Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Will Saletan has a thoughtful piece in light of the president's decision to lift the ban on stem cell research:
Think about what's being dismissed here as "politics" and "ideology." You don't have to equate embryos with full-grown human beings—I don't—to appreciate the danger of exploiting them. Embryos are the beginnings of people. They're not parts of people. They're the whole thing, in very early form. Harvesting them, whether for research or medicine, is different from harvesting other kinds of cells. It's the difference between using an object and using a subject. How long can we grow this subject before dismembering it to get useful cells? How far should we strip-mine humanity in order to save it?
He draws a striking parallel between those who supported the use of torture under the last administration and those who support unlimited stem cell research.

2 comments:

Lab Rat said...

omg how long did it take me to finally find your blog *headdesk at own incompetance*

Hmm. I don't really think I can make a comment about this post until I know what you think. You are presenting a point of view but remaining markedly guarded on the subject yourself.

heh, this is why I prefer to work with bacteria. Fewer ethical concerns, and (thank goodness) no animal research as yet.

John Farrell said...

Now you've done it! You found my blog....

I am indeed a bit guarded about this. I'm uneasy about the implications of stem cell research, like my wife, who is a research scientist--or rather, as Saletan suggests, I'm uneasy about what a culture can come to forget about its own identity...when technology allows us to manipulate life at the early stages.

(I am a sci-fi writer--so I tend toward the dystopian in my darker mooods...)