Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Hybrids Given the Go-Ahead

I was ashamed to see that the House of Lords has approved the Human Fertilisation and Embryology bill on Monday. They didn't even put it to a vote... it was just passed through on the nod, so-to-speak. John Smeaton, Director of SPUC, has more information on the (unsuccessful) attempts to introduce amendments which would restrict the bill.

In 1996 I wrote an article for Faith Magazine outlining the dangers of foetal tissue transplantation - that is, the use of foetal nerve tissue to repair brain injury. My knowledge of the subject came from my research work at the Institute of Psychiatry: it was one of the leading centres for research into foetal brain tissue transplantation in animals, though the work always looked towards the possibility of its use in humans.

The more I read about the work on human foetal tissue transplantation for the article, the more sick I felt. The very real spectre of women being paid to have abortions "at the right time" was looming, and it struck me that we were on the edge of a very slippery precipice.

Looking back on what I wrote, I am surprised at how short-sighted I was. I think that we have plumbed the depths, morally speaking. The USA had a moratorium on the use of human foetal tissue, and other countries held back. Now we have an even more horrific scenario: the creation of human-animal hybrids for experimental purposes. The boundaries have been pushed further than I would have believed possible in a "civilised" country...

It would appear that British research is now leading the rest of the world in this field: a fact that the Government announce with pride. They fail to mention that this field is one pretty much shunned by the rest of the world. This is nothing to be proud of.

3 comments:

Hilary Jane Margaret White said...

Ducks, we were on the edge of the slippery slope 40 years ago.

We're somewhere nearing the bottom now.

Mark said...

Britain has nothing to be proud of these days, in any sphere of public policy. I'm sickened with my country.

Ma Beck said...

"Abby someone..."

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