Sunday, 7 July 2013

Stem Cells and Theistic Choices

I have written about stem cells before. Actually let me say I have written about embryonic stem cells before and all the theistic arguments that do not hold for not using stem cells.

However, now their is a new twist to theistic decisions regarding stem cells.
http://www.nature.com/news/stem-cell-transplants-may-purge-hiv-1.13297
It was reported at a conference in Kuala Lumpur this week that 2 HIV patients have been cured using a new treatment where stem cells were transplanted into these patients. It has now been 5 and 3 years since the transplants and the patients show no HIV in their blood. Although the doctors are still hesitant to say they have been cured it certainly seems that way. Interestingly this method is similar to the method used to cure a patient of HIV in Germany.In the Germany case the added bonus was they used stem cells from a person who carried a HIV resistance gene.

This result is remarkably as if these two patients are deemed cured from HIV. Then in effect we have 3 patients that have been cured from HIV using stem cell treatments. So doctors have cured people from a viral disease that was thought would never be curable. Or at least not curable before other common viruses could be cured.

So why would anyone want to deny stem cell treatment? On what grounds can you deny it and in effect sentence someone to death? These are the types of questions theists need to think about before they oppose stem cell treatments. If a theist for example believes that the HIV the person has is due to immoral behaviour and as such does not warrant stem cell treatment. Then they also have to live with the fact that they are condemning someone to death and that is not very moral. If a theist opposes stem cell treatments because they believe a life has been "murdered" to create the stem cell line. Then they are condemning people to death due to something that the person afflicted has nothing to do with.

In closing let me ask, "where do you derive your morals from?"

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Update 8/29/2014: A correction to this blogpost has been published here.