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Embryonic vs. Adult Stem Cell Research

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Rin Kise

on 14 January 2014

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Transcript of Embryonic vs. Adult Stem Cell Research

Ethical Implications
Stem Cell
stem cells taken from embryos fertilized "in vitro" (fertilized in a lab) and donated for research.
embryos are NOT derived from eggs fertilized in a woman's body.
when they are 3 to 5 years old, they are called pluripotent stem cells, which is the division of the cell into more stem cells or can become any type of cell in the body.
Adult Stem Cell
also called as somatic stem cells, have the same characteristics as other stem cells
an unspecialized cell with the ability to: have long term renewal, and differentiate into other types of cells (specialized cell)
key functions are: to maintain and repair tissues in their original environment
the procedure used for these differentiation is: in some cases, injected into the blood, which then find their way to their location, or injected directly into the organ or tissue that is in need
researchers have discovered adult stem cells in more tissues that what they originally hypothesized
stem cells are required in large quantities, but its production does not allow it. The amount of times it reproduces is limited. To overcome this obstacle,many researches are going on.
have the potential to become the root of therapies in most common and serious diseases
have the potential to renew trillions of specialized cells from just a few adult stem cells
does not require the destruction of an embryo
does not have the same immunological challenges because they are harvested from an adult patient - the person is less likely to reject the stem cell because they are compatible with that person's physiological makeup
have been used as treatment for over 40 years and have produced numerous positive results
Embryonic vs. Adult
Stem Cell Research

Scripture Reference
Exodus 20:13: “You shall not murder [the intentional, predatory killing of another]” - embryonic stem cell research completely violates the word of God for it takes the life of a living organism. Christians believe life happens after conception and despite the embryo not having the resemblance to a living human being, it is still recognized as a living organism created by God.
Romans 3:8 And why not say, “Let us do evil that good may come”?—as we are slanderously reported and as some affirm that we say. Their condemnation is just. The Bible prohibits the act of evil means to accomplish good ends. Though embryonic stem cell research is a step to providing help for the greater good, the lives taken must not be overlooked. Therefore murder is not justified in this case.

Course Connection
morality - despite the evil means of embryonic stem cell research, its ultimate end is to provide potential cures to diseases - a prospect for the common good.
universal (natural) law - it is expressed in terms of two great moral values: respect and responsibility. Respect shows regard or worth to something or someone - something embryonic stem cell research fails to exhibit. Embryos are vulnerable life organisms and because of the lack of respect given by embryonic stem cell research, their needs such as being nurtured to life is taken from them.
Kohlberg's Pyramid of Stages - Stage 1: Reward/Punishment - because the end result for embryonic stem cell research is for the common good, the murder of life is overlooked and is viewed as justified. Because it is viewed as good, it is determined to be right.
Stem Cells
the source of all bodily tissues, which acts as a potential renewable source for replacement cells allowing treatment to a wide range of diseases and disabilities. (diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, neurological diseases, blood disease, etc.)
provides a source for nurturing and maintaining cells in the laboratory.
used as a basis for development of anti-cancer therapies.
Different Types
provide cure for diseases such as heart disease and diabetes, as well as cancer
can develop into any type of specialized cell
improve the safety of drugs
how embryonic stem cells differentiate and proliferate - producing huge numbers of specialized cells to replace damaged cells
researchers can learn exactly what happens at a normal health development, which can help the have a better understanding of the disease that later comes
destruction of an embryo that has the potential to become a live organism
immune rejections, the patients immune system rejects the healthy embryo
can cause tumors or cancer development
no cure have been produced from the use of embryonic stem cells
ethical, and an essential step to make advances in biomedical research to treat diseases
all embryonic stem cells come from fertility clinics in excess and if not donated, it will only be destroyed. It is believed that donating them for research for potential cures for diseases is a respectful way in treating embryos
gravely immoral and unnecessary
rejects embryonic stem cells solidly for it threatens and disrespects human life
no commitment to greater good can outweigh the murder of innocent lives
completely rebukes human rights
embryonic stem cell research is a step to human cloning - another ethical debate between secular and religious views
Embryonic Stem Cell
Basis of Opposition:
On August 25, 2000, the Pontifical Academy for Life released a document entitled “Declaration on the Production and the Scientific and Therapeutic Use of Human Embryonic Stem Cells,” which summarizes the reasons why the Catholic Church opposes ESCR.

1. The preparation of embryonic stem cells happens with the destruction of the living embryo, which the Church teaches is a gravely immoral act.

2. Some scientists have used cloning to produce embryos in order to harvest stem cells which the embryo is not created. The Church recognizes that they, too, are alive, and their destruction is gravely immoral.

3. The Church opposes the use of embryonic stem cell lines that already exist for the same reason that those lines began with the destruction of innocent human life.
It doesn’t matter about the scientific advances made by ESCR; the Church teaches that we can never do evil, even if good may come of it, and there is no way to obtain embryonic stem cells without destroying innocent human life.

CHURCH TEACHINGS: Embryonic Stem Cells and Cloning
[2275] It is immoral to produce human embryos intended for exploitation as disposable biological material.

Certain attempts to influence genetic inheritance are not therapeutic but are mainly on selecting predetermined qualities for the human being. This manipulates the personal identity and integrity which are unique and unrepeatable.

[2295] Research or experimentation on the human being cannot legitimate acts that are in themselves contrary to the dignity of persons and to the moral law.
Embryonic Stem Cell Research
Not Ethical
essential field to pursue to make key advances in biomedical research to treat diseases effectively where there are currently no cures
made tremendous progress to effectively produce many different cell types from human embryonic stem cells
blood stem cell are limited to treating only narrow range of disease
it is not just a collection of cells anymore than an adult human is a collection of cells
newer technologies exist that allow creation of identical embryonic-type stem cells without the use of embryos
it wastes resources that be more prudently spent
it will be decades at best before embryonic stem cells might possibly be used for patients
Catholic Church support for Non-embryonic stem cell research
Catholic church has publicly supported adult and umbilical cord stem-cell research and church leaders were among the first to applaud the discovery of amniotic stem cells
Catholic Church opposition to Embryonic Stem-cell research
The church has opposed research on embryonic stem cell, however. Several years now,scientist have called for greater research on ESC, because they believe that ESC exhibit greater pluripotency (ability to divide into different types of cells) than adult stem cells
only present in miniscule quantities presenting a difficulty in identifying and isolating the cells sufficient enough to use them therapeutically
the self-renewal is still uncertain
cannot be grown in the lab for long periods of time
they contain more DNA abnormalities because of their old age - abnormalities caused by the environment, toxins, or errors in DNA replication.
Ethical Implications
Secular and Religious
In fact, the Church supports adult stem cell research for it does not threaten or disrespect the life of a living organism.
More than 60% of the population would fund for ASCs rather than ESCs.
CCC Reference
2258 "Human life is sacred because from its beginning it involves the creative action of God and it remains forever in a special relationship with the Creator, who is its sole end. God alone is the Lord of life from its beginning until its end: no one can under any circumstance claim for himself the right directly to destroy an innocent human being."
Only God has the ability to create and destroy life. The life he creates cannot be at any circumstance be destroyed by another. Adult stem cells leads to no life being destroyed and gives God the only ability to destroy life.
Course Content Connection
morality - the means of adult stem cell research responds to the ethics of being and doing: following the model of Christ and performing acts done with good motives and intentions as well as responding with love. To do an act of good all the while knowing which is right and wrong.
universal (natural law) - paying respect and recognizing the worth of something or someone and taking responsibility of the consequences.
Kohlberg's Pyramid of Stages - Stages 5 and 6 - society comes together recognizing the good in which the act will result to as well as doing the act with pure intentions to help those in need, having good means and not threatening the safety of others.
adult stem cell research exhibits all ethically moral characteristics and is hereby the best choice of treatment.
Pope Benedict XVI
In science two faces of humanity must be considered: the sustained ingenuity invested in research and through the benefit of all who are affected by sickness.
Progress becomes progress when it serves the common good when one grows: not only in terms of technical but also in moral awareness.
Adult or somatic stem cell research is given approval and encouragement for it combines scientific advancement as well as ethics exhibiting respect for human life. As well as being a key to potential cures for diseases plaguing human life.
The Catholic church is not and will not be in service of research which does not truly service humanity (embryonic stem cell research).
No one can dispose of human life, a limit to the possibilities of doing and experimenting must be established to maintain balance between secularism and religious views. Every single human being represents God's presence in the world.
A good result can never justify the evil means done to achieve the goal. Fundamental rights must always come first before any advancement should be done.

Prayer for Life
O God, our Creator, all life is in your hands from conception until death. Help us to cherish our children and to reverence the awesome privilege of our share in creation. May all people live and die in dignity and love. Bless all those who defend the rights of the unborn, the handicapped and the aged. Enlighten and be merciful toward those who fail to love, and give them peace. Let freedom be tempered by responsibility, integrity and morality.
where: Johns Hopkins University
What: patients give Pluripotent stem cells research (iPSCs) "board endorsement
When: January 6th,
Why:This research has personal benefits for the patient. unlike embryonic stem cells, iPSCs don't destroy the human embryo. the report indicates that the opinions that were expressed by patients may be influenced by their health, and whether or not they have personal experience with a debilitating illness, as some of the participants did.
Some patients commented about this research.
"It seems fair to say that everyone experiences serious illness in their lives, whether themselves or through someone they know and care about, and this influences their opinions of healthcare and research," Sugarman says. "This study is a first step in getting crucial information about what values are factored into a decision to participate in iPSC research, and what those participants expect from the experience."
News Article
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