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CJ Maraga calls for laws on medical technology

Thursday November 15 2018

From left: Professor Marion Mutugi, Chief

From left: Professor Marion Mutugi, Chief Justice David Maraga and Supreme Court Justice Isaac Lenaola during the launch of a book that talks about the intersection between ethics, medicine and law. PHOTO | KANYIRI WAHITO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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Chief Justice David Maraga has asked MPs to formulate laws that address ethical issues in advancement of medical technologies that include genetic manipulation.

Speaking during the launch of a book authored by Supreme Court judge Isaac Lenaola and Kabianga University’s deputy vice-chancellor, Prof Marion Mutugi, Justice Maraga said advanced technology has resulted in grey areas on what is ethically right or wrong as well as legal.

“I wish to challenge the legislators to come up with appropriate legislation to bridge this gap because medical technology is advancing faster,” said Mr Maraga. The book authored by Prof Mutugi, who is a biomedical researcher, and Justice Lenaola, is titled Bioethics of medical advances and genetic manipulation.

It focuses on legal and ethical issues raised by scientific advances as well as emerging procedures in the medical field. It also raises questions on the issue of technology used in solving problems of human reproduction and fertility, therapeutic genetic engineering and the production of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

The question of sex orientation, transsexuals, transgender and individual human rights has also been discussed in the book while being related to legal, philosophical and moral aspects of the country as well as the rest of the world.

The Chief Justice said the duo had made a gallant contribution in writing the multidisciplinary book, which took seven years to be completed and published.

He also pointed out that bioethics should be considered as a learning topic in institutions of higher learning.

Justice Lenaola said that judges always face difficulties in handling cases that involve issues like surrogacy, homosexuality, transgender, assisted fertility and lesbianism since there are no laws in the country about them.

However, he pointed out that the issues raise ethical questions and the right to information yet some of them are supported by the advancement in technology.

All Supreme Court judges and a majority of lawyers as well as family of the two authors were present during the book launch in Nairobi.