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Arkanabar's Blog of Eclectic Rants
Sunday, 14 January 2007

Topic: right to life

There was an episode of "Star Trek:  Enterprise" on Monday night -- I don't know which, doubtless some Trekker can identify it -- where the Enterprise encountered an alien derelict.  The derelict had been disabled in battle, and then its crew was murdered so that "triglobulin" (a McGuffin with assorted medically useful properties) could be harvested from their bodies.  This act was regarded as monstrous and criminal.

As is usually the case, the obvious parallel didn't strike me for some time. But here it is:  we are doing the very same thing -- killing people for medical resources.  But we call it "embryonic and fetal stem cell research."

Not only is it morally repugnant, but it's also a giant money pit.  As yet, all promising stem cell therapies use adult or umbilical cord blood stem cells.  And it's just been announced that stem cells can also be recovered from amniotic fluid.  But the E/FSCR promoters say that none of these therapies, which do not require the deaths of unborn innocents, are a substitute for E/F SCR.  And they are right.

Using adult stem cells, cord blood stem cells, or amniotic stem cells, would be a procedure.  They are all done as one-offs by the doctors who use them.  They are not readily given over to mass production.

Embryonic stem cells, on the other hand, are.  It's mass production that brings mass profits.  All it takes is that we blind ourselves to the fact that we would be making, growing, and slaughtering unborn innocents just the same as if they were steers, hogs, or chickens. 


Posted by arkanabar at 6:01 PM EST

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