{crossposted} Ban on human spare parts cloning research to be lifted

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Ban on human spare parts cloning research to be lifted

THE cloning of human embryos for medical research, which could allow scientists to create spare parts for the body, is expected to be approved by the Government after an inquiry concluded that the potential benefits outweighed the ethical problems. A panel of experts led by Dr Liam Donaldson, the chief medical officer, has agreed to recommend changes to the law to allow the use of cloned embryos to create tissue to treat the sick. Whitehall sources say that ministers are almost certain to end the ban on the "therapeutic cloning" of embryos for research that could eventually cure kidney, liver or heart disease.

Ministers want to launch a public debate to try to persuade people that cloning embryos for research is not the same as creating a carbon copy of a human being. They want to emphasise the difference between the cloning used to create Dolly the sheep and using embryos for tissue engineering. The move will infuriate pro-life campaigners and reignite debate on how far scientists should interfere with nature.

The Roman Catholic Church insists that "harvesting an embryo" can never be acceptable. The Government is already facing a public backlash over trials of genetically modified crops and the use of genetic information by insurance companies. The inquiry has concluded that the potential benefits are so great that it would be foolish to outlaw research at this stage. Scientists believe that they could treat a wide range of diseases if they are allowed to develop the technique.

They would create an embryo clone of a sick person and extract cells genetically identical to the patient's for use in treatment. The aim is to use the cells to grow parts of the body that could be used to replace damaged organs, such as the bone marrow of a child with leukaemia or heart tissue damaged in a heart attack. The panel, which is putting the finishing touches to its recommendations, is concerned that Britain will be left behind in the scientific race if the ban remains.

One member said that maintaining the ban because of public concern about scientific developments would be "throwing the baby out with the bath water". The source added: "The potential is enormous. This could allow us to regrow a heart muscle or bone marrow and that is not a threat to humanity. It is too early to say whether it will work, but if the research is illegal we will never know."

The report, expected to be published next month, will lay down strict rules, specifying the circumstances in which human embryos can be cloned. Sources close to the panel said there was an overwhelming case for using human embryos that were going to be destroyed in any case - for example, extra embryos created for in vitro fertilisation - if research could save human life.

An insider said: "There will be strict rules. We would not want people to do this sort of work for trivial purposes."

-- cin (cinlooo@aol.corn), April 03, 2000


I don't know about you but this really pisses me off.

-- cin (cinlooo@aol.corn), April 03, 2000.

cin, Why would this piss you off?... do you have a problem with people haveing an exact tissue match transplant someday?.... or is it some misty, personal religious thing with you?..... What if it was your child that would live or die because of your stance on this?... would you sacrifice your baby for your beliefs? :-)

Think about it...

-- Netghost (ng@no.yr), April 03, 2000.

nor do I have any problem with Dolly the Sheep or even better, the 5 pigs that were recently cloned. Because pig parts can be used in humans, and because this same company has developed a gene to put into the pigs that will prevent body rejection, this will mean no waiting for livers, kidneys and perhaps even hearts. Many of you don't realize that we have been harvesting some parts from specially grown pigs from Hormell Co. for the last 30 years. If we can raise and butcher pigs for meat on the table, I see no ethical controversy about using their organs for saving lives. And no matter what your belief, I venture to say, were it your child that needed that liver to survive, your beliefs would be serious challenged.

Taz.....who put her money where her mouth is and bought stock in the Scottish company that cloned Dolly and the 5 pigs.

-- Taz (Tassie123@aol.com), April 03, 2000.

I don't see anything wrong with this either. Just the other day I read an article about a couple whose daughter would die without a transplant. The mom was perhaps 47 years old already, and the dad had already had a vasectomy, but they got the vasectomy reversed and produced a baby sister, who was used to help the older child. Obviously we're not talking about a critical body organ in this instance, as both girls are alive and well now.

-- Anita (notgiving@anymore.thingee), April 03, 2000.

An embro is the beginning of life, in this case human. First kill the original baby then just grow and identical twin of the sick person and then kill it to retrieve the organs that you want .

My husband was a first born of twins; should we be able to legally kill his 10 minute old younger brother for say his heart? Or use his brain tissue to save my husband from say Parkinson's disease? After all, he is only a very developed embro and a clone at that. This may give new meanning to late term abortion.

-- r. (r.1@juno.com), April 03, 2000.

Give me a break! No one is suggesting anything like what you are. I can't imagine anyone not being against the late term abortions. I have both harvested and implanted ebryos in animals and you and I are far far apart in knowledge. You are talking nonsense! Taz

-- Taz (Tassie123@aol.com), April 03, 2000.

There is no sanctity of life here. Yes, we all die. Every one of us. In GOD'S TIME, not ours. But to choose who or what lives, or who or what dies, or bring things or people to life, only to kill them for the "harvesting of body parts" IS WRONG.

This is a Pandora's Box that they shouldn't open, but they already have.

I am very afraid.

-- cin (cinlooo@aol.corn), April 03, 2000.

The article said,

"THE cloning of human embryos for medical research, which could allow scientists to create spare parts for the body, is expected to be approved by the Government after an inquiry concluded that the potential benefits outweighed the ethical problems."

I'll agree that the potential benefits for THE LIVING are very high. Currently, we can keep human cells viable indefinitely in liquid nitrogen, to be restored as needed. A logical extension of this is to Split a conceptus early on and "save" a copy to be used later for parts. Sounds good to me as a parts source, but ethically sound? Growing a human being for "parts"? Nope.

I'd rather use condemned criminals, and I think That's too immoral to do.


-- Someone (ChimingIn@twocents.cam), April 03, 2000.


I bet ol' Ted Kennedy is looking around pretty frantically for some slow-moving non-protesting victim with a healthy liver right about now.


-- Someone (ChimingIn@twocents.cam), April 03, 2000.

I see this development as an extension of the modern medical philosophy: contempt for the body's healing powers, contempt for nature's pharmacy, contempt for the healing arts of other cultures, in short, contempt for any healing concept that isn't a drug, a beam or an operation.

Why worry about atmospheric pollution, the debasement of our food and water, or our own bad habits. Have a diseased or dysfunctional body part? No problem, medical technology can provide a new or pre-owned one.

"An inquiry concluded that the potential benefits outweighed the ethical problems."

I'd like to know the basis for this optimism about our ability to manage technology ethically.

-- David L (bumpkin@dnet.net), April 03, 2000.

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