Catholic leaders, and Lila Rose, are warning people not to take the ALS Association’s Ice Bucket Challenge, because the ALS Association supports embryonic stem cell research. According to her, and the Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati, despite the possibility that stem cell research could benefit ALS patients, their support of stem cell research means people should not support them.
The ends, in their opinion, do not justify the means.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a devastating, progressive disease of the nervous system that slowly weakens the body until the victim can’t move on their own. Eventually, they can’t walk, can’t sit up, can’t speak, can’t even swallow. They become wholly dependent on caregivers for everything, but their minds remain sharp so they know what’s happening to them. It’s rare—about 2 out of every 100,000 people are diagnosed every year—and there isn’t any cure for it. There aren’t even really any treatments for it.
“It is noble to combat a deadly disease, and the ice bucket challenge definitely puts a fun spin on philanthropic efforts. That’s why it’s such a shame that the ALS Association, while striving to save some people, chooses to support research that thrives from experimenting on and killing tiny, innocent human beings.”
She went on to say:
“Embryonic stem cell research, which requires the destruction of pre-born people, is inherently unethical and a violation of fundamental human rights, and even materialists must admit that promises of its benefits have failed to deliver. There is no good reason to condone this practice; in fact, all it does is taint the ALS Association, whom I’d otherwise be happy to support.”
Why pro-lifers hate the ice bucket challenge.
The Ice Bucket Challenge has raised more than $88 million for the ALS Association in just under one month, according to a story on CBS Boston. That’s absolutely astounding for a fundraising effort. They only raised $2.6 million in all of 2013.
Federal funding for embryonic stem cell research was banned under President George W. Bush, but reinstated in 2009 under President Obama. Stem cell research, using stem cells from both embryos and adults, can lend valuable insight into both causes and treatments for diseases like ALS, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, and other degenerative neuron diseases.
It can also help research into the causes and possible treatments for other problems, including diseases that require organ transplants. But, because of moral implications, stem cell research is controversial.
The big thing to remember here is that these are people who want to protect embryos over and above people who have already been born, and are productive members of society (or were until a devastating, progressive disease robbed them of that ability). They don’t care about people who are sick with a horrible disease that nobody understands. To put that kind of priority on a cluster of cells, to the detriment of people who are actual, real, living, suffering human beings shows that they have their priorities messed up at best. They can’t truly call themselves “pro-life,” like they claim.