New Methods of Stem Cells

Discussion for Christian perspectives on ethical issues such as abortion, euthanasia, sexuality, and so forth.
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Forge
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New Methods of Stem Cells

#1

Post by Forge » Wed Aug 23, 2006 10:16 pm

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,210078,00.html

Basically, they're trying methods to harvest embryonic stem cells without killing the embryo.

How does this square with abortion? Is it still the killing of a human being--if the cell is considered a person--or is it "all right".
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Re: New Methods of Stem Cells

#2

Post by Canuckster1127 » Thu Aug 24, 2006 6:14 am

Forge wrote:http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,210078,00.html

Basically, they're trying methods to harvest embryonic stem cells without killing the embryo.

How does this square with abortion? Is it still the killing of a human being--if the cell is considered a person--or is it "all right".
Forge,

Good article. Note I moved forums as I think it better belongs here.

Well, the article itself states that the embryo's that were used were discarded anyway so the net effect is pretty much nil. Also noted was the methodology used was not as efficient (which equals more expensive.)

However, I think it is a good development.

A great deal of the moral issue involved here has to do with the infertility practice of fertilizing multiple human eggs in petri dishes and then freezing them for progressive tries for in vitro pregnancies with couples. When the pregnancy is achieved, the remaining fertilized eggs are disposed of, regardless of what is done with them.

It is a moral issue. Many christians, and even some outside of Christianity see human life beginning at conception.

Abortion on demand has changed this view legally and therefore it is not possible to really hold a consistent standard in one area while an opposing standard is upheld in another.

Much of the argument now, understandibly is emotionally based.

People see the potential for treatments utilizing stem cells that may have a very real impact of people who are sick with all kinds of diseases, they see embryo's that are going to be destroyed anyway and they react strongly advocating that they be used for research in these potential manners.

Those opposing it, in many instances are opposing it for the same reason they oppose abortion, stating human life begins at conception and they believe, not without cause, that this will represent a slippery slope in which they foresee a further reduction in the value and sanctity of human life, and the need when and if these methods require the creation or harvesting of a large number of these stem cells. What will happen then?

They (and I) expect the argument then will be that the existing human need is more important and so embryos will be developed solely for this purpose in a farming of stem cells that will be commercial and large scale.

Then what after that? What if, as seems possible now, stem cells can be further directed in their growth to be organ specific?

There is a lot at stake. There are strong arguments on both sides. The issue in its simplest terms currently, is why should embryos that are going to be destroyed anyway, not be used for research when so much good could be done.

Pro-Lifers, in one sense, really are fighting the wrong fight. To be consistent, the issue should be, why are embryos being created artificially in mass rather than on an "as needed" basis with a real opportunity for viability?

Just arguing the stem cell issue misses the point of choice and control that creates the issue in the first place.

My opinion anyway.

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#3

Post by roverdisc1 » Sun Aug 27, 2006 1:54 am

Canuckster (by the way i'm 1/2 canuck myself),

I think you make a fairly compelling argument on both side of the fence. If the fetus in question has already been aborted, what is wrong with the research? If not a different debate kicks in. So the real problem really lies in the abortion debate. Just tonight, in searching for some answers, I have heard differing (christian) opinions on suicide. Need I say more! I, personally do not think abortion is right, but I also do not think I have any right to judge or have a judgement imposed on anyone that seeks to have an abortion.

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#4

Post by Canuckster1127 » Mon Aug 28, 2006 6:10 am

Response of the Catholic Church on the story above. Note they hit on several of the issues I noted and make some strong counter points. There have been negative responses as well in the US from major denominations, mostly negative.

It would appear more are latching onto the point that using human embryo's for research in this manner, regardless of the rationalization that they would not be viable anyway, is being seen by more as fallacious reasoning.
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#5

Post by Canuckster1127 » Tue Aug 29, 2006 10:39 am

http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns? ... news_rss20

Important follow-up to this story. Nature Magazine that published the original article is issuing some clarification, if not detraction, of some of the claims.

Reponses from the Vatican and also from the Bush Administration, have criticized the means of publicizing this story as "Hype."

It's important to realize that despite the claim that science is theoretically objective, in practise, underlying agendas and beliefs can and often do flavor the presentation of findings beyond what is objectively true.
Dogmatism is the comfortable intellectual framework of self-righteousness. Self-righteousness is more decadent than the worst sexual sin. ~ Dan Allender

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