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On the latest stem cell 'breakthrough'.

Seoul--On May 20, 2005, the media reported the South Korean scientists had created the world's first human embryonic stem cells customized to genetically match patients with various diseases and spinal cord injuries. They produced clones of the patients by transferring the DNA-containing nucleus of the patients' skin cells into an ovum donated by a woman.

This procedure produced a clone that is a single cell zygote, an embryo, a human being. That it does so is a scientific fact recognized and attested to in all human embryology textbooks today, and first demonstrated over a hundred years ago by Wilhelm His, the father of human embryology.

The embryo is allowed to develop for five days and then its cells are plucked from it and grown in culture. This procedure kills the embryo. It is not, as researchers claim, an abstraction called 'life' that is destroyed, but the life of an individual human person. This is a scientific fact, not something based on religious belief or arbitrary human opinion.

Dr. Hwang, the lead researcher, claims to oppose the idea of cloning to reproduce a human being because it is "unethical". However, he ignores the fact that he has already reproduced human beings in making his clones.

The international chorus of praise for Hwang's research also ignores the fact that because of major differences between the mitochondrial DNA of the cell donor (patient) and the cloned embryo, there is not a genetic "match" between them-hence the patients may still reject these 'therapeutic' stem cells, not to mention concerns about the development of tumours or other problems.

One can only wonder if the women who donated ova were informed of the dangers to them of 'Hyperstimulation Syndrome' before they signed their consent forms to allow the aspiration of ova from their ovaries. This syndrome includes a number of symptoms that can result from the use of hormones to stimulate ovum production.

In short, the researchers have produced clones of sick people, almost, but not quite, identical twins, and killed those clones in the process of retrieving their stem cells. Falsifying science, and ignoring the death of an embryo, have become 'ethically' acceptable if it serves one's purpose as a scientist, a physician, or a pharmaceutical company. This kind of thinking has become the norm among our self-appointed medical, political, legal, and academic elites. It only goes to show that if you repeat false statements often enough, the public will begin to believe them. [John B. Shea, M.D., FRCP(C), May 20, 2005]
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Title Annotation:South Korea
Publication:Catholic Insight
Geographic Code:9SOUT
Date:Jul 1, 2005
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