Saturday 20 October 2018

Doctors need to join in the embryo debate

Arguments about when life begins is all too often hijacked by extremes from both sides, writes John Crown

Needless to say, when I heard that both the Minister of Health Mary Harney and her predecessor had received death threats and bullets in their post, my first reaction was to check that I had a verifiable alibi.

The perpetrators, subsequently identified as the "Irish Citizen's Defence Army", anonymous cowards who also threatened the staff of fertility clinics, claimed they were acting in defence of human embryos.

My relief at my own rapid exculpation was tinged by sadness, and by wonder at the level of misguided fanaticism that drives such "social terrorists" (as Dr Tony Walsh, one of the targeted fertility doctors, labelled them) to issue death threats to people who treat infertility, one of the saddest and most life-disrupting of medical afflictions.

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