Bristol – Stem cells and multiple sclerosis; ethics and science


7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Speaker: Prof Neil Scolding

Neil is Emeritus Professor of Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Bristol and Gulu University Faculty of Medicine, Uganda.  He is a neurologist and neuroscientist with a particular interest in brain repair.

Several decades of concentrating on multiple sclerosis and on research into treatments to promote brain tissue repair inevitably led me into not one but two areas of bioethical controversy where my own views, and those of ‘my’ church (the two not necessarily synonymous!), clashed with prevailing secular progressive thought.

The main approaches to promoting brain and spinal cord repair depend on stem cells. By chance, I became an independent clinical scientist – choosing my own area of research – precisely when the medical world had become obsessed with the potential value of stem cells derived from (destroyed) human embryos.

And secondly, a practising neurologist is too commonly brought face to face with the question of assisted dying and euthanasia – so many neurological diseases being incurable and ultimately fatal. Most high profile cases of individuals asking to change the law on assisted dying are sufferers of neurological disorders.

Deliberately ending human life at its very beginning or its very end – topping and tailing: in my view, neither are easily reconcilable with a Christian faith.

Location and time: Redland Parish Halls at 7.30 pm with coffee and tea from 7pm.