The Malta Foundation of Organisations for Persons With Disabilities (MFOPD) has come out against proposed new IVF legislation, which will allow couples to test embryos for serious genetic conditions.
“MFOPD is not against supporting couples to have children. It is against choosing which embryo to live,” the foundation said in a statement.
“The Right to Life is enshrined in Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and the security of person.”
“The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with disability also mentions the Right to Life in Article 10 which reaffirms that every human being has the inherent right to life and shall take all necessary measures to ensure its effective enjoyment by persons with disabilities on an equal basis with others.”
MFOPD was formed in 1970 and counts a number of major NGOs as its members, including Dar Tal-Providenza, Inspire Foundation, Caritas and many others.
If the bill passes into law, prospective parents will be allowed to screen their embryos prior to implantation. It will be limited to prospective parents with a history of serious monogenic disorders, such as gangliosidosis, Huntington’s Disease and Finnish Nephrotic Syndrome.
Embryos that have been found to have a gene that will develop a serious disease cannot be discarded but will instead be cryopreserved in a dedicated storage facility in the faint hope that they will one day be adopted.
These embryos will only be placed for adoption once effective treatment for the disease has been found.
The PN has also come out against the proposal, with health spokesperson Stephen Spiteri warning against “being selective from conception”
PL president Ramona Attard and PL MP Naomi Cachia have since ripped into the Opposition for pledging to vote against the law, accusing it of scaremongering and refusing to embrace change.
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