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Interview with Dr. Kelly Hollowell
Dr. Kelly Hollowell is a scientist, patent attorney
and adjunct professor of bioethics at the University of Richmond
and Regent University Law Schools. She is a weekend columnist for
WorldNet Daily, and a
nationally recognized conference speaker on issues of bioethics
and advancing medical technologies. She is also founder and executive
director of SMI,
a non-profit corporation addressing issues in science and biotechnology.
As a conference speaker Dr. Hollowell has presented to the Council
for National Policy, Eagle Forum, Legal Defense Fund, and Concerned
Women of America. In addition to her academic writings, Dr. Hollowell
has written and reviewed findings and legislation for multiple state
representatives. She was also nominated to the President's
Commission for ESCR by the Christian Medical Association.
Previous experience includes positions as corporate counsel and
science editor for Star-Wire Corporation; patent attorney for Kaufman
& Canoles; and forensic toxicologist at University of Miami
School of Medicine Department of Pathology. Dr. Hollowell is a member
of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Virginia State Bar Association,
Christian Medical Association, American Association for the Advancement
of Science, and Family Foundation Advisory Board.
Please briefly describe what the Christian
Medical & Dental Associations is and what it does.
The Christian Medical & Dental Associations exist to motivate,
educate, and equip Christian physicians and dentists to glorify
living out the character of Christ in their
homes, practices, communities and around the world;
pursuing professional competence and Christ-like
compassion in their daily work;
influencing their families, colleagues, and
patients toward a right relationship with Jesus Christ;
advancing Biblical principles in bioethics
and health to the Church and society.
CMDA has many programs:
Global Health Outreach exists to provide opportunities for medical,
dental and other healthcare professionals, students, their families
and associates to serve Christ, to share Christ and to grow in Christ.
Medical Education Int'l is designed for graduate physicians
and dentists who wish to serve by teaching and training medical
personnel overseas, as part of Christian medical/dental teaching
The Pan-African College of Christian Surgeons (PACCS) is an international
organization dedicated to developing quality training programs in
general surgery at Christian hospitals in Africa, and to assuring
a high level of professional competence among its members.
The Domestic Missions Commission (DMC) is composed of a group of
men and women dedicated to serving the poor of the United States
and sharing with them the gospel of Jesus Christ. The purpose of
the Domestic Mission Commission is to promote and facilitate domestic
mission outreach by CMDA members and to encourage them as they serve.
CMDA also provides networking, conferences and placement opportunities.
In regards to therapeutic and reproductive human cloning,
what are your concerns?
Human reproductive cloning is nothing short of human experimentation.
Unlike other in-vitro fertilization (ivf) procedures that mimic
natural conception through technology, reproductive cloning endeavors
to create life through a procedure that is completely unnatural.
Cloning creates a new life from the genetic material of a single
individual rather than two people. Given the magnitude of failed
efforts and breadth of abnormalities seen in cloned animals, it
is clear that any form of human cloning qualifies as human experimentation
and medical malpractice.
For example, the success rate of cloning animals ranges from 0.1
to 3%. This means for every 1000 tries, there are between 970 and
999 failed attempts. Of those born, problems often occur later in
development. For example, cloned animals tend to be much bigger
at birth than their natural counterparts. Scientists call this "Large
Offspring Syndrome" (LOS). Clones with LOS have abnormally
large organs. This can lead to breathing, blood flow and other problems.
Even some clones without LOS have developed kidney and brain malformations
as well as impaired immune systems. Finally, the discovery of abnormalities
in the length of the DNA strands of cloned animals indicates that
the cells of some cloned animals, such as Dolly, are aging faster
than the cells of a sheep naturally conceived.
Additionally, there is an inherent devaluation of human life in
the mechanical processing and mass production of embryos created
by any artificial means. This is easily evidenced by the more than
400,000 neglected and forgotten embryos held in frozen storage in
our ivf facilities.
Human therapeutic cloning begins with the same procedure as reproductive
cloning in creating human life. The goal of reproductive cloning
is to produce a baby through implantation of the cloned embryo.
The goal of therapeutic cloning is to sacrifice the cloned embryo
to harvest its embryonic stem cells for research and or treatment.
That means the primary difference between these two procedures is
their intended use and purpose. Therapeutic cloning crosses a new
threshold in moral depravity in that its goal is the creation of
life specifically intended for destruction.
Dr. David Stevens, executive director of CMDA, explains "Ethically,
the pursuit of human cloning will involve the deaths of human embryos
during development. The use of human life merely as a means to an
end is morally unacceptable. Human cloning threatens long-standing
principles related to parentage, lineage, family structure and the
uniqueness of the individual. Children are unique individuals with
inestimable worth; their value is not derived from serving as replacements
for other human beings. Children require parents' unconditional
love; they are not consumer products to be chosen for desired features
or discarded for unwanted liabilities.
And spiritually, human cloning deviates from the wisdom of God's
design for human relationships and genetic diversity. The historical
Judeo-Christian ethic, founded upon clear biblical principles, holds
that human life is sacred because each individual is made in God's
image; that God's design is that each individual is formed
by the union of genetic material from a husband and a wife; and
that the family is the basic social unit designed by God to receive
and nurture new human life."
There is no question that efforts to create human beings by cloning
marks a new threshold in moral depravity opening the floodgates
to unspeakable human-rights violations and grisly human experimentation
on our unborn children. It is not only a decisive step toward turning
human reproduction into a manufacturing process, but it transforms
the mystery and majesty of life into a mere malleable and marketable
Do you believe cloning research and development has any
Cloning research may have useful purpose in creating homogenous
groups of animal models for use in research. Such animal groups
can increase the efficacy of research on disease and or treatments.
While embryonic stem cells have been the center of much debate and
controversy, how do you feel about the use of adult stem cells for
researching cures for diseases?
Adult stem cell research is wholly ethically and clinically effective.
Current applications of adult stem cells have been in clinical use
for more than a decade and offer treatment for a broad array of
disorders. They include treatments for the following:
corneal restoration ("Successful
Transplantation of Bioengineered Tissue Replacements in Patients
with Ocular Surface Disease," Cornea 19, 421-426; July
brain tumors (Cancer Investigation
18, 492-493; 2000)
breast cancer ("High-dose chemotherapy
and hematopoietic stem cell rescue for breast cancer: experience
in California," Biol. Blood Marrow Transplant 6, 496-505;
ovarian cancer ("High-Dose
Chemotherapy and Autologous Stem-Cell Transplantation for Ovarian
Cancer: An Autologous Blood and Marrow Transplant Registry Report,"
Annals of Internal Medicine 133, 504-515; Oct. 3, 2000)
liver disease ("Successful stem
cell transplantation following orthotopic liver transplantation
from the same haploidentical family donor in a girl with hemophagocytic
lymphohistiocytosis," Blood 96, 3997-3999; Dec 1, 2000)
Survival Rate in Infant Acute Leukemia Treated With Early High-Dose
Chemotherapy and Stem-Cell Support," Journal of Clinical
Oncology 18, 3256-3261; Sept., 2000)
lupus (Lancet 356, 701-707; August
arthritis (Arthritis & Rheumatology
42, 2281-2285, Nov., 1999)
heart disease ("Myoblast transplantation
for heart failure," Lancet 357, 279-280; Jan 27, 2001)
for adult stem cells include:
bone marrow (demonstrated to make more than
blood but also bone, muscle, cartilage, heart tissue, liver,
and even brain cells)
possibly fat cells
The truth is that thousands of patients are treated and cured using
adult stem cells. On the other hand, embryonic stem cell research
has so far yielded meager results in the laboratory and no positive
clinical results to date.
Following a vote passed in November 2003 by the UN to postpone
voting on a ban on cloning for at least two years, cloning and its
research remains largely unrestricted. How do you feel the US government
should address this issue, and was this the best short-term solution?
In response to "advances" in human cloning, it is time
to confront the mindset of scientists and clinicians who view themselves
above all ethical and moral limits. Physicians and scientists have
a duty beyond themselves and discovery. They have a duty to comply
with the ethical and moral limits that define us as a culture and
The only measure likely to distance ourselves from countries like
Korea, counteract immoral state laws such as the "clone and
kill" bill recently passed in New Jersey, and prevent enactment
of cloning bills pending in other states, is passing federal legislation
that prohibits all forms of human cloning such as Senate bill 245
(S. 245), The Human Cloning Prohibition Act introduced by Sen. Sam
Brownback of Kansas.
Do you believe the UN would be wise to first implement a
ban on reproductive cloning-a compromise between the two camps-and
then take some time to decide on therapeutic cloning? Could you
see such action as a beginning toward CMA's goals?
Human cloning of any kind violates the sanctity of human life. Wisdom
mandates closing all opportunities for human cloning. No compromise
that allows for the sacrifice of human life is acceptable to the
CMDA. The CMDA will no doubt continue leading the charge to prohibit
all forms of human cloning regardless of UN action.
Now that human stem cells have been successfully cloned
and the information of how to clone them is readily available, how
will CMA attempt to get scientists to refrain from proceeding with
As consistent with our mission and goals, The Christian Medical
& Dental Associations exists in part to influence colleagues
while advancing Biblical principles in bioethics and health care.
So we will continue in our current venues including conferences,
publications, and public outreach to educate our colleagues and
the public of the unethical practices of human cloning.
In some labs, parthenogenesis has been used to avoid the
controversy of cloning, because it involves an unfertilized egg
that can produce hundreds of stem cell lines. Is this an acceptable
method of research?
For the record, I know very little of this field of study. It would
seem acceptable as it applies to animals and plants. The study of
both natural and artificial parthenogenesis can be an informative
study since unusual patterns of heredity can occur. According to
one source, artificial parthenogenesis has been achieved in almost
all major groups of animals, but the results are often incomplete
and abnormal development. No successful experiments with human parthenogenesis
have been reported.
How soon and in what way do you feel that cloning will directly
affect the general public?
The secret of an advancing society is remaining civilized, and a
civilized society preserves human dignity by living within ethical
limits and moral boundaries. The "civilization" of a society
can be measured by the care it provides for its weakest members,
not its strongest or loudest.
That means there has never been a greater need to protest the current
direction of this unethical research. But let me be clear. This
is not a rejection of technological advance. In fact, most Americans
recognize that advances in science and medicine such as transplant
surgery, cancer treatment and adult stem-cell research improve our
health and lives.
Nonetheless, in addition to the concerns cited in question two,
human cloning advances a philosophy that devalues human life. The
effects of such a philosophy can be seen in many areas beyond reproductive
technologies, such as the practice of euthanasia, physician-assisted
suicide and human experimentation. That means human cloning is already
having its effect on society.
Submitted by: Chris Moore, spring 2004 intern