HALIFAX, Sept 29, ( – This week the New England Journal of Medicine discusses the ethics involved in testing an experimental treatment for Parkinson’s disease involving the injection of brain tissue from aborted babies into the brains of Parkinson’s patients. The research has been plagued with the ethical nightmare around the use of aborted baby parts and is now embroiled in the controversy over its handling of “control group” subjects in its experiments. Control group subjects – those not actually given the treatment are led to believe they are being treated in order to test for placebo effects. They have holes drilled in their heads just like experimental subjects but are not given the supposedly beneficial injection of baby brains. 

Canada has been engaged in such research for many years and is one of 18 centres around the world performing such operations. According to authorities in the field, Canada is leading the way in these experiments, primarily at the lab of Dr. Ivar Mendez at Dalhousie University in Halifax. Alberta Report magazine noted last month that Dr. Mendez, received a $90,042 grant from the Medical Research Council of Canada for 1999-2000. 

The Independent reports that the Helsinki declaration on research requires that the interests of science and society should never take precedence over the individual.