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Harvesting Organs From Aborted Babies

transplantDisposable humans.  No, I don’t mean the toothless meth head hicks who live next to your uncle out in the country, the gang-bangers whose future is continually bouncing back and forth between prison and procreating with different women, or even the homeless boozer whose sole contribution to society will be dying and having his body sold to a medical school for dissection by doctors-in-training.  All those people would seem to have more value than the disposable humans that scientists are currently experimenting with in order to perfect the growing of human organs in rats.  Organs that will be used to save people who need organ transplants.  While it may sound like a bad Vincent Price movie, it gets worse.  The organs that are to be placed into rats for growing come from humans deemed to be disposable – aborted babies.

Our medical science has apparently reached the point where organs can be harvested from aborted babies, placed into rats so the organs will grow, and then transplanted into humans waiting for new organs.  No, this has not been done as it is still in the experimentation and learning phase, but the doctors involved seem to think the possibilities are real that such a plan would be viable and could save lives.  Organs from aborted babies transplanted into other people.  Aborted babies.

Townhall – According to a report from Live Science, scientists at Ganogen, Inc., a biotech company in California that is committed to “ending the organ donor shortage,” is harvesting organs from aborted babies and transplanting them into lab rats in hopes of growing human organs.

“Researchers say they have developed a new technique that will get more kidneys to people who need transplants, but the method is sure to be controversial: The research shows that it is feasible to remove a kidney from an aborted human fetus, and implant the organ into a rat, where the kidney can grow to a larger size,” the Live Science article stated. “It’s possible that further work could find a way to grow kidneys large enough that they could be transplanted into a person, the researchers said, although much more research is needed to determine whether this could be done.”

“Our long-term goal is to grow human organs in animals, to end the human donor shortage,” medical student and CEO of the company Eugene Gu said in the article.

Is it completely lost on these people that the organs they are harvesting is absolute proof that abortion kills a human being, not just a mass of tissue?  I’m unaware of any lump of tissue that has developed functioning organs that are capable of continued growth and development.

Putting aside the medical ethics for a moment, transplanting harvested organs has the potential to create all kinds of ethical problems for everyone else involved.  Where the aborted babies in these experiments come from has not been revealed, but if this research ever transforms into actual medical procedures, it will definitely be an issue.

CNSNews – Hank Greely, an ethical and legal expert on biomedical science at Stanford Law School, is quoted in the Live Science article as saying that the decision to have an abortion must not be linked to this kind of research.

“The key issues are the existence of the pregnant woman’s consent and the total separation of the decision to abort from the decision to let the fetal remains be used in research,” Greely told Live Science.

In other words, a woman must have already decided to have an abortion before she can be asked whether she is willing to donate the fetus for research, according to Live Science.

The article does not say where the research company obtained the aborted babies.

I have read many articles about parents who have conceived children for the purpose of providing bone marrow transplants to an older sibling with leukemia, but even some of what has come from this sounds horrific.

New York Times – In a recent survey of bone marrow transplant centers, 40 cases were found in which families had confided to doctors that they were conceiving babies to serve as donors. But these parents have shunned publicity, leery of letting the world pry into their ordeals.

Ethicists and doctors are asking whether conceiving a child as a source of donated organs violates the principle that individuals should be brought into the world and cherished for their own sake and no other motive. Others argue that the children who are conceived to donate organs are deeply loved and that it is unfair to point fingers at parents who have a child to save another person’s life. From the point of view of the child, they say, it is certainly better to have been conceived to donate rather than to have never been conceived at all.

It may even be justifiable to abort a fetus of the wrong tissue type, some experts say, but others say they cannot condone this.

While I can understand parents having another child in order to save a child they already have, I do have to wonder about what that does to the younger child.  “Yes, we didn’t want you initially, but we conceived you because your older brother has leukemia.  But we do love you.  Now inhale and breathe deeply so we can get some of your bone marrow.”

And now we are reaching the point where babies can be conceived and tested for possible donation, ripping them limb from limb in the womb if they are the “wrong tissue type.”  In the fictional world, medical science may one day reach the point where needed organs can simply be grown on the spot, but until that long-off day comes in the real world, is this really what we want to be doing?

There can be no denying that if transplanting from aborted babies was to become an accepted medical practice that it would create a type of medical market where women could conceive and abort babies for their organs, perhaps being paid to do so.  Hank Greely may say that a woman’s decision to have an abortion must be totally separate from using the body’s organs for research, but he is being naïve if he thinks that abortions and organ transplants aren’t going to be linked exponentially, should this practice ever become a medical reality.

I cannot imagine being in the position of needing a kidney or other organ and having to choose between not getting one and getting one from an aborted baby.  And yes, it is easy for me to decry this practice since I don’t need an organ.  It may be somewhat of a medical miracle, but it cheapens life and would relegate countless babies to being nothing but organ producers to be disposed of once the needed organ was removed. 

How ironic it would be that babies whose lives were denied them would have their organs used to extend the lives of others.

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