Part 6 Why outlaw embryonic stem cell research?

Here is the final posting to answers to common objectives by Scott Klusendorf (see part 3, part 4, & part 5).

  • “If research cloning and ESCR are made illegal, people suffering from illness will not find the cures they need.” Reply: Contrary to what has been repeated again and again, human embryos are not the only source for stem cells.  Promising new evidence indicates that adult stem cells are not only effective alternatives to destructive embryo research, but may be better at battling disease.[1] There’s a reason for this.  While embryonic stem cells are more flexible, they appear harder to control once implanted.  We simply don’t know how they will behave.  Early studies with ESCR are less than encouraging.  Adult cells, meanwhile, are somewhat less flexible, but far more flexible than previously thought.  They are also easier to control. Already, researchers have coaxed stem cells from adult bone marrow into becoming nerve cells that could treat conditions ranging from paralysis to Alzheimer’s disease.  We can extract these adult cells without killing the donor, hence there is no ethical problem.  We’ll have to wait and see, but the choice between medical progress and moral principle could soon be a false dilemma, eliminating the need for ESCR.  On the other hand, it’s possible that embryonic stem cell research will one day prove effective, perhaps more effective than adult research.  That fact alone, however, will not get you around the moral objection.  Put simply, ESCR is not wrong because it’s currently less effective than adult stem cell research, but because it unjustly kills and exploits a living human being.  Again, if I have a bad eye and you have a good one, I do not have a right to take your good eye to make my bad eye feel better.   That’s essentially what happens with ESCR.  Living human beings are treated as disposable instruments simply because they are defenseless and useful to someone else.  That’s a moral evil, regardless of the cures that may follow.

Once common objections are answered, a person might be more open to listening.  None of these objections have changed the most important question in this entire debate about the unborn; “what is it?”  My next series of posts is where I am going to provide scientific evidence the unborn is 100% human and deserving protection. Go to part 7 here


[1] See www.stemcellresearch.org for summaries studies involving adult stem cells.

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