Bioethics, ethics for sale, stem cell research, stem cells

Art Caplan: lies and projection

Best title ever from the editors and pseudoeditors over at the blog.bioethics.net: “President to Stem Cell Community: Drop Dead.”

In fact, the President demonstrated the “checks and balances” guaranteed in the Constitution by vetoing a bill that did not allocate new funds and that would have encouraged the unethical destruction of embryos without a clear source of payment.

I’ll bet they laid this strategy out at the Progressive lunch last week. As I said, if you want to know what the “progressives” are doing, just listen to what they’re accusing others of doing.

While accusing the President of beginning his embryonic stem cell policy with a lie, saying that Karl Rove knows something about rats, and blurring the line between ethical and unethical “stem cells,” Glen McGee quotes Caplan as he reminds us that death is the subject for the embryo destroyers.

Caplan asks why the President hasn’t shut down IVF clinics if he’s so concerned about human embryos.

Nothing was shut down. US taxes have never payed for in vitro fertilization and have never been used to destroy embryos even before August, 2001, although it was legal with non-tax money then and it’s legal now.

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Discussion

7 thoughts on “Art Caplan: lies and projection

  1. >Ive just about stoped commenting now. You used to report on new advances and ideas, and hold a good debate on them. But not, all you do is talk about politics and throw mud at people, making mostly-groundless accusations and systematicly reclassifying everyone you disagree with as 'Progressive' – a word you seem to think with the type of ominous, evil overtones usually reserved for various supernatural nasties and mass-murderers.

    Posted by Suricou Raven | July 20, 2006, 6:49 pm
  2. >If you'd read the report on the Bioethics and Politics conference, you'd know that each of the Liberals/progressives/leftists made it a point to self-identify. (see the July 16th note)A couple also dropped comments here and there pertaining to the strategies laid out at the "Progressives lunch." These strategies included scaring people, changing the language used to sway the public and to demonize the opposition – all of which was alluded to in the actual paper sessions.It's a shame that you weren't there, SR. Your opinions would have fit right in.

    Posted by LifeEthics.org | July 21, 2006, 2:44 am
  3. >Im sure they would :>But then 'scaring people, changing language, demonising the opposition'… hardly just progressive things. Recall the language which turns anti-abortion into pro-life and embryo into baby? Or the 'fetal pain awareness act' or the state law requireing women are warned before abortion about a non-existant link to breast cancer? Changing language and scare-tactics respectively. And demonising the opposition happens far to often for me to conciously remember now.The phrase 'pot calling the kettle black' comes to mind.

    Posted by Anonymous | July 21, 2006, 7:37 am
  4. >Anon,I've been around long enough to remember that breast cancer was called "the nun's disease." I was told in 1974 that a completed pregnancy by 21 years old would be protective against breast cancer. There's the connection, at the very least.As to the rest, all the "pro's" and "anti's" came after the high-handed judicial fiat that gave us abortion on demand in the US. Before that, a known pregnancy was "expecting" or "having a baby."The current actions to encourage women to know about the possible pain of the fetus are modeled on the UK regs. You know, the UK: where abortion regs are generally more restrictive than the US' abortion on demand until there's a birth certificate.The pro-life side did not start this. Art is the one who called names and implied that something was shut down or that the President denied anyone any cures or freedoms other than an umbridled right to tax money. And I've never heard anyone at pro-life meetings engage in the strategizing that went on in Albany and in Houston at Bernie Seigal's Genetics Policy Institute meeting on stem cells in Houston, last June (in '05, when Hwang Wu Suk came to be honored).

    Posted by LifeEthics.org | July 21, 2006, 8:09 am
  5. >Sorry for the double, my mistake.

    Posted by Suricou Raven | July 21, 2006, 1:24 pm
  6. >That was me, sorry :> The blogs only commenter.Im in the UK. Our regulations are stricter than in the US, yes. But we dont have any of that particular nonsense, as far as I know. The chinese-whispers which created that myth and enshrined it in law are very much a US thing.In any case, its wrong – the act defines 22 weeks as the magic age of pain awareness, based on a study which showed that at 22 weeks the fetus has basic neurological functions – enough to move, and show reflex responses. It makes intuitative sense that if poking a fetus makes it wriggle, it can feel pain. But, on closer inspection (ie, disection) something is missing: The spinal cord is there, and the cortex is recognisable, but there is nothing connecting them. The movements really are pure reflex, because there just isn't anything functional in the brain above the stem at that stage.Few abortions are performed that late – between one and two percent, I think. But when they are, there is usually a good reason. If it were just an unwanted pregnency of inconvenience it would have been ended long before then, so most 22-week abortions are the result of medical complications which would endanger the health of the mother. There are also the teenagers-in-denial to think about, who tend to stall for some time refusing to accept their pregnency.Rowe, as ammended by a later decision defining the scope of the medical exception, did go too far. The problem though is that the US situation is rediculously polarised. Were Rowe to be repealed, I am absoluely certian that within two years there would be at least many state laws and very likely a federal law banning any and all abortions, with just some very limited exceptions for rape, incest and medical necessity written in such a way as to be next to usless. Still *far* too extreme – just in another direction. There is just no scope in the debate there for a moderate voice any more – that area is drowned out by the shouted protests from both ends.I also made a minor factual mistake: I refered to the 'fetal pain awareness act' when the correct title is 'unborn child pain awareness act' – this does serve to demonstrate the use of manipulative language again though. Fetus is the medically correct term, but instead a more emotionally-laden one was chosen.Ive also seen plenty of pro-life – and other genericly right-wing – stratagising. They have their publicity campaigns just like any other political faction. Their allies and opponents in congress. Their mailing-lists of people to alert when they want to start an instant letter-writing campaign.

    Posted by Suricou Raven | July 21, 2006, 1:24 pm
  7. >That was me, sorry :> The blogs only commenter.Im in the UK. Our regulations are stricter than in the US, yes. But we dont have any of that particular nonsense, as far as I know. The chinese-whispers which created that myth and enshrined it in law are very much a US thing.In any case, its wrong – the act defines 22 weeks as the magic age of pain awareness, based on a study which showed that at 22 weeks the fetus has basic neurological functions – enough to move, and show reflex responses. It makes intuitative sense that if poking a fetus makes it wriggle, it can feel pain. But, on closer inspection (ie, disection) something is missing: The spinal cord is there, and the cortex is recognisable, but there is nothing connecting them. The movements really are pure reflex, because there just isn't anything functional in the brain above the stem at that stage.Few abortions are performed that late – between one and two percent, I think. But when they are, there is usually a good reason. If it were just an unwanted pregnency of inconvenience it would have been ended long before then, so most 22-week abortions are the result of medical complications which would endanger the health of the mother. There are also the teenagers-in-denial to think about, who tend to stall for some time refusing to accept their pregnency.Rowe, as ammended by a later decision defining the scope of the medical exception, did go too far. The problem though is that the US situation is rediculously polarised. Were Rowe to be repealed, I am absoluely certian that within two years there would be at least many state laws and very likely a federal law banning any and all abortions, with just some very limited exceptions for rape, incest and medical necessity written in such a way as to be next to usless. Still *far* too extreme – just in another direction. There is just no scope in the debate there for a moderate voice any more – that area is drowned out by the shouted protests from both ends.I also made a minor factual mistake: I refered to the 'fetal pain awareness act' when the correct title is 'unborn child pain awareness act' – this does serve to demonstrate the use of manipulative language again though. Fetus is the medically correct term, but instead a more emotionally-laden one was chosen.Ive also seen plenty of pro-life – and other genericly right-wing – stratagising. They have their publicity campaigns just like any other political faction. Their allies and opponents in congress. Their mailing-lists of people to alert when they want to start an instant letter-writing campaign.

    Posted by Suricou Raven | July 21, 2006, 1:24 pm

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