Italian connections

October 27, 2000

The position adopted by the British government in favour of the cloning of staminal cells for therapeutic purposes is one I wholly endorse ("Catholic Church vs Saviour of Childless", THES , October 6).

Great Britain has shown again that it is a beacon of democracy, while countries such as France, Germany and Italy are distancing themselves from Europe with retrograde and obscurantist legislation.

Along with many colleagues, I wonder whether in the case of a man affected by total azoospermia, it might not be justifiable and acceptable to transfer the cell nucleus to the wife's oocyte in order to allow the couple to have a child.

As very recent studies have shown, IVF children, including those of women at an advanced age, are leading more serene lives than many born spontaneously. Their school performances are superior and their so-called "grandparent" parents are well able to keep up with the times. They surround their children with spontaneous affection, neither too permissive nor prohibitive.

Severino Antinori
President of the Italian Society of Reproductive Medicine

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