Comments: two more follow-ups on the embryology row

Thank God for Mary Warnock, she is soreley needed by our country and this archbishops' council

Posted by L Roberts at Thursday, 10 April 2008 at 8:57pm BST

How charming is divine Philosophy!
Not harsh and crabbed, as dull fools suppose,
But musical as is Apollo's lute,
And a perpetual feast of nectared sweets,
Where no crude surfeit reigns.

Posted by Spirit of Vatican II at Friday, 11 April 2008 at 7:56am BST

Where Baroness Warnock has not the resources to answer a question, she is capable of choosing to ignore it. She was challenged in the Lords by David Alton on why she had originally called for respect for embryos and later said she wished she hadn't because it is odd to call for respect for that which you are flushing down the incinerator (or whatever). My point to her was that she would rather forego the respect than forego the (blessed euphemism) termination - and that this was manifestly a skewed system of priorities. While answering other points of mine, this central one she avoided.

Posted by Christopher Shell at Saturday, 12 April 2008 at 9:10am BST

Christopher Shell, could you please give Mary Warnock's exact words?

Posted by Spirit of Vatican II at Monday, 14 April 2008 at 5:43am BST

'I said then (and said publicly) that I regretted the use of the word respect, being annoyed, for example, by the phrase ''with respect'', and feeling that the term was overused by the civil servants involved in the commission...What I meant to convey was that embryo research should not be undertaken lightly, frivolously, or where other alternatives would work as well or better.'

The difficulty with all this is that we are still in the position (after literally millions of embryos have been experimented on) that none has helped us find a cure for anything, though it is still hypothesised that they may well do so. That is something that cannot easily be known in advance, though it may be intrinsically plausible. We are also already in the situation where another approach (adult stem cells) is working considerably better. For some reason this has not led to any reduction in embryo experimentation. Legalisation increases the perception of acceptability/normality exponentially. Once the Rubicon of allowing abortion whas been crossed, the less controversial practice of embryo experimentation (from which some good may theoretically eventually come, unlike in the case of abortion) can easily be sold to people.

Posted by Christopher Shell at Wednesday, 16 April 2008 at 1:54pm BST

"The difficulty with all this is that we are still in the position (after literally millions of embryos have been experimented on) that none has helped us find a cure for anything, though it is still hypothesised that they may well do so. That is something that cannot easily be known in advance, though it may be intrinsically plausible. We are also already in the situation where another approach (adult stem cells) is working considerably better."

Well, yes and no. The adult stem cell research has resulted in a few breakthroughs, but none of them of the kind expected from embryonic research. The possibilities with adult cells are just too limited, because so much of their potential has already been used in one direction.

It's rather like trying to turn a car when its wheels are locked in one position.

Posted by Pat O'Neill at Thursday, 17 April 2008 at 11:42am BST

Please will someone tell me if human female eggs are used or planned to be used in Human/Animal hybrid research? Amendment 10 allows this but I doubt if many women know about it. Women are not lab. rats. Show us respect please.

Posted by l,McConnell at Tuesday, 3 March 2009 at 4:22pm GMT
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