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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

6/21/2013 (9 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Transplant organs can be grown in the lab, but require the deaths of unborn children.

It almost sounds like a sequel to "The Island of Dr. Moreau" except this time, it will be set in Japan, and it is very real. Japanese doctors now believe they can grow human organs inside pigs, then harvest them for transplant into humans when the animal is mature.

Babies are not for spare parts.

Babies are not for spare parts.

Article Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

6/21/2013 (9 months ago)

Published in Health

Keywords: Japan, transplant, organs, stem cells, embryonic, abortion, children, life


TOKYO, JAPAN (Catholic Online) - The Japanese government is reviewing recommendations made by leading experts that will change the guidelines for human embryonic stem cell research. Japan is a world leader in the field.

The guidelines, if revised in accord with recommendations, would allow doctors to inject embryonic stem cells into animals, probably pigs, and grow within the animals entirely new human organs. A pancreas, a kidney, or even a heart can be produced in this way. The method has already been perfected using mice and rats.

These new organs could then be harvested, thus easing shortages of transplant organs.

Currently, Japanese law forbids the injection of human stem cells into animals, but that may soon change. However, there are serious moral concerns.

Among the many legitimate concerns of course, is the use of human embryonic stems cells. Such cells are harvested from embryonic children aborted in the womb. This makes the source of this powerful, new and potentially lifesaving technique nothing less than the destruction of a human life.

Morally, it is the virtual equivalent of killing another human for their organs and transplanting them into another sick person who can afford the procedure.

Japanese society is known for being very moral. However, the nation continues to pioneer new stem-cell-based medical advancements, some of which use human embryonic stem cells. Every extraction of stem cells from a human embryo kills. 

In the United States, there is opposition to research that is predicated upon the wonton destruction of embryonic human life. As our Editor in Chief, Deacon Keith Fournier, explained in one of many articles he has written concerning the intrinsically evil act of extracting stem cells from human embryos:

"Human embryology and developmental biology affirm that a human embryo is not distinct in kind from a human being, but a human being at an early stage of development. Even prior to implantation, a human embryo is a unique living human being with the genetic constitution and epigenetic primordial that continues to develop throughout his or her life".

"However, the right not to be killed in the womb, the right to be born and the right to participate in human relationships are rejected for these little persons. Human embryonic lives are reduced to what one astute Catholic philosopher and lawyer, Robert George, called a "pre-personal way of being human".

The Japanese are expected to take about a year to issue newly revised guidelines and are expected to pass them in accord with the new recommendations. That means that in as little as five years, human organs could be routinely harvested from pigs and transplanted into people.

However, the source of those organs must be carefully considered. What is the gain if we lose our morality, our souls, and our children to add a few years of life to ourselves?

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