Saturday, December 16, 2006
Murdering Babies for Stem Cell 'Research'
-By Warner Todd Huston
Well, here is the nightmare scenario that every right to life, Conservative has warned about when a society so disrespects life that it begins harvesting human cells and parts for "science" and medicine.
Ukraine babies in stem cell probe
There is heated debate about the ethics of using stem cells
Healthy new-born babies may have been killed in Ukraine to feed a flourishing international trade in stem cells, evidence obtained by the BBC suggests.
But now there are claims that stem cells are also being harvested from live babies.
The BBC has spoken to mothers from the city of Kharkiv who say they gave birth to healthy babies, only to have them taken by maternity staff.
In its report, the Council describes a general culture of trafficking of children snatched at birth, and a wall of silence from hospital staff upwards over their fate.
Couple this report with the constant reports that China is harvesting the organs from live prisoners of the state and the poor to sell to the rich in need of organ donors and you will see perfect examples of a lack of respect for human life.
These are the warning signs of a misuse of science, the kind of misuse featured in the "medical experiments" carried out by Nazis and Japanese "doctors" during WWII that so shocked the world. When a culture is so cavalier with life these sorts of trafficking situations are absolutely bound to occur.
If you life is not rated as special, as sacrosanct, then there is no mental or cultural barrier to harvesting organs from living people to benefit those who can pay to steal their organs. There is nothing to stop unethical medical practitioners from killing babies and adults to sell the parts they harvest from those warm bodies.
If a human life is to be considered an "unviable tissue mass" even in vitro, then there is no way to stop the practice of making human cells, human organs... life itself... a commodity to buy and sell.
In fact, if this practice stays in operation underground long enough, it will surely go above ground and become legal in the long run. After all, why not just legitimize it if it has been going on for years anyway?
Now that medical science has advanced to this level, now that human cells and organs can be used to extend other's lives, this kind of buying and selling of human body parts will naturally follow. And, without a healthy respect for life embedded deep in a culture's psyche making trafficking and stealing of those parts anathema, this kind of outrage will grow apace with science and the medical arts.
And scientists will continue to and in ever growing numbers cast aside ethical considerations for that next great breakthrough, or merely to make a living off the deaths of the less protected, those "worth less" to society.
But, then, the question must always be asked in Orwellian overtones: WHO is to determine which citizen is "worth less" and which is not?
Because, let's face it, the rich are who will benefit the most from such trafficking. After all, it is they who can pay for these black market body parts. And do we really want to develop the concept in the west that the "poor" are worth so little to the world except what cells and organs can be stolen from their still breathing bodies?
I hope not.
It must be a goal of any advanced society to foster a respect for life lest life become so unimportant that such abuses become commonplace. And, if such harvesting becomes commonplace, we would live in a society so separated by class that the rich would literally be able to live off the organs of the underclass.
We must have a serious discussion of these ethical considerations before the practice of harvesting organs from people becomes widespread. We must not wait until it is so pervasive in our societies that it becomes a crisis. Let us now resolve to sanctify life before many millions die in the name of science.
The murder of people for their cells, organs and appendages has already begun, but let us undertake a cultural shift away from such mistreatment.
Let us do it before it is too late.