Thursday, December 14, 2006

Of Babies and Body Parts

This holiday season is all about new life. But in a cruel parody of the Christmas story, grisly news has emerged from the Ukraine. According to the BBC News Service, it appears that healthy newborn babies have been slaughtered as a source of stem cells. Video evidence from actual autopsies reveals dismembered infants, and raises disturbing questions about how they died. According to the BBC:

Ukraine has become the self-styled stem cell capital of the world. There is a trade in stem cells from aborted foetuses, amid unproven claims they can help fight many diseases.

But now there are claims that stem cells are also being harvested from live babies.
A British forensic pathologist is "very concerned to see bodies in pieces," as might be the case if stem cells were removed from the bone marrow of these infants.

There is real value to using bone marrow as a source of stem cells; such treatments have been used with volunteer adult donors for many years. Yet the rich clients who pay to obtain them from dead babies cannot seriously expect that some sort of "ethics" will guide the Ukrainian doctors who are complicit with murder.

If this horrible story turns out to be true (and the early evidence is very worrisome), it will be just one more indication of the hype and hysteria over "stem cell research" that promises much more than it can deliver.

BBC News Story

1 comment:

Dennis Sullivan said...

By the way, I discuss this story in the CedarEthics Podcast, another outlet of the Center for Bioethics. You can listen at: