I have received an unsolicited request to contribute to the development of "new" treatments for Parkinsons Disease which I consider to be an affront to human dignity. The request came from the Monash Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne.
The Institute intends to use human embryonic stem cells, the harvesting of which leads to the death of the human embryo.
I consider that respect for all human life, be it at the developmental or degenerative state, must underpin our whole ethos as a civilised society, and using embryonic stem cells to try to effect a cure does not fit into this frame at all.
As a matter of fact, medical cannibalisation is no different from any other type, all proposing to benefit someone at another's expense - the victim being of course defenceless.
This sounds pretty ghastly, and it is not in keeping with a society that is civilised and humane. Human slavery has been off the agenda for some time now, but it is now returning in a new form.
Incidentally, I have no objection to adult stem cell experimentation, which does not involve the destruction of human life.
MAUREEN FEDERICO (MRS)
Frankston South, Vic