Letter: When life begins

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Andrew Brown oversimplifies the cloning technology issue and parodies Christian teaching. As I understand it, he oversimplifies the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church, but the churches of the Reformation cannot simply be lumped together as teaching that "a fertilised egg is a human being".

Yes, a fertilised human egg is the start of a new human life but the process that leads to a human birth is sometimes arrested by nature. So we might be more truthful to say, in simplified terms, that a fertilised human egg has the potential to be a human being, a potential which increases day-by-day through pregnancy and is fulfilled at birth. The ethical questions arising from that view are not so easily dismissed.

Setting up an extreme position and then knocking it down does not help our thinking to advance in this very sensitive area of ethics.

ROBERT M E PATERSON

Team Rector of Cowbridge

Wales

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