My Facebook Thoughts

Monday, March 16, 2009

No Choice For The Drowning Man

Yesterday I read an article by John Kass in the Chicago Tribune, "Stem cell policy shift brings a sinking feeling". To paraphrase the article, President Obama should be careful allowing stem cell research so as not to be pulled down by those who might benefit from that research, the sick and dieing.

Recently, there has been a lot of talk about Obama reversing the policy of former "president" Bush to not fund stem cell research. The controversy "stems" from, no pun intended, the fact that to get stem cells an embryo has to be destroyed. A fact that can not and should not be taken lightly because an embryo could become a human life.

The debate comes up about when life begins. The usual voices are heard in this debate, Pro-Life and Pro-Choice. All religious leaders have their opinions as do women's groups. And all their points of view are strong, passionate, and valid. I'm not here to continue that debate, but to add the perspective of the drowning man, me.

I'm Pro-Life. I think most are. Life is great. Life is sunrises and sunsets and everything in between. Life is laughter with family and friends. Life is family, the ones you see all the time and the ones you haven't seen in years. Life is anyone you have ever called friend. Life is laughter. Life is a hot pan of lasagna. Who wouldn't be Pro-Life.

I'm Pro-Choice.
(Wait what? You just said you were Pro-Life)

I choose to be happy even though I am a disabled man. I wish I didn't have to use a wheelchair and be dependent on others. I wish I could still feel my hands when the temperatures falls below 60 degrees. I wish I could play real sports with my son. I wish I could play the guitar like Eddie Van Halen or even like Dr. Jim Valek. But, I still choose to be happy.

Anyone who has ever experienced disabilities or disease would probably choose not to have them. When's the last time you saw a commercial,

"You've just got terminal pancreatic cancer, what are you going to do next?
I'm going to Disney World!"

So when we see a glimmer of hope for ourselves or the future of a cure we get excited and hopeful. Like the drowning man, we want to live. Sorry, but we do.

Let's go back to those embryos. The Pro-Life people don't want embryos destroyed because a life is being destroyed. I don't believe that a life is being destroyed, but that lives are being saved. An embryo will not become a human life without being placed in a womb. The cells that are created from those embryos are being used to, hopefully one day, help make people's lives better, thus, creating life.

If given the choice, now, to be cured of my illness, I would choose yes, cure me. Sometimes my son will say to me,

"Daddy, I wish you weren't in a wheelchair."

But, I tell him that if I wasn't in a wheelchair I probably wouldn't have met him.

And I would choose him over anything.


Diane said...

The whole thing really gets me crazy because, as I see it, we cannot have it both ways. It is leagle to create thses embryos and it is leagle to destroy them after you have had your procedure and are satisfied. (octomom should have made this choice) Why not use them instead of destroying them? What a waste. It makes no sense when these cells could benefit humankind in so many ways.

I am pro life but abortion is leagle. Why not use that "discarded material" to benefit medical research? If you are choosing to end that life inside of you then you give up all rights regarding what is left. You just cannot have it both ways.

Tara said...

GREAT post Mark

I'm with Diane, abortions will happen, legal or not (I would say I am anti-abortion but still strongly pro-choice. I think it is a wrong choice, but a choice non the less) why not allow some good to come out of something so tragic? Same for frozen embryos, most will be destroyed, how is that better than using them to SAVE lives? I try, and I can see the argument on the other side, it just makes no sense to me.

PeaKay said...

Great Blog Mark
Too bad you don't also send it to
the Newspapers.
You have a great way with words.
Like I told you once before.........You missed your calling....You should have been journalist.

Scott Plocharczyk said...

I think as time passes the problem with many religions is that they truly don't evolve with the modern world.

For the sake of this post I'll focus on the Pro-Life thing. An embryo is an embryo. It can become a person but only with help. It is not a person. If an embryo is going to offer me a chance at a higher quality of life, or anybody for that matter, isn't morally wrong to not help another human?

Religious ideals really are quite contradictory. Love everyone. Help your neighbor. Yet, when the means are available, as in stem cells treatment, suddenly everyone is damned to HELL.

There were no amenities when religion began 2009 years ago. It was humans living together helping/loving other humans. Sadly alot of the morals don't work in the present such as the idea of the embryo being a life.

We all have varying opinions on this. Both sides have validity. But sit in my place in my place in my wheelchair for day. Unable to do a lot for myself. You'll see much hope in that embryo which, as my brother said, will be providing Life in another way. A modern way.

Mark Ploch said...

One additional thought on religion and stem cell research. I don't think people who have sworn their lives to not creating life should not have any opinions on the matter.

Ernest T. Bass said...

I like eggs.