Incited by a visit to my local Relay for Life fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, as well as a call today asking for a repeated pledge to the same society, for research and the like, I decided to look into their ethical standards. http://www.all.org/ , the website for the American Life League, proved to be my best resource. They offer a short description of different companies and associations, basing their rating on a number of human life-related ethical standards.
American Cancer Society, March of Dimes, the Leukemia and Lymphoma society, and Lance Armstrong's Livestrong campaign, all failed according to the ALL. All of these, as well as an enormous number of others, use some sort of embryonic stem cell research directly, or support its funding. Unfortunately, the evil of cancer has often misguided many people to donate large sums of money, most especially to the American Cancer Society, in pursuit of finding a cure for cancer. While I must admit that I am highly ignorant in this area of scientific discovery, I do believe that the differences between research in adult stem cells, and embryonic stem cells, is enormous. Contrary to popular belief, the adult stem cells have proven to offer many more successful results.
All I want to convey, here, is that anyone considering donating money to a research organization, especially in such areas as cancer (where the research is extensive, expensive, and a long work in progress), one should first do a bit of research into the organization. Many of the big name research organizations trample over embryos, aborted fetuses, and fetuses in utero, in search of a cure for cancer. Perhaps consider another organization, or do your part to educate those soliciting the donations to see some of the evil that is being done to find a cure. Once again, the ends never justify the means. And a human person, as many a great ethicist has said, may never be used a means of something else, but rather must be respected as an end in and of himself.
That's my two cents, sparked by what seems to be innocent and good-willed work towards using science for the good of humanity. Hopefully, in the years to come, we can help educate people to understand that no cure, no matter how amazing or life-changing it may be, should ever take the life of a human person in order to be discovered. In the Incarnation, Passion, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, we humans have been utterly redeemed, and our bodies and souls made holy before the eyes of God. Perhaps the day when we realize the dignity of the human person, God will give us the grace to discover a means to destroying cancer, and preventing it for the future. Until then, we must pray and hope that we, as the human family, do not overlook the weakest of our brothers and sisters.
12 July 2011
Brummer: Perhaps the day when we realize the dignity of the human person, God will give us the grace to discover a means to destroying cancer
Over at Lux Mundi, my friend Craig recently posted his thoughts on charitable donations, prompted the recent Relay for Life in Effingham. His text follows, with my emphases: