Stem cell research is a noble aspiration in the medicinal, scientific realm. It has many potential applications for cures. However, there are two different types of stem cell research: Adult stem cell and embryonic stem cell.
The Church only applauds stem cell research that does not violate human life. Embryonic stem cell research does just that, violate human life, being that an embryo is indeed a human. while media and politicians have been insisting that only stem-cells from destroyed embryos can cure the diseases of over 100 million patients, Fr. Pacholczyk pointed out that not one human being or animal has been cured with such research. In fact, since embryonic stem-cells are designed to work in an embryonic environment, their rapid cellular growth have produced tumors called teratoma, and led to death in test subjects (more reason to halt ESCR). Adult stem cells, on the other hand, unlike embryonic stem cells, are derived from adult tissues and pregnancy matter have shown impressive results without carrying any ethical dilemma or risk of tumors and death to patients. Fr. Pacholczyk listed dozens of diseases currently treatable using these stem cells, including sickle-cell anemia, leukemia, spinal cord injury, and heart disease.
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CCC applicable to stem cell research:
2275 “One must hold as licit procedures carried out on the human embryo which respect the life and integrity of the embryo and do not involve disproportionate risks for it, but are directed toward its healing the improvement of its condition of health, or its individual survival.”83
“It is immoral to produce human embryos intended for exploitation as disposable biological material.”84
“Certain attempts to influence chromosomic or genetic inheritance are not therapeutic but are aimed at producing human beings selected according to sex or other predetermined qualities. Such manipulations are contrary to the personal dignity of the human being and his integrity and identity”85 which are unique and unrepeatable.
2295 Research or experimentation on the human being cannot legitimate acts that are in themselves contrary to the dignity of persons and to the moral law. The subjects’ potential consent does not justify such acts. Experimentation on human beings is not morally legitimate if it exposes the subject’s life or physical and psychological integrity to disproportionate or avoidable risks. Experimentation on human beings does not conform to the dignity of the person if it takes place without the informed consent of the subject or those who legitimately speak for him.
2294 It is an illusion to claim moral neutrality in scientific research and its applications. On the other hand, guiding principles cannot be inferred from simple technical efficiency, or from the usefulness accruing to some at the expense of others or, even worse, from prevailing ideologies. Science and technology by their very nature require unconditional respect for fundamental moral criteria. They must be at the service of the human person, of his inalienable rights, of his true and integral good, in conformity with the plan and the will of God.