We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Friday, March 13. 2009
I assisted with an abortion one time in medical school, on my OB-Gyn rotation. I went to the bathroom afterwards, shook and sweated, and then puked my brains out. I refused to help with another abortion. Nobody minded. I delivered about 30 babies during that rotation. Scary if you get into a jam, but otherwise good fun.
Knippenberg considers the embryonic stem cell issue (an issue about which I have no particularly strong opinion), and notes the contradiction between the amoral notion of "let science do science" and the political notion of "most people want this."
I guess pols are experts at insulating their decision-making from morality and ethics. In my view, Utilitarianism, like "efficacy," is neither a moral nor an ethical posture. It's a cop-out. It's the easy way.
From Yuval Levin's Obama's False Choice:
Ed. note: Krauthammer today: Morally unserious in the extreme
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The interesting thing to me about embryonic stem cell research is the assertion in a couple of Internet articles last year that in spite of heavy experimentation with them, very few if any successful medical protocols have been developed using them. I'm remembering a couple of articles on the Internet last year which contrasted the assertion noted above, with the fact that more than 75 successful medical protocols have been developed using adult stem cells or stem cells derived from umbilical cord blood and other adult tissue.
Now, "I'm not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV," as the saying goes, but I find it interesting that scientists might never have turned to research on usage of adult stem cells in medical experimentation if there had not been resistance to the usage of embryonic stem cells. I would love to know if the ratio of success in use of embryonic stem cells vs. success in the usage of adult stem cells still holds.
Embryonic stem cell research also opens the door to possible development of embryos to be 'harvested' for medical research or treatment, and this is a huge moral quandary for scientists and ethicists. And me. An embryo is a baby, after all, and is potentially as valuable as you or me.
How do you feel about this, Dr. Bliss? It's a 'hot potato' of a subject, but President Obama has precipitated us into it. As if we already don't have enough troubles.
I do not have an extensive collection of materials on this subject, although I have read articles on both sides of the issue for some time.
Like MM, I am not a doctor even though I slept at a Holiday Inn.
Having said that, I do recall that the overwhelming majority of progress from stem cell research has come from adult stem cells versus embryonic stem cells.
As far as the bait KRW has thrown in the water, very human embryo has the potential to develop into a human being. Everyone knows that a fetus cannot sustain him/herself independent of his/her mother before a certain number of weeks in the womb.
The real question is who gets to play God?
The second question is a straw man. Did you learn that from Obama?
Are we only "playing God" when engaged in actions that prohibit further embryo development, or do we also play God if we engage in actions that prohibit the natural destruction of embryo development and/or initiate unnatural embryo development?
I assume you are talking about abortion and IVF methods.
Mankind has always danced on the slippery slope. Ultimately, it is a dangerous game if a person seeks to be coherent and consistent in their application of these principles.
I have chosen to err on the side of life for many reasons.
Nevertheless, people need to be willing to live with the consequences of their actions regardless of their views. It is called personal responsibility, which is something many have forgotten these days.
In the end, I believe we will all know what is right and wrong and whether we behaved accordingly.
Understand and respect your personal choice to err on the side of life. Some might choose to err on the side of the potential of scientific research. Not that I believe that the government should be taking money from people who have strong convictions opposed to such efforts and use that money to fund it. I disagree with that, but then it happens all the time in government. Which is why I prefer less government over more government. But my original questions were really just meant to be limited to the two statements in regard to the meaning of a "fact".
In response to your response to my response, I was not just speaking of abortion and IVF, but also the more aggressive efforts in pre-natal health care. Nature has aborted far more pregnancies than man has. Are we playing God when we interfere with nature? Or maybe our individual decisions in these matters might be a part of God's great plan, some of us choosing one path and some another. Who is to say that God has only position on this matter? Maybe we play God when we try to force our views on others. Not that I've totally made up my mind in this regard one way or the other, but considering these other perspectives it seems pretty far from being a "fact" that "every human embryo is a living human being". Treating this perception as a matter of "fact" is a fallacy, a meme much discussed elsewhere.
And let me say again, CURSE YOU MF SPAM FILTER. Ahh, that always makes me feel better.
I don't think the Federal government should be spending my taxes on any speculative medical research. If this research was anywhere near be turned into useful treatments, corporate money would be paying for it.
"...every human embryo is a living human being..."
"...that first principal that talent is equally distributed among all groups.”"
Are either of these two statements "facts"? Why?
Heh... trying to start a conversation, KRW, are you. I would say your first statement is a third rail, obviously. Predicated on all sides by some chosen sense of morality. Politics a huge factor... but mostly a very personal and private position. But not a 'fact' in an of itself.
The second statement... well... from my scant readings not a fact at all... and certainly a purely political discussion when subjected to the scrutiny of the science today.
So... I guess my answer to you would be, no, not facts.
Welcome to Dr. Obama's Wild West Emporium and Medicine Show. The $410 omnibus spending bill contains a clause, same one for the last 13 years, that prohibits spending funds on embryonic stem cell research. The GWB executive order was functionally a nullity because it was less restrictive than existing law. Course, in that light, GWB pulled the same cheap political trick.
An embryo is human in the sense it's is not, say, wolf.
That an embryo is ``a human being'' stretches the language.
They want you to look at it that way. They claim to be able to; and it's not hard to do.
But you can look at other things, too. That's why it's a stretch of language. You have to omit those. Language puts them back in, left to itself, because human language reflects human interests.
The issue is that we do NOT accept the commodification of humans, or bits of humans. Humans are NOT a commodity. We don't sell body parts. An embryo may not be a human being (or maybe it is?) but Obama is classifying embryos as INanimate, instead of something with the spark of human life in it.