Why is Stem Cell Research so Controversial?

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by Sidestreamer, Dec 7, 2008.

  1. Sidestreamer
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    I didn't see any recent thread on this so I just wanted to start up something.

    I can see people not liking abortions, but considering how stem cells are created I can only blame the sentiment against it on misinformation. If anyone's familiar with in vitro fertilization, they'd know that far more embryos are produced than what could possibly be used. Most pregnancies require fewer than three or four (many are successful on the first embryo) and yet hundreds are created in the process. They're frozen for storage, but can only survive for so long. I don't remember the time they survive frozen, but there's always an excess that's disposed of.

    The way some argue it, using them for medical research amounts to murder. Well, fact of the matter is that there's no real potential for life because there are simply too many of them compared to the number of women needing an embryo. Those of you who absolutely oppose SCR, do you really prefer they all just stayed frozen until they died naturally? If so, why, and please don't tell me this is moral because you're not only failing to save the embryo but you're also allowing people who could benefit from such research to suffer from the lack of it.
     
  2. KittenKoder
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    Actually ... there is one flaw with this. It's not that the research is actually controversial, it's the funding. There are many labs still doing research just they cannot get US government funding for it. While I think it's stupid not to fund it, they haven't banned it or outlawed it and probably could not.
     
  3. Sidestreamer
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    It's a defacto banning. You won't find a single disease of any significance whose research wasn't funded at least partially by gov't dollars or substantiated in some degree using public facilities and state universities, because it takes that kind of support to make any headway with it.
     
  4. KittenKoder
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    Actually we have two labs in Washington state that are studying stem cell, completely without government funding. Our cancer research center is using those that UW is growing and also studying, for two different reasons of course. All privately funded. Of course the Gates Foundation funds some of it but it's just not impossible, though the funding should be offered just as much as anything I am not worried until they try to actually ban it, then I'll have problems.
     
  5. Sidestreamer
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    Hmm... how much money do these labs use and how much time and manpower's put on it?
     
  6. Steerpike
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    The reason the funding is controversial is that the research itself is controversial and there is political pressure from the right (usually based in religious grounds) to therefore keep public funding away from it.
     
  7. eots
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    how about we don't create the children just to let them die in the first place....or is that to complicated a concept for you

    Adoption's New Frontier



    On May 24, President Bush invited 21 families to a White House ceremony and said each of them had "answered the call to ensure that our society's most vulnerable members are protected and defended at every stage of life."

    What exactly did these families do to merit such high praise from the president?

    These families had adopted embryos left over from other couples' attempts to conceive through in vitro fertilization. They came to the White House to support the position that frozen embryos are human lives worth saving.

    Eighty-four families have adopted frozen embryos in this country. For some, like those who came to the White House in May, this is at least partly a political act; for others, it's a way to have a pregnancy and a child. But embryo adoption is now a dramatic side story to the intense debate surrounding the estimated 400,000 frozen embryos in the U.S. today.



    Adoption's New Frontier, 'Snowflake' Babies Adopted For Personal, Political Reasons - CBS News
     
  8. Gem
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    I think that some people have strong religious convictions and they believe that even a frozen embryo is a human and needs to be protected. With that in mind, asking them to let babies be experimented on is probably never going to be something they will be able to agree to.

    I think that others have an issue with what happens AFTER we "use" the frozen, unwanted embryos created by parents seeking in-vitro. Stem-cell research is going to take a large number of stem-cells to work...as all research takes a long time and is a difficult, arduous process with lots of successes and failures.

    So what happens when we are close (maybe a few years away) from discovering the cure of a disease...but we have no frozen, unwanted or donated embryos to use for research?

    Do we create fertilized emryos for the express purpose of destroying them in research? Is this a slope we want to start down? Or have we started down it already?

    I think that people who might be ok with using the unwanted frozen embryos get nervous at the thought of making embryos for the purpose of destroying them because it opens that door - where do we stop?

    This is why I think adult stem-cell research is so desired by so many.
     
  9. eots
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    and all those people executed each year ..isn't it a shame to just waste all those good organs ..I mean should we mot harvest them
     
  10. KittenKoder
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    Okay ... for the embryo thing, sure, but who will be the incubator, otherwise they are just trapped souls anyhow until thawed and grown ... which is just evil to anyone with a religious belief.
     

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