Is it Ethical to Experiment on Aborted Humans?
Investigate Daily – Ian Wishart – 3/7/2012
This is a long article. Abortion clinics contract to supply body parts to "research" firms.
It’s the hidden side of medical research. A massive industry harvesting pieces of dead children for experiments, or transplanting into animals. IAN WISHART discovers the
has imported body parts from American babies for a research project, and asks some hard questions University of Auckland
“The title of the project,” tipped our source, “is ‘Photoreceptor-associated gene expression in human fetal and embryonic chicken retina’. As far as I am aware this project is unlikely to have received regional ethics approval from the Ministry of Health. The tissue has been obtained from elective abortions in the
and was transported here for the experiments. This may be the first research of its kind in United States and I am sure the public are quite unaware of it.” New Zealand
Just how did body parts from a group of aborted American infants end up in
for students to conduct experiments on? To find the answers, we began investigations in the New Zealand , and a controversy that blew up there six years ago. United States
It was an interview that shocked
. An Insider, spilling the beans on massive malpractice to a reporter on ABC’s 20/20. It was the America abortion industry, exposed as harvesting the organs from aborted babies. According to former abortion clinic technician Dean Alberty, clinics were harvesting eyes, brains, hearts, limbs, torsos and other body parts for sale to the scientific market: laboratories wanting to test new drugs or procedures, or researchers trying to find the causes of genetic disorders or discover new ways of treating disorders like Parkinsons. US
“We would have a contract with an abortion clinic that would allow us to go in…[to] procure fetal tissue for research. We would get a generated list each day to tell us what tissue researchers, pharmaceuticals and universities were looking for. Then we would go and look at the particular patient charts—we had to screen out anyone who had STDs or fetal anomalies. These had to be the most perfect specimens we could give these researchers for the best value that we could sell for.
“We were taking eyes, livers, brains, thymuses, and especially cardiac blood…even blood from the limbs that we would get from the veins” he said.
Alberty worked for a
agency called the Anatomic Gift Foundation, which essentially acted as a brokerage between universities and researchers seeking body parts, and the abortion clinics providing the raw material. Alerted by the clinics about the races and gestations of babies due to be aborted each day, AGF technicians would match the offerings with parts orders on their client lists. Alberty and his colleagues would turn up at the abortions that offered the best donor prospects to begin dissecting and extracting what they needed before decay set in. Maryland
, trafficking in baby parts for profit is a criminal offence. But to get around the problem, universities and researchers pay a fee – not for the parts themselves but for the “cost of extraction”. Thus, there are different fees depending on the amount of work involved. And shipping and handling is extra. United States
Harvesting fetal tissue is not yet illegal in the
. In fact, the programme at five major universities including the US is part funded by the US National Institutes of Health. It is the University of Washington University of Washington that has been supplying Keely Bumsted O’Brien at the , with some of her eyeball retinas of aborted children. University of Auckland
law, you can import body parts to your heart’s content as long as you do it in a biosafe manner. New Zealand
Are human children, ask ethicists, any less-deserving of protection from medical experiments and execution than animals?
Is research a valid line of reasoning that justifies made-to-order abortions?
. . . the death toll alone from abortion far eclipses anything Hitler was able to achieve. In fact, one estimate of the abortion tally in the West in the past 30 years is that more than 58 million lives have been lost. Once you kick in the figures for the rest of the world including
, more people have been killed by abortion in the past 30 years than in all wars in recorded history. For the record, international studies like a 1999 paper from International Family Planning perspectives suggest 46 million lives a year are taken throughout the world. China
Leaked documents from inside abortion clinics have hit the headlines across the
, and they make dark reading. They’re order forms from scientists to agencies like Advanced Bioscience Resources, instructing what parts they need and how to get them. US
“Dissect fetal liver and thymus and occasional lymph node from fetal cadaver within 10 (minutes of death).” “Arms and legs need not be intact.” “Intact brains preferred, but large pieces of brain may be usable.”
Or this, from a scientist studying the “Biochemical Characterization of human type X Collagen,” who requests “Whole intact leg, include entire hip joint, 22-24 weeks gest.”
But is that a valid line of reasoning that justifies made-to-order abortions?
According to World magazine in the US, which broke the story, other specifications state that they are to be “preserved on wet ice,” “picked up immediately by applicant,” have “low risk no IV drug abuse or known sexually transmitted diseases,” and no prescription medications used by “donor” mother. The contract is signed both by Dr. Miller and, for the Regents of the
, by “Sharon Frazier, Director of Purchasing.” University of Colorado
But let’s look at that more closely. The American Society For Cell Biology, an association of cell biologists, lobbied hard against regulating the fetal tissue harvesting industry, including a suggestion that researchers should have to “verify that the tissue was obtained properly”. This condition, and others, were regarded as too onerous for the scientists to accept.
Not only is there no ethical oversight of the abortion clinics, there is none on the companies doing the fetal tissue harvesting either. All the way through, the process appears to be done purely on “trust”.
And just how good is the actual informed consent process that the ethics committees rely on? According to the
, informed consent forms had to spell out what kind of research was specifically planned. University of Texas
Based on Linda Tracy’s interview with Investigate, it now appears certain that no donating mother gave informed consent for her baby’s body parts to be transplanted into human/mouse hybrids, or injected into the veins of rats. Little wonder the US Government National Institutes of Health refused to release informed consent forms from ABR regarding those projects.
Last item in the article: PRICE LIST FOR BODY PARTS (US$)
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