Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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Stem Cell Legislation at Risk

inthenews

Promising but still unproven new approaches to creating human embryonic stem cells have suddenly jeopardized what once seemed to be certain Senate passage of a bill to loosen President Bush’s four-year-old restrictions on human embryo research.

The techniques are enticing to many conservative activists and scientists because they could yield medically valuable human embryonic stem cells without the creation or destruction of embryos.

Embryonic stem cells are coveted because they have the capacity to become virtually every kind of body tissue and perhaps repair ailing organs, but they are controversial because days-old human embryos must be destroyed to retrieve them.

”The new science that may involve embryo research but not require destruction of an embryo is tremendously exciting,” Senate majority leader Bill Frist, Republican of Tennessee, said recently. ”It would get you outside of the boundaries of the ethical constraints.”

Ceci Connolly and Rick Weiss
Washington Post

Analysis:

We have written about the morality of stem cell research in the past. While there is some evidence that the research can benefit and potentially cure some individuals suffering from paralysis and a number of other diseases, the process of extracting stem cells from human embryos results in the destruction of the embryo.

We contend that human embryos are human beings (at the earliest stage), and therefore their destruction constitutes murder.

President Bush holds that view, and banned the destruction of embryos for stem cell research. However, a lift on the ban has passed the House of Representatives, and it is believed it has a rapidly dwindling chance to pass in the Senate with at least 67 votes, which would provide an automatic override of the President’s veto power.

Now there are techniques being presented which may allow the harvesting of human embryonic stem cells without destroying the embryo. However, proponents still want the passage of the bill to allow the destruction of the embryos.

It is a shame that in light of the moral qualms so many have concerning the procedure, that more are not willing to at least allow time to see if the less destructive methods produce viable stem cells. But, they are not.

It is morally wrong to experiment on human beings, and to murder people in the cause of science. It matters not if they are viable or not, we have no right to extinguish their lives.

I pray that cures are found for the many illnesses from which men suffer. But, may we never be guilty of killing our most vulnerable, no matter the good that it will do for any other segment of our society.