Australian Group Recommends Government Allow Xenotransplantation Trials to Proceed

In January, a National Health and Medical Research Council group examining xenotransplantation urged that approval be given for trials of animal to human organ transplantation.

The Working Party on Xenotransplantation announced that its May report will argue that the risks and ethical concerns about xenotransplantation are outweighed by the potential benefits and that human trials of xenotransplantation treatments should be allowed to proceed in that country. In 2002, the Australian government rejected a proposal for a trial using pancreatic cells from pigs to produce insulin in diabetics.

Australia has one of the lowest rates of organ donation in the Western world. In 2001, there were only 801 organs available through donation for almost 2,000 people needing organ transplants.

In its story on the report, CNS News found a religious crackpot in Australia who offered one of the most amusing non-AR explanations of the evils of xenotransplantation that I’ve read yet. According to Peter Stokes, director of Salt Shakers, while it might save lives, xenotransplantation might also make bestiality acceptable! According to Stokes,

We are not ‘animals’ as the humanist would have us believe, therefore we must not allow animal and human tissue to be mixed.

. . .

Image what they would say if we started mixing humans and animal together — this would bolster their [people who support bestiality] argument that ‘we are all the same’ and therefore ‘love between animals and humans is perfectly normal.’

Who could argue with that sort of logic?


Animal organs urged. Jen Kelly, Herald Sun (Melbourne, Australia), January 14, 2004.

Fed: Pig hearts could be a life-saver. Rosemary Desmond, AAP, February 17, 2004.

Animal organ trials to go ahead. Simon Benson, The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, Australia), January 14, 2004.

Pig-to-human organ transplant trials recommended in Australia. Patrick Goodenough, CNSNews.Com, January 14, 2004.

Should Older, Lonely Women Considering Becoming Lesbians?

Australia’s government-funded Relationships Australia has a bit of advice for older single women having trouble finding companionship — give lesbianism a try! Seriously.

The Herald Sun quoted Relationships Australia spokesman Jack Carney as saying,

As they get over 60, opportunities [for women] to get a man diminish substantially. Men marry younger women and they die about eight years younger, so there is a real male shortage.

And as women get even older it gets much worse, so we ask them to entertain the idea of lesbian relationships.


Older women urged to become lesbians. Herald Sun, August 10, 2003.

Australian State Stops Production of Tip Sheet for Prostitutes

Reuters reported this month that the Western Australia recently decided to pull funding for a pamphlet that offered prostitutes tips on how to attract and keep customers.

According to Reuters, an organization called Phoenix was given AU$242,000 to “promote health care” among prostitutes. Prostitution is illegal in Western Australia, but according to Reuters is tolerated (and obviously if a state wants to keep something like AIDS in check, it is going to have to reach out to prostitutes regardless of their legal status).

But at least some of the money went to projects that were out and out promoting the sex industry. The pamphlet in question, called “Regulars,” advised prostitutes that to keep their regular customers coming back they should “always act like you enjoy it” and avoid wearing shoes in bed.

Phoenix also produces a magazine for sex workers that Western Australian health minister Bob Kucera told Reuters was virtually pornographic. In a prepared statement Kucera said,

The material Phoenix has produced appears to glamorize and promote the sex industry and much of it has nothing to do with health outcomes.

Hopefully the end to Phoenix’s grant will not result in a rash of prostitutes wearing shoes in bed.


State pulls plug on sex tip sheet. Reuters, June 5, 2003.