Government’s proposal to introduce embryo selection in the IVF procedure is nothing short of eugenics, as such methods do not deliver a “healthy baby” but provide a tool to enable the selection of which baby will live and which baby will be frozen in perpetuity.
Every embryo created through an IVF cycle is a distinct human being. Under the proposed procedure every embryo will be tested for possible monogenic disorders. After the diagnosis, only an embryo that does not test positive for the disorder is transferred into his or her mother’s womb. The embryos that carry the unwanted mutation are frozen indefinitely.
Government seeks to mask this reality by implying that discarded embryos still have the chance to be adopted. In the last two years, the stockpile of frozen embryos has risen from 180 to over 300 this year, with no mention of any having been adopted.
One wonders how embryos discarded by their own parents would be considered for adoption by others
There are serious consequences when we breach the fundamental human principle that no person should determine who is to live and who is to die. PGT selection is a breach at the heart of this principle and introduces eugenics where the value of a person is dependent on his or her health rather than the intrinsic value of every human being, irrespective of the stage of that human’s development, age, race, orientation, health or abilities.
Equality cannot be selective, equality is universal
The new IVF amendments are fundamentally discriminatory as they imply that the lives of people presently living with such genetic conditions are valueless. Human embryos with the same genetic conditions do not deserve to be intentionally frozen.
It accentuates a mentality that discriminates against people living with disabilities. Today there are people living with genetic conditions!
We cannot celebrate Special Olympics in one month and propose laws that prevent children with genetic conditions from being born in the next month.
We urge the Government to consider the ethical and moral implications that this eugenic legislation will be introducing and to open this process to appropriate consultation.
List of Signatories:
Life Network Foundation Malta
Malta Unborn Child Platform
Catholic Voices Malta
Moviment ta’ Kana
Peace and Good Foundation
Paulo Freire Foundation
St Jeanne Antide Foundation
Dar Merħba Bik Foundation
Society of St Vincent de Paule
The Church Homes for the Elderly