Bioethics

An Immoral Proposal: A Case Against Embryonic Stem Cell Research (Part 2)

Read Part 1.

Why Should We Oppose Embryonic Stem Cell Research?

Opponents to embryonic stem cell research usually present four arguments against it. I’d like to survey these four arguments and then add a fifth.

1. Its funding is illegal.

According to legislation written both in 1975 and again in 1995, federal funds may not be used to support “research in which a human embryo or embryos are destroyed, discarded, or knowingly subjected to risk of injury or death.9 Those who advocate the research argue that the federal ban only applies to the destruction of the embryo, not to the research of its stem cells. Therefore, while federal funds may not be used for the actual destruction of the embryos, they may be used for research on the stem cells of the destroyed embryo. But is it possible to separate the research that requires the destruction of embryos from the actual destruction itself? I don’t think so. I believe it’s correct to say that according to current law, the funding of embryonic stem cell research is prohibited.

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An Immoral Proposal: A Case Against Embryonic Stem Cell Research (Part 1)

Human embryonic stem cells.

In the eighteenth century, an Irish minister by the name of Jonathan Swift wrote a powerful satire, entitled, “A Modest Proposal.” In the most serious language, Swift suggested that Irish babies be sold for food, and that their skin be used as a kind of soft leather. As a result, there would be fewer mouths to feed, more food to go around, and a new industry that would create many jobs. This was his ‘modest’ proposal. In reality, Swift did not intend what he was recommending. Actually, he was attacking a common philosophy of the day, called “utilitarianism.” This philosophy taught that “the ends justify the means.” A moral act can be justified if gives the greatest benefit to the greatest number of people. Swift’s purpose in offering a ‘modest’ proposal was to show people just how far utilitarian philosophy would lead them if they followed it through to its logical conclusion.

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The Point: New Canadian Law Denies Some People Exist

"The lack of science behind this law is staggering.... there’s not a single study showing harm from so-called 'transgender conversion therapy.' It could, in fact, be desperately needed, since up to 80 percent of minors with gender dysphoria will desist at puberty." - Breakpoint

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Over 100 Christian colleges have ties to Planned Parenthood: report

"The Institute for Pro-Life Advancement, a project of the pro-life group Students for Life of America....analyzed all 784 colleges and universities in the U.S. that are affiliated with a Christian church, finding that 103 of the colleges had some type of relationship with Planned Parenthood." - CPost

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Guttmacher Institute: Record number of abortion restrictions passed in 2021

"The Guttmacher Institute, a pro-choice research organization formerly affiliated with Planned Parenthood, released a report earlier this month titled 'State Policy Trends 2021: The Worst Year for Abortion Rights in Almost Half a Century.'" - CPost

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