Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Stem Cells

The recent flap involving Michael J. Fox supporting a Democrat that wants to expand stem cell research to hopefully cure Parkinson brings up some interesting questions.

Now, I'm for any stem cell research that doesn't involve cloning. Most people against fetal stem cell research points out that adult stem cells are doing the job nicely. Well, that's because they had a head start in research, but the cells aren't complete enough or hold enough information to be fully useful.

I saw a commercial featuring TV's Patricia Heaton talking about how poor women are selling their eggs for research and that the procedure is harmful to them. Where's this happening? I mean if a woman wants to sell her undeveloped eggs it should be her right. Does Ms. Heaton condemn menstrual periods? How far does her anti-choice agenda go? "Every sperm is sacred!" Let these women make money if that option is open to them, they were never going to be babies.

Now, I don't understand why it's preferable to dispose of abortions and miscarried fetuses without trying to do research to help lives. It's just waste.

However, the one main source of stem cell research would involve In vitro fertilization. This is the procedure people use to get pregnant through artificial means. It involves the fertilization of eggs from the woman and the blastocysts being preserved for potential use. It can involve hundreds of blastocyst samples. Now when the couple decide to have the babies they have the blastocysts placed in the uterus. The rest of them go .....Where? No one is expected to have a hundred babies,
so what do we do with the rest of the blastocysts?

Okay, you can figure out where I stand on that, but my question is where was the outrage at all this potential "abortions" happening when people were lauding In vitro fertilization in the first place? Have you ever heard of bomb threat at In vitro fertilization clinics? There was some controversy over the first test tube baby but that was a "Frankenstein" thing. Do the opponents of fetal stem cell research think that all the blastocysts will find a womb to be placed?

I don't expect there to be a cure for Parkinson in Michael J. Fox's lifetime, science can be slow but I think we should make use of what is available to use. If someone who has a collection of blastocysts doesn't want the scientist to touch them that is their right. But don't prevent those who do want to donate the blastocysts to scientists

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