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Thread: Rochester Stem Cell Scientist Mark Noble vs. "Feminists for Life" * Catholic Priest, Mon Apr 25

  1. #1

    Rochester Stem Cell Scientist Mark Noble vs. "Feminists for Life" * Catholic Priest, Mon Apr 25

    It would be really interesting to see the "Feminists for Life in New York" along with Rev. Tadeuza Pacholczyk (Catholic Priest and bioethicist) take on Mark Noble, a stem cell scientist from the University of Rochester tomorrow.

    Rochester Democrat & Chronicle April 24, 2005

    Stem cell discussion to air conflicting views

    Lauren Stanforth
    Staff writer

    (April 24, 2005) - Feminists for Life of New York will bring together two divergent views on embryonic stem cell research for a discussion Monday at Monroe Community College.

    The pro-life group's main speaker will be the Rev. Tadeusz Pacholczyk, a Catholic priest and a director at the National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia, who also earned a degree in neuroscience at Yale University.

    Although Feminists for Life and Pacholczyk are staunchly opposed to stem cell research, they have invited University of Rochester stem cell researcher Mark Noble to offer his opinion.

    "It really makes for better discussion and a more thorough understanding of the topic," said Rochester resident Mary Dwelley, vice president of Feminists for Life of New York. "It's very good to get informed voters."

    The group wants to spark public discussion now because of a bill before the state Legislature that would commit state funds to embryonic stem cell research. More states are considering such measures because the Bush administration refuses to commit federal dollars to embryonic research. States such as California and New Jersey have already pledged billions of dollars to make their own advances in the field.

    more...
    If you go
    What: "The Science and Ethics of Stem Cells and Cloning," presented by Feminists for Life of New York.

    When: 7:30 p.m. Monday.Where: Monroe Community College campus center, room Monroe A & B. Park in M parking lot.

    Cost: Free and open to the public.

    Details: Call Feminists for Life of New York at (585) 234-5416.

  2. #2
    Thanks for posting this, Wise, as I was about to. It would definitely be interesting to ask Father Pacholczyk his thoughts on dedifferentiation.

    If anyone in the Rochester area can go, please try to bring the issue up if it is not mentioned during the discussion.

    -Steven
    ...what a wonderful world, this could be

  3. #3
    Senior Member Jeff's Avatar
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    Who writes these articles?

    Although Feminists for Life and Pacholczyk are staunchly opposed to stem cell research, they have invited University of Rochester stem cell researcher Mark Noble to offer his opinion.
    I know for a fact that neither the FFL nor RTP are against adult stem cells or umbilical cord blood stem cells. And I think they would both favor parthenogenic production of ESC. I'm sick of hearing "stem cells" used as a blanket term for what people are against. It clouds the issue and hurts our cause.

    ~See you at the CareCure-used-to-be-paralyzed Reunion ~

  4. #4
    Steven, I was having dinner with Mark Noble when I gave a lecture up in Rochester about two months ago. He was already preparing for the debate at that time. I hope that the debate went well.

    Jeff, you made a very good point. I don't know the objections that Feminists for Life have against "stem cell research". Several other groups calling themselves feminists have come out against embryonic stem cell groups because they are concerned about abuse of women who might be asked to donate eggs.

    From their name, I assume that Feminists for Life are "pro-life" (i.e. they are against abortion) and that they also are concerned about the risks of stimulating women with hormones before they donate eggs. If so, I don't see how these two issues have to do with stem cells in general. I sincerely doubt that they oppose all stem cell research. What possible objection could they have against use of bone marrow stem cells or umbilical cord stem cells? So, perhaps they oppose some types of stem cell research.

    Do they oppose fetal stem cell research? If so, I wonder why? Even the NIH is currently funding research on fetuses that are aborted, so long as the abortion did not happen because of the research and the abortion procedure was not altered for research. Scientists can collect dead fetuses donated by the mother and study them, including extract fetal stem cells. The choice is not abortion or no abortion but whether the fetuses are thrown away or their stem cells are used for research. The abortion has nothing to do with research. By the way, people are probably wondering at this stage why we are not transplanting fetal cells (such as OEG) from aborted fetuses into the spinal cord in the United States if NIH actually allows and is funding this research. The reason is that scientists are not allowed to talk to or interact with the mother until after the abortion has occurred and the abortion procedure is not allowed to be altered by any research. For that reason, most aborted fetuses are not sterile and it is difficult to test the mother for diseases. So, it is difficult to get uncontaminated fetal tissues and there is a risk of infections such as hepatitis, AIDS, STD's, and other diseases. But, for the purposes of studying the fetuses and cells, it is okay.

    Do they oppose embryonic stem cell research? If so, I don't understand why. Embryonic stem cells have nothing to do with abortions or do not require women to make egg donations just for the purposes of embryonic stem cell research. The frozen embryos are being thrown away by the parents. The research has nothing to do with the embryos being thrown away. Most of them are too old to be used, the parents don't want them, nobody will adopt them. Somebody once told me that it is "undignified" to use the stem cells from a frozen embryo. I couldn't help but reply, "what is so dignified about thrown into the trash" (and think to myself that, if I were an embryo, I would rather be used to save lives when I die than just be thrown into the trash).

    Do they oppose cloning? Cloning does require eggs. But these eggs do not have to be donated by women just for the purposes of cloning. Hundreds of thousands of women around the world give eggs in order to have in vitro fertilization and have a baby. Since these women have already taken the hormones to stimulate egg maturation and the hormones invariably result in dozens of eggs maturing, it is a trivial matter and not harmful to the woman to collect a couple more eggs. By the way, if they don't collect these eggs, they will die anyway and eventually pass out of the uterus (and presumably down the toilet).

    Perhaps they really oppose in vitro fertilization (IVF). If so, they should say so instead of saying that they are against stem cell research. I would like to see them to say that they oppose IVF to hundreds of thousands of men and women who would not be here today without IVF.

    It has just become a popular thing to oppose stem cell research, I suppose. I am not sure that people understand what they are opposing. Given all that has been written and talked about in the newspapers and on television, you would think that public would know better by now. For nearly four years since President Bush announced his decision, I don't think that you can go for one day without seeing the words stem cells in some newspaper, magazine, or television show.

    It is sad that so many people still misunderstand the issues and don't know what is going on. They say that 30-40% of the people in the United States oppose embryonic stem cell research. I wonder how many of them know know what they are opposing?

    Wise.

    [This message was edited by Wise Young on 04-27-05 at 06:07 PM.]

  5. #5
    There will be a clip on Rochester's PBS (WXXI) covering the debate this Friday. It won't be a long clip, but I have heard that Pacholczyk mentioned dedifferentiation and gave it a favorable review.

    Jeff, could you PT me your phone number? I seem to have misplaced it.

    -Steven
    ...what a wonderful world, this could be

  6. #6
    Wise, I agree that people are opposed to cloning, and not ESC research. Many have said the same publicly if you listen closely to the way they phrase their responses. They use ESC because that is an easier rallying cry than "I oppose cloning, and by cloning I mean..."

    I am not sure if Father Pacholczyk would oppose IVF embryos being used, as long as SCNT was not used in combination; I will try to ask him. I do know that one talking point being passed around is that of those who eventually chose to discard their left over embryos, three years later 59% said they wish they had donated them for use by other families.

    Pacholczyk's general talk can be viewed here. I believe the IVF section is at around the 50 minute mark.

    -Steven
    ...what a wonderful world, this could be

  7. #7
    interesting, hopefully there will be more debates and discussion where the the parties against ESC will be cornered and unmasked for what they really are against...

  8. #8
    Super Moderator Sue Pendleton's Avatar
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    About the only true statement that can be made about "Feminists" in general is that they believe that the personal is the political. So not all Feminists are pro-choice and, egads, some are even Catholic. Just the name of the group sounds like they are anti-choice and, my guess would be, also anti-IVF.

    I agree with the thoughts of many that most Americans aren't really sure what stem cells are or how they come about being.

    Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

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