2007 CBC Symposium at the House of Lords | ‘What is it to be human?’ | Draft Human Tissue and Embryos Bill
The Baroness O’Cathain and Christian Broadcasting Council | Wed 27 June 07 at 4pm, Committee Room No 4a, House of Lords
‘What is it to be human?’
Draft Human Tissue and Embryos Bill
Once a year the CBC aims to hold a meeting such as this one by kind permission of our hosts in the House of Lords where we focus on important issues of the day and seek a Christian perspective on them. Our subject this year was the question ‘What is it to be human?’.
We live in times when boundaries are being challenged at every turn. How can we stand by God’s truth when it is being threatened to the very core? The Draft Human Tissue and Embryos Bill is currently before Parliament. If it becomes law it will permit research that will blur the boundaries between humans and non-human animals. It seeks to fundamentally redefine society’s understanding of the family. It will open the door to reproductive cloning and it will open up the abortion laws.
We had a superb line up of contributors, and we found out more about the implications of the proposals in this Bill to help us to work out a Christian response to them. The issues were addressed from a theological (Dr Lee Rayfield), a legal (Rebecca Bensted) and a medical perspective (Dr Andrew Fergusson). We also addressed the human conscience with an excellent contribution from Lord MacKay on how it makes us distinctive from animals. Finally we were advised on ways to tackle these contentious issues from the perspective of the broadcaster (Andrew Graystone).
Olave Snelling – Chair of CBC
Click here to read Olave's introduction to the meeting and the subject.
Dr Andrew Fergusson – Head of Comminications, Christian Medical Fellowship
From a medical perspective, Dr Fergusson gave a superb introduction to the breadth of this bill, and then commented specifically and briefly on the proposals about the human embryo. Click here to see a copy of his paper.
Rebecca Bensted – Lawyers Christian Fellowship
Rebecca spoke from the perspective of the law. She believes that provisions of the draft Bill represents a challenge at the deepest level to God’s creation order and design. Click here to see a copy of his paper.
Rev Dr Lee Rayfield – Bishop of Swindon
Dr Rayfield spoke from a theological viewpoint about this subject. We do not have the text of his contribution, but to see a supporting presentation which gives an overview of his talk click here.
Andrew Graystone – Director of the Churches Media Council
Andrew spoke from the broadcasters perspective challenging us to invest in the two key figures in the digital environment – the one who produces media and the one who consumes it. Click here to see a copy of his paper.
Lord Mackay of Clashfern
Unfortunately we do not have a paper available from Lord McKay, but he spoke eloquently on the issue of human conscience.
Christian Medical Fellowship www.cmf.org.uk
Lawyers Christian Fellowship www.lawcf.org and
www.christianconcernforournation.co.uk (LCF sister organisation for non-lawyers)
Churches Media Council www.churchesmediacouncil.org.uk
Click here for Response to the Call for Evidence from the Joint Committee on the Draft Human Tissues and Embryos Bill