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Human experimentation was wrong, is wrong
Not a rare opinion
Missing the "science" in political science

Human experimentation was wrong, is wrong

I read with interest the story by Michael Anft about stem cells ["Tiny Cells, Huge Possibilities," April], and I think he is mistaken in his belief that the views of Dr. [Paul] McHugh are rare here at Hopkins. I can testify that he and I are not the only faculty members who hold similar views and experience horror (at least I do) with this type of human experimentation (and I have no political appointment or compromise with any current or former administration).

Destruction of life in the name of science was wrong — remember the Holocaust and those Auschwitz doctors? They were convinced that they were not dealing with humans, just as some are convinced now that the blastocyst is not human because it does not have a brain, some form of central nervous system, or another arbitrary selected organ. And it is still wrong no matter who the president is or what the age of the human, 48 hours or 98 years.

Javier Bolaños Meade, MD
Assistant Professor of Oncology
Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins

Not a rare opinion

"Still, McHugh's perspective is rare here. Researchers overwhelmingly favor leaving all doors of inquiry open, as do Hopkins administrators and the National Academy of Sciences" [quoted from "Tiny Cells, Huge Possibilities"].

I would say "rare" if you ask only stem cell researchers and Dr. McHugh (a clinician who had the specific job of giving an opinion). He might have many "rare" opinions, and I do not necessarily agree with all of them, but in this issue, I support him. Life starts at conception.

This article sounds (reads) pretty biased. I don't think there is any kind of consensus within the faculty, nor any kind of survey (evidence based!) about this. If you want to know what the faculty thinks, you should ask the majority, not only the few whose work is directly involved in this kind of research and whom you quote in this article.

It is such a one-sided article it is incredible it was published.

Carmen Lopez-Arvizu, MD
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Kennedy Krieger Institute
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions

Missing the "science" in political science

When I saw that "All This from Hip-Hop" [April] was by a political scientist, I expected to see something about political science. Instead, all that I read was about "politics." Politics is about being popular and how to become popular in these changing times. The author may have other thoughts by closing with "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill."

My understanding of political science is from Aristotle. The major distinction is between virtue and corruption.

J. Carroll Roop, Engr '44
Taneytown, Maryland


In the April "In the News..." column, we failed to include Wen Shen, A&S '77, an assistant professor of gynecologic specialties at the School of Medicine, in our list of alumni who participated in the first-ever multicenter, 12-patient kidney transplant.

Also in April, an alumni note incorrectly identified the most recent novel by Don Stancavish, A&S '89. The book is titled Fragile Grave.

In a letter in the February issue, "The Wickwire Legacy Endures," we incorrectly listed the URL for Hilda Coyne's Web site. The correct address is

The magazine regrets the errors.

Return to June 2009 Table of Contents

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