Is it ethical to manufacture designer babies or experiment on human embryos?
Is abortion morally justifiable as well as legally acceptable?
Do terminally ill people have the right to choose when to end their lives?
Since the birth of the first baby through in vitro fertilization just over thirty years ago, scientific advances in this field have been startling. Developments associated with cloning, human-animal hybrids and pre-implantation genetic diagnosis - so disturbing for many people - raise a crucial question about the moral status of the very early embryo. And, just as much as arguments about the right to interfere with the beginning of human life, the debate about the individuals right to choose when to die also provokes strong emotional responses.
As a member of the House of Lords and former member of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, Richard Harries has been at the heart of thinking about these issues. In Questions of Life and Death, he brings to bear an Anglican Christian perspective as he seeks to discuss the ethics of research involving embryos, abortion and euthanasia without bowing to extremes of opinion.
Richard Harries was Bishop of Oxford from 1987-2006. On his retirement he was made a Life Peer. A member of the HFEA, he was a member of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics from 2002-8, and is an Honorary Fellow of The Academy of Medical Sciences and the Institute of Biology.