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another step down the slippery slope...(11 posts)

another step down the slippery slope...ClydeTri
Dec 11, 2002 7:37 AM
The below is quoted off the web.... where does it stop? Creating clone babys to kill them and use their cells in research? Will people be able to clone themselves and sell off the body parts? To whom does a clone belong, to the original DNA donor? This is becoming to reminiscient of things occuring in Germany in the 30s and 40s. While the intent seems altruistic, it is a slippery slope we have embarked on. Is human life not sacred? (something to remember as you read below..what will be happening is they will be creating embryos (fetuses, babies, etc) then killing them to get their stem cells.

Stanford Reveals Human Embryo Clone Plan
Stanford University Announces Intentions to Clone Human Embryos

The Associated Press
S A N F R A N C I S C O, Dec. 10 — Stanford University announced Tuesday its intention to clone human embryos, becoming the first U.S. university to publicly embrace the politically charged procedure.

The intent of the project is to produce stem cells for medical research.

The stem cell work will be part of the new Institute for Cancer/Stem Cell Biology and Medicine, launched with a $12 million anonymous donation to the school. Much of the institute's research will be geared to treating cancer. Any stem cells created will be shared with outside researchers, many of whom complain of inadequate access to currently available stem cell lines.

Dr. Irving Weissman, an outspoken stem cell research proponent, was named institute director.

Weissman, serving as chairman of a National Academy of Sciences panel, testified before the U.S. Senate this year in favor of cloning human embryos as a supply source for stem cells.

Copyright 2002 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Not worried...Wayne
Dec 11, 2002 8:26 AM
we live in times where most societies (especially in the "west") are more conscientious about human suffering, etc. than probably at any point in history. I really doubt you're going to see babies being grown for organ harvest.

It's sad that you don't see these efforts as necessary steps that could yield gains in medicine that to date have not been able to help fully self-conscious human beings and their families suffering from often horrible progressive diseases with no hope of a cure (Do you know anybody with ALS, mad cow disease, how about a spinal cord injury?).

An embryo, has a specific definition, it is not a fetus, it is not a baby. If I remember my biology, it is the stage from about 1 to 8 weeks. I don't think the technology is avaible to "grow" an embryo up to 8 weeks, I suspect the stem cells will be harvested as early as possible. For the early part of that 8 weeks there isn't even an organized brain of any kind so there's no need to worry about the embryo suffering, etc. Really the only objections to this type of research come on religious grounds (namely believing that an individual has a soul that is established at conception thereby granting "sanctity" to human life per se, rather than basing the "sanctity" of human life on the self-conscious awareness of the individual or at least the potential/rudimentary ability for self-conscious awareness that a late-term fetus and baby display).
facts, facts, factsmohair_chair
Dec 11, 2002 8:27 AM

Stanford University Medical Center is not engaged in human reproductive cloning. A story published Dec. 10 by the Associated Press incorrectly characterized the nature of research that would take place at the newly announced Institute for Cancer/Stem Cell Biology and Medicine at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Creating human stem cell lines is not equivalent to reproductive cloning. The first step in the process of creating a stem cell line involves transferring the nucleus from a cell to an egg and allowing the egg to divide. This is the same first step as in reproductive cloning. However in creating a stem cell line, cells are removed from the developing cluster. These cells can go on to form many types of tissues, but cannot on their own develop into a human. Future research in this field, which will also be pursued at Stanford, will attempt to produce stem cell lines by transferring the nucleus into other embryonic stem cells rather than into eggs.
Dec 11, 2002 8:41 AM
looks like I was defending something that doesn't even need to be defended!
facts, facts, factsSintesi
Dec 11, 2002 8:50 AM
I thought the government limited stem cell research to existing strains (incorrect word?) and prohibited the creation of new stem cells. Did Stanford already have this stem cell stuff?

Some people get itchy just when talking about human tissue used in research let alone actual human beings. At some point tho this is going to get pretty weird, like when they start growing eyes and replacement organs in a vat of goo. Much of this unending debate is purely visceral as opposed to philosophical or religious convictions. I mean, let's say someone figures out a way to grow organic blood in large quantities, I don't think the reaction would be strongly against. The need is huge, the benefits immediate, and blood isn't terribly anthropomorphic. But if this guy started growing hundreds of replacement arms and feet I think most people would freak.

If the tissue doesn't look human (like a fetus) then the less prone people are to be against its use.
Not reproductive cloningTurtleherder
Dec 11, 2002 8:39 AM
The Associated Press article left out an important part of the process. The cells that are being cloned are pre-cancerous cells. Basically they are making a supply of cancer cells for study to provide a potential cure. It has nothing to do with cloning people.
Answer to Question No. 1: Human life is NOT sacred.cory
Dec 11, 2002 8:40 AM
I've just had a discussion about that with a guy who wanted me to write a newspaper column condemning the Stanford research because "human life is sacred." Two weeks ago he called to complain because I'd said we might not be justified in killing innocent people in Iraq. I don't see how he can have it both ways.
There's an argument to be made about the point at which a clump of cells becomes a human being, and I don't even pretend to know the answer. Still, we accept the loss of human life for causes ranging from smoking to high-fat diets to fighting bicycle helmet laws to cutting health and safety regulation enforcement in the name of freedom and increased profit. The Bush administration and other "pro-business" groups want to consider the cost vs. benefit of air and water pollution regulations--if it costs too much to save a life, then the regulations aren't justified even though people will die. Any lawyer or insurance agent can tell you to the dollar what a human life is worth, and I guarantee the word "sacred" won't come up.
Good post. Points to the inherent hypocrisy in oureyebob
Dec 11, 2002 9:16 AM
way of life. Just like way back when (the late 70's) when auto makers resisted the idea of manditory airbags because of the idea that it'd cost too much despite the obvious safety benefits.

As for the Bush example, I would say that all presidents and lawmakers make this same decision, so don't stick your head in the sand and remain blind to the fact that Demo's, Repubs, and Libertarians all would make these same choices. It's just that some would set the bar higher than others as it were.

Is the original poster a bit daft or what? Where in that press release did it mention killing babies?

Several points...ClydeTri
Dec 11, 2002 10:26 AM
) ban except on existing stem cell lines inacted by Bush is on research on government pay for it, you can do what you want.
2) the article clearly said embryo's....which to many people including me, is the same as fetus, baby,etc
3) article may be supersceded by above info
4)Intent of my post is that when you start opening boxes, you may find they are Pandora's boxes...
Bush admin says a life is worth $3.7 million, down from $6.1 milcory
Dec 11, 2002 11:38 AM
After I posted my previous note, I saw a news story that said the EPA has changed the value of a human life for purposes of figuring cost/benefit of safety and environmental regulations. The Clinton EPA used $6.1 million, but under Whitman they've changed the formula so a life is worth $3.7 million, or $2.3 million if you're 70 or over. That reduces the dollar benefit of regulations, so it's easier to argue that they're not cost effective.
Jesus, these people are COLD.
stock market crash hurt everyone, huh? nmDougSloan
Dec 11, 2002 11:43 AM