Yesterday I was invited to provide written commentary on the stem cell breakthrough for National Review on line. Here’s what I wrote, and you can read the other commentaries provided by leaders such as Leon Kass, William Hurlbut, Carter Snead and many more prominent voices.
Tuesday’s news on the somatic-cell reprogramming advances couldn’t have come at a better time. Amidst a cloning-research agenda that clamors for millions of human eggs and competes with the IVF industry to be able to pay hefty sums of money for those eggs, it is a great day to know that research will not progress at the expense of our young women. Kyoto University in particular, has quietly been pursuing techniques to reprogram human skin cells back to an embryonic-like state for some time now. The university’s strategic decision not to pursue embryo cloning research comes from a desire not to be embroiled in the ongoing fierce ethics debate — and they realize the dangerous health risks to young women in procuring their eggs. These researchers appear earnest in their pursuit of ethical science, and serious about the discovery of treatments for real patients that don’t come at the expense of others. Ends don’t always justify the means. And how we get somewhere is often more important than just getting there. For those of us who work tirelessly to stave off the cloning agenda, this is a happy day, one which we can be particularly thankful for this season!
— Jennifer Lahl is national director of the Center for Bioethics and Culture Network.
- 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.