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    Tuesday, December 05, 2006

    This article has everything



    All kinds of opinions. Unfortunately only one can be correct.

    link

    Didier Sicard, the head of France's national ethics committee, denounced the Church's intervention as "unfortunate and extremely unwelcome".


    "Of course it has the right to a judgement. But it should not impose it on the public as it is doing right now," he said Thursday.


    Health Minister Xavier Bertrand voiced his "unflinching support" for the Telethon, calling it "a beautiful initiative".

    Even the head of the Catholic Scouts and Guides association — which takes part in the Telethon each year — said the Church had chosen the worst possible moment to raise its protest.


    France's scientific community took a joint decision to stay silent on the issue until after the Telethon, out of fear the row could jeopardise the event.


    The French biomedical agency simply published a statement recalling that PGD had been legal since 2004.

    Meanwhile the AFM issued a statement saying it did not finance PGDs — which it said were covered by the national health system — while defending the procedure as a vital medical tool.

    The AFM also rejected Catholic calls for a pick-and-mix system letting donors choose what their money pays for, saying it could lead to some illnesses being neglected compared to others.

    HA, the AFM is looking for fairness toward illnesses. The ultimate
    egalitarian.

    The Catholic Church has set off a major row in France by accusing a much-loved medical charity of "eugenics" for helping to fund the screening of human embryos for hereditary diseases.

    A Catholic official warned last month it was "no longer possible", for ethical reasons, for the Church to donate to the Telethon, a gigantic medical fundraiser that draws in millions of French people each year.

    Organised by the French Association Against Myopathy (AFM), last year's Telethon — short for television marathon — raised EUR 104 million for research into muscle-wasting diseases with 22,000 sponsored runs and concerts held in what has become an annual French ritual.

    On November 9, the head of the Catholic bioethics committee in Fréjus-Toulon in southern France published an article denouncing the Telethon, which holds its 20th edition on December 8-9, as part of a "great eugenic strategy".

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