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Thursday, December 01, 2005

Cloning Nightmares in S. Korea

Cloning Nightmares in S. Korea
Dr. Hwang Woo-suk, the South Korean scientist who has been leading an effort to clone human beings, is fighting off grave charges of ethical improprieties at his Mizmedi Hospital in Seoul. An American, Dr. Gerald Schatten, has pulled out of the project, pointing to the fact that many of the eggs used for the experiments were obtained unethically from female lab assistants and junior scientists. Roh Sung-il, the hospital's board chairman, has now admitted that he paid $1,400 each to some of the women because there were not enough voluntary donors. Perhaps the lack of "voluntary" donors can be attributed to a growing awareness of serious medical concerns about ovarian hyper-stimulation, the technique used to obtain the women's eggs.

Instances of stroke, heart attack, blood clots and even death have been reported in women whose eggs have been obtained using powerful drugs. In the U.S., the FDA has never approved most of the drugs for these procedures to extract multiple eggs. What this story shows us is that even in the highly public, highly touted experiments of a media darling, someone hailed as a "pioneer," the ethical abuses are gross--and growing. That is one more reason for the U.S. Congress to pass the Weldon-Stupak ban on cloning human beings (H.R. 1357). The Senate version is the Brownback-Landrieu bill (S.658). Both of these measures have bipartisan support. The UN General Assembly--at least in this one area--has correctly understood that "donations" of eggs, which will be needed for cloning and embryonic stem cell experiments, will inevitably lead to exploitation of women.
Additional Resources
A Cloning Cover-Up

Order Your Copy Now
Human Cloning and the Abuse of Science

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