Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Embryonic stem cell research: Yes or no?

President Barack Obama signed an executive order on Monday lifting George W. Bush’s legislation on embryonic stem research. While in office, former President Bush only permitted federal tax dollars spent on embryonic stem cell research to a small number of stem cell lines that were created before Aug. 9, 2001. He argued that the studies were harmful to human life.

Supporters of Bush’s policy agree that embryonic stem cell research is immoral because days-old embryos are destroyed for their stem cells, although, many of them are taken from fertility clinics and are destined for destruction.

Obama, however, stated that most Americans support this research because of the great possibilities it offers. He feels that the good outweighs the bad due to the amount of lives that could be saved through discoveries, and that Bush’s motives were more political than scientific. Obama also assured that the order would never permit human cloning.

Former first lady Nancy Reagan supports Obama in his decision stating that, “the research could lead to better treatment and possible cures to various diseases, from diabetes to paralysis.”

Do you agree that federal tax dollars should be utilized for embryonic stem cell research in hopes of discovering cures for diseases, or should we consider this a destruction of human life?

Renèe N. Gibson
Institutional Advancement Intern


Anonymous said...

I believe that all life begins at conception and that the destruction of an embryo is the destruction of a life. This is monstrous, and I thoroughly disagree with my tax dollars funding such things. It has been proven that using adult stem cells and stem cells from umbilical cords have great potential in curing diseases, but those who do not respect life do not want to hear about it. The moral relativism in this country and in most of the western world is truly disheartening. No one life is more important than another. Those who disagree with me will dismiss my opinion, but I can assure you that there are millions of people who feel the same way that I do.

phyl said...

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Anonymous said...

I think president Obama and his wife should donate their embryos for the research! After all they feel their children were punishment for a sexual mistake!! (as he stated in his speech for abortion he didn't want his children to be punished for a mistake with a child! What have you people voted into office, surely he is NOT HUMAN, SATAN must be proud!!

John Grunwell said...

Millions of folks may believe what Anonymous stated, but if our culture truly bought into the idea that no single life is worth more than another, then we would necessarily forever do away with the death penalty (joining other developed nations, rather than China, Iran, the Taliban, etc.), police officers' use of potentially lethal force, or even using military forces to defend our national security interests. We would willingly "turn the other cheek" even in the face of nuclear annihilation.

However, numerous states execute convicted felons, and have the support of many conservative organizations in their efforts to do so. Even the Bible and the Qur’an make explicit that executions, stonings, etc. are permissible in certain contexts. We don't punish police officers who justifiably use lethal force in the execution of their duties. Many of us are THANKFUL for the efforts of our military men and women, activities that sometimes involve activities that would be considered psychopathic in non-military contexts. Our tax dollars may fund ALL of these things.

Further, this "life for a life" equation is not exactly correct. The research that may be carried out will not simply benefit one individual, but an entire planet of human beings, for centuries to come.

What I've noticed in my life is that the more overtly religious a society is, the more likely it is to harbor extremist views, produce violent citizens, have societal and economic woes, and generally place barriers in the road of humanity's ultimate development. Is it any wonder that the most economically developed nations on Earth, those that also have the highest standards of living for the greatest number of its residents, are those in which religion is extremely weak, whereas nations where religion plays a dominant role tend to be mired in eternal conflict and violence? I wonder if there's a lesson to be learned here about religious zealots setting policies for a great nation.

George Bush believed God/Jesus/the Bible inspired his plans, plans that eventually saw an innocent man having his genitals mutilated by a scalpel-wielding interrogator in a Moroccan torture chamber. Plans that apparently involve imprisoning children in overseas prisons. All this was done, obstensibly, to SAVE LIVES, and was the end result of a one very powerful man's belief that his decisions were guided by God. Thanks!

SPOLK said...

I would have to say no on Embryonic stem cell research. I agree with the first comment that life begins at the point of conception. I agree on using adult stem cells and cells from umblical cords. As for funding the government needs to find fundraising resources rather than tax dollars. I don't put the entire blame on Obama because he is not a scientist.... however he may just need to understand that there are other alternatives.

Anonymous said...

No I donot believe that Federal Taxes should be used. Life begins at conception, so how can we take a life to give someone a longer life. Who know knows what some of these baby would have accomplished if allowed to live.

Anonymous said...

I completly agree with John, since the embryos are bound for destruction I believe it is in the best interest to use them to find cures to deadly, crippling diseases and disorders.

Anonymous said...

I certainly do not believe in taking a life for a life. However in this case the embroyo is going to be destroyed, and to be able to save a life or make a "living person's" life more productive is what President Obama is in hopes of accomplishing.

John great analogy, loved your comments - so well put.

Robert Campbell said...

Scientists should concentrate on adult stem cells first - they are found in something like 26 different places in the human body, the best being the blood from a newborn baby's umbilical cord. This cord blood is rich in adult stem cells and low in controversy. The potential here is unrealized, but nobody talks about it much because embryonic stem cells always hog the spotlight.

Sarah Willie said...

Even though this debate continues to grow, we simply cannot undermine the immense potential which this research holds!