A report in TIME Asia Magazine shows that unethical coercion of women has contributed to the work of Dr. Hwang Woo Suk, Koreaâ€™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 â€œcloning breakthroughs would have been impossible without a steady supply of eggs.â€ 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 â€œWorld Stem Cell Hub,â€ Hwang admitted â€œbeing 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 researchâ€™s reliance on womenâ€™s eggs is just one more ethical hazard for this science. Tony Perkins from the Family Research Council notes, â€œThe UN General Assembly — at least in this one area — has correctly understood that â€˜donationsâ€™ of eggs, which will be needed for cloning and embryonic stem cell experiments, will inevitably lead to exploitation of women.â€
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