|The passage through Parliament of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill has been dogged by controversy. Failed attempts to outlaw late abortion have dominated the debate, while scientists, medical ethics experts and religious leaders have clashed over the hybrid embryo issue.|
Defenders of the bill have repeatedly stressed the importance of gaining consent from anyone whose tissue is taken for the creation of human/animal hybrid embryos.
It can now be revealed that a Government amendment, agreed after the main parliamentary debates, would allow tissue to be used from people who lack the "mental capacity" to give consent, children whose parents give permission, and anyone who has previously donated samples to hospitals for medical research but can no longer be traced.
Medical ethics experts and religious leaders are furious that the provisions, which they say ride roughshod over basic human rights, have already been agreed by an all-party committee of 17 MPs charged with scrutinising the bill, without any public debate or discussion in the main chambers of Parliament.
Prof David Jones, director of the Centre for Bioethics and Emerging Technologies at St Mary's University College, London, said: "In May we had a public debate about whether or not it is a good thing to create hybrid embryos.
"Now it transpires that just weeks later, with no public debate at all, the Government inserted these amendments which cross a fundamental line in medical ethics by presuming consent in many cases. I think it is totally objectionable, and I really worry that this will create a backlash against medical research."
Sunday, October 19, 2008
UK: Human tissue to be taken without consent
UK: This is what happens when you have officials who live in a moral void. That this is even considered shows the UK going towards a world they help defeat decades ago.