Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Yesterday, hybrid embryos; today, as the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill makes its way through the parliamentary mill, the abortion time limit comes up for debate. Both sides are playing 'viability' as their trump card - on the one side, because of an undoubted historic reduction in the age of foetal viablity, on the other side because of a recent research report finding that overall the viability age, in the context of preterm babies, has not come down in the most recent years. This latter has been seized on with particular relish by the no-changers, even though, in every interview he's given, the Professor who led the study has tried to point out that, in terms of the current debate, it's more or less irrelevant, since it only considers babies born early because there's something wrong, and who therefore are much less likely to survive. Anyway, is viability the clincher? I don't think so. Perhaps it's time to wheel out this thought experiment again.
Posted by Nige at 10:14 am