On Bioethics

catholic moral standing on the special ethics of life

BUSH APPOINTEE BACKS EMBRYONIC STEM CELL RESEARCH

The leading scientist in the Bush administration has broken with his boss over embryonic stem cell research. “From my standpoint, it is clear today that American science will be better served, and the nation will be better served, if we let our scientists have access to more stem cell lines,” Dr Elias A. Zerhouni, director of the National Institutes of Health, told a Senate committee.
We cannot, I would think, be second-best in this area,” Zerhouni said. “I think it is important for us not to fight with one hand tied behind our back here, and NIH is key to that.” Studies claiming that adult stem cells have as much potential as embryonic stem cells “do not hold scientific water,” Zerhouni claimed. “I think they are overstated. We do not know at this point where the breakthrough will come from… All angles in stem cell research should be pursued.” The co-editor of one of the world’s leading bioethics journals, Bioethics, has stated that he supports reproductive cloning. Writing in his blog, Udo Schuklenk, of Glasgow Caledonian University, says that “there are no serious reasons against reproductive cloning”.”It would simply give a few hundred or a few thousand people worldwide another means of non-sexual reproduction (eg, infertile couples for whom IVF failed could access cloning to have a genetically linked child). In fact, there could be a good medical reason for this. What if a loving couple with a desire to have their own genetically linked child runs a serious risk of passing a genetic illness on to their offspring? Reproductive cloning would… eliminate that risk by using only the healthy parent’s genetic material. Good news all round, I would think.”However, Dr Schuklenk is careful to point out that reproductive cloning is hardly a top research priority at the moment, with diseases like TB, malaria and AIDS still afflicting millions. He even finds it a “pre-occupation with having our ‘own’ genetically linked kids” “obscene”. However, he cannot see anything wrong with it if it ever becomes a possibility.
Studies claiming that adult stem cells have as much potential as embryonic stem cells “do not hold scientific water,” Zerhouni claimed. “I think they are overstated. We do not know at this point where the breakthrough will come from… All angles in stem cell research should be pursued.” ~ Los Angeles Times, Mar 20

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[…] BUSH APPOINTEE BACKS EMBRYONIC STEM CELL RESEARCH […]


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