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What Do 30 Pieces of Silver Buy You Today?

Autor: Jennifer Lahl
Datum: 28.09.2010
Category: Die menschliche Zukunft

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Ursprünglich geschrieben in Englisch

While this piece is related to human embryonic stem cell policies in the U.S. it is quite relevant to the global discussions around the ethical use of early human life in research.

I’m just back from Washington, D.C., where I had the privilege of showing Eggsploitation on Capitol Hill.  Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK), served as our congressional sponsor for this event, and I’m grateful to him and his staff for their leadership in this arena.  As an Ob/Gyn doctor, Coburn understands the risks associated with egg harvesting practices.  He’s not one in need of conversion on the matter. And he’s with us on the human embryonic stem cell research and human cloning debates.

Serendipitously, Senator Tom Harkin, (D-IA) hosted a hearing on embryonic  stem cell research the very same day as our film premiere.  I was fortunate enough to attend this hearing with Elaine Petty, a Director of the CBC, and my colleague,William Hurlbut, a former member of the Bush Council on Bioethics.

If you are interested in the hearing, the webcast of the testimonies can be watched on the Senate website.  Otherwise, let me break it down for you.

First, there was nothing new under the sun presented.  Senator Harkin opened the hearing with his own remarks on what a shame it was that after 21 hearings on embryonic  stem cell research beginning in 1998, we had to revisit this issue again now that science, under the Obama administration, was able to proceed ethically and responsibly.  And how he thought this fight was finally over.  And now our bright young minds have to worry about going to their labs only to find the doors locked by someone in Washington, D.C.

There was enough high-fiving and back-patting to tear a rotator cuff.  Harkin praising Senator Arlen Specter  for his leadership; Francis Collins praising both senators for their leadership in advancing embryonic stem cell research; and Senator Specter in his final senatorial act, singing his swan song about the promise and hope of embryonic stem cell research, even had the audacity to say this, “The evidence is overwhelming of the importance of embryonic stem cell research to deal with the maladies of the world . . . and there are over 400,000 frozen embryos that will be lost . . . we are not dealing with human life . . . if it were to be turned into human life, no one would suggest that we use them for medical research.”  I had to listen to that one again on the webcast.  Sitting in the hearing room, I was shocked at that statement — he didn’t just say what I think I heard?  Yes, he did.  We are not dealing with human life!?!

Stichwörter: embryonic stem cell research, human cloning, bioethics

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