Friday, June 26, 2009

Dr Margaret Somerville: why embryo experimentation is wrong – and unnecessary

Another pithy summary of the arguments for and against ESC research – from a professional ethicist (of Australian origin).

Well worth a read for those who want to think like an adult, not like a sound-bite-juvenile.


First, why embryo experimentation is wrong:

"We are all ex-embryos and are all in the process of becoming, from conception to death… Human embryo stem cell research kills embryos and destroys that potential. The central ethical issue it raises is: What does the value of respect for human life require that we not do to human embryos?"


And later, why embryo experimentation is redundant:

"As mentioned already, there are now ethically uncontroversial alternatives for obtaining pluripotent stem cells -- iPS technology. This is an example of science being able to solve ethical problems rather than creating them… Stem cells can also be obtained from umbilical cord blood or consenting adults. So far somewhere around 200 therapies have been developed from these ethically uncontroversial alternatives, while none have yet come from embryo stem cells."


But that snapshot does no justice to such an elegant, if brief, review of the subject. For the full article, pick up a copy of the Ottawa Citizen from the 22nd June – or click here: