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Cook IB Biology (Period 3) 2 Jan 2009
Research Article – Stem Cell Research (Expository)
Subjects: Author(s): Publication title:
Stem cells, Medical research, Genetic engineering, Theology, Technological change, Science, Problems, Older parents, Legislation, Engineering research Drew Christiansen America. New York: Dec 22-Dec 29, 2008. Vol. 199, Issue 21; pgs. 6-7
Text Word Count 1455 1. What is the purpose of the work? This article by Drew Christiansen proposes the unethical use of stem cells like embryonic stem cell research, popular and special-interest agitation which attempts to violate moral norms out of sheer defiance. Even though adult stem cells already provide a proven and reliable source of biological material for research and therapy, the respect to genetic engineering—therapeutic interventions to bring an individual to normal functioning aka somatic cell gene therapy— is still unethical. “It prudently judges so-called "germ-line cell therapies" aimed at correcting an abnormality not only in the patient but also in his or her offspring as morally impermissible for the present, because the risks are considerable and the technique not fully controllable,” Christiansen stated in the article. He also mentions how the pragmatic attitude of "What we can do we must do" as a phrase that has captured the media, the public and elites, especially in the field of law. 2. What did the writer learn? The writer learned that the freezing of embryos in connection with in vitro fertilization is regarded as a weakening respect for the human person. It explicitly rejects intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (I.C.S.I.) as a technical intervention by a third party in what ought to be a fully interpersonal act between spouses. He learned that "Somatic cell gene therapy" has prudently judged "germ-line cell therapies" aimed at correcting an abnormality not only in the patient but also in his or her offspring as morally impermissible for the present, because the risks are considerable and the technique not fully controllable. The congregation opposes non-therapeutic or eugenic uses of genetic engineering to improve the gene pool through the selection or elimination of inherited traits. These, it says, “favor the preferences of some over the will of others and, as the example of Nazism has shown, are notoriously liable to ideological taint.” Rejecting the use of embryonic stem cells, it recognizes as licit the use of stem cells taken from adults, from umbilical cords and from fetuses who have died of natural causes. Clinical use of stem cells from these sources is morally permissible; and "research initiatives involving the use of adult stem cells, since they do not present ethical problems" are encouraged. Human cloning is rejected because it does not proceed from sexual union and because it violates the dignity of the unique individual person. Therapeutic cloning, moreover, is regarded as especially heinous in that
Choi 2 creating embryos with the intention of destroying them, even if it is intended to help the sick, is completely incompatible with human dignity. It would make one human being a means to the end of health and life for another. 3. Make some personal observations. Was this research worthwhile? Did it add significantly to our knowledge of the subject? What relationship does it have to what we are learning? This research was worthwhile because it presents many aspects of stem cell research aside from religious reasons and reasons surrounding human nature and instead, reflects the entire problem of a rebellious society where ethics are constantly shifting. The instruction's subject matter is technical. It offers a sustained and serious treatment of vital problems. I have learned that—just as the sciences have their own languages, moral theology also needs technical terminology and patterns of argument, congregation addresses are pressing. However, the obstacles to communication are great because the language of natural law has limited power today to turn back the tide of technological transgression we face. I also learned that some thinks pastorally, the church needs to find an improved rhetoric to engage the “postmodern mind,” and in its apologetics it must experiment with varied genres of persuasion to affect the fluid imaginations of the Digital Age. He ends the article with “Who will be the C. S. Lewis for our day, defending human nature and celebrating the Christian vision of life for the 21st century?” This is highly related to what we are going to learn because stem cell research is a hot seat debate topic that never resolved even until today. However, life and death issues are always at hand with stem cell research. By altering life and death, the nature of the world is also altered, which can become highly unethical. Unfortunately, we are often also tied with our emotions, which tells us, for example: to save a dying relative rather than allow them to pass away by nature.