Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Independent: Embryo freezing offensive
22.10.10? by Elaine Attard

The Malta Gay Rights Movement and the pro-life organisation Gift of Life, reacted to the report on assisted procreation made public by a parliamentary select committee last Monday.

While the GoL finds the proposal of embryo freezing offensive against human life and urged MPs to reject the recommendations presented in the report, the MGRM stated that prohibiting same-sex couples from adopting frozen embryos might be in breach of their human rights.

According to GoL, the proposal to allow the freezing of fertilised human embryos, as part of a possible future law regulating IVF treatment in Malta is both unethical and inconsistent with a pro-life culture.

It constitutes a grave offence against human life in its most fragile stage of development and is morally offensive, it said. The pro-life NGO went into detail in a position paper on why it is unethical to store human embryos indefinitely.

Human life should be respected at all stages and the value and the dignity of human life should not diminish according to the person's stage of life, it said.

GoL proposed to all MPs to enact a future law that adequately respects human life from conception.

On the other hand MGRM welcomed the idea of providing access to IVF to cohabiting couples in stable relationships. However it criticised the report for going against the principles of equal treatment as established by the European Court of Human Rights.

The decision to restrict assisted reproduction services to couples is inconsistent with the government's current legislation and policy with respect to fostering and adoption, both of which allow individuals to apply as single parents, MGRM said, while it raised a number of considerations in a statement. The MGRM urged the government to ensure that any legislation enacted is inclusive and respectful of international human rights principles as enshrined in various treaties and conventions and to provide equal treatment to all its citizens, particularly in access to health services.

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