Posts Tagged ‘religion’


In OFF THE BEATEN PATH, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on April 17, 2013 at 12:53 pm

To Heal jesus



(A 1/4 baked secular and slightly irreverent but meaning no disrespect hypothesis of what God wants us to do when we get sick)


A religious friend questions her activity in a group on Longevity:
“I really don’t know why I’m in this. Aging is a natural thing. We are all meant to die when god chooses.. anything we do or say will never change that. Life goes how it wants to, and no research is going to change that.”

I responded:

You bring up an interesting question.  I respect your opinion and share my own. For the sake of this exploration, let’s assume God exists and we all agree on how to define him…

You wrote, “We die when God chooses.”

If God brings us into life and chooses our death then I would guess you are presuming that God is omniscient and omnipotent.  If that’s the case, then your entire life too is pre-destined and you have no choice in any of your decisions.  This is fatalism.  In fact, this is absolute fatalism when you give it all up and allow God to take responsibility for everything that happens to you.  This takes all responsibility out of our hands.

The next are controversial hot buttons no doubt but we can only assess the value in a philosophy or “ism” if we push ourselves and them to the extreme.  So, with an omniscient and omnipotent God and a fatalist interpretation, everything happens as it was fated.  The woman gets an abortion only as she was fated to do.  The serial murderer kills again only as he was fated to do.  The Uncle rapes the niece as it was fated.  And we can all just sit back and take no responsibility for anything that happens to us or around us.  That can’t be right.

Perhaps you feel you can interpret God’s intentions and make decisions on behalf of his intentions for yourself.  On the one hand you have no say, on the other you can not only see the pattern in God’s mysterious works but also interpret them and affect change in your life based on your interpretations of them.  So you feel you can analyze and understand the intentions of an omniscient and omnipotent being?  Do you know how limited our vision is, figuratively and literally?  DO you know that we see less than 1% of the electromagnetic spectrum.  In fact, we see only about 0.00018% of it in our limited visible spectrum.  The rest of our senses are equally pathetic. SO we are “aware” of an infinitesimal amount of what is really going on. We are completely unprepared and incapable.  For sure, God works in mysterious ways because we only see a trillionth of a fraction of  what he does in the universe.  Einstein said: “trying to understand the universe is like trying to understand an entire deck of cards when you can only see one.”  He understood the folly of that hubris-tic exercise and he was pretty smart by any standards. The narcissism inherent in this is mind boggling. So that can’t be right.

Should we accept our fates or should we try to change them?  Fatalism is a philosophical construct that fails when applied to practical living.  Will you lie down in traffic, secure in your knowledge that if God intended you get run over by a bus, you will get run over by a bus?  Conversely, if God’s intent is for you to live, no number of buses running over you will cause your demise?  No?  Then you are already choosing to abandon fatalism and partaking in actions which hedge your bets against God’s intended destiny for you or fate.  So that can’t be right.

Are you so special that God spends his time on deciding your fate?  Is it the big stuff, like life or death with a big empty space in the middle or does he decide every single event, like if you get a dust mote in your eye or an uncomfortable wedgie from sitting on the bus too long?  Has God put that pimple on your nose before Church?  Don’t use make up, your are covering God’s intent.  So that can’t be right.

“Life goes how it wants to.”

Do you mean God created your life which proceeds according to his plan?  You are giving up all free choice and we are back to the fatalism argument.  Did God intend for a child to be born with a disease or contract a disease and if so, should we allow that to proceed without intervening.  Should a simple infection from a splinter be allowed to spread, become gangrenous and cause death.  The next time you trip, should you keep your hands at your sides and take that concrete curb full in the teeth?  No.  You can’t.  Your survival instincts kick in, as God intended, one might surmise.  We intervene at every level of every day.  God brought you to this group with it’s interests in Longevity.  Was that not his intention?  Does he intend for you to survive only instinctively or also with forethought and planning and the utilization of that grey matter in your head? I’m thinking the latter.

You remind me of a story:

A man lived by the river. He heard a radio report that the river was going to rush up and flood the town. And that all the residents should evacuate their homes. But the man said, ‘I’m religious. I pray. God loves me. God will save me.’

The waters rose up. A guy in a row boat came along and he shouted, ‘Hey, hey you! You in there. The town is flooding. Let me take you to safety.’ But the man shouted back, ‘I’m religious. I pray. God loves me. God will save me.’

A helicopter was hovering overhead. And a guy with a megaphone shouted, ‘Hey you, you down there. The town is flooding. Let me drop this ladder and I’ll take you to safety.’ But the man shouted back that he was religious, that he prayed, that God loved him and that God will take him to safety.

Well… the man drowned. And standing at the gates of St. Peter, he demanded an audience with God. ‘Lord,’ he said, ‘I’m a religious man, I pray. I thought you loved me. Why did this happen?’

God said, ‘I sent you a radio report, a helicopter, and a guy in a rowboat. What the hell are you doing here?


I don’t think we should assume everything is pre-destined

I don’t think we should assume we know God’s plan

I don’t think we should assume we should hand over responsibility for our lives

I don’t think we should assume we should hand over responsibility for the manner in which we die

I don’t think we should assume we are so important as to warrant divine intervention

I don’t think we should take a pass on what God has put before us

Perhaps God’s intent was for us to do everything in our power to live well and to live long.  When a child is struck ill with a deadly disease , it is “God’s will.”  Then, when a child is healed from a deadly disease, it is a miracle.  Is it less of a miracle if a motorcycle accident donates the heart needed or a new treatment cures the previously incurable?  Should we not partake of those things because God has a plan?  Shall we make no effort to assist in the extension of a healthy lifestyle?

Adult stem cells are the body’s natural healing system, presumable put there by God.  Shouldn’t we use them?

Doesn’t God want us to live and prosper? He did give us the equipment for it.  A body that heals and a mind that reasons, a world full of healing plants and doctors and scientists who were put here, also by God.  Is it not God’s intent for you to utilize all of the resources at our disposal, including perhaps, the 76,000,000 hits when you google “God” and “healing.”  The Vatican has given their full throated support to adult stem cells and they know a thing or two about God.  Is it not God’s intent for you to eat, to breath, to love, to connect, to perpetuate the species and to live as best as we can for as long as we can, if for no other reason, then to share and illuminate the word and beauty of God to as many as we can for as long as possible.

So this is your radio report, your row boat  and your helicopter.  If you embrace God, you must embrace food, embrace breathing, embrace health, embrace healing, embrace science and embrace longevity.  They are all put here by God for you to enjoy and benefit from.  To ignore them or turn away is as to turn your back on a gift from God.


Court won’t reconsider bone marrow payments ruling

In BUSINESS OF STEM CELLS on March 31, 2012 at 3:38 am

Previously, you could not compensate someone for a bone marrow donation“donating bone marrow was classified the same as donating a kidney or any other organ, and payments were forbidden, punished by jail time.”

Now, bone marrow donation is so simple, it no longer resembles organ donation“the process of donating bone marrow [is] nearly identical to giving blood plasma and doesn’t amount to an organ transplant.”

So, you can get paid for a bone marrow donation“bone marrow donors [can] be paid for their donations like blood donors.”

Many believe this is a very positive move and will encourage more donations.

bone marrow is FULL of stem cells 🙂


Court won’t reconsider bone marrow payments ruling

Posted: 6:48pm on Mar 27, 2012; Modified: 9:27pm on Mar 27, 2012

A federal appeals court on Tuesday declined to reconsider a ruling that allows bone marrow donors to be paid for their donations like blood donors.

In December, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals shook up the organ transplant community when it overturned the criminality of paying bone marrow donors. Previously, donating bone marrow was classified the same as donating a kidney or any other organ, and payments were forbidden, punished by jail time.

But the court said a technological breakthrough makes the process of donating bone marrow nearly identical to giving blood plasma and doesn’t amount to an organ transplant.

On Tuesday, the 9th Circuit declined the Obama administration’s request to reconsider the ruling. Several organizations and activisits in the organ-donation community have urged the administration to fight the ruling.

The administration now has 90 days to petition the U.S. Supreme Court.

Department of Justice spokesman Charles Miller said the administration is reviewing its options.

The nonprofit patient advocacy group Institute for Justice called the original ruling a “major national shift in bone marrow donation policy” and said payments will encourage more donations.

SAN FRANCISCO: Court won’t reconsider bone marrow payments ruling | Health | Macon.com.



Will The Catholic Church sponsor a CP patient’s Medical Treatment?

In STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on November 19, 2010 at 3:43 pm
Will The Catholic Church sponsor a CP patient’s Medical Treatment?

The Catholic Church has taken notice of the challenging life of a young
29 year old man with cerebral palsy. The Catholic Churches recent
endorsement of adult stem cells is a true blessing for Neil Barron of Phenix
City, AL. Neil has Mixed Cerebral Palsy, he is a quadriplegic destined to live
out his deteriorating life in a wheelchair.

The recent advancements in medical therapies using adult stem cells has shown
significant improvements in the quality of life of several cerebral palsy patients
treated in China. Neil has been accepted for adult stem cell therapies in China
so he has been desperately seeking financial support.

Neil’s constant prayers and reaching out for help was answered by the Catholic
Church. Reverend Thomas Weise splits his time between two Roman Catholic
Churches, St. Patrick’s Church and the Mother Mary Parrish, both of Phenix City,
AL. Reverend Thomas Weise, a theologian with four degrees, is dedicated to
helping his community. After meeting Neil and introducing him to the church
community Reverend Weise is heading the fund raising for Neil’s adult stem cell
therapies in China. Neil’s treatments are scheduled for next month, December 28, 2010.

Our Sincere thanks to Reverend Thomas Weise and the church community of Phenix City,


God Bless!

Carol Petersen
Stem Cell Advocate
Awareness Program Coordinator
Ph: 1-941-235-0088
Fx: 1-941-624-6133
Email: carolptrsn@msn.com

Medical News: What’s in the Healthcare Reform Law – in Washington-Watch, Reform from MedPage Today

In OFF THE BEATEN PATH on September 12, 2010 at 10:25 am

What’s in the Healthcare Reform Law

By Emily P. Walker, Washington Correspondent, MedPage Today
Published: April 01, 2010

WASHINGTON — When President Barack Obama signed the “add-on” bill this week, he completed the process of sweeping healthcare reform that is projected to provide insurance coverage to an additional 32 million people and cost $938 billion.

Here’s a summary of the key provisions dealing with coverage, quality improvement, and tax changes in the new law and its add-on bill.

Effective This Year

Starting immediately, HHS will set up an annual review process to make sure insurance companies aren’t raising premiums excessively. Insurers will also have to justify any major premium increases.

The law also gives the FDA the immediate authority to approve generic versions of biologic drugs. Biologic manufacturers are granted 12 years of exclusive use before follow-on generics can be developed.

The law directs the immediate formation of task forces to develop, update, and disseminate recommendations on the use of clinical and community prevention services.

Within 60 days of passage, the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) must create uniform language that clearly describes health insurance benefits. That language must be used by all insurance companies, so patients can easily understand and compare benefits. The agency will also immediately begin awarding grants to states to set up insurance information centers, which will answer consumer questions about health insurance options.

Within 90 days, HHS will create a high-risk insurance pool for those with preexisting conditions. The pool will operate through 2013. Eligible participants include those with preexisting medical conditions who have not had insurance for the previous six months.

Each state is required, by July 1, to create a Web site where residents can easily see what insurance options are available to them.

Within six months, health insurers must eliminate lifetime dollar limits on policy benefits and “unreasonable annual limits.”

The law also prohibits a health insurer from rescinding a plan once an enrollee is covered, except if he or she has knowingly committed fraud, such as lying about a preexisting condition on an insurance application. Even then, the insurance company would have to notify the enrollee prior to terminating coverage.

Other restrictions on health insurers that take effect within six months include:

  • A ban on discrimination against lower-wage workers
  • Prohibition against preexisting condition exclusions for children
  • Allow dependents who are unmarried to stay on their parent’s health insurance until they are 26

Also within six months, hospitals must publish a list of their standard charges for items and services.

By Jan. 1, 2011, insurers must eliminate copays for certain preventive health services, including those that the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) considers the most likely to improve health; immunizations recommended by the CDC; screenings and preventive care for women that are recommended by the Health Resources and Services Administration, including annual mammograms.

The law specifically prohibits use of the USPSTF’s most recent recommendations on mammograms to determine coverage decisions.

Within a year, the Secretary of HHS must create a new reporting system, and health insurers will be required to report how their plans improve health outcomes, prevent hospital readmissions, improve patient safety and reduce medical errors, and implement wellness activities.

Within two years, health insurers will be required to submit an annual report to HHS breaking down what percentage of premium revenue is spent on paying for clinical services, for activities that improve healthcare quality, and other non-claims costs.

Those reports will be made public on the HHS Web site. The provision is intended to help cut healthcare costs.

Coverage Requirements for Individuals

Starting in 2014, most individuals will be required to have health insurance or else pay a penalty of $95.

That penalty will rise to $325 in 2015 and to $695 in 2016. In the years thereafter, the penalty will be indexed to the cost of living.

The penalty for minors who don’t have insurance will be one-half the penalty for adults.

Certain exceptions are allowed for those who object to health insurance on religious grounds, those who cannot afford coverage and receive a hardship waiver, those for whom the lowest cost plan option exceeds 8% of annual income, Indian tribe members, and those who are incarcerated.

New Insurance Options

The law creates new state-based insurance exchanges called American Health Benefit Exchanges, through which individuals can purchase coverage. The Exchanges must be established by 2014.

All the plans in the Exchanges must meet certain quality and coverage benchmarks, but insurers can offer one of four types of plans: bronze, silver, gold, and platinum, which provide increasing levels of coverage and out-of-pocket spending.

Each state exchange will be required to operate a toll-free hotline and a calculator so consumers can figure out what the costs would be for various plans.

Members of Congress and their staffs will purchase plans through the Exchanges.

The Government Accountability Office will conduct an ongoing assessment of the progress of the exchanges, and whether physicians are accepting patients enrolled in government health programs, including the Exchanges.

The law will also create Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Exchanges, through which small businesses with up to 100 employees can purchase coverage, beginning in 2017.

States will have the option to create a basic health plan, which will be open to uninsured individuals with incomes between 133% and 200% of the federal poverty level who are eligible to receive premium subsidies in the Exchanges.

States choosing to create their own plans must offer basic coverage and ensure that enrollees won’t pay more in premiums than they would have in the Exchanges. The federal government will pay states 95% of the funds that would have otherwise gone toward subsidies for purchase of an Exchange plan.

The law also creates a federal program to assist with the operation of nonprofit, member-run health insurance companies known as Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans (CO-OP). Although co-ops were, at one time, touted as a major component of heatlhcare reform, in the end, the government will appropriate just $6 billion for the program.

Also part of the reform law is a temporary $5 billion reinsurance program for employer-sponsored health plans to provide coverage for retirees ages 55 to 64 and their families. It will reimburse plans for 80% of retiree claims between $15,000 and $90,000….

(to read more click link below)

via Medical News: What’s in the Healthcare Reform Law – in Washington-Watch, Reform from MedPage Today.


In RELIGION & STEM CELLS on December 9, 2009 at 1:24 pm

Science vs. Religion: Solved? (hardly. my comments below)

Despite their inevitable conflicts–science, religion and New Age spirituality are essentially compatible and complementary activities.

“Until recently it seemed that the continued expansion of scientific ways of thinking was destined to render religion extinct and spirituality unfeasible. But the example of the United States disproves this, since America is the most successful scientific nation of this era, church-going remains strong and New Age spiritualities are thriving. Therefore, despite the obvious conflicts; science, religion and spirituality are essentially compatible.”

First of all, I have a problem with the statement “America is the most” anything when the era is not over and we are already losing ground significantly to much of the world.

“Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development finds that Americans are below average in science competency. Among OECD countries, Italy, Portugal, Greece, Turkey and Mexico have lower mean scores than the US; Sweden, Hungary, Ireland, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, the United Kingdom, Germany, Korea, the Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Canada and Finland, as well as students in the combined area of the European Union, have higher mean scores than the US. Denmark, France, Iceland, the Slovak Republic, Spain, Norway and Luxembourg cannot be distinguished from US performance with statistical significance.” (1)

Second, you can’t use a backwards looking statement as a forward looking argument.  To paraphrase: “America WAS a scientific force so science and religion ARE compatible and will continue to become more so in the future?”  Third, what about all of those “death of religion” articles I keep reading?  Ok, this is a morass so let’s stick to America as a leader in science.

America is NOT the most successful scientific nation of this era…especially when it comes to stem cell treatments.

“…since few people can afford to travel outside the country for adult stem cell treatments, ESC-crazed America, the Bangladesh of stem cells, with its focus on “treatment useless” research, and 4-8 years behind the rest of the world on available adult stem cell treatments, has become exactly that, a death row prison cell for those suffering from so-called untreatable diseases.”

From https://repairstemcell.wordpress.com/screw-the-embryos-they%e2%80%99re-irrelevant/

USA Falling Behind

While many nations have taken the innovation challenge to heart and put in place a host of policies to spur innovation, the United States has done little, consequently falling behind in innovation policies and risking falling behind in innovation performance as well.

via NCBI ROFL: Science vs. Religion: Solved..

International Committee Meets In Amsterdam to Plan World Congress of Families V



International Committee Meets In Amsterdam to Plan World Congress of Families V

WASHINGTON, Feb. 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The International Planning Committee for World Congress of Families V met in Amsterdam last week to put together a program for the Congress. Meetings took place at Amsterdam’s RAI Convention Centre, also the site of WCF V (August 10-12, 2009).

Sessions were co-chaired by Larry Jacobs (WCF Managing Director) and Simon Polinder (head of the Local Organizing Committee). Dr. Patrick Fagan of The Family Research Council acted as moderator.

The Congress will include keynote speeches such as: “How Traditional Are Modern Families In The Netherlands?,” “The Family As The Fundamental Unit of Society,” “The Value of Marriage As The Basis of Family Life,” “The Family as The Foundation of Social and Economic Development,” “The Future Depends on Human Life,” “Effects of Government Policymaking on the Family,” and “The Influence of International Law on the Family.”

Break-out sessions include titles such as: “The Role of The Family In Overcoming Addiction (Drugs, Gambling and Pornography),” “Demography and Declining Birthrates Worldwide,” “Sexuality: Faith, Family and Freedom of Speech,” “Barriers to Adoption: National and International,” “Human Trafficking,” “How Biotechnology Affects The Family (Abortion, Euthanasia and Embryonic Stem-Cell Research),” and “The Family And The Future of Nations.”

via International Committee Meets In Amsterdam to Plan World Congress of Families V.

Posted without comment: Stem Cell research – An Islamic perspective


“I have started posting some of the different religious views on the issue of stem cells so we can all have a better understanding of the debate over embryonic stem cell use.  The articles posted here do not reflect my opinions and are posted solely for the purposes of a global awareness, cultural edification and the dissemination of altering views and knowledge.”



Stem Cell Research: An Islamic Perspective

Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi


What is the position of Shari’ah on stem cells research according to majority of our scholars? (Aamer Mahmoud)

It is claimed by the experts in the field that the research on stem cells has great potential to relieve human disease and suffering. If this is the case then it is not only allowed but it is obligatory (fard kifayah) to pursue this research.

The use of embryonic stem cells should be very heavily limited. Only allow isolation of stem cells from frozen embryos that were created for the purpose of in vitro fertilization and would otherwise have been destroyed. Obtain full consent from the donors. Provide safeguards against monetary compensation to embryo donors and against the creation of embryos in excess of what is required for in vitro fertilization.

Perhaps research using stem cells derived from adults will eventually prove to be most promising. We should encourage further research on the use of adult stem cells, to the point where it will be unnecessary to use embryos for this purpose. Specifically, we should find better ways to isolate existing stem cells in the human body.

via stem cell research: islamic perspective.


In ALL ARTICLES, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on February 14, 2009 at 12:17 pm

THE COMMENT (about the 2 Israel & Palestine posts):

just a quick comment that i don’t really see the point of these two being included on the front page of this site other than stem cell research is mentioned in passing. these articles aren’t about stem cell research or treatments really and are more about the israeli/palestinian conflict. i’m trying to educate myself on stem cell research, not on israel and palestine, and kindly request that the highlighted articles on this site (just a request of course! it’s not my site, i realize) focus much more on this topic. that said, the other article, not about i/p is wonderfully interesting and i really appreciate that one, and look forward to reading more of the past posts…i should end on the positive that i think this site is great, and that’s why i was disappointed to see much of the front page today focused on i/p. thanks.


Thanks very much for you comment and compliments on the site.
I believe the I/P article was relevant because Israel is one of the leaders in biotech and stem cells.  There is a treatment center in Tel Aviv that may be the best cancer clinic in the world.

But the most significant reason for it’s inclusion is this.  In my mission statement I state: “the US continues to be locked in an unwinnable argument over the ethics and funding of embryonic stem cells.”  I am not interested in getting into a political debate as it is not my area of expertise but it seemed to me there are similarities here.

I am referring of course to the political and religious struggles in “the US about EMBRYONIC research” that are keeping it’s suffering and dying patients from getting ADULT stem cell treatments that are working, offered and readily available outside of their own region.

That’s in the US….a slight change of wording and you have:

I am referring of course to the political and religious struggles in “Palestine about Israel” that are keeping it’s suffering and dying patients from getting ADULT stem cell treatments that are working, offered and readily available outside of their own region.

I know I am oversimplifying a huge conflict with thousands, if not millions of nuances, but aren’t both the US and Palestine unable to get out of their own ways to realize that they can:

1. help their suffering and ill people and
2. not have to have a conflict with their own idealogies to do so.

Again, I appreciate your comment and your “readership.”
Please keep up both! 😉


In ALL ARTICLES, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on February 12, 2009 at 12:19 am


President Barack Obama treads fine line on church, state By Eric Gorski, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS U.S. President Barack Obama, signalling early in his administration that religion belongs in the public discourse, has promised to open a big tent to voices from across the spectrum of belief without crossing boundaries separating church and state. The Democrat’s inaugural pomp was steeped in prayer, and one of his first proclamations included a shout out to “an awesome God.”

Last week, Obama used the platform of the National Prayer Breakfast to unveil a new-look White House Office on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships that features a team of policy advisers from both religious and secular social service circles. Most are ideological allies, but not all. The question is whether such moves will amount to symbolic window dressing or progress finding common ground on moral issues without stepping on traditional culture-war land mines. Analysts say the first weeks of the Obama era show there’s little question that both major political parties believe religion should be a significant factor in shaping policy.

That’s disappointing to those on the left who advocate strict church-state separation and unconvincing to Obama’s religious critics on the right who believe the president will plow ahead with a liberal agenda regardless of who is advising him. “There’s clearly not going to be any kind of dropping off the cliff in terms of the importance of faith and politics,” said David Domke, a University of Washington communications professor who studies religion and politics. “There was some sense (President George W.) Bush was going to be this high water mark – or low water mark. With Obama, faith is going to have an important role, but with a much broader breadth to it.

” Obama’s retooling of the faith-based office, plagued in the Bush years by accusations that it was underfunded and too political, upset some Obama supporters who hoped it would go away. Its executive director is Joshua DuBois, a 26-year-old former Pentecostal pastor who headed religious outreach for Obama’s Senate office and his presidential campaign. “This is not a religious office or a religious administration,” DuBois said in an interview. “We are going to try to find ways to work with faith-based and community organizations that are secular in nature, and don’t cross the boundaries between church and state. “We understand it is a fine line. But it’s a line we’re comfortable walking.”

Several battles with religious story lines loom ahead. Obama has signalled he would overturn Bush prohibitions on embryonic stem cell research, and Supreme Court vacancies are also possible. James Dunn, former head of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty, which advocates church-state separation, said Obama is striving for an elusive middle ground as his presidency begins. “I welcome some ambivalence,” Dunn said. “Obama’s ambivalence is evidence that he doesn’t think everything is just right or wrong, black and white, like we’ve had the last eight years. He’s also willing to listen. I think the challenge is, if he’s willing to listen, we ought to be willing to talk.”

Full article:

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