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Prime Human Cloning Researcher Humiliated 252

Posted by Zonk
from the political-setback dept.
Starker_Kull writes "Today, the first scientist to clone human egg cells, Dr. Hwang Woo-suk, was forced to resign from his post for 'breaches of ethics'. It appears that the ethical breaches consisted of overzealous assistants who volunteered their own eggs for use. After Dr. Hwang declined the offer, the assistants secretly donated their eggs under false names. After Dr. Hwang discovered the deception, he tried to cover it up to protect his researchers - but the news eventually leaked out."
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Prime Human Cloning Researcher Humiliated

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 25, 2005 @09:56AM (#14112674)
    ...egg on his face.

    sorry, but i will be here all week.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 25, 2005 @09:57AM (#14112680)
    I for one welcome our secretly cloned female Korean researcher overlords.

    Sorry.
    • by Vengeance (46019) on Friday November 25, 2005 @10:31AM (#14112829)
      Now now, it seems you forgot to mention that in Korea, only old people donate their eggs.
    • 5: Funny? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Petersko (564140)
      This "I for one welcome..." thing is used many times a day, and stopped being funny a long, long time ago. Look, I accept the fact that an original joke is difficult to assemble, but please, people... exercise a little discretion. Stop modding this up.
      • by Fishead (658061)
        On the other hand, the more it is overused, the funnier it gets. It has ceased to be funny a long time ago. Now it is just downright hilarious.

        I for one welcome our "I for one" overlord jokes.
  • by rkcallaghan (858110) on Friday November 25, 2005 @09:57AM (#14112681)
    But what exactly was unethical about lab workers also being donors in the first place?

    ~Rebecca
    • by dbolger (161340) on Friday November 25, 2005 @10:01AM (#14112703) Homepage
      I am not a scientist, so I'm not sure, but I think the fact that they used false names brings the ethics of the researchers into some disrepute. The chap tried to cover it up to protect their reputations, and in doing so brought himself into disrepute. Its a horrible little circle :(
    • by tgv (254536) on Friday November 25, 2005 @10:02AM (#14112706) Journal
      Any relation between an employer and employee is a minefield, but in this case ethics demands that the eggs were donated voluntarily. That can be easily doubted in the case of subordinates in a strict hierarchy.

      And, IMHO, it should be, but that's (as I said) my opinion.
      • by Simonetta (207550) on Friday November 25, 2005 @01:02PM (#14113642)
        The ability to coerce subordinates into giving time, money, or even body parts is high in the scientific research fields because there are so few good quality job openings and much pressure to produce results. Therefore the need to establish an ethical boundary against having lab workers or other subordinates contribute anything but paid (often, but not always) labor to the project.

            However, this happened in Korea where there is overwhelming pressure on people (applied since they are born) to self-sacrifice and give more and more to a group cause. There is also enormous pressure to serve without question the next higher figure in the chain of authority.
        The director of the project was most likely right in claiming that there was no pressure to actually placed or implied on the lab workers to give up their body parts. However the social pressure was overwhelming, and all the director had to do was mention that 'donors' were needed and the lab workers would comply.

              This is the type of situation that the ethical guideline was established to prevent. The director would have realized that his subordinants would have delivered the eggs and should have taken stronger measures to prevent this from happening. However, given the cultural context, it is unlikely that the director felt that he should abide by the ethical constricture.

              Sort of like American rock star mentioning that he enjoys fellatio to couple of backstage groupies. No pressure, no insinuations, but the need is serviced without question.
      • by danila (69889) on Friday November 25, 2005 @03:29PM (#14114334) Homepage
        It is confusing to call this an ethical problem, because it has absolutely NOTHING to do with ethics, but only with so-called "professional ethics".

        There is nothing whatsoever ethically wrong with using eggs from your teammates. But it does violate some code of conduct that people somewhere made up. This is a technical mistake that absolutely should not make man ashamed.

        The guy who stirred everything and made the noise about this issue (Gerald Schatten) is scum and a moron. It is he who should resign and kill himself, not professor Woo-suk.
    • by xappax (876447) on Friday November 25, 2005 @10:03AM (#14112719)
      I'm sure the reason the general public is concerned is that it seems like a "breach of ethics" or as we say in the rural US, it "ain't raight". However, I think the reason it created waves in the scientific community is that researchers are expected to remain as distant as possible from their experiments as possible, in an effort to keep their observations as objective as possible. You can't do good science if your personal emotions and ego are wrapped up too tightly with the experiment.
      • by Halfbaked Plan (769830) on Friday November 25, 2005 @10:36AM (#14112855)
        You can't do good science if your personal emotions and ego are wrapped up too tightly with the experiment.

        Whoah! That would rule out just about any scientist. Or anybody else doing any kind of work they care about.

        Which leaves the work for dispassionate drones and the mediocre, I suppose.
        • by rxmd (205533) on Friday November 25, 2005 @11:37AM (#14113174) Homepage
          Whoah! That would rule out just about any scientist. Or anybody else doing any kind of work they care about.
          I guess there's still a difference between a scientist doing research that he cares about (most of us do) and a biologist working with a cell culture that is technically his or her daughter.
          • ...and a biologist working with a cell culture that is technically his or her daughter.

            I'm curious - why did you say "his or her" but not "daughter or son"? Especially since, you know, in this case the biologist is definitely female...
      • This is probably the most reasonable explanation I've read on this topic.

        It's probably impossible for any researcher not to gain an emotional involvement with their research over time. The problem as I see it is that if the experiment is of one's own biology, then that person is in danger of doing things to allow the experiment to survive which may not necessarily be in the best interests of the research.

        Now, as to the poor doc. Had he stopped this when he first learned about it, I'd bet that he'd still b
      • You can't do good science if your personal emotions and ego are wrapped up too tightly with the experiment

        That's what things like peer review are for. It is human nature to get blinded by your own excitement and enthusiasm. Mistakes happen.

      • by mrsev (664367)
        This has nothing to do with emotions or maintinaing scientific objectivity. They needed raw materials for their work and got them from the easiest place.

        It is obvious that they had a big problem getting hold of eggs to do their work and this was stopping their research. The fact that they are not allowed to even pay for these eggs but must get them for free is stupid.

        It is this "morality" that gets in the way of science. Science is neither good nor bad. If Albert Einstein had buggered old ladies to get to t
    • by elgatozorbas (783538) on Friday November 25, 2005 @10:07AM (#14112737)
      But what exactly was unethical about lab workers also being donors in the first place?

      The line between voluntary and reluctant donation is very vague because it can be assumed that lab workers can easily be put under pressure to donate their eggs. Afterwards it is hard to prove that they did it (in)voluntarily. To avoid this discussion their genetic material should not be used alltogether.

      • by pla (258480) on Friday November 25, 2005 @11:52AM (#14113253) Journal
        The line between voluntary and reluctant donation is very vague because it can be assumed that lab workers can easily be put under pressure

        I hate to break it to you, but outside the hard physical sciences, at least 90% of research involves freshmen and sophmores (and mostly female at that) "pressured" into "volunteering", usually for a significant part of their grade in an "intro to experimental methodology" (or comparable) class.

        The problem here involves pure and unadulterated BS politics. The professor "lied" to protect his staff, the info got out anyway, so his affiliation panicked over the nature of his work and requested he take a hike. Nothing more, nothing less.

        And the real pity here? Not just his career - He'll get another non-research academic job within a few years. No, instead, we should feel bad about the invalidation of his findings just because of a combination of unfortunate circumstances, with his area of study not the least of which.
    • The ehtics rules are their because it's an area ripe for abuse. Junior researchers could be pressured and thus "voluntary" might not really be voluntary. As the story goes, the donations were properly refused and then given anonymously. It might seem that there was no pressure and therefore legit. Even here it's a tad dicey. First because it puts pressures for unethical behaviour on competing scientist who lack such "enthusastic" assistants. Second because the story is perhaps too pat and one could ima
    • The particular medical code specifically relating to such practices forbids any type of donation or solicitation from associates. In this case, it was clearly outlined that such actions were inappropriate, yet they still took place. Once the Doctor learned about it, he had two choices...foregoe history and play by the same rules as everyone else, or give life to the lie and set special rules for himself.

      It's all about ethics, and like brains, either you have them or you don't.

      All the worse for Korea,
    • by toxfox (581548) on Friday November 25, 2005 @11:26AM (#14113122)

      The BBC article only discusses the egg donations made by his research assistants. Here [nytimes.com] are some excerpts from a longer piece in the New York Times (reg req) which describe a different problem:

      "His world reputation is now expected to suffer a major dent over his admissions that he lied to an international scientific journal over eggs obtained in what many see as an ethically murky manner. [...] Roh Sung Il, the administrator of MizMedi Hospital in Seoul, disclosed at a news conference on Monday that during 2002 and 2003, he made payments of $1,400 to each woman who donated eggs. Egg donation is an unpleasant procedure that involves a week of daily hormone shots, culminating with the extraction of eggs through a hollow needle. "For those who go through discomfort and sacrifice, it seemed natural to give some money as compensation," Dr. Roh told reporters. [...] Dr. Hwang said he had wondered why the hospital had become a regular source of eggs, while other hospitals were having difficulties. "I raised the matter, but Roh Sung Il, the administrator of MizMedi Hospital in Seoul, said that there were no problems in the procurement process and I did not raise the issue afterwards," he told reporters. After the ethical scandal flared this week, dozens of women in Dr. Hwang's Internet fan club have sent e-mail messages volunteering their eggs.

      Confirming the other longstanding rumor, South Korea's Health Ministry said Thursday that an ethics investigation at Seoul National University had found that the two junior scientists had given their own eggs for research. But it said those donations had not violated ethics guidelines because they were voluntary.

      As the scientists' egg donations were neither "coerced or coaxed" nor "aimed at making profit," there has been "no violation of ethics guidelines," Choi Hee Joo, a Health Ministry spokesman, told reporters before Dr. Hwang's announcement.

      In May 2004, Nature raised ethical questions concerning the origin of Dr. Hwang's eggs. At the time, Dr. Hwang denied that researchers in his team had donated their own eggs to his research.

      In an interview last May, he said all eggs had been harvested from volunteers without payment.

    • I thought he forced his lab assistants to donate eggs. If that is the case, (which I'm not sure of), then this is all just spinnnnnn. Without the wishy washy "yeah, but's" this reads "Scientist forced to resign after attempting to hide the false source of eggs in cloning experiment."
  • by mrRay720 (874710) on Friday November 25, 2005 @09:57AM (#14112684)
    ...this is a breach of eggthics, not ethics?
  • Or not, of course (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tgv (254536) on Friday November 25, 2005 @09:58AM (#14112690) Journal
    That's what he says, but you know how important it can be to save your face. More important than telling the truth, I would say...
    • In many Asian circles, saving face is more important than life itself sometimes.

      Most westerners would disagree, but face and honor has been an extreme facet of Japan, China, and Korea for centuries (if not thousand of years). Although I will have to point out that most Asians don't take it to that extreme, but suicide rates over failure (ie students failing classes, CEO failing a company, government official commited of wrong doing) than western society.

  • by gowen (141411) <gwowen@gmail.com> on Friday November 25, 2005 @10:00AM (#14112698) Homepage Journal
    Although he has resigned, the 17 identical copies of Prof. Hwang will continue to do his research for him.
  • Resigned? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Darlantan (130471) on Friday November 25, 2005 @10:02AM (#14112709)
    I really fail to see how this is something worth resigning over. So, his assistants were a bit overzealous, and he didn't know about it until it was too late. Yes, he tried to cover it up, but did he try to fudge any of the research? Does this make his science bad in any way? Seems pretty silly to me.
    • Yes, he tried to cover it up, but did he try to fudge any of the research? Does this make his science bad in any way?

      It makes him dishonest, and therefore people will doubt anything he says. I'm okay with deliberate dishonesty being grounds for dismissal/resignation.
    • Scooter, you should be concentrating on your own defense.
  • I don't get it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tx (96709) on Friday November 25, 2005 @10:02AM (#14112712) Journal
    Last time this story came around, it wasn't clear to me that this guy did not know his researchers had donated their eggs. If he'd been a cold bastard and put all the blame on the researchers in question as soon as he found out, he'd probably have got away with it. Instead he tried to protect them, and this is what he gets for it.

    Ah well, no good deed goes unpunished, as the saying goes.
    • Re:I don't get it (Score:4, Insightful)

      by elgatozorbas (783538) on Friday November 25, 2005 @10:30AM (#14112827)
      Last time this story came around, it wasn't clear to me that this guy did not know his researchers had donated their eggs. If he'd been a cold bastard and put all the blame on the researchers in question as soon as he found out, he'd probably have got away with it. Instead he tried to protect them, and this is what he gets for it.

      You will never know what happened, neither will I. The only thing we know is that these eggs were used (let's assume that is true, because even that you cannot know). Everything else is hypothesis and should be treated as such.

      Maybe he was to blame, maybe someone else. One way or another unethical stuff happened and the boss takes the blame. Note that this does not necessarily mean his career is over. Just think of German scientists being adopted by the US after WWII. If this guy is really an international authority, he will be back in business in no time.

      • Re:I don't get it (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Ubergrendle (531719)
        Just think of German scientists being adopted by the US after WWII. If this guy is really an international authority, he will be back in business in no time.

        I hear what you're saying, although I think this a bit disingenuous... the US hired nuclear, rocket, and aviation scientists.... these were skilled professions who practiced their profession for their country; they cannot be tarred with a single 'Nazi eugenics' brush that's tacitly implied.

        Now if the US hired Mengele do help develop national healt
        • these were skilled professions who practiced their profession for their country; they cannot be tarred with a single 'Nazi eugenics' brush that's tacitly implied.

          Right! It's not like some were officers in the SS, and worked slave labor to death producing V2 rockets *cough*Von Braun*cough*
        • the US hired nuclear, rocket, and aviation scientists.... these were skilled professions who practiced their profession for their country; they cannot be tarred with a single 'Nazi eugenics' brush...

          Yeah, because it's not like those Nazi rocket scientists got all that experience by using slave labor [v2rocket.com] to build rockets to kill civilians in London [bbc.co.uk] or anything.

    • Re:I don't get it (Score:4, Insightful)

      by whitehatlurker (867714) on Friday November 25, 2005 @10:48AM (#14112911) Journal
      Two things.
      1. It is his research lab, it is his responsibility that the research is correct and "above board". The buck stopped at his desk and he made the mistake of trying to cover up unethical practices rather than discarding the results.
      2. He should have disclosed this as soon as he found out (or as soon as he confirmed it) and recanted his work on the topic. If an inquiry showed him to be above blame, he could have continued without that research. As it is, he participated in the deception, and research continues without him.
      • Re:I don't get it (Score:3, Insightful)

        by gordo3000 (785698)
        I Think your solution goes way too far. Why should he throw out the results(assuming he got the results before he found out who's egg he used)? the results are just as relevant with regards to the eggs used. to waste research like this would be like saying we should throw out all the research done by the Nazi's because about all of it went against our codes of ethics. of course we don't do that.

        he ought to have been a heartless bastard and fired the women and publicly ruined their careers. That way, he
      • recanted his work on the topic

        There'd be absolutely no reason to recant. The source of the eggs in no way influences the results, and ultimately those results will have to be verified by other researchers.
  • Vacancy (Score:5, Funny)

    by D-Cypell (446534) on Friday November 25, 2005 @10:02AM (#14112716)
    So what you are saying is that there is a senior scientific position vacant where one of the perks could be described as "Research assistants keen to donate their eggs to the successful applicant".

    Please form an orderly line... behind me.
  • by putko (753330) on Friday November 25, 2005 @10:03AM (#14112723) Homepage Journal
    It looks like there were some ethical violations -- where the current ethical system means no possibility of coercion (e.g. no eggs from within the team) and no payment for eggs.

    Here is something [lewrockwell.com] on the ethics of donations (from some free market fans).

    One thing seems obvious: if they'd had been able to easily buy eggs, it wouldn't have been a hassle: they'd never have gotten eggs from staff, and the problem would have been solved. The lack of trading in eggs prevented these guys from doing the research and complying with the ethical restrictions.

    Here's a nice piece from the sadly discredited NY Times author, Martin Finkel (he lied a story and got fired), talking about a Kidney market in pre-GWII Iraq [mit.edu].
    • Don't mix up two facts. No, the researchers who donated their eggs didn't get paid for it. Some others were paid, though.

      One thing to consider is that it was before any code of ethics was established even in US, let alone Korea. It wasn't illegal, and wasn't breach of any known code ethics. I'm not saying that it's OK just because there was no regulation. But, it's also not something you can simply blame them for the lack of ethics, either (not that the op did that, but in general).
  • Bad Staff (Score:4, Insightful)

    by CmdrGravy (645153) on Friday November 25, 2005 @10:03AM (#14112725) Homepage
    I think the good Dr has been a rather unfortunate here, by the sounds of it his researchers are entirely to blame. However he is ultimately responsible for the actions of his staff and this is why he has taken the decision to resign from his public appointments.

    I wish more public figures acted with this level of integrity. We are seeing situations arise increasingly frequently where it turns out that no blame at all attaches it's self to public figures no matter what they or there staff/departments may have been engaged in and I hope the actions of this Dr can be a lesson to the next government minister who discovers his department has been acting illegally and realises that the excuse they didn't really bother to keep up to date with what their department was doing is not good enough.
    • I think the good Dr has been a rather unfortunate here, by the sounds of it his researchers are entirely to blame.

      According to Dr. Hwang... who has already proven himself a less-than reliable source, since he's admitted to lying about the issue of paying for ova. Who, if he is guilty of misconduct, has a great deal to gain from pleading ignorance and pinning the blame on others. Furthermore, if he's guilty and he goes down, he probably takes a lot of people with him, and it does a major blow to the pres

  • Revisionist? (Score:4, Informative)

    by hwestiii (11787) on Friday November 25, 2005 @10:18AM (#14112772) Homepage
    I don't know which version is correct, but the first time I saw this story reported the relevant facts were not that assistants had surreptitiously donated eggs, but that the primary researcher himself had compelled one or more assistants to donate their eggs.

    Looks like a little further digging is in order to clear this up.
    • Re:Revisionist? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by WindBourne (631190)
      That is the whole problem. Assume that the researcher forced the assistant to give eggs. Obviously, that is wrong.

      But the story changed to be, that the assistant donated eggs and researcher tried to cover up. Cover-up what? That an assistant lied, or that he forced the assistant? Problem is, that now there are multi stories and impossible to know which is the truth.

      In science and education, veracity is everything.
    • by Solandri (704621) on Friday November 25, 2005 @11:18AM (#14113066)
      The last story [slashdot.org] was submitted as "lab worker forced to donate eggs" when the WSJ article it linked said nothing at all about coercion. The submitter completely misstated the article.

      Same thing is going on with this submission. The linked BBC story says nothing about Dr. Hwang being forced to resign. In fact, it sounds like he resigned voluntarily. The submitter added the "forced" and "humiliated" part himself.

      It's almost as if some slashdot submitters don't like what this guy is doing and are making up whatever spin and hyperbole they can to discredit him. Shame on the editors for not reading the linked articles to check if the submission description is accurate.

  • unfair (Score:4, Insightful)

    by penguin-collective (932038) on Friday November 25, 2005 @10:35AM (#14112850)
    From the BBC story, this sounds grossly unfair to Dr. Hwang.

    According to the BBC, Dr. Hwang did not attempt to violate the policy, he did not even know about the fact that the women donated, and it is clear that he wasn't trying to circumvent the policy either. It sounds to me like he did nothing wrong.

    Yes, he did lie to Nature about it, but I find his justification acceptable. While there are some ethical considerations that go into publishing a journal, Nature has no business conducting ethics investigations, and this particular aspect of the experiment had no bearing on the scientific validity of the results.

    To me, this story mostly reflects poorly on Nature--attempting to pry into areas that really are none of their business--and the Korean research establishment.

    Hats off to Dr. Hwang for being willing to take the blame for something he didn't do. I suspect that his motivation is to keep human cloning research going, and he knows that the media and politicans would continue a feeding frenzy over this as long as he stays in his job.
    • Re:unfair (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Otter (3800)
      While there are some ethical considerations that go into publishing a journal, Nature has no business conducting ethics investigations, and this particular aspect of the experiment had no bearing on the scientific validity of the results.

      That human research subjects are properly consented is a crucial piece of any research on them. It's absolutely Nature's business, in this case, and they deserve credit for enforcing proper standards.

      At any rate, these "Korean Stem Cell Triumph" papers all seem to have som

      • Re:unfair (Score:2, Insightful)

        It's absolutely Nature's business, in this case, and they deserve credit for enforcing proper standards.

        Neither the publisher nor the reviewers are qualified to perform investigations or make judgements. They are an unaccountable, haphazard collection of people that are abusing the authority granted to them by the scientific community for the purpose of disseminating accurate scientific information for an entirely different purpose, the punishment of ethics violations.

        Of course, a scientific journal may st
    • I"m not sure what scientific journals you read, but every one I have access to at college takes the ethics of the researchers into account in a very real way. If a standard ethics violation occurred, they won't publish the results a lot of the time. Its probably a good thing because it would become incredibly attractive for struggling researchers to commit severe violations (all that has been admitted to or shown is that this guyed covered up what happened) and have faith that if they are successful, Natu
    • Re:unfair (Score:3, Insightful)

      Yes, he did lie to Nature about it, but I find his justification acceptable.

      You do, do you? You admit the man is a liar, but then you freely take his word on what actual events transpired? Do you not see the naivety in your comment?

      What you're completely discounting here is that things might not have been as Dr. Hwang says they were. What if the research assistants were "encouraged" to donate their eggs? As in "you will voluntarily donate your eggs to this research project or we'll find another person t
    • Simply put if he is in fact resigning rather than being fired, then it is more likely a case that the facts lean towards his story, but the whole thing makes the institution look bad, so they'll rather pay him off and send him on his way.
  • by operagost (62405) on Friday November 25, 2005 @10:48AM (#14112910) Homepage Journal
    Imagine, if he took a new position in the USA, how his name would look in reverse on the immigration form:

    Woo-Suk, Hwang

    Adding insult to injury ...

  • I'm puzzled over something. How, exactly, does a woman donate an egg without anyone else knowing about it?


    Sperm donations are easy to figure out (I'll leave the visuals to the reader's deranged imagination). But women? Unless I'm sorely mistaken, the extraction of a viable egg is a surgical procedure, and no matter how good Waldos have gotten over the years, I haven't heard of one sophisticated enough yet to allow a woman to perform that procedure on herself. So the question is, who performed the procedure, and who assisted?


    "Three can keep a secret if two are dead." So goes the cliche. It's been proven accurate with this minor scandal. Unfortunately for the researcher, the gory details got out before he was able to either bring them forward himself or develop a solid-enough cover. But rather than looking to the surreptitious donors, I'd be looking for whoever did the egg extractions, and asking why they outed the mess. No publication credit? Money? Personality clash? Something I haven't thought of?


    We now return to our regularly-scheduled slashdotting intellectual discussion, already in progress...

    • They give the woman hormones to make her ovaries ripen, then apply a local anesthetic to her genitals. Afterward, they inject a syrenge through the wall of the vagina and use it to pull eggs out. It's not like they have an inscision (although, that was my first thought too...)
  • by Exluddite (851324) on Friday November 25, 2005 @11:21AM (#14113095)
    "You do such an excellent job, I wish I had ten of you around here. Hey, wait a minute!...."
  • Oh yes... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by JayBlalock (635935) on Friday November 25, 2005 @12:07PM (#14113317)
    That the provenance of the donated eggs is questionable OBVIOUSLY invalidates all the rest of his research! Guess there's STILL no human cloning after all, huh? And good thing too!

    /sarcast

    I mean, seriously. Am I alone in thinking that this sounds MORE like the morality police casting about desperately for a reason to discredit the man and his work?

  • by Cesaro (78578) on Friday November 25, 2005 @12:09PM (#14113330) Journal
    Top human cloning expert gets "humiliated." Great. Now this guy is going to go bat-shit insane, move to some small island and start wreaking havoc.

    Next article is going to be "Humiliated cloning experts buys thousands of linen suits, panama hats, and a cane then moves to small tropical island."

    Great....
  • Didn't I hear something about a huge stink over a genetric researcher who DEMANDED a lab assistant donate their eggs?
  • by cortana (588495)
    They are just cells. Who gives a crap?
  • I could understand if somewhat had a problem with using eggs by just anyone. (Not that I think use of eggs is inherently wrong or dangerous. I don't know against what the donors have to be protected, but well...)

    But in this case the eggs were *voluntarily* donated. So what? Isn't THAT a reason to use them? And against what evil did the guy want to protect the donors?
  • He will just find a job at a company that has a different concept of morality.

    He's prolly got 10 offers already.

    Morality is relative anyway, and often gets in the way of progress.
  • We can only hope that during an interview he'll proclaim "Whoooo wanta some Whang?!? [3drealms.com]"

    --falz
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 25, 2005 @01:07PM (#14113671)
    The eggs were donated voluntary with absolutely no pressure and no solicitation. Dr. Hwang Woo-suk did nothing wrong but has to be apologetic because of the oppressive governments.

    Hey oppressive governments, if you're so concerned about ethics, why don't you make torture illegal for real and enforce anti-torturing laws by prosecuting soldiers, police, and government officials who engage in torture, cover up torture, or obstruct investigations of torture? Or would that be to ETHICAL for you? (And yes, this includes you, America)

    Whenever a politician or news reporter talks about ethics, it's complete B.S. They act all high-and-mighty about stem cell research but evidently have absolutely no outrage against torturing people. I call B.S. on anyone who emanates fake outrage over stem cell research.
  • by samantha (68231) * on Friday November 25, 2005 @06:34PM (#14115213) Homepage
    These eggs were donated without his knowledge. They were donated before a law against such things was even passed. He attempts to cover for the researchers and his lab in the face of a rather silly law that might be used after the fact. As a result one of the most brilliant and important researchers in the world is forced to resign. I suspect extreme pressure from the US fundies somewhere in this. On the face of it these events make no sense. There must be some very serious factors behind the surface story. What are we not seeing in the news?

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