Friday, March 13, 2009

More on embryonic stem cells

I did succeed in finding the article by Dr. Maureen Condic, which was published in the journal First Things back in 2002. It is entitled Stem Cells and False Hopes

See also her articles:

The Basics About Stem Cells

Life: Defining the Beginning by the End

Whose View of Life? Embryos, Cloning, and Stem Cells

Stem Cells and Babies

What We Know About Embryonic Stem Cells

Her latest, published in February of last year,

Getting Stem Cells Right

On a personal level, I am appreciative to Dr. Condic for gently reminding me that I have a responsibility to unambiguously defend life. Through a dialogue that she initiated with me, I reached a turning point, especially in my blogging, that takes this imperative as a pre-requisite. It is easy for me to get bogged down in legal technicalities, but the fact that the lives of the most vulnerable human beings are imperiled and that the infinite value of each and every human being gets lessened in our society as a result of policies like the Executive Order permitting embryonic stem cell funding, demands an unambiguous response. In light of what we see unfolding in the new administration, especially on life issues, it is important for me to realize how fundamental, how important, it is be for life. This is a positive stance, not a negative one. I am opposed to abortion because I am for life., I am opposed to embryonic stem cell research and to in vitro fertilization because I am for life. I am opposed to euthanasia because I am for life. I do not believe that there is, to coin a Nazi phrase, "life unworthy of life". It is important to remember what we learn in the Catechism :
356 Of all visible creatures only man is 'able to know and love his creator'. He is 'the only creature on earth that God has willed for its own sake', and he alone is called to share, by knowledge and love, in God's own life. It was for this end that he was created, and this is the fundamental reason for his dignity:

'What made you establish man in so great a dignity? Certainly the incalculable love by which you have looked on your creature in yourself! You are taken with love for her; for by love indeed you created her, by love you have given her a being capable of tasting your eternal Good.'

357 Being in the image of God the human individual possesses the dignity of a person, who is not just something, but someone. He is capable of self-knowledge, of self-possession and of freely giving himself and entering into communion with other persons. And he is called by grace to a covenant with his Creator, to offer him a response of faith and love that no other creature can give in his stead.

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