Ethics and Reality

During the Labour Party AGM (Nemmnu, Nahdmu, Nirnexxu) party leader Joseph Muscat, in his own way, summarized what it means to be progressive. Amongst other things he mentioned that the Labour Party believes:
  1. In the right to privacy;
  2. That science is there to aid human beings
It was a speech which some termed as boring and others as a return to Mintoff's socialist rhetoric, but which nonetheless hit the right notes for the progressive audience. During this speech Muscat made his stance very clear regarding the censorship and outright ban of the play "Stitching". With him at the helm he promised that such things would not occur. This was certainly a move in the right direction. Adults should not be treated like little children.

Referring to point 2 above Muscat held that:
Koppja li ghandha problema biex ikollha t-tfal ghandha tinghata access ghall-izviluppi tax-xjenza u t-tekonogija, fir-rispett tal-etika u tal-persuna, li ikollha t-tfal.
Rough translation: A couple having problems conceiving should be given access to scientific developments, respecting ethics, so that it would be able to conceive children
This was said before the recent intervention of the Church's morality police on the subject of IVF which holds that IVF is unethical. Today, Muscat had this to say (excerpt quoted from timesofmalta.com):
Dr Muscat noted that although Mater Dei was equipped to carry out IVF, there was no legislation in place. And before such legislation was drafted, he said, there was the need to dialogue and listen to what all, including the Church, had to say. A decision that was good for everyone and guided by ethics and reality had to then be taken
The Church's position on IVF is very clear. They would rather it be banned just like Stitching was banned. Just in case I be branded an idealist or radical again (not that I mind) it must be said I have aboslutely no qualms with giving the Church a voice on the matter. They have every right to do so - in fact they have a Constitutional privilege to do so. However, the Church has already stated that if a cohabiting couple is infertile he or she should not be given access to assisted reproduction facilities. Science was branded as a utilitarian philosophy which was only geared at making a greater deal of people happy. With Rev. Prof. Emmanual Agius spear-heading all this I am not at all surprised with the harsh attacks on science, secularism and the fundamentalist obsession with safeguarding cellular life at whatever cost.

Thus the ethical answer to IVF has already been cast in stone and it follows that basic logical premise: IVF is immoral; immoral things should be banned; therefore IVF should be banned.

Just like Muscat was concrete with his stance on Stitching I expected him to be so with IVF. Unfortunately he tried to take a most cautious approach. On the one hand he claimed that IVF legislation should adopt a realistic approach - something that can be accessed really and truly and not simply some words written on a document (kudos to that!) - but which needs to be ethically moderated. The point I am trying to make however is that there exists a complete lack of harmonization between what is perceived to be ethical regarding IVF and its actual realization. Ethics and reality are at polar ends - warring with each other.

IVF should not be the subject of ethical consenus. It should be a universal human right.

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One Response to Ethics and Reality

Mario Vella said...

Proset Andrew. Xhieda ta' hsieb kuraggjuz u konkret. Behsiebna niddiskutu dan is-suggett fuq http://watersbroken.wordpress.com

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