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What is Buddhism?
Buddhism is a set of beliefs based upon the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama. Buddhists recognize him as an awakened teacher who shared his insights to help sentient beings end their suffering by understanding the true nature of phenomena, thereby escaping the cycle of suffering and rebirth (saṃsāra), that is, achieving Nirvana. Among the methods various schools of Buddhism apply towards this goal are: ethical conduct and altruistic behavior, devotional practices, ceremonies and the invocation of bodhisattvas, renunciation of worldly matters, meditation, physical exercises, study, and the cultivation of wisdom. (Armstrong, Karen (2001). Buddha. Penguin Books)
Adult Stem Cells
Buddhism’s followers recognize that the creation of adult stem cells is with the intention of helping others and that no life form is harmed in the creation of them. Because there is no destruction of embryo’s in this process this procedure is ethically and morally sound in their view. ( Xianda, Shi (2007). “A BUDDHIST PERSPECTIVE ON STEM-CELL RESEARCH”)
Embryonic Stem Cells
- Buddhism believes in rebirth and teaches that individual human life begins at conception.-Therefore embryos should be respected equally with an adult life.-Research involving the intentional destruction of human life, such as harvesting embryonic stem cells, is morally impermissible.- Buddhism would see the moral issues raised by stem cell research as similar to those raised by IVF treatment involving the destruction of spare embryos and abortion. (Xianda, Shi (2007). “A BUDDHIST PERSPECTIVE ON STEM-CELL RESEARCH”)
Cord Blood Stem Cells
Cord Blood Stem Cells is a relatively new technology, and there is no recognized leader of Buddhism today to voice an opinion on the issue. But I feel that the collection of Cord Blood Stem Cells would most likely also be morally and ethically acceptable to the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama because of the same reasons that Adult Stem Cells are acceptable.