Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

1/9/2013 (3 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Sadly, the view of human rights in recent American judicial precedent and legislation denies the equal protection of the law to the human embryonic person

We must speak for human embryonic Life and oppose the genetic slavery whereby an entire class of human persons is labeled as property to be used by those who are more powerful. We must insist on the recognition of human rights for all human persons, no matter what stage of life's development continuum. Human embryonic stem cell research kills human persons.

Drs. James L. Sherley and Theresa Deisher

Drs. James L. Sherley and Theresa Deisher

Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

1/9/2013 (3 years ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: stem cells, adult stem cells, embryonic stem cells, Pro-Life, Dignity of the Human Person, bio-ethics, Deacon Keith Fournier


WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - The Obama administration's favoring of the always deadly use of embryonic stem cells - in spite of the medical science which shows that adult stem cells actually produce results and never kill - is morally repugnant.  On Monday, March 9, 2009, the President issued one of his many Executive Orders to accomplish his agenda - without any use of either a vote or advice and consent. That Order turned a whole class of human persons, embryonic human persons, into commodities to be used. The NIH Guidelines treat human embryos as spare parts.  

Human embryonic stem cell research has had no discernible positive results. It is always deadly for the human embryonic person. To the contrary, adult stem cell research harms no-one and has borne great results.  The teaching of the Catholic Church on the use of Human Embryonic Life for deadly research is consistent, clear and unequivocal. In 1987 the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith of the Holy See issued an "Instruction on Respect for Human Life in its Origin and on the Dignity of Procreation". Among the many questions answered was this one: "What Respect is due to the human embryo, taking into account his nature and identity?" The answer: "The human being must be respected - as a person - from the very first instant of his (her) existence."  

On September 8, 2008, the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Vatican Congregation responsible for the protection of Doctrine (The Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith) released a passionate defense of the dignity of every single human life from the moment of conception until natural death.  It was entitled, in Latin, Dignitatis Personae: On Certain Bioethical Questions. As is the custom with magisterial documents, the title of this instruction was taken from the first line, "The dignity of a person must be recognized in every human being from conception to natural death". The document continued, "This fundamental principle expresses a great "yes" to human life and must be at the center of ethical reflection on biomedical research, which has an ever greater importance in today's world."

At the release of the instruction the Press was filled with reports. Some accurately described the content and properly affirmed its significance. Others were based on mistaken caricatures of the Catholic Church and not on the substance of what the teaching document actually presented. Still others demonstrated that the writers did not read the document or, if they did, did not like what it had to say and actually chose to mislead the public. Finally, some were based on old tired assertions of the Catholic Church as being "out of touch" or "anti-technology" or "anti-sexuality" or any number of other absolutely untrue and groundless assertions.

The Instruction continued the consistent defense of the dignity of every human life, respect for the goods and ends of marriage and the insistence on having authentic moral criteria with which to evaluate alleged advances in medical science as presented by the Catholic Church through her teaching office. The Catholic Church is not against science. Rather, she simply insists that good science must always respect the first goods; life, marriage and the common good of our life together.

The instruction did not discourage progress in biomedicine. In fact it encourages it within an ethical framework, one which accepts that science must always be placed at the service of the human person, the family and the common good. Any use of the so called new technologies must also respect that the human body is never an "it" - but an "I" - some-one who must never be treated as an object: "The body of a human being, from the very first stages of its existence, can never be reduced merely to a group of cells. The embryonic human body develops progressively according to a well defined program with its proper finality, as is apparent in the birth of every baby."

The insistence upon this framework for evaluating biomedicine finds support in the history of other true advances in Medical Science. The ethical criterion is revealed in the Natural Law; the fundamental right to life and the dignity of human persons. This right is knowable by and binding upon all men and women and is not simply a religious construct.  In point of fact, footnote 7 within that document cited Pope Benedict XVI's presentation to the United Nations in April of 2008 which summarized this point well:

"Human rights, in particular the right to life of every human being, are based on the natural law inscribed on human hearts and present in different cultures and civilizations. Removing human rights from this context would mean restricting their range and yielding to a relativistic conception, according to which the meaning and interpretation of rights could vary and their universality would be denied in the name of different cultural, political, social and even religious outlooks. This great variety of viewpoints must not be allowed to obscure the fact that not only rights are universal, but so too is the human person, the subject of those rights"

It is in light of this fundamental moral criterion that the instruction discusses human sexuality and marital love, procreation and infertility treatments and the "manipulation of the embryo or the human Genetic Patrimony". The section concerning gene therapy and the therapeutic use of stem cells, distinguishing both the types of cells and the techniques used to obtain them, is one of the best explanations of the complex technologies which I have ever read. Thank God for the Catholic Church in this age of ghoulish research on human life.

The Catholic Church encourages the use of adult stem cells and stem cells which can be derived from non-lethal uses such as fetal cord blood. These technologies do not take human embryonic lives and have also been the subject of amazing scientific progress. No matter how many efforts there are to dismiss Catholic teaching in this fundamental area of ethics, the opponents of the truth which she defends will not prevail because her teaching is true, it is never right to take innocent human life.

The instruction made a vital historical point to consider, "Just as a century ago it was the working classes which were oppressed in their fundamental rights, and the Church courageously came to their defense by proclaiming the sacrosanct rights of the worker as person, so now, when another category of persons is being oppressed in the fundamental right to life, the Church feels in duty bound to speak out with the same courage on behalf of those who have no voice. Hers is always the evangelical cry in defense of the world's poor, those who are threatened and despised and whose human rights are violated".

"In virtue of the Church's doctrinal and pastoral mission, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has felt obliged to reiterate both the dignity and the fundamental and inalienable rights of every human being, including those in the initial stages of their existence, and to state explicitly the need for protection and respect which this dignity requires of everyone. The fulfillment of this duty implies courageous opposition to all those practices which result in grave and unjust discrimination against unborn human beings, who have the dignity of a person, created like others in the image of God. Behind every "no" in the difficult task of discerning between good and evil, there shines a great "yes" to the recognition of the dignity and inalienable value of every single and unique human being called into existence."

Sadly, the view of human rights in recent American judicial precedent and legislation denies the equal protection of the law to the human embryonic person. American law refuses to recognize that human embryos have a right to life and a right to a future.  This approach to human embryonic persons is carried through in the treatment of the child in the womb. Until that child is born, he or she is treated as property to be used or disposed of if not wanted.  The current positive law of the United States denies the Natural Law Right to Life. It has substituted a profane counterfeit in its place, a "Right" to abort the child. 

There are a number of arguments used to try to defend the lie that fundamental rights are conferred by positive civil law rather than by the Natural Law. This is done to deprive entire groups of human persons from their protection. Most reserve the use of the concept of "person" to only those humans who are deemed to somehow be "independent" and/or "autonomous". They are being promoted by people who call themselves "medical ethicists". They hold academic degrees and professional pedigree and sit on Advisory Councils. Some of these "ethicists" make a distinction between "potential" and "actual" human persons and relegate the child in the womb to the category of being only a "potential" human person.

Others view interdependency as a negative and insist on independence and "autonomy" as a criterion for any human rights to attach. Some equate the human embryos dependency on the mother as a form of "non-personhood". Still others propose a progressive notion of consciousness as indicative of a growing presence of "personhood". A few concede that human embryos are human beings but deny they are persons. We find all of these ideas in the field sadly referred to these days as "Bio-Ethics" - even though such positions are anything but ethical. We find them in textbooks being used to teach the subject to future medical practitioners. (See, e.g., Singer and Kuhse, "Bioethics") One of these "ethicists", Michael Tooley denies the child in the womb should have any rights at all. His rationale evolved over time. In each version, as scientific research cast serious doubt on his claims, he conveniently shifted his ground to reach the same conclusion.

Yet, human embryology and developmental biology affirm that a human embryo is not distinct in kind from a human being, but a human being at an early stage of development. Even prior to implantation, a human embryo is a unique living human being with the genetic constitution and epigenetic primordial that continues to develop throughout his or her life. However, the right not to be killed in the womb, the right to be born and the right to participate in human relationships are rejected for these little persons. Human embryonic lives are reduced to what one astute Catholic philosopher and lawyer, Robert George, called a "pre-personal way of being human".

The idea that human beings can be less than persons is increasingly applied to other stages of human development outside of the womb. The disabled (physically and mentally), the aged and the infirmed are increasingly denied the equal protection of the law. There is an emphasis on individual rights over relation and on autonomy over solidarity. Blessed Pope John Paul II wrote in "The Gospel of Life" of this "remarkable contradiction". He explained "the roots of the contradiction between the solemn affirmation of human rights and their tragic denial in practice lies in a notion of freedom which exalts the isolated individual in an absolute way, and gives no place to solidarity, to openness to others and service of them."(Par. 19)

This counterfeit idea of freedom also views comatose human beings as no longer worthy of being called "persons". Their caregivers are encouraged to stop giving them food and water. Seriously ill children are viewed as interlopers who should not continue to use medical and social resources. Whether the criteria for being recognized as a human person is a satisfactory level of brain function, an agreed upon notion of self awareness, non-dependency, individual autonomy, or some similar "acceptable" level of physical or mental capacity, this reduces the human being to a human doing, valuable not simply because they are members of our human family and gifts to be received but valued based upon their functionality.

There can be NO debate about this fact; we were all once human embryos. We all lived in the first home of the whole human race, our mother's womb. For the Christian, we profess that the Son of God, the Incarnate Word, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, was a human being, who, in the embryonic stage, lived in his mother's womb. At every age and stage of our "human-being- ness", be it as an embryonic person, in the womb, as an infant, as a child, an adolescent, an adult, in our times of illness, in our old age, we have always been dependent on others and vulnerable. This is what it means to be a human being. The emphasis of the proponents of the culture of death on independence and autonomy informs a worldview that Pope John Paul II taught threatens the "entire structure of human rights." (Gospel of Life, Par. 19)

In a homily at the 2010 Vigil for Nascent Human Life Pope Benedict called the faithful to defend all human life, including embryonic human life. The Pope noted that "there are cultural tendencies that seek to anesthetize consciences with misleading motivations. With regard to the embryo in the womb, science itself highlights its autonomy capable of interaction with the mother, the coordination of biological processes, the continuity of development, the growing complexity of the organism. This is not an accumulation of biological material, but a new living being, dynamic and wonderfully ordered, a new unique human being."

He cautioned against the growing "darkening of consciences" and proclaimed with clarity and conviction to the whole world that the child in the first home of the whole human race, his or her mother's womb, "has the right not to be treated as an object of possession or something to manipulate at will, not to be reduced to a mere instrument for the benefit of others and their interests. The human person is a good in and of himself and his integral development should always be sought." We must speak for human embryonic Life as we speak for all human life. We must expose and oppose this new form of genetic slavery wherein an entire class of human persons is being labeled as property to be used by those who are more powerful. We must insist on the recognition of human rights for all human persons, no matter what stage of life's development continuum.

When we are successful in restoring the Right to Life to all human persons, including embryonic human persons, many Doctors who stood against the destruction of life in the name of science will be honored. Among them are two scientists, Doctors James J Sherley and Theresa Deisher.  Several years ago they filed a lawsuit seeking to enjoin the always deadly research on human embryonic persons. A lower Federal Court Judge enjoined the implementation of the Obama Administration guidelines of 2009 which allowed researchers to extract stem cells from "surplus" embryos donated by patients at fertility clinics. Every such extraction kills a human embryonic person. The injunction stunned the Obama administration and they appealed it.

 In a September 2, 2010 Wall Street Journal article by Laura Meckler and Janet Adamy entitled "Stem-Cell Plaintiffs Cite Ethical Motivation: Scientists Behind Suit Say Work Using Material Derived From Embryos Is Morally Objectionable, Unlikely to Yield Cures" the two Doctors confirmed that they filed the lower Court case out of a concern for the ethical issues involved in killing human embryos. Dr. Sherley said "We have a responsibility and are taught to do ethical research. This is impacting the quality of science in this country."

Both Doctors "said embryonic stem-cell research is morally objectionable and unlikely to produce promised treatments or cures. They said research using adult stem cells, the field each of them works in, has more potential to help patients."  Regarding embryonic stem cell research Dr. Sherley said the public has "been sold this hype and this promise that embryonic stem cells are going to cure everyone and we're all going to get up and dance. Any adult stem cell scientist is disadvantaged, and that's because there is a deliberate focus to fund embryonic stem cell research and a focus away from adult stem cell research."

The lower Federal Court found that the guidelines issued by the Obama Administration violated the Dickey-Wicker Amendment which provides that no Federal funds shall be used for "research in which a human embryo or embryos are destroyed, discarded, or knowingly subjected to risk of injury or death greater than that allowed on fetuses in utero" under Federal Law. In the lower Courts words, "having concluded that the Dickey-Wicker Amendment is unambiguous, the question before the Court is whether ESC (Embryonic Stem Cell Research) is research in which a human embryo is destroyed. The Court concludes that it is." 

In another section of the opinion the judge made it even clearer:  "The Dickey-Wicker Amendment unambiguously prohibits the use of federal funds for all research in which a human embryo is destroyed. Thus, if ESC research is research in which an embryo is destroyed, the Guidelines, by funding ESC research, violate the Dickey-Wicker Amendment.  ESC research is clearly research in which an embryo is destroyed. To conduct ESC research, ESCs must be derived from an embryo. The process of deriving ESCs from an embryo results in the destruction of the embryo. Thus, ESC research necessarily depends upon the destruction of a human embryo."

The Obama Administration appealed. The Appeals Court lifted the injunction and the deadly experimentation began again.  Judges decided that scientists can kill embryonic human persons for "spare parts" funded by federal tax dollars. Remember, there is an alternative which kills no-one, adult stem cell research. It has been effectively utilized with amazing results. These courageous scientists and genuine humanitarians did not stop fighting for the fundamental Right to life.

Doctors James J Sherley and Theresa Deisher, Nightlife Christian Adoption, Embryos, Shayne and Tina Nelson, William and Patricia Flynn and the Christian Medical Association took their appeal to the highest Court in the United States of America, the U.S. Supreme Court. They filed a petition for a Writ of certiorari On Monday, January 7, 2013 the Supreme Court denied their appeal. This legal case is over. However, the struggle waged by these brave scientists will continue.

The stem cell discussion in the Media is intentionally laden with misinformation and emotional appeals which cloud the facts. Human embryonic stem cell research has had no positive results. It is always deadly for the human embryonic person. To the contrary, adult stem cell research harms no-one and has borne great results. A human embryo is not distinct in kind from a human being, but a human being at an early stage of development. Yet, the United States Supreme Court has refused to hear the Appeal filed on behalf of Human Embryonic Persons. A New Age of Human Experimentation Begins.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2016
Universal:
Respect for Women: That in every country of the world, women may be honored and respected and that their essential contribution to society may be highly esteemed.
Evangelization: Holy Rosary: That families, communities, and groups may pray the Holy Rosary for evangelization and peace.



Comments


More U.S.

Edward Nero, arresting officer of Freddie Gray, NOT GUILTY. Will Baltimore erupt once more? Watch

Image of Officer Edward Nero arrives at court. Nero has been acquitted of crimes in the death of Freddie Gray.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The arresting officer in the Freddie Gray case, Edward Nero, has been declared "not guilty" by the judge in his criminal trial. Now, the community waits to see if violence will erupt or if the streets will remain quiet. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Officer ... continue reading


Tell Me About the Trinity: Honoring Jerry and Plumbing the Mystery of God Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

'The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of Christian faith and life. It is the mystery of God in himself. It is therefore the source of all the other mysteries of faith, the light that enlightens them. It is the most fundamental and essential ... continue reading


Father Frank Pavone on Father Daniel Berrigan's Pro-Life Activism Watch

Image of Fr. Daniel Berrigan

By Fr Frank Pavone

Father Berrigan was a radical figure who sent a total of almost seven years in prison.  What many don't realize though is that his activism extended beyond the anti-war movement and into the anti-abortion movement. Believing in what he called a consistent ... continue reading


Law allows persons to sue if you don't use the correct pronoun out of 58 to describe a person's sexual identity Watch

Image of We're going to need a lot more restrooms.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Under a new law, businesses in New York will be fined if they don't use a person's preferred pronoun when referring to them. This especially becomes a problem when it is understood there are at least 58 possible pronouns with at least five grammatical variations ... continue reading


Science fiction? Feds discover the 'Grocery List,' post tweets to promote new technology Watch

Image of After millions of dollars in federal spending, government scientists have discovered the grocery list technology. Where would we be without such courageous efforts?

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The Federal Government has discovered the grocery list technology. This unlock apparently occurred recently as the Department of Agriculture sent encouraging, rapid-fire tweets to the public about how to use this remarkable new advancement. LOS ANGELES, CA (California ... continue reading


Texas to build own version of Ft. Knox, is secession next? Watch

Image of Texas is bringing home its gold.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Texas is taking another step to becoming an independent Republic by recalling its gold and other precious metals home. A private company is planning to construct a bullion depository south of Houston, creating a virtual Ft. Knox for the state. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


We Need a New Pentecost and Whatever Happened to those Charismatic Catholics? Watch

Image of The fire of Pentecost

By Deacon Keith Fournier

I am one of countless thousands upon thousands whose life was profoundly changed by an experience, an encounter, with the Holy Spirit decades ago. I am old enough to remember when we who had this encounter were sometimes  called Pentecostal Catholics. That ... continue reading


The Obama Department of (In) Justice Takes on North Carolina, Civil Rights, and Sexual Difference Watch

Image of Federal Attorney General Loretta Lynch and North Carolina Governor McCrory

By Deacon Keith Fournier

If you rely on the main stream media for your news reports, you will not hear the truth of what is really happening in North Carolina. Much of the media uses Orwellian newspeak in its reports and has degenerated into a propaganda wing of the current ... continue reading


Will Texas leave the United States? Watch

Image of Texas plans to secede from the United States (texas.gov).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Texas has been thinking about seceding from the United States for quite a while. Now, after a Wednesday meeting of the Platform Committee of the Texas Republican Party, a Texas independence resolution will be up for vote during this week's GOP convention. LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


Alleged foul mouthed priest terrorizes Catholic school Watch

Image of Fr. Michael P. Reilly has been accused of being a foul mouthed priest.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Rev. Michael P. Reilly, a Catholic priest assigned to St. Joseph by the Sea High School in New York is in a lot of trouble this morning for his language. A suit filed in a Manhattan Supreme Court, alleges the priest made rude comments, swore constantly, and verbally ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Peter 1:10-16
10 This salvation was the subject of the search and investigation of the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 98:1, 2-3, 3-4
1 [Psalm] Sing a new song to Yahweh, for he has performed wonders, his ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 10:28-31
28 Peter took this up. 'Look,' he said to him, 'we have left everything ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 24th, 2016 Image

St. David I of Scotland
May 24: David, the youngest son of Scotland's virtuous ... Read More