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Spirituality/Medicine Interface Project

The Sound of Science: The Power to Bless or to Burn

Conrad C. Daly, MTh
Volume: 99 Issue: 12 December, 2006

Abstract:

Throughout history, but particularly over the course of recent years, advances in the biomedical sciences have granted humankind an ever-greater understanding and mastery over itself. In this perpetual revolution, perhaps there has been no greater chapter than that of the much-heralded “Promethean promise”1 of stem cell research. However, while its promise and potential are marvelous, it is feared—and not without reason—that an essential part of what it is to be human may be lost in seeking to control this new-age fire. On the other hand, deciding not to pursue such research runs contrary to human nature and to the best that humankind has to offer: in not engaging in stem cell research, a certain dimension of humanity very well may never be discovered and, tragically, the great potential which stem cell research offers would never come to be. It would seem, therefore, that the crucial issue is not so much whether stem cell research should be pursued, but how and to what extent.

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References:

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2. Hoose B. Gene therapy: where to draw the line. Hum Gene Ther 1990;1:299–306.
 
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5. Keenan J. Perfecting ourselves: on Christian aestheticism and enhancement. South Medical J In press.
 
6. Solter D. From teratocarcinomas to embryonic stem cells and beyond: a history of embryonic stem cell research. Nat Rev Genet 2006;7:319–327.
 
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12. John Paul II. Evangelum Vitae. Vatican, Holy See, 1995.
 
13. Prentice DA. Current science of regenerative medicine with stem cells. J Investig Med 2006;54:33–37.
 
14. Sutton A. ‘No' to embryonic stem cell research. South Med J 2006;99:1442–1443.
 
15. Sutton A. ‘Yes' to adult stem cell research. South Med J 2006;99:1444–1445.
 
16. Klimanskaya I, Chung Y, Becker S, et al. Human embryonic stem cell lines derived from single blastomeres. Nature 2006Aug 23; [Epub ahead of print].
 
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18. Jennings B. The liberalism of life: bioethics in the face of biopower. Raritan 2003;22:133–146.
 
19. Lauritzen P. The ethics of medical genetics: the challenge of realizing the potential of genetic medicine without reducing ourselves to artifacts.
 
20. Sulmasy D. Promethean medicine: spirituality, stem cells, and cloning. South Med J 2006;99:1419–1423.
 
21. Pellegrino E. The commodification of medical and health care: the moral consequences of a paradigm shift from a professional to a market ethic. J Med Phil 1999;24:243–266.
 
22. Farmer P. Pathologies of Power: Health, Human Rights, and the New War on the Poor. Berkeley, University of California Press, 2005.

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