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Stem-cell plan violates medical ethics

Monday, October 23, 2006

To the editor:

Amendment 2, the so-called Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative, is a deceptive proposal that would establish a constitutional right to clone and destroy human embryos for research purposes, threaten the health of women who donate eggs, allow clones to pay women for donating their eggs by using fertilization clinics as middlemen, create a constitutional entitlement to taxpayer funding of this research and ensure that one industry, human research cloning, is free from any effective legislative or judicial regulation.

I believe this amendment violates long-established medical ethical norms as reflected in the Hippocratic oath, the Nuremberg Code of 1947 (formulated in response to physician and scientist participation in experiment on concentration-camp inmates in Nazi Germany), the World Medical Association Declaration of Geneva (1948) Physician Oath that sought to protect human life from the moment of conception and the Declaration of Helsinki (1964) that provides guidelines for physicians involved in biomedical research on human subjects.

I believe this proposal has no place in our Missouri Constitution and urge you to vote no on Amendment 2 on Nov. 7.

Dr. MICHAEL C. WULFERS, Cape Girardeau