Archbishop Peter Smith, Chair of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England & Wales Department of Christian Responsibility & Citizenship has issued the following statement in response to the decision announced by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority yesterday to relax the rule on embryo selection. Describing the decision as "deeply flawed" he said: Everyone will sympathise with the plight of parents searching for a tissue donor for a gravely ill child. But to allow an embryo to be selected for this purpose (and others discarded) is wrong, because it abandons the foundational moral principle that human lives should never be used as a mere means to an end. As Professor Jack Scarisbrick has pointed out, "it can never be right to manufacture human beings to repair other human beings". Once we allow a human life to be deliberately produced, and then selected or destroyed, simply to benefit another, we are have lost our ethical bearings. "Medical science is advancing at an astonishing speed, but simply because a medical procedure becomes technologically possible does not make it morally right. We badly need to pause and consider the deeper moral principles at stake when issues with such grave long term implications are being considered. "To rush into decisions of such vital importance in response to a particularly tragic case is to risk being swayed solely by the strong emotional demands of the situation. This is not a sound or reasonable way to proceed. The HFEA urgently needs to reconsider this decision which has such far reaching and dangerous ramifications" Source: CCS
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