25 agosto 2005

STEM CELL RESEARCH

[Regenerative medicine is an exciting new field with enormous potential for repairing damaged organs and body parts with human stem cells. But if their source is human embryos, there is a serious ethical difficulty. The destruction of human beings for the sake of their stem cells is ethically unacceptable. The author of this MercatorNet background is Dr. Amin Abboud, a medical doctor and bioethicist who teaches at the University of New South Wales, in Sydney. He is also director of Australasian Bioethics Information, a clearinghouse for news about ethical practice in medicine and medical research.]

{Versión en español}


#203 Varios Categoria-Varios: Etica y Antropologia

by Dr. Amin Abboud
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Why the controversy?

The average person is baffled by the stem cell debate: blastocysts, morulae, mitochondria, cytoplasm and dozens of other words are terms that they never even learned properly in high school biology. But you don’t need to be a biologist to understand the importance of the ethical controversy which has put stem cells on the front pages of newspapers around the world.

The fundamental issue is the limits of regenerative medicine. This is an exciting new field with enormous potential for repairing damaged organs and body parts with human stem cells. Vast amounts of money and research effort are being invested in it. But like every technological development, it is not ethically neutral. We have to ask where these stem cells come from. If their source is human embryos, there is a serious ethical difficulty. The destruction of embryos for the sake of their stem cells is ethically unacceptable. Human life, even embryonic human life, cannot be sacrificed as a research tool or a medicine.

(more)

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