A leading Australian bioethicist has suggested that the large expenditure on the Human Genome project is unjustified, given that we still do not have scientific underpinning for improved water, sewage or inoculation programs.
    Fr John Fleming, Director of Adelaide's Southern Cross Bioethics Institute, said a lot of money has been spent on the project while 2.2 billion people of the world's population live in severe conditions.
    "In a world where seven out of 10 people do not have access to sanitation, it's a real question to ask," he told The Catholic Weekly.
    "We know that their home and health is precarious: 60% don't have decent food, 90% don't have access to clean water. The question I'm asking is simply the allocation of health care dollars. Globally, in terms of the alleviation of disease from developing countries, [this project] doesn't do a lot," he said.
    The mapping of the human gene, announced recently, has been lauded as the greatest scientific discovery of the century.
Cath Weekly
7 July 00

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