Embryonic Stem Cell Delirium

By John Horvat II   
December 15, 2008
Most Americans have already seen the stem-cell news stories. A handicapped person is shown in a wheelchair suffering from his malady. The picture changes to a laboratory where research is taking place. The message: embryonic stem-stem-cellcell research will cure the poor suffering person. The screen then focuses on a conservative politician who raises cruel moral objections to the procedures.

 

It must be noted right from the start that even if embryonic stem-cell research did help treatment and even cure diseases, it would be totally unacceptable since it kills human embryos.

However, the tragedy of such media portrayals lays not in the “cruelty” of such moral positions but the falsity of the conclusion. Embryonic stem-cell simply will not cure the poor handicapped person. There is no scientific evidence to support this conclusion. However, the viewer is deliberately left with that impression.

Such tactics are symptoms of what might be called an embryonic stem-cell (ESC) delirium – a syndrome that causes patients to cling obstinately to such false conclusions and compulsively black out any other opinion.

Never mind that human life is destroyed! Never mind the fact that such research is not yielding results! Never mind that the conclusion is unscientific! Don’t even think about the possibility of sin. All these are minor considerations.

Nothing seems to stop embryonic stem-cell delirium. Bring up the facts and the media only cry all the louder: embryonic stem-cell research must go forward.

Just consider the facts.

No approved treatments have been obtained using embryonic stem-cells. None at all. No human trials are being done. After 20 years of research, embryonic stem-cells are not being used to treat people. Scientists have spent a whole generation to find out that embryonic stem cells are unreliable. Nature itself seems to react against their use since they tend to produce tumors, cause transplant rejection or form the wrong cells.

The record is extremely clear. These cells are not working and are even hazardous. There are no proven success stories in 20 years! There are no promising prospects for the near future. However, that does not stop the media’s cries. It does not stop celebrities infected with this delirium from demanding: embryonic stem-cell research must be supported.

The worst thing is that ESC sufferers will not even rationally consider other alternatives. Adult stem-cells have proven themselves time and again.

These cells can be obtained without killing human life. They are practical and ethical. Typically drawn from the bone marrow of patients, they have an excellent track record being used clinically over 30,000 times. Researchers are constantly making breakthroughs in this area.

Private investors are funding adult stem-cell not embryonic stem-cell research. They are making startling advancements using adult stem-cells in treating Parkinson’s disease, juvenile diabetes and spinal cord injuries.

Stem-cells from neo-natal cord blood have also proven successful. More than 6,000 patients and 66 diseases have been treated. The results are promising and exciting.

And yet the conclusion from those with ESC delirium is not to pour public money into these very successful treatments but those that have failed. State governments across the country are climbing over each other to get on this failing bandwagon throwing good money after bad. Billions, not millions, of dollars are being invested on this pipe dream that is really fast becoming a nightmare.

Bad economics cannot deter them. One would think sufferers would at least be concerned by women whose health could be harmed by egg harvesting methods. However, not even women’s health issues, so precious to feminists worldwide, seem not to affect the heartless insensitivity caused by ESC delirium.

Alas, perhaps researchers would do well to search for a cure for this illogical malady. Tragically, there are no regenerative stem-cells that can help.

No, ESC delirium is not a biological or even psychological malady. It is the sad byproduct of our culture of death. It is a moral illness that deadens the sensitivity to a moral law inside the soul. It causes society to lose its bearings and overturns all moral barriers that stand in its way.