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Tuesday, 3 December 2002
Page: 7059


Senator BARNETT (9:27 PM) —I am feeling very disturbed about this debate. I am not sure that I heard it correctly but I thought—Hansard will bear it out— that the minister, in her response to the arguments put by those supporting some sort of prohibition on drug testing on human embryos and human embryonic stem cells, advised this chamber that it may be appropriate to test on a human embryo or human embryonic stem cell into the future. That is how I heard it, and I stand to be corrected; I hope I am corrected. However, I now have to speak on the basis of how I heard the statement from the minister. With that statement, we are saying that the door is open. If that statement is correct, we are saying that the door is open to drug testing on human embryonic—


Senator Patterson —That is not what we are saying. You know very well that that is not what we are saying.


Senator BARNETT —Perhaps the minister can correct the statement.


Senator Patterson —No, I just said it. You heard exactly what I said.


The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN —Order! There will be an opportunity for the minister to respond, and I ask that Senator Barnett be heard in silence.


Senator BARNETT —I would appreciate a response. Before I continue, perhaps the minister will respond, because that is how I thought I heard it: that she said that, based on the advice she had been given, at some stage in the future it may be appropriate to do drug testing on a human embryo or human embryonic stem cells.


Senator Patterson —I did not say that at all, and you know that.


Senator BARNETT —That is how I heard you, Minister.


Senator Patterson —Sit down and give me a chance to explain it, but I am not going to get up again.


The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN (Senator Ferguson)—Order!