President flip flops on non destructive stem cell research. - page 2

is the president a divider or a decider? :wakeneo: from mother jones: "i'm disappointed that congress failed to pass another bill that would have promoted good research...it would have... Read More

  1. by   cardiacRN2006
    Well, the difference is that these subjects will be destroyed as a result.

    I'm pretty torn on this topic. On one hand, there are about 500,000 embies in storage out there doing nothing but waiting. For a lot of these families, they will never be used again. Since you try to induce 'super ovulation' to increase your chances, more eggs are produced than needed (for some). I really like the idea of 'snoflake adoption', but since adoption is such a hard process, it's isn't covering the excess embies out there. On the other hand, I can understand the feeling a family must feel towards what they see as a baby. Since these embies all came from couple dealing with infertility, it's hard to not see the years of stress, pain, sadness, and money associated with them. It's hard to let go...

    So I'd rather see these embies-who aren't getting adopted or used- go towards research than just be thawed and washed down the sink. I would see it as organ donation. Of course, I don't have an embies of my own (yet), so it's hard when you haven't been there.
  2. by   elkpark
    Quote from cardiacRN2006
    Well, the difference is that these subjects will be destroyed as a result.
    Not trying to be argumentative here, but the original point of this thread is discussing the newly announced technique (admittedly in the earliest stages of development) which doesn't destroy the embryos. The point of the OP was that Shrub originally made v. clear that he opposes ESCR that destroys embryos in order to isolate the stem cells but would be delighted to embrace research that produced stem cells without destroying embryos and fund efforts in that direction. Now, (early) development of just such a technique has been announced and, oops, wait a minute, the White House still has significant (but vague, unspecified) concerns. The later post to which I was responding made the point that Shrub wasn't being inconsistent because he believes that "using a human as part of research" is "immoral."

    I was simply asking for further clarification because it seems to me that, if that were the standard, that using an embryo that would not be destroyed (or harmed) for research would be immoral purely because the embryo is "human", then it follows, using the same reasoning, that any research on any human subjects would be "immoral." Of course, if that were really Shrub's position, he'd be attempting to outlaw federal funding of any kind of medical research using human subjects, and so far (thank goodness) he hasn't tried that.

    Of course, I can sympathize with the difficult position he's in -- on more complicated issues, like this one, it can be really hard to figure out what position will best pander to your base ...
  3. by   Josh L.Ac.
    Quote from elkpark
    But, if that were the ethical standard ("using a human as part of research" is "immoral"), then it would never be ethically acceptable to do research on any human subjects -- ???

    The difference is informed consent.



    Or at least I think that is the proper rebuttal. I need to get back to studying...
  4. by   elkpark
    Quote from Josh L.Ac.
    The difference is informed consent.
    Or at least I think that is the proper rebuttal. I need to get back to studying...
    Okay, that's a different matter that wasn't mentioned earlier. However, legally, children can't give consent, informed or otherwise, and it is their parents (or other legal guardians) who give or withhold consent. The same would be true with the clumps of cells we're talking about -- the adults who own them would be the individuals who would give or withhold consent for them to "participate" in research.
  5. by   HM2VikingRN
    What was interesting abou the research was that it involved removing a single cell (blastomere sp?) while allowing the rest of the embryo to develop. Somehow I find it difficult to equate a single cell sample as harming human life. What I found interesting in the NYT article was the opposition of the Catholic church to assisted reproduction. In many ways I think that the flip flop represented the viewpoint of the President pandering to his base rather than trying to find a way to advance medical research.
  6. by   CarVsTree
    Quote from elkpark
    Not trying to be argumentative here, but the original point of this thread is discussing the newly announced technique (admittedly in the earliest stages of development) which doesn't destroy the embryos.
    The newly announced technique is a proposed technique which seeks to not destroy embryos, that doesn't mean there is no risk of destruction of said embryos. If they manipulate the embryos, than there is a risk of destruction.
  7. by   Josh L.Ac.
    Quote from elkpark
    Okay, that's a different matter that wasn't mentioned earlier. However, legally, children can't give consent, informed or otherwise, and it is their parents (or other legal guardians) who give or withhold consent. The same would be true with the clumps of cells we're talking about -- the adults who own them would be the individuals who would give or withhold consent for them to "participate" in research.

    Well there's the rub. As I learned it in medical ethics, the requirements for positive gain need to be much higher if a parent is giving proxy consent for their offspring. If the blastocyst is considered a "human person", then the parents cannot give consent to research that will result in the blastocyst's destruction.

    If the new technique does not destroy the blastocyst but is a great risk to harm it, then it probably would not be ethical.

    If it does not...hmm...
  8. by   HM2VikingRN
    i am sorry but i just don't buy the idea that a conceptus is a human person. 60-80% of fertilized eggs fail to develop or implant in the uterus beyond 7 days post conception.

    prof. sandel: thank you. i have two questions about the rate of natural embryo loss in human beings. the first is what percent of fertilized eggs fail to implant or are otherwise lost? and the second question is is it the case that all of these lost embryos contain genetic defects that would have prevented their normal development and birth?
    dr. opitz: the answer to your first question is that it is enormous. estimates range all the way from 60 percent to 80 percent of the very earliest stages, cleavage stages, for example, that are lost.
  9. by   Josh L.Ac.
    Quote from hm2viking
    i am sorry but i just don't buy the idea that a conceptus is a human person. 60-80% of fertilized eggs fail to develop or implant in the uterus beyond 7 days post conception.

    prof. sandel: thank you. i have two questions about the rate of natural embryo loss in human beings. the first is what percent of fertilized eggs fail to implant or are otherwise lost? and the second question is is it the case that all of these lost embryos contain genetic defects that would have prevented their normal development and birth?
    dr. opitz: the answer to your first question is that it is enormous. estimates range all the way from 60 percent to 80 percent of the very earliest stages, cleavage stages, for example, that are lost.

    it is much easier to tackle if you are using some sort of religious dogma to say if a blastocyst has a soul or not...

    i used to love the probability viewpoint on what makes a human a person, but can breakdown if analyzed by applying it to different cases. for example, if a person has a disease and only has a 20% chance of living, are they still a person? if we use the probability definition, then it could be applied to anyone with a poor prognosis.

    it might be a failing of mine, but sometimes i like to have an ethical principle that can be applied universally, across the board, without modification or explaination of context. this is quite odd, considering i tend to have a very relativistic view of the world...

    but the genetic / biological definition can be universally applied. if it is a human, then it is wrong to exploit them, regardless of the outcome or situation. it does't matter their race, gender, sexual preference, mental status, economic status, world view, religion, preference for fine beers, whatever.

    although it is possible that i've missed something...

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