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NIH Revitalization Act of 1993



  • Senator Edward Kennedy, Massachusetts, and Representative Henry Waxman, California, pushed and helped enact the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993.

  • They overturned the existing Ethics Advisory Board approval requirement and allowed the NIH to appoint a Human Embryo Research Panel "to provide advice as to those areas acceptable for Federal Funding".

  • The appointed Panel included members of the AFS and the ACOG, and first met in January, 1994. Among the members were 3 cellular or subcellular biologists, 1 primate anatomist, 5 physicians, 2 lawyers, 2 University Presidents, 1 sociologist, 2 educationists and 3 philosophers (but NO human embryologist).


Recommendations from the NIH Human Embryo Research Panel


The Panel made several recommendations:​

  • The creation or manufacture of human embryos as research objects with no intent of implantation.

  • Removal of ovaries from brain-dead women and aborted fetuses so eggs (ova) can be recovered for laboratory fertilization and manipulation.

  • Testing a panoply of drugs on the developing human embryo.

  • Human parthenogenesis, until now an oxymoron, an attempt without fertilization by a sperm and by manipulation to force the ovum to form an embryo.

  • Use of human embryos to create specific cell lines.

  • Separating cells from human embryos to duplicate individuals, or to freeze and save as potential "spares".

  • Tests on human embryos for developing new lines of contraception.

  • Fusion of animal specie cells or DNA fragments with those of the human embryo with the expectation of further development.

  • President Clinton announced that no federal funds would be used to fund the creation of research embryos, because of the great moral implications. But, he said nothing about leftover embryos from IVF procedures - "spare" embryos.

  • The "preembryo" is purely arbitrary, as even some of the NIH Advisory Panel members admit.

  • The reason for inventing these stages is to justify the experimentation proposed for the human embryo.

  • Justifying all of the "recreational" experimentation is the application of the terms "preembryo" or "human embryo exutero", as used by the Panel, to the first 14 days after fertilization.

  • The assumption is that up to a certain stage the individual is not there and while it may be treated with profound respect it is not owed the respect due to an 'authentic' human being. The implication is that we are to accept manipulation and exploitation of the "preembryo", and this can be done with impunity and, of course, subsidized with tax dollars.

  • Even though non-therapeutic procedures may kill the human embryo, advocates may claim such experiments would be redeeming if they render useful results. In other words, the end would justify the means!

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