Medical ethics-- "Tampering with embryos is tampering with human souls" suggests article in London Daily Telegraph
If you're on this page, you likely know that my technothriller A REMEDY FOR DEATH deals with, among other issues, questions of medical ethics, including organ and tissue regeneration, cross-species "trading" of tissues and stem cells, and the ultimate question of, When does death in fact occur?
In this blog, I've included a lot of my earlier research used in working out A REMEDY FOR DEATH, and I'm still adding new articles and studies that I find with some or a lot of relevance to the book.
Hence you may be interested in the opinion piece in London's Daily Telegraph "Tampering with embryos is tampering with souls" by Jacob Rees-Mogg, a member of the British parliament. The piece picks up from a debate in the House of Parliament on the issue of "three parent embryos – or rather mitochondrial transfer".
Mr. Rees-Mogg points out three as-yet unsettled issues with the idea of blending "parenthood" from three people:
- Technical: do we yet know enough about how to do this?);
- Ethical (involving both medical ethics and morality: "There may be unknown consequences of tampering with the genes of an embryo, and for the unreligious there will be mental issues to be faced by those who have three parents. The gravity of the change is such that it should not be made without the most careful thought and properly tested research.)
- Legal: "This is a self-evidently dangerous road to start down as although the technique cannot at this stage affect eye colour, eventually there will be therapies that will. Once this line has been crossed the argument against going further is merely a matter of degree rather than absolute. Its current aim is small, that ten children each year that might have been born should be replaced by ten different babies. This is not a major problem yet the solution is a fundamental change in our understanding of our own humanity."
I'm not going to go further, except to add that in his bio, Mr. Rees-Mogg demonstrates exceptional wisdom and prudence by stating clearly " He is not on Twitter." Amen to that! I say.
By the way, if you object to the word "soul" in his article, you're welcome to adopt the terms "conscious essence" within the "Vehicle" -- terms that some of the characters use as alternatives to "soul" and "body" in A REMEDY FOR DEATH.