NewsItalian Bioethics

Embryo Report Opens Old Wounds

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Science  12 Jul 1996:
Vol. 273, Issue 5272, pp. 177
DOI: 10.1126/science.273.5272.177a


Venice—A government-appointed bioethics committee is scheduled to present a controversial set of proposals for regulating the manipulation of human embryos to the Italian Parliament this week. The panel's “statute of the embryo” takes a conservative line, stating that life begins at the moment of conception, although it would permit some forms of embryo research and genetic testing. The statute has drawn criticism from former committee members who were removed in late 1994 by then-Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in what is widely believed was a purge of non-Catholics. Some have described its conclusions as muddled and concealing disagreements.