WASHINGTON, DC, Mar. 9, 01 (CWNews.com/LSN.ca) - The
Christian Medical Association (CMA) has joined with other
pro-life groups to launch a lawsuit against the Department
of Health and Human Services and the National Institutes of
Health to halt Clinton administration guidelines which
surreptitiously allowed federal funding of research that
uses stem cells harvested in a process which kills embryos.
The lawsuit notes that the Clinton guidelines violate a
Congressional ban on research using human embryos because
they "require and depend upon the destruction of living
human embryos." They "fundamentally undermine
long-established state laws and ethical norms that protect
human life from medical experimentation."
Dr. David Stevens, executive director of CMA, says that
since the use of adult stem cells in medical research is an
appropriate substitute for embryonic stem cells, "Why create
moral quandaries when ethical avenues of stem cell research
are available?" Senator Sam Brownback, R-Kansas, was
supportive of the pro-life effort. "It has never been
acceptable to kill one person for the benefit of another,"
The suit takes on even more significance in light of a study released
in Friday's issue of the New England Journal of Medicine
shows that the experimental treatment for Parkinson's
disease, which uses implants from the brain cells of
aborted babies, has "disastrous side effects."
The results have prompted researchers including Dr. Paul
Greene, a neurologist at the Columbia University College of
Physicians and Surgeons, to back out of work in the area.
"No more fetal transplants. We are absolutely and adamantly
convinced that this should be considered for research only.
And whether it should be researched in people is an open
question," said Greene.
In 15 percent of the patients who underwent an embryonic
stem cell treatment, the cells began producing too much
dopamine, causing patients to "chew constantly" and "writhe
and twist, jerk their heads, fling their arms about." Greene
remarked that the results are "absolutely devastating ... It
was tragic, catastrophic. It's a real nightmare. And we
can't selectively turn it off," he said.