Monday, August 06, 2007

Hybrids: MPs oppose regulation


From SPUC: British parliamentarians have produced a report on the government's draft Human Tissue and Embryos Bill and SPUC is deeply concerned about it. If the committee has its way, wide areas of embryo research would be exempt from licensing and the regulatory authority would have unprecedented new power. The legislators on the group propose much more generous permission for inter-species embryo creation than is even in the draft bill, and they want broader grounds for creation of 'saviour sibling' embryos as well as a weakening of the law against so-called reproductive cloning. Paul Tully, SPUC general secretary, said: "The report is good news for ethically insensitive researchers, would-be cloners and other maverick scientists. It is bad news for IVF embryos and for the idea that law should have an ethical framework." [SPUC media release and longer critique, 1 August] The proposed law could mean that birth certificates would indicate the origins of people conceived with donor gametes. The 18 members of both parliamentary chambers heard nearly 50 witnesses and received more than 100 written submissions, including from SPUC. [Guardian, 1 August] Two members of the committee have also expressed anxiety. Mr David Burrowes MP and Ms Geraldine Smith MP write: "We are very concerned that, by facilitating 'hybrid' experiments, the Bill will inevitably have the effect of further diverting money away from adult stem cell research - which has given rise to more than 70 successful patient therapies - to embryonic research, which has produced no therapies whatsoever." The committee had lacked consensus. [letters, Daily Telegraph, 1 August] It has already been announced that the draft Bill will be introduced to
Parliament during its next session later this year.

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Pope Leo XIII's Prayer to St Michael

Holy Michael, Archangel, defend us in the day of battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust down to Hell Satan, and all wicked spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen