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Stem cell research - what do you think?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
I think the title of this thread is probably enough to get a lively debate going

For my part, I am torn. I have serious ethical issues with it, but where do you draw the line? I am particularly interested in your views on deliberately `growing' embryos to use in stem cell research. This is an immediate parliamentary issue in Australia at the moment. Perhaps you will help me cement my views.

I'd really like to know what everyone here thinks of this controversial science.
post #2 of 21
I think it is very much understood, and I'm in the camp of misunderstanding. I have a very dear friend with diabetes that will die young without the help of this research, so I'm biased towards getting approval and funding for it. I also have a nephew that is going to college to get a degree in this field - he assumes that the science will carry on.

I do understand that there are a lot of ways to "harvest" stem cells without doing controversial things like cloning. There are so many embroyos simply destroyed each day from fertility clinics when they aren't used. There isn't an uproar about destroying that type of life, so why not put those to use to save the life of sick people? I feel that if we are selective on where we get the source of cells to save life, why not?
post #3 of 21
I am with Amy on this one, the health of those who have diseases that they may find cures for through the research outweigh the concerns (for me) of those arguments of the people who complain about the harvesting when it is completely legal for fertility clinics to destroy embryos.

Having said that, if it was illegal for fertility clinics to destroy an embryo my view would be very different... and my views depend a lot on where the embryos are harvested from
post #4 of 21
IMHO, if the embryos are human, all bets are off.
post #5 of 21
I think that if the embryos are to be destroyed anyway then yes they should be used for this research.
post #6 of 21
I think that stem cell research is one of the best tools we have for finding cures for disease and major injury. The best way to get these lines would be from abandoned embryos that would be discarded from fertility clinics. It's considered medical waste anyway, so why not use it to have some good come out of it.

As for deliberately growing them, I really don't see the need. There are hundreds of thousands of embryos that are destroyed every year from fertility clinics. The simplest way to circumvent it would be to add a waver into the paper work a couple would sign saying that there is a chance their unused embryos would be used for stem cell purposes.
post #7 of 21
I am against embryonic stem cell research. I do not have a problem with using a deceased adult's stem cells which have been donated by a person in their will.
post #8 of 21
I'd much rather they use the stem cells to help someone than just throw them away. You never know any one of us may benefit from stem cell research some day.
post #9 of 21
I am in agreement with was most of everyone has said. If the cells are going to be discarded anyway we might as well use them for research and who knows what diseases may be cured from it!
post #10 of 21
Since there are alternate means of research, I think the real reason the medical industry is pushing stem cell research is because it is far more profitable. What it boils down to is the almighty dollar. The same is true about animal experimentation. It's the most cost effective method of research.

Creating human life to experiment on it makes me wonder if Joseph Mengele came up with the idea. IMO, it's a terrible thing to do.
post #11 of 21
using something thatIMHO has ben discarded then yes.... making an embryo to destroy it NO NO NO
post #12 of 21
Thread Starter 
I am so torn in this debate. I work in medicine and see the dreadful effects of motor-neuron diseases, autoimmune diseases and many of the terrible afflictions that stem-cell research could help treat or even cure, every day.

And yet there is a part of me that thinks, if we try to regulate, fix, cure or destroy everything that comes along, we are in the process and in the ultimate long-term, only going to contribute to the end of human life as we know it.

Disease, famine, environmental disasters and such things are (and this is just my opinion) tools our universe uses to regulate population, to make sure that we do not override our world and therefore run out of resources and means by which to sustain ourselves. Humans are virulent reproducers; our current population of over six billion attests to that. And look what is happening to our world. It is polluted, poisoned, heating up, natural disasters occur more and more frequently, people are starving, so much of the world's population live under the poverty line, the list goes on. If we continue to try to fix everything that comes our way, things that could be nature's way of regulating us as a species, I think we will end up destroying ourselves. Because our planet can only sustain so much life before it starts to cave, which is happening already.

AIDS, to me, is the biggest indicator that the more we try to stave off diseases that currently have no cure, the more nature is going to come up with stuff that we can't fix, and that will spread until we are back where we should be in terms of population and what can be sustained on Earth. Since it was first recognised and started to be tabulated, 75 million people have contracted HIV. 30 million of those people are dead. Another 5 million are being infected each year. By 2010 (and this is if things don't speed up) nearly one hundred million people around the world will be infected with or will have died from HIV. And although advances have been made, there is no cure.

That makes me think, we've got to slow down, we've got to accept the inevitability of disease, and death. We were not made to be immortal, or even infallible. To be human is to live and to die.

That is a very controversial viewpoint, I understand, and where does one draw the line? Do we stop all medical research? Do we allow people to suffer? Do we stop trying to cure cancer? No, I don't think so. But we have to be careful that we aren't playing God, that we aren't trying to win every battle, because I don't think that's what we're here for.

To use adult stem cells, discarded and unwanted, for research is fine. To even use the stem cells from aborted foetuses is ok, too. But to specifically culture embryos in order to harvest stem cells crosses a line that I don't think should ever be crossed. You shouldn't mess with creation. I feel the same way about cloning. There has to be some ethical point, some moral line that when we reach it, we say `Enough is enough'.

Humanity seems to sometimes be about the pursuit of the unreachable. Bigger. Better. Faster. More. I just think that we need to stop and sit back for a minute, and finish what's on our plates before we go looking for dessert.
post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by KitEKats4Eva! View Post
I am so torn in this debate. I work in medicine and see the dreadful effects of motor-neuron diseases, autoimmune diseases and many of the terrible afflictions that stem-cell research could help treat or even cure, every day.

And yet there is a part of me that thinks, if we try to regulate, fix, cure or destroy everything that comes along, we are in the process and in the ultimate long-term, only going to contribute to the end of human life as we know it.

I have two of those disorders or disease and I wouldnt want soething created to be detroyed just to help me ... I also am not having kids as I feel my DNA is messed up and shouldnt be reporduced..lol..
post #14 of 21
Check this out, from the BBC, this does NOT bode well for stem cell research whatsoever.


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6171083.stm
post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by KitEKats4Eva! View Post
Disease, famine, environmental disasters and such things are (and this is just my opinion) tools our universe uses to regulate population, to make sure that we do not override our world and therefore run out of resources and means by which to sustain ourselves. Humans are virulent reproducers; our current population of over six billion attests to that. And look what is happening to our world. It is polluted, poisoned, heating up, natural disasters occur more and more frequently, people are starving, so much of the world's population live under the poverty line, the list goes on. If we continue to try to fix everything that comes our way, things that could be nature's way of regulating us as a species, I think we will end up destroying ourselves. Because our planet can only sustain so much life before it starts to cave, which is happening already.

AIDS, to me, is the biggest indicator that the more we try to stave off diseases that currently have no cure, the more nature is going to come up with stuff that we can't fix, and that will spread until we are back where we should be in terms of population and what can be sustained on Earth.
IMHO, that is about the best logical argument that I've heard so far on why NOT to pursue stem cell research. It gets emotional when you have family and friends that can benefit from that resarch.

I absolute understand you Sarah!!
post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by ckblv View Post
Check this out, from the BBC, this does NOT bode well for stem cell research whatsoever.


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6171083.stm
Just when you think you've heard everything....
post #17 of 21
I am all for stem cell research as long as we use cells that were going to be discarded anyway. Genetic engineering or the creation of embryo's for the sole purpose of research freaks me out a bit, and I am not convinced we should be doing that. Women are aborting in clinics every day all over the world, and the end result should be made available to science.
post #18 of 21
That's just the point, there are many people that WON'T just used the discarded cells.
post #19 of 21
The things they can do with non-embryonic stem cells are just amazing. There are a number of diseases, including various cancers and Sickle Cell that have been treated successfully using non-embryonic stem cells, whereas the benefits of embryonic stem cells haven't been as successful. I just think the focus should be more on researching, testing, and utilizing a type of stem cell that doesn't have any moral issues attached and that has literally worked miracles. If you know something works emphasize it.
post #20 of 21
I think the benifits out ways the harm. I really hope funding comes through for it and soon
post #21 of 21
I think those poor innocent babies in the Ukraine, if they could, might disagree with that.
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