Lawyer Represents Unborn Embryo in Federal Court

This whole thing is just silly. I know many will grow indignant, teary-eyed, enraged. Well, either theyStemcell4
don’t know what they’re talking about, or they haven’t taken their meds. Let’s look at this…

In this PBS NOVA special on stem cell research Ronald M. Green details both the science behind the research and the moral opposition to it, which is most vigorously seen in pressure to stop its (albeit small amount of) US federal funding. (It should be noted that Ronald M. Green is a Chair of the Religions Department and Director of the Ethics Institute at Dartmouth College.)

Since I haven’t read about groups of people hoisting signs depicting withered cells in petri dishes and hovering twenty feet from doorways to IVF clinics lately, I don’t see how this moral objection is remotely defensible.

Heart disease. Cancer. Parkinsons. Diabetes. Burn Victims. Bone Marrow Disorders. MS.

Advancements in treatment and potential cures for these and other diseases could be gained through research on stem cells obtained from human blastocysts.

Let’s talk about these blastocysts a moment.

  • A blastocyst is 4-6 day old fertilized egg which has yet to implant into the uterine wall.
  • It is the step of human gestation between zygote and embryo. (although blastocysts are sometimes referred to as embryos before implantation, especially in IVF)
  • In normal fertility efforts 20-50% of all blastocysts will fail to implant and be flushed from the body. Usually a woman will have yet to even realize she’d been pregnant.
  • With in vitro fertilizations, women undergo treatment that boosts the number of eggs they can work with on one round. This is usually 5-7 eggs, all of which, if healthy, are fertilized and cultivated. Of these only one or two blastocysts will be inserted into the uterus in an attempt to encourage implantation and pregnancy.
  • The remaining blastocysts can be used in research that would likely save and prolong countless lives in the not-so-distant future, or they can be otherwise discarded.
  • A blastocyst has no nerves and a complete inability to experience any level of consciousness or pain. As no one on either side disputes this, we can assume the method of “demise” makes little difference to the blastocyst itself.

On the other hand, lives could be saves and people spared from crippling, pain-wracked, and utterly debilitated lives.

These two cartoons illustrate how sensationalized and utterly misunderstood the entire debate has become.

We have the “suffer the little children” approach. And then we have “science is dangerous just because” by someone who seems to have confused stem cell research with fears about cloning.

Ask anyone on the street and odds are they’ll know little more on this issue than what these two messages attempt to convey.

A blogger at Cape News described the underfunding and opposition to stem cell research the “indirect
torture” of eStemcellgirlveryone living with or dying from these hellish diseases.

Now, because I can’t help myself, I’ll put in a cartoon I like. I didn’t make this, I found it at an extreme site called “rage against the right” – (I am not affiliated and in no way attest for the veracity of their info.) Anyway…

More resources:

The International Society for Stem Cell Research

The National Institute of Health

How Bush was Lead to Compromise on Funding Stem Cell Research

Stems Cells Saves the LaRue Children (ages 11months, 4 years, 11 years)

IVF Procedures


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