Propostion 71 Opponents: Our hats are off to a rag tag team of feminists, environmentalists, progressives, pro-choice and pro-life voices who have stopped Prop. 71 in its tracks. California biotech has yet to see any of the 3 billion dollar’s it was promised. A truly poignant and modern David and Goliath story.
United Nations: The U.N. General Assembly in March adopted a declaration that calls on governments to ban all forms of human cloning that are “incompatible with human dignity and the protection of human life.”
US Congress and Senate: In December Bush passed into law The Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Act of 2005 which paves the way for the creation of a national data bank for umbilical cord blood and bone marrow. This will allow doctors to quickly find a match for patients who need transplants.
Michelle Farrar: Farrar, paralyzed from the chest down for 19 years, is the first American to receive umbilical cord stem cell treatment of this kind. She travelled to South Korea, ironically, for the procedure and on December 9 Michelle could move her feet.
Don Ho: 75 year old Hawiaan crooner, Ho, received adult stem cell treatment for his ailing heart earlier this December in Thailand. He returned to Hawaii on the 20th and is making a “remarkable recorovery.”
IBM: As concerns grow that genetic information could be used as a modern tool of discrimination, IBM pledged this year to not use genetic information in its hiring practices or in deciding eligibility for health insurance coverage for its 300,000 employees. This is the first of its kind for such a major corporation.
Professor Hwang Woo-suk: Hwang’s promises of quick embryonic stem cell cures at the beginning of the year through cloning may have become one of the greatest scientific lies of this century. The scandal so far includes fabricated evidence, colleagues of hwangs own team donating their eggs for research, and recently bribes of $30,000 to members of the team to keep quiet.
Terri Schiavo: Schiavo was dehydrated to death earlier this year by rule of law. She was a victim of a legal system that had become obsessed with legal process at the expense of justice. The trial in her case was not originally well handled and the courts hung that record around her neck like a millstone, refusing to truly and thoroughly examine new facts that came to light.
Robert Klein: Klein, Chair of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine succesfuly duped California into passing the precedent setting Proposition 71. With 71 the state of California can fund 3 billion dollars towards embryonic stem cell research.
45 euthanasia victims of hurricane Katrina: Louisiana’s attorney general is investigating allegations that euthanasia was used to end the lives of 45 ill and elderly patients at Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
33 South Korean teenagers who donated their eggs to professor Hwang’s cloning project: Even as Hwang was publicaly disgraced, thousands of women including an entire class of 33 teenage girls donated their eggs to the faltering project.
Jack Kevorkian: Kevorkian’s lawyer is upset–and issued a press release to let the rest of us know–that the Michigan Parole Board refused to recommend clemency or pardon, based on Kevorkian’s supposed ill health.
CBC is about raising the red flag when human dignity is at stake, and it is about grounding science in moral responsibility. Most importantly, it is about celebrating the beauty and complexity of human life in all of its various stages. We can continue to do this by developing relevant resources, holding exceptional one-of-a-kind events, and much more.
- Jennifer Lahl, MA, BSN, RN, is founder and president of The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network. Lahl couples her 25 years of experience as a pediatric critical care nurse, a hospital administrator, and a senior-level nursing manager with a deep passion to speak for those who have no voice. Lahl’s writings have appeared in various publications including Cambridge University Press, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Dallas Morning News, and the American Journal of Bioethics. As a field expert, she is routinely interviewed on radio and television including ABC, CBS, PBS, and NPR. She is also called upon to speak alongside lawmakers and members of the scientific community, even being invited to speak to members of the European Parliament in Brussels to address issues of egg trafficking; she has three times addressed the United Nations during the Commission on the Status of Women on egg and womb trafficking.
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