Chimera embryos have right to life, say bishops
2007-07-03 0:00

By Jonathan Petre | telegraph.co.uk

Thanks to Desiree for sending the article.


Human-animal hybrid embryos conceived in the laboratory - so-called “chimeras” - should be regarded as human and their mothers should be allowed to give birth to them, the Roman Catholic Church said yesterday.

Under draft Government legislation to be debated by Parliament later this year, scientists will be given permission for the first time to create such embryos for research as long as they destroy them within two weeks.

But the Catholic bishops of England and Wales, in a submission to the Parliamentary joint committee scrutinising the draft legislation, said that the genetic mothers of “chimeras” should be able to raise them as their own children if they wished.

The bishops said that they did not see why these “interspecies” embryos should be treated any differently than others.

The wide-ranging draft Human Tissue and Embryo Bill, which aims to overhaul the laws on fertility treatment, will include sections on test tube babies, embryo research and abortion. Ministers say that the creation of animal-human embryos - created by injecting animal cells or DNA into human embryos or human cells into animal eggs - will be heavily regulated.

They insist that it will be against the law to implant “chimeras” - named after the mythical creature that was half man and half animal - into a woman’s womb.

The bishops, who believe that life begins at conception, said that they opposed the creation of any embryo solely for research, but they were also anxious to limit the destruction of such life once it had been brought into existence.

In their submission to the committee, they said: “At the very least, embryos with a preponderance of human genes should be assumed to be embryonic human beings, and should be treated accordingly.

“In particular, it should not be a crime to transfer them, or other human embryos, to the body of the woman providing the ovum, in cases where a human ovum has been used to create them.

“Such a woman is the genetic mother, or partial mother, of the embryo; should she have a change of heart and wish to carry her child to term, she should not be prevented from doing so.”

The draft Bill will also allow the screening of embryos for genetic or chromosomal abnormalities that might lead to serious medical conditions, disabilities, or miscarriage. It will permit doctors to check whether an embryo could provide a suitable tissue match for a sibling suffering from a life-threatening illness.

The Bill would abolish the requirement for fertility clinics to consider the need for a father when deciding on treatment. This means clinics will no longer be able to deny treatment to lesbians and single mothers.

The Catholic bishops said that most of the procedures covered by the Bill “should not be licensed under any circumstances”, principally on the grounds that they violate human rights.

Article from: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtm
?xml=/news/2007/06/26/nchimera126.xml



Related Articles
Embryonic stem cells explained
Now scientists create a sheep that's 15% human
Science's new blend mixes man and beast
Human Cells + Animal Cells = ?
Why Embryonic Stem Cell Research? It's About Human Engineering, Not Ending Disease


Latest News from our Front Page

Pressure from the United Patriots Front Stops Mosque Plan
2016-04-28 20:10
Pressure from the United Patriots Front appears to have killed off a mosque development in Narre Warren North. The City of Casey council now looks likely to withhold planning approval for the development in a special meeting set for Tuesday night. A council report, to be considered by councillors on Tuesday, recommends that the approval be blocked. The mosque opponents’ cause has been helped by councillor ...
Police face questions over the influence of the Freemasons
2016-04-28 20:48
South Yorkshire Police today face questions over whether powerful 'secret society' the Freemasons held sway over the force at the time of Hillsborough. Families of victims say that officers who were Masons were promoted into powerful positions despite being ill-equipped, including match commander David Duckenfield. Duckenfield told the fresh inquests he had been a Freemason since 1975 and became head of his ...
England Bans its Own Flag to Avoid Offending Muslims
2016-04-27 2:23
St. George's Cross "racist" towards immigrants Government officials said their city was ‘too multicultural’ to celebrate St George’s Day, England’s version of the 4th of July. The council said that displaying the English flag may have been seen as “racist” towards immigrants.
Half of Western European men descended from one Bronze Age ‘king’
2016-04-27 2:09
Half of Western European men are descended from one Bronze Age ‘king’ who sired a dynasty of elite nobles which spread throughout Europe, a new study has shown. The monarch, who lived around 4,000 years ago, is likely to have been one of the earliest chieftains to take power in the continent. He was part of a new order which emerged in ...
"Local Residents" Are Filmed Stealing Dozens of Bottles of Water at London Marathon Stop
2016-04-25 23:10
Editor's Comment: "Local" residents? Why bother blurring their faces? We know who they are. ... London marathon runners were robbed of dozens of bottled waters when thieves raided a refreshment area armed with trolleys during today's race. Nearby residents - including parents with children - were captured on camera piling up crates of free water handed out by volunteers during the 26-mile event. Marathon ...
More News »