For those who don't know, basically it is the process of creating life (in the form of embryos) simply for the purpose of destroying it, and "harvesting" cells from it that are valuable for research purposes.
This is dividing many pro-lifers in the United States, where the President is soon to make a decision on whether to offer federal funds for research in this area. Some argue that the most pro-life position you can take is against the funding, because the research promotes a culture of death. Others, meanwhile, say that if the research extends human lives in the long run, then pro-lifers ought to be in favour of the research.
Personally, I think the Onion hit the nail on the head with its "What do you think?" feature this week. In it, a woman who is asked about the controversy replies:"Only the scientists would go to hell, right? Then let them find a cure for cancer and we'll keep dutifully opposing their actions."
I'm in favour of all of it. I think that human lives are simply more important then the lives of four-day-old blobs. Call me cruel.
How do you feel?
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I am very much in favor of stem cell research. Many of the embryos are "extras" created for in vitro fertilization which would never become babies anyways. There is some research however that can be done avioding the subject altogether. Stem cells are also present in umbilical chords and this is a promisinag area of exploration. Certianly using the results from abortions, which would otherwise be just flushed down the drain, to save the life, or dramaticly improve the life of another, provides more meaning to those proto lives than just throwing them away.
Posts: 475 | From: ohio | Registered: May 2001
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Heehee, the Onion makes a good point, as usual I don't know too much about it, but from Dzuun's post I'd say that I'm for it. As long as they're not letting the embryos get too advanced then I think it's great that we've come this far in our reasearch (stem cell research and glowing monkeys, wow!).
I'm the kind of person that thinks if one person's death can save human kind then it's an option to be considered. The only thing I cna do is relate it to my own life. I had a cousin who was mentally retarded. He was actually really really smart (he succesfully planned and carried out the theft of the contents of the narcotics safe at one hospital he was at), but he was retarded, and no one could figure it out. He died when he was 18, and you know what? Right now his brain is in some doctors hands and they're trying to figure it out. There are other kids like him, and his death can help save other families from heartache. And that's something that I think is really great, although sad.
If I can accept the death of my cousin, I can accept the killing of these blobs. Because those blobs might save my kid's life some day.
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"Just say no" fights teen pregnancy the way "hey, cheer up" fights manic depression.
I used to be just slightly divided on this issue, but after some research (and the fact that it might have an effect on my life), I've come to the conclusion that it's ok. Some of the stem cell research they're doing just might provide my sister with a much better chance to keep her eye...so how can I be against something like that?
I just see it as something that might help so many people.
I read the other day that paralyzed rats treated with stem cells could walk again, and babies with brain damage in utero can be made 'better' again with the help of stem cell research. That's just the coolest thing ever. So I'm all for it.
I think we have an obligation to protect the already free-living, and if my uncle or something was paralyzed, or had Alzheimers, or Parkinsons, or whatever, I would favor saving his life over saving the life of a bundle of non-specific cells.
One example for the justification of this:
For most pro-lifers, if a woman is pregnant, she should not have an abortion unless it endangers her own life to have a child, then it is justified to end the potential-child's potential-life. So, in essence, the life of the already-living is more important than the life of the potential human being.
I see this in the same way. The life of someone with a fatal or dibilitating disease is more important than that of a couple of cells.
For a long time, I just didn't know what I thought about this, and felt almost ambivalent about it, especially given how much medical testing is done on aminals who are already well into their lives (and in general, I'm not real fond of that practice). It seemed like a bit of a no-brainer.
But at this point, I think it's a good idea, dependent on the sort of costs involved, and what it is used for. In other words, if it isn't revlevant to the diseases that most plague us (including AIDS), or gets politicized so that it is only uysed for "socially acceptable" diseases, and thus may take funds away from other research, I'd not be so much in favor. If that wasn't the case, I think it's something that shows a whole lot of promise without doing any harm whatsoever.
Being a pro-choice person myself, I would totally support the harvesting of blobs. They can't think or feel anything for themselves and if it saves lives I'm all for it.
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Posts: 24 | From: Scottsdale, AZ, USA | Registered: Aug 2001
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As one who is personally effected by this type of research, i have to say i'm all for it.
They're using stem cells to try and cure my disease, so really, i have to say i'm glad that they're doing it. I have diabetes, and they're coming so close to finding cures, and i think it's great to hear about stuff like this.
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