Thursday, April 12, 2007

Embryonic Stem Cell Research

I'm such a comment whore. Let's see what this post can garner me.

I've heard the arguments against embryonic stem cell research, and I just don't get it. Unlike many issues, where I'm able to at least see some of the other side, I can't for the life of me see the anti side here. Not a bit.

It seems so simple to me.

Couples go in for IVF. Six viable embryos are created. One gets implanted. THE REST GET THROWN OUT.

Thrown out. Disposed of. Flushed down. Washed away.

They're never going to develop into human life. Never ever ever ever.

So...

Scientists have the ability to pull a strand of cells out of the embryo (yes, the one that was going to be THROWN OUT), feed the cells and allow them to multiply. Later -- here's the crazy cool part, communicated in a way that I can understand -- those embryonic stem cells (because they are undifferentiated cells) have the ability to form ANY adult cell. Any. They can be turned into human tissue of any kind. This is big news in the fight against diseases like, oh, say cancer.

Hmm. Throw them out, or use them to potentially find cures for disease.

Tell me again why this is an issue, and why our fucking president is going to veto another bill?

30 comments:

Wiggy said...

Wow. Perhaps they can use the cells to regenerate skin tissue on burn patients?

That would be SO cool.

Emma said...

Unfortunately, I can't answer your question. I have no idea why this is an issue.

Nobody said...

I haven't seen the bill, but don't see an issue with the situation you've described.

Provided a.) the peeps the embryoes belong to give consent and b.) we're only using those particular embryoes and not, down the line, paying women the way we pay peeps to give blood, to remove/abort viable pregnancies in order to harvest embryoes or zygotes or some such.

I see these caveats as akin to organ donation being legal only when the organs are removed from dead and/or consenting bodies. Pro-choice peeps who don't see the possibility of a person until birth will probably approach that differently.

Paula said...

I agree with Nobody. Bush is being a fuckhead about this, as well as on so many other things.

Jeff K said...

I agree that the "donors" must give consent.

The removing/aborting viable pregnancies thing is not an issue, though misinformation seems to have made it one. You don't get embryonic stem cells from a fetus, you get them from fertilized embryos less than one week old.

Embryonic stem cell research has been falsely tied to abortion. Those are two entirely different issues that have nothing to do with each other.

Paticus said...

I don't get why this is an argument either, though I will say that they implant more than one embryo(that's how we ended up with twins !!)

O' Tim said...

How do you feel about the possibility of an industry that manufactures embryos specifically for stem cell harvest? It's a future to consider.

Jeff K said...

"How do you feel about the possibility of an industry that manufactures embryos specifically for stem cell harvest?"

I think that sounds like a fantastic idea for a movie!

Seriously, though, I personally do not have a problem with creating embryos specifically for the purpose of stem cell research.

Eden said...

Why? B/c Karl Rove told him to.

Joe the Troll said...

You're starting from an assumption that curing diseases is desireable. It is to most of us, but not the pharmaceutical companies. It is far more profitable to treat a disease over a long period of time than it is to cure it and let the patient go along on his/her merry way.

Now, what industry spends the MOST on lobbying efforts and campaign donations? You got it!

So, the pharms want to keep those incredible profits rolling in, and our "leaders" want to keep as much of that flowing their way as possible. Therefore, it behooves many of these people to invent some crap about how this is related to abortion, and in fact is the same. How many people actually question this stuff? Not enough. For many people, "researching an issue" means listening to what Rush says about it.

It's sad, but is there a more reasonable answer?

Jeff K said...

I'm questioning, baby. I'm questioning.

O' Tim said...

Kos, you must understand that by "a future to consider" I was referring to career opportunities, such as on the sperm production line.

"We need another 5 ml shot."

"Coming right up!"

I'll stop now.

Jeff K said...

LOL!

Paula said...

What, "LOL?" I thought this was going to create a 'fuffle. No one's even calling anyone fat. Check, please!

Jeff K said...

Yeah, that's right! Maybe I shoulda waited to put up the Vonnegut post. Maybe I can put this one on top of the Vonnegut post (sorry Kurt, but I gotta think about me, you know?).

Jeff K said...

Looks like I did it!

Bring me some controversy!

Sour Grapes said...

I think Paula's being a little selfish. Seems like the things people say are true, huh?

Natsthename said...

Because our fucking President is a fuckhead, that's why. And if anyone's going to tell us what we can/cannot do with our bodies or our cells, it's the gum'mint, stupid. Unless, of course, they have to chip in for it. Then it's our problem.

throckey said...

There you go again with your moral relativism. Look, either it's 100% okay to kill babies or it's 100% not okay to call Paula fat. Choose your side.

Joe the Troll said...

THis post shouldn't go over the Vonnegut post. No post should. You should start a new blog, as long as you're farting around with the templates anyway, and leave this blog as an eternal tribute to Kurt.

O' Tim said...

“I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you different.” - Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

Yep, you're toast, comment whore.

Don said...

Sorry, no time to read comments, just wanna say Bush should veto steam cell research because it conflicts with his fuel cell initiative and besides it is so 1880s. Y'know?

Cheezy said...

I think it's because one of the many groups Bush is beholden to (besides big oil and the Israelis) is the Bible Belt who, as a rule, don't give a shit about logic or utility or even people's happiness... they just care about what they think conforms to their little book. Neat, huh?

Or at least that was my theory until I read Joe's post on this thread. Scary... but quite possibly true.

PJ said...

I read this article last night and was steaming so bad my newspaper caught fire in my hands.

The short answer is, because Bush is too stupid to understand what embryos even are, let alone stem cells.

The alternate short answer is that Bush is so stupid that he equates embryos with fetuses and stem cell research with abortion. He's just such a knob.

venessa said...

"Embryonic stem cell research has been falsely tied to abortion. Those are two entirely different issues that have nothing to do with each other."

Aren't embryo's eggs that have been fertilized? (Having had 3 kids, you'd think I would know this for sure.) But if they are, than for a fundie that makes embryos babies, test tubes or otherwise. They have made their postition pretty clear: once an egg gets fertilized IT IS A BABY. That's what all the hullabaloo with Plan B was about, right? It MIGHT cause an implanted embryo to dislodge? (Not really, but that's how they spun the debate.)

I listened to the debate between a republican senator and democratic senator. The rep. said something like, "We shouldn't use embryos for stem cells for the same reason we don't use death row inmates for parts. Just because they are both going to die doesn't mean they don't have dignity." Apparently, embryos have dignity. Who knew? And I think Joe the Troll is onto something.

Anyway, I'm all about the stem cell research. Logically, it's hard to make an arguement against it imo.

Nobody said...

They have made their postition pretty clear: once an egg gets fertilized IT IS A BABY

Logically if there's a place to object here on the grounds of "fertilized egg = baby", it's not to using the stem cells, but to IVF in the first place. If you don't like the idea of those embryos not being used to make babies, they should't be lying around in the first place. But objecting to using their stem cells is kind of like objecting to terminating an ectopic pregnancy. The embryos are not, um, in a body. That's kind of a big obstacle. There's no way they can result in a viable pregnancy. That's why it strikes me as analagous to organ donation.

venessa said...

I completely agree with you Jen. I never understood why they are okay with IVF at all, knowing that the eggs will eventually be destroyed (or miscarried). I've always thought that the reason they didn't make an issue of IVF is because of the belief that all women should be mothers, I guess at all costs? I don't know.

Jeff K said...

Venessa, I heard the clip from that senator (think he was from Kansas) about "dignity" and about fell out of my car while driving it. Jen hit it on the head -- you cannot logically support IVF if you oppose embryonic stem cell research based on the embryos being "future children." Then again, logic isn't something I'd attribute to Bush or his ilk, so why am I surprised?

Paula said...

I think there are some on the right opposed to all "unnatural" forms of conception, but I doubt it would be a, um, viable political position.

Joe the Troll said...

Remember, this was the issue that got him nominated - and named - Asshole of the Year 2006!