Human Embryo Experimentation

Author: A.L.L.

Human Embryo Experimentation- Action Now! **************************************************************************** Use this material to write letters to members of Congress (House and Senate) urging an end to all government involvement in the funding and/or approval of deadly human embryo research and experimentation, including the abuse of "extra embryos" resulting from in vitro fertilization procedures. Tiny boys and girls deserve respect from fertilization on, not death! Call A.L.L.'s Government Affairs office for more details. **************************************************************************** Human Embryo Experimentation

Nontherapeutic human experimentation is not new, nor is it uniquely American. For example, the legal and medical communities of Nazi Germany approved of human experimentation. The world then responded at Nuremburg. This paper contains some of the definitive historical statements on human experimentation from international authorities.

These are six of the ten principles known as the Nuremburg Code:

* The voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential.

* The experiment should be so conducted as to avoid all unnecessary physical and mental suffering and injury.

* No experiment should be conducted where there is an a priori reason to believe that death or disabling injury will occur; except, perhaps, in those experiments where the experimental physicians also serve as subjects.

* The degree of risk to be taken should never exceed that determined by the humanitarian importance of the problem to be solved by the experiment. Proper preparations should be made and adequate facilities provided to protect the experimental subject against even remote possibilities of injury, disability, or death.

* During the course of the experiment the human subject should be at liberty to bring the experiment to an end if he has reached the physical or mental state where continuation of the experiment seems to him to be impossible.

* During the course of the experiment the scientist in charge must be prepared to terminate the experiment at any stage, if he has probable cause to believe, in the exercise of the good faith, superior skill, and careful judgment required of him that a continuation of the experiment is likely to result in injury, disability or death to the experimental subject.

The World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki was adopted in 1964 with the following Recommendations Guiding Medical Doctors in Biomedical Research Involving Human Subjects:

* In the purely scientific application of medical research carried out on a human being, it is the duty of the doctor to remain the protector of the life and health of that person on whom biomedical research is being carried out.

* The subjects should be volunteers-either healthy persons or patients for whom the experimental design is not related to the patient's illness.

* The investigator or the investigating team should discontinue the research if in his/her or their judgment it may, if continued, be harmful to the individual.

* In research on man, the interest of science and society should never take precedence over considerations related to the well-being of the subject.

"Although 'one must uphold as licit procedures carried out on the human embryo which respect the life and integrity of the embryo and do not involve disproportionate risks for it, but rather are directed to its healing, the improvement of its condition of health, or its individual survival' [quoting Donum Vitae], it must nonetheless be stated that the use of human embryos or fetuses as an object of experimentation constitutes a crime against their dignity as human beings who have a right to the same respect owed to a child once born, just as to every person. . . .

"The killing of innocent human creatures, even if carried out to help others, constitutes an absolutely unacceptable act."

Pope John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life), 1995, sec. 63.

"A Doctor must always bear in mind the importance of preserving human life from the time of conception until death."

International Code of Medical Ethics, World Medical Association, January 1950.

Fetologist Sir William Liley, Professor of Perinatal Physiology in the Postgraduate School of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, stated: "As any high school biology textbook will tell us, life begins at conception and ends at death. In between, life does not develop; it is simply there.

"What does develop is the morphological structure, the earthly home of life, the physiological performance of that structure, behavioral traits and personality."

The Tiniest Humans (second edition), by Robert L. Sassone, Sr., American Life League, 1995, p. 2.

Under Germany's law on the "Protection of Embryos," it is "a criminal offense to alter the genetic make-up of human germ cells; to fertilize human ova for research; to do any destructive or damaging embryo research; to engage in sex selection and cloning; and to produce chimeras and hybrids from humans and animals."

Embryo Experimentation: Ethical, Legal and Social Issues, by Peter Singer, et al., Cambridge University Press, 1993.

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which was adopted in 1966 and went into effect in 1976, states in Article 7: "No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. In particular, no one shall be subjected without his free consent to medical or scientific experimentation."

"I will maintain the utmost respect for human life from the time of its conception. Even under threat I will not use my knowledge contrary to the laws of humanity."

The Hippocratic Oath, from the Declaration of Geneva, World Medical Association, April 1949. "The human being is to be respected and treated as a person from the moment of conception; and therefore from that same moment his rights as a person must be recognized, among which in the first place is the inviolable right of every innocent human being to life . . . since the embryo must be treated as a person, it must also be defended in its integrity, tended and cared for, to the extent possible, in the same way as any other human being as far as medical assistance is concerned."

"Instruction on Respect for Human Life in Its Origin and the Dignity of Procreation: Replies to Certain Questions of the Day," Ignatius Press, San Francisco, 1987, pp. 13, 16.

"No objective, even though noble in itself, such as a foreseeable advantage to science, to other human beings or to society, can in any way justify experimentation on living human embryos or fetuses, whether viable or not, either inside or outside the mother's womb. The informed consent ordinarily required for clinical experimentation on adults cannot be granted by the parents, who may not freely dispose of the physical integrity or life of the unborn child. Moreover, experimentation on embryos and fetuses always involves risk, and indeed in most cases it involves the certain expectation of harm to their physical integrity or even their death. To use human embryos or fetuses as the object or instrument of experimentation constitutes a crime against their dignity as human beings having a right to the same respect that is due to the child already born and to every human person."

"Instruction on Respect for Human Life in Its Origin and the Dignity of Procreation: Replies to Certain Questions of the Day," Ignatius Press, San Francisco, 1987, pp. 13, 16.

"Bearing in mind that, as indicated in the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, 'the child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth.'"

The Rights of the Child, Fact Sheet No. 10, United Nations, Geneva, September 1990, p. 14.

"If one can cast sufficient doubt on the qualifications of the unborn in the first 14 days to enter the community of full-fledged humans, one has then succeeded in dehumanizing them, and all varieties of experiments can go forward unapologetically."

Bernard Nathanson, M.D., former abortionist and co-founder of NARAL (then the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws), "Of Pre-Embryos and Bourbon Kings," ALL About Issues, August-September 1991, p. 19.

"Experiments then may be performed on man but within what limits? It is our duty and our right to perform an experiment on man whenever it can save his life, cure him or gain him some personal benefit. The principle of medical and surgical morality therefore consists of never performing on man an experiment which might be harmful to him to any extent even though the result might be highly advantageous to science, i.e. to the health of others."

French physiologist Claude Bernard, 1865.

It is obvious from the above statements why we must boldly and without apology oppose all efforts by the National Institutes of Health (or any other entity or institution) to misuse our tax dollars by funding the vivisection of defenseless human beings. Human embryo experimentation is a fierce attack on the dignity of all humanity; for once one class of human beings is designated "non-human" in order to justify experimentation, all human beings are at risk of being victimized in the name of science.

Please support efforts to ban the federal funding of all destructive human embryo experimentation in the 1996 Labor / HHS / Education Appropriations bill. ****************************************************************************

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