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Brown and the Blight of British Bioethics

Posted By Joe Carter On May 22, 2008 @ 12:16 am In General Bioethics,Stem Cell Research | 4 Comments

Back in 2006, I provided testimony before a committee of the Illinois state legislature on research involving embryo-destructive research and “therapeutic” cloning. At the time I was shocked by the complete unfamiliarity these legislators had with the basic concepts underlying the issue they were considering. The committee members were so scientifically illiterate that many did not understand the distinction between eggs (human ova) and embryos (a human being). The committee chairman even tried to argue that therapeutic cloning consisted of “injecting embryos into a patient’s spinal cord.”

Sadly, it isn’t only Chicago politicians who are ignorant of stem-cell science. The American Spectator [1] has published an article I wrote about how in the UK, the Labour Party and Prime Minister Gordon Brown have gone out of their way to show just how ignorant they are about hybrids and stem cell research. An excerpt:

This week, Britain’s Labour Party made remarkable progress in securing the country’s reputation as the most scientifically illiterate and morally obtuse hamlet in the Western world. At the urging of Prime Minister Gordon Brown, both houses of Parliament defeated amendments to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill that would have outlawed the creation of “chimerical embryos.”

Chimeras (whether “cybrids” or “hybrids”) are human embryos that contain genetic material from other species. Chinese researchers began in 2003 by fusing human cells with rabbit eggs to produce the first human-animal chimeras. Two years later scientists at Stanford University planned an experiment to create mice with human brains.

“To what end?” is a good question here. As James Sherley, from the Program in Regenerative Biology and Cancer, Boston, notes, “Huge volumes of…basic cellular and molecular biology must be ignored to justify [this kind of] research.”

Read the rest at The American Spectator [1].

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[1] The American Spectator: http://www.amspec.org/dsp_article.asp?art_id=13246

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