Friday, March 30, 2001

Straight thoughts 65

March 30th, 2001

Stem cell research is fascinating. Especially if we can find a way to trigger those stem cells present in any organ to do the job of re-generating that organ. This research may eventually lead to regenerating organs instead of transplanting them. Rejection of foreign tissue would not be a problem. In the case of the brain, ethical questions about "brain transplant" would not occur. If a brain with a disease such as Alzheimer could be helped to regenerate itself, then the patient could perhaps live a normal life.

However, because of the complete disregard that society seems to have for the recognition and protection of human life before birth, many doctors an people do not know where to draw the line. Which is fascinating research and which is unethical activity?

Since stem cells are found in the human body at any age, we can use the golden rule, once again, as our measure: We cannot do to other human beings what we would not do to ourselves. In my definition, unborn infants and embryos are human beings.

If stem cell research can be done without injuring, violating, abusing or killing a human donor, then it is a helpful technology. However, if scientist in the process of using this technology trample on the life, the well-being or the dignity of other human beings, then their research is equivalent to Dr. Mengele's "research".