This week’s refutation comes from the Catholic News Service, an article by Nancy Frazier O’Brien claiming that stem cell research is “immoral and unnecessary.” O’Brien is viewing Stem Cell research from a religious perspective, and believes that stem cells are harming more lives than helping. O’Brien aligns perspective with that of the National Catholic Bishops conference which states that stem cells “cross the fundamental moral line that prevents us from treating any fellow human being as a mere object of research.” However, O’Brien and the Bishops do not understand the potential benefits for stem cell research, and that these cells are being developed and treating diseases such as juvenile diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, spinal cord injuries, Alzheimer’s disease, and even blindness.
According to Euro Stem Cells, stem cells can cure spinal cord injuries by replacing the nerve cells that have died as a result of the injury. These remarkable cells generate new supporting cells that will re-form the insulating nerve sheath and act as a bridge across the injury to stimulate a re-growth of these damaged cells. The teachings of the Catholic church always promotes going by extraordinary means to preserve life and it is highlight through their doctrines, however many Bishops turn their backs to the benefits of stem cell research.
O’Brien believes that stem cells are threatening the respect for life, but what she fails to see is that these embryos are saving lives, and groundbreaking research is curing ailments that threaten life. The Guardian reports that stem cells are curing symptoms of Parkinson’s disease in monkeys. The brain cells that have died off previously are being grown through stem cells are causing them to function normally and reverse movement problems caused by Parkinson’s in monkeys. Scientists believe that these reproducing stem cells can be transplanted into dopamine-producing cells that will treat the disease. The potential benefits of stem cell research outweighs the harm, and stem cell research will continue to help cure future diseases which otherwise would not be curable.
Fleming, N., & Sample, I. (2011, November 6). The Guardian. Retrieved November 8, 2011, from The Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2011/nov/06/stem-cells-brain-parkinsons-disease
O’Brien, N. F. (n.d.). American Catholic . Retrieved 8 11, 2012, from American Catholic.Org: http://www.americancatholic.org/News/StemCell/default.asp