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March 12, 2009

Stem-cell research

The Star’s editorial “Stem-cell research is step ahead for science” (3/10, Opinion) characterized President Bush’s executive order limiting federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research as “illogical.” I’ll see your illogical and raise you unproductive and unethical.

Embryonic stem-cell results are sketchy, including tumors in patients and no cures. Adult stem cells show promise for more than 80 diseases without the same effects. Embryonic stem cells are less promising, more costly and controversial. Their only logic is convenience.

At what point should we confer human rights? Not at birth. A mother begins labor based on her health, age, chance and medical convenience. If not at conception or the presence of a heartbeat, spinal cord, eyes and legs, when? Nothing more is required than the fusion of two cells and a willing partner. A full-term child requires no less.

Embryonic stem-cell research kills our society a little bit each time as it slips further from a culture of life, and that is illogical.

Kirk Taylor
Lansing

As a former embryo myself, I am grieved that experiments are taking place on my kind, especially when no harm could be done by using other types of stem cells.

Science and the state, when they overstep their limits, must be opposed by people who have been allowed to grow into mature human beings.

Andrew Kennell
Lee’s Summit

Comments

Engineer

solomon
For an nonjudgmental person you seem to spend an inordinate amount of time pronouncing judgments. ;-)

solomon

JJ,

The major difference between me an just about everyone else on this blog is that if it is a matter of health, reproduction or sexual orientation I feels as if it's not my business to judge.

JUNGLEJACK

Sol - maybe you didn't go to the link I posted, but the following is NOT an opinion, it's a fact:

"Stem cell researchers reacted with enthusiasm and reservations to a report that scientists have found stem cells in amniotic fluid, a discovery that would allow them to sidestep the controversy over destroying embryos for research."

You're right. Stem cells SHOULD be used for scientific research and federal funding for it should continue. Is it too much to ask that the stem cells originate from adult cells and amniotic fluid? Privately funded researchers may still use whatever sources they can legally obtain - let's see whose work shows progress.

BTW - I am personally opposed to the idea of in-vitro fertilization. Not because I feel the need to balance my views, but that I believe it is almost as selfish as plastic surgery with potentially dire consequences for the unborn.

solomon

Engineer and JJ,

OK, I am comfortable with youse two being the definitive. Doesn't matter that for every person and opinion you can cite there is an opposing one.

There is not one potential life to be lost by experimenting with stem cells. That being the case, what is your objection to experimentation?

JUNGLEJACK

Solomon - Eng is right. There is no need for this controversy to exist:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16514457/.htm

Engineer

solomon
We don't seem to be communicating. What I am saying is that science had reached the point where embryonic stem cells have no unique research value or role. Their properties can be duplicated and so there is nothing that can be done with them that cannot be done with others.

solomon

Engineer,

One of us is lurching for the shuttlecock and the other is hitting a tennis ball. You being the former. What you understand on March 13, 2009 has little to do with what the top researchers understand. Your knowledge (and mine) of the subject would fit on a pismires thorax. Unless you are willing to say that after a few decades of research there is no possible cure for anything to be found,(and don't forget our ancestors thought for 2000 years to bleed us for liver pains and headaches) your willingness to abandon this research is questionable.

Once again people look at this as a political issue. You, an agnostic, team up with the Christians and say what? That in 2009 we have passed beyond any scientific and medical knowledge in remembered history and its time to stop researching? This is not a political issue. This should not be an issue about God or life. Is the next step to consider researchers who see the potential for cures "sinful"?

Engineer

solomon
What are you talking about? I've said nothing about what may be discovered by science. I’ve just said that it is my understanding that embryonic stem cells have nothing unique to offer anymore.

solomon

Engineer ,

My backspace editing failed me. I meant to include....'The accepted views OF 50 YEAS AGO...."

solomon

Engineer,

I respect you as a well read person who generally understands current technology. The accepted views in the medical world based on crude technology are considered primitive by today's standards. To suggest we know all that can be developed through research now is a denial of that fact.

Kate my sweet,

As a typical male I went for egg overkill when I said dozens. Let us for the sake of discussion say "eight". Where is the moral imperative for life with that number?

(GOOD CONVERSATION TODAY)

Kate

Sol, I’m not sure what you’re referring to when you mention four dozen embryos. The woman who wrote about her experience said that they created four or five (I don’t remember which) embryos total, and in two separate procedures, all were implanted. That seems like a responsible way to go about it.

I don’t know if it’s possible to harvest dozens a woman’s eggs at one time, or if any reputable clinic would even create such a large number of embryos. But creating that many is, obviously, irresponsible.

Engineer

solomon
Just how is it futile? As I understand it there is nothing that can be done with embryonic stem cells that cannot be done by other stem cells. Embryonic stem cells were different because they were "undifferentiated". But such stem cells can be obtained from other sources or produced by methods recently discovered. One of the "breakthroughs" you were talking about.

solomon

Engineer,

Considering the state of Western medicine for the last 1000 years and the breakthroughs of the last 50 your argument is futile at best.

Engineer

I thought science had found ways of creating all the kinds of stem cells needed without using embryonic stem cells. In other words they are no longer really needed. The point that no cures have been found by embryonic stem cells research then becomes moot as there is no need to use them.

solomon

Kate, i too can not imagine the pain of infertility. I can tell you about the discomfort of a vasectomy after impregnating my missus 3 times in 3 years.

solomon

kate,

i do not disagree with that approach. It is logical. What, though, would have happened if by the slim chance the first attempt had been successful and there were 4 dozen more frozen to be tried. That is why I say stumbling road.

Kate

Sol, I can’t imagine the pain of infertility. But I think it’s wrong for a couple to create more embryos than they plan to carry to term and raise. I read a comment from a woman who said she is pro-life, but had in-vitro. She and her husband created just a few embryos, had two implanted at a time, used all of them, and now have their family. I think that’s a much more responsible way to go about the procedure.

solomon

Dearest Kate,,

Off we go down the stumbling road. Are you against in vitro?

Let us dispense with the octomom debate and talk about the 100s of 1,000s of couples that have endeavored into this medical procedure. Do you see it as morally wrong or sinful.

Dan,

Are you our Dan or some NEW Dan?

Dan

I was amazed and amused when the President's first choice for Surgeon General, Dr. Sanja Gupta, interviewed former President Clinton on Larry King Live recently. When Gupta asked Clinton about the recent embryonic stem cell research issue, Clinton said the following: "we’re not taking embryos that can - that under any conceivable scenario would be used for a process that would allow them to be fertilized and become little babies".

What?

Dr. Gupta never corrected the former President, even when Clinton repeated the ignorance. The FACT that the former president and the (thank God he dropped out)Surgeon General nominee didn't KNOW THAT ALL EMBRYO'S ARE FERTILIZED is, perhaps the most clarion demonstration of the ignorance and arrogance of the fully emerged party of death.

Our nation's hopes cannot be with such ignorance and arrogance. Rejection of actual successful stem cell research in an immoral and dogmatic search for justifying the killing of innocent life is just the beginning. This is about CASH and not science. It is a colossal, immoral Tax Money grab by an administration drunk on spending and no ethics. We cannot count on such men and women to be anything more than self serving opportunists.

We, an admitted minority, are centered in a different Reality.

Kate

“I don't see anyone taking a stand against in vitro fertilization. This procedure results in leftover embryos. Thousands of them. Is it really more ethical to throw them away?”

Google “right to life” and “in vitro” to see how many right-to-life groups also disapprove of in-vitro fertilization. They understand that it is morally wrong to discard these lives. But using them for experimentation does not mitigate that wrong, it compounds it.

 
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