Posts Tagged ‘Organ Donors’

What it means to be truly pro-life

August 16, 2015

In 2010, a woman named Sarah Gray gave birth to identical twin boys.  One of them had birth defects and died after a few days.  She and her husband Ross donated the Thomas’s eyes and liver, along with cord blood from Thomas and his twin brother Callum, for scientific research.

A few years later Sarah and Ross Gray learned what use had been made of their child’s remains.

The Schlepens Eye Research Institute in Boston used Ross’s eyes in a study that one day might contribute to a cure for corneal blindness.

Sarah Gray looks at RNA sample from donated retinas

Sarah Gray looks at RNA sample from donated retinas.  Source: Philadelphia Inquirer

Thomas’s retinas were given to the University of Pennsylvania, where they were used in a study that one day might contribute to a cure for retinoblastoma, the most common form of eye cancer in children.   The retina tissue is so valuable that some of it is being saved for future research.

Researchers at the Duke University Center for Human Genetics found subtle genetic differences in the cord blood that might help explain anencephaly, the genetic defect that killed Thomas.  The liver went to a biotech company named Cytonet, which used it to study the best way to freeze liver tissue.

Sarah Gray, who already had worked in public relations for non-profit organizations, became director of marketing for the American Association of Tissue Banks.

The Grays’ decision to donate their baby’s remains for scientific research shows what it means to be truly pro-life.

LINKS

Thomas Gray lived six days, but his life has lasting impact by Michael Vitez for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Gray’s Donation, a Radiolab broadcast.

Donating fetal tissue for science is pro-life

August 4, 2015

tissue-gateI can understand being opposed to abortion under any circumstances, although I respectfully disagree.

But granted that abortion is legal, I don’t see any additional harm that is done by donating the fetal issue for use in scientific research.

Suppose somebody is the victim of a homicide.  Suppose the victim’s loved ones donate the victim’s organs for transplants or medical research.  Does that sanction homicide?

Suppose a convict on death row decided to become an organ donor.  Does honoring the convict’s wishes imply endorsement of the death penalty?

I’m an organ donor myself, and although the idea of my carcass being cut up by medical students has its gruesome side, I won’t be around to see it.

A friend of mine, also an organ donor, said she likes the idea of literally living on after death in someone’s heart.  In fact, most organ donations are used for research and medical education, but this, too, is a good contribution.

Likewise, I can see how a woman, having had an abortion, can take consolation in the thought that the tissue of the fetus can be used in scientific research.

If Planned Parenthood helps her do that, it is a good thing, not a bad thing.  Such research could save human lives.  It is pro-life.

LINKS

Wing-nut conspiracy theorists have done it again: The truth about the Planned Parenthood hoax revealed by Bob Cesca for Salon.

The Memification of Planned Parenthood by Robert Tracinski for The Federalist.

Fetal-Tissue Research and the Long Fight to Defund Planned Parenthood by Julie Ravner for The Atlantic.

Fetal tissue research has been with us a long time — and it’s saved lives by “Hunter” for Daily Kos.  [Added later]