Monday, August 01, 2005

More on Bill Frist's illogical position on embryonic stem cell research

From the Weekly Standard: The incoherence of Frist's position is staggering. In his Senate speech, he explained that the "embryo is a human life at its earliest stage of development." He said that he believes, as a person of faith and a man of science, that "human life begins at conception." He reminded us that "we were all once embryos." He called on all citizens, including scientists, to treat human embryos with the "utmost dignity and respect." It was a clear and elegant statement on the dignity of early human life, backed up by a doctor's understanding of elementary embryology.

But then, as if giving a different speech, Frist called on the federal government to promote, with taxpayer dollars, the ongoing destruction of human embryos. In a television interview that day, he said that research using and destroying the "spares" can be done ethically so long as there is a "moral framework around informed consent." But if embryos deserve respect as nascent human lives, as Frist says he believes, it should not matter whether researchers have permission from their parents to destroy them. If embryos are "human life at its earliest stage," as Frist says he believes, then none of us possesses the authority to consent to their destruction. To promote embryo destruction and still claim to be "pro-life," as Frist did throughout his speech, is absurd.

From National Review: "Pity Bill Frist's speechwriter. In preparing the Senate Majority Leader's speech on stem-cell research, this hapless scribe had to figure out a way to make all his boss's contradictory assertions appear as a coherent whole. The speech would have to announce Frist's support for federal funding for research that destroys human embryos taken from fertility clinics. But Frist also wanted to say that he remained pro-life. Frist wanted to talk about all of the conditions that he wanted to place on the funding. But he also wanted to endorse a bill that does not meet those conditions......

If a human embryo is a living human being to be treated with "the same dignity and respect" as those children and adults, then it's hard to see how one can subsidize its killing. Frist's conditions — conditions even he does not take seriously enough to insist on — cannot get him out of this dilemma."

No comments:

Post a Comment