Over the past nearly 16 years, I have learned an awful lot about certain subjects that were never high on my hit parade before getting involved in the pro-life movement. But since wonders never cease, this process of being educated and immediately horrified continues. To put this in the proper perspective, let’s just say that when I first learned that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had lied about how the birth control pill worked, way back in the mid-1970s, I was incredulous. It never occurred to me that a public official or government agency would deny the facts by simply not mentioning them. Boy, was I naïve!
At that time, the subject was the birth control pill and the fact, proven scientifically and repeatedly, that the chemical can and does kill preborn babies during their first week of life. The government never identified those chemicals as having the potential to abort a preborn baby early, and the government has stuck to its monstrous tale for all these years.
Not only that, but some national pro-life groups have adhered to the same bogus position. Why, you might ask? To my mind, these organizations have done so in order to excuse themselves from demanding the whole truth and nothing but the truth from their political friends who sit in positions of power and welcome them to the table, as long as they remain politically acceptable.
Now there is something else that is beginning to irritate me on a number of levels and for the same reasons.
There is a flurry of news regarding the possibility that reprogrammed cells, from umbilical cord blood, could be an ethical replacement for the research currently being done using human embryonic stem cells. Since a human embryo must die in order for his or her stem cells to be used, the use of those cells is totally unethical and immoral. So could the news about the reprogrammed cord blood cells be positive or simply another sham?
Based on the evidence from various scientific journals, published articles and analysis, we would have to conclude that a reprogrammed cord blood cell, which is really just an induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell, is no more ethical than the previous “discoveries” reported by the mainstream media. For example, much earlier this year “stem cell pioneer” James Thomson claimed that his crew had used the “reprogramming method,” first pioneered by Shinya Yamanaka to take his research to a safer level, or so he claimed. As reported, Thomson accomplished this by “delivering the special genes with a plasmid, a small, very stable circle of DNA. The problematic genes were eventually diluted and what remained [was] cells that are like embryonic stem cells but that don’t require the destruction of human embryos to obtain.”
This sounded so good, but then the original report in Science was reviewed, and a different story emerged. As reported by Debi Vinnedge, “While Thomson hailed the process as much safer than past experiments (which is still highly debatable) in which he used lentiviruses to deliver the genes, what was not reported was his use of embryonic stem cells and aborted fetal cell lines as sources for the genes. ” In other words, the very basis for the reprogrammed cells would not have been available if not for the killing of preborn children. Thomson has never admitted this publicly and insists that his work is ethical. That would be my definition of fraud, but the picture gets worse.
The American Medical Association is persisting in its advocacy of human embryo destruction for scientific research. The latest venture is “pre-embryo-splitting.” The “pre-embryo” concept was debunked by real scientists long ago; yet the AMA persists in using this highly deceptive term. In an “Opinion” recently added to its Code of Medical Ethics, the AMA stated,
The technique of splitting in vitro fertilized pre-embryos may result in multiple genetically identical siblings.
The procedure of pre-embryo splitting should be available so long as both gamete providers agree. This procedure may greatly increase the chances of conception for an infertile couple or for a couple whose future reproductive capacity will likely be diminished. Pre-embryo splitting also can reduce the number of invasive procedures necessary for egg retrieval and the necessity for hormonal stimulants to generate multiple eggs. The use and disposition of any pre-embryos that are frozen for future use should be consistent with the Council’s opinion on frozen pre-embryos (Opinion 2.141, “Frozen Pre-embryos”).
In essence, the aforementioned quote is telling the reader is that there is nothing unethical about taking a preborn human being and splitting his body in two so that research can be conducted for the purpose of manufacturing more than one human being in a laboratory setting, even at the cost of killing the original human being.
And as long as the AMA is pleased with itself for denying the facts set forth in the Carnegie Stages of Human Development and basic human embryology by insisting that there really is no human embryo there, just something called a pre-embryo, all is considered well in the conference rooms occupied by AMA medical ethics professionals.
The language of death and destruction is clearly taking center stage and betrays the fact that there are no actual ethics involved any longer in the development of medical or clinical research policies, but rather a brand of lunacy that one should only use when developing a circus or a comedy routine.
This is the fundamental reason why Professor Dianne Irving, in her article entitled “American Medical Association’s ‘Narrow Definitions,’ Legal ‘Redefinitions’ … and Reproductive Cloning” made the following astute observation in her introduction:
Aside from the serious ethical issues of artificial reproductive technologies in general, not to mention the serious ethical issue of the destruction of living human embryos used in this and related research, isn’t a woman legally entitled to be provided with the truth, all the facts, including the accurate scientific facts, of such infertility treatments before giving her legally valid “informed consent”? Isn’t that her choice? Or are informed consent forms just supposed to be rather “selective” with their “information”, and leave out all that messy “science”?
But with all the “fudging” of critical scientific facts, how can a woman really be certain of exactly what is being implanted into her womb, and therefore exercise her choice? Is it “just a bunch of cells,” just a “pre-embryo,” maybe a frog? And how did it get here – by “fertilization,” or genetic engineering, or maybe magic? If it is “genetic engineering,” shouldn’t they call this “therapeutic research” in “reproductive genetic engineering” rather than just infertility “treatments”? If this is really research, rather than standard medical treatment, then how are these IVF and ART facilities conforming to the international ethical imperatives such as the Nuremberg Code, the Declaration of Helsinki, etc.? To whom are they accountable? Where’s the regulation of such medical procedures? ……. Well, lots of dumb questions.
Besides, if the good doctors at the American Medical Association tell me that what they are implanting in my body is just a “pre-embryo” and that it was simply reproduced by just a silly kind of “splitting,” then why shouldn’t I trust and believe them? And besides, they assure me that it definitely isn’t “reproductive cloning.” Wishful thinking?
Indeed, but that is where we are at the moment. Reproductive technology has opened wide the door to all sorts of deadly procedures, tests, experiments and research. And as Professor Irving suggests, the patients are merely part of the experiment. They are not told the facts; they are only given superficial promises and insincere assurances.
Sounds like politicians, not doctors and respected clinical researchers, right? Well, think again. We are living in the age of pseudo-science, in which money is god and the federal grant the apple on the tree of good and evil. As Dr. Irving points out in her latest, very well researched analysis, there is really nothing accurate, honest or respectable about what is going on in this milieu.
Mankind is in for a very rude awakening one of these days, because for too long, those in charge of policy and public opinion have been aligned with perfidious duplicity, which does indeed have consequences.
I plan to deal with Dr. Irving’s findings in a second commentary because there is just too much information there to digest at a single sitting. But before we close, let us take our hats off to the good professor for providing us with a sage quote from C.S. Lewis, right at the start, to whet our appetite for the wisdom she imparts: “If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth, only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair.”—C.S. Lewis