Published: 19th June 2006
Christian Medical Fellowship (CMF) General Secretary Dr Peter Saunders has expressed grave reservations about a new embryo test offered to parents at risk from conceiving babies with disabilities. A team, from the genetics unit at London's Guy's Hospital, will announce the development at a European Fertility Conference in Prague today. They expect to offer pre-implantation genetic haplotyping (PGH) to over 100 families a year.
Commenting on the announcement, CMF General Secretary Dr Peter Saunders said, “This new technique is all about identifying individuals with a predisposition to disability or disease and ending their lives before they are born, or in this case, before they are implanted. PGH simply offers a more accurate 'search and destroy' mechanism.
“It's like using a better set of sights on a sniper's rifle so you can be sure that you only kill affected individuals rather than targeting all those who might possibly have the condition.
“But disabled groups are justifiably concerned – this is essentially just prenatal eugenics. Who are we to decide whose lives are worth living and whose aren't? We need to be putting resources into care and treatment for people with severe inherited disabilities and diseases - not searching them out and killing them before birth.”
Philippa Taylor (CMF Head of Public Policy) 020 7234 9664
Steven Fouch (CMF Head of Communications) 020 7234 9668
Alistair Thompson on 07970 162 225
Christian Medical Fellowship (CMF) was founded in 1949 and is an interdenominational organisation with over 5,000 doctors, 900medical and nursing students and 300 nurses and midwives as members in all branches of medicine, nursing and midwifery. A registered charity, it is linked to over 100 similar bodies in other countries throughout the world.
CMF exists to unite Christian healthcare professionals to pursue the highest ethical standards in Christian and professional life and to increase faith in Christ and acceptance of his ethical teaching.