Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Only a Cluster of Cells

Patti Davis chides President Bush for valuing "a cluster of cells" over the life and well-being of thousands. The immediate occasion of her tirade is the death of Christopher Reeve. UNlike John edwards, she doens't proclaim that John Kerry would have healed him, but that embryonic stem cell research is the solution to such ailments.

The President encourages research on adult stem cells. This isn't good enough.
he has authorized funding for adult stem cells—which do not hold the same miraculous potential as embryonic stem cells.

He has authorized some work on embryonic cells to proceed, but these lines are "contaminated" and worthless.

She seems to be of the opinion - admittedly easy to come by with the news coverage often so poor - that Bush has blocked all but a tiny smidgen of research on embryonic stem cells. This is not the case. what the president has done is limited the use of federal funds for this research.

She goes on:
Scientists would be working feverishly to turn this miraculous cure loose on the world. Because they have families too. They have loved ones and friends, and they value them more than clusters of cells that will only ever be clusters of cells. With each day, each month, each year that passes more people will die. We will look at names, at lives, and we will be left with the sad truth that many of them didn’t have to die.
Why do we have so many clusters of cells laying around? Where did they come from? What are they? Did an advanced race of aliens leave them behind? No. They are the results of thousands of Americans going to great lengths to have a baby of their own. Unable to have children through natural methods. couples took advantage of technology that would combine sperm & ova in the lab, leading to embryos for implantation i n the mother. Since it is common for these embryos to not implant successfully, they would create several at one time and freeze them for future usage. Well. they implanted more often than expected, and now there are thousands of embryos in freezers waiting for the implantation day that will never come.

What kind of embryos are these? Rabbits? Monkeys? Birds? Tigers? They're human embryos. Look at them under a microscope. They probably won't look anything like a human - only a cluster of cells. Since that's all they LOOK like, that must be all they are. SO therefore we can do with them as we please. Or so some like Ms. Davis think. It seems to me that we have one wrong - creation of "excessive" humans - which peopel want to correct by harvesting. I'm mighty uncomfortable with that idea.


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