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Thread: Europe Freezes Grants for Research with Human Embryos

  1. #1

    Europe Freezes Grants for Research with Human Embryos

    Date: 2002-10-02

    Europe Freezes Grants for Research with Human Embryos

    Italian Pro-Life Movement Applauds Decision

    ROME, OCT. 2, 2002 ( The Italian Pro-Life Movement praised the government's opposition to the use of European Union funds for experimentation on human embryos.

    In a statement, the Pro-Life Movement explains that this opposition has resulted in "the postponement until Jan. 1, 2004, of the funding provided by the European Community."

    On Sept. 30, the EU's Council of Ministers approved an aid program for research, which includes grants amounting to 17.5 million euro for 2002-2006, but excludes research with stem cells until the end of 2003, given the lack of consensus on the scientific use of human embryos.

    Denmark, currently in the EU presidency, finally proposed a moratorium to resolve the impasse that divided the 15 member states.

    The United Kingdom and Sweden headed the list of those favorable to the use of embryonic stem cells. They were opposed by Germany, Austria, Italy, Ireland and Portugal, which called for clearer ethical norms before beginning to allocate European public money for these experiments.

    The decision allows for the funding of national research with embryos' stem cells that are already isolated and kept in cell banks. These authorized projects will have to be studied by a regulatory committee. The United Kingdom and Sweden are the only members that allow this line of research.

    Germany and France have imported stem cells from third countries, to continue with this type of research.

    Philippe Busquin, European research commissioner, announced that the 15 member countries will take up the issue again next spring. The European Commission will have to elaborate a report and convoke a seminar (projected for September 2003), in which members of the European Parliament and of the Council of Ministers will also participate.

    Carlo Casini, president of the Pro-Life Movement, who signed the statement, commented: "The fact that the funding remained subordinated to the holding of a seminar of European institutions on bioethics is positive."

    He added, though, that "it is worrying that the European Commission, anticipating the results of the seminar, announced a proposal that sets the guidelines for community funding" of projects that use human embryo stem cells.

    In this connection, the Pro-Life Movement contended: "If Europe would like to be consistent with its history and rational soul, the first ethical duty should be to ask oneself if, at the beginning of his existence, man can be considered as something that can be destroyed."

    "The answer to this question is the indispensable assumption needed to make decisions on experimentation with embryos. In fact, if the embryo is a person and not a thing, then he/she cannot be treated as a means to attain other ends, even if they are noble," the statement emphasizes.

    Casini concluded that "it is to be hoped that the heralded seminar on bioethics will address this question above all."

  2. #2
    Senior Member Max's Avatar
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    Jul 2001
    Montreal,Province of Quebec, CANADA

    very, very


    "It was once written "To thine own self be true". But how do we know who we really are? Every man must confront the monster within himself, if he is ever to find peace without. .." Outer Limits(Monster)

  3. #3
    Senior Member mk99's Avatar
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    Jul 2001
    toronto, canada
    Most disturbing.

    Dr. Young: I'm not fully comprehending the implications here for Brittain & Sweden. Is Brittain still agressively building a stem cell bank and continuing research? Are the dollars much reduced?

    Last time I checked, Brittain was not a member of the EU so what is all this EU funding business about?

  4. #4
    mkowalski, this move took me and everybody by surprise. While the EU does not include Great Britain, it does encompass all the countries of continental Europe that does any spinal cord injury research, with the exception of Switzerland. This is a terrible blow. It is not so much the money, because the EU is providing only about 17 million euros for such research and it does not affect the national funding for such research, but the political climate will not be good.

    Due to this political climate, I am not sure that any of the laboratories that are currently doing or thinking of doing embyronic stem cell research will continue doing so in continental Europe. Once they have committed to doing some other kind of research, the momentum will be lost and I doubt that many laboratories will return back to studying embryonic stem cells. The country of course that is most affected is Sweden which holds perhaps 2/3rds of all the human stem cell lines in Europe.

    I believe that this action will balkanize human embryonic stem cell research into three countries in Europe and the Middle East: Britain, Switzerland, and Israel.


    [This message was edited by Wise Young on Oct 03, 2002 at 02:08 PM.]

  5. #5
    Senior Member mk99's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    toronto, canada
    This is shocking. I was under the impression that the right wing religious nuts over there were not nearly as united, strong & mobilized as they are in US.

    In addition to Britain, Switzerland & Israel, we are left with Singapore, China, India & perhaps Australia when it comes to ESC, SCNT, etc. More and more it looks to me like China has a good chance to develop a HUGE industry in this field while the so-called "developed" world falls behind. (hopefully with the exception of Britain). It is so sad.

    Looks like a lot of pressure has been lifted from Bush now... I no longer expect him to make revisions to his Aug 9, 2001 policy speech. Once again we sit & rot...

    Dr. Young you have been in this field for a long time. Can you remember any other time that was so exciting & frustrating at the same time?

  6. #6
    What a nice, swift kick in the nuts to end a terrible day. If everyone is really quiet we'll be able to hear to it. Can you hear it? Listen real closley...............You will never walk again!!!!!!!!! I can hear my nuerosurgon saying those words all over again. Well guys, its been fun. This depressing info we read everyday is becoming way too much for my frail quad shoulders to bear. I'm ready to check out. Thanks to everyone who has ever posted on here and who tried to help us out. God Bless.


  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    British Columbia, Canada
    What the heck is wrong with these people!

  8. #8
    Mike & CarThief, please note that this is just a moratorium for two years. I think that people are hoping that adult stem cell work will progress sufficiently during this period to make up for taking embryonic stem cells off the table. It is discouraging. It is bad enough that we have to contend with naysayers and skeptics but just when the research is picking up for people to start shutting down options. Wise.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Schmeky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    West Monroe, LA, USA

    Stem Cell Debate Advice

    Patch your cushions, tighten your chair nuts and bolts, and lube your wheels. We're gonna be in these chairs a long time!

  10. #10

    Please don't give up. There are a few countries still pursuing stem cells. Please email me so we can talk. Wouldn't it be awful if you took your life and 2 or 3 years from now someone finds a cure. Believe me I used to feel exactly like you so I obviously have NO RIGHT to give you advice. I just feel like if CR can hang on and not lose faith so can we.


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