URGENT ACTION REQUIRED ON BILL CURRENTLY IN PARLIAMENT
BILL SEEKS TO USURP BIBLICAL MODEL FOR FAMILY
HUMANITY CHALLENGED AT ITS VERY CORE BY CREATION OF ‘NEW SPECIES’
“A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling” Psalm 68:5
The Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship has submitted evidence to the Government’s enquiry on the Draft Human Tissue and Embryology Bill. This Bill seeks to usurp the biblical model for family and gives power to scientists to create a ‘new species’ – animal human hybrid for so called therapeutic purposes. The Bible tells us that as in the days of Noah so it will it be at the coming of the Son of Man. Those days were characterised by the creation of angelic - human hybrids. Today we are seeing the creation of an equally unnatural (albeit different) species of cloned human beings, animal–human hybrids, for so called therapeutic purposes. This is man putting himself in the place of God by attempting to play the role of creator. As Christians who love the Creator and the created order I pray we will have eyes to see and the courage to act to speak out against this dangerous development fearing God’s judgment coming on this Nation as a result.
Please read the LCF’s response to the Government committee at the link below:
http://www.christianconcernforournation.co.uk/bioethics/docs/ConsultationResponse.doc (Word file)http://www.christianconcernforournation.co.uk/bioethics/docs/ConsultationResponse.pdf (Adobe file)
Please also respond to the e-consultation advertised on the committee web pages. If you have difficulty in doing so (problems have been experienced) please register a complaint via the procedure indicated on the web page.
In this Bill the Government propose to remove the requirement for doctors to have regard for the need of any child they assist in bringing into the world through assisted reproductive technology for a father (clause 21). This proposal flies in the face of the wealth of research that demonstrates that a father is central to a child’s welfare. This role is different but complementary to that of the mother. Children deprived of a father often experience psychological, social and community disadvantages. This proposal is all about the alleged “rights” and demands of adults and nothing about the needs of children. In the Bible the “fatherless” are pictured as weak and defenceless, but our great and compassionate God “defends the cause of the fatherless” (Deut. 10:18). We are now called to do that too.
This Bill has many other concerning features as summarised below:
The Bill will allow scientists to create any variety of animal-human hybrid embryos for research purposes (clause 17);
It is proposed that the Reproductive Cloning Act 2001, which banned reproductive cloning, be repealed and replaced by something far less clear cut (clause 16, para 15.5);
Legal parenthood provisions will be extended to the other woman in a single-sex couple (whether or not a civil partner) after assisted reproduction creating “two mother” families (clauses 48,49 and 50);
The categories of people who will be able to be treated in law as the parents of a child brought into the world by a surrogacy arrangement where the gametes of one of the partners was used will be extended to cover unmarried couples, civil partners and two people “living as partners in an enduring family relationship”, a provision with potential to create “two father” families (clause 60);
It is proposed that non-profit making bodies be allowed to advertise in order to facilitate surrogacy arrangements (clause 66). This will facilitate the creation of “two father” families.
Please pray about this Bill and write to your own MP as well as to the Government and the Committee with your views. You can find the draft Bill and details of the Committee’s enquiry below:
Please choose one or two of the above issues that you feel most strongly about and make one or two points about each. Here are some suggested points you could make about the other issues:
The human embryo is human life. It is unethical to use them as a means to an end
The animal/human hybrid embryos are alleged to be needed to conduct embryonic stem cell research but adult stem cell research has far greater potential to create useful therapies and is ethically sound. It has already produced real medical advances when embryonic stem cell research has produced none (for further information, see the cloning and embryology pages of the Care website at www.care.org.uk/Publisher/Article.aspx?ID=58254 and www.bioethics.ac.uk)
The mixing of human and non-human biological material involves an unnatural crossing of the species barrier. We do not know what the consequences could be in terms of tumour formation or disease transmission
The creation of animal/human hybrids is banned in many countries
Cloning human embryos is unethical because it uses human life as a means to an end
Reproductive cloning or the creation of “designer babies” is totally unethical
Adult stem cell technology has already made great advances in providing therapies and is an ethically sound alternative to embryonic cloning
The best environment for a child to grow up in is with a mother and a father who have publicly committed themselves to one another for life. The negative impact on a child of the absence of a mother or a father is well-documented. There is a lack of evidence of the impact on children of being brought up in same-sex households
Surrogacy involves risks to all involved and is not the simple solution to childlessness that it may appear
For further information on these issues the website of the Christian Medical Fellowship is highly recommended (www.cmf.org.uk).
Contact detail of individual members of the committee are as follows:
In the House of Commons (write to them at the following address: House of Commons, Westminster, London, SW1A 0AA )
Phil Willis (Chair), David Burrows MP, Katie Clark MP, Dr Ian Gibson MP, Chris Mole MP, Dr Doug May Smith MP, Geraldine Smith MP, Dari Taylor MP
In the House of Lords (write to them at the following address: The House of Lords, London, SW1A 0PW)
Baroness Deech, Baroness Hollis of Heigham, Lord Jenkin of Reading, Lord Mackay of Clashfern, Baroness Neuberger, Bishop of St Albans, Lord Selsdon, Lord Turnberg, Lord Winston
The Minister in charge of the Bill is Caroline Flint MP. You can write to her at the above address for the House of Commons.