Stem cell research halted by christian zealots

I was saddened to hear today that the Human Fertilsation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) are not going to allow research in to stem cells which could lead to cures for Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and other diseases.

The HFEA's decision seems to be largely based on a mis understanding, propagated largely by Christians groups, that this is "Frankenstein science" and " an affront to humanity". Those opposed to this sort of research, and let us be clear, they oppose any sort of new development and have in the past, be it transplantation, blood transfusions and other widely accepted medical breakthroughs, claim that this research is creating mutant half human, half animal foetuses.

The facts are, of the reports are properly read, that all, I repeat ALL animal DNA is removed form the egg, in to which human DNA is then implanted and grows. The foetus cells, now just 5 days old are 100% human, but enclosed in the animal egg. If the process was allowed to go on, the human DNA would consume all the remainder of the animal egg, leaving the whole thing to be 100%, even the egg itself.

At five days old, human stem cells are removed from the foetus (which as I have explained is 100% human tissue) so that research can then be carried out.

The potential to save so many lives from this research is enormous, but the vocal minority are being vocal in a very misleading way to scare people. What a shame that our government pays more heed to the religious right wing than it does its own scientists.


Tom Papworth said...

"Frankenbunny" rides again.

Feel the fear.

Matt said...

Good point, well made.

Justin Hinchcliffe said...

As a pro-lifer, I believe it is wrong to create one human being only to destroy it to save another - or to help with research.

And I have yet to come across a pro-lifer who opposed or opposes blood transfusions.

However, my partner, a doctor and a supporter of the Secular Society, would agree with you. He is the Conservatives' answer to the Lib Dems' Dr. Evan Harris :-(

Norfolk Blogger said...

But Justin, there WERE people against blood transfusions, and they WERE vrey much "christians", who opposed it on biblical grounds. Now their arguments seem daft. It is an example of how the debate moves on.

As for creating a person, can a five day old foetus breathe, eat, move of its own accord, procreate, and any number of other things a "person" can do ? If the answer is no, then it is not a person.

Justin Hinchcliffe said...

When, in your opinion, can all these things happen?

Any chance that you can remove the word verification - pleeeeease?

Norfolk Blogger said...

I don't think you are a person until you are a viable person. That is my own opinion. I personally think about 20 weeks is a suitable cut off fro declaring when a group of cells becomes a living and "thinking" entity. Foetus's brains are not developed at 20 weeks.

However, I also do not support he 24 weeks cut off fro abortoins, and would bring this down to 20 weeks.

(I'll think about the word verification)

Tristan said...

I agree totally, well said.
Stem cell research offers great prospect of reducing human suffering, we should pursue it without hysteria.