For two thousand years, the church has been encountering difficult ethical questions as it lives in the world, yet strives to be not of the world. The new bio-ethical dilemmas facing Christians in our day are no different. I am pasting this entire article from Justin Taylor’s blog. It is a helpful guide to the important issues surrounding a Christian’s view of the person who is conceived, yet unborn.
And just like that, embryonic stem-cell research (ESCR) is back in the news.
On Monday U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth issued a temporary injunction blocking President Obama’s executive order to expand funding for research on stem cells derived from embryos. Judge Lamberth wrote, in part, “ESC research is clearly research in which an embryo is destroyed. To conduct ESC research, ESCs must be derived from an embryo. The process of deriving ESCs from an embryo results in the destruction of the embryo. Thus, ESC research necessarily depends upon the destruction of a human embryo.”
Joe Carter gives us a good refresher course—or introduction, for some—on stems cells and the controversy. Here is an outline of the questions he briefly answers:
- What are stem cells?
- How are stem cells different than other types of cells?
- Why are stem cells so important to research?
- What are embryonic stem cells?
- Where do the embryos for ESC come from?
- What are adult stem cells?
- What is a stem cell “line”?
- Why is there a controversy over ESC research?
- Didn’t the Bush administration ban funding of ESC?
- Since the government doesn’t prohibit private funding why does it matter if tax dollars are used for the research?
- Has embryonic stem cell research ever resulted in therapeutic treatments?
- Has adult stem cell research ever resulted in therapeutic treatments?
- Are there any restrictions on adult stem cell research?
For some further reading on the immorality of President Obama’s executive order and the politicization of the scientific issues, I’d recommend:
- The President Politicizes Stem-Cell Research, by Robert P. George and Eric Cohen
- Obama’s Embryo Destruction Extremism, by Yuval Levin
- Obama’s False Choice, by Yuval Levin
- Science Over All? by Yuval Levin
- Winning Smugly, William Saletan (pro-choice journalist)
- Obama Also Rescinds Executive Order for Alternatives to ESCR, by Wesley J. Smith
- Perpetuating a Needless Stem-Cell War, by Ryan T. Anderson
- Stem Cells: A Political History, by Joseph Bottum and Ryan T. Anderson