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Jenifer Estess, R.I.P

Started by Russ Saltzman, September 12, 2013, 10:26:52 AM

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Russ Saltzman

One of those occasions when you knew something needed to be said personally, but circumstances intervened and it was never said.
Russell E Saltzman
former editor, Forum Letter
former columnist,
Facebook: Russ Saltzman

Jeremy Loesch

Thanks for saying it now.  Nicely written. 

Jeremy (a diabetic who hears from all sorts of people how nice it would be if there were a cure and who sees the look on their faces when I tell them that I wouldn't want the cure that comes from the destruction of human embryos.)
A Lutheran pastor growing into all sorts of things.

Dan Fienen

Science fiction has ways of exploring issues that avoids immediate personalities.  Back in the 1990's the SF series Babylon 5 dealt with many themes. In one episode "Deathwalker" a wanted war criminal.  The individual had developed a serum that cures all disease and extends life indefinitely.  The kicker is that the processes for making the serum is complex, not able to be synthesized and involves killing a thousand people to make enough for one person.  Everybody wants to take custody of the criminal.

Obviously, this is much more extreme a situation than the harvesting of unwanted human embryos for stem cells.  Yet it does raise the question, at what point does it become acceptable to destroy human life in order to benefit others?

I remember hearing of a case or several where a child needed a transplant that would best, or perhaps only work if from a sibling - and even then not guaranteed.  But the child is an only child, or otherwise has no suitable siblings to be a donor. In at least one case the mother intentionally became pregnant, hoping to produce a suitable donor.  What are the ethics of the situation, especially as it was suggested that the embryo be tested for compatibility (possible) and if the unborn child is not suitable be aborted so that another attempt could be made sooner (and without as many children littering up the family as attempts are made). 

Even if I remember the details incorrectly, it is a legitimate question - is it moral to conceive a child for a specific purpose and to abort that child if it turns out to be incapable of that purpose?  At what point do we as a society start treating people as means to and end and how far do we push that?

Pr. Daniel Fienen

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