Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Illinois, the Ukraine, stem cells, and the left

Cross posted from Illinoiz.

Suprized Jill hasn't hit us with this yet. Let me. And let me refer you back to some British Communists writing in the British Medical Journal.
Although most of the ethical debate has focused on the status of the embryo, this is to define ethics with no reference to global or gender justice. There has been little or no debate about possible exploitation of women, particularly of ovum donors from the South. Countries of the South without national ethics committees or guidelines may be particularly vulnerable: although there is increasing awareness of the susceptibility of poorer countries to abuses in research ethics, very little has been written about how they might be affected by the enormously profitable new technologies exploiting human tissue. Even in the UK, although the new Medical Research Council guidelines make a good deal of the 'gift relationship', what they are actually about is commodification. If donors believe they are demonstrating altruism, but biotechnology firms and researchers use the discourse of commodity and profit, we have not 'incomplete commodification' but complete commodification with a plausibly human face.[my emphaisis]
It's not just an issue of the Christian right. The potential is there for the most appalling kind of exploitation of the most helpless people.

I hope Leader Cross knows what he's bringing with this issue.

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