Can we accept benefits of stem cells?


#1

Assuming that science sees some benefits from the stem cell lines already in existence (embryos already killed), can we morally do the research and accept the benefits? I have heard Jimmy Akin argue “yes” a couple of times, since history is riddled with atrocities that go on to produce benefits.

My question is thus: if a future pro-abort president lifts the federal funds ban on new embryonic destruction (God help us), would the research on already existing cell lines (embryos already killed) then become illicit? As I follow Jimmy’s logic, the practical application has changed, therefore we would now be formally or materially participating in the killing if we supported this research. Likewise, research on current privately funded embryonic lines would be illicit since that would encourage further destruction.

Am I correct on this? Does anyone know of a semi-official Church position on these questions, or a position from Jimmy or Karl?


#2

I’m not sure how any future Presidential action would effect the morality of working with current stem cell lines derived from destroyed embryos, but the heart of the matter is the destruction of embryonic humans. This is wrong no matter the potential benefits or who pays for it. The morality of using embryonic cell lines already established is an interesting question though. I think it would be alright as long as doing so didn’t contribute to the destruction of further embryos. However, I don’t know that this would be possible without a ban on embryo destruction. Advances in stem cell technology using existing embryonic cells will undoubtedly encourage others to continue the work with other embryos. Unfortunately there is little chance that embryo destruction will be banned as long as abortion is legal. Something no often mentioned is that in vitro fertilization procedures lead to more deaths than stem cell research.

  • JP

#3

I think it is the same question as to whether we can use the results of the Nazi’s medical research inthe Concentration Camps. The idea was abhorrant in the immediate post-war period, but the disgust has dissipated over time.


#4

[quote=Joe Kelley]I think it is the same question as to whether we can use the results of the Nazi’s medical research inthe Concentration Camps. The idea was abhorrant in the immediate post-war period, but the disgust has dissipated over time.
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It is worth noting that current German law bans embryonic stem cell research. In fact, it bans any medical use of embryos which is not intended to save their lives.


#5

[quote=JimG]It is worth noting that current German law bans embryonic stem cell research. In fact, it bans any medical use of embryos which is not intended to save their lives.
[/quote]

I have noticed that too. At least somebody has learned the lessons of the attrocites of word war 2. Funny amercia of all countires have forgotten the ethical concerns of science.
I know this thread is based on a hypothetical but I want to remind people that all benefits of stem cell research have been aquired via adult stem cells and placentia based stem cells all ethically viable in catholic views of science and ethics. So don’t be hesistant when you hear stem cell benefits. So far there are no benefits via embryonic stem cells its all theory for now that it will be more beneficial so far the research has indicated quite the opposite as the cells seem to morph instead of convert.
Anyways there are many articles on the net by catholic scientist more qulaified than me that can explain this better.
I think the ethical ramifications of benefits received from this procedure are unknown at this time. If they don’t require the destruction of further stem cells perhaps it would be lecit to accept the benefits but lets say in excahange for every cure their had to be the excahange of killing of embros I don’t think the benefits would be lecit. So we just don’t yet. And we won’t know for several years no matter what John Edwards says about people walking out of their wheelchairs. The Dem’s aren’t faith healers ok maybe they are but his won’t be an instant process perhaps in 30 years we will know if this promise was a false one. When you play God it usually is.


#6

[font=Arial]When you look at human history, and some of the horrid ways medical science advanced, this one would fit in quite well. Do we all benefit from what was done in the past? Yes we all do. Do these benefits change the morally reprehensible acts of the past into morally just ones? I do not think so.

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#7

When we murder a baby we kill the flesh, not the soul. The soul goes to heaven (limbo?), the flesh rots. It is murder that is wrong, killing the soul is even worse. Once the soul leaves the flesh, the flesh is just an empty shell and will return to dust.

My point? The stem cells do not have a soul. Their soul has gone to meet Jesus. The cells are just compounds waiting to return to dust. The sin/crime of murder has already been committed. Why not use the stem cells to benifit our species? At least something good can come from their murder. We have organ donation right now from people who die. Stem cell research is just like organ donation. The sin is the murder, not the research.

Life is the single most important gift God has given us. Once we are alive we have free choice and can obtain Faith and Hope and Love. Without life we never even have the chance to say yes or no to Jesus.

The NAZI’s experimented on Jews. The research did advance our knowledge. Should we just trash that medical knowledge and let the torture and death of these people be in vain?

Abortion is a sin, it is a horrible crime. Stem cell research is just like any other research in the medical field. The two issues are seperate. I support the ban on stem cell research ONLY because in our country today abortion is used to support the research. If abortion were illegal, then stem cell research would be OK.


#8

I do not know Malachi…

Neither does a kidney or a liver taken from a freshly executed prisoner in China. Does it benefit the westerner who goes for a transplant? Yes. Does it justify the killing of political prisoners with the right blood type? No. How would prolonging the life of westerners make the Chinese prisoners death not in vain?

The same applies to aborted babies. It further reduces them to an ounce of flesh, a thing to be harvested and discarded. Using them for medical research would make it more acceptable to abort. It is amazing what excuses people can come up with to justify their own actions… There is just one issue, abortion. There would not be fetal stem research if there were no abortions. We are having already a difficult time with halting abortions. Try putting a stop to them with the wonderful side benefits of medical research. Two wrongs do not make right.


#9

If abortion were illegal, then stem cell research would be OK. __________________
Malachi4U

The research requirees the destruction of a 5 day old embryo.
That is murder according to catholic teaching. They are not simply poking the thing they kill it! This is not acceptable in any way. Malachi I think you need to reconsider your postion.
THis same embryo has all the DNA of a complete human being if placed in a womb it becomes a full born baby. This is not a bunch of cells as teh media would have you beleive it is the smae as a 5 day old unborn baby it is the same as an early stage abortion no difference.


#10

#11

Although researchers would at this time deny it, it seems to me that the ultimate goal of stem cell research would be to create clones in order to use them for compatible spare parts.

If we can create embryos, only to kill them and use their stem cells, the final step would be to continue to grow them to adulthood, for use as organ donors. As 2nd class citizens, we would likely give them no choice in the matter. Their lives would be contingent upon no one needing their parts.


#12

[quote=JimG]Although researchers would at this time deny it, it seems to me that the ultimate goal of stem cell research would be to create clones in order to use them for compatible spare parts.

If we can create embryos, only to kill them and use their stem cells, the final step would be to continue to grow them to adulthood, for use as organ donors. As 2nd class citizens, we would likely give them no choice in the matter. Their lives would be contingent upon no one needing their parts.
[/quote]

Your absolutely right this is a pandora’s box many scientist want to open these two things wrok hand in hand once you get stem cells that work for a particular purpose why not clone them to fullfill the need of that purpose.

Funny enough I have read where some feminist who are pro abortion on the other hand are anti-stem cell research. Now that’s a weird ally the catholic church and pro-abort feminist. Here’s is the reason the feminist give. They fear women will be used as mere recipticles for thier eggs. Women many one day be forced to give up their eggs for the supposed good of everyone else to produce these amazing cures that mankind needs. Well I sorta see where they might have a point.


#13

Thanks for the responses. As many of you pointed out, even if a case could be made for existing lines, insurmountable pressure would result (already has, think Christopher Reeve) for the destruction of more embryos.


#14

[quote=Maccabees]I know this thread is based on a hypothetical but I want to remind people that all benefits of stem cell research have been aquired via adult stem cells and placentia based stem cells all ethically viable in catholic views of science and ethics. So don’t be hesistant when you hear stem cell benefits.
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I’m glad you pointed that out. Too often people assume that the Church is against all stem cell research. That is the way the liberals paint the issue - it’s either kill babies or have no scientific progress. But stem cell research is fine and dandy so long as innocents are not slaughtered to accomplish it.

BTW I think it is abhorant the way Kerry and Edwards are saying that people like Christopher Reeve would get up and walk if we would just kill some more babies.
And there is no “ban on stem cell research” as Kerry keeps saying. There is stem cell research going on all over the U.S. There is only a ban on *federal funds paying for embryonic * stem cell research. If Bill Gates and company, who are pushing so hard for a 3 billion dollar bond here in Califormia to fund cloning for stem research are so gung-ho on it, let them cut a check for the 3 billion. Gates wouldn’t miss it and it would be tax-deductable anyway. I sure don’t want my family to pay for murder.

The whole thing is just a device to promote abortion.
Paul


#15

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