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HFEA approval of hybrids disastrous

17 January 2008

HFEA approval of hybrids "disastrous" London, 17 January 2008 - The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) has called the HFEA's approval of hybrid embryo research "disastrous".

John Smeaton, SPUC national director, said: "The HFEA decision represents a disastrous setback for human dignity in Britain. The deliberate blurring of the boundaries between humans and other species is wrong and strikes at the heart of what makes us human. It is creating a category of beings regarded as sub-human who can be used as raw material to benefit other members of the human family, effectively creating a new class of slaves. "The HFEA says the public are at ease with the idea, but it's extremely doubtful whether people at large have had a real opportunity to consider the complex proposals adequately and to respond. "Although we cannot be certain of the nature of such embryos, those produced with a preponderance of human DNA would in all probability, according to experts, be human beings with human characteristics and capacities. By using animal eggs, such embryos could be generated in much greater numbers than if human eggs were used, leading to much greater loss of life. "The Human Fertilisation and Embryology bill (now before parliament) would require that all such embryos were killed. Of those embryos with a smaller proportion of human material, greater uncertainty arises as to the nature of the embryo - and therefore uncertainty as to whether such an embryo is a human being with due rights. It cannot be right to generate such embryos when there is no clear answer to the question 'How should we treat them?'"


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