Monday, 19 May 2008

Remember that date. It was the date that the UK government, in a free parliamentary vote, passed a bill that will allow hybrid embryo research.

A cross-party attempt to ban hybrid human animal embryos was defeated on a free vote, by 336 to 176.

But what will that mean?

Some say that it is totally unethical to do this kind of research. It could lead to curse for cancer a real treatment for Alzheimer’s and even lead to such things as a saviour sibling. Does this then mean we, or the British government, are playing God? We know the devastation that those illnesses cause – the trauma that could be stopped.

If you, in the future, were to be offered a cure that came from such research would you say no on ethical grounds knowing that you would in all probability die?

It is a very emotive subject and one where religion has jumped in with both feet. Yet, in a world where technology reigns supreme has religion got a roll to play in all this.

The Roman Catholic Church has branded the use of hybrid embryos as “monstrous” and says tinkering with life in this way is immoral.

Catholic bishops in Britain and the Irish Republic have given £25,000 to scientists using adult stem cells, which is less controversial than using immature ones.

It this practice hypocritical of the Catholic Church?

To call one thing monstrous and then to use ready cash to invest in something, not the same, but similar?

It certainly is food for thought.

Will Rhodes Blogs at The Will Rhodes Portmanteau

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