Scientists Again Propose Creation of Headless Human Clones as Organ Farms

DELHI, November 2, 2004 ( - The Hindustani Times reports on a conference at which the prospect of headless human organ farms has again been offered as a serious possibility.

Speaking on ‘Conquest Over Mortality’ at the Delhi meeting of the Chicago-based International College of Surgeons (ICS), P.B. Desai, a renowned oncologist and former director of the Mumbai-based Tata Memorial Centre said, “Science is moving at such a fast pace that scientists have proven that they can create headless mice through removal of genes in embryo that control development of the head. But the body would have the capacity to keep the organs functional for use as transplants.” The meeting in Delhi was attended by over 250 leading surgeons of the country and overseas.  The creation of headless humans seems to be a perennial goal of biotechnologists’ dreams. In 1997 the Times ran an article predicting the creation of headless human clones for organ harvesting within ten years. Since then headless mice have been grown in laboratories at the University of Texas.

The issue of personhood in ethics is at the heart of the debate over whether a human being may be killed to benefit another. The personhood conflict finds its way into debates over euthanasia, the status of persons with severe brain damage such as Terri Schiavo, children born with severe defects, embryo research and abortion.

Classical medical ethics, based on the Natural Law theory, said that all human beings are persons regardless of their medical condition. Since the early 1970’s however, the new philosophy, bioethics, has overtaken medical ethics that requires a human being to meet certain criteria - such as the ability to think - to qualify as a person.

P.B. Desai said, “The ultimate aim of science and medicine is towards immortality.” He endorsed the creation of headless humans as a faster route. “Embryonic stem cells, which holds promise of cure of any organ, is but a slow move towards immortality,” Desai said.

Hindustani Times Tabloid coverage:,00180007.htm   ph

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