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Human Exceptionalism

Life and dignity with Wesley J. Smith.

Killing Babies for Stem Cells?



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The BBC has a very disturbing report that newborn infants may be being killed in the Ukraine to harvest their stem cells. This follows hard on the heels of another story that women in the Ukraine are paid $200 to get pregnant for purposes of aborting at 8 weeks gestation to harvest stem cells--for beauty treatments, no less.

These stories fall fast on the heels of people going to China to buy organs for transplant that were probably taken from executed prisoners, and perhaps, Falun Gong religionists. And there are the stories of destitute Pakistanis and Turks selling one of their kidneys.

This commoditization of human life is pernicious, may be growing, and is of crucial concern in many fields. Cloners need human eggs for each cloning attempt. If human cloning ever took off, it would require tens of millions of eggs, and the worry is that poor women will become so many egg farms. I am convinced that cloning will research will eventually lead to fetal farming--which if personhood theory is accepted, would be perfectly permissible. Meanwhile, bioethicists and biotechnologists urge that we harvest people in PVS and use them in radical human experimentation.

When we lose sight of the need to promote human exceptionalism and its corollary, the intrinsic value of human life, these are the territories we enter.


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