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Protection of Conscience Project

Service, not Servitude

When do Human Beings Begin? "Scientific" Myths and Scientific Facts


1. B. Lewin, Genes III (New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1983), pp. 9-13; A. Emery, Elements of Medical Genetics (New York: Churchill Livingstone, 1983), pp. 19, 93.

2. William J. Larsen, Human Embryology (New York: Churchill Livingstone, 1997), pp. 4, 8, 11.

3. Ibid.

4. Ibid.

5. Ronan O'Rahilly and Fabiola Müller, Human Embryology & Teratology (New York: Wiley-Liss, 1994). See also, Bruce M. Carlson, Human Embryology and Developmental Biology (St. Louis, MO: Mosby, 1994), and Keith L. Moore and T.V.N. Persaud, The Developing Human (Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Company, 1998).

6. O'Rahilly and Müller 1994, pp. 13-14.

7. Ibid., p. 16. See also, Larsen, op. cit., pp. 3-11; Moore and Persaud, op. cit., pp. 18-34; Carlson, op. cit., pp. 3-21.

8. Note: The number of chromosomes in the definitive oocyte are not halved unless and until it is penetrated by a sperm, which really does not take place before fertilization but is in fact concurrent with and the beginning of the process of fertilization. However, for simplicity's sake, many writers (myself among them) will sometimes assume the reader clearly understands this timing, and simply say, "before fertilization the sperm and the oocyte each contain 23 chromosomes."

9. O'Rahilly and Müller, p. 19.

10. Moore and Persaud, p. 2.

11. E.g., as determined in extensive numbers of transgenic mice experiments as in Kollias et al., "The human beta-globulin gene contains a downstream developmental specific enhancer," Nucleic Acids Research 15(14) (July, 1987), 5739-47; also similar work by, e.g., R.K. Humphries, A. Schnieke.

12. Holtzer et al., "Induction-dependent and lineage-dependent models for cell-diversification are mutually exclusive," Progress in Clinical Biological Research 175:3-11 (1985); also similar work by, e.g., F. Mavilio, C. Hart.

13. Larsen, p. 1; also O'Rahilly and Müller, p. 20.

14. Larsen, p. 19, 33, 49.

15. Carlson, p. 31.

16. Carlson, p. 31.

17. O'Rahilly and Müller, p. 55; Carlson, p. 407.

18. Ethics Advisory Board, 1979, Report and Conclusions: HEW Support of Research Involving Human In Vitro Fertilization and Embryo Transfer, Washington, D.C.: United States Department of Health, Education and Welfare, p. 101.

19. Clifford Grobstein, "External human fertilization," Scientific American 240:57-67.

20. Clifford Grobstein, Science and the Unborn: Choosing Human Futures (New York: Basic Books, Inc., 1988).

21. Dame Mary Warnock, Report of the Committee of Inquiry into Human Fertilization and Embryology (London: Her Majesty's Stationary Office, 1984), pp. 27, 63. See also the writings of, e.g., H. Tristram Engelhardt, John Robertson (in legal writings), R.M. Hare, Bedate and Cefalo, William Wallace.

22. Peter Singer, Helga Kuhse, Stephen Buckle, Karen Dawson, and Pascal Kasimba, Embryo Experimentation (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990).

23. National Institutes of Health: Report of the Human Embryo Research Panel, September 27, 1994 (National Institutes of Health, Division of Science Policy Analysis and Development, Bethesda, MD).

24. Clifford Grobstein, "The early development of human embryos," Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 1985:10:213-236; and Richard McCormick, "Who or what is the preembryo?" Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 1991:1:1-15.

25. Richard McCormick, ibid., p. 3.

26. McCormick, ibid., p. 3.

27. Larsen, p. 19, 33.

28. Moore and Persaud, p. 131.

29. O'Rahilly and Müller, p. 51.

30. McCormick, op. cit., p. 4.

31. O'Rahilly and Müller, p. 32.

32. Karen Dawson, "Segmentation and moral status," in Peter Singer et al., Embryo Experimentation (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990), p. 58. See also Moore and Persaud, p. 133.

33. For extensive comments on the make-up of the NIH Human Embryo Research Panel and on its Report, see several of my articles in my book, co-authored with human embryologist C. Ward Kischer, The Human Development Hoax: Time to Tell The Truth! (Clinton Township, MI: Gold Leaf Press, 1995) (1st ed.); (2nd. ed. published by authors 1997; distributed by the American Life League, Stafford, VA).

34. O'Rahilly and Müller, p. 55.

35. Carlson, p. 3.

36. Moore and Persaud, p. 58.

37. But see Albert Moraczewski, "Managing tubal pregnancies: Part I" (June 1996) and "Part II" (August 1996), in Ethics and Medics (Braintree, MA: Pope John Center).

38. O'Rahilly and Müller, p. 8-9.

39. The use of massive historically incorrect and theoretically indefensible philosophy in the "delayed personhood" arguments has been addressed in my doctoral dissertation, A Philosophical and Scientific Analysis of the Nature of the Early Human Embryo (Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University, Department of Philosophy, 1991); see also several of my previously published articles in my book, co-authored by C. Ward Kischer, supra, note 33, The Human Development Hoax: Time To Tell The Truth!, which gives extensive references pro and con these bioethics arguments.

40. For an excellent and easy to read analysis of the problem of a mind/body split as one of the fundamental theoretical problems in contemporary bioethics theory, see Gilbert C. Meilaender, Body, Soul, and Bioethics (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1995); see also many of the excellent articles about this problem in bioethics theory in Raanan Gillon (ed.), Principles of Health Care Ethics (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1994); also Edwin R. DuBose, Ronald P. Hamel and Laurence J. O'Connell (eds.), A Matter of Principles? Ferment in U.S. Bioethics (Valley Forge, PA: Trinity Press International, 1994)-especially the "Preface" by Albert Jonsen. Even Daniel Callahan has admitted that the bioethics principles don't work, in "Bioethics: Private choice and common good," in The Hastings Center Report (May/June 1994), pp. 28-31.

41. D. Gareth Jones, "Brain birth and personal identity," Journal of Medical Ethics 15:4, 1989, p. 178.

42. Moore and Persaud, p. 2; see also Jones, p. 177.

43. Peter Singer, "Taking life: Abortion," in Practical Ethics (London: Cambridge University Press, 1981), p. 118; Helga Kuhse and Peter Singer, "For sometimes letting-and helping-die," Law, Medicine and Health Care, 1986, 3:4:149-153; Kuhse and Singer, Should the Baby Live? The Problem of Handicapped Infants (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1985), p. 138; Singer and Kuhse, "The ethics of embryo research," Law, Medicine and Health Care, 1987, 14:13-14; Michael Tooley, "Abortion and infanticide," in Marshall Cohen (ed.) et al., The Rights and Wrongs of Abortions, (New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1974), pp. 59, 64; H. Tristram Engelhardt, The Foundations of Bioethics (New York: Oxford University Press, 1986), p. 111.

44. R.G. Frey, "The ethics of the search for benefits: Animal experimentation in medicine," in Raanan Gillon (ed.), Principles of Health Care Ethics (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1994), pp. 1067-1075.



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