Embryonic Stem Cell Debate Now Moot
Well, sort of. Idealogues can always find something to argue about, but for most of us the moral dilemma is over. Even the Bush administration called this a "step in the right direction.
Advanced Cell Technology researchers have announced that they can remove a single cell from an 8 cell embryo to create a new embryonic stem cell line. The remaining 7 cells can go on to form a perfectly healthy baby.
I understand that this research is an outgrowth of genetic testing. Fertility clinics have been taking a cell for genetic testing purposes for some time. If the tests showed that the embryo is healthy, it was implanted and grew into a healthy baby.
Now they can take that single cell, let it divide once, and use one cell for testing and the other to grow into a embryonic stem cell line that did not destroy an embryo.
It has been argued that since this does not benefit the baby, such procedures should not be allowed. Well, this is wrong. One might argue that genetic testing does not benefit the embryo. That's part of the whole "wrongful life" can of worms. But nobody can seriously argue that it would not be a benefit to be born with a perfectly genetically matching embryonic stem cell line thriving at the doctor's office.
And it's not a small benefit to be born into a world that has an unlimited supply of embryonic lines for research.