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Reaction to Carolyn Abraham's piece
Monday, August 20, 2001

The following are some reactions to the story and their thoughts stem cell research.

Yes Yes Yes. God gave us the brains to conduct research, why not use God given gifts to help God's people.
Carruthers R.

Absolutely yes, in a big way but I have a question for the experts. Why not clone one embryo and get all the stem cells needed instead of waiting for abortions and getting into that issue at all? Religion has dominated society long enough, its time for science to take over. All wars and most serious political problems are religious based. Lets get rid of it.

I'm in favour of further research into stem cells and the use of discarded embyro's but when I allow my brain to wonder aimlessly I wonder why nature hasn't made use of these morph like cells, say when a child is involved in an accident and lose's an eye or a limb why doesn't nature make use of the cells within the child's body to replace the damaged organs just like that of the starfish when he lose's a limb? I wonder if we just haven't learn't to do that yet!

If these embryos would, in any event, be wasted, as, for example, after artificially induced abortion (therapeutic), or surplus embryos resulting from fertility induction, I would foresee no problem. I cannot imagine any woman having an abortion solely for purposes of producing a waste embryo or even for the harvest of stem cells. Many hundreds of thousands of aborted embryos and/or foetuses result from unwanted and thus terminated pregnancies. These should provide a good and continuing source of stem cells. As time and science progress, as we can see from C. Abraham's story, the need to reap stem cells solely from embryos should diminish. I would pray that the day arises when no unwanted pregnancies will occur and that, therefore, non-spontaneous abortions will also cease to occur.
bosworth, sl

No, embryos should not be used for stem cell research. Is killing another person to save one's life moral and ethical? No. This theory applies the same to embryos in stem cell research. Not only is this unfair to unborn life, but the scientists themselves are trying to play 'God'. Also, no one knows for sure what effects this stem cell research (i.e. pro-long life) will have overall on the evolution of life on earth.

We often hear about a new breakthrough in some disease and that it will often take a "decade" or so before progress can be seen. The story then dries up and we never hear about it again. Stem cell research is only a continuation of politics by other means. The multi-billion dollar drug and pharmaceutical syndicates will only allow certain medicines on the market that will drive up the price of their stock. With billions of shares of stock and product at record high prices in existing medications, it will be very difficult for breakthroughs to come about. Only the naive will believe that cures for cancer, AIDS, diabetes, Alzheimer's, heart conditions and other medical conditions of a life threatening nature will be found. The existing BUSINESS of medicine will dictate what we get and with an increasingly aging population, business is very good at the moment. Adding to the fact that every human metabolism is different and the added nuisances of hearing in 1950 that cancer would be cured by he end of the century only add to the cynicism of people who have lost countless family members and friends to some diseases which are preventable.

Humanity is engineered to pursue the outer limits of its grasp. In this instance, embryo research is key to that matrix. Ethical concerns may be debated during the process but consensus will be formed after the fact.

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