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Author Topic: What's so bad about stem cell research?  (Read 3764 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: November 03, 2006, 06:20:30 AM »

Isn't it better to utilize discarded embryos for potentially life-saving medical research than to allow fertility clinics to throw them in the dumpster? If I am mistaken, please explain why.

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« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2006, 07:00:32 AM »

What's so bad?
1) On the spiritual side, my bishop says "No" - good enough for me. What does yours say?

2) On the practical side, I couldn't care less what private or commercial labs do. I do object to my tax dollars funding dead-end research by creating another perpetual federal program that will never go away (but this is for another board here).
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« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2006, 07:09:40 AM »

As a spiritual issue, the benefit would outweigh the cost, if it did genuine good. But I agree that the federal government shouldn't fund stem cell research, unless, however, the will of the people were in favor of such funding.

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« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2006, 08:49:12 AM »

Matthew777--

Please answer the question posed to you:

"What does your bishop say about this matter?"
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« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2006, 02:15:27 PM »

As a spiritual issue, the benefit would outweigh the cost, if it did genuine good. 


So what does THAT mean?  What benefits?  What costs?  What do you mean by genuine good?  What does good mean? 

A lot of unanswered questions. 
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« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2006, 02:26:17 PM »

Consuming embryoes for medical purposes is no different than using them for food. Get your soylent green for the week?

Beside, all the research shows that adult and cord-blood stem cells will be more effective. Indeed, they are already being used while the tests using embryonic stem cells have been disasters.
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« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2006, 04:01:51 PM »

"What does your bishop say about this matter?"

The topic has never come up. I'll try to email him and ask.
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« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2006, 04:03:43 PM »

So what does THAT mean?  What benefits?  What costs?  What do you mean by genuine good?  What does good mean? 

New medical cures, if they did develop, would be worth the usage of human embryos that would otherwise be discarded.
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« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2006, 04:19:12 PM »

New medical cures, if they did develop, would be worth the usage of human embryos that would otherwise be discarded.
The same could be said of some of the "medical experiments" that the Nazis did, such as determining how long a human could survive in near-freezing water.

The knowledge that they gained has saved lives but was is worth the cost? No, it was not.

So, who is your Bishop?
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« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2006, 04:26:40 PM »

So, who is your Bishop?

Bishop Thomas Makarios
www.alma.edu/about/family/faculty/makarios

A human embryo cannot feel pain, has no heart beat, no brain function, etc. Comparing embryonic stem cell research to the Holocaust isn't justified.

Peace.
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« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2006, 05:24:52 PM »

lets throw out everything we know about stem cell reseach for the moment; if the stemcells were derived from baby teeth that fall out naturally (as we all know), would most of you continue to be against it? Or in other words, if the stemcell can be taken somewhere else, where there is no embryo that will become a baby, therefor no life is taken, is it still the wrong thing to do, keeping in mind many diseases can possible be cured?
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« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2006, 06:06:05 PM »

lets throw out everything we know about stem cell reseach for the moment; if the stemcells were derived from baby teeth that fall out naturally (as we all know), would most of you continue to be against it? Or in other words, if the stemcell can be taken somewhere else, where there is no embryo that will become a baby, therefor no life is taken, is it still the wrong thing to do, keeping in mind many diseases can possible be cured?

I don't think there would be objections - it is from embryos that is the contentious point.  I it is also about Govt. funding.  Many of the Libs get into panic mode just because of some unknown potential and the fact that it is contentious with Conservatives, therefore, Millions of dollars must be spent to spite the evil, moral Conservatives to research these magical cures.  I can't believe voters in CA were stupid enough to spend 2 BILLION just to fund ANY medical research just for the sake of the state not being able to afford it.
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« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2006, 07:14:33 PM »

Is stem cell research really against traditional conservatism.

In a word:  yes.  Because it involves government financial support for what properly belongs in the private sector, federally funded stem cell research would be against classical conservative principles.
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« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2006, 07:22:56 PM »

Stem cell research that does not involve the destruction of embryos is acceptable.  But to intentionally kill an embryo in the name of research or to harvest its cells is a grave sin.  This is so even if the embryo is going to be discarded anyway, because it is always objectively wrong to take an innocent life.  Furthermore, the whole process that leads to "surplus" embryos is itself morally wrong, not only because it generates embryos that will be discarded, but also because it violates the natural process of conception.  Allowing embryos to be used for stem cell research would create a greater demand for embryos, which in turn would create pressure to increase the supply.  Not a road we should go down at all.
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« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2006, 07:28:44 PM »

Furthermore, the whole process that leads to "surplus" embryos is itself morally wrong, not only because it generates embryos that will be discarded, but also because it violates the natural process of conception.

Okay, this one I really have to ask about.  Why is conception the only natural process that's off limits?  We don't say it's wrong for doctors to perform surgery, even though that violates the natural process of healing (or maybe of death, depending on the circumstances).  It would seem (and I'm open to correction here) that if the process was conducted in such a way as not to create the surplus of embryos and undergone only for otherwise infertile couples that it wouldn't be objectionable.
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« Reply #15 on: November 03, 2006, 07:31:19 PM »

Furthermore, the whole process that leads to "surplus" embryos is itself morally wrong, not only because it generates embryos that will be discarded, but also because it violates the natural process of conception.

Now there's a bunch of utter nonsense Roll Eyes Not everyone is capable of conceiving by the 'natural process.' I guess from your legalistic perspective of Natural Law we'd have to say that God screwed up, fortunately we found a way to fix His mistake.

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Allowing embryos to be used for stem cell research would create a greater demand for embryos, which in turn would create pressure to increase the supply.  Not a road we should go down at all.

Uh, not going to happen, there is only so much research going on and so much demand that can be generated; the demand is nominal compared to the number of excess embryos produced. As you might have learned in economics supply has to actually surpass demand (or at least come somewhat close) in order to increase demand.
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« Reply #16 on: November 03, 2006, 07:32:31 PM »

It would seem (and I'm open to correction here) that if the process was conducted in such a way as not to create the surplus of embryos and undergone only for otherwise infertile couples that it wouldn't be objectionable.

For better or worse, the procedure does create a surplus of embryos and there is no way within the bounds of modern science to get around that; perhaps some day, but not today.
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« Reply #17 on: November 03, 2006, 07:39:41 PM »

For better or worse, the procedure does create a surplus of embryos and there is no way within the bounds of modern science to get around that; perhaps some day, but not today.

That's reason enough to ban it.
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« Reply #18 on: November 03, 2006, 07:47:10 PM »

That's reason enough to ban it.

It would seem that you make too hasty a judgement on the issue without considering the issue in full. Yes, the process does result in surplus embryos, but it also results in the creation of a life that otherwise would not have existed. Who are you to say that the price is too great for this life to come into the world? You and those like you may accuse me of advocating a position that, while bringing life to some, also imposes death on others...but how is this worse than your position that imposes not merely death, but non-existance on all concerned. Of course, this brings up countless other issues on countless other topics related to reproduction; but none of them are simple and straightforward, and they are clearly not as easy to solve as you seem to imply in your pontifications.
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« Reply #19 on: November 03, 2006, 07:48:03 PM »

For better or worse, the procedure does create a surplus of embryos and there is no way within the bounds of modern science to get around that; perhaps some day, but not today.

Then what about the procedure where a single egg is implanted with a single sperm that's used in some instances?  Since the implantation can only be done to one egg at a time, it would seem like that would avoid creating a surplus of embryos, unless the doctors in question fertilize back up eggs or something similar.
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« Reply #20 on: November 03, 2006, 07:51:17 PM »

Then what about the procedure where a single egg is implanted with a single sperm that's used in some instances?  Since the implantation can only be done to one egg at a time, it would seem like that would avoid creating a surplus of embryos, unless the doctors in question fertilize back up eggs or something similar.

That would, of course, assume that the egg and sperm were both fertile and would produce a genetically good offspring. However, in most cases where fertilization methods are needed, that is hardly a safe assumption. Multiple sperm and eggs are needed to maximize the Chance of success. For such a procedure as you suggest to work there would probably be a need for genetic screening of the egg and sperm, which is still beyond the reach of science (though may not be in 20 years or so).
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« Reply #21 on: November 03, 2006, 07:53:20 PM »

It would seem that you make too hasty a judgement on the issue without considering the issue in full. Yes, the process does result in surplus embryos, but it also results in the creation of a life that otherwise would not have existed. Who are you to say that the price is too great for this life to come into the world? You and those like you may accuse me of advocating a position that, while bringing life to some, also imposes death on others...but how is this worse than your position that imposes not merely death, but non-existance on all concerned. Of course, this brings up countless other issues on countless other topics related to reproduction; but none of them are simple and straightforward, and they are clearly not as easy to solve as you seem to imply in your pontifications.

By the very nature of the case, you can't impose non-existence on anybody.  There has to be an object of the imposition, and no object exists.  However, discarding or harvesting cells from embryos is most definitely imposing death upon them, and that is wrong.  A "position that, while bringing life to some, also imposes death on others" is a classic example of "playing God", which is far worse than my supposed "pontifications".
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« Reply #22 on: November 03, 2006, 07:57:24 PM »

By the very nature of the case, you can't impose non-existence on anybody.  There has to be an object of the imposition, and no object exists.  However, discarding or harvesting cells from embryos is most definitely imposing death upon them, and that is wrong.  A "position that, while bringing life to some, also imposes death on others" is a classic example of "playing God", which is far worse than my supposed "pontifications".

So doctors making calls during mass-casualty triage that bring life to some but imposes death on others is also playing God?  If you're going to argue that position, you could at least be consistent and say that doctors treating some patients instead of others is also evil.
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« Reply #23 on: November 03, 2006, 08:01:56 PM »

By the very nature of the case, you can't impose non-existence on anybody.  There has to be an object of the imposition, and no object exists.  However, discarding or harvesting cells from embryos is most definitely imposing death upon them, and that is wrong.  A "position that, while bringing life to some, also imposes death on others" is a classic example of "playing God", which is far worse than my supposed "pontifications".

Ah, but insofar as there is a potential for human life, there is an object upon which you can impose something. For example, of one partakes of a drug that is known to create birth defects, even before reproducing, and only afterwards reproduced and the result of this reproduction is a child with birth defects, that person can be said to have imposed them on their child, even though when the actions were performed (both the action of reproduction and the action of creating a high likelyhood of birth defects) prior to the child's existance. You can impose on something that potentially may be as much as you can impose on something that is.

Of course, making decisions that result in life or death for humans is not playing God, men have done that throughout the ages, it may be a decision that results from one having power, but it is a human power, not a divine one. However, to pontificate on issues of existance and non-existance, that is going yet a step further, that truly is an attempt at playing God.
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« Reply #24 on: November 03, 2006, 08:04:45 PM »

So doctors making calls during mass-casualty triage that bring life to some but imposes death on others is also playing God?  If you're going to argue that position, you could at least be consistent and say that doctors treating some patients instead of others is also evil.

That's hardly the same thing as directly killing someone (an embryo) to benefit someone else.
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« Reply #25 on: November 03, 2006, 08:05:56 PM »

In a word:  yes.  Because it involves government financial support for what properly belongs in the private sector, federally funded stem cell research would be against classical conservative principles.

To that I would agree, but not that embryonic stem cell research should be banned entirely.
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« Reply #26 on: November 03, 2006, 08:08:02 PM »

That's hardly the same thing as directly killing someone (an embryo) to benefit someone else.

Okay, so you're not going to be consistent.  Just how is refusing to give someone medical treatment (which kills said person) in order to give it to someone else not the same thing.  The only difference is in the specific subjects, not in the nature of the action.
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« Reply #27 on: November 03, 2006, 08:09:00 PM »

Of course, making decisions that result in life or death for humans is not playing God, men have done that throughout the ages, it may be a decision that results from one having power, but it is a human power, not a divine one.

Well, then, perhaps it's more like playing Frankenstein.  Still not a good thing.
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« Reply #28 on: November 03, 2006, 08:09:57 PM »

As you might have learned in economics supply has to actually surpass demand (or at least come somewhat close) in order to increase demand.

I thought that the less there is of something, the more demand there will be...?
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« Reply #29 on: November 03, 2006, 08:12:22 PM »

I thought that the less there is of something, the more demand there will be...?

If that something gets too scarce, and thus more inaccessible, demand goes down because everyone assumes they won't be able to get it anyway.
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« Reply #30 on: November 03, 2006, 08:13:00 PM »

That's hardly the same thing as directly killing someone (an embryo) to benefit someone else.

Actually Veniamin has made a very Good point, and the issues are quite related. In both cases one must make the decision that some must die inorder that others may have life; in both cases the alternatives are related, in one the alternative is death for everyone involved and in the other the alternative is non-existance for everyone involved. I can hardly see how either death or non-existance for all is preferable to life for some.

Well, then, perhaps it's more like playing Frankenstein.  Still not a good thing.

The above mentioned doctor makes this decision, any ruler who must make the decision to go to war to protect those under him makes this decision, often such a decision is made with no wrong doing, with no unnatural impositions.
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« Reply #31 on: November 03, 2006, 08:14:15 PM »

I thought that the less there is of something, the more demand there will be...?

I mis-typed, demand has to at least approach supply before the former will have a notable effect on the latter.
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« Reply #32 on: November 03, 2006, 08:15:54 PM »

Okay, so you're not going to be consistent.  Just how is refusing to give someone medical treatment (which kills said person) in order to give it to someone else not the same thing.  The only difference is in the specific subjects, not in the nature of the action.

Here's how they're different.  In the case of making a hard choice on whom to treat, the physician is doing the best he can under trying circumstances not of his own making.  He can't save both, so he saves one.  In the case of creating surplus embryos and discarding or harvesting them, the agent is intentionally creating the situation in which he causes their deaths, which is morally equivalent to harvesting a vital organ from a healthy person without his consent to give it to somebody else who is supposedly more important.
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« Reply #33 on: November 03, 2006, 08:20:03 PM »

Here's how they're different.  In the case of making a hard choice on whom to treat, the physician is doing the best he can under trying circumstances not of his own making.  He can't save both, so he saves one.  In the case of creating surplus embryos and discarding or harvesting them, the agent is intentionally creating the situation in which he causes their deaths, which is morally equivalent to harvesting a vital organ from a healthy person without his consent to give it to somebody else who is supposedly more important.

You still seem to have no moral qualms about denying people existence; why should existence only be allowed under your terms?
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« Reply #34 on: November 03, 2006, 08:25:03 PM »

Here's how they're different.  In the case of making a hard choice on whom to treat, the physician is doing the best he can under trying circumstances not of his own making.  He can't save both, so he saves one.  In the case of creating surplus embryos and discarding or harvesting them, the agent is intentionally creating the situation in which he causes their deaths, which is morally equivalent to harvesting a vital organ from a healthy person without his consent to give it to somebody else who is supposedly more important.

Add all the details and specifics you want.  Differences in individual circumstances don't affect the nature of the act itself.
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« Reply #35 on: November 04, 2006, 02:30:25 AM »

With regard to triage. the doctor doesn't choose who gets treatment and therefore lives and as a consequence by not choosing others, they die.

It is a battlefield situation. He makes an educated guess that this one, even with treatment will probably die, that one, if given treatment will probably live (or at least have a chance) and that one over there can wait for treatment because his situation is not life-threatening.

thus it is NOT choosing who will live or die, but rather a kind of on-the-spot actuarial table that can be tipped  in favor of some actually living longer. Because the one guy will probably live no matter what; the ohter guy will probably die no matter what; but another MAY live if given intervention.

that's alot different than fertilizing a bunch of eggs and choosing only one fertilized egg to live.

To make it analogous, the triage doctor would have to have inflicted all the casulties on the patients he would then choose for triage.
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« Reply #36 on: November 04, 2006, 09:22:07 AM »

that's alot different than fertilizing a bunch of eggs and choosing only one fertilized egg to live.

To make it analogous, the triage doctor would have to have inflicted all the casulties on the patients he would then choose for triage.

So by your reasoning, bringing life into existance is comprable to inflicting mass casualities...most interesting posistion. You seem to be equating the inflicting of mass casualities on healthy living people with the simple act of fertilizing an egg; a rather absurd proposition if you think about it. It is reasoning like this, applying first century guide lines to 21st century technology that lead to such absurdities as photography being banned as idolatry in some middle eastern countries.
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« Reply #37 on: November 04, 2006, 11:09:05 AM »

I am not equating anything; I was simply pointing out the conditions that would have to apply for the triage comparison to even be remotely similar to the topic of this thread.

Furthermore, I was pointing out that triage doctors do not choose who is going to die; they evaluate who is most likely to live if given a limited and finite supply of help.

Triage just isn't a valid comparison.

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BoredMeeting
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« Reply #38 on: November 04, 2006, 06:25:38 PM »

A human embryo cannot feel pain, has no heart beat, no brain function, etc. Comparing embryonic stem cell research to the Holocaust isn't justified.
Does it have a soul?

If you believe it does not, could you cite how you came to this belief?
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