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Bioethics Physician

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Stem cell research is a new field, one that was not yet envisioned by the apostles or other authors of the Bible. As a revolutionary form of healing, stem cell research and practice may not be entirely in conflict with scripture. Jesus was the ultimate healer, and therefore stem cell research can be viewed as an extension of this gift from God. Moreover, Luke himself was a physician who would have understood the impetus to heal the sick (“What should a Christians view be on stem cell research?”).

However, not all stem cell research is harmless or righteous in the eyes of God. Just as Jesus would never have killed one man to save the life of another, neither would any Christian physician utilize embryonic stem cells for healing disease. The Bible clearly states that two wrongs do not make a right: “Why not say…Let us do evil that good may result? Their condemnation is deserved,” (Romans 3:8). Embryonic stem cells represent a direct affront to Gods will because the harvesting of the stem cells requires the killing of a human embryo. Killing is clearly sinful in the eyes of God, as the human embryo already has the human soul — the image of God — imprinted upon it (Genesis 1:27).

The debate about stem cell research is therefore similar to the abortion debate because it is related to the state of the soul at conception (Barnes, P. 2005). “The Bible clearly indicates that life does begin at conception,” (Purdom 2007). Science agrees with religion on this point: “scientists know that nerve and brain cells emerge shortly after conception,” (Thompson 2005).

New research has revealed ways of harvesting embryonic stem cells without killing embryos. The new technology involves using tumors that naturally grow on either egg or sperm cells (Thompson 2005). So long as stem cells can be harvested without the destruction of a human embryo, then the technology may be welcomed as a part of the Christian medical tradition.

References

Barnes, P. (2005). Stem Cell research. John Mark Ministries. Retrieved June 23, 2010 from http://jmm.aaa.net.au/articles/14511.htm

Purdom, G. (2007). Stem Cells. Retrieved June 23, 2010 from http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v2/n1/stem-cells

Thompson, C. (2005). “How to Farm Stem Cells Without Losing Your Soul.” Wired. Retrieved June 23, 2010 from http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/13.06/stemcells.html

“What should a Christians view be on stem cell research?” Retrieved June 23, 2010 from http://www.gotquestions.org/Christian-stem-cell-research.html.

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