>We had a perfect example of the “I want” (thanks, Stephen King) school of science and medicine in my own home town, last night. Our local State Representative raised the common lies and redefinitions about destructive embryonic stem cell research.
“Just some cells,”
Cells that behave in an organized manner – just like a human organism should at that stage of life.
“Somatic cell nuclear transfer,”
Razzle-dazzle with the term for one technical process does not change the product or the outcome.
“There’s no sperm, so there’s no embryo,”
There’s no sperm present at the moment that an embryo twins, either. Which of the twins is not human?
“Your own DNA is taken from your cells in the lab and put into an emptied egg,”
Sounds like an intentional high-tech method, doesn’t it? So, there is a definite responsibility for the outcome. If the outcome is a human organism, historic ethics have always maintained that there is a very high responsibility to protect the life of the human. “First, do no harm.”
And we really should talk about the 2300 “eggs” from hundreds of women that were wasted in the absolute, total failed attempt at this process by the Korean veterinarian, Hwang Woo Suk. How many Texas women are we going to exploit?
“No baby is ever made,”
Not if the nascent life is created in harm’s way and destined for planned destruction.
“It’s never implanted,”
He or she is never implanted. See the last comment.
“For a cure,”
In fact, there have been and most likely will never be any cures using human embryonic – and most certainly those from “somatic cell nuclear transfer,” or cloned, embryos. On the other hand, there are currently in use over 70 treatments for deadly and disabling diseases from adult stem cells and umbilical cord stem cells. Heart disease and nerve damage have been treated and there are formal human trials for further treatments ongoing as I type.
Texas has an early and substantial history of this ethical research. Cook’s Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth has been doing umbilical cord stem cell “bone marrow” transplants for at least 4 years. Dr. Willerson, the President of the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Medical School has conducted research on bone marrow stem cells for heart repair in Brazil and his research is being repeated all over the world. Dr. Baumgartner,a pediatric neurosurgeon, also of Houston, has begun recruiting children for bone marrow stem cell treatment of brain trauma.
It’s not for life if it depends on ending life. We do not trade one life for another, as humans are not interchangeable units. Even if not unique (as in the case of those twins) and no matter how small, no matter how hard we had to work with our highest, most cutting edge (and patentable and profitable) technology.