Partial human fetuses will be grown to harvest organs for transplants in the next decade, and government oversight is urgently needed to prevent abuses, an ethics expert said Sunday.
Dr. Patrick Dixon predicted that it is only a matter of time before cloning technology is used to create partial fetuses with missing heads, arms or legs “as organ factories for tomorrow’s people.”
Dixon, author of “The Genetic Revolution,” made his prediction following a report in The Sunday Times over the weekend that British scientists have created a frog embryo without a head.
Scientists believe the technique used to create a headless frog can be adapted to grow human organs such as hearts, kidneys and livers in an artificial womb.
Many scientists believe human cloning is inevitable, following the July 1996 birth of the sheep Dolly, the world’s first cloned mammal. Dolly was created using cells from a sheep’s udder and when her existence was announced in February, Dixon said the advance had “horrendous” implications.
On Sunday, he said it is only a matter of time - five to 10 years - before scientists grow partial fetuses to obtain human organs.