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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.

An opinion piece by a guest columnist was published yesterday in our hometown newspaper, The Tallahassee Democrat:
There is a huge debate going on in our country regarding stem-cell research. Both sides of this debate have backers based strictly on philosophical grounds. But it is the tangible implications in real life which validate or invalidate the philosophy, and these implications are already being played out.

State legislatures have allocated millions of taxpayer dollars to fund stem-cell research with more being considered. Our congressional leaders in Washington are looking to spend tens or perhaps hundreds of millions more in federal tax dollars. The question becomes, “Is this research ethical or is it Naziesque human experimentation?”
Well, no effort at meaningful dialogue here. Either we believe what the author does, or we're Nazis. What's wrong with this picture? The column's next to the last paragraph continues this reasoned approach:
But if, as many Christians believe, life does begin at conception, then the act of destroying an embryo to harvest stem cells becomes an act of murder and is no different than the human experimentation done in the Nazi death camps. It is the exact same issue which fuels the abortion debate.
Now tell me, how do you debate this person? This is an excellent example of why we remain so divided on this issue (and abortion, as the writer points out), and why civil, reasoned dialogue is still so rare.

Read the column.

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