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Scottish cardinal denounces embryo bill, compares legislation to Nazi policies

October 29, 2008

Cardinal Keith O'Brien of Edinburgh, Scotland, has continued his energetic campaign against passage of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology (HFE) bill, with an open letter to Prime Minister Gordon Brown in which the cardinal compares the provisions of the HFE legislation to Nazi genetic policies. With the bill having won approval in the House of Commons, and facing discussion in the House of Lords on October 29, the cardinal urged Brown to amend the legislation as a matter of "great urgency and human decency." Cardinal O'Brien noted the "grotesque implications" of the bill, which allows the creation of human-animal "hybrid" embryos, and told the prime minister: "I am appalled that you are promoting" the bill. He added that the bill's provisions "represent a breach of 50 years of ethical medical research."

Oddly, the Scottish Catholic Media Office publicized the cardinal's vigorous denunciation of the bill with an understated press release which said that the cardinal saw the bill as "potentially most harmful." That quote is accurate, but fails to capture the unusually strong language of Cardinal O'Brien's letter.


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