'Geneticist claims that weeding out embryos with severe genetic abnormalities is "a tremendous blessing and a wonderful thing"'.
It featured consultant geneticist Dr Shane McKee's recent 4thought interview on pre-implantation genetic diagnosis.
Shane (pictured) is a consultant geneticist and self-styled 'Christian Atheist' in Northern Ireland with whom I frequently spar on twitter. One of our previous twitter dialogues (twebates) is available on this site.
Today Shane asked me if I would post his email reply on this blog which I happily do. I have agreed not to reply yet....
Dr Shane McKee replies
When did I say I supported abortion up to 40 weeks? I do not "support abortion" - I recognise that there are circumstances in which a family may decide that the best course of action is not to continue with, or initiate, a pregnancy that will result in a child with a devastating congenital disorder.
For you to bring Klinefelter and XYY etc into the mix just shows your ignorance of paediatrics and genetics. You can leave your childish blog post up there unaltered if you wish; it says a lot more about you than it does about me or my medical colleagues, who are trying to help families faced with terrifying prospects and agonising decisions. These people are real, and they mean a lot more to me than you, with your blinkers, can ever appreciate.
And, yes, if you needed a kidney, I would still give you one. But if I had 100 8 cell embryos, I would unhesitatingly disaggregate them and genetically re-engineer them or whatever in order to, say, treat a child with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, or a young mother with Huntington's Disease.
Because an embryo is not the same as a person; it is not a "disabled individual"; it is not a "person". An acorn is not an oak tree. A map is not a journey, nor is it the destination.
So I dare ya. If you have an ethical atom in your brain (for it is in the function of that tiny organ that your humanity - which I fully acknowledge - resides), post THIS email as a post on your blog. Don't add your little italic comments - leave it for your readership to do that in the thread below. You can start to respond after 5 comments.
Are you man enough to do that?