CBC 2009 Winners and Losers

by The Center for Bioethics and Culture

Winners:

Dr. Darwin J. Prockop, a worldwide leader in adult stem cell research, has moved his research lab from Tulane University to the Texas A&M Health Center which has pledged $40 million over the next 5 years towards his research. Lawmakers in Texas have invested $5 million towards adult stem cell research as have other states like Oklahoma.

Jason Jones, founder of HERO (Human-Rights Education and Relief Organization) and the I Am Whole Life Campaign, whose mission is to “promote a respect for the intrinsic dignity of the human person regardless of ability, age, status, ethnicity or sex.” As another initiative,Jones has recently launched MoviesToMovement to foster art that promotes human dignity.

Michelle D. Bernard, President of the Independent Women’s Forum, a non-partisan organization dedicated to promoting limited government, free markets, and personal responsibility. IWF advocates for “authentic feminism that embraces children and likes men, school choice, education reform, sound, non-politicized science, and is against higher taxes and wasteful government spending.”

www.StemCellResearchFacts.org, a new website devoted to highlighting the advances in the oft maligned and misunderstood science of adult stem cell research. It was created to show the real promise and hope that adult stem cells offer and serves as a tool to help clarify the stem cell debate.

Life Legal Defense Foundation, who just celebrated their 25th anniversary of providing trained legal defense to the innocent and the voiceless. They have provided legal defense in notable cases such as the family of Terri Schiavo and Rev. Walter Hoye as well as heading a legal challenge against Proposition 71 in California.

Dr. Qi Zhou, of the State Key Laboratory of Reproductive Biology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences whose advances in iPS cell research led a team that created virtual genetic duplicates of mice using skin cells from adult animals. His research proved the functional equivalency of these cells to the embryonic stem cell.

Losers:

Nadya Suleman, the 33 year old single mother who has said she is open to having more children has 14 children through in vitro fertilization technology. Eight of the children were born at once this year, landing her the title “Octomom.” Claims were made that six embryos were implanted, with two of the embryos twinning, resulting in eight live births.

Michael Kamrava, who treated “Octomom,” Nadya Suleman, was expelled from the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) amid a flurry of controversy. He was responsible for implanting at least 6 embryos in Suleman’s uterus. He continues to practice, but he now faces several accusations by the Medical Board of California that could potentially result in the suspension or revocation of is medical license.

Ben Ramaley, a fertility doctor in Connecticut was accused of impregnating a female patient without her knowledge, let alone her consent, using his own sperm. The couple had doubts about the biological father when their twins were born with a “fair complexion.” The patient’s husband is African-American. DNA testing confirmed their suspicions.

Geron Corporation, received clearance from the FDA to begin the world’s first human clinical trial using human embryonic stem cells in patients with newly diagnosed spinal cord injuries. As of now, the FDA has placed a hold on the trial due to safety concerns. Geron hopes by the third quarter of 2010 the trial will be in progress.

Sweden, where the Swedish National Board of Health has ruled that women are allowed to end their pregnancies, up to the 18th week, based solely on the gender of the fetus, if they so choose. This decision came in response to a Swedish woman aborted her babies several times because they weren’t boys.

New York, the first state to allow taxpayer funds to compensate women up to $10,000 who donate their eggs for embryonic stem cell research. The American Society of Reproductive Medicine ‘guidelines,’ suggest a woman can donate her eggs up to six times. An egg “donor” in New York could potentially make $60,000 while endangering her health.

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