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RF health ministry says incident with human embryos is gross violation of ethics

July 24, 2012, 22:40 UTC+3

Four plastic casks with human embryos inside were found in a forest gill five kilometers away from the Yekaterinburg

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MOSCOW, July 24 (Itar-Tass) —— The recent incident when human embryos were found in the Sverdlovsk region is a gross violation of medical and universal ethics, a spokesman for the Russian ministry of health said on Tuesday.

Late on July 22, four plastic casks with human embryos inside were found in a forest gill five kilometers away from the Yekaterinburg – Nizhny Tagil highway. The casks had 248 formaldehyde-treated human embryos with marked tags from four or even more hospitals.

“Obviously, this fact arouses indignation because it is a gross violation of principles of both medical and universal ethics,” the spokesman said.

Minister of Health Veronika Skvotsova has ordered the healthcare oversight authority to thoroughly check all medical establishments from where these embryos had been taken.

It should be noted that the problem of respect to human dignity in operations with human embryos requires both measures coherent to this situation and those aimed to prevent similar shocking situations,” the spokesman said. One of such measures is spelled out in a draft federal law on handling biomedical cell products, which bans the use of human embryos for making such products.

“It is an inadmissible instance, both from the legal and moral points of view,” the spokesman stressed. “That is why legislative measures should be taken to regulate any issues linked with the use of embryos in medical practice.

In the mean time, Sverdlovsk region’s authorities placed the responsibility for this incident on an organization dealing with the disposal of medical waste.

“Medics are not to blame for this human embryo dump. These are the preliminary results of our check. Responsibility rests with an organization which is engaged in the disposal of medical waste. Now it is being search for. Governor of the region Yevgeny Kuivashev has taken the probe into this case under his personal control,” the press service of the regional administration said.

An investigation is underway. It is controlled by head of the regional police department Mikhail Borodin. Regional prosecutor’s office has also launched a check.

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