New NAS Report Ushers In Wild Wild West of Human Cloning and Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Dianne N. Irving
Copyright April 26, 2005
Reproduced with Permission

Some things never change. Because nothing was done about bioethics 30 years ago, nothing will be done about it now. They falsified the science then; they've falsified the science now. They made up their own "ethical rules" then; they're making up their own "ethical rules" now. So we might as well get used to it.

What is fascinating is that in the following article we see the very same behavior patterns, people and organizations operative in the human cloning/stem cell research arena as in the various earlier human embryo research issues over the last 30 years. As one politician comments in the article:

"Because of an absence of comprehensive federal oversight, stem-cell researchers are operating in a Wild West of science," said Colorado Democratic Rep. Diana DeGette ...

Indeed, we are clearly looking at "a Wild West of science" -- but that is the goal, as was true in human embryo research in the 1980's and 1990's. Scientists are "special people" you know. They want a "wild, wild West". They will simply build a facade of "ethics" and "regulation" around it, and fortify it with hordes of aggressive desperate "patient alliances" as their ultimate protective shield. They operate purely on the basis of a self-proclaimed absolute "freedom of scientific inquiry", hate and repulse any restrictions on their work whatsoever, and demand to "monitor and regulate themselves" -- otherwise known as the Wild Wild West of Scientific Research. The rest of society can just buzz off.

This is precisely what this new "ethics panel" on human embryonic stem cell research (which also includes human cloning) will assure under the guise of "regulation". Forget whether or not what they are regulating is ethical. Regulation per se is the essence of the issue. And guess which "ethics" they will use to assuage the public's fears? BIOethics, of course. It worked before; it will work now.

Who can forget that the Chairman of the 1994 NIH Panel demanded outright (even as recorded in the minutes of their meetings) that only those who agreed that human embryo research was "ethical" could be appointed to that Panel?! This comes as no surprise for those of us who were familiar with bioethics. We used to call it "musical chairs" -- the same bioethicists (or their proxies) were appointed over and over and over again to every "bioethics" panel and commission that emerged through the years. Not much has changed.

Then as now, this unethical "science" is to be bravely and staunchly supported by our disreputable National Academy of Sciences (NAS) overseers -- the same shameful "scientists" who claimed recently in their two Reports the tragic and deceptive Fairy Tales that the immediate product of BOTH sexual and asexual human reproduction is just a human "cell" (rather than a single-cell human organism at Stage One of the Carnegie Stages) that grows and develops into a "ball of human cells" (rather than a human organism at Stage Three -- the human blastocyst stage). They simply and arrogantly ignore the fact that all human organisms classified by the Carnegie Stages are real living human beings. That's an objective scientific FACT -- not just a "theory". Yet such Fairy Tales were the scientifically outrageous conclusions of NAS's two recent Reports chaired by none other than Human Cloning Cowboy from the Far Far West Irving Weissman (California Proposition 71). As with the Report of the 1994 NIH Human Embryo Research Panel, this latest report from NAS simply and arrogantly posits what they will do -- regardless. Period:

"The premise is ... to start with the presumption that the work is important for human welfare, that it will be done, and that it should be conducted in a framework that addresses scientific, ethical, medical, and social concerns ..."

Rather than start with what real professional scientists should start with -- the known accurate objective scientific facts -- i.e., that they are purposefully creating real living human beings and then killing them -- they skip right to their "intentions", i.e., to "advance science" and find "therapies". So now hard cold objective scientific facts are to be determined solely by the INTENTIONS and the CONSENSUS of certain proponents? What kind of "science" is that -- "consensus science"? Now even science is "relative" -- and relative to who sits at that consensus table! Expect even the Periodic Table of Elements to undergo extensive revisions if so intended! Where have we seen that before? Why stop these scientific revisions at the blastocyst stage? Rest assured, it won't. And they have always stated that.

Of course, the determination as to which human cloning and human embryonic stem cell research is "ethical" -- and thus to be regulated -- is to be grounded on the now-not-new-anymore bioethics principles of "autonomy", "justice" and "beneficence" (as defined in the Belmont Report). Since bioethicists pick and choose which bioethics principle they will use to further their own agendas, the best bet is that these researchers will pick "beneficence" (defined as the "greater good of society") -- that is, the advancement of scientific research and the curing of all those desperate patients. However, they will direct the patients undergoing stem cell "therapies" to pick "autonomy" as their "preferred" principle. That way the researchers get to do what they want, and if patients are harmed or die in the process then it is their own "choice" (i.e., the researchers can't be sued). And don't count on "justice", since it is defined as "fairness in the distribution of the risks and benefits of research", and all citizens of a society have a "strong moral obligation" to volunteer for such research. Expect your own "notification" in the next mail.

[For extensive scientific facts of the real science involved that is in concert with the international nomenclature, as well as an analysis of the NAS Reports on human cloning and human embryonic stem cell research chaired by Irving Weissman, see Irving, "What Human Embryo? Funniest Mental Gymnastics from Medicine and Research" (Oct. 14, 2004), at: For an historical presentation of the "birth" of bioethics, with an extensive analysis and evaluation of the bioethics "principles", and detailed lists of persons and institutions involved in the "birth" of bioethics and its various subsequent commissions and panels, see Irving, "What is 'bioethics'?" (June 3, 2000), at:].

Reuters AlertNet
April 26, 2005
By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Correspondent

U.S. panel urges guidelines for stem-cell research

WASHINGTON, April 26 (Reuters) - Research using stem cells from human embryos is going ahead with or without federal support and must be regulated somehow, a panel of experts said on Tuesday.

The National Academy of Sciences panel said universities and private companies doing the work should establish strict ethical and scientific guidelines, and should reassure the public that there are controls on the sometimes controversial science.

"The premise is not to advocate that the work be done -- that has already been debated with some consensus reached in the scientific community and elsewhere -- but rather to start with the presumption that the work is important for human welfare, that it will be done, and that it should be conducted in a framework that addresses scientific, ethical, medical, and social concerns," the panel said in its report.

"The public increasingly supports this area of research and its potential to advance human health," it added.

"In the absence of federal guidelines broadly governing the generation and research use of human embryonic stem cells, the scientific community and its institutions should step forward to develop and implement its own," the report said.

Supporters of stem-cell research welcomed the report as vindicating their arguments.

"Because of an absence of comprehensive federal oversight stem-cell researchers are operating in a Wild West of science," said Colorado Democratic Rep. Diana DeGette, who has co-sponsored bipartisan legislation to remove federal funding limits on stem-cell research.


"The strong ethical standards in this timely report should give congressional champions of research even more support to expand the current federal stem-cell policy, and should give those who are still waiting on the sidelines a reason to get in the game," added Daniel Perry, president of the Coalition for the Advancement of Medical Research.

The coalition, an umbrella group of organizations such as the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation that support embryonic stem-cell research, is lobbying in support of bills sponsored by anti-abortion conservatives and liberals alike that would expand federal funding for the controversial research, including the use of cloning technology to create embryos from a patient's own cells.

In August 2001, President George W. Bush announced strict limits on federal funding of human embryo research, and said work could only be paid for if it used batches, or lines, of stem cells that already existed at that time.

Scientists, including the National Institutes of Health, have complained that these limits will not allow them to do the research that may lead to new, tailored medical therapies and perhaps even treatments for diseases such as juvenile diabetes, Parkinson's disease and cancer.

But the White House stands firm and opponents of embryo research in Congress, such as Kansas Republican Sen. Sam Brownback, have vowed to fight to limit even some privately funded research using embryonic stem cells.

Stem cells are the body's master cells, used to generate new tissue and blood cells. Taken from days-old embryos, when they are still a ball of cells, these stem cells have the ability to become any type of cell or tissue in the body.

Opponents of their use say destroying a human embryo for any reason is wrong.

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