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October 16, 2001


LA CROSSE, Wis—Scientists are on the brink of using stem cells to save lives.

Is it ethical to do so? What if there was a cure for cancer, Parkinson’s disease or diabetes? What if the scar tissue caused by a heart attack could be repaired? Using human cells, scientists are on the verge of these breakthroughs, but at what cost?

David Prentice, Ph.D., will be at Viterbo Tuesday, Nov. 6 to discuss these compelling questions as part of a public presentation entitled: "The Science and Ethics of Stem-Cell Research."

Prentice will speak at 8 p.m. in Viterbo’s Fine Arts Center Recital Hall. His visit comes as part of an annual lecture series of the D.B. Reinhart Institute for Ethics in Leadership.

A nationally recognized expert on stem-cell research, Prentice has testified several times before Congress on his research  as well as on cloning and bioethics. He has also participated in call-in shows sponsored by public radio.

While much of today’s studies focus on adult stem-cell research, some is being done with embryonic cells—taken from the embryos that must be killed to harvest the cells—leaving the question, is it morally right to take a life in order to conduct research considered necessary to save a life?

For his part, Prentice, who does not oppose adult-stem cell research, is a critic who objects to the destructive use of human embryos. "We do not need to sacrifice a single human being in order to realize the curative benefits of stem cells. We simply need to make the ethical and moral decision not to kill fellow human beings and proceed with vigorous, non-destructive research," Prentice was recently quoted as saying in the summer issue of Life Without Limits, a magazine published by Wisconsin Right to Life.

Prentice is a professor in Life Sciences at Indiana State University and adjunct professor in the area of Medical/Molecular Genetics at Indiana University School of Medicine. He is also a founding member of "Do No Harm: The Coalition of Americans for Research Ethics." The National Institutes of Health and the USDA have funded his research.

His visit is co-sponsored by the Wisconsin Right to Life and the Veritas Society

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