I don't approve of creating embryos for the use of research -- and I hope nobody approves of this -- but I do not believe it is wrong to use embryos that have already been created. These embryos, created for in vitro fertilization, are going to be destroyed and discarded. They will never become human beings.

I am also amazed that those who oppose embryonic stem cell research do not speak when millions of animals suffer greatly in labs and literally are dismembered (unlike an embryo, which can't be dismembered, as it has no limbs) in the name of medical research.

-- Danielle Kichler, Washington

The moral conflict as I see it was eliminated when abortions became a legal way of birth control. At least with stem cell research some good can come of that decision.

I think that the research to cure diabetes and other diseases is the most important research being done today. We should use every resource available to do this.

-- Susan Regalia, Indian Head

We wanted a baby and went through in vitro fertilization four times. Afterward, there were several embryos left over. We tried to donate them to a lab that would use them for disease research. It took us nearly five years to find a lab that would accept them, given the current political climate.

I felt so strongly about this that we paid a $35-per-month storage fee to a cryogenics lab until we found a lab that studies diabetes, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, Crohn's disease, cancer, etc., and uses private funding.

I firmly believe that it would have been more immoral to trash those four-celled embryos than to donate them for medical research. I challenge any policymaker to do otherwise. What other options are there once they've been made?

-- Bre Kulman, Fairfax

Considering these embryos have no mission in life except to more than likely be thrown into the trash, yes, it is morally acceptable to conduct medical research involving the stem cells.

Humans who are born usually have some sort of mission in life and want to contribute something before they die. Let these embryos -- who would feel the same way if they were born but never will be -- contribute something, too, before they are left in a dumpster somewhere.

-- Karen Guiffre, Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Not only is it morally acceptable, it is a moral imperative. Stem cells are not a person, but a collection of undifferentiated cells that may become any organ of our body. If there is any hope that research with these cells can be used to improve the lives of people, then our society would be delinquent if we did not support it.

-- Herbert M. Geller, Chevy Chase

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