Last September, I noted Dame Mary Warnock’s view that people with disabling conditions have a duty to die prematurely.
And in November, she told the Irish that there is an “absolute moral obligation” to conduct embryonic stem cell research, and that a scientist who chose not to conduct it would be "failing in their moral duty".
I am genuinely frightened when I hear Dame Mary Warnock say these things. Her distorted reasoning has heralded changes in British law which have led to the killing of countless vulnerable human beings in Britain and overseas.
Go back nearly thirty years to July 1982: Her Majesty’s Government invited Mary Warnock to chair a Committee of Inquiry into the ‘social, ethical and legal implications of recent, and potential developments in the field of human assisted reproduction’. The report of that committee is called the Report of the Committee of Inquiry into Human Fertilisation and Embryology, Cmnd. 9314, London, 1984.
Follow carefully in the next paragraph the argument which her Committee used to justify lethal experiments on human embryos, up to the 14th day after conception, paving the way for the Government’s legislation in 1990 (which has been copied in many parts of the world):
"While, as we have seen, the timing of the different stages of development is critical, once the process has begun there is no particular part of the developmental process that is more important than another; all are part of a continuous process, and unless each stage takes place normally, at the correct time, and in the correct sequence, further development will cease. Thus biologically there is no one single identifiable stage in the development of the embryo beyond which the in vitro embryo should not be kept alive. However we agreed that this was an area in which some precise decision must be taken, in order to allay public anxiety.” (My emphasis)
In other words (my comments in red):
“ … once the process has begun … ”: Since this paragraph is all about allowing experiments up to the 14th day after conception, this phrase clearly refers to the moment of conception.
“ … there is no particular part of the developmental process that is more important than another … ”: the Warnock Committee admits there’s no special significance whatsoever (biological or philosophical) about the 14th day after conception, or any other day after conception. The significant thing is that a human life has begun.
“ … Thus biologically there is no one single identifiable stage in the development of the embryo beyond which the in vitro embryo should not be kept alive … ”: Put plainly, whatever the age of the embryo or unborn child he or she should not really be killed.
“ … However we agreed that this was an area in which some precise decision must be taken, in order to allay public anxiety … ” The Committee has decided to make a completely arbitrary decision in order to fool Parliament and the public into thinking that we have reached a profound conclusion based on weighty scientific evidence, and so we've plumped for 14 days. As Clarke and Linsey noted " … this is a clear case of extrinsic criteria being used to solve a problem which requires the determination of firm and unequivocal intrinsic criteria ... "(Clarke, P.A.B. and A. Linzey Research on Embryos: Politics, Theology and Law. Lester Crook, London, 1988, p. 26.)