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


Experimentation On Living Embryos Barbaric

6 May 2002

Revelations that scientists are seeking authority from the National Ethics Committee to experiment on ‘unwanted’ live embryos has brought swift condemnation from CHP Party Leader Graham Capill.

Mr Capill asked, “What sort of society have we become when we seek to take live, weak, vulnerable, developing individuals and experiment on them, simply because we think there might be some benefits for other illnesses?

“If this is the only way medicine can find cures for diseases, then it is no advancement at all. It is barbaric, inhumane, and would invoke an even greater outcry if it were done outside the sanctuary of the laboratory.

“The world rightfully condemned the Nazi movement for experimenting on the sick and elderly in Germany. The world did not allow the end to justifying the means. Are scientists in this country no better than the Nazis?” asked Mr Capill

Commenting on the fact that IVF results, themselves, could benefit from such research, as could many other diseases, Mr Capill observed, “There is usually more than one path to solving medical problems. When stem cell research was first introduced, it was suggested that there was a need to use embryonic research to achieve other worthwhile outcomes. Later, however, it was acknowledged that much of the DNA material needed for this research could be found in umbilical cord blood. Rejecting embryonic research at this stage will not close the door to scientific endeavour, it will just mean that science will face the challenge of finding another route to get there.”

Mr Capill also commented on the fact that many of these embryos are said to have reached their ‘self-life’ time frame. Mr Capill pointed out, “Science wrongly created the surplus of embryos because its own IVF programme has had such poor results – the only way to get a resultant pregnancy was to fertilise more eggs than were really desired. Having created the problem, science must find an ethical, humane way to deal with it. Perhaps couples in the IVF programme ought to realise their responsibility to all the embryos they have allowed to be created and be allowed to adopt them out to other childless couples.

“New Zealand cannot expect to have a humane, compassionate society, if it is prepared to do violence to its most vulnerable citizens. It is time the government made a stand, as other nations have, outlawing the destruction of and experimentation on live embryos,” Mr Capill concluded.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The New Pike River Agency (And The Air Strike Wing)

Much of the sympathy the public still feels for the families of the Pike River miners has been sustained by the sense that the previous government – let alone the mining company and the processes of receivership and litigation – has never dealt honestly, or fairly, with them.

Finally, yesterday’s announcement by the Ardern government that a new state agency will be set up to assess and plan the manned re-entry to the mine (on a set timetable) goes a long way to meeting the families’ remaining request: that they be enabled, if at all possible, to bury their loved ones. More>>


Not Going Swimmingly: Contractor Cut, New Dates For Christchurch Sports Centre

“As an incoming Minister, I have been conducting a thorough review of progress on the Anchor projects and to learn of a $75 million budget blowout on this project was very disappointing..." More>>


Tertiary: Allowances, Loan Living Costs To Get Boost

“From 1 January, student allowance base rates and the maximum amount students can borrow for living costs will rise by a net $50 a week,” says Education Minister Chris Hipkins... further adjusted from 1 April 2018 in line with any increase in the CPI. More>>


Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>

Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>


Parental Leave: National's Time-Sharing Change Fails

National has proposed a change to the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Bill that would allow both parents to take paid parental leave at the same time, if that is what suits them best. More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election