Tag: Stem Cell

Recent medical research indicates that tissue from the brains of fetuses could provide considerable assistance to individuals suffering from such diseases as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. It is also possible to transplant organs, such as livers, from fetus to fetus. To date, the US government has sustained a highly controversial ban against the use of fetal tissue for research purposes or for purposes of transplantation. This decision has met with great opposition from those who think that it is cruel and inhumane not to provide whatever relief possible to those suffering from various debilitating diseases. The availability of massive amounts of fetal tissue from aborted fetuses seems a great resource to many. Those who believe abortion to be a morally permissible act are not troubled by the charge that use of aborted fetal tissue amounts to complicity in abortion. Since they do not believe the fetus is a person, they maintain that it is permissible to use fetal tissue much in the same way one could use the hair gathered from the floor of a barber shop. They see use of fetal tissue as transforming what seems to be needless waste into a compassionate good.

Those opposed to the use of fetal tissue for purposes of research and transplantation have three major objections; 1) the fetus is not being respected as a human person of intrinsic worth but is being treated as an instrument; 2) use of fetal tissue amounts to complicity in abortion and demand for the use of such tissues will legitimate the abortion industry; 3) the ready access to tissue from aborted fetuses will lessen the effort to find alternative sources of treatment for sufferers of Alzheimer’s, etc.

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