Embryos are fully human and deserve to be given all the rights inherent in personhood. This premise has been validated both biblically and scientifically (see Thompson and Harrub, 2001). Those in the scientific and medical communities who are pushing for expanding efforts in embryonic stem-cell research believe that human embryos should be created and destroyed for the sole purpose of harvesting the lines of embryonic stem cells they contain. In an effort to convince the masses that such barbaric injustice against human embryos is ethically permissible, embryonic stem-cell research supporters insist that research using embryonic stem cells will yield cures for a host of diseases.
Yet for all the potential that embryonic stem-cell research supposedly maintains, research and treatments using adult stems cells, in which human embryos are not murdered, has yielded far superior results (see Harrub, 2006). The latest research continues to provide promising stem-cell research options that do not result in the deaths of human embryos.
In the June 18 edition of Newsweek, Mary Carmichael reported on recent stem-cell research done with mice. She said: “Scientists revealed on Wednesday a new technique for bestowing all the flexibility of embryonic stem cells on mature skin cells in mice—an approach that could revolutionize medicine without the destruction of embryos” (2007, 149:14). Concerning the newly discovered abilities of adult mice cells, Carmichael wrote that “scientists were ecstatic about the quasi-embryonic cells they’d created” (p. 14). In the brief, two-column article, Carmichael cited two other studies, reported in January and April of this year, that offered alternatives to embryonic stem-cell research.
We must understand that even if embryonic stem-cell treatments offered the world a panacea for all illnesses, it still would be immoral and unethical to destroy human embryos (Proverbs 6:16-19). Similarly, it never would be acceptable to kill five-year-old children to harvest their organs so that others might live. But, the truth of the matter is, embryonic stem-cell research holds less promise than research being done with adult stem cells, a fact that is underscored by the latest findings reported in Newsweek. As the scientific and medical communities attempt to bulldoze their way through moral boundaries established by God, we, as Christians, must be aware of the issues and take a stand for the rights of all humans, including those who are still in their first stages of life.
Carmichael, Mary (2007), “An End to Debate or ‘Déjà Vu,’” Newsweek, 149:14.
Harrub, Brad (2006), “False Marketing of Embryonic Stem Cells,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2976.
Thompson, Bert and Brad Harrub (2001), “Human Cloning and Stem-Cell Research—Science’s Slippery Slope,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2877.
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