Friday, December 12, 2003

Why I will never be allowed to serve on an ethics committee

Because my first reaction on reading about this was not utter horror at Man's Interference With The Natural Order, but "cool".

Basically, scientists have taken stem cells from a mouse, differentiated them into sperm cells (a significant achievement in itself), and then fertilised an egg with the result. The implications are staggering. If perfected and applied to humans, this could

  • expand the range of infertility problems currently treatable by artificial means. If there are problems with sperm or egg production, they may be able to be differentiated from stem cells.
  • end the reliance on donated eggs; instead we'd be reliant on donated stem cells, but that's a lot less limiting
  • allow homosexual couples of either gender to have children using only their own genetic material. Gay males would still have to find a birth mother, but that's really the only limit.

I think all of the above are good things, in that they allow the fulfilment of human desire and vastly diminish the obstacles in the path of what is for many a central goal of their life.

As for the Natural Order? Fuck it.