realitycheck(dot)ie

Irish doctor with too many thoughts, too little time and a blog that's supposed to check in on reality.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Kathy Sinnott on EU stem cells

I got this email from Kathy Sinnott (via a few friends) - It's worth checking out if you disagree with embryo stem cell research.

Public Consultation on proposed EU Commission Regulation on "Tissue Engineering" and "Advanced Therapies" - http://pharmacos.eudra.org/F2/advtherapies/index.htm#pb

The pharmaceutical industry strongly supports the proposed EU regulation, because regulations are legally binding across the EU and the companies would not have to comply with differing regulations (and bans) in Member States in relation to these products.
Serious ethical problems arise in connection with these regulations:
First and foremost, an embryo is a new human being. Embryo therapies including embryo stem cell therapy involve the destruction of new human life.
Secondly, both embryo stem cell therapy and xenotherapy (animal cells used in humans) have shown in trails to carry serious health risks.
Previously the EU Commission has held that decisions concerning the use/non-use of any specific type of human cells, e.g. germ cells and embryonic stem cells, are entirely under the competence of Member States. However, if the use embryo stems cells are included in these regulations then the EU will give recognition to the use of embryonic stem cells in countries like Ireland where it is banned.
The contents of the regulation which will be finalised after the public consultation process are critical to Ireland's right to protect life.
Since the regulation is based on Article 95 (internal market), the danger exists that Member States like Ireland will no longer be able to ban research with embryonic stem cells because it will be allowed across Europe as part of the EU's (open) internal market policy. In this way, embryonic stem cell research would be recognised "through the back door". Remember that Irish Commissioner, Charlie McCreevy is responsible for Internal Market Policy.
In your submission please stress that it has to be absolutely clear that Member States are not forced to accept products which contradict their ethical and legal position.
Also that adult (somatic) stem cell therapies are proving safe and very effective for heart disease, cancer, diabetes, the healing of muscles and organs, etc. Yet ethical adult stem cell research receives little funding. At present embryonic stem cell research which is both unethical and unsuccessful receives 95% of stem cell research funding.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Eagle said...

I'm still trying to work out what I think about all this, but this is interesting. I've been reading a lot of stuff in The Corner by Kathryn Lopez. She's a firm opponent of embryonic stem cell research.

I'm totally oppposed to the EU establishing a right for stem cell research in Ireland. Our elected representatives - the Dail - alone should decide.

June 21, 2005 11:10 a.m.  
Blogger Eagle said...

This is interesting.

June 23, 2005 10:01 p.m.  

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