Wednesday, July 19, 2006

When Science and Politics Collide

This is extremely disappointing. Especially considering the public, the Congress and the Senate all support this legislation. This holy war on stem cell research is going to make it a lot harder for science to cure some very deadly diseases.


  • Ah, yes. Ignorance and Bliss.

    The only prohibition here is using American taxpayer dollars to pay for this research. Are you an American taxpayer? If not, then what right do you claim to comment?

    If you want this research done, fund it as a private investor, or even tell your Government that this is more important than cancer research, AIDS research, avian flu research, and anything else which is being funded with your tax dollars.

    By Blogger Paul, at 4:18 PM  

  • Paul, to a certain extent it *is* cancer research and aids research.

    And while I'm loathe to tell the yanks what to do with their money as such, pointing out the consequences of decisions and debating the relative merits of their rationales is something a) the Americans do, b) free societies encourage, c) the obligation of a friend.

    CG has pointed out the consequences of the decision. Speaking to its merits, stem cell research using frozen embryos that are destined for mass disposal in any event (given overproduction in the course of fertility treatments) does not present a further ethical slide. Put another way: our "decent society" (in the US or the West) already condones elsewhere what Bush condemns today.

    By Blogger matt, at 4:51 PM  

  • paul; The US government funds a lot of drug and cancer research. It only makes sense that they put it towards areas which show the most promise, which is why the bill even got quite a lot of Republican support.

    I didn't want to go into it in too much detail, but matt makes a very valid point about the ethical side of this.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 5:27 PM  

  • The hypocrisy of the anti-stem cell crowd is evident by looking at the inconsistency of their view.

    Are they opposed to research on human cadavers? On organ harvesting - with the consent of the deceased - after a fatal illness or accident? or on the research that now allows us to save lives by harvesting or from other experiments on dead human bodies?

    What about the thousands and thousands of embryos abandoned in fertilization clinics? Any outraged defence of these cells?

    Any concern about a "slippery slope" here?

    But when it comes to fetus stem cells, better to just throw them in the garbage.

    And this is what Bush chooses to exercise his first and only Presidential veto on?


    By Blogger Cerberus, at 5:29 PM  

  • It kinda blows my mind that the one elected representative in the US elected in such an undemocratic method (the electoral college) has the right to override both the House and the Senate.

    By Blogger Hangin to the left, at 6:57 PM  

  • I don't understand, can someone explain? Those embryos that the tests will destroy are destined for the garbage anyways. The couple who went for the fertility treatment only gets the most promising embryo embedded, where it grows normally into a human. What's wrong with performing tests on something that is not living and is destined for the compost anyways? Am I missing something here?

    By Blogger mezba, at 7:00 PM  

  • You do realize that omnipotent stem cells have been harvested from adults? And that you can find plenty of pluripotent stem cells in adults as well.

    By Blogger c-lo, at 8:09 PM  

  • Mezba - I agree with you, but will continue to expalin from a viewpoint I don't hold, which is conservative right wing.

    The people that are against using stem cells are also against throwing them in the garbage. Since life begins at conception for these people, they believe every 'life' that is created in the lab has the right not to be summarilly executed just because of its age.

    To destroy an embryo, would be akin to killing a child. They are both human beings to many people, and morally equivalent.

    Again, these are not my own opinions.

    By Blogger Lookout Mountain, at 8:59 PM  

  • missed nothing. Can I explain the nonsense, no.

    People, especially in the States, have been leaning to the puritanical, with the blessing of Bush.

    Everyone keeps shrugging this if it's nothing. I disagree. This country, (the US) is seen as the super power...leading the west???

    How progressive are we in the west with this as an example?

    By Blogger knb, at 9:07 PM  

  • There's nothing puritanical about it. If you believe that life begins at conception, fine. There are lots of progressive people who happen to hold that view. To create broad right/left for/against smart/dumb good/bad dichotomies doesn't do anyone any good. My point earlier was directed towards the inconsistency in actions, not the validity of beliefs (the corollary to the veto is a ban on multiple embryo creation or a requirement that all created embryos be implanted).

    As to the adult stem cells, if they were so accessible and equally useful then what's the point of the bill Bush vetoed? Wouldn't it all be besides the point?

    By Blogger matt, at 10:12 PM  

  • I think President Bush is right - on such a controversial issue why not simply allow private funds to pay for the research, that way those opposed don't have to pay for something they find morally repugnant.

    I further expand on my site

    By Blogger Andrew Smith, at 11:09 PM  

  • One of the things I guess is the term embryo which to most people means a semi-formed human-like being. Whereas what these cells really are, are nothing but a collection of cells at the very earliest point of conception.

    A question for the religious right: You believe in thou shalt not commit adultery right? Do not dilute the bloodline and all that? Then if a 'embryo' made of male A and female B is implanted into female C, isnt' female C committing adultery? Anyways....

    By Blogger mezba, at 12:34 AM  

  • "Paul, to a certain extent it *is* cancer research and aids research."

    No. It is Stem Cell Research.

    If you don't know the difference, then stop right now. Please. You just embarass yourself, and your supporters.

    Let me see if I can spell it out any more clearly for those who don't yet understand it, though: this has nothing to do with what research should or should not be carried out.

    It only has to do with what I, as an American taxpayer, should be billed for. What you want to pay for, either as private investors, or as Canadian taxpayers, is not part of this discussion. And only a fool or a zealot would confuse the two.

    (Although the attitudes expressed on this blog by some are absolutely sickening, and any civilized individual must distance themselves from such disregard for the lives and welfare of others.)

    By Blogger Paul, at 2:29 AM  

  • Paul: my point is pretty simple. Stem research isn't so one can have a tastier stem-cell shake, or grow better brine shrimp, but to a. better understand human biology, b. come up with cures for a broad spectrum of diseases, including cancer and aids.

    And my right to comment on this is the same as my right to comment on anything.

    By Blogger matt, at 1:02 PM  

  • This just highlights why the government shouldn't be involved in these kinds of things. It is wrong to mandate people to pay for things that they believe are wrong, and can only be undertaken when there is no other way for a critical task to be undertaken. Defence and police are the only situations when there are no alternatives to a government provided solution, mainly because a state must maintain a monopoly on violence (see the problems in Colombia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Palestinian Authority, etc for the devastating problems of multiple independent militias).

    The pro-life people have a good point in that these are fully fledged, individual human beings. On balance I believe that our society benefits from allowing embryonic stem cell research and abortion, but the other side has a very good point and shouldn't be forced into supporting this. Similarly, PETA types have a point about animal testing and shouldn't be forced to pay for research based on that.

    A large government creates devastating moral crises for its citizens, as nearly any action will go against the deeply held (and frequently completely rational) beliefs of some fraction of the population. The best way around this is to get the government out of this business, and let the private sector take care of it. The government should focus on ensuring that people are free to go about legal scientific research, vigourously protecting labs and hunting down terrorists such as SHAC, ALF, ELF, and the abortion doctor assassins.

    I'd encourage everyone to seriously understand those who they disagree with, rather than just dismissing them and their arguments. PETA do have a point (hell so do the slow foodists and the localists), but on balance its not persuasive. We should endeavour to allow everyone to pursue their own moralities as long as it doesn't interfere with the rights of others (denouncing dirty movies = fine, protesting= fine, bombing theaters or intimidating the audience and theatre owners = terrorism).

    By Blogger Hey, at 3:45 PM  

  • Remember, Bush vetoed the bill NOT because it dealt with stem cells, but because it dealt with funding for stem cell harvesting from aborted fetuses and embryos.

    Again, he, and I, believe life is sacred, and that it begins at conception. If they can come up with a bill that only funds stem cell harvesting from sources other than a living child, then we'd be all for it.

    By Blogger Christian Conservative, at 11:40 AM  

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