Hwang and Shatten--ethical conflict

In the news is Dr. Shatten's separation from the World Stem Cell Hub and other activities being carried on by Dr. Hwang--the "pioneer" in creation of embryonic stem cells from humans. Whatever the truth of the situation, the ethical focus embraced by Insoo Hyun remains solid: consider ethics before and during research. Insoo's interview (available on this website) included a warning: if you don't pay attention to ethical considerations in your work, your work may be severely hampered.

I believe embryonic stem cell research--at least that conducted in Hwang's facilities in So. Korea--will inevitably be set back by the charge of ethical improprieties, whether or not they prove true.

We want cures for diseases and conditions such as spinal cord injury, but not at the expense of honest, ethical science. In this situation, and in deciding whether embryonic stem cell research is appropriate, ethical considerations are never to be tossed aside.

Marie Godfrey, PhD

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