Canada Scientist Gets Permission to Conduct Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 8, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Canada Scientist Gets Permission to Conduct Embryonic Stem Cell Research Email this article
Printer friendly page

by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 8, 2006

Calgary, Canada ( — A scientist at the University of Calgary has won tentative permission to destroy frozen human embryos for their stem cells for studies. This would be the first time that human embryonic stem cell research will take place in the Canadian province of Alberta and pro-life groups are disturbed by the development.

Dr. Derrick Rancourt will begin the studies in a few months and will become one of just a handful of Canadian researchers using embryonic stem cells.

Other scientists, such as those at the University of Toronto, have found tremendous success using the more ethical and effective adult stem cells, which don’t require the destruction of human life.

”We have this expertise and we’ve been asked to participate (in this project),” Rancourt told the Calgary Herald. ”I kind of feel like it’s our responsibility.”

But Joanne Byfield of Alberta Pro Life told the newspaper her group is opposed to Rancourt’s research because days-old unborn children will be destroyed in the process.

”They are human beings,” said Byfield. ”That should place them above being used and abused and killed for research.”

The human embryos used in the experiments will come from fertility clinics and couples who engaged in fertility treatments and no longer need the embryos will donate them for the project.

The University of British Columbia and the University of Toronto are helping to coordinate Rancourt’s experiments, which still need federal approval. The project is expected to cost $523,000.