Legal

Destructive Embryo Research, Americans United for Life Model Legislation

Destructive Embryo Research, Americans United for Life Introduction Americans United for Life has drafted a model “Destructive Human Embryo Research Act” for States to consider enacting. Law in a society that respects human dignity must prohibit the production and use of human beings for the purpose of experiments that will destroy them at any point along the continuum of human life… Destructive Embryo Research Model Legislation & Policy GuidePrepared November 2005 for the Spring 2006 Legislative Session [Americans United for Life] Table of Contents Introduction………………………………………………………….. 3 Destructive Human Embryo Research Act…………………………. 4 Policy Guide……………………………………………………………… 6 Myths & Facts………………………………………………………………………. 9 Ethical Medical Research Using………………………………….. 15 Adult Stem Cells………………………………………………………………… 15 Appendix A: Current State Statutes…………………………………. 17 Appendix B: Sources and Recommended Reading ………………….. 19 Americans United for Life310 South Peoria Street, Suite 300Chicago, IL 60607312.492.7234 | Fax 312.492.7234 | [email protected] Americans United for Life   Destructive human embryo research reduces the status of human beings from ends in themselves to mere means to another’s possible benefit. Research on living human beings is uncomfortably reminiscent of totalitarian medical practices of the recent past. This model law was written to prevent such dehumanizing practices. The Model Act is very carefully and narrowly crafted to prohibit the recent practice of embryonic stem cell research. It prohibits the deliberate use of human embryos in scientific research that harms or destroys the embryos, and forbids trafficking in human gametes or embryos used in such research. The Act expressly does not apply to in vitro fertilization and accompanying embryo transfer to a woman’s body. The Destructive Human Embryo Research Act, if passed, will have the indirect benefit...

British Court Overturns Pro-Life Effort to Stop “Designer Babies”

England’s highest court ruled that the creation of so-called ‘designer babies’ to help find cures for diseases is lawful, despite concerns about the destruction of unborn children to meet those goals. The five Lord judges who decided the case ruled unanimously that tissue typing to create babies to help their siblings could be authorized by the Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority, Britain’s medical research agency. HFEA is allowing a London clinic to screen embryos created by in vitro fertilization (IVF) for genes that might lead to cancer. Pro-life groups criticized the decision and say the agency is trying to play God by killing human embryos that have a cancer gene. Critics note that there is a possibility that these unborn children would never develop cancer if they were permitted to be born. Josephine Quintavalle of the Comment on Reproductive Ethics, the group that brought the lawsuit, argued the creation of designer babies violated British law. “We are not thinking about curing the disease, but about eliminating the carrier. It is pretty shoddy medicine,” she said of the goals of the research. The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children has also been vocal in its opposition to so-called ‘designer babies’. [LifeNews.com,...

UN Approves Declaration Banning All Human Cloning (3/05)

The UN General Assembly adopted a Declaration 8March05 calling on nations to enact legislation to “prohibit all forms of human cloning.”    By a vote of 84 to 34, the Declaration received more support in the General Assembly than when it passed in the 6th Committee two weeks ago. An additional 6 countries stated that they supported the Declaration but missed the vote. The measure sets an international standard that humans should not be created through cloning for any purpose, placing human life as a priority over scientific experimentation… The decision ends over three years of deadlock caused by countries seeking approval for cloning research. Belgium, the United Kingdom, Singapore and other countries that hope to profit from cloning humans opposed a total ban, and declared they would defy the international moral agreement. The topic was originally introduced at the UN by pro-cloning countries to gain implicit international approval for so-called “therapeutic cloning” (creating human clones to experiment upon and kill). In 2002, these countries requested that a treaty be drafted to ban only so-called “reproductive cloning.” The countries insisted that human clones are for research only and should not be allowed to survive. The pro-cloning countries lost support as Costa Rica took the lead, along with the U.S. and pro-life groups, to educate countries that cloning would violate the human rights of both cloned embryos and women. The embryos would be created and destroyed at the whim of scientists. Women would be treated as commodities to harvest their eggs. Additionally, adult stem cells, the use of which is ethical, are already doing what cloning only promises by providing near-miraculous treatments...

The Case Against Funding Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research (2001)

by Anton-Lewis Usala, M.D. On August 23, 2000, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) issues final guidelines for federal funding of human embryonic stem cell research. Senate hearings quickly followed on a bill to fund the destruction of human embryos for their stem cells. On February 23, 2001, President George W. Bush received a letter urging him to support federal funding for such research. This letter was signed by eighty Nobel laureates, and came on the heels of a similar letter signed by 123 organizations sent the previous month. What are these “stem cells” and why this enormous interest in them? Briefly, stem cells are cells that have the potential to become many other kinds of cells, depending on the signals they receive. They theoretically provide avenues for replacing damaged or non-functioning tissue to treat many kinds of diseases. Stem cells are found from the beginning of embryonic development throughout adult life. Some researchers believe that stem cells found in the embryo provide more potential for regenerating tissue than do stem cells taken from older, adult donors. Stem cells are found from the beginning of embryonic development throughout adult life. The question arises: Since human embryonic stem cells may provide the basis for some medical miracles, shouln’t the federal government fund research utilizing “spare” embryos from in vitro fertilization (IVF) clinics? Wouldn’t this be a better use for discarded embryos than destroying or freezing them as is currently done? To address the question whether government funding should support human embryonic stem cell research, we need to consider the following: 1) What is the scientific and medical rationale for considering...