Thursday, December 28, 2006

Is Assisted Human Reproduction Canada's board stacked with social conservatives?

The Globe and Mail seems to think so, quoting former Liberal leadership contender Dr. Carolyn Bennett. The article by Gloria Galloway notes that in addition to providing Dr. John Hamm, former Premier of Nova Scotia, with a nice little retirement earner, the new board appointed by Tony Clement includes:
a professor of Jewish studies who has written of his opposition to abortion unless life of the mother is being threatened, a social anthropologist who is director of research for the Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto, a Montreal oncologist who has spoken against euthanasia at an anti-abortion conference, and a Halifax bioethicist who opposes using fresh embryos for stem-cell research -- an opposition commonly voiced by those who believe life begins at conception.
Stem-cell researchers, for instance, are nowhere to be found on this board despite its role in approving more than 20 Assisted Human Reproduction Act regulations controlling testing unborn children for genetic diseases, IVF embryo storage and parental consent to stem cell research.

Dr. Bennett, a family physician and Public Health Minister in the last government, says she can't see in this board those who seem to be interested in pushing the science of reproduction forward.
"I don't see anybody there who's looking out for the needs of couples needing extra help to conceive,"
"I only see people on there who are interested in rolling the science all back."
However, Dr. Bennett should also recall that the AHRA has been in effect for two and a half years - if Paul Martin wasn't dithering maybe they could have stacked it their way instead.
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