Category Archives: Embryos and Stem Cells

Seedbed – publishing for a great awakening

Seedbed is an arm of Asbury Theological seminary that is producing exciting resources to build up the body of Christ. You can check out their home page for on-line resources and the Seven Minute Seminary for videos that deal with social issues including videos that I have recorded on bioethics. One is on IVF and the status of embryos in the light of the Christian understanding of the person and the other is on the biotechnological revolution that has the potential for changing the very nature of the human person—possibly leading to a new form of humanity (trans or post-humanism). What does the Christian understanding of humanity as made in the image of God contribute to this?

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Embryo donation and research

By Brian Edgar

Now that “Robert” and “Sue” have three healthy children – all conceived through IVF, what should they do with the four ‘surplus’ embryos which they no longer need?   Should they have them destroyed, or donate them to another couple or perhaps give them to scientists to use for research? Read More »

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Abortion and the Gift of Grace

By Brian Edgar

Public debate about abortion generally ends up polarising into pro-life and pro-choice perspectives.  These two views operate on different and apparently incommensurable principles.  One stresses the inviolability or sanctity of life and the importance of love for those unable to defend themselves.  The other focuses on freedom of choice, and the difficult position which conception can bring to women.  Those fully committed to one side or another do not necessarily deny the element of truth in what the other side says, yet are usually unable to integrate them Read More »

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Bioethics: opportunity for the gospel?

We live in an age of phenomenal advances in life sciences and their attendant technologies. From the mapping of the human genome to successful cloning of mammals and the harvesting of human stem cells, these advances present both great promise for new medical treatments and profound concerns about the harm they may do to society. Genetics, cybernetics and nanotechnology, for instance, which promise to reverse or eliminate diseases, could also be used to engineer ‘better’ humans, or even ‘trans-humans’ or ‘post-humans’ that render the humans of today obsolete. Read More »

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Stem cells and embryonic experimentation

By Brian Edgar

The Lockhart Committee was formed by the Australian Federal Parliament to review the situation with regard to human embryos, stem cell research and cloning.  The review “An Assessment of the Lockhart Review: stem cell research and embryonic experimentation”   (7,500 words) was done for the Australian Evangelical Alliance when I was Director of Public Theology. Obviously, the matter has moved on politically since then, but the issues it discusses remain the same. Read More »

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Ethics, experiments and embryos

By Brian Edgar

The debate about the use of embryonic stem cells continues. There is no problem with the value of stem cell research per se.  The potential benefits are well documented, very real and profoundly significant, even if the immediacy of the benefits has been over-stated.  And there are no ethical problems related to research on adult stem cells per se and every reason for it to continue. The ethical dimension of ‘the stem cell debate’ really relates to the moral status of embryos from whom stem cells may be obtained – at the cost of the loss of life of the embryo.

The ethical concerns therefore relate to the appropriateness of experimentation on, and thus the destruction of, early embryos. Read More »

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