Monday, 4 August 2008

Fertilisation is ethical, scientific and legal starting point of the life of a human being

There’s a helpful article by Dr David Albert Jones in the Observer on human embryo research. It puts into clear perspective the Catholic church’s teaching on the inviolability and dignity of human life from the moment of its conception (which is also SPUC's position).

He points out the unchanging nature of the church’s teaching – refuting Lisa Jardine’s claim (the new chair of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority) that protection of the embryo from the beginning was an invention of 21st century Catholicism. He also shows how the church’s position is rooted in science and is even reflected in the very UK legislation which permits human embryo experimentation: “According to UK law brought in to allow experimentation on human embryos, "references to an embryo include an egg in the process of fertilisation". This starting point is maintained in the bill currently going through parliament…”