Human tissue could be taken from the infirm without their consent and used for research
On Wednesday MPs will vote on a bill which would allow the creation of human/animal hybrid embryos to be used for stem cell research, change the conditions for granting IVF, and possibly liberalise the abortion laws.
The passage through Parliament of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill has been dogged by controversy. Failed attempts to outlaw late abortion have dominated the debate, while scientists, medical ethics experts and religious leaders have clashed over the hybrid embryo issue.
Defenders of the bill have repeatedly stressed the importance of gaining consent from anyone whose tissue is taken for the creation of human/animal hybrid embryos.
It can now be revealed that a Government amendment, agreed after the main parliamentary debates, would allow tissue to be used from people who lack the "mental capacity" to give consent, children whose parents give permission, and anyone who has previously donated samples to hospitals for medical research but can no longer be traced.
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What is the big deal with taking tissue from people "who lack mental capacity" to create human/animal hybrid embryos for medical research? I mean, how could that possibly go wrong?