Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Genetic Screening Of Embryos Is Immoral

MEDIA RELEASE

25 January 2001

Graham Capill
Party Leader

GENETIC SCREENING OF EMBRYOS IS IMMORAL

“Chromosome screening of embryos for IVF purposes, is morally reprehensible and should be outlawed immediately,” Party Leader Graham Capill said today.

Mr Capill was commenting on a decision of the National Ethics Committee on Assisted Human Reproduction, to permit Fluorescent In-Situ Hybridisation (FISH) – the technique used to test embryos for suitability for IVF treatments.

“While it may be tempting to use such techniques to enhance the poor success rate of IVF procedures, it is morally wrong to destroy any embryo on the basis it is less than 'ideal' for transplantation into the womb.

“The decision allows scientists and doctors to play God with life. Unwanted human beings are discarded in preference to more ‘perfect’ ones.

“Once this practice gains acceptance, there is no logical argument to prevent it being extended. The age at which the life of an embryo is terminated could be increased. Treatment could be refused for those with disabilities the medical profession judge not suitable to receive it. Even the sex of the embryo could become the determinant of whether it lives or dies.

“Already Dr Fisher, from Fertility Associates, has indicated that the technique can be used to screen for a wide range of genetic disorders, such as cystic fibrosis. He has confirmed it will be used for Downs syndrome and Turners syndrome. Even sexing the embryos will be done in an attempt to identify sex-determined conditions, such as haemophilia and muscular dystrophy. In my opinion, this is the beginning of eugenics, despite protestations to the contrary.

“There is also the question of what will happen to discarded embryos. Will donors be asked to authorize medical research on rejected embryos, given they are to be destroyed anyway? No doubt scientists will argue that not to use such embryos would be a wasted opportunity. Nevertheless, it opens another moral Pandora’s box.

“If New Zealand allows this screening, what is there to stop research being done on ‘stem cells’, as has recently been allowed in Britain? Surely the difference is only one of degree, between an embryo as unsuitable for IVF transplantation and modifying it to make it more likely to implant in the womb.

“The end does not justify the means. Medical advances that involve the destruction of embryos (who are, we must remember, small human beings), are not advances at all. The human embryo has a special status and we owe it all the dignity we ascribe to mature adults,” Mr Capill concluded.

Christian Heritage urges the government to close the legal loophole that has allowed this decision to be made, and ensure that the law prevents experimentation, research and the destruction of all human embryos.


Contact: Party Leader Graham Capill, Direct Line: (03) 352 6720 or (021) 661 766


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Decision Day: Peters Chooses Labour

Winston Peters says he will form a Government in coalition with Labour and the Greens giving confidence and supply.

Peters said he had been offered the position of Deputy Prime Minister and a number of other ministerial posts would go to his colleagues

He said economic and monetary policy changes were needed to face a coming economic downturn.>>>More

Reaction

Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome

 

Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>

ALSO:


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>

ALSO:

Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>

ALSO:

Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>

ALSO:

Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election