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catqueen user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 13 Jul 11, 16:17 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I just had an argument with someone about stem cell research (as mentioned in random thoughts).  What are your thoughts about it?  Personally, I'm against using humans in any form for scientific research, although i can see why people argue for it.  I'm also pro-life, although I think its probably better to have legal abortions (currently its not legal in Ireland) then to have coat hanger jobs in back alleys.  And I read a story (well it was read to me in college) relating to it, about a girl who was attacked, raped, invaded and kidnapped by beings who demanded the use of her body for 9 months before putting her into extreme pain and then not releasing her for 21 years from their servitude.  It did make me look at the issue differently.  Having said i'm  pro-life, I wouldn't condemn someone who has had an abortion, as it is not an easily reached decision, and its extremely painful and not a path most people would choose if they didn't feel forced into it.
BUT anyway-- what are your views on stem cell research?  Do the ends justify the means?  Or do you not think a 0 - 5 day old embryo is human?  If not, how come 5 days?  Why not 5 days and 12 hours, or 4 and a half days? 
One argument i read said that while you can argue against it on a pro-life basis, most of the embryos come from fertility clinics, are used with permission, and it would have been deep-freeze (indefinately), destruction or research, therefore no lives are saved by preventiing the research, and that its a purely symbolic stand.
Thoughts?

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Posted: 13 Jul 11, 16:26 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Don't confuse embryonic stem cells, which appear to be a waste of time because no real break throughs have ever been made with them, and adult stem cells which have had some fantastic results, including reconstructing part of a windpipe (made from the Patients own cells of course.), meaning there will be no need for a lifetime of anti rejection drugs as there would be in a normal transplant.

So my answer would be that you are very uniformed, But embryonic stem cells are not the way forward, Adult stem cells have already been proven an more time and research should be ploughed into it.

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Posted: 13 Jul 11, 19:07 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I am in favour of human experimenation. Even if there's nothing to be scientifically gained from it, it would still be great fun. I also believe that the re-introduction of slavery would solve the world's economic problems so my opinions are probably best kept to myself.

fatty.

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Posted: 14 Jul 11, 06:31 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Stem cell research does not mean that "humans" are used for medical experimentation. First of all, there are adult stem cells and secondly even embryonal stem cells are not "humans", they are just cells. In the  discussion about the ethical implications of stem cell research we are often given the impression that small cute embryos are killed brutally for research purpose but that is just propaganda, it's just a small cell lump that was created in the tube. All the "life starts with conception" is propaganda as well in my humble opinion. If you have a 3rd month miscarriage in a Catholic hospital they won't give the embryo an emergency baptism and bury it on a Christian cemetery - they will throw it into the biohazard trash can. Only if a woman demands she wants to decide about her body herself the 3 month embryo is sacred life all of a sudden. I only mentioned Catholic hospitals because the Catholic church is leading the "pro life" campaigns - other hospitals do the same, of course.


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Posted: 14 Jul 11, 06:42 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Exactly what Barbara said!


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Posted: 14 Jul 11, 08:58 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

-fatty- wrote: I am in favour of human experimenation. Even if there's nothing to be scientifically gained from it, it would still be great fun. I also believe that the re-introduction of slavery would solve the world's economic problems so my opinions are probably best kept to myself.

fatty.
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"Slavery is a system marred by one major disadvantage: slaves require regular feeding."


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Posted: 14 Jul 11, 10:31 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Let me be the second to second YV's comments in their entirety.


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Posted: 14 Jul 11, 12:24 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

YV for the win !


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Posted: 14 Jul 11, 13:53 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

" If you have a 3rd month miscarriage in a Catholic hospital they won't give the embryo an emergency baptism and bury it on a Christian cemetery - they will throw it into the biohazard trash can"

Your source for this?  Or is this just a slight case of slander?

(I'm sure this will go unanswered.)

catqueen user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 14 Jul 11, 17:11 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

emrabt wrote: Don't confuse embryonic stem cells, which appear to be a waste of time because no real break throughs have ever been made with them, and adult stem cells which have had some fantastic results, including reconstructing part of a windpipe (made from the Patients own cells of course.), meaning there will be no need for a lifetime of anti rejection drugs as there would be in a normal transplant.

So my answer would be that you are very uniformed, But embryonic stem cells are not the way forward, Adult stem cells have already been proven an more time and research should be ploughed into it.

Yeah, after thinking and reading a bit more about it, I think i was confusing it a bit with fetal tissue transplants, etc.  In my teens i went through a rabid pro-life phase and read tonnes of stuff about the pro-life movement, and i know a lot of that is propaganda -- but now my problem is trying to sort through the vast amount of vaguely remembered information that's in my head and try to figure out what is true and what is emotive hype. 
I do think breeding embryos for research is wrong, and I think too much genetic experimentation is wrong -- HAVING SAID THAT, i'm sure if i actually read up about it, i might find that it is looking to promote anti-cancer genes and stuff like that rather then genetically encouraging blonde hair. 
I also realised yesterday while thinking about this that the statistics i had heard (which i don't remember) about the number of babies in the USA which are aborted based on things like hair and eye colour cannot be true.  Maybe there have been abortions over stuff like that (maybe -- but can they even tell hair colour) but more likely it was a paternity issue (maybe the baby would have come out with brown skin and black hair, instead of white skin and blue eyes -- the hair colour is different, but not the actual issue). 
And yes, as you said, a huge amount of stem cell research is done on ADULT stem cells.... so yes, my rant was a bit random.  Also they can get stem cells from umbilical cords, placenta, etc, not necessarily from embryos.  So i was jumping the gun a bit.
BUT, i'm glad i asked it, cos typing it out (and arguing with my friend) made me think about it, and that has to be good.  :)

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Posted: 14 Jul 11, 17:11 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

-fatty- wrote: I am in favour of human experimenation. Even if there's nothing to be scientifically gained from it, it would still be great fun. I also believe that the re-introduction of slavery would solve the world's economic problems so my opinions are probably best kept to myself.

fatty.

rofl

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Posted: 14 Jul 11, 17:13 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

YourValentine wrote:All the "life starts with conception" is propaganda as well in my humble opinion. If you have a 3rd month miscarriage in a Catholic hospital they won't give the embryo an emergency baptism and bury it on a Christian cemetery - they will throw it into the biohazard trash can. Only if a woman demands she wants to decide about her body herself the 3 month embryo is sacred life all of a sudden. I only mentioned Catholic hospitals because the Catholic church is leading the "pro life" campaigns - other hospitals do the same, of course.
Dont they?  Is that an issue of sanctity of life or of trying to minimise the pain to the mother or of practicality (it would be pretty tiny).  I actually didn't realise they do emergency baptisms on miscarriages at all.

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Posted: 15 Jul 11, 00:38 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

No, they don't :-) It's only an example about how "life" is differently defined: when you have a miscarriage, it is not considered human life because it is not treated like a human body (my source is my lifelong experience and that of my  fellow citizens, microwave).

About the abortion of babies because of hair or skin colour: I think that is a big, fat lie. I do not think it is even possible to determine eye colour or skin coulour with stem cell research. We had the same discussion when preimplantation diagnostics were legalised. Opponents of the law argued that people would select embryos according to gender and hair colour but experts testified in parliament that that is not even possible.

I understand the ethical problems many people have with issues like stem cell research, preimplantation diagnostics and abortion but the discussion should be honest. Horror stories about evil parents who want their designer babies are not helpful - maybe there are such rare cases but they are not the normal issue.


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Posted: 15 Jul 11, 03:37 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

YourValentine wrote: No, they don't :-) It's only an example about how "life" is differently defined: when you have a miscarriage, it is not considered human life because it is not treated like a human body (my source is my lifelong experience and that of my  fellow citizens, microwave).

About the abortion of babies because of hair or skin colour: I think that is a big, fat lie. I do not think it is even possible to determine eye colour or skin coulour with stem cell research. We had the same discussion when preimplantation diagnostics were legalised. Opponents of the law argued that people would select embryos according to gender and hair colour but experts testified in parliament that that is not even possible.

I understand the ethical problems many people have with issues like stem cell research, preimplantation diagnostics and abortion but the discussion should be honest. Horror stories about evil parents who want their designer babies are not helpful - maybe there are such rare cases but they are not the normal issue.

Yeah, what you said about designer babies is exactly what i meant -- i was a lot less discerning about what i read and its source when i was in my teens, and if it came from a christian source i was a lot less critical/questioning about their claims, hence i now have some fairly strong attitudes and i'm not 100% certain of the validity of the information they are based on!
*when i said about skin colour, i meant that perhaps the 'women have abortions because of hair colour' claim may have been based on cases where women had abortions because they knew damn well that the baby was not their partner's and that it would come out looking significantly different to their partner, making it impossible to hide (from him) that he wasn't the dad. 
Or maybe that hazily remembered issue was based on someone saying that PROBABLY this will be the situation, or MAYBE people would want this, etc -- just hype and propaganda. 
And i agree, it would make things a lot clearer if people would use straightforward, logical and ACCURATE arguments.

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Posted: 15 Jul 11, 09:29 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I don't understand why religious people think doing stem cell research is meddling with their gods plan. While removing a tumour, that was able to grow there because of their gods blueprints, isn't.


"On the first day Pim & Niek created a heavenly occupation. Pim & Niek blessed it and named it 'Loosch'."



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Posted: 15 Jul 11, 09:56 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Micrówave wrote:

"If you have a 3rd month miscarriage in a Catholic hospital they won't give the embryo an emergency baptism and bury it on a Christian cemetery - they will throw it into the biohazard trash can"

Your source for this?  Or is this just a slight case of slander?

(I'm sure this will go unanswered.)

====================================

Do you know anyone who had a burial for a fetus in the first trimester?

It's not slander - it's the truth.  It is standard practice to safely dispose of the fetus after an abortion.

It's really amazing that the people who are anti-abortion are usually also pro-war.  It's ok to send someone off to death, as long as they're over 16.  But if they're in the womb, suddenly it's a crime.


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Posted: 15 Jul 11, 11:05 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

FriedChicken wrote: I don't understand why religious people think doing stem cell research is meddling with their gods plan. While removing a tumour, that was able to grow there because of their gods blueprints, isn't.
I didn't mean stem cell research specifically is playing God, but i do think making designer babies is.  In my (un-educated) opinion, it risks ending up with a race of engineered 'perfect' humans with enhanced traits and 'normal' humans which will be the duds.  I don't think seeking healing is an ethical issue as we have an instinctive will to live, and promoting life is kind of highlighted in the Bible.

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Posted: 15 Jul 11, 11:07 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Sir GH wrote:

It's really amazing that the people who are anti-abortion are usually also pro-war.  It's ok to send someone off to death, as long as they're over 16.  But if they're in the womb, suddenly it's a crime.

Yeah, i never got this either. 
*I'm also anti-war.  Well, at least... I am in theory, but please don't ask me what i think people should have done about Hitler, because i really don't have an anti-war way around that.

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Posted: 15 Jul 11, 11:44 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Sir GH wrote:

Do you know anyone who had a burial for a fetus in the first trimester?

It's not slander - it's the truth.  It is standard practice to safely dispose of the fetus after an abortion.

It's really amazing that the people who are anti-abortion are usually also pro-war.  It's ok to send someone off to death, as long as they're over 16.  But if they're in the womb, suddenly it's a crime.
=========================================

While slander isn't the word I'd have chosen it's certainly not 'the truth' either.  Miscarried children at any stage who are no longer alive are not baptized because baptism is a sacrament for the living, not because the remains are not valued as human life.  Canonical law actually lays out procedures for this situation and permits anyone to perform the rite of baptism in an emergency where cessation of life is suspected to be imminent in a miscarriage.  If there is doubt as to whether the child is alive a conditional baptism may be performed.  Catholic hospitals no longer bury miscarried remains on their grounds (they used to) because modern civil practices separate the roles and rituals around death, and thus tissue from a miscarriage can be handed off to funeral homes and then cemeteries where the family wishes it.   Similarly, families may absolutely request a mass and attendant rituals.  They aren't required to do any of this, and it wouldn't be very merciful if they were given the very personal nature of that loss and grief.  Either way, whether the lost child is buried or handled by the hospital it's irrelevant to the underlying principle of life beginning at conception or the dignity and value that believers accord it.  I find this miscasting of the facts rather ironic. If the Catholic Church deserves criticism around right to life and related issues it certainly isn't because of the loose or hypocritical application of them.  It's because of a too encompassing and too rigid application as seen through things like church policy on birth control, life saving condom use, and abortion under no circumstances.

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Posted: 16 Jul 11, 02:56 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I have to disagree, Gratefulfan. First of all in my area of life aborted fetuses were never buried by hospitals anywhere . It is forbidden to bury anybody anywhere except for the designated cemeteries - you cannot even bury your cat in your garden. Secondly, neither the Catholic church nor any other hospital ever considered an aborted fetus as human life - fetuses have always been treated like a part of the mother's body like for example a removed appendix and not like a human being that deserves respect. I mentioned it because for me it always showed that there was no social consensus about "life beginning with conception". An aborted fetus is in fact a part of the mother's body and unable to live outside the mother's body - that is a very important difference between a still born child and a lost fetus. The still born child will be blessed by the church and buried in sacred ground (or on a cemetery in civil society). Only when it comes to legal abortion churches and other anti-abortionists all of a sudden claim that there is a social consensus about human life beginning with conception. In my opinion that is not the case at all.  Most people- even a vast majority of Catholics - believe that the rights of the pregnant woman to decide about her own body must be recognised and appreciated by laws considering legal abortion.

I think that the discussion about ethically complicated issues like stem cell research , pre-implantation diagnostics, abortion laws, IVF etc must be honest and should not be burdened with ideological dogmas. If there were a clear, ethical opinion which is valid for everybody we would not have so many different laws. For example in many European countries preimplantation diagnostics is allowed while it was forbidden in Germany until just a few weeks ago. Surrogate mothers are allowed in the USA but forbidden in many other countries, Germany also forbids the implantation of  another woman's fertilized egg while the use of other men's semen is allowed - there is a very strange legislation struggling to catch up with scientific progress. Lawful limitations of what is scientifically possible are definitely necessary but the discussion should be calm and not hysterical with all the horror stories about designer babies and Frankenstein test tubes.


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