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06/14/2016 / By D. Samuelson
Oh, the mystery of life. Its complexity and wonder is astonishing to behold. We rush about without thought of our heartbeats or respiration, the wonders of vocalization or thought processes, we masticate food with nary a clue as to the workings of a jawbone, giving no mind to digestive juices or the piping through which it flows. Some things, the Bible says, are past finding out. But when society’s pillars are greed, money and instant gratification, anything goes; including aborting millions of forming children, who have been delegated as merely a blob of flesh. Only they’re not. Tragically, embryonic experiments on aborted fetuses are nothing new. And since 2009, when President Obama issued Executive Order 13505 to allow human stem cell research, including embryonic stem cells, scientists have been anxious to mine the potential from these magnificent cells which by their very design can grow into any type of cell in the body. Adult stem cells may not be able to fully differentiate as readily as embryonic cells, thus the rub, but at least there was a smidgen of moral restraint on the time allowed to grow embryos for experimentation.
The Independent explains, “About 14 days – the limit is also linked to biological changes — was chosen in the 1980s because it was deemed to be the point at which ‘individuality’ is assigned as twins do not develop after this point.”
Lifenews.com reports, “Scientists are on the verge now of being able to keep embryos alive longer than 14 days outside the uterus, and so the campaign has begun to dismantle the 14-day rule. And so, what was once sold as an important moral boundary, is now denigrated as a mere way station from which regulations can evolve.”
As reported by Nature.com, “The formation of the primitive streak is significant because it represents the earliest point at which an embryo’s biological individuation is assured. Before this point, embryos can split in two or fuse together. So some people reason that at this stage a morally significant individual comes into being.
Yet views differ on the moment in development at which a human embryo obtains sufficient moral status . Some believe that the cut-off is the point of fertilization; others argue that it comes much later, when the embryo develops into a fetus that can experience pain, exhibit brain activity or survive outside the womb.”
Removal of a 14-day restraint will require justification, of course. There will be talk of scientific progress and the eradication of disease — all for our safety, of course. But where does it stop?
Live news.com reports, “If you haven’t read Brave New World in a while, it’s time to refresh the memory,” said Dr. David Prentice, a professor of molecular genetics and an Advisory Board Member for the Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center. “No human being should be used for lethal experimentation, no matter their age or stage of development. The 14-day rule is itself arbitrary, and does not assuage those who believe life begins at the moment of sperm-egg fusion. Moreover, allowing experiments on human embryos beyond 14 days post-fertilization risks the lives of untold more human beings, because it further encourages creation and destruction for research purposes. The deadly research on young human embryos has yielded no benefit thus far . . .This is a risky step which could encourage further eugenic attitudes and actions.”
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