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British Cardinal calls for debate on embryo research

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor has criticised Members of the British Parliament for wasting parliamentary time on fox-hunting while ignoring "alarming" developments in embryo research.

In an article for The Sunday Telegraph newspaper, the Catholic primate for England and Wales pleaded for a national debate into the far-reaching consequences of fertility research.

His comments came a week after Israeli and Dutch scientists claimed that aborted fetuses could one day be used to obtain eggs for fertility treatment, leading to the possibility of babies being born from mothers who were themselves never born. Days later, an American scientist announced the creation of a hermaphrodite embryo as part of research into treatment for defective embryos.

The cardinal noted that neither announcement stirred the parliamentary interest generated by a fox-hunting debate under way. "Is not the fetus, a human person, more important to us than the fox?" he asked.

Last Tuesday, Archbishop Peter Smith of Cardiff, Wales, said: "There is something deeply wrong with a society that can even contemplate harvesting eggs from the ovaries of aborted fetuses. How is it that we can recognize that the aborted fetus is human enough to become a biological parent and yet not human enough to have the right to life?"


What about humans? Catholic primate calls for debate on embryo research before fox-hunting (Hoovers)
New human egg horror (The Universe)

8 Jul 2003