• People Talk and My Ear Bleeds


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    Wednesday, May 25, 2005

    House passes bill

    Yesterday the house passed the embryonic stem cell bill, but President Bush is expected to veto it. This highlights my earlier comment that we won't see this legislation until 2007, maybe 2008. I think the American people overall are ready for it--the hinderance comes from strongly held moral beliefs that cloud judgement on the issue by distracting logical people from the facts.

    Most who I have talked to instinctively oppose using embryos for stem cell research. Then I ask about embryos from fertility clinics. Contrary to popular belief, they don't just dissappear. In fact, they will die. If a clinic makes 100 embryos for a couple, and 8 are used, resulting in 1 baby, than the body already spontaneously killed 7 embryos. But that's not the issue.

    The fact is that the clinic still has 92 embryos that are not wanted. They can be destroyed, or put in liquid nitrogen storage until 22 other couples come along wanting children (which is highly unlikely because they would make 100 embryos from that new couple's gametes), or used for research. Since most people forget that liquid nitrogen storage is not indefinite, and cells held that way lose viability over time and eventually die (albeit it takes a long time), essentially you can use the extra embryos for research or kill them.

    So, it follows, that if you oppose research because you destroy the embryo, then you should oppose fertility clinics in general because they facilitate destroying many more embryos than ever become human beings. If you don't oppose fertility clinics, then research is the logical step to gain the greatest good out of cast off fertility clinic biproducts.

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