A recent decision by the International Society for Stem Cell Research to lift their “14-day rule” paves the way for human embryos to be used as lab rats, according to ethical scientists at the Charlotte Lozier Institute.

The longstanding rule previously limited experimentation on human embryos to the first two weeks after creation.  The new “guidelines” are being discussed and publicized at ISSCR’s annual conference this week.

“At a time when Americans are increasingly urged to ‘follow the science,’ the ISSCR tarnishes the image of science by showcasing deeply unethical scientific practices,” said Dr. David Prentice, vice president and research director at CLI.  “The ISSCR is a self-appointed group of scientists with no oversight making up the rules to justify their horrific experiments. The removal of the 14-day limit shows their real goal: unlimited human experimentation, making human embryos into disposable laboratory supplies.  The removal of any limits on laboratory growth of human beings also paves a deadly path for further use of human embryos as lab rats.  There should be a zero-day rule.  Human embryos should never be used for lab experiments.”

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CLI’s Senior Fellow and Director of Life Sciences, Dr. Tara Sander Lee, added:

“While ISSCR claims to make ethical considerations, their actions tell a different story.  They condone the practice of creating, growing, manipulating, and then destroying human beings for research – with no limits!  The only way to justify their actions is to tell us that these are not ‘real’ human embryos.  And that’s exactly what they’ve done.”

As stated in a recent ISSCR ethics webinar, “If integrated embryo models are not ‘real’ human embryos, then we may not be justified in requiring that researchers use the ‘fewest number of embryo (models) to answer the research question,’ since this criterion for human embryo research appears to be grounded in a desire to take the moral value of embryos seriously.”

“They are using smoke and mirrors to justify these horrific deeds of experimenting on nascent human life,” Sander Lee continued.  “History has shown over and over the terrible consequences when society attempts to decide which humans are ‘valued’ and which are ‘disposable.’”

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