Democrats & Liberals Archives

A Moral Abyss

During the second presidential debate, the President made a poignant case for not allowing Federal funding for new lines of stem cells:

Embryonic stem-cell research requires the destruction of life to create a stem cell. I'm the first president ever to allow funding -- federal funding -- for embryonic stem-cell research. I did to because I too hope that we'll discover cures from the stem cells and from the research derived.

But I think we've got to be very careful in balancing the ethics and the science.

And so I made the decision we wouldn't spend any more money beyond the 70 lines, 22 of which are now in action, because science is important, but so is ethics, so is balancing life. To destroy life to save life is -- its one of the real ethical dilemmas that we face.

To destroy life to save life is one of the real ethical dilemmas that we face. I completely agree with the President on this statement, and rarely have I ever done so. It must be hard work to make that decision to leave that 8-cell embryo in the freezer until its destruction instead of using it in the hope that derived research could help hundreds of thousands of people. Balancing the life of those eight cells against the hope of desperately sick men, women, and children is quite the gut wrenching moral decision. Sure, many lives may be saved, but just think about the thousand or more cells that may be lost. If we lose those cells, our whole “culture of life” diminishes.

In addition, Mr. President, I am sure you spend an equal amount of time agonizing over the ten to twenty thousand Iraqi civilians lost as collateral damage. Making that tough decision to sacrifice their lives in order to keep the “intent to create weapons of mass destruction related activities” from falling into the hands of the terrorists that attacked us, who are hiding in caves in Pakistan, must have been brutal.

Sure, each of those people consists of some 10 trillion cells each formed from an original embryo, but hey, they were born already. So let us thank Furious George for trading their lives for our sense of security.

Posted by Al Maline at October 10, 2004 8:12 AM