The Internet Has Eyes

by Jennifer Lahl, CBC President on June 16, 2006

Here is the quote heard round the world in my circles,

“Toine Manders, Dutch liberal MEP, says: “If you look at all the discussions surrounding biotechnology, I feel that we are clearly focusing too much on ethics.”

MEP Manders then goes onto scare us by saying if the European Union doesn’t fund embryo stem cell research rich Europeans will get treatments from other countries and poor Europeans will keep their sick selves home. Manders states, “we will eventually have two classes of European health patients: those who have to get treatment at home and those who will be able to afford a trip to China or elsewhere to get access to the latest medical advances.”

Well medical tourism is already a real and growing business as the more affluent shop their medical dollars all around the world. And I can’t imagine that funding embryo stem cell research will solve issues of justice and equity of distribution of medical resources. Supporters of embryo stem cell research like to make claims that it will solve all kinds of diseases, but I think this is a big stretch!

I would argue that one can never focus too much on the ethics.

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