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How the secular media is presenting three-parent IVF

Catholics need to anticipate how the media will present this issue when the legislation is debated

By on Friday, 5 July 2013

IVF: Catholics should be aware of the arguments

IVF: Catholics should be aware of the arguments

Last week the government agreed to draft legislation to research three-parent IVF. This will allow for the nucleus in a human embryo with defective mitochondria to replace the nucleus in a donor egg with healthy mitochondria. The resulting child will have the nuclear DNA of the parents, with his or her mitochondrial DNA coming from another woman, where the mother’s defective mitochondrial DNA could have lead the child to suffer blindness, or other defects. Sounds brilliant, right?

I’ll leave the experts to explain the technical, moral and ethical questions raised here; certainly the Church’s position on IVF and the value of life from conception  is well known. What I want to consider is how the secular media are reacting to, and presenting this story. Simply looking at the BBC  and Channel 4  websites some common reporting trends appear immediately, and if we are aware of these we can anticipate our colleagues’ and friends’ arguments for three-parent IVF since we will understand how the story has been presented to them.

Both outlets give the opposing point of view very little space; they also draw attention to people suffering from these conditions, perhaps a mother who has lost children to them, to try to win your heart if they haven’t convinced your intellect. This tactic also makes you feel guilty to take an opposing view when you are shown a suffering person who could, supposedly, have benefited from three-parent IVF.

This legislation will only affect women with defective mitochondria who want to have biological children and any resulting babies that they have. It will not help people who suffer, or have suffered, from defective mitochondria, and we should not be duped into thinking that any new legislation will help them directly. The idea that women in this position could adopt a child is never explored.

Both outlets also explore the hypothetical benefits of 3-parent IVF extensively. The BBC’s Fergus Walsh even proclaims that we can “ensure that future generations are healthy”.

Finally, both celebrate that Britain is the first to consider legislating for this research. Melanie McDonagh in the Telegraph rightly says that Britain is leading the world “down a slippery slope”. I would go further: in terms of how society values human life as something of which we are merely stewards, Britain is leading the world in a race to the bottom.

Last week, all that was agreed was to start drafting legislation to be debated in the Commons. Looking at the secular media you would think the legislation had already been drafted. Catholics, and anyone concerned about three-parent IVF, need to anticipate the media distorting this issue again when the draft legislation is finally debated.

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    I am not responsible for whichever silly definitions of words may be floating around inside your cranium.

  • $24570317

    I only asked a question. I still wonder why.

  • $24570317

    A fair understanding of the word “novelty” and its unstated message. Otherwise you wouldn’t have used it, would you?

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    /sigh/ moderators …

    Again, then — I did NOT “describe the results of their work as ‘novelties’, as found in Christmas crackers” …

  • $24570317

    “In reality, the confusion resides among those who are always ready, even keen, to embrace every novelty without considering the pro et contra nor either the apparent nor nor the underlying moral implications.”

    I’m happy to allow your words to speak for themselves.

  • NatOns

    True, yet it has much to do with happiness – and its final end – even in our genetic constituent parts .. for it is He Who formed these parts (formed in man to be in His own image and for His own purpose, whether the worldly mind likes to understand it or not).

  • NatOns

    Not quite, that is the medical and now technological presentation for it .. the Catholic Church and God’s Chosen People present it in terms of ritual purity: eusebios (of good religion – reverence/ honour) not eugeneios (being well bred – good origin).

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    Can you notice the complete absence in my words of the phrase “christmas crackers”, nor anything even vaguely susceptible of causing a link in any ordinarily structured rational mind between my statements and festive table ornaments created for the amusement of children ?

  • $24570317

    /facepalm/

  • $24570317

    PS to the above /facepalm/:

    You may have used the word “novelty” because another has recently used it. But IMO he’s also wrong in using it. It has overtones of the “small mass-produced article, such as a toy or trinket”, of slight value of any kind, save to a simple or childish mind – which is why you (Jabba) used the word.

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    I am liable to be far better informed as to my own motivations than some third-party comboxer such as yourself.

    Which part of “NO THAT IS MOST CERTAINLY NOT WHAT I MEANT” did you fail to understand ?????

  • Acleron

    As ever failing to argue the point.

  • Romanus

    ”So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate”

    …!!! Hey!!! What’s wrong with THAT???

  • emma

    STOP THINKING OF YOURSELFS you think your thinking about others but you are not if they wont a baby let them be back off if you couldn’t have a baby and you got the chance to have a baby I bet you would now shut up let them be

  • emma

    shoking shoking your face shut up hi government

  • emma

    see if I care some one said I could get fine im sticking up for the ivf thing so there

  • emma

    for writing it