Wow, Ben, you sure know how to jump start a person’s week. I joined Ben’s blog walk last week because I thought it would be interesting to write on a given topic every week – and to read what other bloggers had to say on the same topic. Last week’s topic was pretty easy and I breezed through it without any problem. This week’s topic actually took my breath away when I read it. I’ve been thinking about this topic for two days now and I’m telling you my brain is getting a real workout. First I had to figure out what my opinion was on the topic . . . and then I had to figure out how to put my thoughts into a coherent answer. Yikes. Hang on people. This might be a very bumpy ride!
My first instinct is to answer "yes" to this. Think of all the diseases that could be cured! The lives that could be changed! We could make such progress in diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Cerebral Palsy, ALS, help those with spinal cord injuries. We could give the victims of these horrible diseases and afflictions (and their families) hope that things will get better – and maybe erase these horrible things from the face of the Earth so that no one will ever have to suffer from them ever again.
But . . . and you knew there was going to be a "but" to this . . . there are ethical questions that go along with this issue. How do we get the stem cells for the research? What about the use of embryonic stem cells? There’s also the question of "just because we can do something, does that mean that we should do something?" The treatments and/or cures that are developed are going to be pricey. What about the people who really need the treatment/cure but can’t afford it? Does that mean that only the rich can benefit from the research? Unfortunately, I don’t have an easy answer for any of those questions.
So what’s the answer to a question like this? Somehow my "yes, but . . . " answer just doesn’t seem adequate. . . .