Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Can There Be Embryonic Stem Cell Research Without the Ethical Issues?

A new bill before the Senate proposes funding embryonic stem cell research that doesn’t destroy embryos in lieu of passing a bill funding the standard embryonic stem cell research. The only problem? The science that doesn’t destroy embryos is practically non-existent.

On the surface, this appears to be a useless political escape hatch that allows senators to appear to be supporting the popular science of embryonic stem cell research while simultaneously appeasing social conservatives who equate embryonic stem cell research to killing innocent life.

And yet, even if there is only a slim chance that embryonic stem cell research can be conducted without destroying the embryo, shouldn’t we be pursuing that avenue? As we have stated, there is a serious ethical issue involved here. The only factor that makes the proposed funding of embryonic stem cell research ethical is that it would require scientists to only use embryos that would otherwise be discarded by fertility clinics.

Senators should take a serious look at the new bill and determine if there really is a chance that embryonic stem cell research can be conducted without destroying the embryo. I don’t want to see our tax dollars thrown away at a science that is merely a nice fantasy, but nor do I want to see us avoid funding a truly possible science that would solve a serious ethical dilemma.


At 10:17 AM, Blogger JBD said...

Absolutely right, Alan. The thing that we all (and senators particularly) need to remember is that this isn't an either/or proposition. We can still take a look at these new research routes, but we know now that the approach envisioned by Specter-Harkin will work. We certainly ought to look at other ways as well, but as complements, not replacements.


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