Bioethics, chimeras, cloning, embryonic stem cells, media bias, medical ethics, public policy, regenerative medicine, stem cells

>The Veto vs. the Big Picture

>Yesterday, the President vetoed a Bill that would have “enhanced” some human embryos right out of life, while pledging to save more lives, now.

According to the White House Press Release reporting on President Bush’s speech, he was joined by Dr. William Hurlbut and Dr. Don Landry. Both of these men are proponents of alternative means to harvest cells that could be as “plastic” as embyronic stem cells – in fact could be embryonic stem cells – without destroying or harming embryonic humans.

The President got his priorities right as well as his science.

Congress has sent me a bill that would overturn this policy. If this legislation became law, it would compel American taxpayers — for the first time in our history — to support the deliberate destruction of human embryos. I made it clear to Congress and to the American people that I will not allow our nation to cross this moral line. Last year, Congress passed a similar bill — I kept my promise by vetoing it. And today I’m keeping my word again: I am vetoing the bill that Congress has sent. (Applause.)

Destroying human life in the hopes of saving human life is not ethical — and it is not the only option before us.

First, he states that no matter how “useful” the harvest of human embryos, it is not ethical and he will not support the purposeful destruction of some non-threatening humans for the benefit of others.

We call these humans “innocent,”but this is one of the words that will be attacked when the opposition reports on the story. When you hear or read about someone ridiculing the notion that the President is protecting “innocent” embryos, you could ask them how any embryo ever harmed them enough to deserve to die.

It might also be useful to remember that there was protest in the ’70’s over the institution of in vitro fertilization and the creation of human embryos out side of the body. We were promised that these youngest members of our family would only be loved, wanted and implanted, never used as experimental fodder.

Well, that promise lasted about as long as the promise to use only “left over” embryos, a promise broken at Universities around the US, at least very remotely supported by our taxes and society.

This week, we’ve seen an increased push for that Country’s regulatory board to allow human-animal hybrid embryos, using human DNA and animal eggs. We’ve heard about one researcher’s cloning of Primates using rhesus monkey skin cells in order to successfully create embryos, and then to destroy and harvest two lines of embryonic stem cells. (Note, everyone’s calling it “cloning,” although watch the way the topic is quickly moved to “blastocyst” from embryo.) There’ll be quite a bit of hype about how this will advance human cloning. There’s even a new report that indicates that 60% of IVF parents would donate their embryonic children to research if they knew the embryos would be used to harvest stem cells.

Please watch the language and the route of the discussion. We’ll hear about the “waste” of embryos that are left over, but no suggestions that we make fewer embryos. Instead, immediately following, there’ll be a plea for funding to create more, specific embryos in order to study disease. Disease which is not seen at the embryonic stage of life, by the way. we’ll hear about the “necessity” for “patient specific stem cells,” using “SCNT” (yes, it’s cloning, see the articles on the cloned rhesus monkeys) to create new blastocysts and new cell lines to match each patient and each disease. You’ll probably read the new term, “blastocystic” or “blastocyst” stem cells, being touted by at least one author.

Men have always killed each other and they probably always will. There’s just no need to hand them US Federal tax dollars for doing so.

About bnuckols

Conservative Christian Family Doctor, promoting conservative news and views. (Hot Air under the right wing!)

Discussion

4 thoughts on “>The Veto vs. the Big Picture

  1. >You seem to make the mistaken assumption that there are people involved in this fiasco that know or care about the science.Its all politics. The politicians and the campaigners all chose their sides long before SCNT was even achieved successfully in sheep. Pro-life or pro-choice. And each side picks its position on the act on pure reflex now, not rational consideration.

    Posted by Suricou Raven | June 21, 2007, 4:24 pm
  2. >You seem to ignore the basic principle of "pro-life": either human life is threatened or it is not. We most certainly use our rational capabilities. Human life can't be weighed as human-enough or not-human-enough. All human beings, from the first one-cell embryo to the rational adult, are deserving of our protection.

    Posted by LifeEthics.org | June 24, 2007, 4:23 pm
  3. >Yet you have never been able to explain why this is. Merely being human genetically isn't enough – so what do humans have that makes them protected over all other species? And when do they aquire whatever this is?

    Posted by Suricou Raven | June 25, 2007, 6:06 am
  4. >I'll reply in today's post.

    Posted by LifeEthics.org | June 25, 2007, 3:04 pm

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