The Spectacle Blog

Breakthroughs in Unethical Cloning

By on 11.30.05 | 12:10PM

A report in TIME Asia Magazine shows that unethical coercion of women has contributed to the work of Dr. Hwang Woo Suk, Korea’s chief stem cell researcher. After failing to receive a sufficient number of donated eggs from the public, Hwang's head scientists were obliged to offer $1,500 to female lab workers to give up their eggs. About twenty women working for the study complied. TIME says one of the researchers stressed that the “cloning breakthroughs would have been impossible without a steady supply of eggs.†That suggests the job security of these lab workers would have been threatened had they not complied, however voluntarily. On stepping down from his head position at the “World Stem Cell Hub,†Hwang admitted “being too focused on scientific development," as as result of which "I may not have seen all the ethical issues related to my research.â€

Embryonic stem cell research’s reliance on women’s eggs is just one more ethical hazard for this science. Tony Perkins from the Family Research Council notes, “The UN General Assembly -- at least in this one area -- has correctly understood that ‘donations’ of eggs, which will be needed for cloning and embryonic stem cell experiments, will inevitably lead to exploitation of women.â€

Send to Kindle

Like this Article

Print this Article

Print Article

More Articles From Mary Rybak