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Genetic Crossroads
June 29th, 2006

"Golden Eggs," Boston Globe Magazine (June 25)
"Drowning in credit-card debt and student loans, young women are selling their eggs for big payoffs. But can they really make the right medical and moral decisions when they're tempted with $15,000?"

"Wealthy foreign couples travel to U.S. to choose baby's sex," Associated Press (June 15)
"Well-off foreign couples are getting around laws banning sex selection in their home countries by coming to this country, where it's legal, for medical procedures that can give them the boy, or girl, they want."

"Ethical questions complicate the recruitment of egg donors," Boston Globe (June 7)
"Recruiting women to donate eggs for stem cell research brings scientists into new ethical territory where the standards are still being worked out, ethicists say. Women who donate eggs have to take drugs and undergo minor surgery. This puts them at risk for side effects, yet there is no immediate benefit to them or anyone else-an uneasy and probably unprecedented combination."

"Harvard launches human stem cell cloning attempt," Boston Globe (June 6)
"Harvard scientists announced today they are beginning an ambitious attempt to create the world's first cloned human embryonic stem cells, bringing the university into one of science's most ethically charged fields."

"Stem Cell Caution," by CGS Executive Director Richard Hayes, Tom Paine (May 24)
"I'm worried because in their over-the-top enthusiasm for stem cell and cloning research, Democrats are ignoring the many ways in which it could, if irresponsibly promoted and inadequately regulated, have consequences at odds with core Democratic values. The short-term political advantage that fervent support for stem cell research now gives Democrats could backfire when the problematic aspects of this research come to light.

"Liberals and Their Ill-Liberal Policies," by Hastings Center founder Daniel Callahan, Bioethics Forum (May 11)
"I am sometimes baffled by my fellow liberals in their social priorities. Why, for instance, does stem cell research receive such political support, and money, while many more pressing needs exist in this country?...I can only offer some hypotheses. One of them is that when George W. Bush and his crowd, luddites and religious extremists to those on the left, did not like embryonic stem cell research, that automatically made it a major cause for liberals….Another hypothesis is that many liberals have embraced the medicalization of everything in sight, advocate an endless war on death and disease, and support ever-increasing research budgets, far more enthusiastically than a few decades ago."


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