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ghuinness
07-12-2004, 20:35
Since there is a poll on abortion I thought I would ask about opinions on Stem-Cell research.

I have been reading through http://www.stemcellresearchnews.com/Stem_Cell_News.htm to formulate an opinion, but I would like to hear what others on this board think.

Radar Rider
07-13-2004, 04:09
This is an excellent opportunity for me. I'm not exactly sure what the whole deal is with stem cell research. If President Bush withholds Federal funding, than so be it. What about private funding? What's the big deal?

Roguish Lawyer
07-13-2004, 12:12
Unless I'm missing something, I don't have a problem with the research. I generally don't like federal funding of things that can be funded privately, but there may be certain research projects for which I would support federal funding.

pulque
07-13-2004, 12:31
Originally posted by Radar Rider
This is an excellent opportunity for me. I'm not exactly sure what the whole deal is with stem cell research. If President Bush withholds Federal funding, than so be it. What about private funding? What's the big deal?

Unless you believe that private money is more ruthlessly profit driven and bereft of moral fiber and integrity than the federal government, then its not a big deal.

The technology and the will are there to do embryonic stem cell research. As a species we are now dealing with how to do this within our ethical framework.

On August 9, 2001, at 9:00 p.m. EDT, the President announced his decision to allow Federal funds to be used for research on existing human embryonic stem cell lines as long as prior to his announcement (1) the derivation process (which commences with the removal of the inner cell mass from the blastocyst) had already been initiated and (2) the embryo from which the stem cell line was derived no longer had the possibility of development as a human being.

In addition, the President established the following criteria that must be met:

* The stem cells must have been derived from an embryo that was created for reproductive purposes;
* The embryo was no longer needed for these purposes;
* Informed consent must have been obtained for the donation of the embryo;
* No financial inducements were provided for donation of the embryo.


If an embryo is created for reproductive purpose, is no longer needed for that purpose, informed consent is obtained, and no financial inducements are provided, why are scientists only allowed to use 11 available (distributable) pre-existing cell lines that may at some point lose their ability to be cultured or pluripotency? We are coming back to the definition of life, and the place of faith and government in regulating science and technology. Interesting times.

Sacamuelas
07-13-2004, 12:41
If you guys believed and supported Airborne lawyer's logic in his posts over in the abortion thread, then you must not be reading this right. A blastocyst is the initial grouping of cells of a developing embryo. According to AL's post, once the gamets have joined- it is a separate human lifeform. Can't have it both ways.. either it is or it isn't a distinct human life. :munchin

ghuinness
07-13-2004, 18:30
Okay - I am going to stir the pot and take the wrath.

I see a difference between selective abortion and research on embryo's that would be killed anyway. Not all abortions are selective and voluntary. Some are necessary.

If a person dies we harvest their organs, if an abortion has to be performed, what is the difference?

To add to this, I work a lot with animals. I have worked and run farms - cattle and horses. I have no problem with humane killing. I had to partake in destroying a horse a few weeks ago.
To reiterate what the vet told me when there was no explanation - things die.
You come in one morning and with no explanation, no cause, sudden death arrives. Nothing you can do, nothing you did. If you want answers you donate the organs and research the cause.

To me this debate is being tied to the wrong criteria. Nothing I have read so far has changed my opinion.

pulque
07-13-2004, 18:55
Originally posted by ghuinness
Okay - I am going to stir the pot and take the wrath.

I see a difference between selective abortion and research on embryo's that would be killed anyway. Not all abortions are selective and voluntary. Some are necessary.

If a person dies we harvest their organs, if an abortion has to be performed, what is the difference?

To add to this, I work a lot with animals. I have worked and run farms - cattle and horses. I have no problem with humane killing. I had to partake in destroying a horse a few weeks ago.
To reiterate what the vet told me when there was no explanation - things die.
You come in one morning and with no explanation, no cause, sudden death arrives. Nothing you can do, nothing you did. If you want answers you donate the organs and research the cause.

To me this debate is being tied to the wrong criteria. Nothing I have read so far has changed my opinion.

Stem cell research is shackled to the abortion debate, technically, for the reason the toothpuller described regarding the definition of life. However, the existing stem-cell lines (and potential future ones) for the most part come from cells in unwanted embryos in IVF clinics. Not from abortions.

Recently, a private company started several new stem-cell lines from IVF clinic embryos that had certain diseases of interest. In this case, I can understand why the parents would "donate".

The difference between harvesting organs and harvesting embryo cells is that organs come from a differentiated human being who gave permission. Embryo cells are by definition undifferentiated.