Arrogant 'scientists' and 'ethicists' agree on global stem cell guidance

Dianne N. Irving
Copyright February 24, 2006
Reproduced with Permission

As an old philosopher once noticed, "A small error in the beginning leads to a multitude of errors in the end." Such is the fate of two entire fields of academia intertwined in the current issue of human embryonic stem cell research. "Scientists" and "ethicists" from around the world "have come up with a set of global guidelines to ensure the ethical practice of stem cell research" ("Scientists agree on global stem cell guidance", Guardian Unlimited, February 24, 2006, at:,,1717414,00.html). Such "guidelines" will ensure that stem cell researchers are not treated poorly as was Hwang when he was eventually found guilty of falsifying his data. [See Irving, "The Tragic Irony: South Korean Bioethics Committee Finds Hwang and IRBs Violated the Declaration of Helsinki" (February 2, 2006), at:; "How can either 'nuclear transfer' or 'twinning' produce Hwang's 'patient-specific stem cells'?", (December 17, 2005), at:; "When is 'not-self' really 'self'? International Research Ethics Standards Require Hwang's Team to Retest Its Stem Cells" (December 6, 2005, at:].

What we're really looking at is the use of purposefully erroneous "science" guided by a fabricated "bioethics" in order for those in both fields to do whatever they want to do. One does wonder what the ultimate outcome will be for society? [See Irving, "Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research: Are official positions based on scientific fraud?" (July 1999), at:; "The stem cell decision in the labs: Beware of flawed ethics and false science", Newsday (Sunday, July 15, 2001), all editions; also at:; "The Impact of 'Scientific Misinformation' on Other Fields: Philosophy, Theology, Biomedical Ethics, Public Policy", Accountability in Research, April 1993, 2(4):243-272, at:].

The false "science" they have been allowed to get away with includes (among many examples) denying the objective reality that: human embryonic stem cells are derived by killing innocent living human embryos who are simultaneously individual living human beings, human organisms; these early embryonic cells are not all "pluripotent" but most are also "totipotent" (and thus capable of reverting to new human embryos; "therapeutic" cloning is cloning (not just "stem cell research"); "cloning" is not defined only in terms of the technique of somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) because there are at least a dozen different kinds of cloning techniques (many of which are used in IVF and other ART facilities); the product of SCNT is not "genetically identical to the donor" because the mitochondrial DNA of the donor cell is not transferred to the enucleated oocyte and the mitochondrial DNA of the enucleated oocyte remain in the cloned embryo - and thus this genetic difference and foreign DNA will cause serious immune rejection reactions in patients ......... etc., etc., etc. One does wonder where the real scientists are? [See "Review of Critical Article: Cobbe, 'Why the apparent haste to clone humans?' [JME]" (May 10, 2006), at:; see also Irving, "Framing the Debates on Human Cloning and Human Embryonic Stem Cells: Pluripotent vs. TOTIPOTENT" (July 23, 2005), at:; "Definitions of a "human organism" and a "human cell" (Oct. 3, 2004), at:; "Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research: Are official positions based on scientific fraud?" (July 1999), at:; "Playing God by manipulating man: Facts and frauds of human cloning" (October 4, 2003), at:; "What Human Embryo? Funniest Mental Gymnastics from Medicine and Research" (Oct. 14, 2004), at:; "Scientific References, Human Genetic Engineering (Including Cloning): Artificial Human Embryos, Oocytes, Sperms, Chromosomes and Genes" (May 25, 2004), at:; Comments: "Human Cloning As Infertility 'Treatments'" (Oct. 10, 2004), at:].

Combine all this false "science" with a brand new fabricated "bioethics" that condones and is even complicit in these scientific "myths" and you have fabricated "ethical guidelines" that justify whatever either field wants to do. Bioethics was created out of thin air in 1978 by a handful of politically appointed people (most of whom had no academic degrees in philosophy or ethics) by mandate of the U.S. Congress in their Belmont Report. Despite the myriad of theoretical and practical conflicts and non-sequiturs, this recent "birth" of bioethics has duly and rapidly supplanted all other ethical theories on the planet. One wonders where the real philosophers and ethicists are? And note that this international grouping was complete with a battalion of bioethics lawyers - whose field of "health care law" didn't exist before 1978. [See Irving, "What is 'bioethics'?" (June 3, 2000), at:; "Academic fraud and conceptual transfer in bioethics: Abortion, human embryo research and psychiatric research" (1995), pp. 193-215, at:; "Which ethics for science and public policy?", Accountability in Research 1993, 3(2-3):77-99, at:; "Biomedical research with 'decisionally incapacitated' human subjects: legalization of a defunct normative bioethics theory" (June 1998), at:; "Analysis of Legislative and Regulatory Chaos in the U.S.: Asexual Human Reproduction and Genetic Engineering" (Oct. 20, 2004), at:].

Yes, now we should just totally by-pass the ethical issue of reproducing and then killing innocent living human beings in order to derive their "stem cells", redefine whatever scientific terms get in the way, use only "bioethics" to determine what is "ethical" (see statement by bioethics Founder Ruth Faden),and the world should agree never to legally prosecute stem cell researchers again like South Korea has done to Hwang.

The arrogant leading the arrogant. But it works! One does wonder where all the real professionals have gone.,,1717414,00.html
Press Association
Friday February 24, 2006
Guardian Unlimited

Scientists agree on global stem cell guidance

Scientists from around the world have come up with a set of global guidelines to ensure the ethical practice of stem cell research, it was revealed today. Researchers, ethicists and lawyers from 14 countries came together for the first time during a three-day conference in Cambridge to produce guidance by which they agreed to abide.

International cooperation in the controversial science has been hindered by conflicting national rules.

While acknowledging cultural diversity and moral disagreement about stem cell research, the document provides a fundamental ethical framework and guiding principles from which to work.

As well as addressing the conduct of researchers, the guidelines urge governments and lawmakers to be circumspect when regulating the science.

It calls for governments in countries where stem cell research is illegal not to prosecute their scientists for taking part in research projects abroad.

The guidelines aim to prevent a repeat of the case of a South Korean cloning pioneer who was found to have falsified research.

Dr Woo-Suk Hwang apologised and resigned from Seoul National University amid claims of serious malpractice.

An investigating panel of experts at the university said Dr Hwang had faked at least nine out of 11 stem cell lines.

The guidelines are voluntary, and it is up to individual scientists whether they follow the recommendations.

Although the system will not be officially enforced, it is hoped journal editors will support and promote high standards, and that funding bodies will take adequate steps to ensure those they fund are carrying out their research in line with international guidance.

Dr Ruth Faden, of Johns Hopkins University, said: "For the first time, stem cell investigators and ethicists have identified specific guidance for how science and society should respond in the face of conflicting national laws and values governing stem cell science.

"It is often difficult for scientists involved in international collaboration to know what their legal and ethical duties are. Moreover, new ethical challenges facing stem cell science, such as the possibility that gametes could be derived from stem cells, must be addressed at an international level if the field is to progress in a morally responsible way."

Robin Lovell-Badge, head of the division of developmental ethics at the National Institute for Medical Research, said: "It is vital that something be done to address the restrictions and fear that are hampering the progress of science.

"There is widespread commitment in our field to ensuing that the work proceed under an internationally recognised ethical consensus."

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