Thursday, December 29, 2005

Is it Moral?

That's the question that is often asked when the funding of stem cell research is discussed. This is the issue it comes down to for many. Is it moral to take embryonic stem cells instead of adult stem cells and use them for research? In this debate, I find the descriptor adjective "embryonic" is often left off, perhaps for brevity perhaps to help spin the point. That's really just a side note, though. Because of where these cells come from, discarded or purposefully created embryos, the moral issue comes to play, should these humans or potential humans be sacrificed in the name of research?

Keeping in mind that embryonic stem cell research has promised much and delivered nothing, while the slightly more ethical adult stem cell research has promised little and delivered a little more, you could also see the forming of the crowds who populate both sides of this argument.

Here's where I weigh in on the issue. The whole question is moot. The issue isn't legitimate. I've heard the most well-meaning and intelligent individuals ask how people against embryonic stem cell research could be "against life" and I've heard those individuals against the research ask those same intellectuals how they could be such wanton butchers. This IS a moral argument, not a government one, much like abortion. It's not up to the government to decide in these matters and therefore I don't care what either's sides opinion is. I have mine and people want to hear it about as much as they want to hear everyone elses', which is to say not at all.

Whenever you hear this argument, remember what it's actually about. It's not about whether people like President George W. Bush don't like embryonic stem cell research. It's about funding; the Almighty Dollar.
And those who are the loudest on the pro-embryonic stem cell research front believe that we should spend our tax dollars to fund what so far has proven to be junk science. We do enough of that already and much to most taxpayers' chagrin. I and many others see no need to add another cause celebre to the list.

If embryonic stem cell research is as promising as its loudest proponents admit, then a pharmaceutical company will pick it up, as many have, dump the money into it for R & D, and determine whether or not its viable. That begs the subject of prescription drug prices to be brought up, but we'll save that for tomorrow. If it's not viable, then they'll have suffered the cost in a business venture, as it should be in a free market system.

If it is viable, cures will be developed and they will get rich. That's the American way. If cures are developed with federal taxpayer money, those same companies will still get rich, but we will have footed the bill and if nothing comes of it, we will have to pick up the tab for their failure instead of their own bottom line. Let those who are so vehemently against corporate welfare and for embryonic stem cell research weasel their way out of that little contradiction.


Blogger GadFlier said...

Abortion: Initiation of violence against a human being who merely happens to be in the prenatal state.

10:33 AM  

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