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Old April 25th, 2006, 07:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Stem Cells

I've got a debate coming up on stem cells. I need pro and con arguments. I know quite a bit, but for some reason I lack all motivation to research this topic any more. I have to do the cross examination and rebuttal for both pro & con sides.

Just a bit of the information that I have:

Facts
A couple undergoing IFV has four options for surplus embryos:
-Discard them
-Donate them to an infertile couple
-Donate them for research
-Preserve them at low temperatures

When does life begin? Conception? Birth?

Cons
Emerging evidence suggests that adult cells might be able to do just as much as embryonic cells. Why not research that before destroying more life?
*Need more cons*

Pros
Embryos will be destroyed anyway.
Can cure a lot of diseases, possible help thousands of people live better lives.


I mainly need counter arguments for the facts that the pro side will bring up.


Oh, and um...I guess 'discuss'.

-Jin
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Old April 25th, 2006, 07:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
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you do realize that this will be an all out flame-war by tomarrow right?
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Old April 25th, 2006, 07:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Con:

It's immoral to destroy a days-old embryo in order to save and provide relief to existing life.

Seems kind of hippy-ey to me but that's the best I could get. My friend is doing a debate on stem cells as well. I think he is against the use of them to so I can ask him for some more cons.
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Old April 25th, 2006, 07:48 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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I'm pro stem cell research.


you have my full support.
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Old April 25th, 2006, 07:51 PM   #5 (permalink)
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More Cons
Patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease, autoimmune diseases, stroke, anemia, cancer, immunodeficiency, corneal damage, blood and liver diseases, heart attack, and diabetes—have experienced improved function following administration of therapies derived from adult or umbilical cord blood stem cells.
Black market will emerge for embryos.
Actual clinical reports of embryonic success have been few, with many obstacles arising.
May lead to abnormalities in cells and organs.
Tumor formation is common
Unstable gene expression
Obtaining a single cell type is extremely rare, and the variability among developments is large.
Why not research obtaining stem cells from living fetuses?
Umbilical cord blood is an ethical alternative to embryonic stem cells.

Evil done in the name of science is NOT justified. Do you support the Nazis and all of the “beneficial science” that was conducted during the Holocaust on the Jews?


I'm not sure whether I am pro/con stem cell research. I am pro-life, but the damage has already been done in most cases, ie: the embryos will be destroyed anyway. I don't agree, but it poses interesting questions.

-Jin
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Old April 25th, 2006, 07:59 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jinjiro
Evil done in the name of science is NOT justified. Do you support the Nazis and all of the “beneficial science” that was conducted during the Holocaust on the Jews?
How exactly is fusing twins together and injecting dyes into the eyes of people solely for cosmetic reasons considered "beneficial"?
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Old April 25th, 2006, 08:03 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by PizzaMiLiTiA
How exactly is fusing twins together and injecting dyes into the eyes of people solely for cosmetic reasons considered "beneficial"?
I'm not saying I support what the Nazis did or the way they went about it, hence the quote marks around "beneficial". However, it's undeniable that because of the horrific experiments done during the Holocaust, medical advancements were made. Despite the evil methods the Nazis used, some of their research has proven beneficial and reputable.

-Jin
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Old April 25th, 2006, 08:43 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uberbunny
Con:

It's immoral to destroy a days-old embryo in order to save and provide relief to existing life.
Who gets to decide what is immoral?
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Old April 25th, 2006, 09:40 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by ComradeMolyneux
Who gets to decide what is immoral?
So should we do whatever we feel like, because hey, it may or may not be immoral? Let's just kill anyone we want to, steal, rape women, who cares. It's not immoral to me, right?

I think there is a general consensus among the people of the world that killing a human is immoral. The real question you should be asking is "Who gets to decide what is a human life?"

-Jin
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Old April 25th, 2006, 09:44 PM   #10 (permalink)
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One of the issues that I have given credence to is the issue of production. So ok, we define that stem cells can indeed provide benefit for certain conditions -- so where are all the stem cells going to come from to support a multi-million dollar industry that would be in place to serve the largest population possible? Will there be stem cell farms? Will there be a black market? What is the morality of making money on body products?

I am very much in favor of stem cell research, but I have yet come up with a good rebuttal for this issue. If you come up with one, let me know!



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Old April 25th, 2006, 09:48 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Who decides when human life begins is another good question.

I personally think that life begins when the baby is born and surviving outside of the womb.
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Old April 25th, 2006, 10:07 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ComradeMolyneux
Who decides when human life begins is another good question.

I personally think that life begins when the baby is born and surviving outside of the womb.
I don't understand why life begins after exiting the womb. It's not like there's some huge final change or growth that occurs as the baby is exiting that makes it 'alive'. In my mind, it is just as much alive inside as it is outside, except there's a couple extra layers of human flesh protecting it from the world.

-Jin
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Old April 25th, 2006, 10:12 PM   #13 (permalink)
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So, Jinjiro are you for or against it? Or for it up to a certain point, or what.
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Old April 25th, 2006, 10:14 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sittin_duk
So, Jinjiro are you for or against it? Or for it up to a certain point, or what.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jinjiro
I'm not sure whether I am pro/con stem cell research. I am pro-life, but the damage has already been done in most cases, ie: the embryos will be destroyed anyway. I don't agree, but it poses interesting questions.
I'm still undecided. I do not support destroying embryos or abortion at all. However, it's a fact that most of the embryos used in IFV will be destroyed anyway. I don't support that, but if they can be used to help people... I'm not sure.

-Jin
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Old April 25th, 2006, 10:18 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jinjiro
I don't understand why life begins after exiting the womb. It's not like there's some huge final change or growth that occurs as the baby is exiting that makes it 'alive'. In my mind, it is just as much alive inside as it is outside, except there's a couple extra layers of human flesh protecting it from the world.

-Jin
I figure that once it exits the womb it is no longer a parasite depending on another living being in order to live.
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Old April 25th, 2006, 10:23 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I figure that once it exits the womb it is no longer a parasite depending on another living being in order to live.
A parasite is not alive? If it depends on another living being it's not alive? So then everyone who depends on a respirator to breath is not alive. Everyone who can't feed themselves because they're paralyzed or debilitated are not alive.

Hell, by that definition, you're not really alive - ever. You ALWAYS depend on another living being in order to live. Even if you live alone, in the middle of a forest, depending on only the land, are you not still 'dead' by your definition? You depend on the animals you hunt, so therefor you aren't alive.

Your logic is flawed.

-Jin
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Old April 25th, 2006, 10:34 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jinjiro
A parasite is not alive? If it depends on another living being it's not alive? So then everyone who depends on a respirator to breath is not alive. Everyone who can't feed themselves because they're paralyzed or debilitated are not alive.

Hell, by that definition, you're not really alive - ever. You ALWAYS depend on another living being in order to live. Even if you live alone, in the middle of a forest, depending on only the land, are you not still 'dead' by your definition? You depend on the animals you hunt, so therefor you aren't alive.

Your logic is flawed.

-Jin
I think you're logic is flawed because a parasite is an organism that grows, feeds, and is sheltered on or in a different organism while contributing nothing to the survival of its host.(According to webster dictionary)

Using this definition a fetus would qualify as a parasite but none of the other examples would. Now if you want to argue definitions, we could consult the Oxford english dictionary if you want to take it to that level.

It may seem cynical and dreary to think of fetus' the way I do, but how else does anyone plan to offer a clear definition of when a person becomes a person. Of course we could always argue whether a fetus feels pain or not and I'm sure armo wouldn't mind taking me up on the philosphical question.

Now that I'm thinking, we could be even meaner and say a person isn't a person until it develops a personality. Would that be workable as a definition of human life. It would probably be hard to quantify though =\
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Old April 25th, 2006, 10:44 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Jinjiro
I'm still undecided. I do not support destroying embryos or abortion at all. However, it's a fact that most of the embryos used in IFV will be destroyed anyway. I don't support that, but if they can be used to help people... I'm not sure.

-Jin
Ahh, I gotcha, sorry for not reading the thread...got a wee bit lazy.
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Old April 25th, 2006, 10:45 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I think you're logic is flawed because a parasite is an organism that grows, feeds, and is sheltered on or in a different organism while contributing nothing to the survival of its host.(According to webster dictionary)

Using this definition a fetus would qualify as a parasite but none of the other examples would. Now if you want to argue definitions, we could consult the Oxford english dictionary if you want to take it to that level.
My other examples do indeed fit this definition of a parasite. An infant does all that you said: grows, feeds, and is sheltered on (not in) a different organism while contributing nothing to the survival of its host. Does not a paralyzed person fit the definition as well? Perhaps there is little growth, but they definitely obtain nourishment from the host without benefiting or killing the host, and it is definitely at the host's expense.

Of course one could say we're merely arguing semantics at this point, but isn't that what the whole debate over life revolves around?

Based on what you've said, you feel that an umbilical cord is the difference between pre-life and life?

Personally, I believe life begins at conception. I'll now wait for you to flame and attack me.

-Jin
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Old April 25th, 2006, 10:54 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jinjiro
Personally, I believe life begins at conception. I'll now wait for you to flame and attack me.

-Jin
Nah, I respect you more than that, you're not hunts, or sitting duck ya know

Semantics wise, you'd have to stretch to label a paralized person as a parasite but on to the good stuff.

I have only a limited knowledge on cord blood and since my girlfriend just showed up, it looks like I'll talk about this later so she doesn't catch me posting to a bunch of 14 year olds on a paintball forum.

Girlfriend goes home. So from what I understand, or at least what I remember from bio is that stem cells are found in the placenta and can be stored and used in case the child gets some uncurable disease like leukemia or some other disease. Is this what we're talking about?

WAIT! I thought we were talking about other stem cells. IFV stands for invitro fertilization? And the fertalized eggs that are not wanted are (one of the 4 options) is this what we're talking about, or am I still way off.
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Old April 26th, 2006, 11:51 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Nah, I respect you more than that, you're not hunts, or sitting duck ya know

Semantics wise, you'd have to stretch to label a paralized person as a parasite but on to the good stuff.

I have only a limited knowledge on cord blood and since my girlfriend just showed up, it looks like I'll talk about this later so she doesn't catch me posting to a bunch of 14 year olds on a paintball forum.

Girlfriend goes home. So from what I understand, or at least what I remember from bio is that stem cells are found in the placenta and can be stored and used in case the child gets some uncurable disease like leukemia or some other disease. Is this what we're talking about?

WAIT! I thought we were talking about other stem cells. IFV stands for invitro fertilization? And the fertalized eggs that are not wanted are (one of the 4 options) is this what we're talking about, or am I still way off.
So what did I do again?

Also, Jinjiro, here is a good website if you feel like reading into it. It has some really good definitions and stuff that you may like to use.
http://stemcells.nih.gov/info/
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Old April 26th, 2006, 01:45 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
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So should we do whatever we feel like, because hey, it may or may not be immoral? Let's just kill anyone we want to, steal, rape women, who cares. It's not immoral to me, right?

I think there is a general consensus among the people of the world that killing a human is immoral. The real question you should be asking is "Who gets to decide what is a human life?"

-Jin
wow, that's about the biggest straw-man I've EVER seen

his question was "who gets to decide what is immoral?" it's a very valid question. what may be moral to you may not be to someone else. who actually has the right to decide which is right and which is wrong? is there such thing as right and wrong when it comes to morality? I personally don't think so. one person may think it's perfectly fine to eat cats. the crazy cat lady on the corner thinks it's completely immoral. is either one right or wrong? it depends on what YOUR morals are, which means there cannot be one right or wrong because it differs from person to person, culture to culture.

now there are some things that are generally accepted as being immoral, i.e. rape, murder, etc. but even then, there are some people that think those things aren't immoral. they usually have severe problems, but, in some cases, those can be justifiable. it depends on the circumstances and, again, your morals (i.e. killing a murderer, raping a rapist, etc. some people don't believe in those things, others do)

now the question of when life begins is a can of worms I don't think will ever be completely dealt with. there are simply too many differing opinions that are completely biased and unwilling to change. scientific, religious, religiously scientific

now what I want to know is, why are you focusing solely on embryonic stem cells? there are other kinds of stem cells...
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Old April 26th, 2006, 02:17 PM   #23 (permalink)
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my speech on stem cells from last year


Ovarian cancer, strokes, breast cancer, arthritis, kidney cancer, anemia, leukemia, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, deafness, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, and diabetes all could be curable by the use of stem cells. There are many reasons why stem cell research should be allowed. It is possible that stem cells can cure many diseases, it is curable without the use of fetuses, and could play a key role in my life; i.e. diabetes. Though diabetes is important in my life, there are many other diseases which stem cells can cure.
Stem cells can cure many fatal diseases which could have a big impact on one’s life. A stem cell is a cell which is in early development. Before a cell has developed to become something like a heart cell, a blood cell, or anything else; it is known as a stem cell. Stem cells can later be implanted into damaged tissue and organs to heal malfunctions. Some diseases which stem cells could repair are ovarian cancer, strokes, breast cancer, arthritis, kidney cancer, anemia, leukemia, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, deafness, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, and diabetes. However, people do not choose to try and cure these diseases because they believe possible lives are being stolen. Though I do not agree with this concept, there are other reasonable means of obtaining stem cells.
Many people think that stem cells should be outlawed because they think lives are being taken in the process of obtaining stem cells. Most people believe that stem cells are solemnly obtained by unborn fetuses. Though these contain the largest variety of stem cells, they are not the only way of obtaining stem cells. One alternate way of obtaining stem cells is through bone marrows. Bone marrows are the soft, fatty, vascular tissue that fills most bone cavities and is the source of red blood cells and many white blood cells. These cells are better known as Hematopoietic cells. Another important form of obtaining stem cells is from umbilical cords. 30% to 45% of all blood which can be found in a fetus is also found in the umbilical cord and in the placenta. The cords are rich in Hematopoietic stem cells.
Clearly, stem cell research should be permitted. The cells are obtained from fetuses. The fetuses have not experienced life and are not yet living beings. Many fetuses never make it past the fetal stage anyway. For people who are pro-life and do not agree with this, the umbilical cords and placenta are excellent candidates for stem cells as well. If abortion is ever to be legalized, the fetuses are dead anyway and would be of much more use to humans than to a dead fetus.
Daily, I must perform certain diabetic tasks which become very tedious. I am a type 1 diabetic and this means that my pancreas cannot produce insulin. Insulin is a substance released by the pancreas which attaches to carbohydrates and turns the carbohydrates into glucose with the body uses for energy. Therefore, type 1 diabetics are forced to take shots of insulin to simulate a pancreas and avoid fatality. I also must treat the disease by taking shots, blood sugar measurements, and compensating low blood sugars. Stem cells can eliminate this obstacle from my life.
Scientists have determined that embryonic stem cells have been turned into insulin producing cells that could cure type 1 diabetes. Being diabetic myself, I obviously am in strong favor of permitting stem cell research. The Bush administration, however, bans federal funding of research using embryonic stem cells. In the pancreas there are things called islets which produce insulin, there are islets which type 1 diabetics lack and these can be formed using stem cells. They have been tested effective when sugar was added to these islets and the islets produced the efficient amount of insulin.
Now you can see how big of an impact stem cells could have on a person, imagine if the thousands of people with diseases far more severe than diabetes could tell their stories of their history and how much easier their lives are. When people fight against stem cell research, they are saying that they would not like the diseased to be cured, even though the cure is right in front of them. Clearly stem cell research should be allowed and supported by government. Imagine the possibilities.
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Old April 26th, 2006, 03:15 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jinjiro
I'm still undecided. I do not support destroying embryos or abortion at all. However, it's a fact that most of the embryos used in IFV will be destroyed anyway. I don't support that, but if they can be used to help people... I'm not sure.

-Jin

but wouldnt it also simply be giving people an excuse to have an abortion?

i am pro-choice and pro stemcell research (to an extent) but i think that it is also just giving people an excuse to have an abortion. im only prochoice circumstantually now that i think about it.
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Old April 26th, 2006, 03:31 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Bone marrow is a great alternative to embryotic stem cell research.
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