Monday, April 20, 2009

induced pluripotent stem cell (iPS) research

In a noble quest to find alternatives to Embryonic Stem Cell Research, many seem to be disregarding the Vatican's caution in Section 30 of Dignitas Personae: "The ethical objections raised in many quarters to therapeutic cloning and to the use of human embryos formed in vitro have led some researchers to propose new techniques which are presented as capable of producing stem cells of an embryonic type without implying the destruction of true human embryos. These proposals have been met with questions of both a scientific and an ethical nature regarding above all the ontological status of the 'product' obtained in this way. Until these doubts have been clarified, the statement of the Encyclical Evangelium vitae needs to be kept in mind: 'what is at stake is so important that, from the standpoint of moral obligation, the mere probability that a human person is involved would suffice to justify an absolutely clear prohibition of any intervention aimed at killing a human embryo.'"

While "these doubts have [NOT YET] been clarified", some in the pro-life community seem to be throwing caution to the wind. Dianne N. Irving, Ph.D. has long been a voice of reason, saying: Not so fast! Just 10 days ago, Dr. Irving asked: "Are these iPS cells just 'embryo-like', or are they - at least sometimes - really single- or multiple-cell early human 'embryos', or even human totipotent cells that have the natural capacity to revert back to new whole human embryos?" <>.

In four short months since Dignitas Personae, Ms. Vadas acknowledged (in our phone conversation) that there has been no Church teaching to abrogate Dignitas Personae's caution. I believe it is the responsibility of (arch)diocesan Respect Life offices to MUCH better disseminate Dignitas Personae, including its caution.

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Book & Film Reviews, pt 2

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And yup, that's me!

And yup, that's me!
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March for Life 2010