DeGette bill would expand culture of death

By Krista Kafer ( Should Nazi scientists have experimented on Jews, Gypsies and other concentration camp prisoners they knew were going to be put to death anyway? Would they not be putting them to a good use that might help others?

The very question fills me with revulsion.

It is with the same disgust and sorrow that I read in the Rocky Mountain News that Colorado Congresswoman Diana DeGette’s bill to fund embryonic stem cell research is moving forward in the US Senate. The bill, which passed the US House of Representatives last year in a 238-194 vote, will permit federal tax dollars to be used to kill human embryos to extract their stem cells.

Stem cells are special in that they can become other types of cells like muscle cells or a brain cells. From conception to old age, the human body creates stem cells. In adults, stem cells are present in the blood, bone marrow, skin, brain, liver, pancreas, fat, and hair follicle. Stem cells are also present in the placenta, umbilical cord, and amniotic fluid. Stem cells can be harmlessly culled from these sources to be used in medical experiments to treat diseases such as diabetes and spinal cord injuries. Adult stem cells may have the potential to cure a number of degenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease.

Unborn children, like adults, also have stem cells. Removal of these cells kills the baby. Nevertheless, some scientists favor harvesting 5- to 7-day old embryos’ cells even though there has been little success in using these cells to treat illness in other people. And even though embryonic stem cells, unlike adult stem cell treatments, can cause tumors or may be rejected by the treated person’s immune system.

Proponents exaggerate the potential benefits of embryonic stem cell research while down playing the fact that unborn children must die in these experiments. These are “spare” or “unused” embryos, they say, that will be discarded from fertility clinics. Created by parents who don’t want them anymore, the embryos will be wasted unless scientists can revive them from their frozen stasis and take their stem cells, albeit killing them in the process.

Spare people. Wasted people. Unused people. Unwanted people. We should recoil at the rhetoric. Sadly we may soon have no choice but to support the killing of the unborn with our taxes. Keep in mind that in the US it is legal to kill a child from conception until birth and to sell her body or tissues including her stem cells. It is also perfectly legal to donate money to these endeavors. Thanks to George Bush, however, we, the public, don’t have to be complicit in these crimes. This may soon change. The DeGette bill, if passed and signed into law, will ensure your tax dollars are spent to kill unborn children to harvest their tissues.

Nazi scientists learned a great deal about hypothermia and other conditions and diseases through the untold suffering and death of their victims. If embryonic stem cell experiments produce some benefit, and this is uncertain, it will be bought with the lives of innocents. If the DeGette bill should pass, each of us will have a hand in their deaths.