Wednesday, May 25, 2005


Death Sentence

As he did so many times as the Governor of Texas, George W. Bush has once again decided that he will not "err on the side of life." By promising to veto any legislation that promotes easing the current regulations on embryonic stem cell research, Bush has consigned what could become millions of people worldwide to a death that could possibly be postponed. According to Bush crony/de facto spokseman Tom DeLay:

As usual, though, he is not giving you the complete story. DeLay makes it sound as if embryos will be destroyed without consideration for the alternatives. However, the bill he was discussing takes into consideration all of the alternatives before the stem cell option is even available.

The ethical problem begins with the assumption that a life is going to be destroyed for the sake of research. However, many of the unused embryos that researchers seek to use will be destroyed anyway. Does it make it more ethical to destroy them without any gain whatsoever than it does to gleen potentially life saving information from them? I think not. As it stands now parents can choose to donate their children's organs to help others in the event that the child is injured beyond saving. Is it really any less ethical to donate your unused embryos that will be destroyed anyway? Again, I think not.

Outside of the life issue, the biggest obstacle to stem cell research appears to be that nobody is really sure what benefits can come from it. But let's go back and look at our history shall we? Have we always been sure of the outcomes of our experimentations? What about the Wright brothers? How about the polio vaccine? What about manned space flight? Were we convinced that all of these endeavors would turn out positive? What if the Wright brothers crashed? What if Dr. Salk was wrong? What if man couldn't survive in zero gravity? In every case there was a potential risk, but the prospect of progress outweighed the risks. In fact, the Bush administration's own policy in the war on terror involves the risk of possible death for thousands of soldiers all for the sake of progress.

The House of Representatives has done the right thing by passing this bill and it is expected that the Senate will do likewise. It would be in the best interest of millions of individuals if George W. Bush would "err on the side of life" and support this potentially life-saving piece of legislation.

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