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Stem Cell Research

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
We are all intelligent well informed humans. Let's pretend we are sitting around at a friend's kitchen table having coffee. The subjects of stem cell research and cloning humans comes up. It has been a topic on the news a great deal of late. I am interested in what your thoughts are on this subject and what you think of it morally.
I trust that we can carry on a rational discussion and thought sharing process without "flaming" anyone or passing judgement on other's views. Let's talk...........
post #2 of 33
Thread Starter 
In all fairness, I think I shoud post my thoughts.
I have grave concerns about where the scientists of today are taking us as humans. I fear that they are trying to do God's work, and they have no business going there to such an extent. Creation is God's will - not man's. I recognize the value of medical research and am grateful that there are those in this world that carry on that work. I feel mankind has gone too far, and has overstepped boundaries from which there is no return. It is not right to play God - deciding who 'gets what' and who is 'eligible' and I for one want no part of that game. It scares me. Just my thoughts.....
post #3 of 33

I need to do so more studying up on the subject, because I'm not as enlightened on it as I would like to be, but my initial thoughts on it are the exact same as yours.

We are entering into very dangerous territory here, and that scares me. Tampering with things that I don't think should be tampered with. Just like you said Debra, deciding who is 'worthy' and who isn't.
post #4 of 33
It's so interesting that you brought this up Debra. Last night Craig and I went to this place called "The View". It's on the 39th floor of the Marriot and has a spectacular view of the city. While we were there we had a few drinks.. and this exact topic was brought up.

I have a totally different view than you do... though I do respect your opinion.

I think Stem Cell research is very much ok. Let me explain. I don't think they should take embryo that will be used. However, there are embryo that are frozen and discarded after time.. going to waste. I find it perfectly fine to use those embryo for Stem Cell research rather than throw it out. If there is a chance of find a cure for AIDS, HIV, diabetes (sp), cancer, etc in those Stem Cells from the embryo and it could save people.. then go for it.

I look at it this way... My mother gets cancer and is expected to die within a year.. and scientist think they may be a chance of finding a cure for her from Stem Cell research of embryos that normally would be wasted... of course I'm going to want them to. I want my mother around as long as possible. I think if it can save a life and cure horrible diseases... then yes... I approve.

I don't think that is playing God.. I think its saving lives. Now.. this cloning thing.. well.. I think that has been taken too far.. WAAAY too far.. in my eyes.. that would be playing God. Using embryo Stem Cell to cure rank diseases and cancers... I'm all for it.

I do very much respect your opinion.. and I can see where you are coming from. I just see it in a different light I think?
post #5 of 33
Ok, I'm showing my ignorance now. I'm confused. I don't know much about stem cell research, but cloning is what I'm totally against.

I really need to make sure I know what I'm talking about before I open my mouth
post #6 of 33
Cloning of a human: out

Stem cell research: in
post #7 of 33
I am embarrassed to admit that I don't know much about stem cell research. I do know that President Bush had a speech on it the other night, which I missed, and that he approved this research assuming that it was on embryos that already exist and would otherwise be thrown away. This whole thing makes me very nervous. I think, as Bush has it now, I be ok with it, but I'm afraid of what the government and scientists would do with this little bit of power. I could see it turning into something pretty bad. (But I do agree that it would be so wonderful to cure some of the awful diseases that plague us.)

As for cloning, I think it's just wrong, wrong, wrong. That is not the way God intended for people (or animals) to be created.

Actually, I just read a fictional book on this subject, and it was very scary. It was written in the early 1990's and it's amazing how many ideas in the book that were complete fiction at the time have already come true. And it's only been 10 years. Imagine what another 10 years could bring about.
post #8 of 33
I do know that the really big advocates of stem cell research are actor Christopher Reeve and other quadraplegics. Apparently, there is some thought that this research will be beneficial to this condition. I can't argue with it if the embryos are already in existence and will be discarded. If some advance were to come of this, then their existence wouldn't be for nothing. I wouldn't want to see them created for the sole purpose of research.

Final word on cloning: there isn't a person on this earth, living or dead, who would be anxious to see another one of me roaming around. The one of me is enough trouble as it is.
post #9 of 33
Deb - You make me laugh!

I also frequent a parenting board, and the excitement there about cloning is for people who are suffering from infertility. They want cloning so they can have a child. You couldn't pay me to raise a kid who's basically me. My parents had a tough enough time with it! Plus, it would be just creepy seeing doubles walking around.
post #10 of 33
My son is already enough like me to make me shudder. I can't imagine raising myself! What if things turned out better for me the 2nd time around? Then I'd be jealous, not to mention have a good basis for argument with my mother on where and how she screwed up.
post #11 of 33
The experts are claiming that stem cell will cure almost anything now that there is no cure for. Parkinson's, Alzheimers, MS, cancers, spinal cord injuries among others. Until they started using the single cell of the frozen embryo found in petrie dishes in infertility clinics, these cells were being obtained in bone marrow, brains of cadavers, and fusing human fetal tissue with parts of a cow's egg. The results they were getting were limited, so they feel that using the frozen embryo cell will give them longer, better chances for success. If they are right, think of all the suffering it will alleviate. In Infertility clinics many of these embroyos are discarded after a certain time line has passed. It is my understanding, that right before this discard date, is when the stem cell will be extracted and utilized. The reason the researchers want to use these types of cells is because if they put one cell in a petrie dish, it will after a long period of time start to divide and produce other cells and will propagate endlessly. Also, these cells can adapt to human tissue and cells in adults as well as children and infants will no known ill effects.

As far as cloning, this scares me badly. This is playing God, and to date, even the animals that have been cloned all have defects of some kind. I believe Dolly the sheep recently has died because of complications, so what will they do with humans that have defects- and will these defects make these men into monsters of society? I am not thinking along the lines of Frankenstein, but more of Ted Bundy and the Hillside Strangler type monsters. Man needs to stop trying to pretend they are God. These are my thoughts
post #12 of 33
To begin with, it bothered me that the President addressed this subject. I know that he gets the best advice possible and that he was making a statement about the nations' position,(in regard to his administration), on this subject, but I would have rather seen the whole explaination coming from, say, The Surgeon General or at least a medical doctor. I found it rather "insulting" to be informed of my Nations' Position on so important an issue, by a Politician.

I am all in favor of reasach. What they fail to point up to us is that this research does NOT have to involve stem cell embryos. It is just the easiest and quickest way to conduct this Nerve Regeneration process. It is also the most costly, and "science",(specifically research via grants, etc.) after all, is "big business". I do not see the harm in continuing research with already harvested embryos, but who is to draw the line when these sources are spent? We also, have to ask ourselves; does LIFE begin at conception; be it natural or man induced. . . . . .

I will have more to say on that later.
I am definitely against cloning of any type. (man or animal) I believe that scientifically produced life is "Playing God" and that is risky business. (rather you believe in Divine Creation or not)

I don't know if any of you have seen a science fiction movie called The Colony that was produced as an independent film in the early 80's. It deals with wealthy people who have themselves cloned so that they will have"replacement parts" if they ever need them. (kidneys, liver, eyes, heart, etc.) The scary part comes when the need arrises and the clone, a living breathing human living in a controlled colony; must be sacrificed so the "original" can be "fixed". Not a pleasant thought.
post #13 of 33
This is a fascinating subject that will create many discussions for years.

First,let me say this...these scientists are NOT creating life,no matter how much they and the media would like you to believe it. They are really doing the same basic thing as a farmer..planting a seed. It's just a different type of seed. That is very simplified I know...but basically true.

What worries me about cloning,gene splicing and the like is the people involved. I have heard all the arguments about scientific integrity,etc....but they are still people;prey to the prejudices that we all are...capiable of mistakes in judgement...or just plain greed. And we all know where the corporate structures that own these scientists and politicians are looking. These are the same folks who gave us "safe" pesticides, thalidomide babies and a host of other modern nightmares. Now I see a group of "scientists" in Britain have stated they are going to clone humans no matter what. This is the kind of arrogance that scares me about these "Educated" folks. Joseph Mengele thought highly of himself too when he was torturing people in the Nazi death camps.

Anyhow,I feel that everyone has a DUTY to become informed about these issues. They are just too important to be shrugged off.
post #14 of 33
Bush managed to pi$$ everyone off didn't he?

I like the idea of there being another me around, when I'm no longer here. BUT I think SOME people shouldn't be cloned. Kinda like that movie Gattica, where you had to meet certain genetical requirements to do anything, and you had to get permission to have kids. (please don't be offended, I don't mean that twords anyone here!!) I may be crazy, I also think that every girl when she reaches "maturity" should be put on birth control, I mean, these kids, having kids kinda grosses me out.

I say go for it, it freaks me out,(cloning) but go for it.
Everyone thought the world was flat at one time....

post #15 of 33
I can see one WONDERFUL use for cloning.

ever see Titan AE??

you can bring extinct animals back to this world. or like the movie, they kept every animals genes, so that when the world was destoyed, we would still be able to bring back the animals (like a big technical noah's ark!)

maybe it would work for plants to, a never ending food supply.

just some of my weird thoughts..
post #16 of 33
Thread Starter 
First of all - this is a personal and contraversial subject, and I appreciate the thought that has gone into everyone's posts. I would like to add that I am very proud of all of us for expressing our thoughts and ideas without any problems! CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL INVOLVED IN THIS DISCUSSION! See? It is possible to express differing opinions and still love each other. That is what makes the world so interesting!
post #17 of 33
I personally believe we are coming dangerously close of playing God by cloning
post #18 of 33
Okay....here's my two cents worth on this subject....the idea of Cloning just sickens me....it is not right.

But stem cell research....as long as it is done on embryos that were to be discarded anyway.....not brought into this world for that purpose (that would be wrong), then I am all for it. Like someone else said, at least their lives would not be for nothing.

My best friend has MS, and if stem cell research can find a cure for her, then I say GO FOR IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
post #19 of 33
I'm with you Debbie. my brother has muscular distrophy if this will help find a cure I say go for it too as long as it is cells that are to be discarded. I just have one question and that is what is science doing with them now?
post #20 of 33
I dont agree with cloning at all. God creates man not man.That is what believe. I also have to wonder the implications of cloning a human being. How will they be treated by society etc. There are some people out there that will look at them as freaks. There is so much racism etc going on will this just open up another can of worms. There will be a price to be paid for playing God.

As for stem cell research if the embryos are already in existance and will be discarded then at least yes there is a purpose for them to be here. But I dont agree with producing embryos for the sole purpose of research. As threeleggedcat said "does life begin at conception" I believe it does.
post #21 of 33
I agree with you Elinor. To me, life begins at the moment of conception.
post #22 of 33
I used to have great debates with the head chemist at a place I used to work. He was a member of the Communist party and very humanist,but a good man for all of that. When he got the most adamant about the supremacy of science I would simply ask him to produce one blade of grass on the desk top...not plant and grow it,but produce it from atoms...

As an exercise I would ask each of you,in the privacy of your own home..to just make up a list of all the characteristics you would edit out of human kind if you had the power. No need to publish it here. Don't be frivolous but give this some serious thought. When you are done..think about how many people in the world would be eliminated if your list was the blueprint for a New Order type group. Now what if YOU failed to meet the blueprint of someone else? Or your children?? Beginning to sound chillingly familiar?? I am very afraid of putting this ability in the hands of a group which could easily contain a budding Joe Stalin or an Adolph Hitler.

Humanity needs to do a LOT of growing up before we can say in truth that this CANNOT happen.
post #23 of 33
Stem cell research... do you know what it's all about?

President Bush has endorsed limited stem cell research
but what does that mean?

How does this decision affect scientific and medical research?

Get the facts from the WebMD News Center.
post #24 of 33
Stem Cell Research.. I do support it. It can save many lives.. and it can also prevent those that live in misery due to spinal injuries, cancers, diseases, etc to have a healthy and happy life again. I'm 100% for it.

Cloning.. it gives me the creeps. Cloning someone or something for that matter.. is just dangerous. I mean.. the population of the world right now is enough... we have plenty of REAL people in this world now.. must we add clones?! Then you also have religious beliefs.

Oh Elinor! I think it was you that was talking about how society would treat the clones. Well.. unless the clones are marked in a certain way.. how would you even know if they are clones?? Since they would look, walk, talk, breath, eat, and sleep exactly like a real human being. Hell, you could be dating a clone and not even know it if the clone didn't tell you! HOW SCARY IS THAT?!?! *runs away screaming*
post #25 of 33
U.S. Firms Seek Mass Cloning of Chickens -Magazine
Aug 15 2001 2:12PM

LONDON (Reuters) - Two U.S. companies are attempting to clone chickens on a huge scale, moving factory farming into a new era but alarming animal welfare activists, the New Scientist magazine reported on Wednesday.
A breakthrough is some way off but the U.S. National Institute of Science and Technology has given Origen Therapeutics from California and Embrex in North Carolina $4.7 million to fund research.

Factory farming of chickens, which are often pumped full of antibiotics and kept in cramped conditions, already causes outrage within the animal welfare lobby.

But the poultry industry would welcome disease-resistant birds that grow faster on less food.

"Producers would like the same meat quantity but to use reduced inputs to get there," Mike Fitzgerald of Origen told the magazine.

The company aims to breed or genetically engineer a chicken with the required traits and then "bulk-grow" embryonic stem cells taken from fertilized eggs as soon as they are laid.

Those cells will then be injected into the embryo of a fertilized recipient egg.

Origen has a patent on the process still at the application stage. Embrex produces machines that can inject vaccines into up to 50,000 eggs an hour, the magazine said.
post #26 of 33
I am not completly informed of the whole situation, so if my thoughts stray, someone jump in and help get me set straight.
I am all for finding cures for the horrible diseases and traumas that life has delt us to deal with. If the stem cells were to come from an already existent source, I am in favor of it. Mabye this next thought is a little off the wall, but here goes. Having suffered for several years with infertility, the thought of artifical insemination(sp) crossed my mind. The woman has several eggs harvested for the fertilization process. This process takes place in a dish. In my mind there is the possibility that ten eggs could be fertilized, but the hopeful couple could be told that only four made it.
Is it possible that the other eggs could be raised to the point needed for the cells? If any of that could be possible, as an expecting parent, I would come loose at the seams to know that I could have had more kids, alive and running around.

As far as cloning, I think it is wrong. It would be wonderful if medicine could go to the point that much needed organs could be cloned to help with the transplant process. But then again, if stem cells are a new hope for science, the problem with the diseased organ could be taken care of.
post #27 of 33
I don't think cloning is right in any way at all! I think it is immoral (even though I am not religous)! I look at it this way: I don't want another me running around the earth! :tounge2: Also, by cloning, you are duplicating diseases or what not, and to me that is another no-no! It is sick that scientists would even want to clone a human being. Heck, what happens if they clone a human and the human doesn't turn out right for some reason? What are they going to do? Kill it? Kind of reminds me of The 6th Day, and that would really suck to have 2 of me running around..... No, it sickens me!

As for stem-cell reasearch, now that is a different story. I don't like the thought of abortions, I think it is wrong, yet a woman's choice. But, if the embryo or fetus (sorry, I can't think right now) is going to be used for research to help people with diseases then do it....... they will be helping a lot of people..... saving peoples lives!

That is my 2 cents worth!
post #28 of 33
Wow, what a fascinating thread!

Stem cell research - I think it should be heavily monitored but should be allowed to an extent. I think they are using very young embryos, even before they can be called embryos. I think that before there is a heartbeat and basic formation of organs, this is not yet a baby but rather a potential for a baby. Therefore if they use these fertilized eggs that are going to be thrown away anyway, I'm fine with it. If they ever want to use older embryos (beyond 4-5 weeks old) I would be uncomfortable with it, as that would mean using actual embryos taken out of a woman's womb and not the divided eggs grown in a dish.

Another thought - I would much rather see scientists use fetal cells under these conditions, rather then have experiments carried out on animals. I know that cats are often used in neorulogical reserach in very painful ways. If they can switch to using stem cells I'm all for it.

As for cloning, I really can't see how recreating one of the parents is a reasonable solution to infertility... I don't think clones should be treated any differentlt than others. They would be individuals in their own right, just like identical twins are. I think research into cloning animals has a long way to go before cloning of humans should be undertaken, if al all. Like hissy said, there seem to be far too mant side effects, such as early aging etc.

I think cloning humans poses tons of moral problems. I am not concerned with the "playing God" aspect, as this can be said of many medical procedures (in particular In vitro fertilization). I just think the option of creating humans for spare parts or for other terrible reasons might be too attractive for tyrants...

Just my 2 cents...
post #29 of 33
Cassie yes I guess that is true to a degree that a lot of people would not know a person was a clone. It just seems though that kind of thing would come out if enough people knew and some didnt like it. That could include some family members and friends of the family.

You are right that they could date someone and not tell. As far as health issues(children etc.) go I dont know of course if they would have to tell their fiancee before marriage. Maybe not.

This is a very interesting topic and I enjoy reading the thoughts of others.
post #30 of 33
I believe that man is making enough money now off of the innocents in this world by selling unwanted Baby parts. It seems to me the whole issue is like everything else GREED
my 2 cents worth too!!!
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