Thursday, November 20, 2008


Yesterday I read that a woman received a new wind pipe created from her own stem cells.


She had some kind of condition that had eroded the cells around the wind pipe until there was nothing left but a strand. The doctors had considered removing one of her lungs but instead they took some stem cells from her hip bone marrow and re-created the wind pipe!

I find this astounding. I have often said that America is far behind on these medical marvels as there is no Government funding directed in this direction. Mostly because George W. Bush thinks that we need to take stem cells from embryos and he does not want "babies" (embryos)being created for this sole purpose. So now we know! There are many roads still to travel and I hope America, as a country, is not left behind as they have been in many other regions (education etc).

Hooray for medical marvels!

Now a dilema!


Suppose Bill is a healthy man without family or loved ones. Would it be ok painlessly to kill him if his organs would save five people, one of whom needs a heart, another a kidney, and so on? If not, why not?

Consider another case: you and six others are kidnapped, and the kidnapper somehow persuades you that if you shoot dead one of the other hostages, he will set the remaining five free, whereas if you do not, he will shoot all six. (Either way, he'll release you.)

If in this case you should kill one to save five, why not in the previous, organs case? If in this case too you have qualms, consider yet another: you're in the cab of a runaway tram and see five people tied to the track ahead. You have the option of sending the tram on to the track forking off to the left, on which only one person is tied. Surely you should send the tram left, killing one to save five.

But then why not kill Bill?

1 comment:

Steve said...

Wow this is really deep. Now you have me thinking about this and it all doesnt make sense. F***