Saturday, 25 August 2012

Times: IVF: There but for the Graces
Saturday, August 4, 2012 by I.M. Beck

I’m afraid I’m going to annoy people I shouldn’t be annoying today. I’ve already annoyed quite a few folk with my blog, when I was more than slightly scathing of the way the Curiae have reacted to the notion that IVF is going to be legalised and regulated.

I won’t go into the arguments I used again, you can find them online (there’s the link below), suffice it to say that I found some of the methods used, especially the one where parents of children brought into the world by IVF were characterised, without much grace, by their Graces as people in need of reconciliation. I’m sorry, but I just can’t see them as sinners, however many angels are made to jig on the head of however many pins can be stuck into the argument.

But let me get on with annoying a whole other bunch of people.

The gay lobby – a designation I use simply for the purposes of broad-brush characterisation, I’m fully aware that there are many shades to the banner – is up in arms because the Bill being proposed makes IVF available only to married couples of the traditional variety. The law is being called discriminatory because it does not recognise gay couples’ right to raise a family.

Let me leave aside the somewhat flippant crack about something being done right if it’s annoying two opposing ends of the spectrum of opinion (in this case, the fundamentalists and the liberals). It’s one I use when BirdLife and the Federation of Conservationist Bird Killers and Trappers get hot under the collar at the same time.

I’d like to pose a question, purely for the sake of provoking an argument and getting a reaction, which is what people like me want, after all, though, perhaps, if the reactors would lay off the personal invective (that is, eschew the temptation to behave like loutish Lil’Elves) it would be nice.

The question is: Is it really the case that same-sex couples have a fundamental right to raise a family, a right that shouldn’t be denied by the law itself?

Speaking for myself, and a philosopher or ethicist I ain’t, I have this nagging doubt worrying my logical bone like a slightly lethargic puppy. It’s not something that exercises me to the max, far from it, and if the law were to be changed to accommodate same-sex couples, I’m not about to take to the barricades. In the case of two males, obviously, legislation concerning IVF is pretty much a fish and bicycle proposition, while, equally obviously, for two females, it is very relevant that the law is limiting the facility to male-female couple. 

Thankfully, no one has tried to square the circle that would be a lesbian and gay couple, who would appear to have no bar to getting married or resorting to IVF, somewhat paradoxically.
The real question to be getting back to is, then, can you extend the definition of a fundamental right to embrace people who don’t have the wherewithal to achieve what they’re trying to achieve? I really don’t know but my perhaps less liberal side tends towards the “not really” side of the argument.

It really is the silly season, isn’t it? On crawling out of the door on Wednesday morning, as a precursor to hopping onto the iron steed and wafting through the revolting heat, I was regaled with MaltaToday’s placard, trumpeting the fact that Debono Blasts Nationalists’ Silly Fundraising Campaign, or words to that effect.
My first reaction was “so, who cares what that guy thinks about anything, anymore?” but the fact is, clearly the lads at MaltaToday think his thoughts are worth the effort of printing them.

The MT’s esteemed editor is someone who raises himself to such heights of fearless independence that it’s a wonder that vertigo doesn’t prostrate him on a regular basis, so why does he persist, the old adage would have one say diabolically, in giving space to that man?

I suppose when all’s said and done, it’s always the agenda that sets the tone and anyone with eyes and ears can probably have a good stab at deciphering the agenda in this instance.
Talking about agendas, a number of my nearest and dearest are asking why the Times, this esteemed paper, has apparently put it on its own that it should call for an early election at every possible opportunity.

Far be it from me to have an opinion as to what the Editor should be saying, it’s his paper and all that, but I’m passing on the question as a public service, with an air of genuine puzzlement, if you like.

[Click on the hyperlink above to view the comments on the Times' website.]

1 comment:

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