The Early Human Embryo: 'Scientific' Myths and Scientific Facts: Implications for Ethics and Public Policy
A One-Act Drama

22 "Another means of demonstrating the regulative properties of early mammalian embryos is to dissociate mouse embryos into separate blastomeres and then to combine the blastomeres of two or three embryos. The combined blastomeres soon aggregate and reorganize to become a single large embryo, which then goes on to become a normal-appearing tetraparental or hexaparental mouse. By various techniques of making chimeric embryos, it is even possible to combine blastomeres to produce interspecies chimeras (e.g., a sheep-goat)." (p. 45); "… The relationship between the position of the blastomeres and their ultimate developmental fate was incorporated into the inside-outside hypothesis. The outer blastomeres ultimately differentiate into the trophoblast, whereas the inner blastomeres form the inner cell mass, from which the body of the embryo arises. Although this hypothesis has been supported by a variety of experiments, the mechanisms by which the blastomeres recognize their positions and then differentiate accordingly have remained elusive and are still little understood. If marked blastomeres from disaggregated embryos are placed on the outside of another early embryo, they typically contribute to the formation of the trophoblast. Conversely, if the same marked cells are introduced into the interior of the host embryo, they participate in formation of the inner cell mass. Outer cells in the early mammalian embryo are linked by tight and gap junctions … Experiments of this type demonstrate that the developmental potential or potency (the types of cells that a precursor cell can form) of many cells is greater than their normal developmental fate (the types of cells that a precursor cell normally forms)." (p. 45); " … Classic strategies for investigating developmental properties of embryos are (1) removing a part and determining the way the remainder of the embryo compensates for the loss (such experiments are called deletion experiments) and (2) adding a part and determining the way the embryo integrates the added material into its overall body plan (such experiments are called addition experiments). Although some deletion experiments have been done, the strategy of addition experiments has proved to be most fruitful in elucidating mechanisms controlling mammalian embryogenesis." (p. 46). [Carlson 1999] [Back]

23 Many women, and men, assume that the "pre-embryo" myth is true, and thus unfortunately believe contraceptive providers that swear that their products could not possibly be abortifacient. However, it is a scientific fact that several so-called "contraceptives" could possibly sometimes be abortifacient: "Inhibition of Implantation: The administration of relatively large doses of estrogens ("morning-after pills") for several days, beginning shortly after unprotected sexual intercourse, usually does not prevent fertilization but often prevents implantation of the blastocyst. Diethylstilbestrol, given daily in high dosage for 5 to 6 days, may also accelerate passage of the dividing zygote along the uterine tube (Kalant et al., 1990). Normally, the endometrium progresses to the secretory phase of the menstrual cycle as the zygote forms, undergoes cleavage, and enters the uterus. The large amount of estrogen disturbs the normal balance between estrogen and progesterone that is necessary for preparation of the endometrium for implantation of the blastocyst. Postconception administration of hormones to prevent implantation of the blastocyst is sometimes used in cases of sexual assault or leakage of a condom, but this treatment is contraindicated for routine contraceptive use. The 'abortion pill' RU486 also destroys the conceptus by interrupting implantation because of interference with the hormonal environment of the implanting embryo.

"An intrauterine device (IUD) inserted into the uterus through the vagina and cervix usually interferes with implantation by causing a local inflammatory reaction. Some IUDs contain progesterone that is slowly released and interferes with the development of the endometrium so that implantation does not usually occur." (p. 58); … [Question Chapter 2, #5 for students:] "#5. A young woman who feared that she might be pregnant asked you about the so-called "morning after pills" (postcoital birth control pills). What would you tell her? Would termination of such an early pregnancy be considered an abortion?" (p. 45); … [Answer #5 for students:] "Chapter 2, #5. Postcoital birth control pills ('morning after pills') may be prescribed in an emergency (e.g., following sexual abuse). Ovarian hormones (estrogen) taken in large doses within 72 hours after sexual intercourse usually prevent implantation of the blastocyst, probably by altering tubal motility, interfering with corpus luteum function, or causing abnormal changes in the endometrium. These hormones prevent implantation, not fertilization. Consequently, they should not be called contraceptive pills. Conception occurs but the blastocyst does not implant. It would be more appropriate to call them 'contraimplantation pills'. Because the term 'abortion' refers to a premature stoppage of a pregnancy, the term 'abortion' could be applied to such an early termination of pregnancy." (p. 532); … [Question chapter 3, #2 for students]: "Case 3-2: A woman who was sexually assaulted during her fertile period was given large doses of estrogen twice daily for five days to interrupt a possible pregnancy. If fertilization had occurred, what do you think would be the mechanism of action of this hormone? What do lay people call this type of medical treatment? Is this what the media refer to as the "abortion pill"? If not, explain the method of action of the hormonal treatment. How early can a pregnancy be detected?" (p. 59); [Answer Chapter 3, #2 for students:]: "Chapter 3-2 (p. 532): Diethylstilbestrol (DES) appears to affect the endometrium by rendering it unprepared for implantation, a process that is regulated by a delicate balance between estrogen and progesterone. The large doses of estrogen upset this balance. Progesterone makes the endometrium grow thick and succulent so that the blastocyst may become embedded and nourished adequately. DES pills are referred to as "morning after pills" by lay people. When the media refer to the "abortion pill", they are usually referring to RU-486. This drug, developed in France, interferes with implantation of the blastocyst by blocking the production of progesterone by the corpus luteum. A pregnancy can be detected at the end of the second week after fertilization using highly sensitive pregnancy tests. Most tests depend of the presence of an early pregnancy factor (EPF) in the maternal serum. Early pregnancy can also be detected by ultrasonography." [Moore and Persaud 1998, pp. 45, 58, 59, 532)]. [Back]

24 But see, D. N. Irving, "The impact of international bioethics on the 'sanctity of life ethic', and the ability of Catholic ObGyn's to practice according to conscience"; presented at the international conference, "The Future of Obstetrics and Gynaecology: The Fundamental Human Right to Practice and Be Trained According to Conscience"; sponsored by the International Federation of Catholic Medical Associations (FIAMC), and MaterCare International, Rome, Italy, June 18, 2001, Proceedings of the Conference (in press). [Back]

25 A considerable amount of the erroneous "science" used in current bioethics debates on human embryo research, human cloning, stem cell research, etc., can be found in the earliest bioethics "founding" documents. For example, the National Commission's Report on the Fetus (1975) stated: "For the purposes of this report, the Commission has used the following [scientific] definitions which, in some instances, differ from medical, legal or common usage. These definitions have been adopted in the interest of clarity and to conform to the language used in the legislative mandate" [referring to The National Research Act 1974]. Examples of their erroneous scientific definitions are the definition of "pregnancy" as beginning at implantation, and of "fetus" as also beginning at implantation. (The National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research; Report and Recommendations; Research on the Fetus; U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, 1975, p. 5; see also, Title 45; Code of Federal Regulations; Part 46 [45 CFR 46]: Office for the Protection from Research Risks [OPRR]: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1983, p. 12.) [Back]

26 Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance (National Science Foundation, and the U.S. Dept. of Commerce, June 2002); you can find the report at: pre publication.pdf (or at [Back]

27 Peter Singer, One World: The Ethics of Globalization (Yale University Press, 2002). [Back]

28 The National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research, The Belmont Report (Washington, D.C: U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, 1978). [Back]

29 See Albert R. Jonsen, The Birth of Bioethics (New York: Oxford University Press, 1998); also, David J. Rothman, Strangers at the Bedside: A History of How Law and Bioethics Transformed Medical Decision Making (New York: BasicBooks; a subsidiary of Perseus Books, L.L.C., 1991). [Back]

30 The National Research Act, Public Law 93-348, 93rd Congress, 2nd session (July 12, 1974); 88 STAT 342. [Back]

31 The Belmont Report of the National Commission is the explicit (sometimes implicit) "ethical" basis for all of the following documents (a very small sample): United States Code of Federal Regulations: Protection of Human Subjects [OPRR] 45 CFR 46 (revised Jan. 12, 1981, Mar. 8, 1983; reprinted July 1989, revised 1991 -- now in the Common Rule for all departments of the federal government which volunteer to comply), (Washington, D.C.: DHHS); The President's Commission for the Study of Ethical Problems in Medicine and Biomedical and Behavioral Research, 10 individual Reports including Summing Up (Washington, D.C., U.S. Government Printing Office, 1983); National Institutes of Health: Report of the Human Fetal Tissue Transplant Research Panel (Washington, D.C.: NIH, December 1988); NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts (Washington, D.C.: NIH, 1990); Office for the Protection from Research Risks (OPRR -- now the OHRP), Protecting Human Research Subjects: Institutional Review Board Guidebook (Washington, D.C. NIH, 1993); National Institutes of Health: Report of the Human Embryo Research Panel (Washington, D.C.: NIH, Sept. 27, 1994); NIH Guidelines on the Inclusion of Women and Minorities as Subjects in Clinical Research, Federal Reg. 59 FR 14508 (Washington, D.C.: NIH, March 28, 1994); NIH Outreach Notebook On the Inclusion of Women and Minorities in Biomedical and Behavioral Research (Washington, D.C.: NIH, 1994); the CIOMS/WHO International Ethical Guidelines for Biomedical Research Involving Human Subjects (Geneva: CIOMS/WHO, 1993); the proposed legislation in the State of Maryland for the use of incompetent mentally ill patients in experimental research; the current NIH Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Research Guidelines, (Washington, D.C.: NIH, 2000). See also Jonsen, esp. Chapter 12. [Back]

32 For an extensive 70-page treatment of the historical roots and subsequent expansion of secular bioethics, as well as an extensive scientific and philosophical evaluation of this theory, see Dianne N. Irving, "What is 'bioethics'?", in Joseph W. Koterski, S.J., Life and Learning X: Proceedings of the Tenth University Faculty for Life Conference (Washington, D.C.: University Faculty for Life, 2002), pp. 1-84)] This writer has one of her doctoral concentrations in bioethics from the Kennedy Institute of Ethics, Georgetown University (1991). See also my doctoral dissertation, Philosophical and Scientific Analysis of the Nature of the Early Human Embryo (Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University, 1991). [Back]

33 See, e.g., E.g., Tom Beauchamp and James Childress, Principles of Biomedical Ethics (1st ed.) (New York: Oxford University Press, 1979), pp. 45-47; Tom Beauchamp and LeRoy Walters (eds.), Contemporary Issues in Bioethics (2nd ed.) (Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Company, Inc., 1982), p.26; Tom Beauchamp, Philosophical Ethics (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1982, pp. 124-128, 141, 188-190; Tom Beauchamp; and Laurence B. McCullough, Medical Ethics: The Moral Responsibilities of Physicians (New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1984), pp. 13-16, 21-22, 39-40, 46, 48, 133-35, 162-64. [Back]

34 Ibid.; See also, e.g., D. N. Irving, notes 1, 3, 5, 11, 17, 23, 23 and 32 supra, and notes 36, 38, 42 and 46 infra for extensive scientific, philosophical and bioethical literature references on these and related issues that might be found helpful. [Back]

35 For example, The Hastings Center's Daniel Callahan conceded in the 25th anniversary issue of The Hastings Center Report celebrating the "birth of bioethics", that the principles of bioethics simply had not worked. But not to worry, he said, we might try communitarianism now: "The range of questions that a communitarian bioethics would pose could keep the field of bioethics well and richly occupied for at least another 25 years"! [Daniel Callahan, "Bioethics: Private Choice and Common Good", Hastings Center Report (May-June 1994), 24:3:31]. See also: Gilbert C. Meilaender, Body, Soul, and Bioethics (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1995), p. x; Raanan Gillon (ed.), Principles of Health Care Ethics (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1994) -- in which 99 scholars from around the world jump into the fray over bioethics -- by far the majority of them arguing against bioethics "principlism"; Renee Fox, "The Evolution of American Bioethics: A Sociological Perspective," in George Weisz (ed.), Social Sciences Perspective on Medical Ethics (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1990), pp. 201-220. Renee Fox and Judith Swazey, "Medical Morality is Not Bioethics -- Medical Ethics in China and the United States," Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 27 (1984):336-360, in Jonsen p. 358; Renee C. Fox and Judith P. Swazey, "Leaving the Field", Hastings Center Report (September-October 1992), 22:5:9-15. [Back]

36 D.N. Irving, "Academic fraud and conceptual transfer in bioethics: Abortion, human embryo research and psychiatric research", in Joseph W. Koterski (ed.), Life And Learning IV (Washington, D.C.: University Faculty for Life, 1995), pp. 193-215. [Back]

37 For example, as Jonsen noted (p. 335), "When Beauchamp and Childress formulated the principle of autonomy, they fused the Kantian concept of respect for persons with John Stuart Mill's quite different notion of liberty … Folding together the distinct views of Kant and Mill blurred the edges of both the Kantian and the Millsean notions." It also, of course, blurred the edges of the metaphysical, epistemological, and anthropological presuppositions inherent in those diverse and contrary theories of ethics. Hence, Kant's "respect for persons" evolved rapidly into the Millsean utilitarian version of "respect for autonomy" (pace Tom Beauchamp) -- where "autonomy" referred only to "persons", and "persons" were defined only as "moral agents". Most unfortunately, what it also did therefore was turn non-autonomous human beings into non-persons (since they are not "autonomous moral agents"). [Back]

38 D. N. Irving, "The bioethics mess", Crisis Magazine, Vol. 19, No. 5, May 2001. [Back]

39 Original Hastings Center scholar Robert Morison, in Jonsen (pp. 109-110). As Jonsen noted, "Morison's letter was a sobering reminder of the anomalous role of an 'ethics commission' in a pluralistic, secular society." [Back]

41 "A fairly widespread perception exists, both within and without the bioethics community, that the prevailing U.S. approach to the ethical problems raised by modern medicine is ailing. Principlism [bioethics] is the patient. The diagnosis is complex, but many believe that the patient is seriously, if not terminally, ill. The prognosis is uncertain. Some observers have proposed a variety of therapies to restore it to health. Others expect its demise and propose ways to go on without it.", Albert Jonsen, in Edwin DuBose, Ronald Hamel and Laurence O'Connell (eds.), A Matter of Principles?: Ferment in U.S. Bioethics (Valley Forge, PA: Trinity Press International, 1994), p.1. See also note 35 supra. [Back]

41 These and other secular bioethics issues have been addressed at great length using predominantly the bioethics principles by secular bioethicists since the beginning of the field -- especially in such classic secular bioethics journals as The Hastings Center Report; The Journal of Medicine and Philosophy; The Journal of Clinical Ethics; Bioethics News; The Journal of Law and Medicine; Law, Medicine and Health Care; American Journal of Law and Medicine; The Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal; Bioethics; Medical Humanities Review; Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics; Christian Bioethics; Journal of Religious Ethics; Philosophy and Public Affairs; etc. (See Jonsen, p. 414). There now exists an entire library containing almost exclusively bioethics articles, books and archives -- i.e., The Kennedy Institute of Ethics National Reference Center for Bioethics Literature, at Georgetown University, much of which is on the software BioethicsLine (which is plugged into the NIH National Library of Medicine, and to bioethics centers around the world). The arguments from these bioethics journals, books, etc., also have been continuously applied for over 30 years to "ethics" issues in other fields, e.g., medical research, law, business, engineering, religion, politics, education, military ethics, education, etc. -- and then extended to international issues. [Back]

42 See, e.g., Austin Fagothey, Right and Reason (3rd ed. only)(St. Louis, MO: The C.V. Mosby Company, 1963); Vernon Bourke, Ethics (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1953); Ralph McInerny, Ethica Thomistica (Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 1982). See also D. N. Irving, "Which ethics for science and public policy?", Accountability in Research 1993, 3(2-3):77-99.; ibid., "Quality assurance auditors: Between a rock and a hard place", Quality Assurance: Good Practice, Regulation, and Law March 1994, 3(1):33-52; ibid., "Science, philosophy, theology and altruism: The chorismos and the zygon", address delivered to the Evangelische Akademie Loccum, Loccum, Germany, April 3, 1992, and published in: Hans May, Meinfried Striegnitz and Philip Hefner (eds.), Loccumer Protokoll 1992, (Rehburg-Loccum, Germany: Evangelische Akademie Loccum, Spring 1996); ibid., "Which ethics for the 21st Century?", Presented at the Eighth Annual Rose Mass Brunch, sponsored by the John Carroll Society, The Grand Hyatt Hotel, Washington, D.C., March 14, 1999. [Back]

43 See especially, Tom Strachan and Andrew P. Read, Human Molecular Genetics (New York: Wiley-Liss, 1999), pp. 539-541. [Back]

44 See esp. notes 18, 19, 20 which explain "regulation", supra; (also 12, 13, 18) supra. See also the use of "blastomere separation" and "blastocyst splitting" proposed by many IVF researchers:

Professor Dr. Mithhat Erenus, "Embryo Multiplication": "In such cases, patients may benefit from embryo multiplication, as discussed in the study by Massey and co-workers. … Since each early embryonic cell is totipotent (i.e., has the ability to develop and produce a normal adult), embryo multiplication is technically possible. Experiments in this area began as early as 1894, when the totipotency of echinoderm embryonic cells was reported … In humans, removal of less than half of the cells from an embryo have been documented. No adverse effects were reported when an eighth to a quarter of the blastomeres were removed from an embryo on day 3 after insemination. … Further evidence supporting the viability and growth of partial human embryos is provided by cryopreservation. After thawing four-cell embryos, some cells may not survive, leaving one-, two-, or three-cell embryos. These partial embryos survive and go to term, but at a lower rate than whole embryos. … Based on the results observed in lower order mammals, the critical period of development to ensure success in separating human blastomeres should be at the time of embryonic gene expression, which is reported in humans to be between the four- and eight-cell stages. …. The second potential method of embryo multiplication is blastocyst splitting. … Embryo multiplication by nuclear transfer has been used in experimental cattle breeding programs. … IVF clinics routinely replace multiple (three to four) embryos into the uterus to increase the chances of a successful pregnancy. For couples who have less than three quality embryos for transfer, blastomere separation could be of benefit."

See also, "New Ways to Produce Identical Twins -- A Continuing Controversy": {PRIVATE} Identical twins occur naturally approximately 3.5 times out of every 1000 human births. And, to date, scientists still don't know why and can't predict that they will, in any given birth, occur. However, in the last half of this century, and indeed, in the past ten to fifteen years, scientific advances have impacted on twins and other multiples and their families in numerous ways. … Now, a new method of actually producing identical twins looms near. Called "blastomere separation" (the separation of a two- to eight-cell blastomere into two identical demi-embryos), it is potentially one method of helping infertile couples have children through in vitro fertilization (IVF). … The following is excerpted from the medical journal Assisted Reproduction Reviews, May 1994. Dr. Joe B. Massey, who heads an in vitro clinic in Atlanta. Dr. Massey reviews the advances in blastomere separation and discusses the potential indications, benefits, limitations, and ethics of using this method to produce monozygotic twin embryos for IVF patients. The Twins Foundation, by presenting Dr. Massey's material for your information neither advocates nor rejects any such procedures: 'Embryo Multiplication by Blastomere Separation-One Doctor's Proposal [Massey]: In spite of many advances in human vitro fertilization (IVF), there are still many problems. While leading clinics now have success rates of about 30%, many other clinics lag behind. Still, the number of couples undergoing IVF continues to increase despite high costs.' … According to Dr. Massey, 'Observations on the potential impact of removing less than half of the cells from the human embryo have been well documented in pre-clinical embryo biopsy studies.' (For more on this story see Research Update Vol. 9, No. 1, 1994)." [on The Twins Foundation].

See also "embryo self-selection": "The ability to grow embryos for five days to the blastocyst stage of development in the laboratory, rather than the traditional three days, allows clinicians to determine with greater certainty which embryos are really the "best" in terms of their potential for implantation. Consequently, blastocyst culture makes it possible to select the best one or two blastocysts vs. three or four early embryos to transfer back to the mother. Fertility centers like Shady Grove constantly strive to improve IVF success rates through the steady refinements of clinical and laboratory techniques. Clinical blastocyst culture and transfer is the next important step in that evolution,' explains Robert Stillman, MD: 'After five days of growth, the cells of the embryo should have divided many times over, and have begun to differentiate by function. The embryos that survive to this stage of development are usually strong, healthy, and robust. … Simply put, this self selection can be viewed as 'survival of the fittest. … Which ones to transfer? Which ones are really the "best'? Two additional days in the blastocyst culture medium allows the natural winnowing process to continue. Thus, after 5 days of growth in the laboratory, only 2 or 3 of the original ten embryos may remain viable. We now know the best embryos to transfer. … In thinking of the example above, patients who have fewer oocytes retrieved, fewer fertilized or fewer dividing embryos by day three in culture have no advantage using blastocyst culture, since little is to be gained in further embryo 'self selection'. Dr. Stillman emphasizes." [on Fertility Network]

Ethics Committee Of The American Society For Reproductive Medicine, "'Ethical Considerations of Assisted Reproductive Technologies': Originally published as a supplement to the ASRM medical journal (Fertility and Sterility 1994;62:Suppl 1), Ethical Considerations for Assisted Reproductive Technologies covers the American Society for Reproductive Medicine's position on several aspects of reproductive medicine, including: … the moral and legal status of the preembryo, … the use of donor sperm, donor oocytes and donor preembryos, … the cryopreservation of oocytes and preembryos, micro techniques such as: zona drilling, microinjection, blastomere separation (cloning), and assisted hatching." [].

See also: "Because early embryonic cells are totipotent, the possibility of splitting or separating the blastomeres of early preimplantation embryos to increase the number of embryos that are available for IVF treatment of infertility is being discussed. Because embryo splitting could lead to two or more embryos with the same genome, the term "cloning" has been used to describe this practice. … Splitting one embryo into two or more embryos could serve the needs of infertile couples in several ways. For couples who can produce only one or two embryos, splitting embryos could increase the number of embryos available for transfer in a single IVF cycle. Because the IVF pregnancy rate increases with the number of embryos transferred, it is thought that embryo splitting when only one or two embryos are produced may result in a pregnancy that would not otherwise have occurred. For couples who produce more than enough embryos for one cycle of transfer, splitting one or more embryos may provide sufficient embryos for subsequent transfers without having to go through another retrieval cycle, thus lessening the physical burdens and costs of IVF treatment for infertility. In addition, this technique may have application in preimplantation genetic diagnosis. … Whereas these ethical concerns raise important issues, neither alone nor together do they offer sufficient reasons for not proceeding with research into embryo splitting and blastomere separation. … In sum, since embryo splitting has the potential to improve the efficacy of IVF treatments for infertility, research to investigate the technique is ethically acceptable. Persons asked to donate gametes or embryos for such research should be fully informed that research in embryo splitting is intended or planned as a result of their donation. The fears of possible future abuses of the technique are not sufficient to stop valid research in use of embryo splitting as a treatment for infertility. This statement was developed by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine's Ethics Committee and accepted by the Board of Directors on December 8, 1995. [ on American Society Of Reproductive Medicine]. [Back]

45 Tom Strachan and Andrew P. Read, Human Molecular Genetics 2 (New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc, 1999): "The term 'clones' indicates genetic identity and so can describe genetically identical molecules (DNA clones), genetically identical cells or genetically identical organisms. Animal clones occur naturally as a result of sexual reproduction. For example, genetically identical twins are clones who happened to have received exactly the same set of genetic instructions from two donor individuals, a mother and a father. A form of animal cloning can also occur as a result of artificial manipulation to bring about a type of asexual reproduction. The genetic manipulation in this case uses nuclear transfer technology: a nucleus is removed from a donor cell then transplanted into an oocyte whose own nucleus has previously been removed. The resulting 'renucleated' oocyte can give rise to an individual who will carry the nuclear genome of only one donor individual, unlike genetically identical twins. The individual providing the donor nucleus and the individual that develops from the 'renucleated' oocyte are usually described as "clones", but it should be noted that they share only the same nuclear DNA; they do not share the same mitochondrial DNA, unlike genetically identical twins. … Nuclear transfer technology was first employed in embryo cloning, in which the donor cell is derived from an early embryo, and has been long established in the case of amphibia. … Wilmut et al (1997) reported successful cloning of an adult sheep. For the first time, an adult nucleus had been reprogrammed to become totipotent once more, just like the genetic material in the fertilized oocyte from which the donor cell had ultimately developed. … Successful cloning of adult animals has forced us to accept that genome modifications once considered irreversible can be reversed and that the genomes of adult cells can be reprogrammed by factors in the oocyte to make them totipotent once again." (pp. 508-509) [Back]

46 For detailed scientific analyses of several current national and international proposed legislations on human cloning and human embryonic stem cell research, see: D. N. Irving, "Analysis of Canadian Bill C-56: Human Reproductive Technology Act 2002" (submitted on request to Campaign Life Coalition, Toronto, Canada, on May 17, 2002); ibid., "University Faculty for Life: Submission of Concern to the Canadian CIHR Re the 'Human Stem Cell Research Recommendations 2001'" (written as UFL Board Member on behalf of UFL; submitted to Dr. Alan Bernstein, President, Canadian Institutes of Health Research Working Group on Stem Cell Research, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, on June 3, 2001); ibid., "University Faculty for Life: Submission of Concern to the British House of Lords Re the 'Human Fertilisation and Embryology (Research Purposes) Regulations 2001'" (written as UFL Board Member on behalf of UFL; submitted to Tony Rawsthorne, Select Committee, House of Lords, London, on June 1, 2001); ibid., "University Faculty for Life: Letter of Concern to Sen. Brownback and Congressman Weldon Re the 'Human Cloning Bill 2001'" (written as UFL Board Member on behalf of UFL; submitted to Sen. Brownback and Congr. Weldon, U.S. Congress, Washington, D.C., on May 27, 2001); ibid., "Analysis: Stem Cells that Could Become Embryos: Implications for the NIH Guidelines on Stem Cell Research", July 22, 2001[written as consultant on human embryology and human embryo research as Fellow of The Linacre Institute (CMA), The Catholic Medical Association (USA), and The International Federation of Catholic Medical Associations (FIAMC)]. [Back]

47 Henry Campbell Black, Black's Law Dictionary (4th ed.) (St. Paul, MN: West Publishing Co, 1951), pp. 1577-1578. [Back]

1, 2, 3, 4,