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Human Embryo Tissue For Medical Purposes.  
User currently offlineCfalk From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (13 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 840 times:

Recent research has discovered that human embryonic stem cells, which have not yet sorted themselves out to be come specific organs yet, hold great promise as a cure for a variety of diseases, including Diabetes and Alzheimer's. Scientists and a lot of people are saying that we should allow the "harvesting" of such tissue.

While I sympathise with the sufferers of these diseases, and agree that they are terrible and worth a great deal of investment in finding treatments or cures for them, I think we are headed down a dangerous path. I keep thinking the scene from "The Matrix", where we see the field of humans beings being used as power cells, the dead being mulched and liquified to feed the others.

When we start treating human embryos as nothing more than an ear of corn - something to be plucked and harvested, what does that do to the already tarnished sense of human value? As it is, our culture of violence on TV, video games and movies has turned other humans, to many people, into little more than potential targets for a Doom-like spree.

What do you think?

Charles

22 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinePanAm747 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4242 posts, RR: 8
Reply 1, posted (13 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 805 times:

U.S. Senator Trent Lott was on NBC's "Meet the Press" sunday and was talking about this. Many conservatives are coming out and saying that this is a good idea.

They were saying that these cells come from clinics and will be just disposed of other wise. So why not use them to combat disease.

I think this is a good step, but hopefully not a first step in the wrong direction like you said.



Pan Am:The World's Most Experienced Airline - P(oor) S(ailor's) A(irline): San Diego's Hometown Airline-Catch Our Smile!
User currently offlineTupolev154B2 From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 1332 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (13 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 800 times:

Cfalk: "what does that do to the already tarnished sense of human value?"

Is "the sense of human value" why you and those alike continue to deny the occurrence of human evolution?


User currently offlineCfalk From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (13 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 797 times:

Who said I do? I believe in evolution, as did the Jesuit priests who educated me (they taught evolution as well). The Genesis story was a fable to try to explain "why we are here" in a way that simple, uneducated people of 5000 years ago could understand. It's a matter of scale. A day becomes an Eon, in God's terms, for example. With a little study and an open mind, the Bible and evolution are not incompatible.

Anyway, this is an entirely different topic, and I suggest that we keep the two seperate.

Charles


User currently offlineIkarus From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 3524 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (13 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 791 times:

Let's just think about this:

Embryonic stem cells. What is that? Tissue. It has no personality, no thoughts, no "soul". If you cut a piece of your skin off, it is in no way different except one: Embryonic stem cells CAN be cultivated to grow into any organ, or enzyme factory or whateve you need, whereas your skin is already "switched" to skin mode....

I think it is completely justifiable to do research on embryonic cells, and even full embryos (up to a certain limit)

Regards

Ikarus


User currently offlineCfalk From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (13 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 791 times:

Ikarus,

I understand you, but where should that limit. It's easy to say, "up to a certain limit", but then you have to decide on where that limit is, specifically. And you will never, ever find a definition that will even close to satisfying 50% percent of the people.

If you think the abortion issue is controversial, just wait until people get a load of this. Better to keep Pandora's Box closed.

Charles


User currently offlineIkarus From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 3524 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (13 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 786 times:

"Better to keep Pandora's Box closed"????

Well, personally, I believe scientific research in itself is valuable (because knowledge is valuable in itself). So to keep an issue closed, or ignore it, simply because a few people might be offended by it is just slowing down the advancement of mankind. If medicine had never offended anyone, we would still be stuck in the middle ages. After all, the exhumation of bodies, and the research into what a human looks like inside to be able to perform surgery, all these things were punishable by death in their time, and considered immoral and paganistic - now they are widely accepted, and at my university, every medic student is guaranteed at least one body to vivisect before graduating.

A lot of people think animal experimentation is not a good thing. A lot of people accept is as necessary evil. A small minority of people go completely insane, threatening and attacking people who do waht needs to be done.

The same would be true for research on embryos. A lot of people will not like the idea. Some will be rather uncomfortable with it. But only a minority will switch into aggression mode. And can we have a minority of retards hold back research that can save not only lives, but even make these lives worth living? (After all, who would want to live if diagnosed with Alzheimer? Not me.)

Research on embryos is not the first step to mankinds' doom, or drop into immorality, as some people apparently believe. It isn't going anywhere near using human beings for research purposes - or as organ banks. It is using tissue. Just meat and cells.

And, as abortion is such a big issue, the line could be drawn similarly for embryos. If it is reasonably accepted that abortion up to three months ito the pregnancy is morally justifiable, then so is using embryos up to that age for research. (I would probably draw the line later myself, but 3 months seems a reasonable compromise)

Anyway: Sometimes, the only way to advance knowledge, and the living standards and health and safety of people is by ignoring them. After all, what kind of expertise do 90% of protestors have in these areas? Do they actually bother to sit down and inform themselves? No: Most of these people will just hear one thing: "Research on embryos" - then they think "embryo = ca. the same as baby-to-be" and their mind is made up, and they will never change their views. People who never bother to look into an issue in its completeness do not have much of a right to an opinion - an ill-founded opinion is just prejudice.

Anyway: I do not mean you with that - after all, you seem to see both points of view and just have a philosophy of carefulness. I mean the large proportion of people who shout the loudest, without even a clue of what they are actually talking about.

Regards

Ikarus


User currently offlineTransactoid From Canada, joined Mar 2001, 788 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (13 years 2 months 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 778 times:

Well said Ikarus.

"Better to keep Pandora's box closed" -- what?????

While we're at it, lets stop exploring outer space and hey...lets get rid of electricity too.

I draw the line at a conscious, living baby. When it can start kicking inside, then we stop. Until then, it's just cells multiplying.


User currently offlineCfalk From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (13 years 2 months 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 776 times:

How do you define concious and living? Specifically, please. There has to be a clear line that says "today it's alive. Yesterday it was not". How can you tell?

Charles


User currently offlineIkarus From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 3524 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (13 years 2 months 4 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 771 times:

It's alive all the time. The line is between "Yesterday it was just cells. Today it is a human creature".

Put it like this: Embryonic tissue that can grow into anything, any organ and anything you want it to become is clearly not human. So the question probably never really presents itself: Once all cells are on a clear, unchangeable path to becoming a certain organ or extremity, then the creature is identifiably a growing human. Up to that point, it's indeterminable cell mass - tissue, junk, meat, a parasitic life form, .... Not human.

So: The border between cell tissue and human is when the cell tissue becomes useless for science anyway....

Regards

Ikarus


User currently offlineDELL_dude From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (13 years 2 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 768 times:

May God have mercy on your immoral souls.

User currently offlineRyanb741 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2002, 3221 posts, RR: 15
Reply 11, posted (13 years 2 months 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 764 times:

I was wondering how long it would take before the God squad got involved......


I used to think the brain is the most fascinating part of my body. But, hey, who is telling me that?
User currently offlineIkarus From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 3524 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (13 years 2 months 4 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 759 times:

DELL_dude - I take it that was a joke?

Nice one. Good parody of all those religiously fanatic weirdos! Big grin Big grin Big grin  Laugh out loud

Regards

Ikarus


User currently offlineAerLingus From China, joined Mar 2000, 2371 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (13 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 755 times:

Millions of people are sick and dying of diseases that can be cured or effectively treated through stem cell reasearch. Which is more important, an unconcious cellular lifeform, or sentient, living human beings who are already suffering and dying of terminal diseases. Just ask yourself that.


Get your patchouli stink outta my store!
User currently offlineTupolev154B2 From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 1332 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (13 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 753 times:

All right, sorry cfalk for the misunderstanding.

User currently offlineMatt D From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 9502 posts, RR: 46
Reply 15, posted (13 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 747 times:

I don't know. To be honest, I'm not really sure on where I stand on this particular issue. I see good arguments to both sides. Plus I don't know enough about this to make a sound and objective judgement. But what about the bigger picture?

True, advancement of medical science is a good thing by almost any standard. But now that we've come as far as we have through genetic research, transplantation, cloning, and even artificial intelligence, just where will it stop? WILL it stop? What is the ultimate goal of these scientists playing God? IMO, I see us barrelling ahead (very quickly I might add) to the day where we will be told who can reproduce and who can not. And those that can will no longer be conceiving via "traditional" means. The day where we can pick our sons and daughters from a glass tube like you are picking bed sheets from the Sears catalog is something that many of us will probably see during our lifetimes.

And where will we go from there? I've heard some people say that even with all these advances in technology and medicine, that we will all be told when to live and when to die. The approval of "sanctioned" suicide or euthanasia in some Euro countries is no doubt the foundation for this. (again, we have the frog in-the-pot going here...just a little bit at a time) When it is no longer cost effective to keep someone alive either intravenously or through repeated operations, that person will (whether that person chooses to or not) have their life functions terminated. After all, stop and think about it. If all of these "breakthroughs" are so promising, why then should there be a need for sanctioned euthanasia? Why not use this technology on those people that need it? What is it that we aren't being told?

I'd like to take it even a step further. I once heard about "post-human" evolution. Have any of you heard about that? I've heard two versions of this:

One is that medical technology will go so far that through artificial "parts" and tissue/organ transplants, and-of course-computers, humans will eventually achieve immortality. This of course begs the question of who will be given immortality and who will be denied it.

The other version I've heard is that through that marriage of cloning and computer technology, a new breed of "superhumans" or "super machines" will eventually take over the world.

Sure it sounds far fetched and wild fantasy now, but so did cloning just 10 years ago.

Remember "Dolly" anyone?

I've heard that it the full cloning of a human can be done within 8 years. 8 years people. That's no further into the future than Clintons inauguration is in the past.


User currently offlineAerLingus From China, joined Mar 2000, 2371 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (13 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 742 times:

Matt D:

I believe that all of the points you make are valid, but while medical advancements continue to be made, human nature still remains the main factor in many decisions made in government and even in science.

Genetically altering genes for the purpose of choosing how your children look and behave would eventually render the population of the civilised world into a bunch of blond-haired, blue eyed, 6 foot tall muscular male doctors and slim, big breasted woman lawyers. Well, not literally, but I'm just trying to get my point across.
The 'super-race' mentality is still a VERY chilling thought and brings up memories of Hitler's ideal of society.

Also, as a rule, humanity has more or less reached it's peak for longevity at under 150 years. The human brain and body can only go so long before it finally breaks due to extended use. At a point, if a memory and emotions can be saved and transplanted into a computer allowing to continue having a sentient existance, that would suck. Who would want to live in a computer, anyway? Immortality is, for the most part impossible.

'Breakthroughs' continue to be made, but a person cannot just die of nothing. There will always be a painful illness or physical condition that will cause a person to die, therefore sanctioned euthanasia, at the request of the patient (let me stress that) will always end up being an option.

I agree with you that we should keep the advancement of artificial intelligence in check. Machines should remain our tools, not our equals. There is NO need for intelligent, artificial life.

Let me say that I am extremely glad to see a somewhat intelligent debate going on here.  Smile



Get your patchouli stink outta my store!
User currently offlineVirginA340 From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 15 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (13 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 740 times:

Dell Dude get a life. Now YOU"RE the one sounding like an idiot. But then again for a self rigtheous 16 yeat old telling god to "Have mercy on our immoral souls" can't expect much. Do you even watch the news or even read a newspaper?

Back to the topic. I believe that scientists should take advantage of this research and do tests. There are potential cures for many cancers, diabetes, and other life threatening diseaeses. I think just on this topic religion should be set aside and the people who have these life threatening diseases should be put ahead of anything else. After all they are the ones who've been through the suffering. The Embryos will be thrown anyway if the esearch doesn't take place. It's like a homeless man throwing money away.



"FUIMUS"
User currently offlineGod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (13 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 735 times:

"Recent research has discovered that human embryonic stem cells, which have not yet sorted themselves out to be come specific organs yet,"

Based on this, go for it. BUT, put in laws to stop it at that point. This is a great way to help others who are suffering, without harming the unborn.


User currently offlineAerLingus From China, joined Mar 2000, 2371 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (13 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 734 times:

VirginA340, the religious issue isn't necessarily the throwing away of the embryos for the purpose of experimentation. It's how the embryos got that way, namely through abortion clinics. For federally funded research projects to pay the source of the discarded embryos for the embryos is basically like federal funding of the abortion clinics. It would indirectly seal the position of the government on abortion, even if it wasn't the spirit of the government's or rather the administration's intentions.

I'm not necessarily saying that I'm for or against it, but that is what I believe to be part of the controversy.



Get your patchouli stink outta my store!
User currently offlineJohn Edwards From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 20 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (13 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 733 times:

The fact is, this technology can help people with alzheimers, m.s., parkinson's, and so on.

How could you be against something that will help so many people.

I realize that there are those of you that feel strongly about this issue, but I have to differ.

My feeling for the millions suffering from these diseases far outweighs my feelings for embryos that will never be born. They will only sit in a tube forever.


User currently offlineCfalk From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (13 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 733 times:

Virgin340,

"The Embryos will be thrown anyway if the research doesn't take place. "

NOT. They would become living breathing people. Some of them might even become liberals  Smile/happy/getting dizzy. Till now, the only reason for having embryos in a test tube was for transplant back into the mother for fertility problems. Now we have found a whole new purpose for them. What's next?

I can't say I'm fully decided one way or the other. But I can say that the whole thing makes me uneasy.

Charles

P.S. Will whoever is calling himself "God" please cut it out. It's not cool.


User currently offlineVirginA340 From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 15 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (13 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 729 times:

Cfalk and Aer Lingus; Thanks for the clarification and I apoligize for the error.


"FUIMUS"
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