First Topic – Umbilical Cord Cell Banking
The debate surrounding embryonic stem cell research is portrayed as an exercise in discerning politics from science. But there are undoubtedly some personal issues involved. The stem cell debate gets personal when citizens' tax dollars are used to fund the research, regardless of if the citizens are in agreement. As the U.S. government follows President Barack Obama's March 9 executive order to direct U.S. tax dollars to the funding of embryonic stem cell research, we talk with bioethicist Father Alfred Cioffi about stem cell research and the particular promise offered by these powerful cells found in umbilical cord blood.
Second Topic – Newman Society: Catholic Colleges are Lost
Many Catholic universities are lost and are in need of specific policies to help them go in the right direction, says the Cardinal Newman Society. Last week, the society responded to the expressed desire of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities to eliminate the U.S. bishops' policy against honoring public figures who are at odds with fundamental Catholic beliefs. The association's board of directors concluded during its most recent meeting that "it would be desirable for the [U.S. bishops] to withdraw" their guidelines. Patrick Reilly said it was evident "that the many secularized Catholic colleges and universities are more concerned with doing away with the rules than ending the scandals." We talk to Patrick about the future of Catholic higher ed and the fallout of the ND scandal.