Tuesday, April 10, 2007


The story in today's news about the woman who has lost her appeal to the European Courts to use frozen embryo's fertilised by her ex-partner, have left a feeling of distaste. I am frankly disgusted that a case like this should even have got so far down the legal process, not to mention that I am opposed to any form of artificial fertilisation.

To me, life is precious. It is a gift. We do not have the unequivocal right to grant it nor do we have the right to take it away. All too often I feel that people bring babies into this world with little care or regard for the consequences or responsibilities that creating new life brings. It seems to me that amongst some sections of society, having a baby is the latest designer accessory. It is no longer seen as a gift to be cherished, nurtured and loved.

This case highlights these points I feel. I am disgusted by the idea that life can be created in such a seemingly callous and casual way and discarded with equal flippancy. I find the idea that life is little more than a 'thing' repugnant and morally reprehensible. There is the fact that there is now six possible lives that will never exist. I find that a difficult concept to accept. I cannot agree with life being created and taken away so easily. It is not ours to decide and although I feel sympathy for those who cannot have children naturally, for whatever reason, I do not believe in artificial means of fertilisation.

Yes, it is cruel that some people cannot have children. I am sure it must be a terrible sadness if you want children of your own but can't have them. But those are the cards that have been dealt. That might sound harsh or unkind; it is what I believe. We cannot have exactly what we want or sometimes even what we need. Life is cruel, it is painful and sometimes harsh. Life is also beautiful, wonderful, joyous and amazing.

Moreover, life is full of difficult choices and making sacrifices. Sometimes morality, principles, the care and consideration of others or even a nobler act of doing the best for those we love must come before our own personal happiness. If I was in a position where I was unable to have children and I wanted too, I hope that I would have the courage to accept that. Yes, I would be disappointed and maybe it would always remain a gaping emptiness but I have to be realistic. This is not what has been chosen for me, life is not my gift to provide.

I've made choices about my life and some choices have been made for me. I can't change the fact of who I am; I cannot alter what fundamentally defines me.

I am not motivated by religious beliefs in my thinking on this; perhaps there is some spiritual element to it or a belief that there is a greater design to our world than we can comprehend. What I am trying to get too is the point that we can't have all the things that we want. We make choices. We choose a lifestyle, we choose how we live. Then there are the things that we cannot choose, like our sexuality, the fundamentals that define and make choices for us.

I don't think I am being unduly moralistic or advancing an idea that some people should always be unhappy or deprived of what they want. I personally feel that there are certain things in my life that will always be closed to me. That's because of who I am and the choices I make. Some make me deeply unhappy but I try not to dwell on what is missing; I would rather look at what I have and the positive choices I can make.

It is unlikely that I will ever have children. That is both a choice I have and a decision that has, in some ways, already been made for me. Does it make me unhappy? Yes, sometimes. I feel that I have a moral responsibility as well as a social duty that if I were to have children to provide for them a stable and loving home, to nurture, care for and love them. Can I provide all that? If the answer is no, which it is, then it is not my choice to have children.

This is the other point I am making here or trying to. As I said earlier, some people seem to have children because they're a designer accessory or because they were a 'mistake.' How can anyone though seriously be so foolish as to create life with all its attendant responsibilities and call it a 'mistake?' That to me is an abdication of any sense of moral duty.

So, to come back to my original point, life is not ours to unequivocally provide or take away. It is a serious and profound undertaking. It must be thought through and carefully considered. It cannot be made and then thrown away because it is inconvenient or a 'mistake.' It isn't a choice open to everyone, as I have said. Although I have sympathy for people in that position, that is the way it is. Instead move on to something that can be chosen, a difference that can be made.

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