Tuesday, October 04, 2005
"And on the sixth day . . ."
Robert George, writing in The Weekly Standard (10/03/2005, Volume 011, Issue 03), reports what should be hailed as a wonderful breakthrough:
“The journal Science late last month published the results of research conducted at Harvard proving that embryonic stem cells can be produced by a method that does not involve creating or destroying a living human embryo. Additional progress will be required to perfect this technique of stem cell production, but few seriously doubt that it will be perfected, and many agree that this can be accomplished in the relatively near future. At the same time, important breakthroughs have been announced by scientists at the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Texas demonstrating that cells derived harmlessly from placental tissue and umbilical cord blood can be induced to exhibit the pluripotency of embryonic stem cells. ("Pluripotency" is the potential of a cell to develop into multiple types of mature cells.)”
However, the scientific community has been strangely silent on the news. Why? George speculates that the true agenda for the masters of eugenics on the frontiers of embryonic stem cell research lies in another direction. They actually want to push for fetal farming. Despite the hype about stem cell research, more seasoned observes admit that “stem cells derived from blastocyst-stage embryos are currently of no therapeutic value and may never actually be used in the treatment of diseases. (In a candid admission, South Korean cloning expert Curie Ahn recently said that developing therapies may take "three to five decades.").”
George suggests that embryonic stem cells are unsuitable for clinical use because of their tendency to produce dangerous tumors. Recent animal studies have pointed to extraction of embryos at a later stage of development (i.e., late embryonic or fetal stage) as a possible work-around for this problem. So, for those proposing therapeutic applications for stem cell research, the real potential may only be realized in fetal farming.
For the Christian, the implications are ominous. With all of the public relations hoopla about the potential for stem cell miracle cures, the ugly reality remains that most of those therapies using embryonic stem cells will come at the price of wholesale fetus farming. Meanwhile, adult and umbilical cord stem cells are already being used in the treatment of 65 diseases!
Ethically sensitive persons should begin speaking out now, demanding that our legislators promote the continued therapy utilizing adult and umbilical cord stem cells and building a legal firewall against therapeutic cloning and the encroachment of greater latitude in fetal stem cell research. Otherwise, as George observes, we will be well on the way to creating human beings as nothing more than “organ factories.”