Skip to comments.Frozen embryos have no right to life: Irish court
Posted on 11/15/2006 1:50:53 PM PST by NYer
DUBLIN (Reuters) - A woman lost her fight to have a child without the consent of her estranged husband on Wednesday when an Irish judge ruled frozen embryos did not enjoy the same constitutional right to life as those carried in the womb.
Justice Brian McGovern said most agreed frozen embryos resulting from infertility treatment deserved special respect but ruled "the right to life of the unborn" in the Irish constitution did not extend to them.
"I have come to the conclusion that the three frozen embryos are not 'unborn'," the judge said in a landmark High Court ruling complicated by the fact that existing legislation does not define "unborn".
"There has been no evidence ... to establish that it was ever in the mind of the people voting on the Eight Amendment to the Constitution that 'unborn' meant anything other than a fetus or child within the womb," McGovern added.
The judgment means spare embryos frozen after successful in vitro fertilization (IVF) in 2002 will not be returned to the mother.
She had argued an embryo's right to life meant she could be implanted with them despite the objections of her clinic and of a husband who left her four years ago. The couple are separated but remain man and wife.
The case has sparked heated debate in predominantly Catholic Ireland where abortion is outlawed except in cases where the mother's life could be endangered.
WHERE LIFE BEGINS
Catholic Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin said the case raised "serious concerns" about the level of protection afforded to human life under the Irish constitution.
"Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception," Martin said in a statement, referring to the Catholic Church's doctrine on human life.
"From the first moment of his or her existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person."
McGovern, who has asked the media not to reveal the identity of the couple, acknowledged there was much disagreement about when life begins but that he could not resolve that issue.
"What is clear is that a debate which has existed over centuries continues to this day even with the major advances which have been made in medicine and science," he said.
"Even within different religions, there can be disagreements as to when genetic material becomes a 'human being'. But it is not the function of the courts to choose between competing religious and moral beliefs."
It was now up to Irish lawmakers to decide what steps should be taken to establish the legal status of embryos resulting from IVF treatment, he said.
The woman was married in March 1992 and had a son in 1997. She lost two thirds of her right ovary during the removal of a cyst shortly after the birth and had a daughter in October 2002 following the IVF treatment.
It's the High Court, not the Supreme Court - I assume this can be therefore challenged further.
Just making sure of your position.
So if a woman and a man conceive, but the single cell does not implant into the uteres, but is discharged instead, it should be saved and nursed to life?
Is that your position?
How does anyone even know if that happens?
Thanks for the ping Irish.
I'm happy to know your constitution protects the most innocent.
So it is OK for nature to kill, and you should do nothing about it?
If God decides to make a woman miscarry at one day, should we do nothing?
What about one week?
What about one month?
What about 28 weeks?
When do we intervene? Or do we intervene? Who decides?
What if a woman miscarries at 15 weeks? Should we do what we can to save it?
Of course it happens, all the time.
RIGHT TO LIFE
2270 Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person -- among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.
Catechism Catholic Church
I'm happy to know your constitution protects the most innocent.
Yeah, pity our High and Supreme Courts disregard the very wording of it! That article was passed by Referendum in 1984 - but at the time it was predicted that the Supreme Court would make an ambigous ruling based on 'equal regard for the life of the woman', and the X-Case Ruling in 1992 considered suicidal tendancies to be a 'threat to life of the mother' - meaning that if our government ever legislated on it, we would have abortion-on-demand by the back door.
Thanks - that helps with the ongoing debate on this thread! :)
I think you misunderstood me. Sometimes women have miscarriages, and nothing can be done about it. It just happens, and it's too late to do anything.
Naturally if a miscarriage can be prevented, it should be.
--If that is true, then it's by natural causes.--
Then we are just following nature.
Isn't the official position of the church that embryos cannot be fertilized and frozen like this, because most of them never DO get implanted and therefore they are virtually "killed", even if they might happen to exist in a frozen state until they become non-viable?
Neither is it valid to argue, as a justification for sexual intercourse which is deliberately contraceptive, that a lesser evil is to be preferred to a greater one, or that such intercourse would merge with procreative acts of past and future to form a single entity, and so be qualified by exactly the same moral goodness as these. Though it is true that sometimes it is lawful to tolerate a lesser moral evil in order to avoid a greater evil or in order to promote a greater good," it is never lawful, even for the gravest reasons, to do evil that good may come of it (18)in other words, to intend directly something which of its very nature contradicts the moral order, and which must therefore be judged unworthy of man, even though the intention is to protect or promote the welfare of an individual, of a family or of society in general. Consequently, it is a serious error to think that a whole married life of otherwise normal relations can justify sexual intercourse which is deliberately contraceptive and so intrinsically wrong
So what? Everybody dies some time or another; some younger, some older. What are you going to do; equate death by natural causes the same as murder?
What an idiotic question. Supposing *nature* did kill, which is can't because nature isn't even a thing,;what WOULD you do about it? Try it for murder? Sue it? How about get a grip.
Another stupid scenario. Women don't even know they're pregnant at that stage, and if the egg doesn't implant, she'll never know.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.