Disgraced Scientist Admits Faking Research
AGENCE-FRANCE PRESSE, March 6 — South Korean cloning expert Hwang Woo-Suk, has for the first time admitted playing a key role in fabricating stem-cell research, the French news agency reported.
Under questioning for a fifth day by prosecutors for alleged misuse of $6.4 million, Hwang, 52, admitted telling a researcher working for him to fake key research that won him international acclaim in 2005, the agency said. Hwang claimed in the landmark paper last year that he had created 11 patient-specific stem cells through cloning. But a panel of experts concluded last month that the claims were bogus.
Hwang admitted that
he “directed Kwon Dae-kee, a senior researcher at his laboratory, to manipulate
samples for DNA testing of stem cell lines Nos. 4-11 in connection with Hwang’s
2005 paper,” an unidentified prosecution official said.
A panel at Seoul National University also concluded that a 2004 paper by Hwang, in which he claimed to have produced a stem cell from a cloned human embryo, was also fabricated.
For Those Who Believe, No Explanation Is Necessary …
REUTERS, March 8 — For those who don’t believe, no explanation will suffice. Because many doctors increasingly refuse to accept the sudden cure of a serious disease as miraculous, the caretakers of the shrine at Lourdes may introduce a new category for unexplained recoveries, Reuters reported.
Every year, dozens of seriously ill people leave the site in southwestern France convinced they have been cured, but the Church does not declare their cases miracles because its rules say doctors must attest their ailments could not be remedied.
Bishop Jacques Perrier said the Vatican need not change the rules for declaring miracles, but could create a new category of “authentic healings” so those who recover can share the story of their physical and spiritual experiences with others.
“Doctors today speak in statistical terms, saying, for example, that the chances of recovery are very slim,” he said. “They have a very hard time saying a disease is completely incurable. Most healings may fail to meet this or that criterion for a miracle. … It’s meant to give a certain moral guarantee so we don’t have just anybody going around claiming to have been healed.”
Netherlands to Officially Sanction Baby Euthanasia
UPI, March 9 — Within the next few weeks, the Netherlands will become the first country to allow the euthanasia of young children with “incurable” illnesses, United Press International reported.
The Times of London reported that a committee will be formed to decide when baby euthanasia is warranted. Eduard Verhagen, clinical director of pediatrics at the University Medical Center in Groningen, has admitted participating in the euthanasia of four babies. He has drawn up a protocol that has been adopted by the government, saying euthanasia can be considered only in cases with “unbearable suffering, with parental consent and consultation with other doctors.”
This frightening development follows the recent declaration by Marianne van den Anker, the head of Rotterdam’s Health Department. She is advocating the forced abortions of teenaged mothers, drug addicts and the mentally handicapped of Antillean and Aruban descent.
Cardinal Invites Pope Benedict to Britain
BBC NEWS, March 7 — Pope Benedict has been invited to visit Britain by officials of the Church in England and Wales, BBC reported.
In a statement, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor said he was hopeful that the Pope be made aware of the delight a visit would bring to the British people. But it was too soon to say what a visit might consist of or whether it would be feasible, the statement added.
His predecessor, Pope John Paul II, visited Britain in 1982, the first papal visit to England since 1531. But it was understood that it was “very unlikely” any visit by Pope Benedict XVI would coincide with the 25th anniversary celebration of John Paul’s visit.