Action Alert!

next Great Leap Forward: single-sex procreation

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Apr 13, 2007

A British scientist thinks that she can enable women to produce sperm, using stem cells drawn from their own bone marrow. The process-- which has already provided promising results in treating men with fertility problems-- could make it possible for lesbian couples to produce their own biological offspring.

It might be possible. But you're wondering: Is it ethical? Funny you should ask:

Scientists are seeking ethical permission to produce synthetic sperm cells from a woman's bone marrow tissue...

But to whom-- or should I say, to Whom-- do you apply for ethical permission?

Professor Karim Nayernia, of the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, anticipated that question, too:

We need permission from the patient who supplied the bone marrow, the ethics committee and the hospital itself.

Let's see: the patient, who wants a baby; the hospital, which wants patrons and publicity; and the ethics committee, made up of scrupulous health-career professionals who are colleagues of Professor Nayernia. What are the odds, doc?

I don't think there is an ethical barrier, so long as it's safe.

Ah, yes: so long as it's safe. But how do you measure safety? Maybe it will work; maybe everyone involved will be healthy and happy. But eventually we all stand before the Judgment Seat, and you're not "safe" there if you suddenly realize that you didn't get quite the right level of ethical permission.

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Show 6 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: - Apr. 08, 2010 6:32 AM ET USA

    Only black? Not pink? And, no, I don't mean rose.

  • Posted by: Johnny Voce - Apr. 07, 2010 11:47 PM ET USA

    April Fools Day was last week, folks.

  • Posted by: Christopher_Johnson - Apr. 07, 2010 10:57 PM ET USA

    You've got to give TEO a LITTLE time, Lisa. ;-)

  • Posted by: Lisa Nicholas, PhD - Apr. 07, 2010 8:49 PM ET USA

    Isn't she already Presiding Bishop?

  • Posted by: Christopher_Johnson - Apr. 07, 2010 1:37 PM ET USA

    On the other hand, the Episcopalians have ordained a lot worse; they even made bishops out of guys like the twice-divorced, thrice-married Barry "Third Time's the Charm" Beisner out there in Northern California. Amd you have to believe that Barbie's sermons would be better than the Episcopal standard and a whole lot less heretical.

  • Posted by: FrPhillips1125 - Apr. 07, 2010 11:42 AM ET USA

    Apparently "High Church Edition" Barbie is committed to saying Requiem Masses, since she appears to have only black vestments. It's nice to know she's a traditionalist.