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Couples Cull Embryos to Halt Heritage of Cancer
NY Times ^ | 09.03.06 | AMY HARMON

Posted on 09/03/2006 1:55:46 PM PDT by Coleus

As Chad Kingsbury watches his daughter playing in the sandbox behind their suburban Chicago house, the thought that has flashed through his mind a million times in her two years of life comes again: Chloe will never be sick.

Not, at least, with the inherited form of colon cancer that has devastated his family, killing his mother, her father and her two brothers, and that he too may face because of a genetic mutation that makes him unusually susceptible.

By subjecting Chloe to a genetic test when she was an eight-cell embryo in a petri dish, Mr. Kingsbury and his wife, Colby, were able to determine that she did not harbor the defective gene. That was the reason they selected her, from among the other embryos they had conceived through elective in vitro fertilization, to implant in her mother’s uterus.

Prospective parents have been using the procedure, known as preimplantation genetic diagnosis, or P.G.D., for more than a decade to screen for genes certain to cause childhood diseases that are severe and largely untreatable.

Now a growing number of couples like the Kingsburys are crossing a new threshold for parental intervention in the genetic makeup of their offspring: They are using P.G.D. to detect a predisposition to cancers that may or may not develop later in life, and are often treatable if they do.

For most parents who have used preimplantation diagnosis, the burden of playing God has been trumped by the near certainty that diseases like cystic fibrosis and sickle cell anemia will afflict the children who carry the genetic mutation that causes them.


(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: abortion; babies; babyfarms; babykillers; cafeteriacatholic; cancer; dna; embryo; embryos; geneticdefects; genetics; ivf; moralrelativism; murder; nytreasontimes; pickandchoose; playinggod; selectivereduction; selfcentered; selfishness; slipperyslope; treasonmedia
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"In the future, many specialists believe, most in vitro fertilizations will be performed for fertile couples seeking genetic diagnosis, not as a treatment for infertility." >>>>

the slippery slope, the end does not justify the means.

Once government begins to define life and humanity, there is no end to the possibilities for subjective and selective determination as to who will be allowed to live.

1 posted on 09/03/2006 1:55:47 PM PDT by Coleus
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To: Coleus

Oh, isn't this a heartwarming story? They choose the kids they want, and kills those that they don't. Pelosi's heart must be warmed by this great news.


2 posted on 09/03/2006 1:57:04 PM PDT by The Cuban
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To: 2ndMostConservativeBrdMember; afraidfortherepublic; Alas; al_c; american colleen; annalex; ...


3 posted on 09/03/2006 2:05:32 PM PDT by Coleus (I Support Research using the Ethical, Effective and Moral use of stem cells: non-embryonic "adult")
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To: Coleus
IMHO, it seems like another Pandora's box. But to each, his or her own. Doc's will probably be successfully sued for not offering counseling about preimplantation genetic diagnosis. I was just about to post this with the printer friendly page and four of the many links. Here's two.

Graphic: Screening Embryos for Future Disease P.S. Enlarge the graphic to read it.

Statistics for 2006 (American Cancer Society)

4 posted on 09/03/2006 2:06:01 PM PDT by neverdem (May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows that you're dead.)
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To: The Cuban

What do you do with your fingernail clippings? Do you mourn every time you spit? People discard small numbers of cells all the time. These embryos were not in the womb and would never develop into people unless placed there. I understand that it's a gray area but I'm pro-life and see nothing wrong with what they did.


5 posted on 09/03/2006 2:09:57 PM PDT by free_at_jsl.com
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To: free_at_jsl.com
Wow..embryos and nail clippings, I sure can see that they are the same!
6 posted on 09/03/2006 2:12:07 PM PDT by svcw
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To: Coleus

I wonder if dad Chad wishes he'd been "culled."


7 posted on 09/03/2006 2:12:21 PM PDT by Clara Lou (Only a fool creates ill will unnecessarily.)
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To: free_at_jsl.com

No you are really not pro-life. You have defined the moment life begins, at implantation. This is not a "small amount of cells" this is a life, who has not yet been implanted in a womb. Life begins at conception.


8 posted on 09/03/2006 2:12:53 PM PDT by The Cuban
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To: Coleus

Anyone see Gattaca ? The slippery slope of eugenics. Once you get down that path... it's pretty scary.


9 posted on 09/03/2006 2:13:06 PM PDT by farlander (Strategery - sure beats liberalism!)
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To: The Cuban
I understand all the arguments and you have no right to tell me what I am and am not. You do have the right to say that you disagree with me and explain why. Yes, life is sacred. Yes, all cells are alive. If a couple agrees to destroy 8 cells in a petri dish, it's far different from having an abortion.
10 posted on 09/03/2006 2:17:21 PM PDT by free_at_jsl.com
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To: free_at_jsl.com

My fingernails do not go on to become children. We used to love and protect the unborn.


11 posted on 09/03/2006 2:19:28 PM PDT by sine_nomine (American is a great country: 20 million illegals can't be wrong. So build that wall, Mr. Bush.)
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To: free_at_jsl.com
What do you do with your fingernail clippings? Do you mourn every time you spit? People discard small numbers of cells all the time. These embryos were not in the womb and would never develop into people unless placed there...

I understand your perspective. Even among embryos that do implant, a sizable fraction spontaneously abort with the woman not even aware she was pregnant.. we don't hold women for skipping a period, but not producing a child, as potential "child killers". However, there is a danger that this will cross from screening for a fatal disease to screen for something far more capricious... small height? low intelligence? blue eyes?

On the other hand, my sister went through the heartbreak of having a baby that had brain cancer. She died at 7.5 months, the last 6 weeks of her life spent in intensive care. Could she have been blamed for "pre-screening" if she had had the option? Not an easy choice.

12 posted on 09/03/2006 2:19:58 PM PDT by detroitdarien
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To: sine_nomine
Your fingernails COULD go on to become clones of you if they were processed and implanted in a womb. The same applies to these cells. I'm not going to pretend that there are no moral implications of destroying the cells, I think there are greater implications to doing the in-vitro fertilization in the first place.
13 posted on 09/03/2006 2:21:53 PM PDT by free_at_jsl.com
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To: Coleus

Typical. Someone else's life isn't worth living if they (may) have a set of circumstances you wouldn't want. I wonder if the guy thinks his parents shouldn't have lived since they have colon cancer. I wonder if he develops it, will he regret having lived. I wonder what these people think sometimes. We are all going to die some day. Even if you can prolong it for decades, there's always the possibility of you just getting killed by younger people to get you out of the way. I guess you can live with principles or rationalizations.


14 posted on 09/03/2006 2:25:24 PM PDT by MichiganConservative (Government IS the problem.)
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To: detroitdarien
I'm sorry to hear of your sister's loss. It's heartbreaking to read about such things. My condolences to you and yours.
15 posted on 09/03/2006 2:25:30 PM PDT by free_at_jsl.com
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To: free_at_jsl.com

Yes I have that clear right, i am a thinking human being after all. Sorry.In objective reality you are pro-life only after implantation of an embryo. This isn't a subjective issue. It is an objective reality that you don't accept that life begins at conception. If you are offended, oh well. Sorry, you are not pro-life.


16 posted on 09/03/2006 2:27:28 PM PDT by The Cuban
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To: free_at_jsl.com

That's the most sane post I've read on one of these threads in a long time. Good for you.


17 posted on 09/03/2006 2:28:09 PM PDT by Hildy
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To: sine_nomine

They are cells in a petri dish...


18 posted on 09/03/2006 2:28:39 PM PDT by Hildy
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To: The Cuban
How would you define "conception" in this case? See my previous post. These embryos were "conceived" in a test tube and would never survive without a mother.
19 posted on 09/03/2006 2:29:10 PM PDT by free_at_jsl.com
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To: Coleus

This is just Eigenics at an earlier stage than was available before. Oh I know they will say it does prevent human suffering including that of the child, parents and society.


20 posted on 09/03/2006 2:31:51 PM PDT by therut
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To: Hildy
That's the most sane post I've read on one of these threads in a long time. Good for you.

Hildy, you forgot to say how glad you are that all those nasty embryos were killed good and dead, just like Terry Schiavo. (Oh, and tell us you're pro-life too.)

21 posted on 09/03/2006 2:34:00 PM PDT by madprof98
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To: free_at_jsl.com

Maybe the problem is that we let them be in the petri dish at all. I know that is not what people want to hear. But one wrong may not justify leading to another wrong. Just something to ponder.


22 posted on 09/03/2006 2:34:17 PM PDT by therut
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To: The Cuban

In the year 6565
Ain't gonna need no husband, won't need no wife
You'll pick your son, pick your daughter too
From the bottom of a long glass tube

-Zager & Evans, "In The Year 2525"


23 posted on 09/03/2006 2:35:51 PM PDT by CharlesI (They're not liberals, they're leftists!)
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To: free_at_jsl.com

Ha. I don't believe there have been any clones.

My fingernails do not have a soul.


24 posted on 09/03/2006 2:36:16 PM PDT by sine_nomine (American is a great country: 20 million illegals can't be wrong. So build that wall, Mr. Bush.)
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To: Coleus
There's an excellent analysis of this Times article on the Mere Comments blog for Touchstone magazine today: "Baby's Got Her New Genes On."
25 posted on 09/03/2006 2:36:52 PM PDT by madprof98
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To: The Cuban

> They choose the kids they want, and kills those that they don't.

The number of children produced, however, remains more or less constant. Whether embryos composed only of a few cells can be considered "kids" is something that can be reasonable and rationally debated.

The other side of the coin, using the same rhetoric you seem to be using, is this: "So you *want* children to die horribly of cancer."


26 posted on 09/03/2006 2:38:04 PM PDT by orionblamblam (I'm interested in science and preventing its corruption, so here I am.)
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To: therut
Yes, exactly. I was trying to say this but it did not come out clearly. Once you start experimenting with human procreation as is being done here, you start to slide down a slippery slope where eventually life becomes a commodity. For this couple, this is a good alternative to either having a sick child, or having no children. When these techniques are employed to select gender (as is already being done) or other characteristics, then I start to have a problem with it.
27 posted on 09/03/2006 2:38:56 PM PDT by free_at_jsl.com
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To: wagglebee; little jeremiah

ping


28 posted on 09/03/2006 2:40:13 PM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: The Cuban

> Life begins at conception.

Life beings *before* conception. Sperm and eggs are alive, after all. The question is not when does "life" begins (about 2 billion years ago...) but when "human life worthy of legal protection" begins.


29 posted on 09/03/2006 2:40:57 PM PDT by orionblamblam (I'm interested in science and preventing its corruption, so here I am.)
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To: sine_nomine

> My fingernails do not have a soul.

Does an embryo?

If you wish to base laws on such a belief, stand ready to demonstrate the factual nature of your belief, in objective, reproducible scientific terms.


30 posted on 09/03/2006 2:42:48 PM PDT by orionblamblam (I'm interested in science and preventing its corruption, so here I am.)
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To: madprof98

Yes, I just love death..I'm wearing my black robe right now. You're an idiot.


31 posted on 09/03/2006 2:44:24 PM PDT by Hildy
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To: orionblamblam
The other side of the coin, using the same rhetoric you seem to be using, is this: "So you *want* children to die horribly of cancer."

Since we are all going to die someday, having any kids means you want more people to die.

32 posted on 09/03/2006 2:44:38 PM PDT by MichiganConservative (Government IS the problem.)
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To: free_at_jsl.com
If a couple agrees to destroy 8 cells in a petri dish, it's far different from having an abortion.

Not really. It's the same baby, just at a different time in it's development. Why should age be the determining factor in whether it's OK to end a life or not? It's murder when it's any other stage of someone's existance. When age is the determining factor in deciding someone's humanness, the slippery slope has begun, like it is now.

33 posted on 09/03/2006 2:45:18 PM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: MichiganConservative
Well said. Carrying an extreme argument to it's ridiculous conclusion. Congratulations.
34 posted on 09/03/2006 2:46:27 PM PDT by free_at_jsl.com
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To: MichiganConservative

> Since we are all going to die someday

Speak for yourself. I plan to live forever.


35 posted on 09/03/2006 2:51:14 PM PDT by orionblamblam (I'm interested in science and preventing its corruption, so here I am.)
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To: free_at_jsl.com

Just for the record, I disagree with you based on my study of human development and embryology. Post #32 was sarcasm. I am unsure if your post is sarcasm as well.

I do not believe that just because someone may die of cancer someday is a good reason to prevent them from reaching that stage.

I think this practice of screening embryos is just to ease the minds of parents who just couldn't stand the thought that "their perfect baby" could have a genetic "defect".

People need to grow up. Maybe their "perfect" baby will become an alcoholic.


36 posted on 09/03/2006 2:52:12 PM PDT by MichiganConservative (Government IS the problem.)
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To: orionblamblam

Are you planning on downloading your consciousness into a computer? What's your plan?


37 posted on 09/03/2006 2:53:07 PM PDT by MichiganConservative (Government IS the problem.)
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To: leda

I think I am going to be ill. Crohn's, anyone? ADHD?


38 posted on 09/03/2006 2:55:54 PM PDT by patton (Sanctimony frequently reaps its own reward.)
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To: free_at_jsl.com

The Nazi's called it "Lebensunwertsleben," the life not worth living.


39 posted on 09/03/2006 2:58:12 PM PDT by patton (Sanctimony frequently reaps its own reward.)
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To: free_at_jsl.com

Conception = Conception, not conceived in a womb, not conceived while wanted, etc.


40 posted on 09/03/2006 2:59:16 PM PDT by The Cuban
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To: MichiganConservative
I don't claim to have any answers here... I only have my own opinions and I know where I got them. I would be very interested in opinions from everyone else with regard to the question posed in post #29. Sperm are alive as well as eggs. When fertilization occurs, those two separate lives merge into a new one. Where should the protection begin? What kind of protections are we talking about? How can the rights of all of those involved be protected without infringing anybody's rights? These are tough questions.
41 posted on 09/03/2006 2:59:54 PM PDT by free_at_jsl.com
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To: patton

I have psoriasis, I really wish my parents had aborted me, I mean, come on, I have to make sure I moisturize every-day, the HORROR! /sarcasm off.


42 posted on 09/03/2006 3:00:18 PM PDT by The Cuban
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To: orionblamblam

Yes, because you don't have a right to kill someone, even if they die a "horrible" death of cancer. It is God's right to give and take life, not yours.


43 posted on 09/03/2006 3:01:26 PM PDT by The Cuban
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To: MichiganConservative
> I do not believe that just because someone may die of cancer someday is a good reason to prevent them from reaching that stage.

OK, so you would prefer to have kids that would die horribly of ass-cancer, rather than kids that wouldn't... because that's what you're suggesting here.

Left to nature, these parents would have kids who would carry a Horrible Gene. But thanks to medical science, these parents can still have kids, just kids without the Horrible Gene. Is it some great tragedy that the kids with the Horrible Gene won't get born? Won't, in fact, get implanted? No more so than it's a great tragedy that any particular egg fails to fertilize or a fertilized egg gets spontaneously aborted. There are great tragedies enough in life to get all emo about a few non-implanted cells.

44 posted on 09/03/2006 3:01:49 PM PDT by orionblamblam (I'm interested in science and preventing its corruption, so here I am.)
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To: orionblamblam

Human Life begins at conception. I have never had a beer with a zygote.


45 posted on 09/03/2006 3:02:10 PM PDT by The Cuban
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To: The Cuban

> It is God's right to give and take life

Then it is God's responsibility to take care of the cell in the petri dish, ain't it.


46 posted on 09/03/2006 3:02:59 PM PDT by orionblamblam (I'm interested in science and preventing its corruption, so here I am.)
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To: MichiganConservative
> What's your plan?

Something to do with stem cells.


47 posted on 09/03/2006 3:04:44 PM PDT by orionblamblam (I'm interested in science and preventing its corruption, so here I am.)
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To: orionblamblam

No, it is the person who made the embryo in the petri dish's duty to take care of it, i.e. the parents.


48 posted on 09/03/2006 3:05:26 PM PDT by The Cuban
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To: Coleus

You can dress eugenics up all you want, it is still murder.


49 posted on 09/03/2006 3:07:26 PM PDT by TheDon (The Democratic Party is the party of TREASON!)
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To: orionblamblam
From the article:

killing his mother, her father and her two brothers,

Maybe the mother and father were young breeders? These aren't children (under 18) dying. They were adults well into reproductive age as they had their own kids. But, I guess living to 45, 60, 70 isn't worth it if you die of ass cancer. Better to die of alzheimers at 90 or congestive heart failure at 55 or something else. What the hell do people think "dying of old age" means? People are going to die someday from some thing. (Unless, of course, you're orionblamblam and have a Secret Plan.)

And if you've been paying attention, the birth rate in the West, including the US, has been falling for years. The population has only been stable because of immigration. When the Muslims move in and take over you just might be an annoying old white guy they'd rather be without. So much for that living forever.

50 posted on 09/03/2006 3:09:20 PM PDT by MichiganConservative (Government IS the problem.)
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