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Last Updated: Friday, 20 May, 2005, 10:49 GMT 11:49 UK
Head-to-head: Human Cloning
Two patients who could benefit from stem cell therapy debate whether it is ethical to clone human embryos to find cures for diseases.

Sue Moore has Parkinson's disease and hopes research on embryos will lead to a stem cell cure for her condition.

But Pamela Vack, who has motor neurone disease, opposes human cloning research, even though it could potentially save her life.

Sue Moore, 62, from Kent, who has Parkinson's disease

I found out I had Parkinson's disease in 1994. It is such a devastating condition. It robs you of your life.

Embryonic stem cells seem to me the way forward.

The embryos that they use are only the ones that would have been discarded and so to use them for curing other people seems to me a fantastic way to use them.

The adult stem cells that pro-life people suggest have had mixed results.

In time if they work hard enough they may get results but this inconsistency is soul destroying when you are hoping there might be a cure in five years.

I know life is beautiful - that's why we are all hoping stem cells will work.

Pro-life people tend to talk as though we are murderers and cannibals which is very unfair.

I think anybody with such a serious chronic condition grasps at straws to be cured.

I have got faith in our scientists. I feel they would not abuse the material that they have got to hand.

The news of the research in the UK and Korea gives everyone with Parkinson's and similar diseases such a boost.

We know that it will not be an immediate cure, but just the fact that they are working and making these discoveries is so marvellous.

Pamela Vack, 69, from Hampshire, who has motor neurone disease

I was diagnosed with MND six years ago.

Image of Pamela Vack
Pamela has motor neurone disease

It's a wasting disease that is progressive and affects my muscles and nerves.

I am pro-life and against the cloning of embryos.

I cannot understand why this is going on when adult stem cells, taken from places like the bone marrow, could be used.

We should protect life from conception and conception means any embryo which has every possibility of being a human being.

In creating an embryo, that is what I consider the beginning of human life.

Then there are also the worries about tumours growing from cells taken from cloned embryos. We don't know if it is safe.

But I do not have a problem at all with people using adult stem cells or stem cells taken from the umbilical cord. I would even be a guinea pig myself.

These stem cells don't throw up the same ethical issues and of course if you take them from the same patient then there should not be problems with rejection.

Adult stem cells are already being used and have had some tremendously encouraging results.



SEE ALSO:
Stem cells tailored to patients
19 May 05 |  Health
Scientists clone 30 human embryos
12 Feb 04 |  Science/Nature
Q&A: Cloned human embryos
19 May 05 |  Science/Nature


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