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Bush Vetoes Stem Cell Bill, World Keeps Spinning

President Bush announced the first veto of his presidency for H.R. 810, the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2005 (Video). From the AP report:

This bill would support the taking of innocent human life of the hope of finding medical benefits for others. It crosses a moral boundary that our society needs to respect, so I vetoed it," Bush said at a White House event where he was surrounded by 18 families who "adopted" frozen embryos that were not used by other couples, and then used those leftover embryos to have children.


"Each of these children was still adopted while still an embryo and has been blessed with a chance to grow, to grow up in a loving family. These boys and girls are not spare parts," he said.

An override of the veto is not expected.

Wired magazine notes that in the ethical debate over the science of stem cell research new technology holds much promise. How? By extracting stem cells from placentas...


Interesting Factoid: According to figures cited by Sen. Arlen Specter during the Senate debate on the bill, there have only been 128 of these "snow flake" babies born from "adopted" embryos since 1997.


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Comments (112)

"An override of the veto... (Below threshold)
Lee:

"An override of the veto is not expected."

Stone-age Neandrethal Republicans prevail again.

Not to worry, there will be enough votes after this next election to override the next Chimpish veto of this much needed legislation.

As I understand it, it does... (Below threshold)
VagaBond:

As I understand it, it doesn't stop the research from happening. It's just that our tax dollars will not used.

Lee, Thanks for dis... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Lee,
Thanks for displaying your typical level of honesty again. Didn't bother to read the link about stem cells from placenta. Just to spin.

Here is my observation of the liberal left:

* They will find hard to kill the weak/innocent/disabled (abortion, embryo stemcell, euthanasia.

* At the same time they will fight hard to protect the criminals and the terrorists.

So typical of the left.

Because, you know, it'd be ... (Below threshold)
gattsuru:

Because, you know, it'd be a good thing for George Bush, Hillary Clinton, and the 'scientists' who think tobacco smoke is good for you to define what is and what isn't acceptable to destroy based on things like size and ability to sustain itself.

Sounds like a great idea.

Applications of stem cell research are not 'free'. While we can learn about the cells without creating and destroying new embryos, just taking ones from IVF clinics, applying this research is not as simple. The most essential problem is that of host-versus-graft-disease, which can occur when stem cells with just one base pair of DNA off from the host, sometimes even resulting from other lesser cell attributes. It results in scars and rare fatalities during bone marrow transplants (an adult stem cell treatment), and will no doubt be even worse for treatments requiring stem cells be applied to the brain or spinal cord. The only way to avoid this with embryonic stem cells are to make new embryos - clones of the person to be treated. One for every 'cure'.

In short, embryonic stem cell applications will require millions of embryos to be created and destroyed, letting loose the possibility of large scale human cloning and the assorted ugliness that would accompany such a thing.

This is not the only choice to discover meaningful stem cell treatments. Scientists have already found ways to cause cells to 'transdifferentiate', including turn from mature cells into adult stem cells. While the research is currently limited, treatments have already been successfully applied, and have done so without requiring anything vaguely human-like be destroyed.

Did anyone else ever have o... (Below threshold)
Candy:

Did anyone else ever have one of those days when they wished they lived during another era? Like maybe the late 1800's?

gattsuru, Thanks fo... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

gattsuru,
Thanks for the summary. IT is well known that adult stem cells have been succefull in practice so far. The insistence on embryonic stem cell research even demanding gov funding just shows the extreme nature of these people, espcially the liberals, to devalue human lives.

Ya know, it's too bad he co... (Below threshold)
James:

Ya know, it's too bad he couldn't have vetoed some of those bloated spending bills that came his way, or perhaps the McCain Feingold legislation, or Sarbanes-Oxley, or some other such bad legislation. Regardless of the rightness of his veto today, it's a shame that it's taken him this damn long to find a bill objectionable enough for him to veto.

As I understand it, it d... (Below threshold)
mantis:

As I understand it, it doesn't stop the research from happening. It's just that our tax dollars will not used.

Well, then you don't understand it. Any lab that gets any federal funding cannot do this sort of research, whether the federal dollars are paying for it or not. Since the vast majority of labs that do this kind of research do receive some federal funding, very little of this work will be done in this country. Oh well, I guess we'll just sit back and let the Europeans and Asians get ahead of us in medical research. No big deal, right? After all, we've got Viagra!

Let's also not forget that the President is not only ignoring Congress here, but the scientific community, the majority of Americans, the FDA, the NIH, Nancy Reagan, and hell, even Bill Frist supports funding stem-cell research.

There are approx. 500,000 unused frozen embryos right now. There have been about 150 "adoptions". I guess we'll just let the other 499,850 just go to waste because President Bush learned how to use a pen.

This bill was awful. There... (Below threshold)
Gabriel Sutherland:

This bill was awful. There are better bills that could come out of the Congress. This one was a gift to those on the hill that have been taken to the cleaners by the Media on embryonic stem cell research.

First, public sentiment is corrupted by the likes of Chuck Schumar and Chris Reeve when they prop up people bound to wheel chairs as examples of people that will walk again with more support for EMBRYONIC STEM CELL RESEARCH, ie the harvesting and destruction of human embryos so a perfectly fine person in a wheel chair could stand up and walk. We don't know if killing human embryos will lead to them walking, but a perfectly healthy human being in a wheel chair MUST WALK according to Chuck Schumar and Chris Reeve.

Obviously there is plenty of legislation that President Bush should have vetoed. This certainly is one of them.

Mantis, I have a be... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Mantis,
I have a better suggestion: since we have Saddam Hussein in custody now and he is a known bad guy. Let 's use him for real life experiment of aids research for example.
Oops, forgot scientists have shown that adult stem cells are successful in practice. Also you can extract stem cells from placenta. Why the insistence on creating and destroying human embryos?
I guess you are probably upset that the Chinese and NOrth Korean are getting ahead of us in medical research since they are willing to use prisoners for medical experiments.

Lee? Lee, darling:<p... (Below threshold)
Red Fog:

Lee? Lee, darling:

I know this is a difficult setback for your gender identification hopes ... and dreams. Why don't you have some of your mother's aborted placenta pie and hope your breasts grow naturally?

Lee, with the soft hands, we are not going to nuke Lebanon today either. lol.

Time to confuse the Republi... (Below threshold)
Lee:

Time to confuse the Republican liars with the facts:

www.usnews.com/usnews/news/articles/060719/19stemcellscience.htm

While adult stem cells can give rise only to certain types of cells, embryonic stem cells have the potential to develop into any type of cell in the body. Extracting embryonic stem cells destroys a tiny embryo, which is why many people object to the research and why the president has said he will veto the bill passed this week, which would expand federal funding for research on stem cells extracted from leftover embryos created during in vitro fertilization procedures.

Neandrethals. The late 1800s isn't far enough back - opponents of this measure should be shipped back to the stone age.

Well, James. I'll agree. I... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

Well, James. I'll agree. I certainly wish the President had used his first veto way before this. It is not worthwhile criticizing the President at all on this unless you're someone who has a daily "Bush-bashing quota" you're required to meet. His stance on this issue has always been clear. The folks who are committed to this issue would have had their efforts better served by working for an override. By the way, one of the reasons I have an abiding affection for both the President and Lee is they are both so much alike - they offer no apologies for taking an unpopular stand on an issue they feel strongly about.

Lee,embryonic stem c... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Lee,
embryonic stem cells have the potential to develop into any type of cell in the body
--------------------------------------------------
Lee, thanks again for displaying your level of dishonesty (using your terminology).
Adult stem cells have been shown to produce cures already, not just potentials.

BTW, using prisoners for medical experiments have been shown to speed up medical research. So I guess you are all for using bad guys like Saddam to perfrom medical experiments. BTW, China is known to harvest organs from prisoners to help some people in need also. Yup this is worthwhile effort and I guess you are fully support it since you are not from the stone age.

To see the stem cell debate... (Below threshold)

To see the stem cell debate explained with visuals and how the political argument put forth by the President is ultimately an absurd manipulation of the facts...link here:

www.thoughttheater.com

I have a better suggesti... (Below threshold)
mantis:

I have a better suggestion: since we have Saddam Hussein in custody now and he is a known bad guy. Let 's use him for real life experiment of aids research for example.

I personally don't care what they (not we, he belongs to the Iraqis, remember?) do with Hussein, but I'm guessing public execution is more likely. Do try to stay on topic though, ok?

Oops, forgot scientists have shown that adult stem cells are successful in practice. Also you can extract stem cells from placenta. Why the insistence on creating and destroying human embryos?

First of all adult stem cells don't have near the potential of hESC research, as you would well know if you actually bothered to learn about things before spouting your opinion. We'll have to wait and see about placental stem cells, that research is extremely new and unproven, and doesn't seem to have the potential that hESCs do. In any case, who said anything about creating more? I was talking about the 500,000 that are just sitting on ice.

I guess you are probably upset that the Chinese and NOrth Korean are getting ahead of us in medical research since they are willing to use prisoners for medical experiments.

No, I'm not. I'm upset because the Europeans, South Koreans, and Japanese are getting ahead of us in medical research because they have sane funding policies not governed by uninformed religiosity. The North Koreans and Chinese may experiment on prisoners, which is disgusting (though you advocated the same thing at the top of your post), but they are still way behind the rest of us.

Anyway, I'm done with you. I can't figure out the ratio of stupid to crazy that makes up your brain, but whatever it is it keeps you from informing yourself and getting beyond your irrelevant lunatic rantings. Hope you find the help you so sorely need.

Lee, the mutability of embr... (Below threshold)
John Irving:

Lee, the mutability of embryonic cells has also proven to have a rather severe downside. They can and will form other kinds of cells besides the one you are attempting to duplicate. I believe it was scientists in France who found that not only were neural cells in brain tissue duplicated, but bone and blood vessel tissue as well, in the middle of the brain.

So much for a miracle cure.

Mantis, Bush opened... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Mantis,
Bush opened some lines of embryonic stem cells already and people already complain about these cells are bad and so on. So it is just a matter of time before people want to have fresh cells for experimentation and you know that too.
If you talk about potentials, then using prisoners for medical experimentation have a lot of potentials as well. So we should be for it, right?

Sorry that you missed my sarcasm wrt Saddam Hussein suggestion. Why do you find it disgusting to use prisoners or known bad guys like Saddam or the terrorists for medical experimentation if it holds promise to cure Aids for example? You can see with your own eyes that some of these embryos can turn into beautiful children. Don't you have any ethical concern about that?

Using your own standard, you should be afraid that CHina and NOrth Korea will catch up with us in medical research for bad purposes since they are willing to experiments on prisoners. So to catch up, we should adopt the same practice and funding, right? Do you get the point?

I am catching up on my read... (Below threshold)
VagaBond:

I am catching up on my reading on this subject and as near as I can tell that so far, embryonic cell research had produced squat and not even the promise of squat.

Why not spend tax money on stem research that does work and let other countries work on the unproven embryonic cell research?

whatever is discovered will be ultimately be shared in the scientific community. are we just worried who will be first? If so, save our tax money and embryos and let the other countries have at it.

Question for anyone particu... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

Question for anyone particularly anyone who is unhappy with the President's veto): why is it a problem if another country does outpace the United States in this particular type of research?

A good veto Bush! use it mo... (Below threshold)
914:

A good veto Bush! use it more often.

Bush opened some lines o... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Bush opened some lines of embryonic stem cells already and people already complain about these cells are bad and so on. So it is just a matter of time before people want to have fresh cells for experimentation and you know that too.

Maybe so, but that has nothing to do with what I said and nothing to do with this legislation. Try reading for a change.

If you talk about potentials, then using prisoners for medical experimentation have a lot of potentials as well. So we should be for it, right?

If you mention the word potential, you must be for anything that has potential, is that what you're saying? Idiotic.

Sorry that you missed my sarcasm wrt Saddam Hussein suggestion. Why do you find it disgusting to use prisoners or known bad guys like Saddam or the terrorists for medical experimentation if it holds promise to cure Aids for example?

I find it disgusting that China and North Korea experiment on or farm organs from prisoners because a) these are living, breathing people, not clumps of cells in a dish, and b) both of those countries have a great deal of political, not criminal, prisoners.

You can see with your own eyes that some of these embryos can turn into beautiful children. Don't you have any ethical concern about that?

Nope. My sperm can turn into beautiful children, yet I have no compunction about wasting it. In any case I'm talking about the embryos that don't turn into beautiful children, but just go to waste.

Using your own standard, you should be afraid that CHina and NOrth Korea will catch up with us in medical research for bad purposes since they are willing to experiments on prisoners.

You're making up my "standard". Take your strawman home.

So to catch up, we should adopt the same practice and funding, right? Do you get the point?

Oh, I get it. It's just completely idiotic. First off, China and North Korea are not achieving any scientific advancements by experimenting on prisoners. Second, we don't need to "catch up" to them when we are way ahead. Third, I have moral problems with experimenting on people (not clumps of cells) against their will. I have no moral problems with using clumps of cells when the owners freely give them to medical research, and they would be thrown away if not used for such. Do you get the point?

"500,000 unused frozen embr... (Below threshold)
lowmal:

"500,000 unused frozen embryos right now. There have been about 150 "adoptions". I guess we'll just let the other 499,850 just go to waste because President Bush learned how to use a pen."

If in-vitro and adoptions weren't so god-damned expensive in this country, nary an embryo would be found..


Quote : "While adult stem c... (Below threshold)
gattsuru:

Quote : "While adult stem cells can give rise only to certain types of cells, embryonic stem cells have the potential to develop into any type of cell in the body." /Quote

Cell transdifferentiation is not a well understood science. Less than ten years ago is was well documented that fat stem cells could never turn into skin or muscle stem cells. Now it's not just known to be possible - there are some treatments being tested regarding such a transformation. Anyone claiming to know the exact limitations of adult stem cells at best does not understand the field, and at worst is a liar.

Mantis, Your fact i... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Mantis,
Your fact is wrong: your sperms cannot be turned into beautiful children. IF left alone, they will waste away in a few days. So why don't we do research using your sperms instead of embryos?

Using your arg, the death row prisoners are going to be killed in any case, so why not experiment on them?

It boils down to the definition of who is considered human, isn't it? Embryos are not human, right? What is the difference between these embryonic cells and your skin cells for example? They are all clump of cells, right?

Now talking about ownership. IF the parents are willing to give up their disabled infants for medical research, you wouldn't have any problems, right? Oh, children don't have rights, the parents can decide for them.

Just look at the language you use to dehumanize these embryos. They are things, properties to be used. They are just clumps of cells, so you can create and destroy them for medical research.

So what is your problem if other countries want to get ahead in medical research by creating embryo farms for medical search? Why not human cloning for medical research?

Mantisquote :... (Below threshold)
gattsuru:

Mantis
quote :
Oh, I get it. It's just completely idiotic. First off, China and North Korea are not achieving any scientific advancements by experimenting on prisoners. Second, we don't need to "catch up" to them when we are way ahead. Third, I have moral problems with experimenting on people (not clumps of cells) against their will./quote

Actually, there have been some significant progresses in technology coming from such (doubtably ethical) experiments. The best known one is from Nazi Germany, which gave us the majority of our current knowledge about how the human body deals with hypothermia from cold water through such testing. China is rumored to be testing AIDs-related technology on their prisoners, which could lead to significant progress in the field (although I don't think it's worth the ethical price).

And do you really want to let the government, either in the form of George Bush or Hillary Clinton, define when someone is a 'clump of cells' that can be destroyed without any ethical concerns?

Sigh . . . I just don't get... (Below threshold)
Jay:

Sigh . . . I just don't get his stance on human life.

Humans are animals of contradiction, we constantly allow our cultural and religious morals and values to steer our decisions away from the logical solutions which promise to increase the quality of human life. Culture and religion have no place in an advanced civilization and global economy. Culture is the result of isolation and religion is the result of barbaric human civilizations. Humans today are susceptible to the cultures and religions of past civilizations even though culture and religion are not necessarily aligned with today's civilizations.

Today's civilizations and advanced civilizations of the future are and will be susceptible to the human tendency of logic (i.e. math, science, and the advancement and procurement of information). Culture and religion have little ability to supply logic.

I wonder how long culture and religion will continue to survive and I wonder how long countries and their people will allow culture and religion to stifle their quest for power and their determination to become an advanced civilization (to give their people security and luxury).

I realize there is some question as to what it means to be human, and there is some question as to what constitutes the quality of life, and that some may think the answers are important when debating the roles that culture and religion play for humanity. Any answers are temporal. They are much less important to the debate of what is human than they are to the debate of what was human. What makes humans humans is not the human tendencies we observe today.

Culture and religion are a dying human tendency and I hope to live to see the day when they no longer dominate the decisions of our leaders and ultimately our people.

Your fact is wrong: your... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Your fact is wrong: your sperms cannot be turned into beautiful children.

Sure they can. More is needed of course, but they have that potential. Same as embryos in a dish, or do you think a human being will just grow out of that dish if unfrozen?

So why don't we do research using your sperms instead of embryos?

Well, we can't extract stem cells from sperm, as far as I know. However if someone wants to do research on it, I'll give it up.

Using your arg, the death row prisoners are going to be killed in any case, so why not experiment on them?

Well, I don't think we should have the death penalty in the first place, for starters. Second, it would violate the Constitution. You know, the whole cruel and unusual punishment deal?

It boils down to the definition of who is considered human, isn't it?

Sure.

Embryos are not human, right?

Well, they're not human beings. They are human cells.

What is the difference between these embryonic cells and your skin cells for example? They are all clump of cells, right?

Not too much difference in my mind.

Now talking about ownership. IF the parents are willing to give up their disabled infants for medical research, you wouldn't have any problems, right? Oh, children don't have rights, the parents can decide for them.

Another idiotic argument. Children do have rights, goofball. Embryos don't.

Just look at the language you use to dehumanize these embryos. They are things, properties to be used.

Legally, the embryos are owned by the couples that produced them. Sorry, but that is the state of the law. I do believe they are merely things. If you don't, go ahead and fight to give embryos the right to vote.

They are just clumps of cells, so you can create and destroy them for medical research.

Once again (are you really this dense?), the embryos are already being created for IVF. I'm not talking about making new ones, just using the ones that are unused. That's three times I've told you this.

So what is your problem if other countries want to get ahead in medical research by creating embryo farms for medical search? Why not human cloning for medical research?

We've already let other countries get ahead with many types of scientific and technological innovation. I don't want to see that continue because of boneheaded policies. Is that so hard to understand?

As Lee has pointed out, the... (Below threshold)
Herman:

As Lee has pointed out, the Neanderthals have struck again.

What's particularly striking is that so-called "pro-life" conservatives care more about frozen embryos (that will almost invariably get thrown out anyway) than about living, breathing human beings.

Bush, The King of the Morons Who Elected Him, once asked, "Is our children learning yet?" The answer is clearly "No!"

JayCulture and relig... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Jay
Culture and religion are a dying human tendency and I hope to live to see the day when they no longer dominate the decisions of our leaders and ultimately our people.
--------------------------------------------------
If I understand your point correctly, your dream came true already. The communist utopias are strictly atheistic and no religions are allowed. BTW, the Nazi also held the same conviction: humans are simply animals. They also believed in social evolution. So they tried to build a society of superrace where the inferiors are to be discarded for the betterment of the whole society.

These are real examples of atheistic utopia where culture/religion was not allowed to dominate the decisions of the leaders and the people.

I'm not sure if I understan... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

I'm not sure if I understand this whole issue.

If there are a few hundred thousand fetuses on ice that will perish regrardless of what's done with them, opponents of the research would rather they be thrown out with the rest of the bio-waste rather be used for potential cures?

It seems so simple. Use the embryos for research, when the stockpile is expended, then decide whether or not to allow continuance of new research.

Actually, there have bee... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Actually, there have been some significant progresses in technology coming from such (doubtably ethical) experiments. The best known one is from Nazi Germany, which gave us the majority of our current knowledge about how the human body deals with hypothermia from cold water through such testing.

I didn't say it can't happen, just that it isn't happening. On hypothermia, that knowledge could have been obtained through other, more ethical means.

China is rumored to be testing AIDs-related technology on their prisoners, which could lead to significant progress in the field (although I don't think it's worth the ethical price).

Ah, rumors. If true, I don't think it's worth that price either.

And do you really want to let the government, either in the form of George Bush or Hillary Clinton, define when someone is a 'clump of cells' that can be destroyed without any ethical concerns?

No, I want the government, in the form of Congress, to define when someone is a clump of cells that can be destroyed based on the recommendations of the FDA and the NIH. Oh, wait, they did that. Bush vetoed it.

Who do you want to define it? Religious leaders? I'll take the scientists, thank you very much.

Mantis, Let me expl... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Mantis,
Let me explain a little further for you. An embryo in the womb will become an infant, then a child, then an adult. A sperm in a womb will waste away in a few days.

Again, why should children have right? The parents have to care for them and take responsibility for them, right? Following the logic of your arg, the embryo has no right because it was in the very early process of human development. So children should have less right as human than adults, esp the parents.

Your skin cells cannot become children no matter what. Unfortunately you cannot see the difference. If personal opinion is all that matters, then why is your opinion should have more weight than mine? SO if Hitler wants to build a superrace and decide that the disabled, esp children, are not fully human? So he can terminate them. Who are you to claim that Hitler was wrong? The Nazis accomplished real progresses by doing experiments on prisoners.

BTW, if the laws allow people to kill their own disabled children, you wouldn't have problem with it right?

If you are concerned about progress in medical research, then why not trying to catch up with them by experimenting on bad guys like Saddam and the terrorists for example?

I don't want to derail this... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

I don't want to derail this thread, but aren't the problems we are seeing in the middle east right now due largely to spiritual leaders having political clout?

LoveAmerica Immigrant,

A distinct separation of religion and politics does not suddenly equal a communist utopia.

Who do you want to define i... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Who do you want to define it? Religious leaders? I'll take the scientists, thank you very much.
------------------------------------------------
The scientists in Nazi Germany, communist Soviet Union, and now China and NOrth Korea decided that the disabled are simply not human. So they can destroy and experiment on them.

Yup, there are scientists willing to experiment on humans right now to advance medical research.

"Whats particularily str... (Below threshold)
914:

"Whats particularily striking is that "pro life" conservatives care more about frozen embryos (that will almost assuredly get thrown out anyways) then they do about living, breathing human beings"


Sure, just like Terri Sciavo?

Herman I think You got it all backwards!

Heralder, Thanks fo... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Heralder,
Thanks for the opportunity to clarify my point. Here is my observation. We had three great experiments so far

(1) American constitutional democracy based on the founding principle of "inalienable rights to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness as endowed by the creator" that no gov can take away. The key concept here there is a higher power than the gov of man (the creator). I don't see how that can come from non-religion.

(2) The atheistic utopia in Nazi Germany and Communist Soviet Union.

(3) The Islamic theocracies like Iran, Taliban

You can tell which one has brought misery and which one has brought freedom/prosperity to the maximum number of people on earth.

First: Someone suggested t... (Below threshold)
Brad:

First: Someone suggested that this veto will close down research done on embryonic stem cells (Horrors!) and then points out that the rest of the world will get ahead of us. Which is it? Will this veto close down embryonic stem cell research or only affect federal research in this country?

Second. Since there has been NO positive results from the embryonic stem cell research done so far vice the demonstrable results using adult stem cells and placentic stem cells the use of the word "potential" is indicative of the political slant of the person using it, not of the science involved. This whole debate has nothing whatsoever to do with science and everything to do with federal acceptance of the "life" plank of the humanist religion.

Where else do we see such a desperate push for legislation to throw money at a failed concept?

It's time to demand a wall of separation between government and the humanist religion.

It's time to demand a wall ... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

It's time to demand a wall of separation between government and the humanist religion.
-------------------------------------------------
It is an excellent point. We see where this humanist religion would lead when they dominate the gov as in Nazi Germany and communist Soviet Union.

If these embryos will end u... (Below threshold)
Lee:

If these embryos will end up in the dumpster anyway, why not use them for research which has great potential for saving lives and improving the quality of life?

gattsuru offers this: "In short, embryonic stem cell applications will require millions of embryos to be created and destroyed, letting loose the possibility of large scale human cloning and the assorted ugliness that would accompany such a thing."

Ignoring the vagueness of "assorted ugliness" for the moment, it would seem that this is the crux -- that the fear is that "human embryo factories" will be established to create, then destroy, embryos.

Bush veto suporters - is that what your opposition to this bill really comes down to?

Let me explain a little ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Let me explain a little further for you. An embryo in the womb will become an infant, then a child, then an adult. A sperm in a womb will waste away in a few days.

We're not talking about in a womb. We're talking about frozen in a lab. Try to keep up.

Again, why should children have right?

Because they're human beings, you grammar and spelling impaired twit! They have rights, legally. That you think they don't just reveals how dumb you are.

Following the logic of your arg, the embryo has no right because it was in the very early process of human development. So children should have less right as human than adults, esp the parents.

Man you're dumb. The embryo has no rights because it is not a human being. You have to be born to be a human being, if you are totally incapable of surviving by any means whatsoever because you haven't developed enough you are not a human being. Or do you stay awake at night crying about the deaths of 20-50% of all pregnancies that are lost to miscarriage?

Your skin cells cannot become children no matter what.

What if I name them?

If personal opinion is all that matters, then why is your opinion should have more weight than mine?

Because I can form grammatical sentences, maybe?

SO if Hitler wants to build a superrace and decide that the disabled, esp children, are not fully human?

Is there a question in there? I don't see one, just gibberish.

So he can terminate them. Who are you to claim that Hitler was wrong? The Nazis accomplished real progresses by doing experiments on prisoners.

Ethically and morally I think it's wrong. I don't feel the same way about embryos for the reasons I've outlined. If you disagree, do so, just stop bringing up Hitler you dufus.

BTW, if the laws allow people to kill their own disabled children, you wouldn't have problem with it right?

Actually I would be against it, unless we were talking about your parents.

If you are concerned about progress in medical research, then why not trying to catch up with them by experimenting on bad guys like Saddam and the terrorists for example?

Ok, you're too dumb. This is pointless. Someone else take on LAI's idiocy. I have other things to do.

(sings)Here comes, S... (Below threshold)

(sings)
Here comes, Suzy Snowflake ...

(speaks)
Guess you have to be a certain age -- old, but not yet real old

"Ok, you're too dumb. Th... (Below threshold)
Lee:

"Ok, you're too dumb. This is pointless. Someone else take on LAI's idiocy. I have other things to do."

I gave up long ago. My advice is to just ignore her.

Lee, Simple concept... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Lee,
Simple concept: we need to value human lives at all stages of development. We had historical examples of the opposite thinking in Nazi Germany, Communist Soviet Union, China, and North KOrea for example.
BTW, we should err on the side of human life. We are opposed to experimenting on bad guys like Sadda m because they are human. He deserved the death penalty, but it is immoral to perform experiments on him.
A terminal patient will die in any case, so why not experiment on that patient when it has great potentials to save other lives? A death row inmate like Saddam is going to be executed in any case, so why not experimenting on them. Using mantis's arg again, death penalty is still legal in this country, so we should experiment on death row inmates, right?

The whole thing smells of "... (Below threshold)
914:

The whole thing smells of "Earmarking" for certain congressional districts..

In short it stinks!

Mantis, Just try to... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Mantis,
Just try to show you the difference between a sperm and an embryo. That 's all.

Why the embryo is not a human being? Who gave you the right to decide that it is not a human being?
Why is an adult is more a human being than a child?

OK, now you are talking. A 5 month fetus now can survive outside of the womb with help of course, so it is a human being. But at 3 months, it is not a human being? Even infants cannot survive by themselves without a lot of hard work from the parents. So dependency on help is a criteria for being a human being? Then disabled people are not human being because they cannot survive themselves?

I didn't say it can't ha... (Below threshold)
gattsuru:

I didn't say it can't happen, just that it isn't happening. On hypothermia, that knowledge could have been obtained through other, more ethical means.

Doubtful. For comparison, until 2002, we were unable to have a useful Wind Chill measurement because models were based around bottled water, which acts differently than human tissue. Some hypothermia data, such as the crystalization of human blood, wasn't accurately replicated until the late sixties.

In relation to stem cells : some scientists have had some luck causing bone marrow cells to transdifferentiate into spinal cord cells, and fat cells have been turned into skin and muscle cells. These technologies could be advanced to the point where they can replicate any and all of the utility of embryonic stem cells in those fields, possibly in all fields (although there are reasons to suspect this may or may not be possible).

To draw the most complete analogy I can offer, Germany choose to gain hypothermia information at the cost of human life; a majority of that information could have been found in other ways, some could not, and some took over a decade to discover otherwise. You are offering to gain potential medical knowledge at the cost of what may or may not be a human life, said medical knowledge requiring more sacrifices of what may or may not be a human life, to discover cures, a majority of which we will be able to replicate in other manners in a decent timeframe.

No, I want the government, in the form of Congress, to define when someone is a clump of cells that can be destroyed based on the recommendations of the FDA and the NIH. Oh, wait, they did that. Bush vetoed it.

Who do you want to define it? Religious leaders? I'll take the scientists, thank you very much.

To draw a comparision to tobacco smoke, it was frowned at by religious leaders for centuries before scientists realized smoke wasn't good for your lungs.

But, no, I'd prefer not to give Washington DC any options about this at all - to err on the side of safety.

Mantis, BTW, forgot... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Mantis,
BTW, forgot to clarify the point about Hitler. Since in your opinion, the embryos are not human beings, so they can be destroyed and experimented on. In the same vein, Hitler decided that the disabled are not human beings, so they can be destroyed.
So the question, why do you say that Hitler is wrong? Who decides that?

Ok, one last one just to cl... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Ok, one last one just to clarify my position amongst LAI's dissembling and lack of reading skills.

Who gave you the right to decide that it is not a human being?

It's my opinion, bonehead. No one gave me the right.

Why is an adult is more a human being than a child?

You said that, not me. I think they are both human beings.

Even infants cannot survive by themselves without a lot of hard work from the parents. So dependency on help is a criteria for being a human being? Then disabled people are not human being because they cannot survive themselves?

Read it again:

if you are totally incapable of surviving by any means whatsoever because you haven't developed enough you are not a human being.

Infants can survive with help of their parents. Disabled people can survive with the help of others and technology. Thus those examples do not meet my criteria. Embryos and fetuses cannot survive outside the womb until a certain point in development, regardless of the help of others or technology, therefore I don't consider them to be human beings with all the rights afforded to such. If you disagree, fine, just stop trying to misrepresent my position.

Ignoring the vagueness o... (Below threshold)
gattsuru:

Ignoring the vagueness of "assorted ugliness" for the moment...

Sorry, to be more exact : known downsides of human cloning include the requirement of ova harvesting (there is currently a lack of egg donars already, and the procedure is far from enjoyable), and significant damage to the cell (cloning is known result in genetic anomalies, likely related to the damaged/short telomeres). Reproductive cloning has other issues which are not directly relevant to this discussion (but should be acknowledged from a 'slippery slope' viewpoint).

Doubtful. For comparison... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Doubtful. For comparison, until 2002, we were unable to have a useful Wind Chill measurement because models were based around bottled water, which acts differently than human tissue. Some hypothermia data, such as the crystalization of human blood, wasn't accurately replicated until the late sixties.

You say doubtful but then offer examples of how it was done ethically. What's so doubtful?

You are offering to gain potential medical knowledge at the cost of what may or may not be a human life, said medical knowledge requiring more sacrifices of what may or may not be a human life, to discover cures, a majority of which we will be able to replicate in other manners in a decent timeframe.

Well, I'm not convinced that we will be able to replicate this research by other means, at least not entirely. In any case it's a moot point for me because there is no question in my mind whether it "may or may not be a human life".

To draw a comparision to tobacco smoke, it was frowned at by religious leaders for centuries before scientists realized smoke wasn't good for your lungs.

Christian scientists reject modern medicine in favor of "spiritual healing". The Vatican opposes contraception as a method of disease prevention. Science does take time to arrive at solid, verified conclusions, but religion is far less dependable as it relies on dogma and superstition.

But, no, I'd prefer not to give Washington DC any options about this at all - to err on the side of safety.

Who gets to make the laws then?

Mantis, Simply try ... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Mantis,
Simply try to bring out the assumptions of your opinion.
THe basis of your opinion is simply based on development not on intrinsic difference. For example, a human embryo is intrinsically different from a frog embryo and it is intrinsically different from a sperm as explained above. Development based criteria have been shown to lead to disasters. Even now, people like Singer are advocating that young children (and infants included) are not developed enought to be considered fully human. The same logic in Nazi Germany.
So don't proclaim about stone-age religionists etc... when you cannot even articulate why Hitler was wrong to hold the opinion that the disabled are not human.

Christian scientists reject... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Christian scientists reject modern medicine in favor of "spiritual healing".
------------------------------------------------
Oh, I forgot that Pasteur was a christain scientist. BTW, Newton, Kepler ... were all christian scientists. And you didn't even try to address gattsuru 's point. YOu simply want to post your prejudice.

Science does take time to arrive at solid, verified conclusions, but religion is far less dependable as it relies on dogma and superstition.
--------------------------------------------------
So it is shown that experimenting on real human beings like prisoners can lead to real progress in medical research and technology. Scientifically they can show the effects of these medical research on real human beings. The atheistic Nazis and communists didn't want the dogmatic and ignorant religionists to interfere with their scientific experiments. So you don't have any problem with that kind of worldview or attitude?

You say doubtful but the... (Below threshold)
gattsuru:

You say doubtful but then offer examples of how it was done ethically. What's so doubtful?

My apologies, I assumed the limitation was "at the same or similar time". Eventually we'll have a cure or treatment for every disease - nanotechnological repair and genetic conditioning is pretty much a given, although it's doubtable either will come withi a normal human lifetime.

In any case it's a moot point for me because there is no question in my mind whether it "may or may not be a human life".

Really? The basis for your belief's is so obsessed with covering it's arse that you call gravity a theory, but you're quite sure something isn't human. Sure, it has the same genetic structure, but I suppose that's a minor trait. I assume you've based off the existance of an EEG or some similar measurement? Doesn't that become a messy ethical issue (to take Volokh's reasoning, for example, I think there are many ethical reasonings with killing someone if they have a recoverable condition which leaves them with no EEG readings for a short time)?

Who gets to make the laws then?

When it involves destroying something without a jury? I believe the Constitution says no one can, although that's arguable since I don't have the tools available to prove where or if rights are transmitted.

But then again, I'm a minor libertarian - I prefer that laws not be made unless we're discussing something's destruction, theft, etc.

VagaBond:It's j... (Below threshold)
astigafa:

VagaBond:

It's just that our tax dollars will not used.

Our tax dollars will not used? Really? Can I have mine back?

Or perhaps my tax dollars would be better used for another oil war. Is there a popular fund for the production of the next show? Can I join? Surely there must still be some troops we can send somewhere.

Maybe our blessed prez will be enlarged by a revelation on how to fix that Lebanese thing he's waffling with...

You never know how those deep, religious, fundementalist things will affect Our Big W.

My favorite bumper sticker this week: "W/The President"

You say doubtful but the... (Below threshold)
mcg:

You say doubtful but then offer examples of how it was done ethically. What's so doubtful?

Well, Mantis, how do you know that the kinds of breakthroughs promised with embryonic stem cells can't be obtained in other ways, too? The fact that we might not know now how to do it doesn't change the hope that we might in the future.

In that sense the analogy seems quite clear. In the 40s, when the Nazi research was done, it certainly could not have been predicted that some of the results would be duplicatable in the 60s without resorting to human experimentation.

The insistence that embryonic stem cells are the only path to specific medical advances just doesn't hold up to history---even recent history, which has revealed the potential for pluripotence in cells not extracted from embryos.

astifaga, I know ho... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

astifaga,
I know how those deep, fundamentalist, atheistic thing (as in atheistic communism) would affect people 's lives. I regard communism as a strand of fundamentalist atheism.

Seems like an embryo or a f... (Below threshold)

Seems like an embryo or a fetus is life to me. I have watched quite a few women mourn the loss of their "fetus" when they miscarried after a postive pregnancy test, sometimes before missing a period. If they were not carrying life, what were they mourning?

I personally am glad Bush vetoed these bills. Especially the one on Fetal Farming, which sounded Orwellian to me. You know: all animals are created equal, but some are more equal than others.

Who decides about the equality? Evidentally, for now, Mr. Bush does.

gattsuru,Really... (Below threshold)
mantis:

gattsuru,

Really? The basis for your belief's is so obsessed with covering it's arse that you call gravity a theory, but you're quite sure something isn't human.

From that statement I can only presume that you have bought the religious right's "it's only a theory" argument. There's nothing wrong with theories, the reason gravity is called a theory is because that's what it is. It happens to be a very well supported theory, but it's still a theory. Science doesn't deal in facts, they deal in theories. Facts are for historians.

Sure, it has the same genetic structure, but I suppose that's a minor trait. I assume you've based off the existance of an EEG or some similar measurement?

I've looked at those, but no. As I stated before, I don't believe anything that can't possibly survive outside the womb has rights. That's my threshold. When you're talking about something that is not even inside the womb, but rather a clump of cells frozen in a lab, there's no question as far as I'm concerned.

Doesn't that become a messy ethical issue

Not for me. Why is it messy?

When it involves destroying something without a jury? I believe the Constitution says no one can, although that's arguable since I don't have the tools available to prove where or if rights are transmitted.

We destroy things all the time without juries.

But then again, I'm a minor libertarian - I prefer that laws not be made unless we're discussing something's destruction, theft, etc.

So you believe that nothing should be federally funded?

I have watched quite a f... (Below threshold)
mantis:

I have watched quite a few women mourn the loss of their "fetus" when they miscarried after a postive pregnancy test, sometimes before missing a period. If they were not carrying life, what were they mourning?

I have watched children mourn the loss of a misplaced doll, or an imaginary friend who was imagined to have left. What were they mourning if not loss of life? Possibly a product of their own minds?

Well, Mantis, how do you... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Well, Mantis, how do you know that the kinds of breakthroughs promised with embryonic stem cells can't be obtained in other ways, too? The fact that we might not know now how to do it doesn't change the hope that we might in the future.

Agreed. I just don't see any problem with using hESCs.

Mantis, if you ar... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Mantis,
if you are totally incapable of surviving by any means whatsoever because you haven't developed enough you are not a human being.
------------------------------------------------
For clarification, let me apply Mantis 's own criteria here. His sperms are totally incapable of surving by any means, so sperms are not human being. However, embryos can survive with the help of an adopting womb of a mother. So it should be considered a human being.

Mantis later added the qualification of surviving outside of the womb! In other words, he is trying to justify his preconceived conclusion. Before, premature babies cannot survive outside of the womb, so they are not human. But now technology allows even 4-5 month babies to survive outside of the womb, so they are humans. If the technology can allow the embryos to develop outside of the womb, the mantis will have to find another reason to consider the embryo not human.

MantisDoesn't that b... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Mantis
Doesn't that become a messy ethical issue

Not for me. Why is it messy?
-------------------------------------------------
So the same question: why is it messy for the Nazis to consider the disbabled as not human? It is not messy for Hitler, so it should be OK, right?

mantis,But then agai... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

mantis,
But then again, I'm a minor libertarian - I prefer that laws not be made unless we're discussing something's destruction, theft, etc.

So you believe that nothing should be federally funded?
--------------------------------------------------
So you think that scientific experiments on prisoners should be federally funded?

As I stated before, I d... (Below threshold)
gattsuru:

As I stated before, I don't believe anything that can't possibly survive outside the womb has rights. That's my threshold. When you're talking about something that is not even inside the womb, but rather a clump of cells frozen in a lab, there's no question as far as I'm concerned...
Not for me. Why is it messy?

You seem reasonably well read. What happens when A Brave New World and its bottles to be decanted come around? The technology is possible. If an artificial lifesupport system could 'bring an embryo to term', how would you treat stem cell research?

Does something go from ethically fine to despicable just because of an unrelated invention?

So you believe that nothing should be federally funded?

Not quite an anarchist, Mantis. The federal government is legally required to provide for the common defense, for example. Prison systems provide a better tiering of offenses, for another. There are good things to be done with federal funds.

As I stated before, I do... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

As I stated before, I don't believe anything that can't possibly survive outside the womb has rights. That's my threshold. When you're talking about something that is not even inside the womb, but rather a clump of cells frozen in a lab, there's no question as far as I'm concerned...
Not for me. Why is it messy?

What happens when A Brave New World and its bottles to be decanted come around? The technology is possible. If an artificial lifesupport system could 'bring an embryo to term', how would you treat stem cell research?
Does something go from ethically fine to despicable just because of an unrelated invention?

Well stated question. I am looking forward to the answer.

Mantis, equating an adult w... (Below threshold)
goddessoftheclassroom:

Mantis, equating an adult woman's mourning the loss of her child to a miscarriage to a child's mourning the loss of an toy is disgusting. A pregnancy test is positive because the developing baby creates hormones in the mother's system. In other words, there is an factual, observable response in the woman's body to the new life developing in her.

Mantis, Lee or Wee which ev... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

Mantis, Lee or Wee which ever. Those of you who think stem cell research is such a good idea. Fund it yourselves and make a fortune. I have a hole in my back yard that has the potential of being the richest goldmine in the world. Send dollars or stock. Idiots.

What's particularly stri... (Below threshold)

What's particularly striking is that so-called "pro-life" conservatives care more about frozen embryos (that will almost invariably get thrown out anyway) than about living, breathing human beings.

Another fat load of bull dung from the left. Keep building and burning those straw men, guys.

Agreed. I just don't see... (Below threshold)
mcg:

Agreed. I just don't see any problem with using hESCs.

Fair enough. Unfortunately for you, not everyone agrees.

Furthermore, it's really not correct to say that you have science on your side. Science tells us that a distinct human being is created at conception---or, arguably, after the period where twinning can occur is completed. What science cannot tell us is at what point that human being becomes a person under the law, worthy of the same protections as a human living outside of the womb.

So the decision is not an objective on that can therefore be removed from the democratic process. We're not talking about holding a vote as to whether or not the earth is flat.

Certainly, the law currently is on the side that an embryo is not deserving of full rights, given the 14th Amendment, Roe v. Wade, and abortion law. But that really is not the question at hand; after all, this legislation does not change the legal state of an embryo. It is instead about funding.

There are many sensible pro-abortion types who respect other people's moral framework and therefore do not feel it justified to force federal tax dollars to pay for them. Likewise, sensible pro-ESC types ought to have similar respect for the differering moral views of their fellow citizens on this issue.

Jay said:... (Below threshold)
roanoke:

Jay said:

Culture and religion are a dying human tendency and I hope to live to see the day when they no longer dominate the decisions of our leaders and ultimately our people.

Well hell...or your version of utopia. You and Karl Marx.

I'd like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony

Gad. Sounds like you've got some kind of religion-One World?

Politics is nothing more than applying will and NOTHING less. There is no subtracting out "morality" because politics is all encompassing to think you can abstract "morality" out of governance is wishful thinking-at best. Any politician that claims to keep "morality" out of it is an amoral L-I-A-R. Where the heck are you getting this stuff?

And to those who claim that... (Below threshold)
mcg:

And to those who claim that denying federal funding is tantamount to a ban: I'm afraid Arnold Schwarzenegger is working hard to prove you wrong... We'll know in 2007, I believe, if he succeeds.

Mantis"If you a... (Below threshold)
914:

Mantis

"If you are totally incapable of survivng by any means whatsoever because you havent developed enough you are not a human being"

Are you talking about liberals in general or all the 3rd world starving and suffering peoples? or the mentally handicapped or very ill? please clarify??

Mantis, equating an adul... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

Mantis, equating an adult woman's mourning the loss of her child to a miscarriage to a child's mourning the loss of an toy is disgusting. A pregnancy test is positive because the developing baby creates hormones in the mother's system. In other words, there is an factual, observable response in the woman's body to the new life developing in her.

Agreed. Mantis, that's a little over the line. A miscariage, is certainly not the same as losing a doll. The little girl losing the doll doesn't go through severe cramping, fever, bleeding and hormone imbalance...mom just goes to the store and gets a replacement. Try to find a better analogy next time.

For the rest, I'm not opining on this subject, since I know very little about it. I prefer to watch the reasoned debate, esp from gattsuru, who seems to be well-versed on this topic. I'm enjoying your discussion. Thanks for the enlightenment.

And Lee, just shut up on this one and let the adults hash this one out.

Thatisall.

I think we Democrats finall... (Below threshold)
Lint:

I think we Democrats finally found our own wedge issue. Outside of the Deep South and Idaho, just about everyone in the country thinks this veto was dumb.

I'm sure we can find some way to screw it up though.

Lint"Just about... (Below threshold)
914:

Lint

"Just about everyone in the country thinks this veto was dumb."

Was that a snap poll? cause the results sure were lightning quick?

Was that a snap poll? ca... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

Was that a snap poll? cause the results sure were lightning quick?

Probably a Zogby poll.

FLASH!!!! To all those with... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

FLASH!!!! To all those with BDS--Bush will be YOUR president for 2 more years. Then after that there will another president that thinks like him. If you that have BDS would like to know, there is a cure for it. Is called-"get over it".

A great campaigning slogan ... (Below threshold)
914:

A great campaigning slogan for 08 jhow66?

Way better then:) Dont stop thinking about tommorrow!

You seem reasonably well... (Below threshold)
mantis:

You seem reasonably well read. What happens when A Brave New World and its bottles to be decanted come around? The technology is possible. If an artificial lifesupport system could 'bring an embryo to term', how would you treat stem cell research?

Well, now we're getting down to it. At the risk of being labelled a goalpost mover, I'll tell you what my opinion would/will be once we can maintain a human gestation by artificial means. I would fall back to my definition of conscious life, meaning having higher brain function. Brain activity does not become sustained in fetuses until about 22 weeks of gestation. So if we are eventually able to artificially support gestation to birth, that is where I would draw the line dilineating humans with rights and clumps of tissue. This is in fact my true definition, but it seems irrelevant unless the fetus could survive outside the womb, so until the technology reaches that of BNW's "bottles", that's where I'll stand.

Does something go from ethically fine to despicable just because of an unrelated invention?

I think the ethics of it are considered in the brain wave definition, and the survivability definition is just pragmatic. If you want to throw abortion into the mix I do think it's wrong to abort fetuses after 22 weeks, at the onset of sustained brain function.

The federal government is legally required to provide for the common defense, for example. Prison systems provide a better tiering of offenses, for another. There are good things to be done with federal funds.

I was probably too broad with that question. Anyway you certainly are a libertarian. I can understand that position, as I'm libertarian on a number of issues.

Agreed. Mantis, that's a... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Agreed. Mantis, that's a little over the line. A miscariage, is certainly not the same as losing a doll. The little girl losing the doll doesn't go through severe cramping, fever, bleeding and hormone imbalance...mom just goes to the store and gets a replacement. Try to find a better analogy next time.

Ok, the analogy was a bit rough, I'll admit. But my point was that just because someone has a particular emotion about something doesn't define that thing. Our brains do a lot of funny things. And adding the physical pain part doesn't make it any more convincing. If someone were to have a leg amputated, he/she would experience a good deal of physical pain and probably experience feelings of loss. That doesn't mean his/her leg was a person. There I go making analogies again. In any case I don't mean to demean the loss that some women who have miscarriages feel (although they certainly don't all have the same reaction, further supporting my point), as I am sure it can be quite heartbreaking.

I would fall back to my ... (Below threshold)
Gattsuru:

I would fall back to my definition of conscious life, meaning having higher brain function. Brain activity does not become sustained in fetuses until about 22 weeks of gestation.

That's a better goalpost, but I think it's far from good enough to use. Not only is it attempting to measure something we don't understand (the only unique and measurable attribute about the 22nd-23rd week of gestation is that control of bodily functions begins to develop, but the fetus has had a heartbeat and basic reflexes for over a week and formed organs for several weeks, but won't have a significantly active EEG for another month), but it also can be abused.

For example, if we take the concept of 'higher brain function' to indicate Life, well, if we hypothesize a situation where an individual loses higher brain function but is expected to recover in a few months (brainstem injury, cryostasis, hypothetical-situationitis). If the state could be inflicted or administered, could it count as mrder? Is it acceptable to destroy an individual in such a state?

Not only is it attemptin... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Not only is it attempting to measure something we don't understand

Well, we can only make decisions based on our current understanding, so it'll have to do for now.

(the only unique and measurable attribute about the 22nd-23rd week of gestation is that control of bodily functions begins to develop, but the fetus has had a heartbeat and basic reflexes for over a week and formed organs for several weeks, but won't have a significantly active EEG for another month)

Right, I'm playing it safe in terms of what brain activity means. I doubt consciousness is developed until later, but I believe it is impossible without sustained brain function, so anything before that is fair game.

but it also can be abused.

Maybe, I think that can be avoided.

For example, if we take the concept of 'higher brain function' to indicate Life, well, if we hypothesize a situation where an individual loses higher brain function but is expected to recover in a few months (brainstem injury, cryostasis, hypothetical-situationitis).

I figure once you are born, unless your higher brain functions are irreparably impaired to the point where you are PVS or brain dead, once again irreparably, then you maintain your rights as a human of self-determination.

If the state could be inflicted or administered, could it count as mrder?

I would say so, but I'll bet it will remain "attempted" murder as far as the law is concerned.

Is it acceptable to destroy an individual in such a state?

Once again, if irreparably damaged to the point where higher brain functions cease, I believe so, and if I'm not mistaken (Schiavo anyone), that is also the current law. If it is temporary, as in your hypothetical, then I don't think it would be acceptable.

I doubt consciousness is... (Below threshold)
gattsuru:

I doubt consciousness is developed until later, but I believe it is impossible without sustained brain function, so anything before that is fair game.

If we really wanted to be careful, we really should go to when the basis of the neural tube is formed, but I don't think six to eight weeks is really acceptable to the pro-abortion crowd, nor would it solve the basic problem of science trying to answer an ethical question : that science can only answer a question, not tell you if it's the right one.

I figure once you are born, unless your higher brain functions are irreparably impaired to the point where you are PVS or brain dead, once again irreparably, then you maintain your rights as a human of self-determination.

But if you go braindead before you are born, even temporarily, even days before delivery (long after a fetus could survive with modern technology), and yet not retain self-determination?

Grr... The following :... (Below threshold)
gattsuru:

Grr... The following :

But if you go braindead before you are born, even temporarily, even days before delivery

Should read as :

But if you flatline an EEG before you are born, even temporarily, even days before delivery.

Sorry, was typing too fast.

Sorry, I should have writte... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Sorry, I should have written

I figure once you have reached the brain function threshold

rather than:

I figure once you are born,

Btw I like Huxley a great deal, and I do see BNW as a warning of what relying on technology to create utopia at the expense of our humanity can do to civilization. But I also believe if we are open to new ideas, open to debate, and maintain a functioning democracy we can prevent this from happening. In any case for the moment I'm more worried about us destroying ourselves with our technology rather than dehumanizing ourselves through so-called "negative utopia". We've got a long way to go before we have to confront that problem.

Ah, all right, that's prett... (Below threshold)
gattsuru:

Ah, all right, that's pretty internally consistent if questionable from a policy standpoint.

As to Huxley as opposed to self-destruction... I suppose it's a matter of different viewpoints. I've seen a good many people spread banned books. It's rare for someone to successful encourage reading. Individual humans seem to desire to spread information, even when it against their own personal benefit, but . I've seen many, many people fall into their own negative utopia, to the point where many think Brave New World is meant to constrast the evils of religion against successful society. Not many insist on an Orwellian world, or a world where we destroy ourselves with technology. Even the religious nuts tend to have that little bit of hesistation that prevents them. Meanwhile, meaningless action is cheap, fast, and fun.

Still, after all this, what... (Below threshold)
VagaBond:

Still, after all this, what W did yesterday does not stop embryonic stem cell research in the USA. All it did was take away federal funding.

If all the people who are upset that we are not using tax dollars and really believe that it's going to lead to something then they should do the noble thing and donate to the embryonic stem cell reseach fund.

Wow, how pathetic must your... (Below threshold)
Sherard:

Wow, how pathetic must your argument be when the very TITLE of the post is a strawman ? Please point to those that claim the "earth would stop spinning" if Bush vetoed the stem cell bill.

It is essentially indefensible, hence, the ridiculous strawman.

LoveAmerica Immigrant ... (Below threshold)
astigafa:

LoveAmerica Immigrant

I know how those deep, fundamentalist, atheistic thing (as in atheistic communism) would affect people 's lives. I regard communism as a strand of fundamentalist atheism.

Gee, that's nice. And so interesting.

astigafa, Thanks. J... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

astigafa,
Thanks. Just like to complement your thought on fundamentalism. Atheism is a simply a godless religion. Fundamentalist Atheism when given a chance has proven the most bloody in history so far.

Mantis, Thanks for ... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Mantis,
Thanks for being honest about moving goal post. The brain wave is a common criteria people have used to justify abortion. As gattsaru pointed out, this is a murky criterion to use. So you should be comfortable when people use a more precise scientific definition of human life when a unique genetic structure is formed. This happened at conception and we can demonstrate it scientifically. This is quite a reasonable criterion for public policy scientifically. So I don't understand why people like you would object so vehemently.

Fundamentalist Atheism is N... (Below threshold)
suh:

Fundamentalist Atheism is NOT 'most bloody'. Crazy leaders and religeon are. Find me an atheist society without it being forced by an insane dictator that kills people by the millions. Religeon itself, no matter which god, is one of history's leading causes of war and death.

Anyway, I would like to collect a group of votes of people who support Bush's veto and are either paralyzed, have a horrible disease ( Like parkinson's) or have a friend or family member in this position.

To me it's pretty simple and it's been mentioned before. They are going in the trash. Millions of people are paralyzed. Try to help them. Despite some claims, most the articles I've read have stated that embryonic stem cells hold great promise and have even allowed mice with injured spines to move their legs. So much effort to save a non breathing entity so already breathing people must continue to suffer. I do understand the conservative position, but I think this is one more thing that is helping to weaken the conservative grasp.

As far as what America thinks, here are some links I found just in 10 seconds. I'm sure I'll be accused of getting 'liberal' polls, so please, present more polls so everyone here can get a general idea of what Americans think. I'm at work and haven't had the time to get every poll I can find.

http://www.abcnews.go.com/sections/politics/DailyNews/poll010626.html
http://www.nccbuscc.org/comm/archives/2006/06-109.shtml
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/07/19/AR2006071900216.html
http://www.pollingreport.com/science.htm
http://www.missouricures.com/documents/WSJHarris%20Poll060705.pdf

Quite simply because it wou... (Below threshold)
gattsuru:

Quite simply because it would be considered an unacceptable limitation of the mother's rights. Whatever we do here is considered an abstract limitation. Even conception (0 weeks) or implantation (2 weeks) is an abstract point - not everyone or even a majority of people will agree when or if a 'soul' or 'awareness' exists. This is a matter of politics driving science.

That's not a bad thing. As I noted before, science can not answer legal or ethical questions. There's no working ethicometer, and a majority of scientists aren't established legal experts, either.

There are problems with the EEG measurement, just like any stimuli measurement. It can be manipulated : for example, deep anesthetic states will result in a null EEGs, and determining what is awareness and what is just reflex spikes on an EEG is more an art than a science. An unethically motivated scientist could easily manipulate or simply misread a target as not having an EEG even late into pregnancy.

But I doubt any of the possible digital systems (having discrete states) would be acceptable to stem cell and abortion proponents, regardless of the flaws in the analog possibilities.

"Find me an atheist soci... (Below threshold)
gattsuru:

"Find me an atheist society without it being forced by an insane dictator that kills people by the millions."

It's not bad enough that a majority of insane dictators have been atheist? That's kinda a bad criteria, anyway, since any society that kills people by the millions is going to be determined as insane.

"Religeon itself, no matter which god, is one of history's leading causes of war and death."

Not quite. Compared to totalitarian dictatorship (156,000,000 just in the 1900-1986 years), religion and religiously motivated wars are fairly weak at this stuff. Christianity and Islam, for example, are rated at a little under a million each.

Despite some claims, most the articles I've read have stated that embryonic stem cells hold great promise and have even allowed mice with injured spines to move their legs.

If you head back around a decade, you can find a lot of publications on how cold fusion would allow humanity to end reliance on fossil fuels.

As far as what America thinks, here are some links I found just in 10 seconds.

Yes, a majority of Americans find stem cell research acceptable. A majority also think that, other than the first few dozen IVF-trashaways, we don't need to destroy anything else. A majority think that stem cell research is just days away from providing a cure for every disease on the planet.

I'll avoid invoking Godwin's law, but a majority of those in China think that experimentation on prisoners is acceptable.

Just because it's popular doesn't make it right or even acceptable.

I'll avoid invoking Godw... (Below threshold)
mantis:

I'll avoid invoking Godwin's law, but a majority of those in China think that experimentation on prisoners is acceptable.

I'm pretty sure you're making this up.

I'm pretty sure you're m... (Below threshold)
gattsuru:

I'm pretty sure you're making this up.

Yep, completely off the top of my head. I doubt there'd be any evidence to the contrary, though, what with the whole "no freedom of speech" part.

Sorry, I usually prefer to stick with verifiable facts, but invoking either the WWII-era German and Japanese experiments would be a bit close to Godwin's law for my tastes, and the Holmesburg (and other prison) scandals from the late 40s to the mid-70s aren't well enough known to get a worthwhile reaction.

Ok then. It's jus... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Ok then.

It's just that China is one of my specialties, so to speak. I speak Mandarin and have spent a good deal of time there, and considering the way that news is controlled there (the internet notwithstanding) it would surprise me greatly if the majority of Chinese even knew about the medical experiments on prisoners, much less approved.

For that matter I would be surprised if many German or Japanese civilians during WWII knew about a lot of the disgusting things being done in the camps and Manchuria. Such things were not exactly featured in the propaganda.

suh, Let us use the... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

suh,
Let us use the same standard here. You are quite willing to blame religion in a broad stroke. I have been careful to delineate between three great experiments we have in the modern history below. If you are free to blame fundamentalist religion on Bush and America. Then we should use the same standard for atheism, shouldn't we? Communism is an openly atheistic gov system. It has killed hundreds of millions of people. It is fundamentalist in the sense that it want to impose atheism on the people at gun-point. It enslaved more than a billion people. That 's just a fact.

Communism is fundamentalist in its belief and enforcement of atheism. So the term fundamentalist atheism is quite appropriate here. I see the same fundamentalist atheistic tendency in organizations like the ACLU in America.


(1) American constitutional democracy based on the founding principle of "inalienable rights to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness as endowed by the creator" that no gov can take away. The key concept here there is a higher power than the gov of man (the creator). I don't see how that can come from non-religion.

(2) The atheistic utopia in Nazi Germany and Communist Soviet Union.

(3) The Islamic theocracies like Iran, Taliban

For that matter I would be ... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

For that matter I would be surprised if many German or Japanese civilians during WWII knew about a lot of the disgusting things being done in the camps and Manchuria. Such things were not exactly featured in the propaganda.
---------------------------------------------------
Mantis,
Experimenting on prisoners is disgusting and ethically despicable. So we shouldn't propagate the propaganda about Embryonic stem-cell research in the same deceptive spirit. You should be disgusted as well.

BTW, The German peo... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

BTW,
The German people didn't know anything about gas chambers and concentration camps. The Japanese believed that it was their destiny to rule Asia under the slogan "Asia for Asians".

suhTo me it's pretty... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

suh
To me it's pretty simple and it's been mentioned before. They are going in the trash. Millions of people are paralyzed. Try to help them. Despite some claims, most the articles I've read have stated that embryonic stem cells hold great promise and have even allowed mice with injured spines to move their legs. So much effort to save a non breathing entity so already breathing people must continue to suffer. I do understand the conservative position, but I think this is one more thing that is helping to weaken the conservative grasp.
-------------------------------------------------
If you bother to read the thread, all the points you posted have been answered. It is no surprise that you would find these talking points from the "unbiased sources" like ABC, NBC, etc...

This is old argument: they are going to the trash, so we should experiment on them. Using the same standard, death-row inmates are going to the trash and they are just bigger clumps of cells, so why not experimenting on them? BTW, death penalty is still legal in America.

For that matter I would ... (Below threshold)
gattsuru:

For that matter I would be surprised if many German or Japanese civilians during WWII knew about a lot of the disgusting things being done in the camps and Manchuria. Such things were not exactly featured in the propaganda.

Hm... I was pretty sure that the German final solution was well-known among civilians, and that while the Japanese Project Maruta had a cover story as a 'lumber mill' or 'water purification research lab', both it and the Three Alls strategy were reasonably well-known. At least that's what I thought common knowledge was. Guess I was wrqong.

Well, worst case, we can still go to examples such as the groups impeding the civil rights movement in America.

gattsuru, BTW, Chin... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

gattsuru,
BTW, China 's one child policy is well known to the population. So the prisoner organ harvest is not a big secret either. On the other hand, some people may not approve of it. But that 's the way it is.
On a side note for Suh, we haven't seem examples of atheism in power (eg. Nazism and communism), and it is not pretty. We could go back to the French revolution and could see how bloody it was compared to the British revolution.

Correction, typing too fast... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Correction, typing too fast

On a side note for Suh, we haven seem examples of atheism in power (eg. Nazism and communism), and it is not pretty. We could go back to the French revolution and could see how bloody it was compared to the British revolution.

Hm... I was pretty sure ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Hm... I was pretty sure that the German final solution was well-known among civilians, and that while the Japanese Project Maruta had a cover story as a 'lumber mill' or 'water purification research lab', both it and the Three Alls strategy were reasonably well-known. At least that's what I thought common knowledge was. Guess I was wrqong.

I was referring only to the medical experiments of Mengele and Rascher and Unit 731, not the final solution (though I don't believe the methods were advertised either, and the Theresienstadt ruse was an elaborate attempt to hide it).

BTW, China 's one child ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

BTW, China 's one child policy is well known to the population. So the prisoner organ harvest is not a big secret either.

Do you ever get tired of being so stupid?

mantis,Do you ever g... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

mantis,
Do you ever get tired of being so stupid?
-----------------------------------------------
THanks for the insults. It means that you don't have any point to make. That 's why you have to resort to personal insults.

Why are you so dense not to see the point?

China instituted a one chil... (Below threshold)
mantis:

China instituted a one child policy, enacted a huge campaign to inform the public, and enforces it. They put billboards up all over the country promoting it. Medical experiments on prisoners are a secret they don't talk about.

You seem to think that because one thing the Chinese government does very publicly is well known, the things they do secretly are also well known.

You believe this because you are stupid. Get the point?

In any case don't expect further responses from me to any of your comments. I'm not wasting any more time on someone as mindnumbingly ignorant and logically impaired as yourself.

China instituted a one chil... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

China instituted a one child policy, enacted a huge campaign to inform the public, and enforces it. They put billboards up all over the country promoting it. Medical experiments on prisoners are a secret they don't talk about.

You seem to think that because one thing the Chinese government does very publicly is well known, the things they do secretly are also well known.

You believe this because you are stupid. Get the point?
--------------------------------------------------
Why are you so willfully ignorant? We have news about China prisoner organ harvest here in the states already. Even they cracked down on the Internet, the news would get through.

The Chinese people are not stupid. If the gov can enforce one child policy, do you think that they have any doubt that the gov would experiment on prisoners and harvest organs to sell to the rich people. They did far worse things than that.

I don't know who is stupid here. And you claimed you know about China as a country. I am not even sure that you are telling the truth here.

BTW, Something jus... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

BTW,
Something just occurs to me that people who made the big deal about the POTENTIAL of embryonic stem cell researcn think so little about the POTENTIAL life (their terminology) or more accurately, a HUMAN LIFE with POTENTIAL.

http://www.spectator.org/dsp_article.asp?art_id=10111
"It crosses a moral boundary that our decent society needs to respect, so I vetoed it, " said the President.

The President was explicit in grounding his decision on the fundamental integrity of all human persons: "Each of these human embryos is a unique human life with inherent dignity and matchless value." He noted that each of the children attending the press conference was adopted while still an embryo, "and has been blessed with the chance to grow up in a loving family."

"These boys and girls are not spare parts," said President Bush. "They remind us of that [which] is lost when embryos are destroyed in the name of research. They remind us that we all begin our lives as a small collection of cells. And they remind us that in our zeal for new treatments and cures, America must never abandon our fundamental morals."

As Congressman Henry Hyde (R-IL) once said, unborn children are not potential human life, but life with potential.

Just for the record, the se... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Just for the record, the secret China organ harvesting. Yup, if Stalin denied executing political dissidents, mantis would believe it

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2006/07/a_global_body_parts_bazaar.html
A Global Body Parts Bazaar




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