Wednesday, July 19, 2006

President Bush's first time?

For the first time, President Bush used a veto to put down a stem cell research bill.

In a recent Gallup poll, 61 percent a respondents said that embryonic research was morally acceptable.

The same poll also showed that 43 percent of respondents believe that abortion is morally unacceptable.

The vote in the Senate was 63-37 in favor of the bill. The House passed the bill 238-194.

What's interesting, is that I personally called the offices of the five Mormons who sit in the Senate and 4 out of those 5 senators voted in favor of federally financing stem cell research. I'm also in the middle of calling the offices of mormon congressman and so far 4 of the seven that I've called voted in favor of the bill.

Here are two links on the recent developments.

CNN
FOX

Also, from the LDS website:

"The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has not taken a position regarding the use of embryonic stem cells for research purposes. The absence of a position should not be interpreted as support for or opposition to any other statement made by Church members, whether they are for or against embryonic stem cell research."

11 comments:

Joe Strickland said...

This is from lds.org:

"The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has not taken a position regarding the use of embryonic stem cells for research purposes. The absence of a position should not be interpreted as support for or opposition to any other statement made by Church members, whether they are for or against embryonic stem cell research."

I just thought I would post that since it seems that many members of the Church look to the Church for guidance on moral issues.

Peter Nguyen said...

So Joe,

It's a personal question, so I don't have any expectation for you to respond, but how do you feel about stem cell research?

Great clarification by the way, I'm going to add it to my post.

Joe Strickland said...

Many of the embryos involved in embryonic stem cells research are extra embryos from in-vitro fertilization (IVF) attempts. According to one source, there are more than 500,000 frozen embryos in fertilization clinics in the United States. What do we do with those embryos? Each one of them has the potential to become a human being, a real-life person like you and me. However, the likelihood that those embryos will be "adopted" is small. So, those embryos, even with their potential, will most likely never develop and be born and will be discarded. I can see why it makes sense to many Americans to use these surplus embryos for scientific research.

The reason I bring up IVF is because I am personally opposed to it. According to the National Institute of Health, during IVF as many as 16 embryos are created. One of those are then implanted in the uterus and allowed to develop like a natural embryo. The rest of the unused embryos are either discarded, frozen in case the pregnancy fails, or donated to other couples. However, like I said, few of the unused embryos are actually used for anything. So, in an effort to give birth to one child, as many as 15 potential lives are destroyed.

I understand the anguish that many Americans feel about their loved ones who suffer from debilitating diseases such as alzheimer's, parkinson's, and other illnesses like cancer and diabetes. Research has shown that embryonic stem cells have the potential to provide treatments or even cures for these diseases.

But does the end justify the means?

I believe that it does not. Each embryo deserves the opportunity to live. Each spirit child of our Heavenly Father deserves to come to this earth to have the same opportunity to grow and progress that we have (unless He says otherwise.)

If stem cell research were to lead to cures for the diseases I mentioned, the quality of life for those who are cured would obviously be much better. However, most of these people have had an opportunity to live their lives. They have grown and they have progressed. Jesus Christ will come again and we will all be resurrected. Their illnesses will be gone in our post-mortal lives. To me, justifying the destruction of innocent life in order to prolong life shows a distorted view of the plan of salvation.

The 500,000 embryos that are currently frozen will not have the opportunity to live. Therefore, I would not be opposed to those embryos being used for research. We might as well find some good in a situtation that we should not be in in the first place. However, I do not think that any more embryos should be created and destroyed for the sake of scientific research.

We should also remember that stem cells can be derived from other tissues. Research has shown that umbilical cord blood, placental tissue, nerve tissue, skin cells, and body fat cells are among the sources of stem cells. These sources, and thus research using these sources, are not ethically objectionable in my opinion. They do not destroy life.

Peter Nguyen said...

Joe,

Well articulated. If I had an opinion of my own on the subject I would offer it.

Let me ask you more questions if you don't mind.

When do you believe the spirit enters the body? I assume from your post that you believe it happens at the embryonic stage?

Also, to my understanding, the bill that was recently voted on would use those frozen embryos for research. The bill would not create more. You obviously know that. Does that mean you would have supported the bill?

Lastly, while you cannot speak for other people, what rationale can you give for these mormon senators who voted in favor of the bill.

Mataiwaizu said...

It is true that stem cell research can be done without embryo's.
I really wonder why we have
entered this debate in our nation.

Is it because the scientist
want to use the embryo's to do more of the same study they could do by other means? I kinda just don't know man.

Or, has this just become a political hot issue so now, for senator and presidents to please people they have decided to vote and debate on this subject?

Has this only become a hot issue because it is dealing with embryo's?

Or,Is the real underlining debate about the respect that science has for life?

Because I tend to notice that science is heading in a cold, inhuman, un-natural, dis-respectful
trend. Wastefully toying with the grand creations of god. What an abomination and it just makes me sick.

Can you see why the land has to spew us out now?(Leviticus 18:28)

Un(anti)-natural actions create Un(anti)-natural Reactions.

All the wrath we will receive before the 2nd coming we will have asked for.

I agree with and support Joe, in his opposition to IVF.

I believe that science has already found many cures we
seek for with stem cell research.

Is this about cures, or money/politics? - (No I really don't know)


As for Bush's veto.... his approval rating is like what 34% , around there?
I can only guess what he is thinking about this issue.

I hope that we can use stem cell research with respect toward
the natural order and the creator.

Joe Strickland said...

The following web address contains the full text of H.R. 810:

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=h109-810

The bill does not appear to restrict research to the current stock of unusused embryos. The language contained in section b1 suggests that unused embryos from future IVF treatments will also be eligible for use in research. I am opposed to this.

Again the argument that those new embryos would just be discarded brings me back to my opposition to IVF. So while section b2 would ensure that only embryos that will not be implanted in a woman are the embryos that would be used, I am opposed to any more embryos being created through IVF altogether.

As soon as an egg is fertilized, life has been created. I do not know for certian when the spirit enters the body, but I do know that I cannot justify the destruction of innocent life for medical research.

I do not know why LDS congressman voted in favor of the bill. Since IVF is still legal and there are going to continue to be left-over embryos, perhaps these LDS congressman have decided that if we are going to have these left-over embryos that are going to be destroyed, we may as well use them for good. It makes sense doesn't it? But once again, I stand by my opinion that IVF should be illegal.

Chaucer Arafat said...

As soon as an egg is fertilized, life has been created.

is this empirically observable? also, the finer points of what constitutes "life" need to be addressed. Seems like a developed nervous system (among many other things) ia a necessary pre-condition..these are issues that we won't resolve here, i know. there are just multiple variables to consider.

It is refreshing to see everyone examining the details of this issue though. I don't think it is as black and white as many people want to make it (and what is, really?).

Lauren Bingham said...

Joe,

Maybe I'm completely missing your point here, but let me see if I've got this right. You're saying that every sample used in the in-vitro process is a potential life, right? And all of those little potential lives are actually little spirit babies awaiting a body in the spirit world, right? So you're saying that because all of those embryos weren't used during IVF, those little spirit babies won't have the chance at life...right?

The way I see it, Heavenly Father has a plan for each and every one of His children to come to Earth and His plan can't be foiled by our actions. I just couldn't see God turning to hundreds of thousands of people in the spirit world saying, "Sorry guys, you were all thrown out during IVF procedures so you won't be getting a body and gaining exaltation after all. So if you'll follow my assistant, he'll show you to the line for spirit prison." If the spirits aren't born through IVF, I'm pretty sure Heavenly Father would find another way.

But here's the point I'd really like to drive home. If ya'll have been following the news and the debate over the bill this week and last, you've heard about Rove saying that adult stem cell research (which I'm pretty sure is what you're talking about, Joe, when referencing use of placenta, skin, fat cells etc.) holds "far more promise...than from embryonic stem cells." Again, if you've been following the news, you'd know that Rove, who was unable to provide verification for his statement, has been reamed by leading experts in the medical research community.

By the way, Joe and Mataiwaizu, where's your sources to back your statements? Here's mine--a fantastic article done by the Chicago Tribune last week:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-0607190211jul19,1,2440889.story

In case you're pressed for time and can't read the whole article, here are some of my favorite parts:

The field of stem cell medicine is too young and unproven to make such judgments, experts say.

Dr. Markus Grompe, director of the stem cell center at the Oregon Health and Science University, is a Catholic who objects to research involving the destruction of embryos and is seeking alternative ways of making stem cells. But Grompe said there is "no factual basis to compare the promise" of adult stem cells and cells taken from embryos.

Grompe said, "I think it's a problem when [opponents of embryonic research] make a scientific argument as opposed to stating the real reason they are opposed--which is [that] it's a moral, ethical problem."

Adult stem cells, which usually come from bone marrow transplants or umbilical cord blood, are widely considered less flexible than embryonic stem cells in forming many types of tissue.


So there you go--don't jump on the "adult stem cells are the unniversal Ban-Aid" banwagon just because someone says so.

To bring up another issue, Bush coudn't be more ambiguous about the issue. He vetoes the bill, clearly to cling to his radical right-wing base, despite is wide margin of support in the Senate/House. Yet, Tony Snow has been quoted saying that Bush is "not opposed to stem cell research, he's all for it." As far as I know, he hasn't denounced Rove's false statement.

Then, this morning, he sends his chief of staff on Meet the Press to say that the President considers stem cell research murder, but won't actually outlaw it. THEN says that he would actually be okay with IVF so long as it's researched in the private sector. Here's the transcript, it's great:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/13904922/page/5/

So someone, please, help me out with making heads or tails of our administrations stance on this and how it's not completely hypocritical.

Chaucer Arafat said...

fatalist?

Qwarto said...

I firmly believe all this veto for the research is a smoke screen in an elections year.
To me is just to make the a clear point that Congress can think different from the President. These crooks made a marketing masterpiece once again.

Mataiwaizu said...

"As for Bush's veto.... his approval rating is like what 34% , around there?
I can only guess what he is thinking about this issue.

I hope that we can use stem cell research with respect toward
the natural order and the creator."

Did you read this part? :)

The bill veto is not the end of stem cell research as we know it. It does, stop federal funding in the embryonic area on new lines of embryos. This does not stop State funding which IS being done.

I believe that stem cell research will provide good research for passable cures. It is still research though and cures are possably many, many years away.

My source?
Most of what I wrote are my questions and thoughts on the issue. Things I am wondering about while hearing this debate go on. The information I know about Stem cell research is based on New pieces from T.V. and various articles and research that I have read/seen.

I recently read an article in the wall street journal about the issue regarding adult stem cell research. It is possible. In fact some scientist think it is more promising because the cell can be transfer easier between adults. While MOST scientist believe that embryonic stem cell research has more potential in finding cures because the cells can grow and change easier.

I believe we need to be careful how we treat life. And we should be careful at the trend that science is taking in this matter.

Stem cell research with cation and respect can do us good. Where is that path so that we can walk it?