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High Court ruling on Embryo’s… they ‘have no right to life’ November 15, 2006

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Bioethics, Irish Politics, Medical Issues, Uncategorized.

That’s a mighty interesting ruling handed down in the High Court today. Don’t really want to say too much about it since I haven’t read the full ruling. Still in a deft kick back to the Oireachtas Mr Justice McGovern notes that

“Having considered the evidence and the submissions that were made and reviewed the law, I have come to the conclusion that the three frozen embryos are not ‘unborn’ … and it is a matter for the Oireachtas to decide what steps should be taken to establish the legal status of embryos.”

I’m sure they’ll be delighted to take him up on that challenge…

Central to Mr Justice McGovern’s judgement was the idea that at the abortion referendum in the 1980s the sense of right to life extended to the foetus and not an embryo. Hmmm… methinks, particularly on reading the Pro-Life Campaigns riposte that it was “confident the Supreme Court will vindicate the rights of the human embryo if the judgement is appealed.” more trouble is brewing on this issue.

Assisted Reproductive Techniques are difficult in some respects with regard to the ethical dilemmas that they pose. And as noted round these part previously Youth Defence , in their embryoresearch incarnation, for one has not been shy when it comes to utilising the public concern – and lack of knowledge regarding these techniques. But it really is the responsibility of the Oireachtas to deal with these in a more comprehensive fashion. A good place to start would be with the currently unimplemented report of the Commission on Assisted Human Reproduction. This document, more liberal than I could have hoped for and overwhelmingly agreed by those involved, has been ignored for over a year now.

Time to get moving.


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