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The Christian Perspective on Stem Cell Research

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The Christian Perspective on Stem Cell Research

 
   Many Americans do not see how the existing state laws forbidding human cloning can survive, and others like them be enacted, since the federal government has given its blessing to the cloning and destruction of human embryos for research purposes. An entire area of law where states have been able to express respect for human life may be wiped away.

 

We know that many have made expansive claims for the benefits of human embryo research. However, all such claims are conjectural. Embryonic stem cell research has not helped a single human patient or demonstrated any therapeutic benefit. At the same time, adult stem cells have helped hundreds of thousands of patients and new clinical uses expand almost weekly. Even President Clinton's National Bioethics Advisory Commission, recognizing the human embryo as "a developing form of human life," concluded that the use of embryos from fertility clinics for such research cannot be justified if morally noncontroversial alternatives exist. There is now ample evidence that they do exist, are far more promising than once thought, and are worthy of increased public attention and government support.

 

Most Christians have grave concerns on this critically important issue of embryonic stem cell research. In our view, conducting research that relies on deliberate destruction of human embryos for their stem cells is illegal, immoral and unnecessary.

 

It is illegal because it violates an appropriations rider (the Dickey amendment) passed every year since 1995 by Congress. That provision forbids funding "research in which" human embryos (whether initially created for research purposes or not) are harmed or destroyed ou...


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...eficiency (SCID)-X1 Disease," 288 Science 669-72 (28 April 2000).

 

16. K. Foss, "Paraplegic regains movement after cell procedure," The Globe and Mail (Toronto), June 15, 2001 at A1.

 

17. E. Ryan et al., "Glycemic Outcome Post Islet Transplantation," Abstract #33-LB, Annual Meeting of the American Diabetes Association, June 24, 2001. See: http://38.204.37.95/am01/AnnualMeeting/Abstracts/NumberResults.asp?idAbs=33-LB.

 

18. M. McCullough, "Islet transplants offer hope that diabetes can be cured," Philadelphia Inquirer, June 22, 2001 at A1.

 

19. D. Woodbury et al., "Adult Rat and Human Bone Marrow Stromal Cells Differentiate Into Neurons," 61 J. of Neuroscience Research 364-70 (2000) at 364 (emphasis added).

 

20. D. Prockop, "Stem Cell Research Has Only Just Begun" (Letter), 293 Science 211-2 (13 July 2001)(citations omitted).

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