“If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animated contest of freedom, go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen!” – Samuel Adams

FDA Approves Embryonic Stem Cell Experiments on Humans

mature_lung_teratoma

Teratomas - tumors that arise from what are essenitally partially differentiated stem cells

As South Dakota considers repealing the state ban on embryonic stem cell research, this issue is receiving more and more attention on a national level.  

President Obama came to the White House last month carrying the campaign promise that he would reverse President Bush’s 2001 ban on taxpayer funding of embryonic stem cell research (except for a few specific lines of embryonic stem cells already harvested).

The fact that Obama has not yet done so is a matter of consternation for those eager to destroy innocent human life in the hopes that stem cells derived from them might, maybe, someday cure various diseases in other humans.  There may be some eagerness for those tax dollars and research grants, too.

Even as some work to put the taxpayers on the hook for this destruction of innocent human life and to lift state bans, adult stem cell research has for a number of years been producing successful treatments for various illnesses and injuries.  These include meningitis-related limb damage, brain injury, stroke, retina regeneration, heart tissue regenerationanginadiabetes, bone cancer, nerve regeneration, cerebral palsy, cartilage regeneration, Parkinsons, kidney damage, liver cancer, lupus, multiple sclerosis,  and leukemia.

Adult stem cell therapy also doesn’t have the same treatment issues ESC does.  It also doesn’t involve the destruction of innocent human life, because the stem cells are taken from various areas of the person’s own body.

Embryonic stem cell (ESC) research involves the harvesting of stem cells from human embryos.  In the process, the human embryo is destroyed.  

ESC also faces serious problems such as tissue rejection, the same tissue rejection seen in organ transplant recipients who must remain on ant-rejection drugs the rest of their lives to prevent their body from rejecting the foreign tissue.

ESC also has a problem with tumors.  It seems ESC has a tendency to produce tumors in recipients of the embryonic stem cells.

An editorial at Investors Business Daily yesterday examines this problem.

Adult stem cells culled from a patient’s body solve the rejection problem of ESCs and have already been used in hundreds of treatments and therapies of patients. But embryonic, or pluripotent, stem cells can’t seem to make it out of the laboratory.

They are called pluripotent because they can develop into any and every type of human tissue. That’s why some scientists prefer them. Problem is, they’re hard to control and tend to develop into one of the most primitive and terrifying forms of cancer, a tumor called a teratoma.

The IBD editorial also examines the case I discussed a few days ago of a boy from Israel who had a deadly brain disease and sought fetal stem cell therapy (very similar to ESC, the only difference being in the age of the human) in Russia.  Unfortunately the results were sad…and predictable.

Tragically, within a year of the last injection, teratomas developed in the boy’s brain and spinal cord.

But the embryonic stem cell research situation is getting progressively worse–and quickly.

The Food and Drug Administration approved within three days of President Obama’s inauguration the first permission granted to test ESC treatments on human subjects. It OK’d an application from a California firm to inject stem cells from human embryos into people paralyzed from the chest down by spinal cord injuries.

After what happens in animal testing, and what happened to this Israeli boy, apparently some people are still willing to subject a human being to this risky and ghastly experimentation.  

Unlike the embryonic humans destroyed to harvest these stem cells, these people will at least be able to consent to the harm visited upon them. 

After World War II and the inhuman human experiments conducted by the Nazis, civilized people struggled to get a handle on this kind of casual disregard for the value of human life.  Out of that struggle came the Nuremberg Code which defined in writing certain principles of ethical conduct.

Those principles included the importance of consent to human experimentation (which embryonic human beings are obviously unable to give), that fruitful results are unprocurable through other means (as adult stem cell therapy is already providing), and that every effort be made to protect the subject from “even remote possibilities of injury, disability, or death (ESC always results in the death of the embryonic human).

At the moment of conception, the human embryo has human DNA. Not plant DNA, not rabbit DNA, but HUMAN DNA.

This human DNA that the human embryo has is unique DNA. It is not the same DNA as the mother, the father, an aunt, Bill Clinton, Paris Hilton or any other human being. It is unique HUMAN DNA. This means it doesn’t belong to another person’s body to do with as they please; they are their own unique person.

The human embryo which has unique human DNA has all the genetic information it will ever need for the rest of it’s life. The human embryo isn’t just stomach DNA or liver DNA or spleen DNA or leg DNA or hand DNA; it is genetically a complete human being. It doesn’t get more DNA at 1 month of development, 9 months development, at birth or at 18years of age.

The human embryo is genetically complete at conception. This embryonic human lacks only development. Surely we wouldn’t argue that a 2-year-old is less human and less deserving of life and protection than an 18 year old, simply because the 2-year-old lacks development? 

Unfortunately, some in our society seem totally willing to ignore the lessons learned at Nuremberg and proceed unphased with the destruction of innocent human life.

Are we really prepared to engage in the kind of disregard for human life that we once recoiled from and condemned the Nazis for?

If we are, then may God have mercy on our souls (more mercy than we have for the innocent human beings we are prepared to destroy).  

If that is the case, we are about to embark on a dark path that will cost us our very humanity.


Try us out at the new location: American Clarion!


7 Responses to “FDA Approves Embryonic Stem Cell Experiments on Humans”

  1. Embryonic stem cell therapy is easily confused with fetal stem cell therapies, which are widely available in other countries. Like ESC, fetal stem cells have failed to yield any lasting or reproducible benefits, but we can be sure that once ESC is established as a legitimate area of research (with government funding), there will follow a clamor for fetal stem cell funding and most Americans won't know the difference.

    Fetal stem cells are extracted from a fetus, that is, a baby of at least 8 weeks gestation, with all organs and systems clearly developing–an obviously human baby. Fetal stem cells can only come from aborted babies. The arguments for ESC research are the same arguments for FSC research. They are going to be thrown out anyway, so what's the harm?

    Besides being a grab for more and more taxpayer money for unpromising research, the demand for such research dollars has another more insidious agenda and that is to put a happy face on the gruesome practice of abortion. Don't you see that every aborted baby may hold the key to fantastic therapies that may save or improve countless lives! Abortion will be touted as a selfless and humanitarian sacrifice and anyone that opposes it will be labeled as heartless and cruel.

  2. Jefferson, Adams, Washington, Quincy Adams and many other founders of this nation agree with me that
    nothing good can come from religion. Keep your personal beliefs to your self. We need stem cell research. I might also remind you that the earth is not flat.

  3. They do, huh? Richard, you are so ignorant that you have no idea how ignorant you are–about the Founders, about religion, and about stem cell research.

    You obviously missed the fact that there is a mountain of scientific and practical reason to support adult stem cell research and avoid embryonic stem cell research. Your hostility toward transcendent values is blinding you to what is obvious to the objective mind.

    Let me give you a little something to ponder with regard to your ignorance about the founders and the relevance of religious values to public life…and maybe, just maybe, you'll give a second thought or two to reconsider your ignorance on stem cell research (keep in mind these are only a few of the thoughts of only the founders you named–far more founders had even more to say on this subject):

    Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness. – George Washington’s Presidential Farewell Address

    We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other. – John Adams

    It is religion and morality alone which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand. Religion and virtue are the only foundations…of republicanism and of all free governments. – John Adams

    The practice of morality being necessary for the well-being of society…We all agree in the obligation of the moral precepts of Jesus and nowhere will they be found delivered in greater purity than in His discourses. – Thomas Jefferson

    The propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained. – George Washington’s Inaugural Address

    Religion and morality are the essential pillars of civil society – George Washington

    The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were…the general principles of Christianity. – John Adams

    No country on earth ever had it more in its power to attain these blessings than United America. Wondrously strange, then, and much to be regretted indeed it would be, were we to neglect the means and to depart from the road which Providence has pointed us to so plainly; I cannot believe it will ever come to pass. – George Washington

  4. There are so many misstatements in this article that I don’t know where to begin.

    According to the majority of scientists, the cells that show the most promise are “embryonic,” or early stem cells. You say “ESC always results in the death of the embryonic human.” If 4-5 day old undifferentiated cells are considered a life…then the life and death decision has already been made since the in vitro fertilization clinics will eventually discard them as medical waste. We have an opportunity to SAVE lives, instead of discarding these cells as medical waste.

    These undifferentiated cells have never been and will never be in a uterus; and without a nurturing womb, there is no possibility of a pregnancy or development into a baby. But there is tremendous potential to develop cells which could replace those destroyed by degenerative diseases like diabetes, Parkinson's, cancer, heart disease, spinal cord injury, and many more.

    The fact is, over the past eight years, our government has invested the bulk of money for research on adult stem cells. It is amazing to me that you and others talk about the success of adult stem cells when a paper on Science magazine’s website shows that only 9 treatments have actually been approved by the FDA in the past 50 years. (http://www.Sciencexpress.org/13July 2006/page1/10.1126/science.1129987/DCI)
    Science moves slowly. Researchers have been working on adult stem cells since the 1960’s, 50 years compared to embryonic’s 10 years. The FDA has approved the first human trial for spinal cord injuries, but there have been amazing successes in animals.

    You speak about the boy from Israel with a deadly brain disease that sought fetal stem cell therapy with poor results. Apparently you are bending the truth for your own purposes or you are not knowledgeable enough to know that fetal stem cells are considered “adult.” An embryo is a fertilized egg from 2 days to 8 weeks, after which it is considered a fetus. Embryonic research is conducted on 4-5 day old embryos before the cells divide into organs such as the brain, heart and neural tube at about 14 days. After they start differentiating, they might as well be considered adult.

    I take offense at the comment comparing the research to Nazi experiments. Israel is a nation with a population existing of Holocaust survivors and their families. Israel is also a nation that is a leader in embryonic stem cell research. Knowing Holocaust survivors, I have never had one tell me they didn’t support this research. Jews believe that when you save one life, you save the world. They believe this research is life saving. The Jewish interpretation of when life begins is at 40 days.

    Further, most of the Christian denominations do not consider a 5-day-old embryo to be a person or to have a soul.

    Those of us who want to further research on embryonic stem cells are not opposed to research on adult stem cells. However, we believe that we shouldn’t close any doors when there is the possibility of learning how diseases begin and can be treated in a dish, rather than you and I.

    I don’t intend to force my beliefs on others, and I certainly would not force others to use life saving cures if it offends their principles. However, I have every right to expect others to respect my beliefs as much as I respect theirs.

  5. Nina, there are so many misstatements, misrepresentations and misunderstandings in your comment, I hardly know where to begin. Did you bother to read the entire article? If you did, do you bother to stop and consider it for a moment, or was your mind already made up–based on bad information and propaganda–from the first moment?

    I'll reiterate to you why the embryonic human is indeed human life:

    At the moment of conception, the human embryo has human DNA. Not plant DNA, not rabbit DNA, but HUMAN DNA.

    This human DNA that the human embryo has is unique DNA. It is not the same DNA as the mother, the father, an aunt, Bill Clinton, Paris Hilton or any other human being. It is unique HUMAN DNA. This means it doesn’t belong to another person’s body to do with as they please; they are their own unique person.

    The human embryo which has unique human DNA has all the genetic information it will ever need for the rest of it’s life. The human embryo isn’t just stomach DNA or liver DNA or spleen DNA or leg DNA or hand DNA; it is genetically a complete human being. It doesn’t get more DNA at 1 month of development, 9 months development, at birth or at 18years of age.

    The human embryo is genetically complete at conception. This embryonic human lacks only development. Surely we wouldn’t argue that a 2-year-old is less human and less deserving of life and protection than an 18 year old, simply because the 2-year-old lacks development?

    It doesn't matter whether the embryonic human has ever been in a uterus or not. The human embryo is the same whether it's inside its mother or in a lab; what magic works this difference and, other than location, how is the embryo different? Further, under normal conditions, the human embryo would be inside its mother…were we not performing experiments on it.

    As for the Science magazine link you provided, I couldn't find a reference to stem cell research on it. If it only lists 9 treatments, it is woefully out of date. The number of successful therapies resulting from adult stem cell research is now around 80. This website gives a quick list with some references of about 73: http://www.stemcellresearch.org/facts/treatment….

    You are also either ignorant of the similarities between embryonic stem cells and fetal stem cells, or are deliberately trying to deceive. While there are some developmental and specialization differences in them, the aspects which make both fetal and embryonic stem cell research a bad proposition are exactly the same: (1) both destroy innocent human life, (2) both have issues with tissue rejection, and (3) both have a tendency to generate tumors in the recipient.

    I'm glad you take offense at the comparison between this type of “research” and the Nazi human experiments; perhaps there is hope you will eventually fully grasp the gravity of what is going on here. Obviously you have not yet grasped that, since you still consider certain human life to be disposable based on its developmental stage, location, level of consciousness or some such factor. The Nazis also considered certain human life to be less valuable than other types of human life, less worthy of human dignity and equal protection, a commodity to be used at the will of the powerful.

    You can certainly find apostate people in every Christian denomination who put convenience and liberal philosophy before their loyalty to God's Word, but God's word clearly teaches (as does science) that a human life begins at conception. (Psalm 129, Jeremiah 1:5, etc.).

    If you advocate taxpayer funding for embryonic stem cell research, you are attempting to force your beliefs on others because you are forcing other taxpayers who may be opposed to this human experimentation to pay for it. If you advocate that a state like South Dakota repeal its ban then you are attempting to force your beliefs on others because you want our state and our state government–a government that belongs to the people–to give assent to the destruction of innocent human life.

    And that is not something I can stand idly by and permit without doing everything I can to prevent it.

  6. There are so many misstatements in this article that I don’t know where to begin.

    According to the majority of scientists, the cells that show the most promise are “embryonic,” or early stem cells. You say “ESC always results in the death of the embryonic human.” If 4-5 day old undifferentiated cells are considered a life…then the life and death decision has already been made since the in vitro fertilization clinics will eventually discard them as medical waste. We have an opportunity to SAVE lives, instead of discarding these cells as medical waste.

    These undifferentiated cells have never been and will never be in a uterus; and without a nurturing womb, there is no possibility of a pregnancy or development into a baby. But there is tremendous potential to develop cells which could replace those destroyed by degenerative diseases like diabetes, Parkinson's, cancer, heart disease, spinal cord injury, and many more.

    The fact is, over the past eight years, our government has invested the bulk of money for research on adult stem cells. It is amazing to me that you and others talk about the success of adult stem cells when a paper on Science magazine’s website shows that only 9 treatments have actually been approved by the FDA in the past 50 years. (http://www.Sciencexpress.org/13July 2006/page1/10.1126/science.1129987/DCI)
    Science moves slowly. Researchers have been working on adult stem cells since the 1960’s, 50 years compared to embryonic’s 10 years. The FDA has approved the first human trial for spinal cord injuries, but there have been amazing successes in animals.

    You speak about the boy from Israel with a deadly brain disease that sought fetal stem cell therapy with poor results. Apparently you are bending the truth for your own purposes or you are not knowledgeable enough to know that fetal stem cells are considered “adult.” An embryo is a fertilized egg from 2 days to 8 weeks, after which it is considered a fetus. Embryonic research is conducted on 4-5 day old embryos before the cells divide into organs such as the brain, heart and neural tube at about 14 days. After they start differentiating, they might as well be considered adult.

    I take offense at the comment comparing the research to Nazi experiments. Israel is a nation with a population existing of Holocaust survivors and their families. Israel is also a nation that is a leader in embryonic stem cell research. Knowing Holocaust survivors, I have never had one tell me they didn’t support this research. Jews believe that when you save one life, you save the world. They believe this research is life saving. The Jewish interpretation of when life begins is at 40 days.

    Further, most of the Christian denominations do not consider a 5-day-old embryo to be a person or to have a soul.

    Those of us who want to further research on embryonic stem cells are not opposed to research on adult stem cells. However, we believe that we shouldn’t close any doors when there is the possibility of learning how diseases begin and can be treated in a dish, rather than you and I.

    I don’t intend to force my beliefs on others, and I certainly would not force others to use life saving cures if it offends their principles. However, I have every right to expect others to respect my beliefs as much as I respect theirs.

  7. Nina, there are so many misstatements, misrepresentations and misunderstandings in your comment, I hardly know where to begin. Did you bother to read the entire article? If you did, do you bother to stop and consider it for a moment, or was your mind already made up–based on bad information and propaganda–from the first moment?

    I'll reiterate to you why the embryonic human is indeed human life:

    At the moment of conception, the human embryo has human DNA. Not plant DNA, not rabbit DNA, but HUMAN DNA.

    This human DNA that the human embryo has is unique DNA. It is not the same DNA as the mother, the father, an aunt, Bill Clinton, Paris Hilton or any other human being. It is unique HUMAN DNA. This means it doesn’t belong to another person’s body to do with as they please; they are their own unique person.

    The human embryo which has unique human DNA has all the genetic information it will ever need for the rest of it’s life. The human embryo isn’t just stomach DNA or liver DNA or spleen DNA or leg DNA or hand DNA; it is genetically a complete human being. It doesn’t get more DNA at 1 month of development, 9 months development, at birth or at 18years of age.

    The human embryo is genetically complete at conception. This embryonic human lacks only development. Surely we wouldn’t argue that a 2-year-old is less human and less deserving of life and protection than an 18 year old, simply because the 2-year-old lacks development?

    It doesn't matter whether the embryonic human has ever been in a uterus or not. The human embryo is the same whether it's inside its mother or in a lab; what magic works this difference and, other than location, how is the embryo different? Further, under normal conditions, the human embryo would be inside its mother…were we not performing experiments on it.

    As for the Science magazine link you provided, I couldn't find a reference to stem cell research on it. If it only lists 9 treatments, it is woefully out of date. The number of successful therapies resulting from adult stem cell research is now around 80. This website gives a quick list with some references of about 73: http://www.stemcellresearch.org/facts/treatment….

    You are also either ignorant of the similarities between embryonic stem cells and fetal stem cells, or are deliberately trying to deceive. While there are some developmental and specialization differences in them, the aspects which make both fetal and embryonic stem cell research a bad proposition are exactly the same: (1) both destroy innocent human life, (2) both have issues with tissue rejection, and (3) both have a tendency to generate tumors in the recipient.

    I'm glad you take offense at the comparison between this type of “research” and the Nazi human experiments; perhaps there is hope you will eventually fully grasp the gravity of what is going on here. Obviously you have not yet grasped that, since you still consider certain human life to be disposable based on its developmental stage, location, level of consciousness or some such factor. The Nazis also considered certain human life to be less valuable than other types of human life, less worthy of human dignity and equal protection, a commodity to be used at the will of the powerful.

    You can certainly find apostate people in every Christian denomination who put convenience and liberal philosophy before their loyalty to God's Word, but God's word clearly teaches (as does science) that a human life begins at conception. (Psalm 129, Jeremiah 1:5, etc.).

    If you advocate taxpayer funding for embryonic stem cell research, you are attempting to force your beliefs on others because you are forcing other taxpayers who may be opposed to this human experimentation to pay for it. If you advocate that a state like South Dakota repeal its ban then you are attempting to force your beliefs on others because you want our state and our state government–a government that belongs to the people–to give assent to the destruction of innocent human life.

    And that is not something I can stand idly by and permit without doing everything I can to prevent it.