Before he added his update, Steve Urquhart presented his position on abortion and stem cell research, and in my opinion he missed some very important points. However, he has recently added an update and basically stole my fire. However, as there really isn’t anything else in the news, I would like to shed some light on embryonic stem cell research.
First, take note that I have referred to it as embryonic stem cell research. Not just stem cell research. The controversy here is regarding the use of human embryos that aren’t fully developed to conduct research that might provide us with information to help people who have physical problems (i.e., multiple sclerosis, palsy, paraplegia, etc.). However, when most people refer to this controversy, they seem to forget the very key word, “embryonic.” It is the killing of an embryo to conduct this research that is controversial. Not the use of the stem cells.
Second, we must not forget that such research is not illegal. Any one can conduct embryonic stem cell research (well, not just any one, research doctors mostly). But the fact is that the controversy is not about such research being conducted. The controversy is really about whether the federal government should be providing funds to such researchers. And when it comes to the controversial issue of human life, this research shouldn’t be funded by tax payers who don’t want such research done. (That’s ignoring the larger issue of whether the federal government should be funding any research).
Third, and this is a point that Urquhart mentions in his update, very little success has been found from the research (in and out of the United States) done on embryonic stem cells. Actually, more success has been found in research on stem cells that are harvested from adults.
Fourth, the federal government does provide funds to researchers who use adult stem cells in their research. So, baring the larger picture of whether government should be funding such research, doesn’t it seem to make sense to through our tax dollars at the research that is proving successful, and ignore the arena that hasn’t had much success?
So, when the national (or local) news outlets start bemoaning the backward direction of the United States’ policies regard “stem cell research” (note “embryonic” is absent), just remember that they aren’t giving you the whole story.