Tuesday, August 23, 2005

A moral dilemma

A paradoxical report was on the noon news today. A story about bio bandages.

Bio bandages are on the cutting edge of open wound and burn management. They help the victim heal more quickly, with less scarring and with more acute sensation regained. This new technology is a coup for those with dermal conditions slow and stubborn to recover.

A dear friend of mine has suffered from the aftermath of necrotizing fasciitis for nearly 4 years. Her wounds were shockingly large, and in hindsight it's remarkable that they were survived. If bio bandages were readily available for her at the time, they probably would have greatly increased her healing and shortened her recovery time. But I know her well. I believe she would have refused these remarkable bandages and opted for the harder road, because her strong convictions would likely outweigh her desperate personal need for a medical miracle.

The bio bandages specifically cited in the news report were grown from skin cells harvested from an aborted fetus at 14 weeks gestation. Many, many bio bandages have been grown and used from just this one fetus.

On one side of the fence, there is the point that though this one life was terminated, it does it honor to use the tissue to enhance and improve, even possibly save the lives of others. On the other side, it could be considered an excuse to justify the termination of pregnancies, or even a catalyst for harvesting fetuses conceived for the sole purpose of termination in the name of science. Fetus factories if you will.

Some say it is the prudent, frugal, and sensible thing to do. Pregnancies will be terminated in this day and age regardless of what is ultimately done with the remains - it’s better than just throwing it out with the other medical waste. Others say it is wrong to utilize any technology gained from termination of human life and is a backhanded barbarism disguised as science.

I’m all about consistency. I’m all about medical morality. And the question is begged: Which is the proper path? I have chosen mine, but that’s not to say the other doesn’t persuade much thoughtfulness.

As the collapse of a civilization draws near, it is said that the distinction between right and wrong, moral and immoral blurs, then turns upside down. Vision can be easily blurred with such an advancement as bio bandages.


Timmy said...

I used to work for a forklift company. At one point a man and woman walked in to rent a forklift.

I filled out the usual forms, and go to the section marked "purpose". I can only assume it was there to prevent drug cartels from renting forklifts. I asked the woman, who then pointed to the man, "to lift his foreskin."

Turned out they had almost 4 acres of foreskin used on burn victims. Does it honor the penis that it's foreskin is being used to help others?

Damned if I know, Kemosabe, but I do know this: when you're calling shots like that... you're in the high country.

a spoon said...

hmmm... this would make for an interesting debate subject. i can see both sides though

Bougie Black Boy said...

hmmm.. wow. something I gotta think about. It would be a great debate. . .
But, turning the tables---

IF bio bandages promote abortions,
then giving condoms promote sex.

Not so true. Giving condoms means that you know people are having sex, and it's not an issue of stopping the sex, but to stop unprotected sex.
selling bio bandages doesn't promote abortions, but recognizes that abortions exist, there's nothing we can do to stop it, so let's do something positive about it in the meanwhile with the fetal tissue.

clew said...

THAT'S the kind of thought exchange I like... I kept my stance obscured because I didn't want to "start a fight" with anyone, just wanted to see what everyone has to say. :)

As Mrs Coogan implied, both sides are strong ... and I love to eavesdrop into personal philosophies.

Timmy said...

For reference, the story was true. I briskly walked to my bosses office and explained the situation with an amazingly large grin on my face.

10 minutes later the laughter began. We closed early.