Re: BIOTECH: Cloning now legal in England

From: Damien Broderick (
Date: Fri Nov 23 2001 - 19:39:30 MST

At 11:13 AM 11/18/01 -0800, Rob Bradbury wrote:

>> It's not an embryo? If this strange opinion gets accepted, it might imply
>> that a being grown from such an `organism' is not a human. But surely the
>> law is not such an ass.

>Actually it has more to do with medicine than the law.
>Until it implants its a blastocyst. It doesn't become an embryo
>until it becomes a parasite on the woman carrying it.

`Parasite' is a strangely loaded and aversive word in the circumstances.
`Symbiont' at worst.

But as for the point at which a blastocyst is regarded as an embryo in the
eyes of science:

The just-out enormous OXFORD COMPANION TO THE BODY sez:

EMBRYO: An organism in its early stages of development. The developing
human is known as an embryo for about its first two months in the womb.
Conventions differ in defining when the name first applies--whether it is
immediately after FERTILIZATION or after IMPLANTATION of the fertilized
ovum in the UTERUS a week or so later.
        [Sheila Jennett, co-editor with Colin Blakemore, Institute of Biomedical
and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow]

Damien Broderick

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