Something absurd has been happening in Great Britain for the past five years or so. Researchers have been playing with human genes and cells to an extent that was known and understandable only to those familiar with professional research papers. But now the facts about the so-called “3-parent embryo” are out. And we should be concerned.
Scientists, in concert with media and bioethicists, have conveniently and simplistically labeled the strangeness I am going to tell you about as the creation of a 3-parent-embryo. But such simplicity borders on the bizarre and is, for all intents and purposes, an insult to one’s intelligence. Why? Because, depending on which technique is used, there could be even more than three parents for these poor human embryos!
And such parental confusion wouldn’t stop there. You see, if one of these human embryonic children happened to survive, the genetic confusion1 created in the laboratory and contained in this single human being would pass down from him to future generations. This is so because scientists involved in this process manipulate the “science.” Sadly, the Brits at the bottom of this problem just carry on, most recently passing a bill in their House of Commons to allow this highly controversial research. If this bill is passed by the House of Lords, Great Britain would become the only country in the world to explicitly allow this inheritable genetic modification of humans. And the nightmare would commence on a fast track.
But this controversial research is not news; in fact, more than 40 countries have already adopted laws to prohibit this research (as well as the human reproductive cloning that would be required), citing the lack of credible “science,” deep and enduring concerns about the health and safety of the women and children involved, violations of human dignity, and the horrific societal consequences that would follow. Further, the research violates so many international treaties2 that one wonders who is minding the intellectual integrity in these latest scientific exploits.
The universal rejections of this research are for good reasons. The language being used—phrases like 3-parent embryo—is solely to sell this grossly unethical and scientifically incoherent research to the vulnerable public. Such language is just a euphemism for what is actually a collection of various kinds of genetic engineering used for purposes of human reproductive cloning3—practices rejected long ago as bogus.
In other words, if the stupid public is disgusted with and rejects such forms of “cloning,” well, just call it something else—whatever works. In fact, all of these techniques fall under the definition of human “asexual reproduction,” vastly different from human “sexual reproduction” (fertilization/conception).
American Life League is but one of a very few organizations attempting to make the facts known. Our concerns are very real and grave because we see the handwriting on the wall. We understand the end game.
All of these machinations amount to biological4 eugenics—or at least sloppy incompetent efforts at it. For those unfamiliar with the word, eugenics is the effort to cleanse the human race of its imperfections. In this case, the process that would be used is replacement5 of a fully human being with a clone—a prototype of a human being without flaws.
So much for Mother Nature.
It’s about time we asked the pivotal question: Perfection at what price?
And it's long past time to stop the insanity in the laboratory and return to the natural design provided by God. God never makes a mistake; man can and is creating nightmares.
1. David King, Council for Responsible Genetics, “Manipulating Embryos, Manipulating Truth,” at http://www.councilforresponsiblegenetics.org/genewatch/GeneWatchPage.aspx?pageId=543; also, Stuart Newman, Council for Responsible Genetics, “Deceptive Labeling of Radical Embryo Construction Methods,” at http://www.councilforresponsiblegenetics.org/genewatch/GeneWatchPage.aspx?pageId=539
2. The 2001 European Union Directive on clinical trials http://ec.europa.eu/health/files/eudralex/vol-1/dir_2001_20/dir_2001_20_en.pdf, the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s Universal Declaration on the Human Genome and Human Rights http://www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/HumanGenomeAndHumanRights.aspx, and the Council of Europe’s Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine http://conventions.coe.int/Treaty/en/Treaties/Html/164.htm. It has even been rejected by our USFDA: “Litany of Unknowns Surface at FDA Meeting on Germline Mitochondrial Techniques,” at http://www.biopoliticaltimes.org/article.php?id=7573.
3. E.g., nuclear transfer (both somatic cell and germ line cell), pronuclei transfer, spindle transfer, mitochondrial transfer, etc.
4. As referenced above (see also extensive resources at http://www.geneticsandsociety.org/article.php?id=6527), what should be crystal clear to the public by now is that the “science” involved is abysmal and rejected by scientists, countries, and international organizations around the world. Such legislation requires no regulations or any follow up of the health and well-being of the women used or of the children born. Yet it is already well documented that such clones tend to die prematurely, exhibit enlarged organs and metabolic abnormalities, have chromosomal duplications, and that supposed “healthy” mitochondria that are damaged during the procedure affect the clone’s hearing, vision, pancreatic function, neuromuscular activity, etc. Further, to allow such research as “infertility treatments” is in fact allowing what is in reality purely experimental research to masquerade as “standard medical care” in IVF and ART facilities. Note also that all foreign genes used (including the “desired” genes, as well as any damaged natural genes, and those foreign genes from the bacterial or viral “vectors” used) will be passed down through the newly cloned human embryo’s future generations (called inheritable genetic modification of humans) and is irreversible.
5. The supposed bottom line in and “justification” for this sort of research and experimentation offered to the public is that the germ line of the human individual’s cell structure is manipulated in a way that contributes to a cloned embryo who is disease free instead of a natural two-parent embryo that might have a genetic problem that requires special attention as the baby grows prior to as well as after birth http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/new_scientist/2013/03/three_parent_embryos_mitochondrial_transfer_ivf_is_worth_pursuing.html. So in essence, they claim, the clone is the answer, or at least one answer, to the cry of some parents who want some assurance that their baby, if born alive, will be perfect, just as they have requested it to be.
Dr. Dianne Irving is a graduate of Dunbarton College of the Holy Cross with a degree in biochemistry and minors in philosophy and theology. She is a former career-appointed bench research biochemist and biologist at the National Institutes of Health (NCI), has done extensive graduate work in biology in the Department of Biology at Georgetown University (Washington, D.C.), and received her master’s and doctorate degrees in philosophy from the Department of Philosophy at Georgetown University—concentrating in both the history of philosophy and in bioethics (Kennedy Institute of Ethics). Her doctoral dissertation on human embryo research was entitled “A Philosophical and Scientific Analysis of the Nature of the Early Human Embryo.” Dr. Irving has published, lectured, and debated widely in academia, in the media, in pro-life, and in parishes on the topics of abortion, human embryo research, human cloning, stem cell research, genetic engineering, ethics in research using human subjects, and medical ethics—including issues concerning research with the mentally ill, and served as a consultant on these issues for many professional organizations.