Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill

There is currently a huge furore within the Deaf community following the publication of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill. It basically proposes in Clause 14, section 4, number 9 (Lines 23-30, Page 10), that:

Persons or embryos that are known to have a gene, chromosome or
mitochondrion abnormality involving a significant risk that a person with the abnormality will have or develop—
(a) a serious physical or mental disability,
(b) a serious illness, or
(c) any other serious medical condition,
must not be preferred to those that are not known to have such an abnormality.

If the Bill is enacted, this could mean that Deaf people are prevented from having children, either through natural means, IVF or as donors, surrogates etc., simply because there is a chance that the child born will be Deaf.

This has huge ramifications for the Deaf community, particularly Deaf families with generations of Deaf children, such as my in-laws, and will impact my wife and I’s plans to have children.

I have done my bit for the Stop! Campaign, which has started in earnest. I have sent a clip of myself saying “Stop!”, and you should to, if you haven’t already. All you need to do is make a recording of your signing “Stop” and send it to [email protected] Wear dark tops, and stand in front of plain background. Go here to see who has contributed so far.

Show your opposition to this Bill, before it’s too late.

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6 Responses

  1. JGJones says:

    Rob – cheers for the spread of word about the Stop! video campagin. However a tiny tiny wee correction – the site you linked to is showing a video that demostrate how I would like a Stop! video to appear so that people can make a similar video.

    I will be putting all videos into a single video and post it in multiple places – I’ve got a few more filming to do tomorrow (well today actually since I’m posting at nearly 4am…sigh…) and I plan to get it all done tonight…argh…I might as well forget about sleep…

  2. Rob says:

    Joe, thanks for the clarification. Really, I posted that link to show people what you’re doing, and will post the final video on here once it’s ready.

  3. Des says:

    Hello Rob, I do value your time and efforts in explaining, using the plain English, the implications of the stupid Bill. I have passed your site to my friends, my BSL students and Deaf-Ireland e-group (as to warn Ireland that a fascist UK is going to be on her door step!).
    Will sign “STOP” from my work next week.

  4. MM says:

    Far be it for me to suggest, but has ANYONE ever asked a deaf woman using IVF ? or indeed ANY couple undertaking IVF how they feel about it ? or is the intention to ignore the only people making the decision, in the hope the BDA or some other insignficant lobby will tell them what to choose instead ?

  1. 3 December 2007

    […] UPDATE: North of the Stupid Line: Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill […]

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