As others see it

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The Independent Online
'We maintain that assisted fertility is a therapeutic act which helps women of fertile age to remove difficulties of a physiological nature, but it seems to me unnatural to want a child beyond the biological (age) limits.'

Maria Pia Garavaglia, Italy's Minister of Health, quoted in Rome daily, 'Messaggero' on the 59-year-old British woman who gave birth to twins on Christmas Day.

'The essence of man is at the same time both natural and artificial. And we know that. That is why there is such a divide between teaching and the Catholic world. Those same priests who insist on the inviolability of human life absolve couples who make use of artificial fertilisation.'

Giovanni Berlinguer, vice-president of the national committee on bio-ethics in the Milan daily, Il Giornale.

'In a country where the young refuse to procreate, the news that the old are beginning to think of having children seems good news. But elsewhere (France and England) the news has been received with concern and a vague sense of disgust . . .

'Will we become freer, or will we extinguish ourself in a grotesque pantomime of artificial creation? . .

'(The philosopher) Kant wrote of the flight of the dove, which was obstructed by the air but could only fly thanks to the obstruction of the air. Isn't it the same thing for the flight of human civilisation in the universe?'

Signed editorial in Milan daily, 'Corriere della Sera'.