PN MP gives detailed ethical analysis of why his vote for genetic testing is ‘pro-life’
After voting in favor of a law that legalizes genetic testing of embryos for certain serious hereditary diseases, PN MP Mark Anthony Sammut explained the reasons for his decision and why he thinks the law is in fact pro-life.
Sammut noted that the law only allows genetic testing for nine serious conditions, including gangliosidosis, Huntington’s disease and Finnish nephrotic syndrome, and that it would be unfair to categorize them as “disabilities”.
“We are not talking about disabled embryos but about a few couples with rare hereditary diseases whose babies are at risk of living very short and painful lives,” he said.
“These couples are currently faced with two choices: either risk giving birth to a baby who will live a few months of torture and pain before finally dying, or not have children at all.”
“No one is looking for ‘perfection’ or trying to reject babies with ‘flaws’, as some have claimed. Children with disabilities will still be born, including through this procedure, and we will continue to welcome them, to love them and to ensure that they live a life of quality and inclusion.
“We are talking here about babies who are doomed to agony and death before they even become children.”
Sammut then turned to the fact that embryos found with these conditions will be cryopreserved in hopes that someone will one day adopt them once an effective treatment for their condition is found.
Here, the PN MP drew inspiration from the book of the late philosopher and PN adviser, Father Peter Serracino Inglott, who said that while people have an obligation to destroy life, they do not have an obligation absolute to preserve life eternally.
“If this obligation existed, we would never remove people from life support once all hope was lost,” he noted.
As for warnings that the testing process itself could put some embryos at risk, Sammut noted that all medical interventions carry some degree of risk and that if parliament is to eliminate medical risk, it might as well shut down. hospital and university.
“Even bypass surgery comes with a 9% risk of complications, but you’re still choosing that small risk of death for the chance of a better life. I don’t think we should be telling people not to have surgery. bypasses because they are ‘life-threatening’.”
Weighing it all, Sammut said it was “anti-life and cruel” to tell prospective parents of hereditary children to remain childless or risk giving birth to a baby who will live a short life of pain, even if the modern medicine offers a solution that can be regulated.
“I think it would be selfish and insensitive of me to impose these conditions on these couples when I have been blessed with the opportunity to have children without problems or fear that my wife or I could pass on an inherited disease to them. “
Finally, he noted that the PN proposed two amendments to the original bill – giving parents the ability to test the polar body on oocytes when only the mother is at risk of transmitting a condition, and ensuring that any new conditions added to the nine of origin must be adopted by legal opinion and debated in Parliament.
“The law isn’t perfect, but it does more good than harm, and it will open the door to more life.” Therefore, as agreed within the PN parliamentary group, I voted for because I am pro-life. There is nothing more beautiful than life.”
The Genetic Testing Bill passed easily tonight, with all government MPs and the vast majority of opposition MPs voting in favour. However, three PN MPs – Adrian Delia, Alex Borg and Ivan Bartolo – broke ranks with their party and voted against, with Delia calling genetic testing “anti-life”.
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