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Ethical Question Relating to Stem Cells From A Baby

User Thread
 32yrs • F •
Ethical Question Relating to Stem Cells From A Baby
Here's a question/dilemma.

It's regarding the ethics of taking stem cells from a baby who is too young to provide consent. I am of the mind that taking cells from a person without their consent is an invasion of their rights, even if they are unable to provide consent. So by that rationale, even a parent cannot provide consent on behalf of their child.

So if you're someone who shares a similar mentality, or you are opposed to taking stem cells from babies/unborn children for some other reason, here's a question for you:

What if you're married, have a baby and your husband/wife has some fatal physical illness that could be cured if stem cells from your baby were used. If you take stem cells from your baby, your partner lives, if not, he/she will die.

What would you do and why?

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"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."
[  Edited by Dawn at   ]
 25yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Rainman05 is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Ok. I will get to answering the question, but before, some data.

Stem cells are basically of 2 types relevant to this topic.
-adult stem cells (or post-natal stem cells)
-embryonic stem cells (pre-natal stem cells)

The first can be harvested from anybody who is born basically. I am against the harvesting of stem cells from children under the age of 14 for scientific purposes because despite the fact that their parents can give permission for the harvest, I don't know if the parents are always capable of making informed decisions in regards to this. So no to stem cell harvesting for kids under 14 for scientific purposes because it can lead to some form of abuse from the unscrupulous who wander even in the medical field. Why not to kids under the age of 14? Because it's fucking painful and pretty abusive. The whole thing can last for 3-4 days and it fucks up your body for a pretty long time. It is not different than undergoing a severe surgery. I think kids under the age of 14 should be spared from such pains for the purpose of scientific advancement. Stem cells from healthy physical and mentally adults are just as good as the ones from kids under the age of 14.

Embryonic stem cells. This is the controversial one. Why? Because of the way the stem cells are being harvested. You take the stem cells from a unborn baby who is under 14 days old. 14 days. he has had maximum 2 weeks of "life" and then was killed for his cells. The closest thing to this is for you to kill your family members for their organs to use for yourself or sell of the black market. The problem is that these stem cells are the most valuable ones because they can be used to "replace" or "heal" almost any other cell affliction of the body. This means also a cure for numerous kinds of cancer. Regardless, I am against the stem cell research from embryos.

There is one more kind of harvesting, at that is at birth. Harvesting stem cells from the cord that ties the mother to the newly born baby. The umbilical cord is severed and then harvested for its stem cells. I am ok with this kind of stem cell research in the scientific field and even more ok with its use for medicinal purposes. Why for medicinal purposes? Because the stem cells obtained from that cord can help the newly born baby himself without him being the object of harvest. The downside is that one umbilical cord cannot provide sufficient stem cells to treat an ill adult...

So lets get to the question at hand then.

What if you're married, have a baby and your husband/wife has some fatal physical illness that could be cured if stem cells from your baby were used. If you take stem cells from your baby, your partner lives, if not, he/she will die.

I would take into account several questions.
-Can my wife deliver the baby without risking the baby's life? In other words, is she dying or not? If she is dying and she is pregnant with a child who is under 14 days, and there is great risk of the child coming to birth after 9 months with serious problems or maybe, even not at all, I am in agreement that for medicinal purposes, the stem cells of the unborn should be harvested to save her life. But I would not agree for scientific purposes, as in research and shit. No, just to save her life. If I were the one who would be dying, and both my wife and my unborn child would be very healthy and ok, I think I wouldn't agree to the stem cell harvesting of my unborn child to save my life.

-what if the baby would be over 14 days old but they could still use his stem cells to save my wife. the answer is still the same. If it results in the destruction of the child, then no, unless my wife would be unable to live long enough to deliver the child to life.

-How about taking stem cells from my kid who is under 14 years? I don't know really. If the procedure would be just painful and hard to bear, but not dangerous to his life, I would agree, for strictly medicinal purposes but not scientific research, for him to undergo said procedure in order for me or my wife to live.

So yeah, this is my 2cents.

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 25yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Rainman05 is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
That is one of the arguments. The other is that the unborn child has no duty to be sacrificed for the benefit of others. He has no relation with most of the world, only with his parents. In other words, he only owes his life to his parents. The rest of the world be damned.

There is also the way you think about people. I see every birth as a possibility for the arrival of someone who can actually do a lot of good in the world. What if you are denying the chance of life of someone who would eventually find another way of curing said diseases through more un-intrusive measures. What if you deny life to someone who would become a NASA scientist and develop interstellar travelling. Then again, odds are that you are denying life to someone who would be just your everyday joe. It still doesn't matter.

As I said, it is just like you were to murder your family members for their organs. Either to sell them (benefit other people now or in the long run) or use them urself (get a transfer).

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 25yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Rainman05 is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
In a nutshell, yes. Unborn kids cannot decide for themselves. Parents are therefore the natural and the legal decision makers in regards to their unborn child's future. Hypothetically, I would not agree that a third party, like the government or somebody else to make that kind of decision for the mother and the baby. Only the parents. If the parents cannot make such a decision (like, maybe the father is missing and the mother is crazy, medicinally crazy) nobody gets to make the decision for the mother in the case of stem cell harvesting.

We can draw parallels to abortion if you want to, in order to make things more clear.

Through abortion, you destroy a life because the parents (or mother rather) decided that having the baby would be one of the following:
a) a health risk
b) a financial hazzard (may cause lose of job, impairment of job, etc)
c) she isn't capable of raising a child because of a certain set of conditions.

Out of those options, b) seems the shitty one, but it is a valid one. So when you draw the line, having an abortion is the option to keep the status quo the same. Things remain the way they were before (ofc, there are small differences but we are talking about tangible effects, not psychological and stuff). I support the right of parents to do abortions and think this whole debate in the US regarding abortion is ludicrous and backwards.

Through stem cell harvesting of embryos, babies are also practically aborted. They die. The reasons a, b, c are still there, but to that, you can add d) for health benefit. This means that through the abortion of a child by harvesting it for its stem cells may end up saving the parents' life. It's basically a trade up from abortion.

Granted, the whole situation presented is full of holes really because people who want to do abortions usually do it when they are month 2-5 or smth like it and stem cell harvesting can only occur in the first 2 weeks. But yeah... the idea is the health and the medicinal utility of abortions and stem cell harvesting. I am against doing either for scientific purposes and fully support both for medicinal and health purposes.

I know it seems crude and unusual... and the whole thing leaves plenty of room for abuse, but I am here to carry a conversation with y'all. So this is my POV, what are yours? I am quite curious.

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 25yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Rainman05 is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
So the idea about abortion was just a sidenote but I can see there are discussions here too.

I find it rather silly really. America is the only civilized country who hasn't figured out and still frowns upon notions that the rest of the civilized world has long buried. Take most European countries for example. There is no governmental discussion between political parties (the serious ones) whether it should be banned or not. Even in the face of a very small population growth which leads to serious problems in the social fabric of a country in the future, conservative/christian/socialist parties do not go about rambling at the abortion topic. Abortion is legal as long as you decide to do it in the first 3-4 months. Period. Why? because afterwards science tells us that you endanger both the child and the mother and that the child is pretty much a living thing. It has brain activity and stuff. In my country however abortion is legal all the time. You can have abortions even if you are 8 months pregnant, though it is highly unadvised due to good proper scientific reasons.

About stem cells. yeah, nothing more to add... you can do more research. Mine turned out what I have described in my first post. I also did some research and they are developing new extraction methods. if a harvesting method that doesn't terminate life is found, then by all means, go for it.

The really upsetting part about stem cell harvesting is that catching pregnancy in the first 2 weeks is pretty hard to do. In order to ensure that you get to it in time you need to have "farms" basically. Women who actively undergo getting pregnant (in-vitro or natural) in order to have their under 14 days old fetuses harvested for their stem cells. It's a human farm. Just like in the Matrix where u see the humans harvested for electricity... here you harvest them for their cells.

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Ethical Question Relating to Stem Cells From A Baby
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