Thursday, June 28, 2007

Liberally uniformed

LiberalLucy has a diary at the Michigan Liberal blog where she calls on her fellow Michigan liberals to promote embryonic stem cell research in Michigan. Unfortunately, Lucy has been misled by proponents of embryonic stem cell research into thinking:

1.) Embryonic stem cell research is banned in Michigan - it's isn't.

2.) Legislation sponsored by Mark Meadows would "provide criminal penalties to anyone who attempts to clone human embryos" when there are already criminal penalties for those who attempt to clone human embryos. Meadows legislation would only increase penalties for human cloning to bring a child to birth after legislation by Andy Meisner legalizes the cloning of human embryos.

It's also sad that Lucy doesn't appear to understand (or possibly she hasn't read) the legislation she's so keen on promoting. If she did, she'd know that Andy Meisner's legislation (H.B. 4616) legalizes using human cloning to create cloned human embryos which could then be destroyed for their stem cells.

While Lucy is busy promoting embryonic stem cell research, the disease she unfortunately suffers from has been successfully treated with adult stem cells and there are even a number of clinical trials recruiting patients with Crohn's disease to undergo adult stem cell transplants.

What Lucy also fails to recognize is that the argument she uses to avoid the ethical problems with killing human embryos for research (they're "medical waste" who are going to die anyway) could hypothetically be used by someone who's in favor of killing patients with severe Crohn's disease for medical research.

What ground will proponents of embryonic stem cell research have to stand on if they argue, "we should use human embryos is medical experiments because they're going to die anyway" when a proponent of killing those with severe medical conditions (for their organs) justifies his position by saying, "those with severe medical conditions are just going to die anyway so why not harvest their organs and save lives?"

As Scott Klusendorf points out,
"The fact is that we all die sometime. Do those of us who are going to die later have the right to kill (and exploit) those who will die sooner? Even if an individual's death is imminent, we still do not have a license to use him for lethal experiments. We cannot, for example, conduct experiments upon death-row prisoners or harvest their organs without their consent. Nor can we extract body parts from mortally wounded soldiers while they are dying on the battlefield."

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