Saturday, March 22, 2008


Even if you don't take the absolutist position of according an embryo the full moral status of a human person from conception (and I don't), the scientific and ethical issues surrounding the current Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill going through parliament, and what may follow in the future, are complex and sensitive. But when Cardinal Keith O'Brien chucks around alarmist terms like "monstrous", "Frankenstein", "grotesque" and 'hideous" over pre-embryonic research; when he likens it to experimentation on babies; when he marginalises the issue of life-saving treatment for suffers from diseases like multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer's; when he assumes that all Christians must automatically share his view; and when he regards MPs (notably Catholic ones) as troops to be dragooned in a war, he demeans the character of the debate, I fear. I've just written a piece on this for Guardian Comment-is-Free. Not sure when it will be published, but I will post the link here.

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