Frontline Scotland: Cloning and Parkinson's Disease

Director: BBC
Year: 1999
Country: UK
Duration: 30 mins
Rating: N/A
More information (external website)

Filed under: Human Cloning, Documentary

The programme examines controversial developments in medical science involving the potential use of human embryos. At the Roslin Institute the scientists who cloned Dolly the sheep believe that cloning could be used to repair the brain damage that occurs in Parkinson's disease. Human embryos could be cloned and at an early stage in their development the stem cells would be taken to grow brain cells for implantation in patients' brains. Research in this field is also going on at the Medical Research Council's Cambridge Centre for Brain Repair, where Dr. Clive Svendon's work with rats indicates the possibility of repairing Parkinsonian brain damage in humans by the use of stem cells from embryos. At Edinburgh University Dr. Austin Smith grew nerve cells from mice stem cells; he looks forward to using tissue from cloned, vestigial human embryos for use in heart transplants. Gerry McCann who suffers from Parkinson's disease is dependent on medication to enable him to move. He visits these research centres but remains opposed to the manufacture of human embryos for the use of their tissue. (Aired April 1999)

Back to films list

This Biomedical Ethics Film Library is being presented in partnership with European Medical Students' Association (EMSA)