Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Another way to treat human embryos as commodities

Scientists at Advanced Cell Technology were able to create 2 embryonic stem cell lines from single cells harvested from 16 human embryos. According to the story, the embryos weren't killed in the process of removing one of their cells.

However, the Reuters' story notes that the embryos whose cells were taken weren't implanted into women. So one has to wonder if these embryos were created by couples looking to bring a child to birth (and if so then why weren't the embryos implanted?) Or were these embryos created for the sole purpose of seeing if ACT could create embryonic stem cell lines from a single cell without killing the embryos?

The varied response from a variety of proponents of embryonic stem cell research is quite interesting with some proponents being in favor, others thinking it's a waste of time and others thinking it's nothing new.

Matthew O'Gorman, a spokesman for Life, a British prolife group, said, "While the embryo may not be destroyed during this procedure, the human being is still treated as a means to an end; a laboratory tool for us to use as we wish.

"Regardless of the speculated benefits, no human being, particularly the most vulnerable, should be treated as raw material which we can manipulate and manufacture."

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