Letter to the Editor

Stem-cell plan is immoral, repugnant

Sunday, October 22, 2006

To the editor:

I am appalled by the lack of fortitude from our politicians regard Amendment 2, the embryonic stem-cell initiative. This is a complicated issue that is poorly understood even by health-care professionals. It is a shame proponents of Amendment 2 found it necessary to sneak in the back door by trying to amend our state constitution to allow embryonic stem-cell research. This is a matter that clearly should be taken up by legislators, but obviously it is too hot to handle.

My problem with embryonic stem-cell research revolves mostly around it obvious exploitation of women. The creation of somatic stem-cell embryos through cloning is unethical. This process also would consume large quantities of human eggs, which would require donation from willing females through hyper-stimulation of the ovaries. There is considerable risk involved with hyper-stimulatory drugs. I doubt that there are very many females who would subject themselves to voluntary ovarian hyper-stimulation and egg harvest, because it is a painful process and a potential risk to their lives.

The amendment's suggestion that women should not be paid for their eggs is grossly misleading, as it allows the purchase of eggs through fertility clinics, creating a middleman for the sale of human products.

There are many reasons not to vote for the amendment. The one that stand out is the exploitation of our female citizens.

As a physician, I strongly encourage you to weigh this situation carefully. I find this initiative immoral and repugnant.

Dr. SCOT G. PRINGLE, Cape Girardeau