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Coverage of embryonic testing issues one-sided

Thursday 3rd August, 2006

The NZ media coverage of embryonic testing issues is dangerously one-sided

Family Life International is concerned that the recent media coverage of pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) technologies, and the selection of human embryos based on their sex has been dangerously one-sided.

“This issue has been covered by most major New Zealand news organisations in the last week, yet I have yet to watch, read or hear a news report that actually presents both sides of the debate surrounding this serious issue” says Family Life International media spokesperson; Brendan Malone.

“The New Zealand media is seriously failing the people of this country by not presenting them with all of the facts on PGD and the sex selection of embryos.”

“On Tuesday night; I watched with disbelief as a 6pm news program reported on this issue without even interviewing those who are opposed to this technology. The report failed to present all of the facts about PGD, and related moral and ethical issues, and it finished with the network’s own reporter proclaiming that this was something good for New Zealand.”

“That’s not balanced reporting, that’s editorialising masked as journalism and this issue is far too serious to be treated in such a manner.”

Family Life International is concerned that the actions of the media are stifling true debate about this issue and as a result the public are missing out on vital information about this very serious issue.

“The supporters of this technology have tried to claim that it is not eugenic in nature, but so far they have failed to address how weeding out and destroying human embryos that are undesirable to the parents is anything other than eugenic” says Brendan Malone.

“One-sided media coverage of this issue will allow the promoters of this technology, and its accompanying ideology, to literally get away with murder.”

“Not one journalist has even bothered to ask why a society that embraces this technology would bother to continue spending money on seeking out cures for illnesses and disabilities when human beings can simply be eliminated while in the embryonic stage of human development.”

“Not once has anyone mentioned the fact that even if a particular genetic marker is present in a human embryo, that baby may never actually go on to develop any associated illnesses or disabilities.”

“Most journalists don’t seem to be interested in the fact that the recent University of Otago report on this issue supports the use of PGD technology to aide in creating “saviour siblings” who will be engineered to provide spare parts for other family members.”

Family Life International calls on the New Zealand media to start presenting all of the facts about this very serious issue.

“This technology does not respect every human being’s right to life or the dignity of the human person, and if it is legitimised in New Zealand it will only lead to the development of even more heinous eugenic technologies” says Brendan Malone.

ENDS

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