Saturday, March 7, 2009

Politics With A Body Count

On the heels of the LA times article here on the Obama Administration's plan to reverse the Bush Policy on embryonic stem cell research Creative Minority Report: has a nice piece on why this makes so little sense...

Also this article from the Georgetown blog via the Washington Post on an "ethical middle ground" (is there such a thing?). Among the suggestions:

...Granted that the administration is going to allow the use of embryonic stem cells, how can the decision be made less ethically repugnant to those who find their use objectionable? Are their limits that can be put on embryonic stem cell research that most people, even their supporters, would recognize as appropriate? Here are some suggestions.

1. Embryos for research cannot be bought and sold. Embryos should not be created for the sole purpose of research. They should only come from excess embryos produced at fertility clinics that are scheduled to be destroyed anyway.

2. Before using human embryonic stem cells, researchers should show that the research they are doing cannot be done with non-embryonic stem cells.

3. Research using embryonic stem cells should aim at advancing toward the goal of using only non-embryonic stem cells in regenerative medicine. In other words, once the process of developing adult stem cells for treatments has been shown to be safe and reliable, any research in embryonic stem cells should be able to move seamlessly into the use of adult stem cells leaving the ethical problems behind.

These rules will not satisfy those who find any use of embryos ethically objectionable, but it will indicate that the Obama administration is trying to find some middle ground that gives some respect to the many Americans who find such research repugnant. In short, if science shows a way out of this ethical dilemma, we should follow it. (read it all here)

Well it would be a start and we all know how the Obama Administration seeks that middle ground...ahem.

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