March 11, 2001
volume 12, no. 70

Pro-Lifers Sue Government to Stop Federal Funding of Embryo Research

Suit More Important in Light of Findings that Show Catistrophic Side Effects of Fetal Tissue Transplants

    WASHINGTON, DC, Mar. 9, 01 ( - 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," he said.

    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.

March 11, 2001
volume 12, no. 70
Pro Life News
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