Conference on the CPCE Council Guide to the Ethics of Reproductive Medicine in the European Parliament

Brussels

On Wednesday, 2 May 2018, the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe held a conference in the European Parliament on the CPCE Council Guide to the Ethics of Reproductive Medicine. The conference was hosted by MEP Margrete Auken, Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance, DK.

Prof. Dr Neil Messer, Winchester, UK, Member of the CPCE Expert Group on Ethics, introduced the document. As the European Union is engaged in the area of research and health, underpinned by the Horizon 2020 programme for financing research projects, the main focus of the discussion was on “Ethical challenges in Europe resulting from progress in research and novel therapies, including the question of savior siblings and designer babies”.  Prof. Dr Ulla Schmidt, Aarhus, DK, as well as being a member of the CPCE Expert Group on Ethics, presented the main reflections of the document. MEP Dr Peter Liese, Group of the European People’s Party, DE, joined the panel discussion. Both representatives of the European Parliament explained their appreciation of the CPCE document, which presents a valuable, distinctive and well reflected contribution to a sensitive and complex discussion. They underlined the importance that the churches engage in this kind of topics in the wider public. In the intensive panel debate it was a common conviction that research should not have any kind of “free zone”, but that the embryo has to be treated with full respect. The criteria of love, justice, freedom and responsibility, outlined in the Guide to lead the assessment as to what “full respect” means, were well received. It was underlined that the protection of the weak should be understood as a part of these criteria. OKR Barbara Rudolph, a member of the CPCE Council, concluded the conference by highlighting that Protestant churches are diverse, also in argumentation on ethical issues, but that it is the task of the churches to listen to each other and to establish a common Protestant perspective and voice. In times where Europe seems to becoming more and more divided, this is even much more a task for the churches in Europe than before. The event in the European Parliament was attended by around 40 persons and organised in cooperation with the Conference of European Churches.

Brussels/Vienna, 04.05.2018

Photo (CPCE, left to right): CEC GS Fr Heikki Huttunen, Prof. Dr Neil Messer, Prof. Dr Ulla Schmidt – both CPCE Expert Group on Ethics, CPCE-CEC executive secretary Frank Dieter Fischbach, MEP Margrete Auken, OKR Barbara Rudolph, Member of the CPCE Council, Ulrike Swoboda, Meego Remmel – both CPCE Expert Group on Ethics.

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