Aug 19, 2010

Easter Chimera

Over the Easter weekend, a Catholic Church in Scotland found itself listening to a sermon that discussed some of the very same issues we raised in our So-Called Life show. Of course, the context was a bit different... but the questions raised were similar: Are we allowed to tinker with life?

A BBC article reports that Cardinal Keith O'Brien-- the leader of Scotland's Catholic Church--criticized the current legislation that is under debate in the UK to allow the creation of animal-human embryos for medical research. As the BBC writes:

Cardinal O'Brien described the legislation as a 'monstrous attack on human rights, human dignity and human life', adding that it would allow experiments of 'Frankenstein proportion'.

But Lord Robert Winston, who is a professor of fertility studies at the Hammersmith Hospital in London, and a Labour peer, warned that the Cardinal's statements were 'misleading.' It's interesting the way Winston critiques the Cardinal's statement. It's not simply that he disagrees with the Cardinal, so much as he worries that the Cardinal is inaccurately portraying the nature of what human-animal stem cells are.

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