Wednesday, May 25, 2005
Stem Cell Research
Again, I must confess ignorance about a subject that is currently volatile. I am talking about the latest legislation regarding stem cell research. At first I wasn't exactly sure as to where I stand on this issue. I was sure about how I feel about using cells from aborted fetuses. Since I am firmly pro life I can see how those who lobby for stem cell research could conceivably approve of aborting babies specifically for harvesting stem cells. Therefore I knew I was against that. Also, I am against cloning babies for the express purpose of harvesting stem cells for research. But, I reasoned, what would be wrong with using the cells of babies that have died of natural causes or were miscarried? That premise disturbed me somewhat, but I didn't know why. And then I wondered if there is any other way of obtaining stem cells other than using dead babies. So, for once, I did some research. I found on a web site, a medical doctor, Edmund Pellegrino, MD, is the John Carroll professor of medicine and medical ethics at The Center for Clinical Bioethics at Georgetown University Medical Center. He addressed the subject and this is what I learned: ................................ Within the last year, a great deal of evidence has emerged that indicates that stem cells can be obtained from a variety of sources. You don't have to create an embryo, or destroy one, to obtain such cells. Not long before the British gave their support to embryo cloning, studies conducted in England and the United States and published in a range of leading journals including Science, Nature, and Hepatology found that stem cells can be obtained from adult humans, using sources such as bone marrow cells. These cells would still have the all-important pluripotentiality of stem cells -- the ability to develop into heart, lung, or brain cells, or any cells that you desire, with the proper manipulation........... This quote can be found at WebMD so now I am totally against using any dead babies for the purpose of harvesting stem cells, for research or otherwise. If we can get stem cells that are usable for research from adult bone marrow, then why don't we? It seems to me that proponents of using aborted babies for stem cell research must have an ulterior motive. Otherwise, there is no reason for the debate in the first place. My question would be: what would that motive be?