Ethics In The Lab: Family Foundation Releases New Policy Paper

Stem cell research has been at the center of one of the hottest debates in the 21st century where science and ethics have clashed. Additionally, many lab procedures flirt with the bounds of ethics and morality — cloning, genetic engineering, in vitro fertilization, and preimplantation genetic diagnosis to name just a few. Some scientists see new lab procedures as holding the answer to many of medicine's most difficult challenges. They see a future with the ability to clone, cure the most noxious of diseases — perhaps, even, the ability to achieve genetic perfection. But such a utopian vision dismisses the spiritual side of the equation, overriding it with the "absolutes" of science. This vision ignores the moral and ethical questions surrounding medical research:

What are the potential human costs of these so-called "advances in medicine and technology?"

Are some humans "disposable" if their destruction leads to medical advances?

As science moves into uncharted territory, Americans are caught between the hope it provides and the quickly fading morals that guard against sacrificing human life. Responding to these challenges, The Family Foundation has produced, Do No Harm: Ethics in the Laboratory, a new policy paper. In this paper, we address the oft-asked questions of

When does life begin?

Is embryonic stem cell research ethical?

Is in vitro fertilization a choice that respects life?

I encourage you to read Do No Harm as I believe you will find it instructive and enlightening. Click here to read the report in its entirety.

The Family Foundation has worked with pro-life allies for several years to educate the public and legislators on this important topic. We have successfully amended legislation that attempted to funnel your tax dollars into unethical research to ensure that Virginians are not forced to subsidize these questionable programs. There is still work to be done and too many politicians in Richmond are willing to waste our money on unethical and unproductive research. Our hope is that this paper will provide information to citizens, the media and elected officials they may not otherwise know.

To help us continue to produce research that produces policy papers such as Do No Harm and our previous papers, and to help us disseminate it to legislators, policy makers and the media, click here.

Oppose Destructive Embryonic Stem Cell Research And Funding!

It's bad enough President Barack Obama wants to take away medical professionals' conscience protections to refuse to participate in procedures antithetical to their beliefs and values. Now, his administration is making it open season on embryos and some radicals in Congress want to go further. Here's the situation: No doubt you know of the president's executive order (see here) in early March to remove the restrictions on embryonic stem cell research put in place by former President George W. Bush — even though it flies in the face of recent medical breakthroughs (see here) and expert opinion, as we saw this week on his friend Oprah's show (see here).

Still, the National Institute of Health has published draft guidelines to carry out the directive, which would allow the use of federal funds for stem cell research that requires destroying human embryos (unlike state funding, see here).

However, the public has a chance to be heard! As with the medical professionals' conscience protections rules, there is a public comment period. It ends Tuesday, May 26, 2009. Hundreds of you e-mailed your comments to Washington regarding the conscience protections debate when we asked you and we need you to do so again — and spread the word!

It's easy to send your comments. Our friends at the Virginia Catholic Conference today sent an alert explaining that the National Committee for a Human Life Amendment has set up a Web page with information on the issue and an e-mail system allowing you to express to your U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators your opposition to the use of your tax money for the destruction of embryos for stem cell research. Click here for the NCHLA Web site.

But that's not all: The Catholic Conference informs us that:

". . . some members of Congress have already stated a desire to move forward with legislation in favor of an even broader policy that would encourage the deliberate use of in vitro fertilization or cloning to produce human embryos for stem cell research."  

Not only is it horrible to contemplate government destroying life, but encouraging the harvesting of it for destructive research and using our hard-earned tax dollars to do so! If this research was so compelling, so likely to provide cures, private money by investors hoping to profit would fly into the equation. After all, there's a lot of money to be made on patents for cures and treatments.

The president and the hard left love to proclaim that we should follow the science and not the politics on this issue. As usual, it is the left purposefully twisting the argument because it is they who refuse to acknowledge the science that has produced 70-plus treatments and cures via adult stem cell research and zero from destroying embryos.