by Steven Ertelt
May 19, 2005
Seoul, South Korea (LifeNews.com) — In an announcement that is drawing worldwide condemnation, South Korean human cloning scientist Hwang Woo-suk and Dolly the sheep creator Ian Wilmut announced they will team up to engage in human cloning to produce embryonic stem cells for research.
Dr. Hwang reportedly cloned and destroyed the world’s first human embryos for stem cells last February, and Dr. Wilmut cloned ‘Dolly’ the sheep in 1998.
However, David Stevens, M.D., director of the 17,000-member Christian Medical Association said their human cloning research should be halted on ethical and medical grounds.
"In just a few short years since the cloning of Dolly the sheep, we have witnessed a breathtaking jump to cloning and destroying human beings," Stevens observed. "These researchers don’t seem to recognize the difference between human beings and barnyard animals."
"Now it appears that these two cloners are going to focus on cloning more human beings to use like lab rats to study diseases," Dr. Stevens said. "Is this how we want the human race to be treated–as mere fodder for scientific experimentation?"
Dolly was finally created after 300 failed attempts, resulting in miscarriages and malformed offspring.
Ultimately, the "successful" result, Dolly, aged too rapidly and had to be euthanized.
Wilmut plans to use the same technique, cell nuclear replacement, that he used to create Dolly and says his team will not engage in reproductive human cloning.
Pro-life advocates worry that the same phenomenon will happen when Wilmut and the Hwang’s teams clone human embryos for their stem cells. Eventually hundreds, if not thousands, of unborn children will be killed in the process, they said.
The research team led by professor Hwang also announced Thursday that, by cloning the human embryo, they have succeeded in obtaining 11 kinds of stem cells that could grow into all kinds of organ cells in a human body.
"Contrary to the misleading rhetoric some researchers and reporters have employed, they are not merely ‘cloning cells’; they are cloning living human beings and then destroying them for their stem cells. Each one of us began life as a human embryo," Dr. Stevens said. "If you had been sacrificed for your stem cells at that point of development, you wouldn’t exist today."
Stevens called on nations around the world to follow the United Nation’s request that they ban all forms of human cloning.
If Wilmut and Hwang clone human embryos in nations like Canada, Germany or France, which have bans in place, they would face jail time. South Korea and Britain, like the United States, have no anti-human cloning laws.
Polls consistently show a strong majority of Americans oppose human cloning.
An International Communications Research poll from August 13-17 asked, "Should scientists be allowed to use human cloning to create a supply of human embryos to be destroyed in medical research." Some 80% the public said no.
A Wilson Research Strategies poll, also conducted last August, found that 69% believed that all human cloning should be banned, while only 24% believed that cloning should be allowed only to create human embryos for stem cell research.
While embryonic stem cells have yet to cur any patients, the use of adult stem cell research has already produced dozens of treatments and cures for diseases.
Related web sites:
Christian Medical Association – https://www.cmdahome.org