Saturday, February 24, 2007

Hot-button issue: Stem cell research

This "Herald of Hope" column Archbishop Dolan in our Catholic Herald continued his "Hot-button issues" series.
But, to produce an embryo in a laboratory so that stem-cells can be extracted from that tiny yet verifiable incipient human life? Sorry! Seems like I read once about such things in Aldous Huxley’s "Brave New Word," and saw such labs in a movie called "Frankenstein."

The issue usually arises not from embryos produced to be sources of stem cells, but from making that use of the surplus of embryos produced in infertility treatment. Better if he had brought that up, because in such cases the couple's motivation is to have a child.
Put simply, human life is not a commodity, a means to an end.

For example, the possible benefits of stem cell research cannot justify killing a human embryo, which the process of extracting stem cells does. But the couple using in vitro fertilization are making human life an end in one sense. If anything, their situation would highlight the moral issue, since it highlights that the "excess" embryos are no different than an embryo that goes on to be born to them.
When it comes to human life, size does not matter. Granted, the tiny, microscopic, incipient human life of an embryonic stem cell.

He means of the embryo.
is sure a lot smaller than that of a newborn baby, but they are both simply different stages of the sacred continuum of life, beginning at conception and concluding at natural death.

P.S. Not within our Archdiocese, but touching on the issue, The Post-Crescent in Appleton reported Former ACES teacher wins in vitro probable-cause ruling. The key facts, as reported,
ACES/Xavier [Appleton's Catholic school system] officials, including former ACES president Joseph Bound, testified during a hearing in October that they terminated Romenesko because she'd undergone in vitro fertilization, a procedure the church opposes, in violation of the morals clause in her teaching contract.

But ACES/Xavier didn't fire Romenesko until after she had become pregnant — almost a month after she'd told her supervisor she needed time away from work for IVF treatment.

Being tongue-tied about what the Church teaches might cost this Church institution.

(via Dad29)

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