Interspecies "Semolina" Crosses a New Line

Where is the evidence of benefit? Why ignore adult stem cells?

London, UK - 20th May 2008, 12:52 GMT

Dear ATCA Colleagues

[Please note that the views presented by individual contributors are not necessarily representative of the views of ATCA, which is neutral. ATCA conducts collective Socratic dialogue on global opportunities and threats.]

We are grateful to the distinguished ATCA contributor, Prof Lord Alton of Liverpool, from the House of Lords, Palace of Westminster for his response to Dr Pete Moore's "Human-Animal Hybrid Experimentation -- The Opportunity for Asymmetric Intervention?" to the Socratic dialogue "Human-Animal Synthetic Organisms: Asymmetric Threats to Humanity" initiated in March 2008.

Dear DK and Colleagues

Re: Interspecies "Semolina" Crosses a New Line: Where is the evidence of benefit? Why ignore adult stem cells?

I agree with the view expressed on ATCA by Dr Pete Moore that by creating animal human hybrid embryos we are not only crossing species, we are crossing a new line. Throughout the debate [in the Houses of Parliament] there has been repetition of the canard that the use of human embryos has far greater potential for cures than adult stem cells and that without the creation of animal human hybrid embryos we will be unable to make crucial medical breakthroughs. Even if this were ethically acceptable precisely what do they mean by potential? Potential for what? Surely not greater potential for safe and readily available therapies -- at least not based on the evidence so far.

[CONTINUES] [ATCA Membership]

David Alton

Lord (David) Alton of Liverpool is Professor of Citizenship at Liverpool John Moores University and is an Independent Crossbench peer. He began his career as a teacher and, in 1972, he was elected to Liverpool City Council as Britain's youngest City Councillor. He served for 18 years in the House of Commons. David was made a Life Peer in 1997. He has sat for the past 10 years as a Crossbencher in the House of Lords and is Professor of Citizenship at Liverpool John Moores University. A Fellow of St.Andrew's University his books include "Citizen Virtues" and "Faith In Britain." He was one of the founders of the British Human Rights Organisation, Jubilee Campaign.


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