Not So Ethical

I am not especially in favor of being medically helped by anything other than adult stem cells. That being said, I should probably add that I benefit greatly from a rheumatoid arthritis medicine that isn’t all derived from humans. Currently, I take Enbrel injections once a week. I was sort of relieved, actually, to be put on Enbrel because I thought there were no animal components, but I later found out that, according to About:Arthritis, ” Enbrel is derived by introducing human DNA into Chinese hamster ovary cells and creating a genetically engineered protein.” I’m no scientist, but I think that means I profit from research that is remarkably similar to that mentioned in this article, entitled “Stem Cell Experts Slam UK Stance on Hybrid Embryos.”

According to the article, Britain plans to ban the creation of “hybrid” embryos “made from human DNA and animal eggs.” The article goes on to say that the embryos would be “more than 99% human but would still contain a small amount of animal DNA found in mitochondria…. ” The embryos would be destroyed after about two weeks.

What I think is this: I don’t have a problem with something like in vitro fertilization, which “creates” (with the help of God) life for the purpose of its being just that. Life. But when we start to use life, then I have a problem. I think that God has His purposes and we ought not to mess with them.

And that’s why I was relieved to see that Britain is going to ban the research.

Maybe my opinion is in the minority. There are a lot of people in the U.S. who are in favor of embryonic stem cell research. As quoted in this news article from my local Christian radio station:

Susan Muskett of the National Right to Life says the new Democratic leadership [in Congress] is intent on taking up legislation that would allow our tax money to be used to pay for research that would use and destroy living human embryos…

See, that’s the part with which I have a problem. The use and destroy part. At least for right now, though, such things are not officially sanctioned by our government or, it seems, by Britain’s.

Maybe I’m being picky about the research. After all, like I said, my medicine is made by introducing human DNA into hamster cells. As far as I know, though, the human DNA wasn’t taken from any embryos that were destroyed. And I take comfort in the fact that a genetically engineered protein is what was created. Not an embryo. I hope I’m not wrong that I am safely on the right side of the line here.

Being on the wrong side of that line could be disastrous for our society as a whole.


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