Sunday, August 12, 2007

Dean supports genetic manipulation

This to me is very scary thinking, from anyone, epecially a clergyman. Not that there are easy answers, but from the tone of the article, Dean Bay seems to regard it as an intellectual exercise, not a spiritual decision with far-reaching consequences. From the New Zealand Herald:

Auckland's new Anglican dean, Ross Bay, wants the church to embrace genetic engineering to cure disabilities such as Down syndrome - but he draws the line at parents deciding they don't want a baby with red hair. . .

He supports parents' right to abort a fetus that was diagnosed with a disability such as spina bifida and said the same principle should apply to new techniques that might knock out the genes for conditions such as Down syndrome.

"But what about the child born with red hair? What do we say about the ethics of [influencing] that?" he said. "Those are the two extremes. There's going to be a lot in the middle. Intelligence? I don't know that I know the answer but I'm interested."
[Editorial comment: what's he interested in - other people's thinking? the teaching of the Church? what the majority of people would do?]

He said the church's role was to help people to think about the issues, but it did not want to lay down the law. "Gone are the days when most people in the church want to impose an ethic on people," he said.

When couples asked him about whether to abort a child diagnosed with spina bifida, he did not tell them what to do. "It's a pretty tough decision for parents to make when faced with that information about the quality of life [of their prospective child]," he said.

"I'd hate to be a decision-maker. I wouldn't want to condemn people in those situations making a decision about abortion. "I'm certainly not pro-abortion but I think there are situations where it's a necessary option, perhaps for health reasons."

Read it all.

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