Tuesday, October 18, 2005

A New Way to "Create" Embryos?

Much has been made in some press circles about two papers published in this weeks’ Nature. Both relate to the development on new procedures using mouse embryonic stem cells, and both purport to being ways to create human embryos that would avoid the moral objections currently brought by many.

Don't buy this poor bill of goods.

Josephine Quintavalle, the founder of Comment on Reproductive Ethics (CORE), responds to this ploy in the group's excellent website. An excerpt...

‘...Despite the headlines in the UK papers claiming that these initiatives would meet with the approval of those who oppose embryonic stem cell research, neither of these new projects solves our basic ethical objections. It was amazing that journalists presumed that they would, and that they did not publish comments from those of us who defend the integrity of the human embryo.

‘Jaenisch’s work deliberately creates an ‘abnormal’ embryo with, according to his claims, limited viability. It is nevertheless an embryo for the duration of its shortened life, and therefore our objections remain in place. Respect for the human embryo is not based on its life expectancy. While it exists it is living and the Jaenisch research brings that life to an end...