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An EU Court SAID WHAT? EU’s highest court HELD that no process can be patented if it involves the destruction of HUMAN EMBRYOS!

I blogged on this last April 11.  Here is my prediction from that blog:

This legal decision would have the potential of making abortion illegal in the European Union!  And therefore, I fear it will not be adopted by the EU court.  Too many constituencies will oppose it:  Scientists, woman’s rights groups, liberal theologians and probably Planned Parenthood, too.  But today, a touch of righteousness has hit Europe.  Like a bad dinner, they’ll probably renounce it.  Okay, Tom White, stop with the Twilight Zone theme!

Well, this is the Twilight Zone time again!  The EU’s highest court has held that no process may be patented if it involves the destruction of a human embryo.  That’s right!  I think I need to lay down for a few minutes.  Here’s pertinent parts of the tremendous decision:

Accordingly, any human ovum must, as soon as fertilised, be regarded as a ‘human embryo’ within the meaning and for the purposes of the application of Article 6(2)(c) of the Directive, since that fertilisation is such as to commence the process of development of a human being.

36      That classification must also apply to a non-fertilised human ovum into which the cell nucleus from a mature human cell has been transplanted and a non-fertilised human ovum whose division and further development have been stimulated by parthenogenesis. Although those organisms have not, strictly speaking, been the object of fertilisation, due to the effect of the technique used to obtain them they are, as is apparent from the written observations presented to the Court, capable of commencing the process of development of a human being just as an embryo created by fertilisation of an ovum can do so.

37      As regards stem cells obtained from a human embryo at the blastocyst stage, it is for the referring court to ascertain, in the light of scientific developments, whether they are capable of commencing the process of development of a human being and, therefore, are included within the concept of ‘human embryo’ within the meaning and for the purposes of the application of Article 6(2)(c) of the Directive.

38      In the light of the foregoing considerations, the answer to the first question is that:

–        any human ovum after fertilisation, any non-fertilised human ovum into which the cell nucleus from a mature human cell has been transplanted and any non-fertilised human ovum whose division and further development have been stimulated by parthenogenesis constitute a ‘human embryo’ within the meaning of Article 6(2)(c) of the Directive;

–        it is for the referring court to ascertain, in the light of scientific developments, whether a stem cell obtained from a human embryo at the blastocyst stage constitutes a ‘human embryo’ within the meaning of Article 6(2)(c) of the Directive.

The European Court of Justice just defined human life as beginning at conception!  Compare that to the infamous Roe v. Wade decision that held that pre-born humans had no constitutional protection (subject to certain exceptions)!

Wait, there’s more; no process – even a scientific one(!) – can be patented if it involves the use of human embryos:

The answer to the second question is therefore that the exclusion from patentability concerning the use of human embryos for industrial or commercial purposes in Article 6(2)(c) of the Directive also covers use for purposes of scientific research, only use for therapeutic or diagnostic purposes which are applied to the human embryo and are useful to it being patentable.

No matter where the destruction of the embryo occurs along the process, it is unpatentable:

The answer to the third question is therefore that Article 6(2)(c) of the Directive excludes an invention from patentability where the technical teaching which is the subject-matter of the patent application requires the prior destruction of human embryos or their use as base material, whatever the stage at which that takes place and even if the description of the technical teaching claimed does not refer to the use of human embryos.

There you go.  Where’s the music!  Where’s Rod Serling!  All I can say is that a broken clock is right twice a day and the EU can be right twice a year.  I am sure they’ll go back to being wrong again in the next week or so.  But let’s praise God for this decision!  Here’s an excerpt from the position of the European Catholic bishops:

This judgement can foster existing and promising fields of research which can combine the respect of human life with efficient and innovative treatments for healing people. Therefore this Judgement of the ECJ has to be welcomed as a milestone in the protection of Human life in EU legislation, that will most likely have a positive impact in concrete Policy fields like the Funding of Research in the EU.

Other believers in Christ agree!

Christian groups in Europe welcomed the decision. The European Centre for Law and Justice in Strasbourg said it said “protects life and human dignity” at all stages of development. The Anscombe Bioethics Centre in Oxford called it “a triumph of ethical standards over commercial interest.”

I await the case arising that says abortion is a destruction of a human embryo and can be banned by the EU – in fact should be so (subject to certain exceptions perhaps) by law!  Next time the stem cell issue comes up, Ron Paul can cite this decision (although Rich Santorum or Michele Bachmann is more likely to do so!) to show that human embryos are worthy of the most respect as potential human life.

 

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood “Sandy” Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia’s first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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