Monday, January 08, 2007

Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Embryonic stem cell research may be one of those issues that generates much discussion during the 2008 presidential campaign. President Bush has eliminated federal funding for new research which would arise from the destruction of embryos. I look for the democratic congress to try to reinstate this funding. As a Christian, I see the morality and ethics of this discussion as black and white. An embryo is a living creature created by God and should not be destroyed by man for research purposes. But, I also see those on the other side who are simply trying to find cures for diseases through stem cell research. This is unlike the argument over abortions where an unborn child is destroyed simply because it isn't wanted. And like the argument over abortion, the lines on the stem cell debate are bitterly drawn. Just look at the senate race in Missouri last fall where actor Michael J. Fox appeared in T.V. ads seeking support for the democratic candidate because she supports stem cell research.

One of the leading voices in bio-ethics is Robert P. George. If you would like to get caught up on the debate on stem cell research, then you can read this interview with George and other things he has written.

The reason I bring this up is because hopefully science will discover avenues to providing cures other than through embryonic stem cell research. Are there possibilities other than the destruction of embryos? There is a report that came out yesterday that provides hope in this area. Researchers have found a stem cell source in amniotic fluid. That sounds promising. If science can provide the same results without destroying embryos, then that should eliminate the ethical and moral debate over this issue.

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