Monday, March 23, 2009

Good from Evil?

i had a comment on my blog that i wanted to respond to - it was in reference to my post on human embryonic stem cell research:
"This is one I've always struggled with - not that I think abortion should ever be an option - don't get me wrong. But if that child has been aborted why not create something good from evil? Why not give another child a chance to live again from the child who never had that chance themselves? I don't agree with them doing abortion ever - and certainly not just for the right to have some "material" to work with!- but can we not make something good come out of the little lives who never had a chance? I know - I opened a can of worms :-0 But it is something I wonder. "

First off - i don't worry too much about cans of worms. Sometimes i think we shy away from topics that we could all benefit from thinking through on a little deeper level.
i'll give my humble .02c on this one - & anyone else who reads my blog & feels like it can chime in too.
i referenced an article in that post (that i think is *so* worth the read...) but it talked about the Nuremburg Code, a set of internationally-adopted directives for human experimentation. It held this quote from the Code:
The Code states: “The voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential. This means that the person involved should have legal capacity to give consent; should be so situated as to be able to exercise free power of choice, without the intervention of any element of force, fraud, deceit, duress, over-reaching, or other ulterior form of constraint or coercion; and should have sufficient knowledge and comprehension of the elements of the subject matter involved as to enable him to make an understanding and enlightened decision.” It also requires that human experimentation be aimed at yielding fruitful results for the good of society, unprocurable by other methods or means of study. Further, it states that experiments should be conducted as to avoid all unnecessary physical and mental suffering and injury. No experiment should be conducted where there is an a priori reason to believe that death or disabling injury will occur.
If you believe, (like i do - and like most people did, until it became extremely inconvenient) that life begins at conception, then we must believe that these embryos are teeny, tiny human beings... and the Nuremburg Code applies to them too. They're not dead - just frozen, helpless; discarded by their parents and by the doctors who created them. These little ones have all the genetic material of their parents - and given a chance - and a womb - many of them would grow and live full lives. These little embryos are killed to extract the stem cells needed for research. i firmly believe that we have a HUGE problem world wide with the excess in fertility clinics. We are creating life, for sure destruction and it needs to stop. The problem of killing isn't redeemed by using the remains of the murdered to heal ourselves. Here is a link to another article that says, 'How 500,000 frozen embryos are forcing us to rethink life, choice, and reproductive freedom" - It's not from a Christian perspective - or even from a prolife one, but it's food for thought, and it sheds some light on the growing problems that are caused by thoughtless action in fertility clinics.
Now, i don't want to take for granted that the comment was about human embryos who obviously *aren't* aborted - just not given any chance at life... She wrote about children who have already been aborted. This happens too - in fact a lot of our vaccines come from aborted fetal cell lines, so really, we're all faced with this exact dilemma every time we bring our child in for vaccination. So, is it ethical to benefit from something that we find morally reprehensible? The Vatican issued a statement that we should push by all means to get acceptable alternatives to aborted fetal cell line vaccines, but that until that happens, it is a matter of conscience for people to work out in their own hearts if they need to vaccinate or not. -(No, i'm not Catholic, but i think it's interesting that the Vatican made a statement on this issue.)
For different families, it's gonna look different. For Neil & i - it has meant that we've made the choice not to vaccinate our little guys. -(If you're interested in finding out which vaccines use aborted fetal cell lines, has a webpage that has the relevant information sorted by country).
For me, i feel like any time we condone or profit from this culture of death, we slip a little farther into a moral & ethical slough & i feel like it's time we started looking for a little higher ground.

1 I waited patiently for the LORD;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit,

out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
3 He put a new song in my mouth,

a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear
and put their trust in the LORD.
Psalm 40:1-3


deborah said...

First, I find it interesting that the Nuremberg code was written after WWII - which *most* people (I know I'm generalizing here) believe that the heinous crimes and human experimentation by the Nazis were wrong in all senses.

Makes me wonder why the *size* of the person matters now....

I know it all comes back to where one believes life begins - and my 2 cents is that we have become a sad society run by convenience. It's much *easier* for most to throw out (belief and other-wise) what isn't convenient to everyday life - meaning here that disregarding the fact that a tiny embryo is a life makes for (apparent) increased social acceptance and ease of decision-making when it comes to these issues.

I often ask myself and not just in this area but all:
"what will you sacrifice for your beliefs?"

Anonymous said...

Wonder where I've been all my life... I've never heard before UNTIL READING IN YOUR BLOG TODAY that fetal cells are used in Vaccines given to children to stop the spread of diseases. I suppose the "Powers that Be" don't want things like this to become widely known. Anyway, it is certainly "food for thought"... if we believe a miscarriage baby is in heaven with the Lord then we must consider these unwanted embryos in the same category... very sobering... and no, two wrongs don't make a right, but the truth shouldn't be hidden from the public either. Denise - Saskatchewan Cousin

Colleen said...

I appreciate your response - I was definately talking about babies aborted and not still "in the dish" - but I do consider those babies also. It is a hard topic - I guess if you are a parent of a child who has contracted a disease that could have been prevented by immunization - or as in our case, you are a parent of a chronically ill child who you could see become "normal" because of the advances made in stem cell research - it may seem even harder. I can honestly say that at this moment I'd be very grateful to the little lives who had no choice but, who through their death, saved my daughter. But I certainly will always keep praying and be open to whatever God convicts me on.


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