This question was raised after reading a study protocol that we were asked to review. Basically, human embryonic tissue was going to be used to determine the toxic effects of certain pesticides on babies. As I'm reading this proposed study I wondered where exactly this tissue was coming from. Twenty pages later I read my answer... from aborted embryos. Now this is not going to be a blog about abortion and women's rights regarding that issue. Instead it's going to deal with the question I posted... does death bring life?
The researchers engaging in this study are using tissue that has already been collected. They are not asking women to have abortions simply for this study. Also, they are looking at what happens to fetuses when they are exposed to harmful chemicals early in life in hopes of better stopping adverse effects on babies. On paper it sounds all good, but yet, I still can't help but wonder does the end justify the means. Should we as moral human beings use aborted babies for research? I think the thing that really struck me is that the women who have the abortions all sign consent forms stating that their aborted tissue can be used for research. So that means a couple things. 1. they do in fact care for the fetus and want to see something good come out of the situation (a benefit to society as it's called) or 2. they have no problem with the experimentation and don't care what happens.
Along those same lines are experiments with the elderly. New Alzheimer's drugs, cancer drugs, and various other drugs are constantly being tried out on this population in hopes of helping those that are younger, helathier. Is this ok? Can we consciously allow death to bring life to so many? Now I know death is a part of life and it is a continous circle. Birth=death, but where does the line between nature and man get crossed? When is enough truly enough? How far do we search for that fountain of youth?
Genetic testing, embryonic testing are new and vastly growing fields, and I believe, that if done correctly and following specific guidelines, that these tests can be beneficial and good. What I'm concerned about is the means for acquiring this life. Are we to become propenents of death in order to see another live or do we let death rule? Conversely some say that using the aborted fetuses provides a sense of moral rightness. They say the fetuses are being used to help a baby live that is wanted. Again, the societal benefit concept.
This is a controversial and hot topic and will become more so as we approach the upcoming elections. I don't have any answers. I have personal beliefs regarding the issue but also understand both sides. But this isn't about who's right and who's wrong, it's about asking ourselves how far do we let death=life?