Human Life or Guinea Pig: Death in the Name of Science

Gary Varvel - In the recent days of the new Presidential administration, we have witnessed a great shift on the issues most closely related to morality. Although most of this news is being swallowed up in the wake of economic problems (much like the entire election), we are starting to hear the buzz on the media outlets related to the lift of embryonic stem cell research restrictions. As promised, President Obama has lifted the restrictions on the stem cell research, and now all of America is not only asked to support his decision, but to pay for it as well. Should we be paying for the destruction of embryos in efforts to do stem cell research for disease cure or prevention? Rather than going to the opinion polls or rumor mill related to this subject, we should be most concerned with what the Bible has to say about this issue.Are Embryos Considered Human Life?This is an issue that has caused much debate in recent years. Some people in the medical and science world claim that embryos are not considered human life and should only be viewed as a cluster of cells. The people who support this position usually claim that since the eggs were not fertilized in a woman’s body (in vitro fertilizations in a clinic and then donated for research), therefore they should not be considered human life. The people who are in this camp claim that the little cluster of cells should be open game for scientific research – much like we use Cavia porcellus (Guinea Pigs). In other words, these folks claim that in order for us to heal diseases and solve complex medical problems, embryonic stem cells are a much needed puzzle piece in this dilemma.Another camp exists that claims embryos should be defined as human life and that they should not be tampered with in the name of science. These people do not believe that the mere location of fertilization actually determines whether or not it is actually a human being. After all, these people rightly point out that human beings are brought from these in vitro clinic fertilizations each day. This camp includes both scientists and non-medical persons from all walks of life. The reason for their position is usually twofold. One part of this group goes to the Bible first and science second. Another part of this group runs to science first and does not really care too much about what the Bible has to say. Therefore, let us examine both below.What Does the Bible Say?Jeremiah 1:5 -Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained​a​ thee a prophet unto the nations.The Hebrew verb translated “formed” (ysr) is the same word found in Gen 2:7 and is related to the word for “potter” (Jer 18:2–4). Like a composer constructing the instrument on which music will be played, God created Jeremiah as a spokesman for the word of the Lord.1 Jeremiah was not a little cluster of cells – he was a human being formed in his mother’s womb. This text shows us that life begins in the mind of God even before He forms the child in the mother’s womb. In order for the child to be formed – the will of God must be directly involved. How else do you explain the fact that some women cannot conceive and some embryos do not live – even in the science labs? The Bible is clear – God forms humans even from their smallest state of development and we should never tamper with that – even under the heading of “doing good for the purpose of research.”What Does Science Say?Many people, even in the church, are confused as to what benefits could actually come from using embryos in disease prevention and cure research. Therefore, The Coalition of Americans for Research Ethics has provided a useful chart that shows the difference between embryonic stem cell and adult stem cell benefits. It should also be pointed out that using stem cells for research is a most profitable thing for disease prevention and cure, but in all cases in the science world – adult stem cells are very useful while embryonic stem cells do not provide benefits or cures. So, why continue the destruction of human life in hopes of healing disease? No proof exists that embryonic stem cell use is profitable – and even if the results did prove profitable – is it morally right or biblically correct to take life to save life?Inconsistencies in our Modern SocietyNovember 12th, 2002 – a jury found Scott Peterson guilty of killing his wife Laci and her unborn child. He was convicted of double murder. Yet, on that same day, over 3,000 unborn children were killed in America legally under the heading of “woman’s choice.” It seems that many inconsistencies exist in our culture that need to be worked out. The issue of life will not go away. It will not be overlooked. It is like the pink elephant that is standing in the room that everyone seems to be ignoring.So, like the abortion laws that allow the destruction of unborn babies by doctors under the heading of “woman’s rights,” President Obama supports the destruction of human life once again under the heading of “scientific research” or “disease prevention” or “disease cure.” However, if a doctor in Washington called the White House asking for permission to kill his daughter and remove her heart in order to provide a heart for another little girl who needed a new heart to live – the President would never allow it. But he seems to be alright with the destruction of life – so long as it is done in a professional manner. Is that an inconsistent position?Pray for ChangePresident Obama has been elected on the promise of change in America. Pray that he will have a change of heart and that our Country can still be viewed as the “land of the free and the home of the brave.” It is no brave thing to destroy life. It is cowardly. It is convenient. It is corrupt. God change our President’s heart. God bless America.Josh Buice. . . . . . . . . . . . . .1. Huey, F. (2001, c1993). Vol. 16: Jeremiah, Lamentations (electronic ed.). Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (50). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.. . . . . . . . . . . . . .Helpful Resources:Life News.comStem Cell Research.orgNOTE:  Artwork used in this article is taken from Cartoonist Gary Varvel –