Archive for Friday, November 10, 2006

Kansas may push for stem cell amendment

November 10, 2006

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— Kansas officials say they may push for a stem cell research amendment, similar to one that narrowly passed in Missouri.

"I think we'll analyze that vote carefully, what people think they voted for, what they didn't think they voted for," Gov. Kathleen Sebelius said.

Of the amendment, Sebelius said, "I think it's a step forward to at least ensure in Missouri that research can continue, and I think there is a lot of interest in looking at that kind of language here in Kansas."

Both Missouri and Kansas have been trying to lure scientists and bioscience industries.

Such an amendment in Kansas would draw opposition from Kansans for Life, the state's largest anti-abortion organization.

"Prolife Kansans do not support unlimited and immoral scientific experimentation," said Kathy Ostrowski, legislative director for KFL.

In addition, U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., has been a vocal opponent of embryonic stem cell research.

Close election

The Missouri amendment guaranteed that any federally allowed stem cell research can occur in that state, including research using human embryos. It passed Tuesday, 51 percent to 49 percent.

Supporters, led by medical research institutions, said the amendment would ensure the continuation of life-saving research and boost the economy. The proposal was needed, they said, to protect stem cell research from legislative steps to restrict it.

Opponents, led by religious and anti-abortion groups, said the embryonic stem cell research is morally wrong because it destroys human life.

The Missouri election results were mixed. While bagging a victory, supporters spent $30 million to get it, against approximately $3 million spent by opponents. The amendment lost in 97 out of 114 counties, but won in the large urban areas.

Rep. Kenny Wilk, R-Lansing, a major proponent of bioscience research, said the amount of money needed to barely win "should give the governor and everyone else pause before Kansas weighed in on that."

Kansas poll

Last year, a poll commissioned by the Kansas Coalition for Lifesaving Cures showed that large majorities of Kansans support embryonic stem cell research, and opposed legislative efforts to ban it.

By 79 percent to 19 percent, Kansas voters agreed that the state policy should be that "any stem cell research, therapies or cures that are permitted by federal law should be allowed in Kansas - provided that such activities are conducted ethically and safely and do not involve human cloning to create babies."

Lori Huftles, executive director of the coalition, said she was delighted to hear Sebelius' support of stem cell research, but added the coalition was not pushing for a constitutional amendment on the matter in Kansas.

She said the coalition is more focused on educating the public and Legislature about stem cell research.

A bill to ban human cloning in Kansas was introduced in 2005 but wasn't approved.

Opponents of the measure, including Kansas University and the Stowers Institute in Kansas City, Mo., said the legislation went further than a cloning ban and could halt potentially life-saving research.

The Missouri amendment was placed on the ballot through petitions signed by voters. In Kansas, a proposed constitutional amendment can be placed on the ballot only after being approved by two-thirds of the House and Senate.

Huftles said efforts in Kansas to restrict stem cell research may have been dealt a blow because of the recent defeat of state Rep. Mary Pilcher Cook, a Republican from Shawnee, who was a vocal opponent of embryonic stem cell research.

Earlier this year, legislative leaders ordered a study on human cloning to be done by the new Kansas Health Policy Authority by the end of the year. Anti-abortion advocates said the study should have been conducted by a legislative committee, whose members are accountable to voters.

Comments

SettingTheRecordStraight 8 years, 5 months ago

Yet Missouri only passed experimentation on human embyos by the smallest of margins (51.2% - 48.8%).

I hope Kansas voters are wiser than our neighbors to the east. Vote NO on experimentation on human embyos.

Bubarubu 8 years, 5 months ago

STRS, the exit polls also showed that a lot of people who voted against the amendment thought it allowed cloning. The slim margin was nothing more than the result of the celebrity-driven propaganda campaign. Maybe you saw the ads, you know, football player, two baseball players, actress, saying how bad cloning was. The counter ad included a former Republican senator, a state supreme court justice and a couple of doctors. All the narrow margin showed was that people were easily fooled by spokespeople who should have no credibility on the subject.

jonas 8 years, 5 months ago

What's the big deal about cloning anyways? Who doesn't want to come in a six-pack?

Me, I've already got the plastic rings set up to link us together.

don_burgess 8 years, 5 months ago

"Opponents, led by religious and anti-abortion groups, said the embryonic stem cell research is morally wrong because it destroys human life."

Capital punishment and wars also are known to destroy human life. Funny how most stem cell opponents support these casues yet are offended by this research. These religious freaks are probably the same individuals who argue for "intelligent design." What a joke.

THIS IS NOT HUMAN LIFE, PEOPLE. These embryos that would be farmed are a bundle of cells. They are nothing more than very small blobs of undifferentiated tissue at this stage of development. A worm is more sophisticated in design.

Stem cell research will help revolutionize the medical field and truly help people with disabilities.

I say mandatory prison sentences to anyone who opposes stem cell research. (An extra 3-5 years if you are religious)

Jamesaust 8 years, 5 months ago

'"Prolife Kansans do not support unlimited and immoral scientific experimentation," said Kathy Ostrowski, legislative director for KFL.'

It seems that Kathy's maiden name was Canard.

williaa 8 years, 5 months ago

Way to go don_burgess! I think people's opinions would change if they were ever affected by the diseases this research is hoping to cure. I'm sure everyone will be wondering what happened to the embryos when they need assistance to dress, feed and toilet themselves.

Linda Endicott 8 years, 5 months ago

That's an angle I hadn't thought of before, Agnostick, but you're right.

Why shouldn't the people who had the embryos started be the ones who get to decide what happens to them?

mommy3 8 years, 5 months ago

Well, when someone is sentenced to death, it's usally because they are a very sick and horrible person who poses a threat to the rest of us. Normally they have killed someone in a totally unthinkable way.

Embryos (babies) have not done anything. Just because you can't open your eyes yet, does that make you worthless? This makes me sick! When did we start to think it was ok, to destroy our own species? We are humans, we all started from that little budle of cells, how are they worthless? You must be the same person that is pro choice. What makes it ok to make a decision for someone elses life just because it might be harder for you. My mom used to make things hard on me(stress, choices), and she hurt my image (body image), does that mean I get to do away with her? Whats the difference between murder, and sucking someones(baby)body up in a vacume? What's the difference between sticking a needle in back of a babies brain, or shooting someone in the back? IT'S WRONG!!

mommy3 8 years, 5 months ago

It's messing with the circle of life! Sick, old DIE. New ones are born. My Dad died a horrible death from Cancer. I wish something could have saved him, but I also know he wouldn't have wanted a baby to die to save him.

SettingTheRecordStraight 8 years, 5 months ago

don_burgess - "THIS IS NOT HUMAN LIFE, PEOPLE. These embryos that would be farmed are a bundle of cells. They are nothing more than very small blobs of undifferentiated tissue at this stage of development."

And humans in this country were once considered only 2/3 human, Mr. Burgess. We need to respect and protect life from conception until natural death.

kmat 8 years, 5 months ago

Those of you that keep calling these frozen little blobs of cells (they aren't even embyos, they are in the zygote stage) babies need to get a grip on reality. What BS to spout "Embryos (babies) have not done anything. Just because you can't open your eyes yet, does that make you worthless? "

I want to know, how many of you have seen a zygote (which you can only see under a microscope) with eyes? How about limbs or anything that even resembles a human? You haven't, because it is just a little bundle of the basic cells that CAN possibly become human life.

And how can all of you that think it is murder to use stem cells don't have an issue with invitro fertilization? Invitro is playing god and destroys thousands of these zygotes every year. If this life is so precious, then why is it ok to use and destroy thousands just to give a few infertile people the CHANCE to have a baby (which personally I think is the most selfish thing anyone can do).

If each one of these zygotes is so precious, then why aren't you that think they are already a living little baby volunteer to carry them to term and raise them?

Why don't you care about the thousands of children already born that desperately need a home, but can't find anyone to adopt them because people are selfish and only want babies (preferably from their own genes)?

It always appears that those of you that scream the loudest care more about these little bundles of cells than already existing, breathing lives. WHAT HYPOCRITS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You literally make me ill.

I would personally allow them to take all of my eggs to use to create stem cells, just in the hope that it may help them find a cure for any of the illnesses so many suffer and die from each year.

kmat 8 years, 5 months ago

Nov sky - you should really be ashamed of yourself for that comment. I have had the honor of meeting Mr. Fox. He is a wonderful man. How nice of you to mock him. Parkinson's isn't something to be joked about. I have to quit reading these posts because you people make me ill.

Science isn't bad. Babies aren't being killed for research. Mocking ill people isn't acceptable. What the hell is wrong with you people?

Roadkill_Rob 8 years, 5 months ago

This is indeed a tricky debate w/ both sides making valid points. I take a more personal look at it. If I have a family member who has Parkinson's, I know this person and I can visually see the pain. I have no personal connection w/ an embryo b/c I don't personally know that embryo...I have no feelings for an embryo.

Therefore, I lean towards stem cell research. I also think pro-lifers should mind their own business. If you're against these issues, preach them to your family and not to me.

werekoala 8 years, 5 months ago

I really want to set up a petition table against stem-cell research, where I try to get people to sign a petition that says,

"I pledge to die rather than receive a cure for (long list of diseases) derived from stem cells."

Then get their personal information and promise this information will be placed in all of their medical records. And tell them it will be binding, ie, they will not be able to change their minds if they do come down with the disease, since the law presumes that the illness would interfere with their clear moral decision-making.

I just think there would be some funny (and highly hypocritical) reactions, if captured on camera.

Roadkill_Rob 8 years, 5 months ago

75x55,

Uhh, I don't see the relationship between nuking a country and stem cell research...apples and oranges. It's kind of like comparing something I don't like to Hitler.

Like I said, both sides of STEM CELL RESEARCH have valid points but I'd rather save a loved one than save someone/something I don't know.

Oh, and I'm also against nuking countries. Is this still too pragmatic, Hitler?

GOPConservative 8 years, 5 months ago

Yet Missouri only passed experimentation on human embyos by the smallest of margins (51.2% - 48.8%).

I hope Kansas voters are wiser than our neighbors to the east. Vote NO on experimentation on human embyos.


Support will be much greater in Kansas than Missouri.

Historically, we've always been more enlightened than our neighbors. When I was a kid in the 1950s, those of us near the border knew our school system was superior. Our friends in Missouri lagged far behind us.

At that time, Kansans were very proud of their support for education and science. No one was pushing for teaching lies in our schools. Most churches in Kansas were mainstream.

It was Missouri that was known for ignorant and backward people. Most of them lived in isolated areas like the Ozarks. It was Missouri where you would find extremist churches where people talked in tongues, played with rattle snakes, etc. They also believed that myths like the six-day creation story and Noah's Ark actually occurred.

These poor souls were chained to ignorance by fear. They had been told by hateful preachers that if they studied science or believed in factual evidence, God would sentence them to an eternity of torture.

Somehow during the last two decades, these kinds of ignorant people became elected to public office in Kansas. Fortunately, Kansans woke up this past year and soundly voted for knowledge over ignorance and myth.

Intelligent, well-educated candidates like Nancy Boyda, Paul Morrison and the rational KBOE candidates won by margins much greater than the margins in Missouri for stem cell research.

I'm sure the margin for stem cell science in Kansas will be significantly higher than Missouri. Most Kansans would rather see the cells go towards saving lives than being tossed in the garbage.

Unfortunately, even though Kansas has a smaller percentage of ignorant people than Missouri, we have been painted by the media as being a backward and illiterate State.

Rational and educated Kansans need to demand that the media discusses Kansas' recent elections and its overwhelming support of science and knowledge.

We need to tell the world that most of us are not illiterate, superstitious extremists. They need to know that we were fooled into voting for these liars and nutcases. Once we knew their intentions, sixty percent of us supported knowledge and righteousness over ignorance, dishonesty and corruption.

yourworstnightmare 8 years, 5 months ago

Equation of a cluster of cells with a human life is wrong-headed.

I normally do not like moral "thought experiments", but I ask all of those opposed to stem cell research on religious grounds to answer this question.

If you were trapped in a burning building and next to you was an unconscious adult and a vat of embryonic stem cells, which would you carry to safety from the building? The adult or the stem cells? You can't carry both.

yourworstnightmare 8 years, 5 months ago

Or to rephrase the question: a flask containing frozen human blastocyst embryos or the human?

don_burgess 8 years, 5 months ago

Mommy3 / settingthe record straight -

Please do your best to understand this topic.

A blastocyst / embryo at this stage of development is NOT a person. ----It is basically a glob of SNOT.

It has no feelings, no experinces, no awareness, no favorite TV show, no memory of a first day of school, does not wear diapers, does not know who jesus is, will not speak, walk or even think. It doesn't even have a brain. It is a bundle of cells.

Do not allow yourself to be brainwashed into thinking Dr Frankenstein is performing brain surgery in a dark basement and ripping out stem cells from screaming babies.

I have kids. I was once even a blastocyst myself, OK? I understand that an embryo has the potential to become an actual person.

setting the record straight says, "We need to respect and protect life from conception until natural death."

I agree - but lets start with the living. Lets start with ACTUAL people before we start defending the rights of gelatin in a plastic dish.

PLease pick a better fight. This shouldnt even be an issue.

yourworstnightmare 8 years, 5 months ago

"Valid points on both sides, but it comes down to that common root. Either they are nothing but blobs (a scary view dependent only upon the elevation of your perspective), or human life with potential for individual viability."

More absolutist, simple-minded thinking. Those opposed to HESC research claim that blastocysts are human life and deserve the same protection as a human. Which is it for you 4125?

yourworstnightmare 8 years, 5 months ago

Again I ask: where in the bible does it say that human life begins at fertilization?

kmat 8 years, 5 months ago

Nov Sky - oh you are so grown up with your comments.

"Culture Warrior....I'm sure there is a "rooster kmat".

But I bet he's a small cock.

Gamecock, I mean."

Good way to stay on topic, moron.

As I was saying in my post, being a WOMAN, I would gladly donate any and all eggs I have for stem cell research to help save lives. I've spent a good part of my life caring for ill loved ones (all of last year caring for my sister who passed from breast cancer). Whatever it takes to create cures for these damn blasted diseases should be done. Considering I have such a high chance of passing from the same disease, I will gladly donate to find a cure.

And no, there is no small cock. Maybe you are commenting about yourself. My rooster is quite proud and should be.

SettingTheRecordStraight 8 years, 5 months ago

It's always just a blob of cells to the pro-abortion crowd-- unless you actually can't get pregnant. Then it's a developing child.

white_mountain 8 years, 5 months ago

We could start bringing some good jobs to Lawrence if we pass this amendment and allow KU to just go crazy with groundbreaking research.

fabian_zimbabwe 8 years, 5 months ago

Hypocritical conservatives speaking out of both sides of their mouths. On one side, they scream "right to life" via anti-abortion. Out of the other, they holler "no stem cell research," which, quite likely, would save countless lives in the years to come.

Do you or don't you want to save lives? You can't have it both ways. (And no, those embryos are nowhere near human, as many take residence in the trashcan, something the anti-stem cell crowd simply refuses to acknowledge.)

Kathy Getto 8 years, 5 months ago

Posted by Agnostick (anonymous) on November 10, 2006 at 2:12 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Ever read Leviticus 17:11? It's interesting...

Atonement is a tough subject, don't you think?

yourworstnightmare 8 years, 5 months ago

4125, "'(a scary view dependent only upon the elevation of your perspective)'"

Why don't you explain your comment to me? While you're at it, please explain to me why you think that human life begins at fertilization and where in the bible it says that human life begins at fertilization.

I await enlightenment.

yourworstnightmare 8 years, 5 months ago

Also, I would like to hear 4125's answer to the dilemma of an unconscious man and a beaker of frozen blastocysts in a burning building. You can carry out one but not both. Which do you choose, 4125?

Linda Aikins 8 years, 5 months ago

So does this mean that somewhere down the road we can look forward to Michael J. Fox quivering and shaking his way all over the streets of Lawrence and Topeka looking for support? - november sky

What an incredibly nasty thing to say. wow. Did you re-read that before you sent it? Are you really such a nasty person to attack not only Michael J Fox, but also my father, my mother, and others with Parkinson's? do you think they are "quivering and shaking" just to get attention? If you were in this room, I would want to spit on your shoes.

yourworstnightmare 8 years, 5 months ago

4125,

I hope you are combing through the bible right now and reflecting on your beliefs. I hope you are not ducking the questions.

1) Do you believe that human life begins at fertilization?

2) Why do you believe that human life begins at fertilization?

3) Where in the bible does it say that human life begins at fertilization?

white_mountain 8 years, 5 months ago

I say unleash the KU researchers and just let them go crazy with stem cell research.

Who knows, they might just find us a cure to some terrible diseases.

Mkh 8 years, 5 months ago

I think it is interesting how protective these far-right "pro-life" people are concerning embryo and stem cells in America. Meanwhile they bravely cheer the death and destruction of innocent lives in Iraq (young and old). How can you morally approve the bombing of a soveriegn city in which hundreds die in minutes; but then morally dissaprove the use of stem cells to do life saving research from cells that are not being used anyways? This contradiction in moral thinking is at the base of the problems of conservative thought. And frankly I find it intellectually offensive.

SpeedRacer 8 years, 5 months ago

I do not personally support abortion, but I also do not support any argument that embryos constitute human life. I am not "pro-life" in the sense that I think all abortions should be banned. I believe this is a decision that can only be made by the affected parties. I believe stem cell research is an important study for the advancement of medical knowledge and it has my full support. For those who like to toss religious arguments around as fundamentalist support of your position, here is a little bible quote for you.

"And if men struggle with each other and strike a woman with child so that she has a miscarriage, yet there is no further injury, he shall surely be fined as the woman's husband may demand of him; and he shall pay as the judges decide. But if there is any further injury, then you shall appoint as a penalty life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise". Exodus 21:22-25 (New American Standard Version)

It is clear from this passage and the rest of the chapter that the death of the unborn child is not considered murder. If the mother dies in the process, it is treated as murder, but the death of the unborn child is punishable only by a fine and then only if the father demands payment.

xenophonschild 8 years, 5 months ago

Keep religion out of science.

If religion still held sway, the Pilgrims of the world would be burning "sinners" at the stake to appease their insulted god.

Enough. These ridiculously "moral" people need to get a better grip on reality.

Tychoman 8 years, 5 months ago

Like Leviticus has been a bastion of wisdom for humanity. Please.

badger 8 years, 5 months ago

Hm, let's see. My partner and I go through fertility treatments. Five fertilized embryos are created. One is implanted and carried to term. Yay baby! We're not greedy, we're happy with one (this is all hypothetical, there are currently no little badgers out there of my genetic line).

What to do with the rest? Donate them to an infertile couple? Sure, we'll do that. Oh, no infertile couples needed them? It's been five years and they're no longer considered viable? Oh, dear, whatever shall we do? Preserve them indefinitely in cryogenic storage, never developing or being more than a few cells whose division was artificially halted? Have them incinerated and destroyed, all potential for anything further ended? Or have stem cell research performed on them that might unlock a key to the Alzheimer's that took my great-aunt's mind?

Yeah, not so much a hard choice for me. Waste the life, preserve it indefinitely in stasis, or allow it to be used for the potential of helping people?

Why do I support embryonic stem cell research? For the same reason I signed my organ donor card and notified my family that I wish to be an organ donor. Because once the chance of life continuing in that body is gone, the most life-affirming thing that can be done with the husk is to use it to try to help others.

After a certain point, that embryo has no chance of being a baby, ever. It's not viable. It is, to all intents and purposes, dead. Why should I object to it being used to investigate cures to things that are destroying people I love, if the thought of my own heart being cut from my lifeless body and put into the chest of someone who will use it to live a long and joyful life is something that makes my own death easier to contemplate?

xenophonschild 8 years, 5 months ago

Until you understand that all religions are false, you understand nothing.

yourworstnightmare 8 years, 5 months ago

75x55,

These are easy questions. Please enlighten me with your answers.

1) Do you believe that human life begins at fertilization?

2) Why do you believe that human life begins at fertilization?

3) Where in the bible does it say that human life begins at fertilization?

Tell ya what. I'll answer them first. 1) No. 2) I don't. 3) I have never been aware of the bible mentioning that human life begins at fertilization.

xenophonschild 8 years, 5 months ago

The god of Leviticus was too busy smiting the unrighteous; the poor sap in the new testament was too busy tramping Galilee.

Truth and Reason over superstition and ignorance. If the supporters of superstition and ignorance won't move out of the way - and shut up - they will be remanded to quiet corners to await their dead Galilean and their bogus "rapture."

Mkh 8 years, 5 months ago

Do any of the conservative talking heads care to comment on this contradiction? I'm really curious about the process of thinking here.

ModSquadGal 8 years, 5 months ago

Nov sky: You should be ashamed of yourself. That comment was really uncalled for, but it does show your level of maturity so the rest of us can know how to deal with you.

Badger: You are RIGHT ON.

What people forget is that every month THOUSANDS of embryos die and are passed from a woman's body without her even knowing she was pregnant. Does that make those women evil? Does that get the pro-lifers all up in arms? Life is precious and if there is even a small chance that an embryo can help researchers find a way to cure disease (rather than being tossed away), I feel it should be allowed.

xeno said it best: "Keep religion out of science."

badger 8 years, 5 months ago

purplekansas and LifeSupport:

I disagree with your positions on IVF and also embryonic stem cell research. I won't argue them with you, because I think we have fundamental philosophical differences preventing us from reaching any sort of consensus, and also because my primary position is that it's better to use those embryos for research than destroy them, and yours is that you don't feel those embryos should be created in the first place; philosophically, these are not mutually exclusive positions. If they were never created, I would never have to worry over whether they were being wasted when they were incinerated instead of being allowed to do some good.

I have to say that I applaud the consistency of those opinions. I am frustrated immensely by people who support IVF and its creation of excess embryos, but who would rather see those embryos stored indefinitely or incinerated than used for research. Your lack of hypocrisy in that is commendable.

janeb 8 years, 5 months ago

This issue is so controversial. Stem cell research is not the cause of the abortion epidemic, but it certainly brings out the scientific scavengers. I recently was present at the hospital where a child of a Friend died. The Chaplin asked the Mother about organ donation and of course the Mother was not in a rational state. My Friend asked " What would you do?" My response was" I would sign the form so another Mother would not have to experience this" I am an organ donor and recal a few years ago going with my Daughter to get her Drivers license. The Clerk asked her if she wanted to be an organ donor. My Daughter looked to me for the answer. I told her that organ donation was a personal choice, but followed with I am an organ donor, because what am I going to do with them when I'm dead. I do not approve of abortion, rather I would like to see more sexual responsibility taken, but studies show that stem cell research can make life more bearable for those who suffer. I think bringing in the Abortuion and Coning debates mucks the waters substaintially. I agree religion should be kept out of science.

GardenMomma 8 years, 5 months ago

MKH,

The answer is simple. "Pro-Life" people who oppose stem cell research on the basis that it is destroying human life and yet do not oppose the war in Iraq have only one contradiction in them and that is the term "PRO-LIFE." Perhaps if they truly believed they were pro-life they would support research that can save the lives of thousands of people and oppose wars that really do destory thousands of lives.

And, on another note, it is not "pro-life" or "pro-abortion." The phrase is "pro-choice." And it is meant to be just that: a CHOICE.

Lifesupport 8 years, 5 months ago

"There is a difference between an embryo and a fully developed human. It must be understood, however, that the differences are not essential differences but only differences of appearance. Every human being is "a fertilized egg" or "a collection of cells" scientifically speaking. The visible differences are only due to the degree of development, not to a change in essence.

Being human is not the result of reaching a certain level of developmentan achievement which could be lost due to old age, an accident, or a number of factors. Being human means having a body and a spirit created in the image and likeness of God.

Because the difference between a blastocyst and an infant or between a blastocyst an adult is only one of degree of development and not of essence, blastocysts must be afforded the legal protection due to any human being. Therefore, it is not permissible to kill them even in the hope of obtaining some good. We cannot do evil in order to bring about good." --- Son of Lifesupport

It is wrong to create those embryos in a petri dish in the first place. We should not be creating embryos by any means possible. Artificial reproductive technologies have opened a Pandora's Box with IVF, egg donors, sperm donors, surrogate mothers, frozen embryos, etc. I do not care if it is for some infertile couple who hopes to have a baby. Having a baby is not an entitlement. Children are not our possessions. If you are infertile and want a child, adopt.

Human reproduction is designed to take place naturally through sexual intercourse of a loving couple. We would not have this problem of what to do with unused embryos if science did not cross that ethical line in the first place. Then, we would not have this debate of experimenting on, extracting stem cells, and destroying embryos.

Embryonic stem cell research has been going on since the 1960s. It happens in animal trials. It happens with private dollars. The only ban on it is using federal dollars to create new embryonic stem cell lines. California has spent 6 billion dollars on it so far. I have not heard of any miracle breakthroughs. That is 6 billion dollars that could have been better spent actually helping people. Embryonic stem cells are immature and seem to promote tumor formation instead of any cures for diseases. The South Koreans were disgraced by the unethical behavior of their leading scientist on human embryonic stem cell research. I do not trust the scientists doing it nor the people who want to enshrine it in a state constitution.

Lifesupport 8 years, 5 months ago

Pro-lifers are not saying that we should choose the life of embryos over the lives of suffering patients. We are called to respect both without discrimination. We must help those who are suffering, but we can not use a good end to justify an evil means. Moreover, treatments that do not require destroying any human life are at least as promising -- they are already healing some conditions, and are far closer to healing other conditions than any approach using embryonic stem cells. The choice is not between science and ethics, but between science that is ethically responsible and science that is not. From Publication No. 5-665, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Amendment 2 in Missouri did protect cloning but outlawed only reproductive cloning. The somatic cell nuclear transfer method is the scientific name for cloning. It only becomes reproductive cloning when the developing embryo is implanted in a uterus where it continues to grow. Therapuetic cloning is where embryonic stem cells are extracted prior to day 14 and is not implanted in the uterus. Thus, the embryo is destroyed. This is the type of cloning which Amendment 2 allowed, but they used a false definition of cloning to achieve their purpose. The pro-Amendment 2 ads were full of lies and distortions.

The pro-life people I know respect all human life from conception to natural death. They care deeply about the children already born and their parents. They are not for wars, death penalty, etc. They are sorry that policy makers pursue those things. Mother Teresa, who in 1994 met with then-President Bill Clinton, and said, "The greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child, a direct killing of the innocent child, murder by the mother herself. And if we accept that a mother can kill ever her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another?"

EMBRYOS ARE HUMAN LIFE! In addition to what I posted previously: At a genetic level, they have 23 pairs of chromosomes with human DNA like other people. At a metabolic level, they are living and regenerating. Science tells us that. Governments and other people try to take away someone else's intrinsic worth based upon some feature or lack of feature (color, religion, location, size, degree of development, appearance, etc.) The objective truth is that embryos have value simply because they are human. The most basic human right is the right to live. We ought to protect that.

I do not need the Bible to tell me that life begins at fertilization. That is not even an issue.

Lifesupport 8 years, 5 months ago

To those of you who want to donate your eggs to stem cell research, I guess you do not mind being exploited. That is what happened in South Korea by an unscrupulous scientist. You want to have your ovaries hyperstimulated and undergo a painful invasive procedure that may kill or injure you to extract those eggs for some hypothetical cure.

Badger, I am glad you signed your organ donation card. I signed the back of my driver's license too. They won't take your organs until you do not need them any more (aka when you die). Embryos need their stem cells to continue living and regenerating. You could donate a kidney or parts of other organs before death is imminent, but you have to freely consent to the procedure. Embryos can't do that, so it is up to us to protect them.

To GOP Conservative: At least, there is no Dr. George Tiller who performs thousands of elective late term abortions Missouri.

yourworstnightmare 8 years, 5 months ago

Answer the questions, 75x55. Are you afraid to let your beliefs be known?

1) Do you believe that human life begins at fertilization?

2) Why do you believe that human life begins at fertilization?

3) Where in the bible does it say that human life begins at fertilization?

BrianR 8 years, 5 months ago

In my belief system, humans invented God in our own image. No one can convince me of ANYTHING using the god angle.

I also don't think 50, 100,000 or even a million cells are a person. The more this asinine discussion continues in this country, the more I wonder if stem cell research opponents are people.

I deal with the hell of Crohn's disease daily, I don't believe it's God's will, it's just something that happened.

Any god that would put a person through this crap should be garrotted and nailed to a post in the town square - I'll drive the first nail.

If research is stopped in the US because of this idiotic ideological pissing contest, I'll use my money to support research offshore but know this, this research WILL happen, you can't stop it. If you you stop research here in the States it doesn't make you a hero, it makes you blockage.

In the meantime. I suggest that stem cell opponents just get cancer, get Crohn's or get Parkinson's, take your pick - see how you feel when it becomes personal.

And yes, the bad, bad man is wishing terrible things on you, put on your big girl panties and deal. And know this, if someone stood in front of me with the cure to Crohn's Disease and the refused to give it to me based on some ideological nonsense, I would not hesitate to kill them for it. This is not some theoretical game you're playing, it's real and it's personal.

xenophonschild 8 years, 5 months ago

BrianR:

I wanted to cheer. Religious ideology is - and has been for two thousand years - lethal to the progess of secular thought and initiatives.

It seems that too many who post on this site have no knowledge whatsoever of the dark side of their religious history, of the lengths that "moral" people go to sustain their vision of right and wrong.

Take some comfort that they are only a temporary, albeit annoying, roadblock. Science will prevail. Hope help comes to you.

purplekansas 8 years, 5 months ago

No one who has argued that embryos are not people has answered directly WHY that is the case.

LifeSupport has said it best thus far and I repost to remind you all:

"EMBRYOS ARE HUMAN LIFE! In addition to what I posted previously: At a genetic level, they have 23 pairs of chromosomes with human DNA like other people. At a metabolic level, they are living and regenerating. Science tells us that. Governments and other people try to take away someone else's intrinsic worth based upon some feature or lack of feature (color, religion, location, size, degree of development, appearance, etc.) The objective truth is that embryos have value simply because they are human. The most basic human right is the right to live. We ought to protect that."

So, if you can, try to respond to that without changing the subject to God, attempting to discredit that position.

I ask: Is an embryo human? YES Is it alive? YES Unless terminated in some way, will it eventually reach adulthood? YES

Or to put it another way: zygote, blastocyst, embryo, baby, child, teenager, adult are all terms for the stages of development of the organism known as a human being.

It's not like you CAME FROM an embryo, you WERE an embryo. Each and every one of us reading or posting these comments passed through that stage of development on our way to becoming fully-formed adults. Are embryos a separate organism from humans? I think not.

So please, explain to me why you feel the way you do, without resorting to ridiculous anti-religious sentiment. You'll notice that although I could have based my argument on the presence of a soul in every living human, I did not, because I don't have to. Science has proven that embryos are humans, and if we don't recognize that, we may as well agree that a person is not a person until they have completed puberty, since only then have they completed physical development. Or I guess we could say that no human has any worth, we are all just clumps of cells, and the only life that matters is our own. That position speaks of incredible pain and despair and is not a morality I can support, and I think many on both sides will agree with me.

I do not wish harm or pain on any of you, nor do I believe in self-preservation at any cost. Your lives are worth exactly the same as mine. Just thought I should throw that in there to clarify.

To note, I do not believe IVF is OK, neither is the death penalty, neither is ignoring poor people or the diseased, so please do not try to discredit my well-founded position with a cry of hypocrisy.

Also, do not try to use science against this position, as I have already stated, science has born out the idea that human life begins at conception. Pun intended.

I await your response.

yourworstnightmare 8 years, 5 months ago

purplekansas,

I appreciate your sincere answer. However, you are incorrect. Science does not say that a blastocyst is a human life. Undoubtedly, the blastocyst has 23 pairs of chromosomes and are "living and regenerating. Many cells have this feature, such as adult stem cells grown in perti dishes and cancer cells. No one would claim that adult stem cells and cancer cells are human life.

Let's extend your argument that not only did you "come from" a blastocyst, you "were" a blastocyst. You also "were" a sperm and an egg. Carrying this logic further, you "were" also cells in the germ lines of all of your ancestors throughout evolutionary time.

What separates human life from cancer cells, adult stem cells, and blastocyst cells? This is a complicated question that has to due with development of a nervous system, sensation, sentience, willful action, and ability to suffer. I dont think a blastocyst displays any of those characters. Therefore, blastocyst cells are not human life.

Also, how do you define "conception". By this do you mean fertilzation of an egg and sperm? If so, see my above argument. Fertilization is but one step that is necessary in the development of human life, as is implantation, development of organs, development of a nervous system, etc.

Science most certainly does not bear out the idea that a human life begins at conception.

yourworstnightmare 8 years, 5 months ago

"Or to put it another way: zygote, blastocyst, embryo, baby, child, teenager, adult are all terms for the stages of development of the organism known as a human being."

This statement is true, "stages in the development of", not "a human life".

I put to you this thought experiment again: You are in a burning building and next to you is an unconscious man and a beaker of frozen blastocysts. You can only carry one of the two to safety. Which do you carry? And why?

purplekansas 8 years, 5 months ago

Very interesting articles.

I'll get my main point out of the way first. None of us were ever just a sperm or the cells of our ancestors in a direct sense. In a historical humanity, we are all family sense, yes. However, our unique DNA that makes us an individual is created when the sperm and egg merge at conception.

As we've already stated, just DNA isn't enough. So...

Since a sperm or an egg by itself will never grow into a human, a zygote will, whether in a test tube or the wall of a uterus. That is the difference and therefore, the beginning of life.

I know this "sidesteps the difficult questions" according to one of the links posted by agnostick, but I'm OK with that. The only logical conclusion reached by answering the difficult questions presented by the varying scientific viewpoints in the first article is that a person is not a person until he or she finally acquires a conscious awareness of self around 3 years post-birth, which is not something I can accept. This is because if someone is already on the path to full adulthood, taking them off that path is killing them.

This leads me to believe that an individual's life begins at conception, since prior to that there is no possibility of an individual life, but every stage of development after that is a continuation of that first step.

I challenge you to arrive at that conclusion as well.

purplekansas 8 years, 5 months ago

I got too wordy and had to break it into 2 posts. yikes. I should shut up. oh well.

Addressing your other points:

Ummmm, so what do breathing tubes and feeding tubes have to do with understanding when an individual life begins?

That's an "end of life" issue, but I'll address it anyway, at that point, a living will should kick in and take care of it. What you do to yourself is obviously your own business. What you can or can't do to another human being is what's at issue here in this discussion.

yourworstnightmare, your thought experiment is silly. If i'm in a building that's on fire the blastocysts are probably already dead because the fire has thawed them out. Otherwise, how many blastocysts in that jar? One? Several? 50? If there's more than one sheer numbers would dictate saving those, except that fleshing out the experiment to include other environmental factors, I'm probably aware that this is a science lab and these blastocysts are doomed to die anyway in the experiments or if it's a fertility clinic, being thrown in the trash after their time limit is reached. At any rate, I would probably be arrested for stealing the lab's property or the potential parent's children. That aside, instinctively, I would probably save the unconscious man for the emotional reason that he looks human and the practical reason that I know how to do a fireman's carry, while I don't know how to safely carry a jar of blastocysts without killing them myself. Do you see how it gets silly?

I guess I have to ask directly: what is a zygote or blastocyst or embryo or fetus, if not a living human person?

I concede that scientists are divided on the issue, but I maintain that science is what my position is based upon.

juliopac 8 years, 5 months ago

PROLIFE KS? What about the lives of those who are living--outside the petri dish? Your preoccupation with protecting the life/soul of the 150 celled blob in the petri dish versus that of the HUMAN BEING alive, breathing, thinking, suffering proves you're absolutely irrational, unthinking, and undeserving of consideration. Crawl back under your rock.

purplekansas 8 years, 5 months ago

wow.

thanks to badger for insightful comments, and I recognize now that this discussion cannot be solved, since the issue is not when a life begins scientifically, but when do we grant the status of personhood and who gets to decide. People will always be divided over such "power."

I still maintain that we must be as expansive as possible in how we grant the status of "human being," since, among other reasons, I for one do not want to someday be considered less than human, as so many have in the past. Truly, none of us should have the power to take away human life literally or the status thereof.

Anything less than recognizing a fertilized egg as a human life is arbitrary and self-serving. Many comments have testified to that feeling, placing more value on certain humans over others.

juliopac clearly proves this point for me, as he or she sees more worth in an adult human than in a very young one. This is age discrimination, violates the declaration and the bill of rights, and also leverages inexcusable power over the weak. I am not preoccupied, I am arguing for equality in all human life. Please remember that you were once a blob juliopac, and you were allowed to live beyond that stage, growing up into adulthood.

Basing the status of humanity on being fully-formed or mostly-formed is a dangerous notion, given the examples of premature birth, mental retardation, physical handicaps, chromosomal mutations and any other aspect of a human's body or mind that does not meet the same standard as "normal" upon which this notion is based. Are their lives worth less than mine or yours? Surely not.

And yet, doctors routinely recommend abortion to mothers likely to produce a child with disabilities, and much effort is devoted to discovering the disabilities in utero so that the fetus may be destroyed before birth, clearly indicating that a life with disabilities is not worth living.

I will concede that stem cell research is seemingly inevitable with or without this discussion or my opinion, I just don't want us to go into it (or abortion, for that matter) without having considered what it is we are doing to our fellow humans and how we shape the future of our world.

And with that I will crawl back under my rock and leave you all alone. it's been fun!

Lifesupport 8 years, 5 months ago

Thanks purplekansas for backing me up.

People do funny things when they are losing a debate. They resort to name calling, insults, being uncivil, changing the subject, picking out one little thing and going off on some tangent, getting hysterical, making tasteless comments, misconstruing, wishing ill on their opponents, or trying to make their opponents appear to be extremists. Once you start taking the low road, you lose all respect and credibility for your position. It also means the other side scored.

Let me put my argument another way. Our own Declaration of Independence states "We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness." Let's analyze this statement: all men are created equal. That means that no one is above or below another person at least when he/she is created. That means my rights are neither superior nor inferior to anyone else's rights. We have the same unalienable rights given to us not by a king, executive, legislature, supreme court, or constitution but by a Higher Power. Rights given by other people and governments can just as easily be taken away. Those that we are endowed with by the Creator cannot; that is what makes them unalienable. Among these rights are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. Notice the order in which these rights are placed. Life comes first, then Liberty, and then pursuit of Happiness. Life is the most important. What all this boils down to is that no one has the right to take another person's life. We are equal and our right to live is foremost. Nowhere do you see the word choice. It is not the highest doctrine of our land because choice gives itself over to relativism.

Lifesupport 8 years, 5 months ago

Continuation of aforementioned comment:

John Paul II in Veritatis Splendor ("The Splendor of the Truth") stressed the dependence of man on God and his law ("Without the Creator, the creature disappears") and the "dependence of freedom on the truth". He warned that man "giving himself over to relativism and skepticism, goes off in search of an illusory freedom apart from truth itself".

In Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life), he says: The original and inalienable right to life is questioned or denied on the basis of a parliamentary vote or the will of one part of the people-even if it is the majority. This is the sinister result of a relativism which reigns unopposed: the "right" ceases to be such, because it is no longer firmly founded on the inviolable dignity of the person, but is made subject to the will of the stronger part. In this way democracy, contradicting its own principles, effectively moves towards a form of totalitarianism. The State is no longer the "common home" where all can live together on the basis of principles of fundamental equality, but is transformed into a tyrant State, which arrogates to itself the right to dispose of the life of the weakest and most defenseless members, from the unborn child to the elderly, in the name of a public interest which is really nothing but the interest of one part.

The destruction of human embryos and abortion is a threat to this fundamental principle. That is why I am passionate about defending it. Parents do not own their children; therefore, I do not need their authority to speak up for them. I care as much about living breathing people, but I do not discriminate between the born and the unborn. The assault on the unborn is but a step towards further assault on the born. I look at the miracle of life as something that is beautiful and awe-inspiring. I am sorry that others cannot share in this profound respect.

Let's look at this word breathing. It means to respire or exchange gases. It is more than taking air in the lungs. Pre-born children breathe in the sense that oxygen is exchanged for carbon dioxide. It happens through the umbilical cord, but they still get oxygen. It happens at the cellular level. When someone is underwater and is not taking air into their lungs for several minutes, he is still a living human being. If he does not get more air, the process of gas exchange at the cellular level ceases. Then, we can properly say he is not living.

Lifesupport 8 years, 5 months ago

Agnostick writes: "I think I understand now, LifeSupport.

More embryos = more young children = more opportunities for Catholic priests and bishops to get their jollies off

So... who speaks for the many victims of sexual abuse that your priests create?"

I could not let this little comment of yours go unaddressed. First, it is meanspirited. Second, the sexual abuse of children by anyone is tragic. Victims deserve our support. Credible allegations need to be investigated. Perpetrators ought to be tried in a court of law and sentenced appropriately. The cover up of any such abuse is scandalous. The lack of a proper response was egregious and won't be tolerated anymore. You must understand, however, that a lot of these cases were decades old. Society is more enlightened these days about the issue than when these cases originated. For example, we now understand that perpetrators cannot be cured. They must be removed from further contact with children.

To put it in perspective, only a tiny fraction of priests ever abused children, estimates are .5 to 1.5%. That means 98.5% of priests have done nothing wrong. Of course, you won't hear that from the media. That does not excuse the few who did and sullied the reputation of the Catholic Church. The estimate of public school teachers who cross that line is 5%. It goes on in other segments of society as well, so do not start Catholic bashing over it. I say the good the Catholic Church has done (schools, hospitals, relief for the poor, rights of workers, etc.) far outweighs the negative stuff.

Lifesupport 8 years, 5 months ago

Here is an interesting commentary by Jane Chastain:

"It may provide a cure for cancer, brain tumors, diabetes, Cushing's syndrome, infertility, hypertension, endometriosis, ulcers and even AIDS."

These bold claims were made in the late 1980s and early 1990s, not on behalf of embryonic stem cell research, but for the abortion pill RU-486 or Mifepristone. The left more specifically the abortion/feminist lobby boldly asserted that this deadly drug could be the cure for everything from ingrown toenails to aging, all for the purpose of getting our government to lift the import ban on the chemical abortion pill.

Funny thing, after Clinton's FDA approved RU-486 for abortions, we stopped hearing about the "possible" beneficial uses of the drug. For the record: Mifepristone has not completed clinical trials for any of these other uses.

However, the media swallowed the claims thrown out by the abortion lobby hook, line and sinker. Now we are seeing the media led down the garden path by drug companies, left-wing politicians, the abortion/feminist lobby and Hollywood stars like Michael J. Fox in support of massive public outlays for embryonic stem cell research.

It is now being reported as fact that this research will lead to cures for every affliction known to man. As it was with RU-486, we also are being told that embryonic stem cells may prevent aging and unlock the keys to a virtual fountain of youth. In the 1500s, Ponce de Leon used that one on Queen Isabella!

Despite the millions that have been spent on embryonic stem cell research, the return on this investment is zilch! There are no approved treatments using embryonic stem cells. Embryonic stem cells have proven so unstable, there are no ESC treatments that have been approved for human trials.

Meanwhile, the research on adult stem cells has been nothing short of astonishing. Diseases for which adult stem cells have been approved for human testing include Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis, Lou Gehrig's disease, diabetes, lupus, Evans syndrome, rheumatic disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and cancer. In fact, many adult stem cell anti-cancer treatments are already in routine use. Also, research on adult stem cells for the repair of heart muscle, brain tissue and spinal injuries has produced promising results.

(continued in next post)

Lifesupport 8 years, 5 months ago

The motives of scientists and drug companies involved in embryonic stem cell research are clear: There is a huge industry out there and, after 50 years of failures, private funding for this research has dried up. They are desperate! If Michael J. Fox, who suffers from Parkinson's disease, is simply concerned about finding a cure for his affliction, why has he failed to celebrate the medical advances with adult stem cells?

It is possible that he really has not studied this issue or learned to think for himself. He may be a good actor but, to be charitable, he may not be one of the brightest people on earth. He could be easily led or could have purely political or even more sinister motives.

Why is he spending his time demonizing lawmakers who have moral concerns about sacrificing the lives of tiny human beings? Why is he beating the drums for more of our limited resources to be poured into the dry hole of embryonic stem cell research?

Why are all the radical feminists' organizations jumping on this same bandwagon? What does this dry hole have to do with advancing the cause of women? It is all about finding some moral high ground for their pet issue, abortion. The easiest way to do that is to promote the idea that life, or in the case of the embryo some life really isn't worth much.

It is the historic clash of two value systems: One value system holds that human beings are the product of matter, energy and chance. Therefore, everything is situational; anything goes.

The other value systems holds that there is a creator God, in whose image we are made. That value system has moral absolutes based on His character, revealed in His word. The Bible says, "Thou shall not murder." This value system never could permit the deliberate killing of any individual no matter how small for the benefit of another.

Those who adhere to the godless value system have no problem with lying or misleading to achieve their goals. Some of these people talk about praying to God, but it's obvious: The only god in which they believe is themselves.

janeb 8 years, 5 months ago

The previous two posts were indeed to the point. Science has taken over where morals and values left off. To bring together the validity of aboirtion with the good of mankind is a stretch. As was the inference to justifying abortion so that Priests won't sexually abuse as much. I am not sure why some are burdened with illness and others not, but there are times when I think that all the interference matters little. every woman that I have ever known who has aborted a baby has voiced regret. I think most never speak of it though. )f those who do the regret is very clear. I know two women who had abortions and later wanted Famiies only to find they could not due to the procedure. Abortion has been going on long before stem cell research was brought to light. I'v no doubt researchtook pace long before anyone knew about it. I read some literature on stem cell research that claimed stem cell replacment can make a cripple walk, but I have also heard there are healers at tent meeting who place their hands upon the afflicted and do the same. I'm not sure I buy either story. When I am presented with these miricle cures I think of people like Karen Ann Quinlin who lay in a bed unresponsive attached to life support; waiting for a sane Judge to set her free. Then I think about a little boy I know who received a heart transplant and what a wonderfu thing it is that he is still with us and how empty our world would be without him. The thing is it all really cannot be resolved through discussion.

Linda Endicott 8 years, 5 months ago

Most women who have had abortions don't speak of it because they know the condescending attitude they will get from those who have never had to face such a horrible decision.

Yes, most women who have had abortions express sorrow and regret. So do those who have given up babies for adoption, so I'm not sure what your point is there.

There is no guarantee that an embryo, even if still viable, will continue to grow and thrive if implanted in a uterus. Far too many people who use IVF have to go through the process multiple times, and still may not be successful.

I don't understand the practice of creating multiple embryos, if only one baby is desired. Why not create only one embryo at a time? Although I have read that in order to ensure better chances, sometimes more than one embryo is implanted at the same time. This, of course, has sometimes resulted in people becoming the unexpected parents of multiple births.

As for IVF itself, it's only an option for the wealthy anyway. The procedure is still very expensive. Those below a certain income level who find themselves barren are just SOL.

I would rather see the embryos used for research, if they aren't going to be used for anything else, and if left in storage too long they're going to die anyway. I'd rather see them being used for research instead of being thrown in the trash, which happens to thousands and thousands of embryos every year.

If an embryo is no longer considered viable for implanting, is it any good for research at that point?

janeb 8 years, 5 months ago

I( guess mu point was that we make choices bsed on the knowledge we have at the time, but often later realize those choices were perhaps misguided. look at Roe v Wade. The woman who fought for abortion now is on the other side of the debate.
Right now srem cel research is supported due to it's promise of success, but what if later we find this was a misguided choice. What if Viablity for instance in redefined. This issue differs from organ transplant in that there are really no successful results in application. Hope is a wonderful thing to hold on to but it is not the end all to reasoning.

Kodiac 8 years, 5 months ago

Life Support,

I don't understand why you spent 4 or 5 different postings trying to undermine embryonic stem cell research with obfuscation and lies when the only thing you needed to do was simply write that last line....

"Those who adhere to the godless value system have no problem with lying or misleading to achieve their goals. Some of these people talk about praying to God, but it's obvious: The only god in which they believe is themselves."

That sums up your whole position Life Support. No need to go into anything else, put up the smokescreens, or attempt to obscure reality. This is the heart of your view and all I see is someone who has hatred, intolerance, and ignorance. Your message is lost on me because you choose to lie about the issues and manipulate other's emotions. You should be ashamed of yourself Life Support. Please go look in the mirror and ask yourself "Why am I being such a hypocrite".

Kodiac 8 years, 5 months ago

"Life is the most important. What all this boils down to is that no one has the right to take another person's life. We are equal and our right to live is foremost. Nowhere do you see the word choice. It is not the highest doctrine of our land because choice gives itself over to relativism." -- Life Support

Here is something for you to ponder Life. Researchers are now attempting to cause adult stem cells to "de-differentiate" to revert them back to an embryonic state. Think about it.....every single cell in your being has the potential to be a human life. Anything you do that causes the loss of any cell in your body is by your definition a"choice". Every cell in your body has an equal right to live and as you put it, your choices to not do everything humanly to save each and every cell gives itself over to relativism.

Lifesupport 8 years, 5 months ago

Kodiac, "Those who adhere to the godless value system have no problem with lying or misleading to achieve their goals. Some of these people talk about praying to God, but it's obvious: The only god in which they believe is themselves." These are not my words but from a commentary by Jane Chastain I included. All I said is it was an interesting commentary.

The thrust of my posts are to say that embryos are human, alive, and deserve protection for that very reason. Some who have posted here deny they are human or alive which is ludricrious and not based in science. A human being does not beget something that is not human. The only point to denying embryos' humanity is so they can be exploited. Stem cells extracted from adult bone marrow or fat, umbilical cords and amniotic fluid do no harm. These sources are totally supported by pro-life people.

As far as every cell in my body having the potential to be a new human life, that is only true when the nucleus of the cell from my body is inserted into an egg cell that has had its nucleus removed then stimulated to grow and divide.

Kodiac 8 years, 5 months ago

Lif Support,

I guess I was looking more at your statement of relativism. The point that I was trying to make was that any position that you take is going to be a relative position. Life is continuous and saying that life starts here and ends there is most definitely relativism. This of course leads us to more of a philosophical discussion which can be a very complicated and contentious path that may lead us to nowhere. On a much more concrete level though, your relative position does show your biases in how you are presenting your "facts". For example your reference to the RU-486 pill was meant to inflame your readers. You could have stated your idea without trying to manipulate people's emotions. My argument to this is that science itself has incredibly high failure rate when it comes to looking at anything that is "promising". If you look at drugs that actually make it to the market that had intially shown "promise" you would find a success rate of less than 10%. I think it is a completely invalid argument and certainly not how science is done. Or how about the amount of "discoveries" that adult stem cells have had compared to embryonic stem cells. Again you did not tell the whole truth here Life Support (same thing as lying) which is that adult stem cells have been worked with since the 1960s and have not had the same kind of obstacles that embryonic stem cells have had. The creation of the first line of embryonic stem cells was reported in 1998. Also research in this area has been heavily restricted due to political and societal pressures. So adult stem cells have almost a 40 year unimpeded head start from a research standpoint. Why did you leave this out? The only thing I can conclude is that you are trying to manipulate others into YOUR way of thinking regardless of what the reality is. I think this is not only dishonest but hypocritical as well. As I said, go look in the mirror....

Lifesupport 8 years, 5 months ago

Kodiac, I do not purport to know the whole truth and all details about every topic. It is only lying if it is a conscious omission or an incorrect assertion when I know differently. If I am not aware of a particular fact, then please inform me. However, DO NOT CALL ME A LIAR, MANIPULATOR, OR HYPOCRIT unless you know for a fact that I purposefully and willfully misstated or omitted something. Since you have no way of knowing that, DO NOT CALL INTO QUESTION MY CHARACTER OR INTENTIONS. Furthermore, isn't everyone who takes sides in a debate trying to manipulate or persuade others into their way of thinking?

"For example your reference to the RU-486 pill was meant to inflame your readers. You could have stated your idea without trying to manipulate people's emotions." ~ Kodiak

If you are refering to the mention of RU-486 in the commentary by Jane Chastain, again these are not my words. The readers of that piece are her readers. Is it inflammatory only because you disagree with her? I put her commentary on this forum to give people something to think about and discuss. The media does that all the time without espousing to every viewpoint that goes over the air. Perhaps, I could have made it more clear by putting quotation marks around it or leading with a disclaimer like "The following program is not necessarily a reflection of the views of this station." I never said I endorsed or agreed with everything she wrote.

Irregardless, there is objective truth in all this; though, some people may try to rationalize away certain truths to support their position or achieve a desired end. We find that with embryonic stem cell research. When people make certain claims or false assumptions, a gentle correction is in order NOT AN ACCUSATION OF LYING. I am going to correct their errors based on what I know, and I expect the same. For example, one justification for destroying embryos and even abortion is that it is merely a clump of cells. They would have us believe it is no big deal. Yes, that is true, but all of us are a collection of cells throughout our lives. Their intent, however, is to minimize the embryo's importance, uniqueness, or to obscure the fact that they are cutting short the life of a new human being. An embryo is not just any nodule of cells. Non-embryonic tissue stuck in an uterus will not grow up as a new human being or clone.

Kodiac 8 years, 5 months ago

Life Support,

You are correct that I do not know you so I apologize for my accusations against you. I have seen many of your arguments being presented by specific groups of people who have a history for manipulating truth and feel justified in doing so because for them their ends justify any of their means. I automatically lumped you into this group of people based on these similarities and I do apologize for that. I suggest that you do a little more research especially with understanding all sides of the issue before you begin espousing your views. I had also assumed that you understood what you were talking about when it came to embryonic research.

Your statement of "Non-embryonic tissue stuck in an uterus will not grow up as a new human being or clone." is not exactly true. Clones can only be created from an adult cell otherwise you will not have a clone. You also said earlier "As far as every cell in my body having the potential to be a new human life, that is only true when the nucleus of the cell from my body is inserted into an egg cell that has had its nucleus removed then stimulated to grow and divide." Do you understand that that egg is actually an oocyte or an unfertilized egg and not a zygote (a fertilized egg). The oocyte is not an embryo and will never differentiate into an organism. Yet if you put the nucleus of an adult cell into that unfertilized egg, it will start behaving like a zygote and has the potential to turn into whatever organism is coded for in the genes. I guess I wonder if you understand this. I disagree that most people dismiss this as a "clump of cells" but rather they are not making an arbitrary assignment of when life begins and when it ends. Researchers are now working not even having to put the adult cells into an unfertilized egg but rather getting the adult cell to revert back to an embryonic state itself. So if such a process is achieved, would you have to revise your idea of when life begins and when life ends because then every cell in your body is a potential human life.

Curious 8 years, 5 months ago

Didn't read all the posts so don't know if the original question has been answered. The embryos that aren't needed are, and should be, adopted and become -- ta da -- babies and they grow up into . . . adults. Who by the way probably will be against embryonic research and abortion. Oh well, by that time EVERYONE will know that embryonic stem cells grow way too fast and become tumors. They need to get past the embryonic stage so the stem cells work. I heard, but don't understand, that after twelve days is best. Which means they are becoming adult stem cells, which terminology doesn't make sense to me. Oh well, umbilical cord cells are also called adult stem cells. So, why don't we just work with adult stem cells from the get go [which are curing all kinds of things already] and quit pretending about embryonic stem cells? Guess what? MONEY! They don't really care about the results if they can tweak our brains into thinking adult stem cells from twelve day old babies are better than adult stem cells from the same babies umbilical cord, if allowed to become breathing babies. They get PAID to do the research! Whether there is hope or not. We pay the bills and get no results, thousands of embryos are destroyed, thousands of women have hundreds of eggs milked from their ovaries, potentially sterilizing them, and all to NO PURPOSE while the so called "researchers" or scam artists get a paycheck, a BIG paycheck.

Wake up people. Half the things we are told by concerned experts are scams. Ways to make people donate money to their cause. And the most gullible seem to be people who live around Universities. They seem to have a "they're out to get us" mentality which is ripe for the picking from people who are "out to get your money." Do the research, open your minds, don't trust the same people all the time. I heard that could be the definition of insanity.

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