Stem Cell Research

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    Boomsma, Robert A.

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    Embryonic Stem Cells and a Reformed Christian World View

    "Stem cells promise to treat diseases in ways not before possible. However, the use of human embryonic stem (hES) cells raises important issues that must be dealt with before development of clinical therapies proceeds too far. Key themes from a Reformed Christian perspective are used to frame the issues surrounding hES cells in order to address the central question: Can we obediently develop hES cell technology in order to heal the broken world? These themes include creation-fall-redemption, stewardship, human worth, the kingdom of God and social justice. It may be possible to view hES cell technology as something that promotes redemptive/ stewardship roles as long as steps are taken to promote justice for the embryo and society."
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    Hurlbut, William B.

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    Framing the Future: Embryonic Stem Cells, Ethics and the Emerging Era of Developmental Biology

    "The current conflict over ES (embryonic stem) cell research is just the first in a series of difficult controversies that will require us to clearly and precisely define the boundaries of humanity that we seek to defend. Through a careful consideration of the social, political, and scientific foundations of our current debate, we may discern the terms of a possible resolution that can sustain social consensus while opening avenues for scientific advance. Four such proposals were discussed in a May 2005 publication by the President's Council on Bioethics, entitled "Alternative Sources of Pluripotent Stem Cells." One of these methods, altered nuclear transfer, proposes to use the technology of somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT), but with a pre-emptive genetic or epigenetic alteration that precludes the integrated and coordinated organization essential for natural embryogenesis. The moral and scientific dimensions of this proposal are discussed as a way forward for embryonic stem cell research as well as a frame for further studies in developmental biology."
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    Mannoia, Kristyn A.

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    An Evaluation of Three Religious Perspectives on Stem Cell Research

    "Ian Barbour, in his book When Science Meets Religion, outlines four relationships between the fields of science and religion. This paper explores the usefulness of these categories in developing a religious perspective on stem cell research. First, I present Barbour’s four possible relationships between science and religion as they could be articulated in the context of bioethics. Second, I consider which of Barbour’s models are forwarded in Orthodox Jewish and Roman Catholic perspectives on stem cell research. Finally, I present an evangelical Wesleyan appraisal of stem cell research as it might be crafted if Barbour’s model were introduced as a structural resource at the outset."
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    Shrier, Cahleen and Paul

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    Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research and Christian Community Ethics: An Old Testament Investigation

    "This paper uses a dialogical approach to develop a Christian community ethic of human embryonic stem cell (HESC) research. The first part describes HESC research and differentiates it from other forms of stem cell research. Seven possible policy options are outlined and then used to delineate several non-Christian and Christian religious positions. After this survey familiarizes the reader with various religious arguments, the paper turns to an investigation of some Old Testament (OT) texts. The OT discussions of conception, conception and birth, and the interruption of pregnancy are each considered in their ancient Near Eastern culture. This investigation determines that both the sovereignty of God and his immanence in community determine the ancient Jewish community’s attitudes toward conception and birth. Conception is always considered in the context of the community, a community which includes God as its guiding member."
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    Teo, Adrian and Donald Calbreath

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    Embryonic Stem Cells and a Reformed Christian World View: A Response to Robert Boomsma

    "The use of embryonic stem cells for medical research raises difficult ethical questions for many Christians. Robert Boomsma’s article in the March 2004 issue of PSCF presents one popular perspective for justifying its use. This paper is a critical response to that view and attempts to show that there are sound reasons for opposition to embryonic stem cell research. The arguments presented are shown to be consistent with the Reformed Christian world view which recognizes the significant worth of the human being because of God’s will."