Re: The Promise of Stem Cell Research

From: Damien Broderick (
Date: Fri Jul 20 2001 - 23:38:29 MDT

At 05:32 PM 7/20/01 -0700, Ken Clements wrote:

>Whereas, there is no objection as to what you can do to either an egg or
>cell, it seems that it would be a good idea to alter one or the other
(most easily
>the egg) or both, before combination so that development past the point
needed for
>research cannot happen. Then, the combination should be called some new
name that
>is not "embryo"

I kinda like this notion, except that the modified oocyte carries the risk
of being dubbed (irrationally) a `crippled' or `damaged' human. Some will
declare that this is no different from engineering a child designed to
perish the moment it's born, in order to harvest its tiny innocent organs
for transplant or research.

I think we need to create a shift in the metaphysics of how living cells
and processes are understood. Alternatively, devise workarounds such as the
idea I floated here the other day of abstracting one or more stem cells
from a blastocyte prior to implanting it as a standard in vitro pregnancy
(And how revealing and wonderful it is that such a *wild, sci-fi,
futuristic, Frankenstein* phrase as `standard in vitro pregnancy' can be
used unblushingly today!)

Damien Broderick

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