Embryo Research Bill

The Embryo Research Bill at Westminister has been extremely controversial. It may allow the creation of “hybrid human animal” embryos. Here is a link to a number of Q+A’s on the subject. The bill has been heavily supported by the Association of Medical Research Charities. There has also been very significant dissent spearheaded by the Roman Catholic Church. It now seems that Labour MPs will be offered a free vote on the controversial parts of the bill.Proponents of this research suggest that it has the potential to offer help in a number of diseases. Currently trials of therapeutic cloning are being performed in animal models of Parkinson’s Disease. Purely as a point of information it is worth noting that currently the use of stem cells in medical treatment uses only the people’s own stem cells. Any therapeutic use of these controversial techniques apart from the use of “Saviour Siblings” appears to be some way off.

It is also interesting that Dr. Paisley has asked for assurances that the Bill will not be used as a back door to liberalising abortion law in Northern Ireland.

  • Hogan

    I don’t really have strong opinions on the science/theology of the debate but what has perturbed me slightly is the tone of some the guardian’s comment section Toynbee et al. saying the church is doing harm to democracy by expressing its opinion on the matter?

    The more different sections of society that participate in political life the more politics can be kept honest and interesting.

    I was dismayed at Brown’s original stance that Catholic Labour MP would only be given a free vote if the arithmetic of the house ensured the bill would pass anyway.

    What sort of precedent is that for votes of conscience?!

    Thankfully he has slithered away from it publicly although it could still be the case that his relaxing is only as a result of a private confidence the bill will pass?

  • How Very Odd

    How very odd that you are writing about this story a week after the rest of the country started arguing about it, and you write as though you’ve only just discovered the controversy!

  • George

    Turgon,
    It now seems that Labour MPs will be offered a free vote on the controversial parts of the bill.

    Labour MPs are not getting a free vote on parts of the bill, they are getting a free vote on parts of the bill at the committee stage.

  • getthefacts

    In the Press – good bunch of links on this issue –

    http://www.ccfon.org/media.php?lnTable=27

  • getthefacts

    All Party Parliamentary Pro-Life Group 2008

    http://www.passionforlife.org.uk/

  • PeaceandJustice

    The Roman Catholic church seems to have a great interest in such matters as well as the usual abortion and contraception rules. However, some of the priests in our recent past have been very supportive of groups murdering fully grown human beings – as long as they are Protestants.

  • willis

    Elegant footwork P&J;Only a true blue son of Ulster could manage such an elegant twist.

    My only question is:

    “If the Cardinals are so keen on freedom of conscience why do the threaten the catholic MPs who don’t vote the way the Church tells them?”

  • Pete Baker

    Another point worth mentioning, as the actual vote nears, is in this previous post

    The item which stands out in the supposed list of new ‘mortal sins’, in particular, is “Genetic manipulation”

  • DK

    “The item which stands out in the supposed list of new ‘mortal sins’, in particular, is “Genetic manipulation””

    Guess we’ll therefore have to plough in all our crops and shoot all our animals – the results of hundreds to thousands of years of genetic manipulation by careful cross-breeding. Or are we getting too close to an analogy for evolution?

  • gram

    Am I missing something? Do we not expect all our MPs to use their conscience when they vote? Other wise what’s the point of parliment? We may as well just have a buzzer to represent each party.

    Maybe if more MPs voted with their conscience we wouldn’t have the Iraq mess.

  • Gregory

    Evolution is men giving birth to babies in Canada. So Darwinianism holds true, if you define a female as a male and get ‘the male’ pregnant, so there you have it. A gay baby boom awaits.

    I’ve just spoken to the Sinn Fein MLA for Haut de la Garenne and recorded my support for audio womb implants to indoctrinate babies about how cool Big Brother No 1 is.

    G.

  • Gregory

    “If the Cardinals are so keen on freedom of conscience why do the threaten the catholic MPs who don’t vote the way the Church tells them?”

    Ask Squinter.

    G.