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Stem Cell Regenerative Medicine Vs. Religious Morality

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Guest freedwoman

Stupid religious fundies oppose it. I don't understand why? It has great potential. The possibility to get paralyzed people walking, cure neurological diseases, cure autoimmune diseases like type 1 diabetes, regrow limbs, and grow and harvest organs should the individual need a healthy organ transplant from their own body. No autoimmune response. I'm all for it. You can get stem cells from your own body. Even some athletes use stem cells to help them recover from sports injuries. What are your thoughts about this amazing medical  science?

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The push back on this research was born of the fear that it would motivate people to conceive and then abort fetuses for the express purpose of harvesting stem cells.  It was/is not just religious who have a problem with this but the nay-sayers do tend to be of the fundamentalist xtian persuasion.

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Basically what MOHO said. The opposition to stem cell research is based mainly in the pro life movement, and stems from a fundamental misunderstanding of actual research methodology.

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5 hours ago, MOHO said:

The push back on this research was born of the fear that it would motivate people to conceive and then abort fetuses for the express purpose of harvesting stem cells.  It was/is not just religious who have a problem with this but the nay-sayers do tend to be of the fundamentalist xtian persuasion.

"Where do the embryos come from to create stem cell lines?

All the human embryonic stem cell lines currently in use come from four to five day-old embryos left over from in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedures. In IVF, researchers mix a man's sperm and a woman's eggs together in a lab dish. Some of those eggs will become fertilized. At about five days the egg has divided to become a hollow ball of roughly 100 cells called a blastocyst which is smaller than the size of the dot over an “i”. It is these very early embryos that are implanted into the woman in the hopes that she becomes pregnant.

Each cycle of IVF can produce many blastocysts, some of which are implanted into the woman. The rest are stored in the IVF clinic freezer. After a successful implantation, they must decide what to do with any remaining embryos. There are a few options:

  • Continue to paying to store the embryos
  • Defrost the embryos, which destroys them.
  • Donate the embryos for adoption (this option is rarely taken).
  • Choose to donate the frozen embryos for research. These donated embryos are the source of human embryonic stem cell lines.

Some embryonic stem cell lines also come from embryos that a couple has chosen not to implant because they carry harmful genetic mutations like the ones that cause cystic fibrosis or Tay Sachs disease. These are discovered through routine genetic testing prior to implantation. Still other embryos might be malformed in some way that causes them to be rejected for implantation into the mother. Embryos with genetic defects or malformations would have been discarded if the couple had not chosen to donate them to stem cell research.

People who donate leftover embryos for research go through an extensive consent process to ensure that they understand embryonic stem cell research. Under state, national  and international regulations, no human embryonic stem cell lines can be created without explicit consent from the donor.

Policies vary as to whether women may be paid or otherwise compensated to donate eggs. CIRM does not fund research where women have received payment to donate eggs. Most jurisdictions allow donors to be reimbursed for direct costs such as travel to the clinic or lodging.  Some also allow payments or IVF services to be provided to egg donors."

   As you can see, MOHO, aborted fetuses of the sort you mention are not used in stem cell research. It's just another red herring encouraged by the Christian church and passed along by their congregants and other anti abortion proponents who don't want to understand or don't think it's important to understand. If they knew they would probably fall in love all those rejected 100 cell blastocysts that could potentially become tithing churchgoers. Then of course the danger would be a big campaign to get all blastocysts implanted into good christian women volunteers genetic defects when present to be accepted as part of god's precious gift. 

https://www.cirm.ca.gov/patients/myths-and-misconceptions-about-stem-cell-research

"

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12 hours ago, DanForsman said:

"Where do the embryos come from to create stem cell lines?

All the human embryonic stem cell lines currently in use come from four to five day-old embryos left over from in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedures. In IVF, researchers mix a man's sperm and a woman's eggs together in a lab dish. Some of those eggs will become fertilized. At about five days the egg has divided to become a hollow ball of roughly 100 cells called a blastocyst which is smaller than the size of the dot over an “i”. It is these very early embryos that are implanted into the woman in the hopes that she becomes pregnant.

Each cycle of IVF can produce many blastocysts, some of which are implanted into the woman. The rest are stored in the IVF clinic freezer. After a successful implantation, they must decide what to do with any remaining embryos. There are a few options:

  • Continue to paying to store the embryos
  • Defrost the embryos, which destroys them.
  • Donate the embryos for adoption (this option is rarely taken).
  • Choose to donate the frozen embryos for research. These donated embryos are the source of human embryonic stem cell lines.

Some embryonic stem cell lines also come from embryos that a couple has chosen not to implant because they carry harmful genetic mutations like the ones that cause cystic fibrosis or Tay Sachs disease. These are discovered through routine genetic testing prior to implantation. Still other embryos might be malformed in some way that causes them to be rejected for implantation into the mother. Embryos with genetic defects or malformations would have been discarded if the couple had not chosen to donate them to stem cell research.

People who donate leftover embryos for research go through an extensive consent process to ensure that they understand embryonic stem cell research. Under state, national  and international regulations, no human embryonic stem cell lines can be created without explicit consent from the donor.

Policies vary as to whether women may be paid or otherwise compensated to donate eggs. CIRM does not fund research where women have received payment to donate eggs. Most jurisdictions allow donors to be reimbursed for direct costs such as travel to the clinic or lodging.  Some also allow payments or IVF services to be provided to egg donors."

   As you can see, MOHO, aborted fetuses of the sort you mention are not used in stem cell research. It's just another red herring encouraged by the Christian church and passed along by their congregants and other anti abortion proponents who don't want to understand or don't think it's important to understand. If they knew they would probably fall in love all those rejected 100 cell blastocysts that could potentially become tithing churchgoers. Then of course the danger would be a big campaign to get all blastocysts implanted into good christian women volunteers genetic defects when present to be accepted as part of god's precious gift. 

https://www.cirm.ca.gov/patients/myths-and-misconceptions-about-stem-cell-research

"

 

Good article, Dan.

 

And, for the record, I was not claiming that fetuses are regularly used in stem-cell research. I was pointing out that some seem to believe that to be the case. In any event numerous individuals dislike/disapprove of fertilizing eggs in a dish then destroying them. Their feeling is that all of those eggs represent human begins that are being killed. Also not my line of thinking  - just pointing out that is is not just fundies that have a problem with stem-cell research.

 

In general I took this approach because I am concerned, as are others, that continuous and elevated negativity towards Christians and the religious in general, will harm any efforts to bring some questioners out of their indoctrination.

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39 minutes ago, MOHO said:

In general I took this approach because I am concerned, as are others, that continuous and elevated negativity towards Christians and the religious in general, will harm any efforts to bring some questioners out of their indoctrination.

   I don't think I understand this. Indoctrination about abortion or religion? I sometimes listen to Catholic Radio and it would be impossible for them to gear up to any greater extent opposing abortion than what they have going on right now in my opinion. It is absolutely the major focus. So I can't see how anti christian sentiment or anything else could get them to step up there effort. Also people who are forming abortion opinions using negativity towards christians as one of the determining factors in reaching an opinion will never be reached by logic.

   It is interesting how the church (don't tell those people I used the christian church here) has been able to create a social situation where almost no woman today would want to say that she personally would consider an abortion. If abortion comes up in movies anymore it is almost exclusively portrayed as callous, an act that would cause a lifetime of regret. Women who have had them I'm sure are very careful to guard that information. I am pretty sure it's the catholic church and the fundamental evangelical protestant churches and mosques that are the big funders of the pro life movement. If these people you mention, questioners, happen to attend church they are constantly bombarded with anti abortion indoctrination there and then the more subtle portraials  missing emotional depth associated with even considering abortion that is everywhere in the social media and movies. The propaganda war continues at a fever pitch although it has already gained the upper hand, I think.

   This from MarketWatch:

"A key step in the state’s trek toward its new anti-abortion law came in November, when Alabama voters approved an anti-abortion “Amendment 2” to the state’s constitution.

The new law in Alabama, where Republicans control the legislature and the governor’s mansion, makes performing abortion at any stage of pregnancy a felony. It includes an exception for when a mother’s health is at serious risk, but has no exceptions for cases of rape or incest. It stands out as the country’s most restrictive amid other new limits on abortion enacted in several states."    This in spite of abortion rights groups outspending prolife groups 100 to 1.

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OK.

 

I don't know what the hell I was attempting to communicate.

Must remember to start brain before engaging typing fingers.

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On 4/22/2020 at 10:48 AM, freedwoman said:

Stupid religious fundies oppose it. I don't understand why? It has great potential. The possibility to get paralyzed people walking, cure neurological diseases, cure autoimmune diseases like type 1 diabetes, regrow limbs, and grow and harvest organs should the individual need a healthy organ transplant from their own body. No autoimmune response. I'm all for it. You can get stem cells from your own body. Even some athletes use stem cells to help them recover from sports injuries. What are your thoughts about this amazing medical  science?

 

As has already been explained, one must normally take apart a viable embryo to get embryonic stem cells which are pluropotent, meaning they can become any type of cell in the body. There are other types of stem cells used in treatments such as autologous, and fetal, etc.. Autologous are your own stem cells, usually taken from your fat. When taken from someone else’s fat they are called fat stem cells. These have the potential to become some other types of body cells other than fat (but not all types). Fetal stem cells come from umbilical cord blood, placental blood, and from still born, premature births, early death, aborted, etc. These stem cells can produce a number of different cells but must be pre-selected from organs to find particular types of cells. After 3-4 months in the womb the baby's separate immune system is developing so that after this fetal age cells can be rejected by implantation. Only embryonic stem cells are not rejected in general if blood types are the same.

 

Yes, most embryonic stem cells are derived from the invitro-fertilization processes where extra fertilized eggs are left over after a baby or two are born. The parents often will donate the left-over eggs if requested to do so. Sometimes doctors can offer a much lower cost for invitro-fertilization if he/she can sell the excess fertilized eggs for stem cell research or treatments with permissions given beforehand.

 

Many people in general do not have a moral problem with stem cell research and treatments if the embryo only has a few hundred cells before organs start to develop. But many religions believe that all human life, even embryonic stem-cell life only a few days old is precious since if implanted it might become a baby, and by dismantling these early cells (zygote) one would be killing a baby in their eyes.

 

I have problems with the present limiting laws of stem-cell research but understand religious objections. The primary problem with the laws these people promote which inhibit stem cell research and treatments in the US are based upon such religious beliefs.

 

In my own non-profit research organization I study and do stem cell research to the extent where I study what others have discovered and apply to treatments. For non-medical research I have had others work with me in scientific research and application. For stem cell research I have only working on this myself and have developed a theoretical process to get past the basic religious objections, even though these objections are not important to me personally, but this research might get laws changed.

 

The theoretical process starts in a similar way as the traditional stem cell retrieval system with the invitro-fertiliztion process. But instead of the eggs being fertilized to start with, only unfertilized eggs would be stored. Like fertilized eggs, unfertilized eggs can be frozen in the same manner as fertilized eggs then unthawed and fertilized before implantation. After the desired amount of babies are born the eggs left over remain frozen and unfertilized, and by permission beforehand would be the property of the lab that helped finance the invitro-process.

 

In such a process desired females could be chosen to start with, as well as fertilization can be done by chosen males, both based upon their genetic history. Before fertilization, a tiny spot on the outside of the egg can be marked for observation under a microscope. Along with this marking a growth inhibitor is added to the marking fluid. Upon fertilization of the egg when in a food sustaining solution, it starts to grow and divide quickly. The outside of the egg would normally form into the placenta of the fetus. But because of the growth inhibitor in the marking the placenta would not properly form or develop to support a baby.

 

When taking apart such a embryo one avoids the marked tissue, and the whole of it could never develop into a implantable fetus. Thus it would eliminate the objection that one is killing a baby. Of course it is not a natural process so there will always be religious objections of some kind.  But this process could lead to more favorable laws for stem cell research and treatments in the US and other countries having moral objections to present practices.

 

Even the research on this process could more rapidly proceed outside the US because of present limiting laws.

 

 

 

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I've argued about abortion, IVF, and the related moral issues on these boards before, with people who I respect. I just want to note for the record that it is not just fundies who are pro-life, even to the point of being completely against IVF.

 

Speaking for myself, however, I can only say that my daughter wouldn't exist if not for IVF. If my wife's current pregnancy is carried to term, the remainder of our embryos will be donated for research. I simply cannot buy the argument that each of these embryos constitutes an actual human life. A potential life, yes. But no more than that. And if I'm not going to use them, and they can do some good, why not?

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16 hours ago, disillusioned said:

I've argued about abortion, IVF, and the related moral issues on these boards before, with people who I respect. I just want to note for the record that it is not just fundies who are pro-life, even to the point of being completely against IVF.

 

Speaking for myself, however, I can only say that my daughter wouldn't exist if not for IVF. If my wife's current pregnancy is carried to term, the remainder of our embryos will be donated for research. I simply cannot buy the argument that each of these embryos constitutes an actual human life. A potential life, yes. But no more than that. And if I'm not going to use them, and they can do some good, why not?

 

The big problem here seems to be people thinking every potential avenue for human life IS literally human life. Mixed together with religious ideas that science is somehow thwarting a preconceived plan for each avenue to come in to fruition. There's obviously myriad problems with that logic. What's more, is that if we suppose that there is some grand plan, an all knowing god behind that plan, and it's impossible to get around this all knowing, god plan, than how else could any of this be viewed? 

 

Abortion, part god's master plan. 

IVF, part of god's master plan. 

Stem Cell research, part of god's master plan. 

 

If there's a master plan, could anything exist which is contrary or outside of a master plan (plan of salvation, let's say)?

 

People fighting against any of these would therefore be fighting 'against gods plan.' As if to change or manipulate that already existing plan in some way. 

 

Because either there is or isn't a master plan where the outcome is already known. And every avenue leads to an unavoidable, predetermined outcome.

 

So it would seem that gods plan is that some people fight who claim to be fighting for god's plan, but are fighting against gods plan as they do it. And that some people try to stop his plan unknowingly (by trying to stop abortion, etc., etc.), while playing right in to god's plan by default. It's so fucking ridiculous to analyze and put in to perspective. No less ridiculous than talking the bible literally or anything else. These people are both for and against god's plan in that way. But somehow ultimately in line with the plan by default regardless of how conscious they are of their place in that plan. 

 

Or, simply put, none of it has ever been predetermined. There is no master plan. Whatever we chose to do, is whatever we chose to do. And It's entirely up to us what we do with technology and science going forward. We can decide on what our socially conceived moralities will entail along the way. And those will change with time, education, and experience. Helping handicap and sick people with lab cells from a dish probably doing the world much more good than harm, obviously. 

 

And no ass hurt deity looking down from space crying and emotionally damaged at the wicked hearts of humanity and their perversions of science......

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17 hours ago, pantheory said:

In such a process desired females could be chosen to start with, as well as fertilization can be done by chosen males, both based upon their genetic history. Before fertilization, a tiny spot on the outside of the egg can be marked for observation under a microscope. Along with this marking a growth inhibitor is added to the marking fluid. Upon fertilization of the egg when in a food sustaining solution, it starts to grow and divide quickly. The outside of the egg would normally form into the placenta of the fetus. But because of the growth inhibitor in the marking the placenta would not properly form or develop to support a baby.

 

When taking apart such a embryo one avoids the marked tissue, and the whole of it could never develop into a implantable fetus. Thus it would eliminate the objection that one is killing a baby. Of course it is not a natural process so there will always be religious objections of some kind.  But this process could lead to more favorable laws for stem cell research and treatments in the US and other countries having moral objections to present practices.

 

That's very interesting. The superstitious religious objections are what they are. But the secular objections face quite a scenario here. You've cut their objection off at the ankle so to speak. It is NOT potentially human life. It would not develop to form a human baby. That's not to say that people who are just plain eager to stop this kind of advancement in science would lay back and take it, but it certainly forces them to grasp at new straws at it were. 

 

This to me is very much different than secular opposition to abortion. Worlds different. With abortion we're talking about human life in early developmental form. Religion can be set aside and people can still have a problem with that. But this is an entirely different situation. 

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