Sunday, November 12, 2006

Research that hangs on stem-cell politics

McGill scholar Abby Lippman speaks out in the Globe and Mail against the commercialization of women's eggs:

Your latest call for research cloning in Canada once again makes no mention of the serious concerns raised by the technique. Even if the promises by scientists and politicians of cures for patients and boosts to the economy were realizable, this approach to embryo stem cell research requires a continuous supply of fresh human eggs. To get these eggs, women must be given large doses of powerful hormones to hyper-stimulate the ovaries. This is not just uncomfortable, but potentially very risky.

Scientists have called research cloning a wildly inefficient process requiring hundreds of eggs to produce just a single clone. And to date, there have been no validated reports that this actually can happen.

The approach you urge is likely to mean paying women for eggs and the start of a commercial market. To avoid turning women into egg farms, let's continue to support research within the law.

Abby Lippman, PhD
Professor, McGill University
Chair, Canadian Women's Health Network

[Editor's Note: Thanks for letting us know about this, Abby!]

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