How many of you know that JDRF is involved in Embronic Stem Cell Research? Do you know that Human lives are being destroyed to research a cure for diabetes? There is a post here about a recent interview with their president in which he does not discuss this issue at all. In replies to my comments in that post, I was critiqued for bringing up the issue of Embronic Stem Cell Research (I think that there are those that would like it to be a dirty little secret - If we dont know its happening, its OK?) So that is why I am moving the discussion here. No comments are disallowed here - I would like to hear all sides and thoughts.. Does it bother you that others are working on our behalf and destroying human life to find a cure. Would you prefer that this research be done with Adult stem cells that do not destrpoy human life? Would you take a cure that cost another human their life? Personally I will not. I stopped donating to the JDRF when they announced this policy change last year.
Stem cell research, and stem cell based treatments do not have to have any sort of ethical implications. I personally do not think the life of an embryo is worth more than a sentient child or an adult. At the risk of being controversial, I think the using human embryos for research is OK for lot of other things aside from curing diseases.
The value of life is not quantifiable, and that value doesn't 'go away' if some living thing dies, otherwise things like history, and food could not exist. The argument over embryonic stem cell research isnt one of the value of life anyhow, its one of the value of humanity, and sentience. Neither of which is apparent at all in an embryo, and both of which are indisputable in people at large. Potential for sentience is not sentience.
I do however prefer that other than embryonic stem cells be used in research and medicine, for no other reason than the fact that embryonic stem cell research has so much opposition.
At some point, especially in medicine, you may have to sacrifice the sanctity of unencumbered research for adoptable, non-controversial methods.
I like your rationale, while I disagree with you and do think that the life of an embryo should not be destroyed. I will not engage in the is this life worth more than that life. All life should be preserved.. The point that is important is that there is honest disagreement on the use of Embryos and the slipery slope that cloning and all the other elements of this research. There are 4 types of stem cells and use of other than those from an Embryo have shown promise and have created cures. These cures are non controversial and could be shared by all. If we focused our research dollars in that area, the cures that are created could be used by all. If we focus the research dollars on the Embryos, those cures could only be used by those that do not have an ethical problem with the destruction of potential human lives. We can argue all we want whether an Embryo is a life or not, but the fact exists that for many it is a significant ethical issue that would prevent them from accepting such a cure.
Please JDRF - use adult stem cells and work towards a cure that we can all use.
You are implying that all life is human life, which isnt the case. Example: my lawn. I wouldnt argue weather a living embryo is alive at all, its implied by calling it a 'living embryo'. However, I will definitely argue its sentience and its humanity.
if sentience is the criterion of full humanness, then the reversibly comatose, the momentarily unconscious, and the sleeping would all have to be declared nonpersons. Like the presentient unborn, these individuals are all at the moment nonsentient though they have the natural inherent capacity to be sentient.
I can not agree that sentience is the definition of human life but I understand that others do.
sentience and consciousness are not the same thing. sentience is a capacity for consciousness, and presentience is a capacity for sentience. If you want to pull the zipper all the way up, then yo cant eat cucumbers because they have the potential to evolve, or mutate, or spontaneously reorganize themself into a sentient being. This is the point of my argument. Potential for a quality, does not make that quality a reality. There is a consensus among most of humanity that a sleeping human, is still human. That consensus does not exist for biological precursors to sleeping humans.
carry your arguement one step further if sentience is the capacity for consciousness, then an embryo has that capacity but not quite just yet. Left alone, fed and nutured in a mothers womb, it will become sentient and by your definition an embryo is sentient because it has the capacity in time to be sentient. The extrapolition of the cucumber is off the wall and not worthy of an intelligent response.
which is my opinion of the extrapolation of sentience for an embryo, but i entertain it anyhow. There is more distance between basic criteria for life, and sentience than there is between sentience and conciousness, seeing as all things that are sentient, have at some point demonstrated this by being conscious. Preventing something is not the same as interrupting it. To kill is to interrupt life in progress, and to kill something sentient is to kill something in which sentience has already been established. Throwing an acorn in a fire is not the same as chopping down a rain forest. Something has to demonstrate that it 'is' sentient before you can say that it is. Just as conciousness comes and goes, so does the capacity for it, which is WHY the cucumber argument is ridiculous.
That is my argument. Killing someone in their sleep is very different than preventing something from becoming 'someone'. I do not have a problem with preventing an embryo from becoming human, because prevention and interruption are different. Preventing humanity is not murder. You can argue against this, but using existential extrapolation, as I did for contrast in my last post, is not an 'intelligent' response anyhow; its avoidance.
dickengel-i appreciate your delving into this topic. It is my understanding that the most promising research is coming from the adult lines of stem cells, not the embryonic ones anyways.
I would rather live my life with diabetes than take the life, or potential of life, from an embryo that is not given the opportunity to live. Perhaps that embryo would grow into a doctor/researcher that finds the cure for diabetes??
Please Please explain to me how they are destroying human lives? I would love to hear this nonsense response
Taking cells from already dead embryos doesn't constitute saying that we are taking human lives. Its not like oh hey you have a baby inside you lets kill it for stem cells, thats not how it works, not even close.
We grow cells in a dish in a lab, take the cells to apply for advance medince to help find a cure tons and tons of diseases, not to mention limb regrowth and giving people the chance to walk again, and even that approach is going away. We can now take human skill cells and turn them into stem cells for the same effect. Even when this first started we never killed a human life in order use stem cells, people like yourself really need to get educated.
It really pisses me off when comments like these is WHY we are not more advanced in science and medical technology. The majority of americans think this way to lack of education and need to realize in order to advance our society they're going have to get over it.
If it wasn't for the crusades back 2,000-5,000 years ago where everything science based was accounted as "the devil" and forbidden to be used/heard/read about, we would be much much much farther along in the world and it's the same views as yours which is causing the same effect today.
unfortunately, however, you cannot persuade people of the value of their own humanity, when you dismiss their intelligence so casually. The only way to get anyone to accept something they think is against their beliefs, is if you use those beliefs to rationalize the idea.
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