Bioethics: The CNEF asks the Senate to take into account its "concern" about "risks for human beings"

Press release from the National Council of Evangelicals of France.

Awhen the senators are preparing to examine the draft law on Bioethics, National Council of Evangelicals of France (CNEF), wishes to contribute to the national reflection and to share its considerations and positions as they were detailed in the booklet “Bioethical convictions”, published in January 2019.

The temptation to create an “augmented humanity” is not new, but the said project gives this temptation a previously unknown perspective. The current law declares that “no one can harm the integrity of the human species. Any genetic practice aimed at organizing the selection of persons is prohibited (article 16-4 of the Civil Code). This anthropological protection risks being shattered if the legislator relaxes its vigilance. Indeed, article 14 of the text submitted to senators removes any need for authorization for research on the embryo and only requires a simple declaration to the biomedicine agency. Thus nothing remains of the law of 1994 which prohibited research on the human embryo. The CNEF thinks that it would however be more prudent and reasonable to revert to such a provision.

With regard to medically assisted procreation, the proposal made by the government to modify its purpose and to make it the technical tool which could, tomorrow, respond to any "parental project", on command, makes us fear the consequences. worst excesses of a technico-commercial society in which desire would be king and the law would only be its servant. Moreover, to consider depriving children of a father without this falling under the protection of children, would be a serious fault in their regard. Parliamentarians should not bring themselves to shoulder this responsibility.

In addition, the CNEF considers that in matters of bioethics, respect for freedom of thought, conscience and religion requires particular attention, in order to guarantee the pluralism of opinions. The conscience clause of the medical professions, in particular, thus deserves to be extended, firstly to more professions and secondly, to more cases, due to the development of techniques. The absence of an updated conscience clause related to technical developments would have a dissuasive effect on access to certain professions for people whose religious or philosophical convictions are contrary to the proposed developments. In addition, it would put certain professionals, currently in post, facing unjustified coercion to perform acts contrary to their conscience. Respect for the pluralism of opinions, to which France is so attached, depends on it.

Considering the risks incurred for human beings and for the generations which will succeed us, we understand and share the concern expressed by a very large number of French people and we ask the government, senators and deputies to be attentive and kindly take it into account.

CNEF - Press release of January 20, 2020

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