Compromise and Moral Complicity in the Embryonic Stem Cell Debate

  • Katrien Devolder
  • John Harris


In September 2004, Italy’s health minister, Girolamo Sirchia, hailed the successful treatment of a five-year-old boy with thalassaemia, an inherited form of life-threatening anaemia. The therapy involved transplanting stem cells of the umbilical cord blood of the boy’s newborn twin siblings. The minister hoped to use this case to convince the Italian public of the potential of non-embryo-derived stem cells and to justify the contentious Italian law on assisted reproduction. However, soon after his ‘triumph’ it became known that the twin pregnancy was realised with IVF and the selection of embryos through PGD and HLA typing, in a hospital in Turkey, techniques which Sirchia considers as immoral and which are outlawed by the Italian government.2


Stem Cell Embryonic Stem Cell Human Embryonic Stem Cell Stem Cell Research Stem Cell Line 
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© Katrien Devolder and John Harris 2005

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  • Katrien Devolder
  • John Harris

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