The question “When does life begin” is what President George W. Bush asked and researched before banning production of embryos for the purpose of harvesting their stecells. To harvest a stem cell from an embryo, one must kill the embryo, thus extinguishing the life of that embryo. President Barack Obama revoked Bush’s order in 2009. It is sad that the words “responsible” and “human embryo stem cell research” are in this Executive Order which negates what Bush did. Now the FDA approves embryonic stem cell treatment for spinal injury.
The problem with this is that treatment for spinal cord injuries that have proven somewhat effective are from bone marrow stem cells not embryonic stem cells.
Stem cell treatment, using Beike’s cord mesenchymal stem cells and protocols for spinal cord injuries, is available at various hospitals in China and one in Thailand. Generally, many patients have reported improvements soon after treatment, and continue to notice more improvements for up to 12 months following the stem cell transplants.
Back in 2005 Byron Spice of the Pittsburg Gazette reported that scientists have now found cells that are “strikingly similar to embryonic stem cells in their ability to regenerate a wide variety of tissues.” They are cells found in the placenta. Since then stem cells have been found in the umbilical cord. Why must we use embryo stem cells? What makes them so much better than these other stem cells? The cells, called amniotic epithelial cells, (try pronouncing that, I dare you)potentially could be used to produce new liver cells to treat liver failure, or new pancreatic islet cells to cure diabetes or new neurons to treat Parkinson's disease. – Pittsburg Gazette, 2005
I am going to try not to sound sarcastic here. If anyone had bothered to ask me several years ago, I would have told them that there is no way God would have created a cure for anything that would require the death of another human. God just does not work that way, except only once and that was the death of His only Son to secure the life of all Believers which was on a Spiritually higher plane than mere physical healing. Other than that one instance, God does not take lives of innocents to save other human physical lives.
According to Prolife Physicians.org, the classification of what makes life had to be defined, categorized and agreed upon in order to know if life—or the evidence of it—was found on another planet. According to the elementary definition of life (found at the link provided), this categorizes embryos as Life and harvesting the stem cells from the embryos is then categorized as murder.
From the instant the sperm fertilizes the egg, the entity created exhibits all the faculties and cap abilities of a living organism whether it is in the womb or not, the capabilities are present. It is so organized that it has genes and DNA, it divides and multiplies reproducing cells as it grows within the womb. It adapts to the environment by attaching to the uterus wall. It responds to the environment and it seeks out sustenance from the mother by developing a connection which sustains Life through the umbilical cord.
At the risk of getting up on a soap box, let's take a hard look at this. Why would God give hope to the dying for a cure by causing the death of an innocent? He would not. He spared Nineveh because of their repentance but also because there were 120,000 innocent babes that could not tell their right from their left (Jonah 4:11) plus many domestic animals. Here is the case where the blameless saved the lives of the guilty, yes, but it was at no cost of lives of the blameless. Many have argued that God ordered many innocents killed when the Israelites took over Canaan. True, but also many were left there in order to test Israel's heart for obedience to God and for them to learn warfare. (Judges 2:22) . Those babies were not sacrificed to heal broken bodies. The adults were killed to prevent the cancer of idolatry. God decreed the inhabitants' of Caanan demise because of their wickedness.
What I find truly intriguing is that the university where the fellows that discovered this amazing thing held back from letting the paper Stems Cells Express be published until they could get a patent on the discovery. At first, I'm thinking, “Good for them.” Then I think, “Wha–?” Of course it's the process, but you can't get a patent on a placenta and blast it, you can't keep this sort of thing from helping others and keeping even more embryos from being destroyed.
Scientists have found the alternative to embryonic murder! But, it's truly a sad day when we must cover our all our bases (patent) before we can share medical breakthroughs like this. The fact is umbilical cord blood is rich with stem cells that have almost no immune system gunk so the tissue they create is far less likely to be rejected by the person with the disease being treated. http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/tech/stemcells/sctoday/ That is life healing life. That is what God provided in His amazing way so that we could better heal the sick and dying.
I have searched (not an exhaustive search by any means) many websites and I have not found (even in other countries that had no ban on embryonic stem cell research) where these types of stem cells have produced any therapy that would heal better than adult stem cells (bone marrow and placenta) or umbilical cord stem cells.
Since embryos (whether fertilized in the fallopian tubes or in a test tube) do meet all the criteria for being defined as life, the question remains: Do we have the right to play with life like that? No. We do not. There are seven things that God abominates and one of them is “hands that shed innocent blood.” Proverbs 6:17
I know these scientists do not know of Whom they offend. I pray that God will show Himself to them, that they may ask forgiveness and receive it before it is too late.