Friday, September 01, 2006

Stem Cell Research - Australia

The Lockhart Review of the Human Cloning Act 2002 and the
Research Involving Human Embryos Act 2002 was delivered in December 2005. It can be found at

Currently, there are two Senators working on Private Members Bills to allow Therapeutic Cloning in Australia. This follows a report saying it is possible to extract stem cells from (unused) embryos without destroying them. (not that they are never destroyed)

The Prime Minister, John Howard, has allowed his party a conscience vote on the issue.

Nevertheless, there is a lot of politiking occurring: to influence other MPs and to influence public opinion to pressure other MPs.

There have been press releases and articles written by both sides. Today, the Prime Minister has released a report he commissioned. The report was completed by mpconsulting in June 2006. 'mpconsulting' previously worked with the Federal Government on the legislation that banned therapeutic cloning, and would have its own views about what the Prime Minister wanted, knowing that he is opposed to therapeutic cloning. This voter would have preferred another, independent body, to have conducted the research.

The Prime Minster is reported as saying he
"wants MPs and the public to have the same information on stem cell research as
the Government has"

but mpconsulting's paper refers only to "Extracts" of a Senate inquiry, and only extracts that create an argument against therapeutic cloning seem to have been chosen!

Ahhh! Politics - tell the people what we want them to hear and they will agree with us!
We need to dig deeper into the ethics of therapeutic cloning before we jump on that bandwagon.

The Analyst