Pro Stem Cell Research Position Paper

The decision to federally fund research involving the destruction of human embryos would be profoundly disturbing even if this research could result in great scientific and medical gain.

The prospect of government-sponsored experiments to manipulate and destroy human embryos should make us all lie awake at night.

Whereas researchers using fetal tissue are not responsible for the death of the fetus, researchers using stem cells derived from embryos will typically be implicated in the destruction of the embryo.

This is true whether or not researchers participate in the derivation of embryonic stem cells.

If the flawed rationales of HHS are accepted, federally-funded researchers may soon be able to experiment on stem cells obtained by destroying embryonic human beings, so long as the act of destruction does not itself receive federal funds. ." Obviously, Congress' intent here was not merely to prohibit the use of federal funds for embryo destruction, but to prohibit the use of such funds for research dependent in any way upon such destruction.

While we in no way dispute the fact that the ability to treat or heal suffering persons is a great good, we also recognize that not all methods of achieving a desired good are morally or legally justifiable.

If this were not so, the medically accepted and legally required practices of informed consent and of seeking to do no harm to the patient could be ignored whenever some "greater good" seems achievable.

That some individuals would be destroyed in the name of medical science constitutes a threat to us all.

Recent statements claiming that human embryonic stem cell research is too promising to be slowed or prohibited underscore the sort of utopianism and hubris that could blind us to the truth of what we are doing and the harm we could cause to ourselves and others.

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