Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Not satisfied with simply peeking into Pandora's box, this week President Obama decided to go ahead and rip the lid off of it in yet another decision designed to show how sophisticated and compassionate he is compared to the evil President Bush. Yes, I'm talking about stem cell research. Part of the problem with this particular issue is the mass-lack of education of the people on the topic. So here is a very basic tutorial to bring you up to speed.

Stem cells are like the building blocks that our bodies are made of. As technology advances, it is hoped that these cells can be programmed to regenerate faulty organs or even entire nervous systems. It is believed that the cures for cancer and even AIDs will be found via stem cell research. For the record, I believe this myself.

So, what's the problem? Well, there's a little problem with how you go about getting these stem cells. Stem cells can be found in more than one place. They can be found in living adult bodies by taking samples of skin tissue or even bone marrow, without harm to the donor of course. These are known as "adult stem cells". They can also be found in the blood found in the discarded umbilical cords of newborn babies, also without harm to the donor. These are known as "cord blood stem cells". Sounds pretty cool so far...right? Now for the controversial part.
Another place these cells can be found are in human embryos. These cells are called "embryonic stem cells". For those of you who slept through biology class, an embryo is a person in his/her earliest stages of life. Yes, I said "person". An embryo is not going to grow to become a tree, a toaster, or an I-pod. It's going to grow to become a person, assuming there are no complications in development.
At this point, the un-informed (liberals) might assume the stem cell controversy is just another case of "Bible thumpers" trying to define when life actually starts. Though that is an issue, it's not the issue...at least not for me. My issue is what I call "people farming".

A few years ago, there was a moderately successful movie that starred Ewen McGregor and Scarlett Johansson called "The Island". The premise was that there was a corporation who's clients would supply them with DNA in order for them to grow, stock and "maintain" identical twins for later use as organ donors, according to the need of that client. These "donors" are kept alive in a facility and completely unaware of their purpose thanks to an elaborate system of lies and facades controlled by the corporation. As you can imagine, the corporation falls apart when the truth is discovered after the escape of Ewen and Scarlett's characters.
It was early into this movie when I realized that Hollywood had inadvertently provided us with a brilliant case against the use of embryonic stem cells. Though the "big screen" version of the consequences of treating people as parts bins may be a tad exaggerated, it does vividly force you to consider the ethics of such a thing.

I would like to think that there are not people out there who would look at embryonic stem cell research as a way to make a fast buck...but I know better. I would like to think that there will be no pharmaceutical companies that will offer money for embryos, or women willing to accept such offers...but I know better.

Now that we have decided that embryos are little more than "raw material" to be used at our disposal, I have to wonder what the next step will be. Where will the line be moved to next? Fetuses? Infants? Toddlers? Teens? At what next point do we decide that a person is too old to be used as a guinea pig under the false premise of "the greater good" or "science"? Who will get the honor of making that decision?

Also, keep in mind that it is only the media and leftist politicians who imply that conservatives are against all forms of stem cell research. Truth be told, we are for stem cell research, just not the type that requires the death of another person.