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Jack Sisson's Life Ethics Blog

We must find new ways through many ethical issues, especially regarding bioethics, medical ethics, and criminal justice. Jack Sisson's 'Life Ethics' blog focuses on numerous areas of concern, including the philosophical and ethical dilemmas surrounding stem-cell research, abortion, medical research, and health care.

 
It's been a busy few weeks, but here's a brief recap on President Obama's reversal of Bush's ban on embryonic stem cell research:

The Moral Imperative to Relieve Suffering: Embryonic Stem Cell Research

There have been many moral objections raised to embryonic stem cell research. But as President Obama prepares to sign an executive order to repeal his predecessor's ban on federal funding for such scientific inquiry, we should also ask what the moral imperatives are to do this research. In addition, are there moral insights that can help us develop guidelines for the research?

Restrictions on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research have retarded scientific investigation that could well yield important medical advances. Devastating diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, diabetes, heart disease, and spinal cord injury may see treatments emerge that can relieve enormous suffering and promote healing. There is a clear moral imperative, shared across many religions, to relieve suffering and promote healing. This is a strong ground on which to base religious arguments for the research.

The religious objections arise specifically in relationship to embryonic stem cell research. The religious controversy is rooted in the belief that the fertilized egg, even while not implanted in a woman's uterus, is still spiritually complete "life" and as such sacrosanct.

Read the article in The Washington Post.


<President Obama Reverses Bush's Stem Cell Research Ban
WASHINGTON
– President Obama reversed a Bush administration order and vowed Monday to "vigorously support" stem cell research that scientists hope will lead to cures for deadly ailments like diabetes and Parkinson's disease.

"We will bring the change that so many scientists and researchers, doctors and innovators, patients and loved ones have hoped for and fought for these past eight years. We will lift the ban on federal funding for promising embryonic stem cell research," Obama said to cheers at the White House.

Fulfilling a campaign pledge, Obama signed an executive order ending President Bush’s ban on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research.

Read the article in U.S. News & World Report.


Some Catholics Disappointed in Obama

He garnered the majority of Catholic votes in the 2008 election, but a number of Catholic groups now say President Obama is showing a complete lack of regard for their beliefs.

They count his decisions to lift restrictions on abortion and stem cell research among the most offensive.

"As far as the Catholic church goes, there's no bigger priority for Catholics than human dignity and human life," said Cathy Ruse, senior fellow at the Family Research Council said. "And the Obama administration has just been an assault on those values again and again in just two months."

But some American Catholics support the president, saying his policies are consistent with their "mainstream" beliefs.

"President Obama has already reached out and won the Catholic vote," Jon O'Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, said.

"That's what happened in the last election in spite of the very loud voices of some extreme uber-Catholics who really want to paint this black and white picture -- to engage us in this endless culture war," he said.

O'Brien, whose group supports access to contraception and abortion, said Obama presented Catholic voters with a social justice agenda they can support.

Read the article at FoxNews.com.


Majority of Americans Likely Support Stem Cell Decision
Fifty-two percent support easing Bush-era restrictions or lifting restrictions entirely
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A majority of Americans likely support President Barack Obama's executive order Monday doing away with the rules on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research that were in place under the Bush administration. In a Gallup Poll conducted last month, 38% of Americans said they support easing those restrictions and another 14% said they favor no restrictions at all. About 4 in 10 Americans favor keeping the Bush restrictions or eliminating federal funding altogether.

Read more about the poll and what the country's really thinking at Gallup.com.

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Comments:
pls see in my site about how I can be pro-life -- but first pro-choice

We need moral reasoning to justify this just as PVS reasoning was eventually used to pull the plug on Terry Schiavo.

My thesis was seconded by Dr. Sass at Georgetown's Kennedy Center for bioethics in 1988. Jack Sisson
850-222-9935
 
Obama could use beginning of life reasoning to establish a moral reason to so stem cell research
before a human sould is present in the fetus. Click into my NCR article of 1986 . I would hope civil discussions would ask the Pope not to excommunicate oour congress for voting humanly with good reason. Aquinas the theologian proclaimed that the souls of females fly-in in 80 days
while males were inducted in 40 days. Jack Sisson 850-222-9935
 
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