Our position on the related issues of stem cells research, human cloning and germline modification is presented below.
1. We reject any form of reproductive human cloning or human germline modification on grounds that they are,
2. We reject therapeutic human cloning because it involves the deliberate creation of human embryos for the sole purpose of providing embryonic stem cells, the embryos being sacrificed in the process. This deliberate creation and destruction of human life makes it even more objectionable, in moral terms, than reproductive human cloning. It, too, is misguided by flawed and incomplete scientific knowledge and inflicts unacceptable dangers through flawed technologies.
3. We reject human embryonic stem cell research because embryonic stem cells are already known to be associated with many problems including malignant transformation. The recent disaster involving five Parkinsons patients receiving fetal cell transplants should serve as a grave warning of the dangers inherent to the technology (The Guardian March 13, 2001). Furthermore, adult stem cells are showing much greater promise in replacement therapy, and there is thus no need at all for embryonic stem cells for therapeutic purposes.
4. We oppose patents associated with human cell lines and genes, and call for publicly-funded research to focus on therapeutic methods that do not involve patented procedures cell lines or genes.
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho
Director Institute of Science in Society
Article first published 08/05/01
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