McMaster University: Pulling an Embryonic Stem Cell Power Play

Canada has, thankfully, some very tight restrictions on the gruesome science of embryonic stem cell research. But it appears that McMaster University is throwing the first volley in the fight to loosen those reins.

As announced this morning, the very wealthy Hamilton auto parts magnate David Braley has donated $50 million to McMaster for various projects (see full press release here). This includes $15 million for an “embryonic stem cell library.” While this accounts for less than one-third of the gift, it is certainly the focus that Mac wants everyone to see. Here’s how the press release starts:

Donation will create Canada’s first human embryonic stem cell library

June 27, 2007

Canada will have its first human embryonic stem cell library based at McMaster University thanks to a multi-million-dollar commitment this morning from a Hamilton businessman.

The library is one component in a $50-million gift from David Braley that will transform family medicine, and forge new discoveries within the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine to treat such catastrophic illnesses as cancer, Alzheimer’s and spinal cord injuries, as well as common illnesses like heart disease and diabetes.

Who knows what an “embryonic stem cell research library” will hold. Why does it need $15 million? And why is Mac pushing this part of the gift as if it is going to help save people from catastrophic disease?

It seems to be part of a propaganda push from Mac to ease restrictions (passed by the old Liberal government) that make it nearly impossible for researchers in Canada to obtain embryos for destruction. Mac knows where the money flows – the money wants to flow into this nasty little bit of frankenstein science, which both destroys nascent human life, and then opens up the ugly pandora’s box: what happens if it works?

If researchers figure out a way to harness the power of embryonic stem cells, the push will be on to source out the raw materials needed. Who will be donating embryos? No one wants to answer that inevitable question, so I’ll make a guess: poor women in third-world countries will be paid paltry sums by Western pharmaceutical companies to get pregnant and get embryos sucked out into a FedEx cooler – day after day, month after month, year after year. Sickening but likely. So, pro-Embryonic-Stem-Cell-Research folks, help me out here: explain to me how this would be moral; or explain to me a possible alternative that is free of such a moral dilemma.

If I ever get liver disease, and the choice is to take a liver that may have been harvested from a political prisoner in China, or death, I’ll choose an honorable death. If I ever get Alzheimer’s disease, and the choice is to take stem cell treatments from destroyed human life, once again I’ll choose an honorable acceptance of my fate.

Humanity requires standards. Some things are just plain wrong. And as an alumnus of both McMaster and Western (who granted an honourary degree to Canada’s ghoulish abortionist Henry Morgentaler), I have to say, I no longer have an institution to be proud of.

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4 Comments

Filed under Abortion Unlimited, Embryonic Stem Cell Frankenstein Science

4 responses to “McMaster University: Pulling an Embryonic Stem Cell Power Play

  1. Steff

    i see your point….but if an embryo will simply be discarded of then why not save a life with something that is destine for the garbage……..sure you may choose an honorable death…but think of the millions of termonally ill children…what if this was your child…would choose an honorable death for them as well…..It is unethical to throw something out that can save a life., i dont agree with buying embroys from 3rd world countries…but laws can be put in place…but please see the potential of bettering a person’s quality of life…or giving them a life.

  2. Steff, your heart is in the right place, but your logic is flawed (and your spelling and grammar are atrocious):

    1) There are lots of things that could help save lives, but are unethical. Harvesting organs from convicted prisoners would save lives, but is wrong. Feeding human meat to starving people is wrong.

    2) If embryonic stem cell research is a complete success, and can save millions of people as you say, you must ask yourself: where will the needed embryos come from? There’s no way around it: the biopharm industry will have to start embryo factories, where thousands of poor young women will be paid to have their eggs sucked out. Is that right? I don’t think so.

  3. TnT

    I know this is an older post. But what the heck. I can’t help but wonder why you would compare harvesting needed organs from living people, to women donating embryos that would be discarded anyways?

    It’s simply ridiculous. That’s why I don’t take arguments from ‘your side of the fence’ seriously. If you could present a credible reason why we would have serious concerns for this beyond a group of people’s religious beliefs, great. Beyond that, unless the belief is something all people should adhere too for the good of society, I refuse to have to live my life according to your religious beliefs, or have my family’s lives put in danger because of it.

  4. Inquiring Issues

    Sorry but I have to point out your a uninformed about stem cell research. They (McMaster) has been using the same cell lines since ’98 from a wisconsin institute, yes it is wrong that they had the power to gain that from embryos but McMaster isn’t causing any additional deaths.

    As well, they have iPS technology where they take somatic cells (like skin cells or pancreas cells or anything) and turn them INTO stem cells. This is how McMaster is getting these grants. They can change science.

    So don’t worry there will be no embryo “factories” in the near future 🙂

    great blog, I really love your awareness regardless!

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