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Eminent Domain Stuff

New London Update (2/24/06)
Coverage of the Rally at New London's City Hall (w/ pics)

Monday, August 02, 2004


Embryos Win One In Italy

New guidelines outlining how to implement Italy's recent law concerning the treatment of embryos has set off at least a small firestorm. Amazingly, The Scientist ran the story but was unable to find a single person who agreed with the guidelines. The entire article...not a single quote in support of the law or guidelines. Almost unbelievable.

Anyway, here are a few things that caught my attention:

"The Italian law is the end of any progress. It is the world's worst law ever seen, except for Costa Rica, where the constitution forbids IVF [in vitro fertilization]," Paul Devroey, clinical director of the Center for Reproductive Medicine in Belgium, told The Scientist.
Amazing, hyperbole and a disgusting lack of historical knowledge in just two sentences...especially in a country with a history of being on the wrong side of a relatively major war. First off, I'm pretty sure that this will not be an end [to] any progress and, second I'm absolutely sure I can find a few worse laws.

"These guidelines go beyond the law and make it even more rigid. How can they say that a diagnosis is eugenic? The action resulting from the diagnosis may be eugenic, if anything. I believe that parents have the right to know whether the implanted embryos are defective," Franco Cuccurullo told The Scientist. Cuccurullo resigned as president of the National Health Institute section that approved the guidelines.
He's right. A diagnosis cannot, in and of itself, be eugenic. However, allowing diagnoses to be made is counterproductive if, for example, you have established that nothing will be done regardless of the findings. And...does anyone else get the feeling that he might not be opposed to eugenics in the first place? Maybe the quote is somewhat out of context...but what is avaliable does not exclude the possibility.

The thing that really scares me about this quote is the word defective. The use of that word in reference to an embryo is no different than referring to a child with Downs Syndrome as defective. I guess it's only PC if the living structure is 'not human,' right?

"It is a battle to free our country from a law that prevents thousands of couples from having children. But most of all, it halts the scientific research by forbidding embryo stem cell research," Luca Coscioni, president of the political party who launched the referendum campaign, told reporters.
On the other hand, one might look at these guidelines as preventing horrible things from being done on innocent human beings...but I suppose that never occurred to The Scientist.


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