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Use of stems cells may improve quality of life

Dear Editor:


With all due respect to Bishop John D’Arcy, I think doctors, scientists and research personnel, if they did not use their God given talent, would commit the greater sin. The talent that they have been given through the grace of God to advance science  in order to find a cures for disease like  Diabetes, Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, and other diseases that take the lives of tens of thousands of people around the world each and every year. And if they can use stem cells of any kind in order to give a better quality of life to those who are now living and their families, then God bless them!


Dennis H. Warnick


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Bishop John D'arcy has committed his life to the service of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the teachings of Jesus Christ which it represents. According to paragraph 2270 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, "Human life must be recognized and protected absolutely from the moment of concepton." Because embryonic stem cell research involves the destruction and death of human embryos, it violates this unnegotiable teaching of the church. The catechism is clearer still on the issue of medical experimentation, its positives and its negatives. "Experimentation on human beings is not morally legitimate if it exposes the subjects physical and psychological integrity to disproportionate avoidable risks." (paragraph 2295)

These are not the new stands or personal objectons developed in recent years by one man, see paragraph 2271. These teachings are the clear uncompromising voice of the church founded by Jesus Christ and guided by the Holy Spirit in teaching truth for nearly 2,000 years.
Perhaps you don't subscribe to the catechism, the official doctrine of the Catholic Church. Even so it is clear, through expounding this train of thought to its natural and logical ends, that stem cell research is not morally justifiable.
Let us forget for a moment that adult stem cell research is the only stem cell research that has provided working treatments and realistically potential cures for the diseases you mentioned above. We can even ignore that many for profit medical facilties have put the majority of their funding toward this more promising stem cell research which does not require the destruction of human life. Even if destroying human embryos by the thousands was able to, without the considerable doubt that exists, cure everyone with the diseases you mentioned above, it still would not be permissible or desirable to do so.
Let us apply similar logic to another possible life saving cure. 7% of people in the world are universal organ donors. Each year over a thousand people in the United States and untold numbers around the world die waiting on organ transplants. Unlike embryonic stem cell research, organ transplants are a scientific and time tested method of saving lives. If the government were to sponsor scientists to harvest the organs of each universal donor, voluntarily or without consent, these scientists would, by using their God-given ability, be able to save nearly 30 lives per universal donor. All total over 63 million lives would be saved in the US alone. Worried about pain? Scientists and doctors could simply and painlessly put these UD's nto induced comas.

If it is sinful for scientists not to do embryonic stem cell research, why is it no sinful that gifted scientists and those in power are not authorizing this use of Universal Donors?

If we are simply making a utilitarian judgment based on the number of lives that could be saved, we open ourselves up to the allowance of acts even more heinous than the abduction, objectivication, and disposal of UD's. If we argue for using human beings as a means to an end what will be the marker as to whether the purpose is legitimate or not? Will you? Will I? Public opinion? or the government?
If you acknowledge tha lie begins at conception and that an embryo is just as much a human person as you or I, we cannot accept destroying (killing) these people. If you deny the personhood of these individuals that is a different debate altogether. Regardless, one who takes such stances finds themselves not at a difference of opinion with Bishop John D'arcy, but at odds with, and speaking out against, the true undeniable teaching proclaimed by the Catholc Church and its true guardians for over 2,000 years.

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