National Review Online Stem Cell Symposium

by Jennifer Lahl, CBC President on November 21, 2007

Yesterday I was invited to provide written commentary on the stem cell breakthrough for National Review on line. Here’s what I wrote, and you can read the other commentaries provided by leaders such as Leon Kass, William Hurlbut, Carter Snead and many more prominent voices.

My comments:

Tuesday’s news on the somatic-cell reprogramming advances couldn’t have come at a better time. Amidst a cloning-research agenda that clamors for millions of human eggs and competes with the IVF industry to be able to pay hefty sums of money for those eggs, it is a great day to know that research will not progress at the expense of our young women. Kyoto University in particular, has quietly been pursuing techniques to reprogram human skin cells back to an embryonic-like state for some time now. The university’s strategic decision not to pursue embryo cloning research comes from a desire not to be embroiled in the ongoing fierce ethics debate — and they realize the dangerous health risks to young women in procuring their eggs. These researchers appear earnest in their pursuit of ethical science, and serious about the discovery of treatments for real patients that don’t come at the expense of others. Ends don’t always justify the means. And how we get somewhere is often more important than just getting there. For those of us who work tirelessly to stave off the cloning agenda, this is a happy day, one which we can be particularly thankful for this season!

— Jennifer Lahl is national director of the Center for Bioethics and Culture Network.

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