Aborted Fetal Remains Used to Treat Stroke Victims

USA Today released an article this week on stem cell therapies credited with helping two retired athletes recover from debilitating strokes.

According to the article, former NFL quarterback John Brodie and former NHL player Gordie Howe each sought treatment at clinics outside the U.S. The treatments they received involved the use of stem cells, and by all accounts, both men have recovered following the treatments.

Many have referred to the stem cells used in these stroke treatment as “adult stem cells.” There is a catch, however: Some of the “adult” stem cells actually were derived from aborted fetal remains.

Embryonic stem cell research is highly controversial—and rightly so. Embryonic stem cells—also known as pluripotent stem cells—can form into virtually any cell in the human body.

Theoretically, embryonic stem cells can be used to regrow cells or tissue missing in a person’s body. Some believe this could be used to treat or reverse permanent injuries, paralysis, and similar conditions, just to name a few. However, embryonic stem cell research requires doctors or scientists to create—and then kill—human embryos in order to harvest the embryos’ stem cells.

This amounts to murder of human beings—albeit very tiny human beings—in the name of science and medicine.


Study Finds Vegetative Patient “Not Just Aware, but Paying Attention”

A recent study published in the journal Neuroimage: Clinical has found some patients in a persistent vegetative state (PVS) are aware of the world around them — and some are “not just aware, but paying attention.”

Scientists at the Medical Research Council Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit and the University of Cambridge published their research last month. In the study, researchers examined 21 PVS patients, asking the patients to listen and mentally respond to a series of words. Scientists used electroencephalography to measure electrical activity in the brain, and compared brain activity in the patients with brain activity in healthy volunteers who were asked the same questions.

Researchers at Cambridge write,


Students Learning ‘Death Panel’ Ethics

Last week, The Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview devoted one of its daily “Breakpoint Commentary” pieces to a recent situation at an Illinois high school.

Ninth and tenth-graders at St. Joseph-Ogden High School were given an assignment, which John Stonestreet describes as follows:

“The lesson began by telling students that ten people shared a serious problem: Without access to a dialysis machine, they would all die.

“Unfortunately, they were told, the local hospital only has enough machines for six of them. The assignment was to decide who got the treatment and who didn’t. The students were asked to rank the potential recipients from one, the person they most wanted to receive treatment, to ten, the person they least wanted.

“All they knew about the people was age, race, and occupation or lack thereof: a housewife, doctor, lawyer, disabled person, cop, teacher, minister, college student, ex-convict, and prostitute.”

The school has defended the exercise, saying the lesson was about “bias.” If that’s the case, why ask students to make theoretical life-and-death decisions about total strangers using little more than racial, occupational, and medical information? Why not at least give them additional info and ask students to weigh whether a person’s value is tied to more than what they contribute to society through their job?

The assignment is very similar to another popular lesson that has popped up now and again in public schools across America the past few decades: The “lifeboat exercise.”