What are the promises of Embyronic stem cell research?


#1

My 30 y/o neice has 6 y/o twins. One of them has severe spinae bifada. They were born 2 months premature and remained hospitalized for 2 mo. before they went home. The one with spinae bifada (congenital spinal cord disease) had 3 major surgeries in 3 years under general anaesthesia–with more to **** follow!!! By God’s grace, this child, these children have led happy little lives due to two loving and devoted parents, my neice and her husband. Their struggles are constant and complicated. My neice posed this question: “what if embryonic stem cell research can positively affect Cindy’s spina bifada disease and improve the quality of her life?” My answer to her was, “I don’t believe that.” The discussion ended with that. Is there any documentation regarding the specifics of this question that could help me and my neice understand this more clearly?
Unfortunately, what my neice was also saying was that she was determined to vote for Mr. Kerry. Her position certainly targets what is best for her daughter. Thanks in advance, Cecilia


#2

There are no gaurantees in science and medicine. There is a chance more diseases will be cured through stem cell research, but there’s also a chance that very little could be accomplished. So how do we find out? Either abandon the research and wonder “what if?” or move forward to see what will happen. I personally believe we should expand the research, one step at a time.


#3

[quote=wabrams]There are no gaurantees in science and medicine. There is a chance more diseases will be cured through stem cell research, but there’s also a chance that very little could be accomplished. So how do we find out? Either abandon the research and wonder “what if?” or move forward to see what will happen. I personally believe we should expand the research, one step at a time.
[/quote]

Wrong, there is one gaurantee if they start doing more embyronic stem cell research.

That gaurantee is that more innocent life will be slaughtered, granted it may have a benefit for some but that is questionable.

Where do we draw the line.

If the governement came to you and said that they needed your heart and lungs to save a life, would you willing go with them and allow them to kill you to save that person?

If not, then why should we allow the killing of innocent life just because someday it might help someone.


#4

Guaranteed - Eventually embryos (unique Human life) will be a commodity available to the highest bidder. First the real wealthy will justify killing innocent life to keep themselves alive, as if they are more important.


#5

Let’s suppose that stem cell research can lead to the cure for cancer, make the lame walk, or even bring people back from the dead. Would that make the direct and voluntary killing of embryonic human beings justifiable?

Of course not.

The ends never, ever, justify the means.


#6

To date, embryonic stem cell research has had no clinical or even experimental success. Research using *adult * stem cells, however, has already had clinical success and is very promising for the future.


#7

Thank you, Jim! I was going to post that and you beat me to it. It’s an important point to bring up: the success researchers have had with stem cells has been with adult stem cells, NOT embryonic stem cells. The Church opposes embryonic stem cell research because embryos—human life—is destroyed. We cannot do evil in the hope that some good might come of it. The Church does NOT oppose adult stem cell research. In addition to the immorality of embryonic stem cell research, the results, as Jim has stated, have been unsuccessful. The cells are much more likely to become cancerous than are adult stem cells.


#8

Cecilia,

I forgot to add some resources to my previous post. Try these:

catholicvote.org/issues_cloning.php

cbhd.org/resources/stemcells/mcconchie_2004-06-16.htm

cbhd.org/resources/stemcells/hollinger_2001-11-15.htm

Kerry has been spreading misinformation on this topic, and your niece has bought it hook, line and sinker. There is NO ban on embryonic stem cell research (though I wish there were). Bush has simply banned Federal funds from being used on new lines of embryonic stem cells. This has not stopped others from doing so. And there has been little promise for cures from the research so far on embryonic stem cells, though adult stem cells have been successful. I hope she will see the horror of what she is advocating: this reminds me of the German scientists who carried out experiments on Jewish prisoners during WWll. They had good motives—for example, German soldiers were dying on the Russian front, as were Luftewaffe pilots, from hypothermia. Obviously more research was needed, the better to protect against hypothermia. So they froze Jews to death to determine at what interior temp the body would die; froze some nearly to death to experiment with various ways to resuscitate them, etc. Because of their desire to learn more about tuberculosis, they injected Jewish kids with the disease to observe them. Very smart people, in their white coats…very admirable intentions…important advances for medical science…

If your niece doesn’t have a problem with a pro-abortion candidate (who voted against the partial-birth abortion ban), and is in favor of killing human life for some potential good, then I hope you can at least convince her not to vote at all. It is a frightening prospect.


#9

First off, I didn’t specifiaclly state embryonic stem cells, so thank those of you that did for making that Assumption. As far as it being a hokey science w/ little or no results, remember that it’s still in its infancy. You’re not going to get results immediately. Many of the sciences and health procedures we have today were once described as hokey or of little or no value. Human in flying contraptions was consiedered hokey and of little value; look at the world today. Alchemy was considered a hokey science, but from it came the discipline of chemistry. I guess organ transplants is just another hokey and evil medical procedure. Don’t completely condem something until it can completely be researched.


#10

[quote=wabrams]First off, I didn’t specifiaclly state embryonic stem cells, so thank those of you that did for making that Assumption. As far as it being a hokey science w/ little or no results, remember that it’s still in its infancy. You’re not going to get results immediately. Many of the sciences and health procedures we have today were once described as hokey or of little or no value. Human in flying contraptions was consiedered hokey and of little value; look at the world today. Alchemy was considered a hokey science, but from it came the discipline of chemistry. I guess organ transplants is just another hokey and evil medical procedure. Don’t completely condem something until it can completely be researched.
[/quote]

Actually they have already been doing embryonic stem cell reasearch for 20 years… no results.

Adult stem cells, and young stem cells (taken from embilical cords) has yeild much success…


#11

[quote=ByzCath]If the governement came to you and said that they needed your heart and lungs to save a life, would you willing go with them and allow them to kill you to save that person?

If not, then why should we allow the killing of innocent life just because someday it might help someone.
[/quote]

Jeez, talk about going to extremes. No one is talking about taking a full grown adult and harvetsing them for parts like a scrapped car. We’re talking about basic CELLS, cells that aren’t coded to become any specific part of the body yet.


#12

[quote=wabrams]Jeez, talk about going to extremes. No one is talking about taking a full grown adult and harvetsing them for parts like a scrapped car. We’re talking about basic CELLS, cells that aren’t coded to become any specific part of the body yet.
[/quote]

Actully embryos develop into a human being…

Are you arguing for embryonic stem cell research? Or, are you lumping it into all stem cell research? :confused:


#13

I think ByzCath’s point is that embryos— like infants, young children, preteens, adolescents and adults— are human beings at a certain stage of development.


#14

[quote=wabrams]. Don’t completely condem something until it can completely be researched.
[/quote]

There’s nothing wrong with stem cell research, but embryonic stem cell research can be condemned outright.


#15

That’s a tough question for me to answer Amy, I’m for adult stem cell research, but I’m divided when it comes to embryonic stem cells. I agree it is morally wrong if they come from aborted fetus, but what about from miscarriages? But if millions or more can be helped, then doesn’t the old saying “The good of the many out way the good of the few” mean anything?


#16

[quote=AmyS]Actually they have already been doing embryonic stem cell reasearch for 20 years… no results.

Adult stem cells, and young stem cells (taken from embilical cords) has yeild much success…
[/quote]

Correct. Cord blood banking saves the same stem cells as embryonic stem cell research, there is no debate about the ethics of saving newborn (as opposed to embryonic) stem cells.

Also, research by Austrian geneticists has raised the possibility that stem cells[1] could be isolated from amniotic fluid – the protective ‘bath water’ that surrounds the unborn baby.

Geneticist Professor Markus Hengstschläger and his team at the University of Vienna have isolated a subgroup of cells from amniotic fluid that express a protein called Oct-4 – known to be a key marker for human pluripotent stem cells. Preliminary experiments have already provided evidence that they can be differentiated into nerve cells.

If, after extensive research these stem cells do prove to have similar potential to embryonic stem cells, ultimately it could replace the need to use human embryos as a source, thus easing the tensions in this ethically controversial area.

Professor Hengstschläger believes that his team will know within two years what the amniotic cells are capable of becoming. Whether these cells have the same potential as embryonic stem cells is a question that can only be answered by a variety of experiments. However, their gene marker analyses demonstrate that they at least appear to resemble embryonic stem cells."


#17

Wabrams,

You wrote: " I agree it is morally wrong if they come from aborted fetus, but what about from miscarriages?"

Many scientists contend that tissue is for the most part unsuitable for research due to the condition of the tissue or the presence of genetic defects. If you have contradictory information, please state it (and your sources).

You wrote: " But if millions or more can be helped, then doesn’t the old saying “The good of the many out way the good of the few” mean anything?"

First off, the good of humanity might outweigh the individual preferences of an individual, but it does not trump that basic Catholic teaching that we must not do evil in order to obtain some good. In my earlier post I gave the example of those oh-so-intelligent scientists who injected Jewish kids with tuberculosis in order to study the disease: using your logic, that there wasn’t anything wrong with that. You are using utilitarian ethics, which have underpinned the slaughter of millions. You do realize that, don’t you?


#18

[quote=wabrams]That’s a tough question for me to answer Amy, I’m for adult stem cell research, but I’m divided when it comes to embryonic stem cells. I agree it is morally wrong if they come from aborted fetus, but what about from miscarriages? But if millions or more can be helped, then doesn’t the old saying “The good of the many out way the good of the few” mean anything?
[/quote]

I think you are confusing fetal tissue research with embryonic stem cells.

In tissue research the fetus is already dead and tissue samples are then taken and used for cultures, research, etc. As you point out, there is an ethical difference between tissue obtained from an aborted baby or a naturally miscarried baby.

However, embryonic stem cells are not taken from a dead baby. The cells are harvested from a LIVING embryo. The harvesting is what kills the embryo. Therefore, this is NEVER morally acceptable.


#19

[quote=SHELYON]My 30 y/o neice has 6 y/o twins. One of them has severe spinae bifada. They were born 2 months premature and remained hospitalized for 2 mo. before they went home. The one with spinae bifada (congenital spinal cord disease) had 3 major surgeries in 3 years under general anaesthesia–with more to **** follow!!! By God’s grace, this child, these children have led happy little lives due to two loving and devoted parents, my neice and her husband. Their struggles are constant and complicated. My neice posed this question: “what if embryonic stem cell research can positively affect Cindy’s spina bifada disease and improve the quality of her life?” My answer to her was, “I don’t believe that.” The discussion ended with that. Is there any documentation regarding the specifics of this question that could help me and my neice understand this more clearly?
Unfortunately, what my neice was also saying was that she was determined to vote for Mr. Kerry. Her position certainly targets what is best for her daughter. Thanks in advance, Cecilia
[/quote]

It doesn’t matter what cures embryonic stem cells can bring, it is not ethical to kill human beings to take their cells. This is what how embryonic stem cells are obtained. It is no different, morally, from ripping the beating heart out of a person.


#20

What really scares the heck out of me is how little people know about this subject… They just seem to guess. I keep posting about proposition 71 here in California, but, the thought of these thing passing really scares me. Right now the polls show it might narrowly pass. Why don’t people study these things? If people really read about this proposition instead of going by the completely misleading commercials for it there should be no way they would go for it. Even some proabortionist are against it! Get that! Sorry, I really needed to vent.


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