Hilary White (LifeSiteNews.com) — The UK government’s Human Fertilisation and Embryology (HFE) bill contains “grotesque,” “horrifying” and “nightmarish” provisions that are reminiscent of the Nazi eugenics policies, says the cardinal archbishop of Edinburgh. Following his speech last weekend at a pro-life conference in Glasgow, Keith Cardinal O’Brien has issued a scathing open letter telling MPs who voted for the bill that they are acting against the ethical developments of the last 50 years of human rights laws.
Schedule 3 of the bill “enshrines the concept of ‘presumed consent’ in UK law,” the cardinal observed, meaning that the bill would allow the removal of tissue from mentally incapacitated adults or children, without their specific consent. This tissue would then be used to create cloned animal-human hybrid or other embryos. This provision was ensured by an amendment, agreed upon by an all-party committee of only 17 MPs after the main parliamentary debates.
“I am appalled that you are promoting a Bill which seeks, by stealth, to create a regime where extracting tissue and cells from human beings no longer requires their consent or involvement,” Cardinal O’Brien wrote.
The cardinal’s reference to the Nazis derives from the aims of the eugenics programs that foreshadowed the Holocaust. Under the pre-war Nazi eugenics programs, and later during the war, incapacitated and mentally ill patients as well as those interned in concentration camps, were used as experimental test subjects without their consent. In response to these atrocities, the post-war Nuremberg Code was adopted by all western countries to ensure that consent was the first consideration made when using human beings as test subjects in medical and scientific research.