Saturday, July 30, 2005

Could we hear Frist out before we lynch him?

Sen. Bill Frist has become the favored stomping object of pro-lifers after the New York Times reported that he had "veered from Bush over stem cells." People, keep in mind that this is the New York Times, famous for Jayson Blair and Maureen Dowd and having a proven ability to miss the point, leave out the important information and stir the pot against Republicans.

Thanks to the Times, I'm not sure what Sen. Frist was talking about after reading that article, but he's a doctor as well as a pro-lifer, and he may very well have been referring to a new report from the President's Council on Bioethics, titled "Alternative Sources of Pluripotent Stem Cells." Here's a telling quote from the piece:
Much of the ethical controversy over stem cells derives from the fact that, until now, the only way to obtain human pluripotent stem cell lines has been to derive them from living human embryos by a process that necessarily destroys the embryos. If a way could be found to derive such stem cell lines without creating and destroying human embryos, a good deal of that ethical controversy would subside.

Mona Charen gives a nonmedical summary of the process. I'm not ready to be tested on the information, but here's the gist of it: the process would implant a human egg cell with the nucleus of an adult cell, switch off the embryo-producing mechanism of the cell, and allow the cellular division to begin. Voila! "Pluripotent" stem cells -- what people want embryonic stems cells for -- without the embryos.

The Times quoted Frist reiterating that he believes life begins at conception. Maybe he meant it.

After all the good he has done, I think he deserves a chance to explain his ideas without being filtered by the mouthpiece of his enemies.

>This post is also available at Blogger News Network.

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