This is a sometimes 'cheesey' blog about British and American politics and anything else which tickles my fancy!

Monday, 19 May 2008

Gordon Backs Human Embryo Bill

Gordon Brown's public support for the Human Embryo and Fertilisation Bill is exactly the sort of leadership, people have wanted from him over the last few months.

Although, he got off to a shaky start when he refused to allow a free vote, I was really pleased that he came out in favour.

The Bill includes provisions to liberalise fertilisation laws, use human-animal embryos for scientific research, create saviour siblings (the creation of a child who genetically matches a sick brother or sister) and end the need for IVF clinics to consider the need for a father in the creation of a child - making it easier for women and lesbian couples to have children.

All of these changes have the potential to improve scientific understanding and medical research. No one knows for sure, but the chance that stem-cell research may lead to medical breakthroughs in illnesses like cystic fibrosis and muscular dystrophy must surely be explored. I think our moral duty is to allow this happen.

I also thought Jackie Ashley got it spot on in the Guardian today when she wrote that issues like this help to distinguish the liberals from the conservatives. If these are to become some of the dividing lines of the future, it is important that liberals in Britain stand up in favour of such measures to counter the rubbish opponents often speak.

I am glad that Gordon was one of the first.


MikeD said...

Tony Blair also supported stem cell research. He thought it would keep Britain at the cutting edge of medical research and was morally right too.

Tobie said...

Just learnt that MPs have voted by a majority of 160 to allow human and animal genetic material to be allowed. This is the first step, I hope the rest gets through...

miked said...

Good sign! I think the other parts of the Bill will go through. It might be a closer call regarding the abortion vote tomorrow though.

Alex Finnegan said...

I agree. Will see what the outcome is - not sure how I feel yet about that particular aspect. Need to know more first. Happy that MPs voted this way first.