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Jack Sisson's Life Ethics Blog
We must find new ways through many ethical issues, especially regarding bioethics, medical ethics, and criminal justice. Jack Sisson's 'Life Ethics' blog focuses on numerous areas of concern, including the philosophical and ethical dilemmas surrounding stem-cell research, abortion, medical research, and health care.
Sunday, August 14, 2005
Do We Destroy Life in Order to Save Life?
On May 20th, Bush vowed to veto any bill that lessened the restrictions he imposed on stem-cell research a few years ago.
I'm a strong supporter of adult stem cell research, of course. But I made it very clear to the Congress that the use of federal money, taxpayers' money, to promote science which destroys life in order to save life is -- I'm against that. And therefore, if the bill does that, I will veto it.Of course the House mustered the necessary votes and passed H.R. 810 a few days later. The bill would allow federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research on embryos destined to be destroyed by fertility clinics. Now the senate is considering a handful of bills on stem cells, including the original one. We'll still have to wait and see which of those bills makes it out of the Senate.
But let's go back to Bush's statement: "...to promote science which destroys life in order to save life is -- I'm against that." Interesting. This reasoning from the man who signed more death warrants in Texas than any other governor of any other state -- 152 executions in five years. That's more than 30 per year!
Why did Bush sign those death warrants? Why does he, along with many others opposed to embryonic stem-cell research, support capitol punishment? If he believes capital punishment is a deterrent, then he supports destroying human life to save human life. How hypocritical we can be.
The United States has an ugly history of executing juvenile offenders and the mentally ill. In 2004, 59 people were executed in the United States which placed the U.S. in fourth place in the world behind China, Iran (159 people executed) and Vietnam (64). We remain one of the few Western nations with a death penalty. Yet, we engage in a divisive, nationwide argument over the morality of using microscopic clusters of cells, the size of a single dot, for research that may ultimately save millions of lives.
Here's one more view on our "morality." It's from Albert Camus:
Capital punishment is the most premeditated of murders, to which no criminal's deed, however calculated can be compared. For there to be an equivalency, the death penalty would have to punish a criminal who had warned his victim of the date at which he would inflict a horrible death on him and who, from that moment onward, had confined him at his mercy for months.
Roe v. Wade
Stem Cell Fight!
Bush the hypocrite
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