Saturday, July 30, 2005

I stand corrected

I'll join the pro-lifers in excoriating Sen. Bill Frist for abandoning his stated principles, since I've been shown the error of his ways. This from the text of his speech:
And as I said four years ago, we should federally fund research only on embryonic stem cells derived from blastocysts leftover from fertility therapy, which will not be implanted or adopted but instead are otherwise destined by the parents with absolute certainty to be discarded and destroyed.

Sen. Frist, we're all going to die, some even "discarded and destroyed" at 12 years old, many with "dignity" much later.

Some doctors and medical ethicists seem able to get past the tiresome understanding that "a person's a person, no matter how small." Well, just because a great truth can be told in rhyme doesn't make it untrue.

I am pro-life. I believe human life begins at conception. It is at this moment that the organism is complete -- yes, immature -- but complete. An embryo is nascent human life. It’s genetically distinct. And it’s biologically human. It’s living. This position is consistent with my faith. But, to me, it isn’t just a matter of faith. It’s a fact of science.

Our development is a continuous process -- gradual and chronological. We were all once embryos. The embryo is human life at its earliest stage of development. And accordingly, the human embryo has moral significance and moral worth. It deserves to be treated with the utmost dignity and respect.

I also believe that embryonic stem cell research should be encouraged and supported. But, just as I said in 2001, it should advance in a manner that affords all human life dignity and respect -- the same dignity and respect we bring to the table as we work with children and adults to advance the frontiers of medicine and health.

Getting from "the human embryo has moral signifance and moral worth" to "I believe that embryonic stem cell research should be encouraged and supported" without stopping for a breath or a "but" takes his position outside the realm of credibility.

He does point out the possibility of using pluripotent cells that don't require the destruction of a biologically human life (his words). But he pulls the "what if it's you against them?" argument:
If your daughter has diabetes, if your father has Parkinson’s, if your sister has a spinal cord injury, your views will be swayed more powerfully than you can imagine by the hope that cure will be found in those magnificent cells, recently discovered, that today originate only in an embryo.

I'm sorry, but no. It's bogus. If my daughter has a heart ailment, do I have the right to take the heart of an otherwise handicapped child in order for her to live? Either that embryo has "moral significance and moral worth" or it does not. And to take the life of that innocent person -- yes, person -- removes the moral signficance and moral worth of the person who does the taking.

And the Senator who lobbies for it.

H/T: Grace.

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