There is justifiably much concern about the latest innovation in the “life sciences”, the biological sciences dealing with human life. The latest innovation announced last week is motherless babies.
It’s being envisaged that quite soon two men may be able to beget a child together without involving a female partner in the conception. The conceiving cells could come from the skin grafts of two males – the skin cells being genetically “tricked” into acting like sperm and egg fusion. Thus a new life is conceived without the biological input of the female egg. Once conceived the embryo would need to be implanted in a surrogate (or hired) woman’s womb for development.
The experiment has been performed successfully with mice, and what is achieved with laboratory animals can very often be transferred to the human species. Ethical? Surely most moral philosophers would say it is wrong to deliberately bring a child into the world who has no biological mother. Even leave aside the ethics, the emotional and psychological impact would surely be anguishing.
And yet, ghastly and inadvisable though the prospect is, in a perverse way it does show that the conception of human life is so enormously valued that the boffins’ greatest desire is to replicate it. If science is going to such lengths to demonstrate that life can be procreated artificially, that obliterates the argument – still put forward by the likes of Planned Parenthood – that human life in the womb is merely “waste foetal matter”.
It cannot surely be ethical that a child should be conceived via skin grafts of two men (or, possibly in the future, skin grafts of two females – that experiment has not yet been done). And yet all the energy now being dedicated to such “life sciences” highlights the miracle of human life from conception, as evidenced by everyday natural procreation.
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