Skip to comments.Bush against embryonic stem cell research, warns Congress
Posted on 05/22/2005 8:14:44 AM PDT by Valin
George Bush expressed concern about embryonic stem cell research saying it is a science that destroys life before it saves life. The US president said he will veto any bill that backs embryonic stem cell research. He said he will make it clear to Congress that the use of (US) federal money to promote a science that destroys life in order to save life will be vetoed.
Meanwhile, researchers in South Korea, UK and Canada are making breakthroughs which could eventually see the end of suffering for millions of people throughout the world. Professor Hwank Woo-suk, South Korea, and his team have just created stem cells that are a perfect genetic match for a specified patient with an incurable disease.
Some Republicans are questioning the wisdom of George Bush's policy. Many are keen to see incurable diseases being successfully treated. Others are becoming concerned at the way America is losing ground in this potentially huge field of medicine.
Scientists from Europe and East Asia have written to Medical News Today expressing excitement at these new breakthroughs. They are over the moon at George Bush's stance as it gives them a head start in the race. It is amazing, said one scientist, that America executes many death-row prisoners who have incurable mental illnesses, but won't allow an embryo smaller than the size of this dot (.) to be used for research that could eventually save millions of lives.
Stem cell research eh? I'm still waiting for all the miracle cures that were supposed to come from taking the tissue of aborted fetus' back in the 90's......
Isn't this why Dana Reeve suddenly appeared on the Sunday morning shows today? She and Nancy Reagan from the other side of the spectrum both crusade for that cause, and possibly neither fully understand it or the alternatives. Well, beyond professionals involved in the research...who really does?
The politization of science is a bad idea. Politics introduces all manner of extraneous issues that are not germane to science. Embryonic stem cell research proceeds in the US at Stanford and Harvard who have raised private funding. Most research, however, is done by biotech companies. I have two friends who have made a ton of money on Geron stock. I see no need for the government to subsidize this when the stock market already does.
The most egregiously atavistic governance position since Copernicus and his punishment at the hands of theologians unhappy with his scientific theory. If any doubt remains as to whether the White House is a wholly owned subsidiary of the religious right this imminent veto should resolve the issue. It makes the evolution debacle look intelligent by comparison.
Obviously, the parties that store the organs will get their price. The surgeon will still get his. And the Pharmaceutical will create 15 new drugs to be taken in conjunction with the transplant.
But George Will added a bit to it...If you're going to use an embryo anyways, why not just grow it and take the parts themselves. Why bother with the hardest part...tickling the stem cells. I think he's right and I have always believed that that was the real stem cell goal.
Is she advocating embryonic stem cell research? That would be most ironic, because it is the use of ADULT stem cells that has shown any success in the body's repair of spinal cord injuries.
Would that were true.
I state up front, I am making this comment then leaving this thraad, I do not wish to engage in a long debate, nor am I equiped with enough solid facts as portrayed by both sides of the issue to make comments on.
So my comment for what it is worth is:
Let us be carefull to understand, GWB has meet with many groups on this issue. There are two sides both display equal credentials on the issue since they are involved in this type research. Both sides have champions that are recognized in their respective fields as being leaders. GWB sides with one side of these "experts", based on what and how they had presented the arguments to him.
So for those amoung us that believe GWB is simply reacting based on purely "religious views" do be aware there is much more to the issue then is as usual being biased by the L/MSM.
Like I said, I will not indulge in this issue. I am not prepared to defend either side. I say this out of respect for all our Freepers.
"The most egregiously atavistic governance position since Copernicus and his punishment at the hands of theologians unhappy with his scientific theory. If any doubt remains as to whether the White House is a wholly owned subsidiary of the religious right this imminent veto should resolve the issue. It makes the evolution debacle look intelligent by comparison"
I fully agree! I liked to think that voted for Bush not only to keep the liberals out of power, and protect my country from the left, but that there was also a lot in President Bush that I liked and respected.
I think that thought may have been premature. I would be more than happy to vote for Bush again, just to keep the Democrats out of power, but this threat of veto is unfortunate and stupid. He is a stooge for the religious fundamentalists and apparently lacks critical thinking skills. I do respect his conviction and all, but if you have great conviction about really bone-headed concepts then it doesn't doo much good, does it...
If this foolishness is what conservatism really is, they I wonder if I am really a conservative, or just an ardent anti-leftist.
What is truly amazing is that there are some here at FR who would actually agree with this assinine piece of effluent.
Hyperbolic bs traveling at the speed of light is still, when all is said and done, your everyday variety of bs.
If any doubt remains as to whether the White House is a wholly owned subsidiary of the religious right this imminent veto should resolve the issue.
Undoubtedly it is much more Jeffersonian to take my money at the point of a gun to fund your wants and needs. You sure you're not Howard Dean?
It makes the evolution debacle look intelligent by comparison.
What evolution debacle? Are you referring to the one where the federal courts unconstitutionally ordered Cobb County how to spend their tax payer dollars in their public schools? That debacle?
Nothing to wonder about, your support of the federal government taking my money and spending it on something I find abhorent makes clear where you stand. Right next to Trotsky.
Thanks---A kindred sentiment.
Since I believe that science supports the truth that embryo harvesting and exploitation for body parts is cannibalism, I'm supposed to ignore your smarmy insults regarding my other beliefs, my religious beliefs? Yeah, you're a secular twinkie ... and you see nothing wrong with cannibalism. Typical ... and now you'll no doubt take issue with the designation of cannibalism, and try to twist and dissemble your lust for same. Transparent you are (as Yoda would say).
The underlying problem is the influence of Leon Kass on this administration. This bioethics advisor believes that in-vitro fertilization is an offense against God. Think of him as the Edward Abbey of the right.
"Yeah, you're a secular twinkie ... and you see nothing wrong with cannibalism."
I'm a what now? Cannibalism? You call stem cell research cannibalism? And you don't think that might be stretching the truth just a bit?
"no doubt take issue with the designation of cannibalism, and try to twist and dissemble your lust for same"
Actually, if you want to believe that, feel free. Do expect me to take part in that though.
He has stated on more than one occasion (and is on record in the meeting minutes of the Presidents Council On Bioethics which I am very familiar with) that the way IVF is currently done, conceiving 'excess' embryos and aborting 'extra' implantations is wrong. Try being honest when you defend your desired cannibalism, please.
"Nothing to wonder about, your support of the federal government taking my money and spending it on something I find abhorent makes clear where you stand. Right next to Trotsky."
You're resorting to calling me a person who is like "Trotsky" right out of the gate makes clear where this debate stands. Quite DUmmie-esque on your part, seeing as you don't know me or where I stand on anything aside from this one signle issue.
You have no idea what you're talking about.
If the embryo-aged humans were placed on crackers and served at Tea, would you be more able to recognize what it is?
ping to me for later pingout.
Did you write the above post or was that your evil twin?
You agreed with the castigation of Bush for refusing to spend public money on ESCR.
So we have a situation where one of two things obtain. You're a hypocrite who rails against spending you don't agree with or you are a Trotskyite. Set me straight, which is it?
More garbage. You are 180 degrees out of phase. Kass does not believe any such thing. You might actually try reading something he has written before attempting to lie about him.
"So we have a situation where one of two things obtain. You're a hypocrite who rails against spending you don't agree with or you are a Trotskyite. Set me straight, which is it?"
I am just a person who has an opinion on what I would support using federal funding for, and what I would not use it on, much the same way as you probably have your own opinions on that same subject. Whatever that makes me, that is what I am.
Stem cell research happens to be one of those things that I actually would use some federal funding on, because of the possible very valuable return on investment if it pans out.
Things like welfare, 1.5 million dollars (or whatever that crazy amount was) for a bus stop, all kinds of other insane things the government spends obcene amounts of money on that basically have zero benefit for soceity, the DEA, homosexual and "divsersity" awareness programs, the ACLU, those for example are some things that I would not think we should be spending money on. (I am not sure if the ACLU gets federal money. Lord, I hope not)
Look, I can only offer my opinion, and I respect that fact that it is but one of many as this forum shows.
Just my opinion on what I think would be a smart decicion to sink some dollars into, things that, unlike the way much of the federal money is spent, can actually yeild tremendous benefits for all of us. For another example the space program and manned/unmanned space exploration would be another thing that I personally think it is worth it to invest money into, as well as the military of course.
I am just one guy with an opinion, call me what you will.
"If the embryo-aged humans were placed on crackers and served at Tea, would you be more able to recognize what it is?"
I don't drink tea.
If you think I'm exaggerating about Kass' medieval belief system, try this one:
We, on the other hand, with our dissection of cadavers, organ transplantation, cosmetic surgery, body shops, laboratory fertilization, surrogate wombs, gender-change surgery, "wanted" children, "rights over our bodies," sexual liberation, and other practices and beliefs that insist on our independence and autonomy, live more and more wholly for the here and now, subjugating everything we can to the exercise of our wills, with little respect for the nature and meaning of bodily life.
Leon R. Kass, Toward a More Natural Science
Dissection of cadavers? Organ transplantation? Laboratory fertilization? Gee, is this guy okay with anesthesia and vaccination, or is it God's duty that we die of yellow fever at age thirty, as was the custom in the time he reveres?
Ethical stem cell research, that does not depend on or intend the destruction of human life is being done with Federal research money.
On the other hand, the Dickey Amendment has prevented the use of Federal money for the destruction of embryos and fetuses even before the Bush Administration.
What a wonderful example of the importance of context! You give weight to and illustrate Dr. Kass' very reason for the comment that you quote out of context.
This passage is in the last paragraph of the essay, "Thinking About the Body," (pp.276-298 in my paperback copy of the 1988 edition by Free Press publishers) which describes different societal rules about the *dead* body and how it is treated and considered. After pages discussing the ways "that we are by practice forced to decide who or what we think we are, really, and most of all. How to treat dead bodies may seem to be a trivial moral question, compared with all the seeminly vital problems that confront the living. But from a theoretical point of view, few are as illuminating of our self conception and self-understanding."
This statement is dealing with the way that different societies treat dead bodies as a reflection of "who or what we think we are," at the end of a long essay about dying (and our perception of what happens between the moment of life and death) medical study and practice, and the influence of the treatment of the body as "the motions of inorganic particles" vs. "pure will and reason." It is not a discussion about research or morality, but about the living body of the thinker about the body and the treatement of the body by the thinker after death.
Kass discusses the differences between what science and medicine study and teach vs. every day knowledge, customs and intuition. He tells (of Herodotus' telling of Darius' telling) of the differences between the customs of the Greeks, who burned their fathers' bodies after death, the Indians who are said to eat the bodies of their fathers after death. The Greeks are supposed to see the difference between the body and the father, while the Indians do not.
The paragraphs just before your quote:
""Though little noted, our story features a third people: the Persians in the person of their king, Darius. Darius is presented as the man who has seen through the mere conventionality of conventions. Indeed, he revels publicly in his discovery. He compels people to look upon ways that are not their own, to confront what must be seen from his detached and enlightened view as the simple arbitrariness of their own way. Having transcended the limits of law - especially those tied to ancestral piety - he makes sport at the expense of the pious. Strict rationality is the Persian way: "The most disgraceful ehing in the world, they think, is to tell a lie." We learn elsewhere in Herodotus that the Persians looked to nature as divine - but only to the aloof remote, permanent, and regularly moving boidies of the heavens (sun, moon, and stars), beings so unrelated and indifferent to human affairs that they might for all practical purposes just as well be absen. (In practical terems, the Persians were indistinquishable from atheists - and their practices show it.) Their funeral practice is what you might expect:
"There is another custom which is spoken of with reserve, and not openly, concerning their dead. It is said that the body of a male Persian is never buried, until it has been torn either by a dog or a bird of prey."
""The Greeks, it seems are a mean between the superstitious Indians and the automous Persians, reverent rather than fanaticla or impious, reasonable rather than either irrational or hyperrational. In honoring the bodies of their ancestors, they acknowledge their own gratitude for the unrepayable gift of embodied life. Yet, they make their peace with mortality by facing up to it and, through such representatives and Pindar and Heodotus himself, seek the enduring through memories, poems, and inquiries into the naked truth of things.""
The sentence following yours is,
"We expend enormous energy and vast sums of money to preserve and prolong bodily life, but, ironically, in the process, boidily life is stripped of its gravity and much of its dignity. Rational but without wonder, willful but without reverence, we are on our way to becoming Persians."
You're entitled to your opinion whether I disagree with it or not. What you're not entitled to is taking umbrage at being called "names" when you whole heartedly endorsed the name calling directed at President Bush because he has taken a principled position vis a vis conservatism and his own view of morality.
Conservatism and the federal funding of research which deeply offends at least half of conservatives should be mutually exclusive even to those conservatives who support the "science". For example, I support voluntary prayer in school but I would oppose any move to have publicly funded teachers leading prayer in those classrooms. In other words I agree with prayer because I am religious but I disagree with teachers leading prayer because that violates the constitutional principle of the state establishing a religion.
Of course none of this changes my view on the morality of harvesting parts from human beings at any age absent informed consent. And yes it is analogous to what Mengele was up to. Thats a fact.
Now to compound the lie you post a quote qith no context. Truth is your friend dude. You can oppose or support certain things without mischaracterizing those you oppose.
None of this additional context changes my objections to Kass. He's trying to set up a false dualism between the revered human life, as viewed by religions, and the understood human life, as unstood by Harvey and his progeny when the dissection of corposes for scientific study began. The whole idea that to understand something scientifically diminishes the wonder of it is the essence of the Luddite worldview. In their own time of popularity the left Luddites tried this same approach with "nature" substituted for "human". Can't we simultaneously increase our understnading of the human body and feel reverent toward it? And why is early, paiful death more noble than life - maningful, usable life - prolonged by technology? Why does the innate nobility of man not also apply to his works?
It is not surprising that someone who will tell a lie about Kass would find the above comments outlandish. But it is telling of your deceitful methodology that you cannot post comments by Dr. Kass proving your lie so you post something that in your twisted secular mind is 'just as damning'. You're a transparent joke at FR.
"You're entitled to your opinion whether I disagree with it or not. What you're not entitled to is taking umbrage at being called "names" when you whole heartedly endorsed the name calling directed at President Bush"
Well, not that it's a big deal but I was called a "Trotskyist" and I refuted that is all. I am not going to cry about it. And no I don't endorse name calling directed at President Bush, didn't mean to anyway. Don't get me wrong, I like Bush. Sure, I am a bit dissapointed with how this second term is playing out, but heck, it's not even 6 months in, and plus, I don't have to agree with all his policies to like him as a president and as a human being.
I respectfully disagree that stem cell research, if the facts were known, would truly offend as that many people.
Fertility treatments create many extra fertilized eggs which at this time currently get destroyed. Why not use them to try and cure some of the diseases and afflictions that it has potential to?
I am not for abortion, don't get me wrong.
I guess the crux of the matter comes down to this. I do not personally believe that harvesting stem cells from a blastocyst is destroying life. I believe that aborting a developing fetus is destroying life, but not a blastocyst. The cells have not specialized themselves yet.
The idea for example that embryonic stem cells can be coaxed, chemically, to become spinal cord neurons that can someday be made to reconnect the signal from the brain to the body of a paralyzed person, that is pretty powerful to me I have to admit.
I would not be able to look a quadrapalegic (sp?) in the eyes and tell them that I forbid them from having that chance because I do not want to destroy a tiny ball of cells which has no structure, nor could I do that to a Parkinson's patient for example, or someone with ALS. (that's what Steven Hawking has)
Please FreepMail me if you want on or off my Pro-Life Ping List.
The culture of death is grasping at this issue trying to seduce the public that there are positive aspects of infanticide, but they can't come out and say that so they think that if we sink billions of taxpayer dollars into this it will be different.
1. Copernicus was never punished
2. Theologians never expressed to him unhappiness
3. Embryonic stem cell research is not illegal (What these fellows want is tax dollars, which brings up the question as to why private $$ aren't being spent for these sure-thing "miracle cures")
However, I still think the whole notion is a waste of time and money. Pharmaceutical companies spend billions every year on every sort of research imaginable, but they've basically ignored stem cell research. If for profit companies can see no benefit here, why should Congress?
For which Stanford and Harvard should be deeply ashamed.
Are you aware that scientists are already removing a blastomere from the petri dish embryo, to test for genetic defects and to make a 'repair system' of future stem cells should the child develop a need later? Why not use those embryonic stem cells that can be developed from the pluripotent blastomere to do embryonic stem cell cures ... BUT, why not do the experiemnts to perfect the processes by testing on other mammals such as great ape embryo blastomeres? Why kill an individual at embryo-age in order to do research?
In the past 32 years, more than 40 MILLION babies have had life stolen from them, countless more millions of embryos have been destroyed. All this research has been done, but where are the results? Moreover, many researchers have said that unbilical stem cells (which are produced by every live birth) have as much or more promise than embryonic stem cells.
We can't allow ourselves to fall prey to some emotional plea that people in wheelchairs or suffering from other illnesses can be saved. We have no idea if this is true or not, what we do know for certain is that lives are lost to get these cells.
Thats right, there is only one place to draw a bright line and thats fertilization. Anything after that is rationalization like Bones75 looking quadriplegics in the eye. How does he look the embryos that got away in the eye when they are adopted?
I have close friends who are quadriplegics and paraplegics, I would love to give them the opportunity to walk again. But I also realize if stem cells were so promising that private companies would be lined up doing this research.
ESR has demonstrated no efficacy for the ill and maimed. Adult stem cell research has demonstrated efficacy in many areas. The notion that the government is going to make me pay to kill what I consider human life pisses me off more than you will ever know.
So well put it needs to be repeated.