Friday, October 25, 2002

A few days back Nikita wrote about the inhuman treatment of animals when they are subjected to chemical tests by cosmetics industries and healthcare industries. I am sure at one time or the other we have read such articles in papers too. I am, on the other hand, subjected to watch such things when I visit various bio-tech companies in my line of duty. Scotland and Nordic countries have become the haven for bio-tech research and in days to come I will (hopefully) be travelling and visiting these places a lot.

I don't look at cosmetics; I look at human healthcare. I study about the research done on diabetes, alzheimers and other such diseases and put out market analysis on the companies that are involved on this type of research. Which eventually has an effect on share price depending on how many patents the companies get. One of the most disturbing type of research is the 'stem cell' research. Stem cells, in brief, are the cells that are found in babies that are still developing inside the womb. These cells hold the clue (according to scientists) to solutions to age releated diseases. The photo I have attached below shows a 'live' baby that was taken from womb for this type of research.

Unfortunately I am not any type of 'rights' activist. Selfish as it may seem I write reports that laud the research and thereby boost the share prices. But the morals that dodge me within are questions such as "is it ok to do research on a helpless baby so that old people can live longer?"; "is it ok because the baby doesn't understand what life is anyway?"; "would i justify it if some one I know very well suffered a similar disease?"

And then I look at the squiggling baby about to be chopped and I feel... (forget it, I can't even explain how I feel!). Basically the crux of the argument is - is there any justification in destroying one human being for the benifit of another, regardless of age? Do you have any questions that I should ask the scientists when I visit them next time? Oh yes, another thing. Stem-cells can be found in adult people like us too. Its just that its too painful to extract them from the center of our bones. Hence the attack (if I may use such a word) on the tiny babies.


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