Stem-cell decision criticised


SEANAD REPORT:THE CASE made by University College Cork for authorising embryonic stem-cell research was akin to a defence by someone found in possession of child pornography, Jim Walsh (FF) said.

The college governors' decision was strongly attacked by some Government members and defended with equal vehemence.

Ronan Mullen described the decision as astonishing and warned that it could have "queered the pitch for the Lisbon Treaty".

Mr Walsh said that while he would acknowledge there had been a failure to legislate, he was not persuaded by the UCC spokesman who had argued that it was an acceptable procedure because the embryo was destroyed prior to the removal of the stem-cell strips.

"I see that as analogous to a situation where somebody who is caught with child pornography would claim that they were not instrumental in the abuse of the children, as they only subsequently came into possession of the actual pornography itself."

Ivana Bacik (Ind): "That's an appalling analogy."

David Norris (Ind) said the UCC governing body members had done the honest, decent and courageous thing.