Saturday, December 30, 2006

Hospital Number 6

A couple of weeks ago I came across this article online. The BBC is reporting that hospital number 6 in the Ukraine is being accused of killing newborn babies in order to harvest organs, especially stem cells.

An excerpt:

The BBC has spoken to mothers from the city of Kharkiv who say they gave birth to healthy babies, only to have them taken by maternity staff.

In 2003 the authorities agreed to exhume around 30 bodies of foetuses and full-term babies from a cemetery used by maternity hospital number six.

One campaigner was allowed into the autopsy to gather video evidence. She has given that footage to the BBC and Council of Europe.

In its report, the Council describes a general culture of trafficking of children snatched at birth, and a wall of silence from hospital staff upwards over their fate.

The pictures show organs, including brains, have been stripped - and some bodies dismembered.

Here are some other news sources on the topic.

Obviously this is disgusting. It is horrifying to know that there are people in the world willing to kill newborn babies in order to make money on stem cells. However, it does bring up some interesting discussion points. What if stem cell research were more allowed in this country? Would that availability create less of a market, and therefore less incentive to kill, for stem cells? Does that even matter? Should stem cell research be allowed at all?


Charles D said...

This is indeed disgusting. Frankly I doubt the cells "harvested" by these cretins even have the qualities needed for true embryonic stem cell research.

As you may be aware, there are many human blastocysts available from in-vitro fertilization clinics. These could be used in research instead of being destroyed. The faster stem cell research progresses, the quicker the money-grubbing quacks will be out of work.

That One Guy said...

Lover: - nail/head.

It needs to also be regulated HEAVILY and by a responsible/accountable body. But yes, it should be legal.

Shane Egan said...

I don't think it is possible to "regulate" anything that has such pecuniary advantages; you’d have to assume the people monitoring it were honest, all of them. Let's just stop the research altogether; granted it doesn’t stop dishonesty but it would be much easier to police it and stop it from becoming a problem.

saraeanderson said...

So shane - why would a ban be any more effective than regulation, if people aren't going to follow rules anyway?

Cameron said...

I came across this blog entry about stem cell research. Some excerpts:

Millions of Americans believe the merchandising of human embryos is akin to slavery in its denial of our common humanity. The use of human embryos in experiments, especially ones that do not benefit such embryos, is akin to the experiments of Nazi Doctor Josef Mengele, who considered Jews to be less than fully human, and therefore used them as laboratory rats.

Privately funded embryonic stem cell research has always been legal. The only issue is Federal subsidies to such research. The alleged promise of embryonic stem cell research is bogus. If it were bright, private investment would support such research, just as it does research into new drugs and other medical treatments. One reason for that lack of investment is that embryonic stem cells often cause cancer.

By contrast, adult stem cells are already being used to treat diseases. There is also a new source of stem cells, from amniotic fluid, that has just as much promise as embryonic stem cells but without creating a market in human flesh.

At a time when PETA argues that it should be a crime to use rabbits, mice and monkeys to develop new medical treatments, the demand that those with conscientious objections be forced to pay for the abuse of human embryos is a hypocritical foreshortening of human empathy.