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Defending life
from conception to natural death


9 December 2005

9 December 2005

9 December 2005 A scientist from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has argued that embryonic stem cell research is unethical and of dubious potential to cure life-threatening diseases.

In an interview with MercatorNet, Professor James Sherley spoke of the humanity of the embryo and the potential of adult stem cell research.

He also exposed the moral contradiction in the widespread belief that cloning for research purposes is morally acceptable and so-called 'reproductive' cloning unacceptable.

[MercatorNet, 6 December ] Scientists from Addenbrooke's hospital in Cambridge have claimed that it would be theoretically possible to create a stem cell bank using ten human embryos.

Matthew O'Gorman, a spokesman for the pro-life charity Life responded: "Leading researchers in the field, such as Dr Gerald Schatten (University of Pittsburgh) acknolwedge that there is no immediate potential for treatments or guarantee that there ever will be.

While being ineffective, ESC research involves destructive experiments on tiny human beings, that is why it has been outlawed in the majority of countries worldwide."

[ViewLondon, 9 December ] The highest national court of Colombia has refused to issue a ruling on a legal case that sought to legalise abortion under certain circumstances. The court stated that the case, brought by Women's Link Worldwide, did not contain sufficient arguments to allow a ruling.

[Medical News Today, 9 December ] An Israeli government bill to allow terminally ill patients to end their life support is to receive its final reading in the Knesset.

Active euthanasia and the withdrawal of tube feeding are not permitted in Israel because they violate Jewish law.

The bill would allow terminally ill patients to request that their lives should not be extended artificially through living wills or third parties with powers of attorney.

The report refers to the use of a timing device that would switch off a patient's ventilator after a 24-hour period if they did not request an extension and appears to refer specifically to the withdrawal of life support systems rather than nutrition and hydration. [British Medical Journal, 10 December ]

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