Re: The Promise of Stem Cell Research

From: Ken Clements (
Date: Sat Jul 21 2001 - 00:47:50 MDT

Damien Broderick wrote:

> 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.

Yes, there is that, but at least you can argue that you never took an action
against the development of an actual embryo.

> 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

Very good idea. This assumes that you can do it without any damage, because
you would be blamed for any future development problem. I would expect that
you can do this because at this stage the blastocyte has amazing regeneration
ability. However, in this case, some will argue that the extraction is the
same as making twins, and then you killed one.

> (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!)

Well said.


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