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Posts Tagged ‘stem cells’

“Harvesting” babies?

Posted by Richard on December 13, 2006

Let me make it clear up front: I’m not a right-to-lifer. I have a "Pro-Choice on Everything" sticker on my car, I support a woman’s right to abort a pregnancy, and my only objection to federal funding of fetal stem cell research is — like a good libertarian — to the federal funding part.

But there are some arguments of the "pro-life" crowd that deserve to be given some thoughtful consideration — for instance, the argument against partial-birth abortion, or the argument for parental notification.

Or the argument that we’re descending a slippery ethical slope that’s cheapening human life. If this BBC story is true, they’ve slid horrifically far down that slope in the Ukraine:

Healthy new-born babies may have been killed in Ukraine to feed a flourishing international trade in stem cells, evidence obtained by the BBC suggests.

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.

Apparently, allegations against a maternity hospital three years ago led to exhumations and autopsies, and someone has now given the BBC video footage of that:

The pictures show organs, including brains, have been stripped – and some bodies dismembered.

A senior British forensic pathologist says he is very concerned to see bodies in pieces – as that is not standard post-mortem practice.

It could possibly be a result of harvesting stem cells from bone marrow.

Hospital number six denies the allegations.

Of course they do. Just as the Chinese deny killing prisoners to harvest their organs for transplants. The denials may even be truthful. Maybe.

But I find the story quite disturbing. I wonder if researchers using stem cells from the Ukraine are at all disturbed.

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