LIFE NEWS: Fetal harvesting in Britain?
WASHINGTON (BP)--A top British scientist has recommended research into the transplantation of kidneys and livers from aborted babies, prompting an outcry from pro-life advocates.
Richard Gardner, an Oxford University stem cell specialist and an adviser to Britain's Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, proposed studies using organs from aborted human beings. He made his comments at a biomedical conference, according to a March 11 report in the Daily Mail, a British newspaper.
"It is at least a temporary solution" to the organ donor shortage, Gardner said.
Nearly 7,000 of the 8,000 Brits on transplant lists need kidneys, the Daily Mail reported.
Stuart Campbell, a British obstetrics and gynecology professor, endorsed the proposal. If babies "are going to be terminated, it is a shame to waste their organs," Campbell said, according to the newspaper. "I am sure very few of those on the transplant list would rather die than accept an organ from an aborted fetus."
Pro-life advocates on both sides of the Atlantic decried the suggestion. Some said it presented the possibility of abortions being scheduled to coincide with transplants, the Daily Mail reported.
"This is about as scary as the news can get," Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President R. Albert Mohler Jr. wrote in a March 16 commentary. "Here we confront a serious proposal to use aborted fetuses as factories for spare organs and tissues. Having commodified the human embryo and then allowing its destruction in the name of medical progress, the fetus is next in line.
"Human dignity rests on an eroding foundation in terms of secular argument," Mohler wrote. "We can see human dignity as it is more and more endangered with every passing proposal like Professor Gardner's. The use of fetal tissue in medical research is grossly immoral -- but so is the use of human embryos."
Compiled by Baptist Press Washington bureau chief Tom Strode.