis-heard it. After all, I'd seen that they were running a consultation exercise, and the period of consultation wasn't over... And then I heard the report again.

My next thought was that, in my haste to get a blog post up, I had mis-read the HFEA consultation document... the one that said that the period of consultation was going to run until 20th July... maybe I'd seen an old post, and had seen something for 2006...

...so I went to have a look. No, the website still claims to be "consulting" the public. And will continue consulting until 20th July 2007. However, in the meantime, they have apparently made up their minds already: the experimentation will be allowed, because the scientists said that they need to do the research. Hello people. Scientists always need to do research. They will always push the boundaries to see "what will happen if..." It's in the job description. Just because something can be done, doesn't mean that it should be done.

A great deal was made (on the radio) of the fact that the scientists will need to apply for a licence in order to carry out their research. Another little fact for you to consider: scientists have to apply for a licence to do anything... even just to run a rat on a harmless maze. It is not difficult to obtain a licence. I used to do animal research. Getting the licence was pretty standard. You fill in a form. You send it in. They give you a licence...

The Public Meeting is still scheduled for the 26th June. The place and time have not been made public. And two emails I sent indicating my interest in attending this meeting have not merited a response... On Monday I think I shall try to phone (maybe their email system doesn't work...)

In case anyone else is interested, the person to phone is Helen Coath, Policy Manager. Tel: 020 7291 8238 Email: hybrids@hfea.gov.uk Let me know if anyone bothers to reply.

UPDATE 1: Ms Coath (according to her answerphone) is out of the office until May 31st. I've emailed, and will have another go at phoning when I get back from Lourdes.

6 comments:

antonia said...

I know, it is so terrible. I will try and write an email to show my anger and disgust but they won't change their stance.

Thanks for letting me know about this though.

God Bless
Antonia
xxx

David Palmer said...

Thanks for blogging on this Mac, I can't get my head around why anyone would even consider such an idea... Well I've E-mailed Helen Coath, I'll let you know if I get a response..

David

Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

Mac,
I'm going to re-post this later today under the heading of "A Blast From The Past".

And of course, a helmet tip to you, buddy!!

http://catholic-caveman.blogspot.com/2006/01/things-we-shouldnt-be-meddling-with.html

John Kearney said...

You can fill in the questionaire via a link at www.catholicactionuk.com. I did so and it was quite fun as they allowed you to make your comments.

Mac McLernon said...

Yes, I put up a link in my last post...

That's what makes it so crazy: the consultation isn't over, and they're still accepting comments... but they have said that the experiments are going to go ahead...

Edmund C. said...

But, it's for the good of humanity, Mac!

Seriously, this is a travesty. It seems that there's no end to what science can self-justify since its moral underpinnings have been lost. Good ends can justify any means...

It's just a matter of time before this sort of thing is allowed over here across the Pond as well.

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