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21.10.14 0358
The W - Current Events & Politics - Bush uses first veto on stem-cell research
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Big Bad
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Since: 4.1.02
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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.62
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060719/hl_nm/congress_stemcells_dc_14;_ylt=AveswwsivS86yFpFGZ1AoYUb.3QA;_ylu=X3oDMTA2ZGZwam4yBHNlYwNmYw--

Good priorities, Mr. President. Can't let 'the living' die so that actual living people can live.



Scene: Mark DeRosa's brain. The year is 2005.
Part of Mark DeRosa's brain: Come on, another position change? One day it's second base, the next day right field, now it's third? Why, I oughta go into Buck's office and throw his talking fish on the floor!
Other part of Mark DeRosa's brain: Hold on, other part of the brain. We're making $500,000 this year. Last year we made $725,000. All for playing a damn kids' game. This is, as they say in Brainland, a no-"us"-er. We're not going to complain.
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CRZ
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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.13
Hey, W stuck with his convictions despite the fact that it's a pretty unpopular position. Good for him. It's not like made it ILLEGAL or anything; he just said he wasn't going to allow expanded federal funding. SAY! Maybe all the researchers will go do their work in Canada!

Anyway, there's some more interesting reading over at US News & World Report - start here (usnews.com).



CRZ
spf
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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.57

W's great at sticking with his convictions in the face of all evidence and logic, I will give him that much.

I think this is actually quite a smart play by the GOP however. The Congress gets to look like it has a will of its own instead of being the Bush House Organ, GOP members who might need some anti-Bush cover in November can vote to override knowing the House margin is safely override-proof, and the leaders can show independence without actually having to pass anything that will piss off their base.



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TheBucsFan
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Since: 2.1.02

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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.42


Is it "sticking to his convictions" or is it "being stubborn?"

Probably depends on whether you like the guy otherwise or not.

That said, you are correct that all he's done is stop increased federal funding, which I think a lot of people are overlooking. I've definitely heard mild outrage today at the local level, but I don't think a lot of those people realize that the government already does contribute some money to the issue.

On the other hand, I don't understand Bush's moral outrage here. From the story:


    Several polls have shown a clear majority of Americans support the research, which would use embryos that already exist in fertility clinics and would otherwise be thrown out to search for cures of conditions like diabetes, spinal cord injuries, and Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases.


If these embryos are going to be "thrown out" anyway, what's the difference, morally, between that and using them to research methods of treating various diseases? That's an honest question. Can someone who agrees with the president here give me an answer?



I would not be a bit surprised if the individuals on the team from your area were sexually attracted to members of their own gender. That is how ineffective they are on the field of battle.
AWArulz
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Since: 28.1.02
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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.59
    Originally posted by TheBucsFan

    If these embryos are going to be "thrown out" anyway, what's the difference, morally, between that and using them to research methods of treating various diseases? That's an honest question. Can someone who agrees with the president here give me an answer?


Basically, the arguement is that "killing a person", even one who is, in some eyes, a potential person, is wrong. You gotta do that to perform this research and they haven't done anything to deserve getting killed by the government. That should be reserved for criminals and our war enemies.

So our goverment shouldn't support such killing for research. But it is not illegal to dispose of such embryos (and that's a moral question I have some issues with), so our goverment doesn't stop that.

Can those embryos be used for stem cell research, according to our laws - yes. It's just not government financed.

Obviously, these are moral issues not everyone agrees on. Perhaps when the next administration comes in your opinion will be better represented.

But frankly, I hope not.



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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.73
    Originally posted by AWArulz
    Basically, the arguement is that "killing a person", even one who is, in some eyes, a potential person, is wrong. You gotta do that to perform this research and they haven't done anything to deserve getting killed by the government. That should be reserved for criminals and our war enemies.


So, as I understand your view, "potential people" - which is debatable in and of itself - have more of a right to live than "criminals" (which I assume - and hope - you broadly generalized for brevity) and "war enemies" (who are now classified as less deserving to live than "potential people")?

Aside from those issues, which I think need some clarification: What grants these "potential people" more of a right to live than the "actual people" suffering from debilitating and/or fatal illnesses who could be cured by these stem cells?

Is there something other than a religious element to this argument that I am missing?



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AWArulz
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Since: 28.1.02
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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.59
    Originally posted by Leroy
    So, as I understand your view, "potential people" - which is debatable in and of itself - have more of a right to live than "criminals" (which I assume - and hope - you broadly generalized for brevity) and "war enemies" (who are now classified as less deserving to live than "potential people")?

    Aside from those issues, which I think need some clarification: What grants these "potential people" more of a right to live than the "actual people" suffering from debilitating and/or fatal illnesses who could be cured by these stem cells?

    Is there something other than a religious element to this argument that I am missing?


Let me clarify the religious angle, perhaps. I wouldn't consider a fertilized egg (an embryo) a "potential person". I would consider him or her a person, because I believe that human life begins at conception. There is the "religious issue".

Because - consider this now, without charging it up - I want you to see where I am coming from, and where many who do support this veto, feel. Again, I am using this as an example, I know no one would consider it.

So, let's say that the research required the tissue of a 1 day old healthy baby rather than an embryo? And that to obtain the tissue, the child had to die.

Of course you would never support that. No one would. But in the mind of those who believe that life begins at conception, that is exactly what is happening.

A child is innocent - they have done nothing wrong and don't deserve to die. In my mind, the only time a government has the right to be the arbiter of life and death for a human is:

a criminal - governments have traditionally held the right to execute criminals who violate some extreme measure of said country's laws. This level of criminality ebbs and flows throughout history and culture, but is still one responsibility that the government holds - at least ours does, and most countries still have the death penalty - or could, according to their rule of law. Of course, a few countries have now outlawed it, but that is still the by-far minority.

people who the said country engages in war against. Countries have always engaged in war against each other and that is still done. There are some rules that civilized nations follow when at war, but, obviously, killing the other combatants is part of the story. Within some guidelines. And countries that do not follow those guidelines (and lose) typically have some or all of their leaders get in trouble with the rest of the civilized world. That's why Saddam and Milosovic and the Nuremberg trial took place.

That's enough out of me. But, that's where I am coming from, at least.



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Since: 1.10.05
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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.68
Doesn't this deny real people a potential cure? By denying research in this area the government has become the "arbiter of life and death" beyond your two distinctions (criminals and enemy combatants).



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CRZ
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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.13
    Originally posted by General Zod
    Doesn't this deny real people a potential cure?
I don't think you read his argument very well.

To take it to complete hyperbole, the government ALSO disallows kidnapping people and harvesting their healthy organs for the purposes of scientific research, but I don't think you'll find a lot of people hoping we fix the problem of "denied research" by making kidnapping and organ harvesting legal.

The REAL counterargument is "hey, they're throwing these 'people' away as it is. How do you reconcile THAT?" I don't have an answer for that one. I probably *would* let the researchers have them if they were just going to be destroyed anyway.

(Fortunately, as I personally haven't been responsible for any embryos created in a lab, right now that question is moot. For ME.)



CRZ
AWArulz
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Since: 28.1.02
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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.59
    Originally posted by CRZ
    The REAL counterargument is "hey, they're throwing these 'people' away as it is. How do you reconcile THAT?" I don't have an answer for that one. I probably *would* let the researchers have them if they were just going to be destroyed anyway.


Exactly. I don't have an answer for that last either. I guess I think creating a bunch of "stored little people" is morally wrong too - we can store a person's eggs and we can store a person's sperm, why are we fertilizing the eggs with the sperm in advance and storing that?

Again, to someone who thinks life begins later somehow (although, I just can't understand how life can be construed to begin AFTER cell division begins), this may not be a problem. But for those who believe life begins at conception, this is quite an ethical dilemma.



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Since: 17.10.04
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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.00
    Originally posted by Leroy
    Aside from those issues, which I think need some clarification: What grants these "potential people" more of a right to live than the "actual people" suffering from debilitating and/or fatal illnesses who could be cured by these stem cells?

    Is there something other than a religious element to this argument that I am missing?


Yes, there is. Compare an embryo destroyed for stem cell research to a person who died of a condition that might have been treated with medical advancements made through stem cell research--Ronald Reagan, for example. The embryo died when a scientist destroyed it (or when an employee at a fertillization clinic disposed of it). Reagan died of Alzheimer's--nobody gave him the disease, it just happened and nobody found a way to cure him.

So the distinction is not that the embryo has more right to live than Reagan, only that the embryo's death was a deliberate act by a human being, whereas Reagan's death was a natural occurance that human beings simply failed to prevent. That's not a religious distinction--murder is a capital offense, but you can't prosecute someone for not discovering a cure for a disease. And since stem cell opponents consider the destruction of embryos to be murder, blocking the research is marginally preferable to forsaking the potential beneficiaries of that research.
Leroy
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Since: 7.2.02

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#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.73
    Originally posted by AWArulz
    Again, to someone who thinks life begins later somehow (although, I just can't understand how life can be construed to begin AFTER cell division begins), this may not be a problem. But for those who believe life begins at conception, this is quite an ethical dilemma.


What does this mean, "life begins at conception"? Technically, speaking, sperm are alive, and an egg is alive. Since all of this is based on "potential people", why stop at when an sperm and egg are fertilized?

Honestly, I think you're making an entirely arbitrary distinction as to when life "starts". And if eggs are being fertilized in order to facilitate the cure to diseases from which "actual people" are suffering (and potentially dying), then I don't see how you can morally make these distinctions at the lines you are making them.



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drjayphd
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#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.06
You wanted the best, you got... Out of Context Quote of the Week.

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    Originally posted by Leroy
      Originally posted by AWArulz
      Again, to someone who thinks life begins later somehow (although, I just can't understand how life can be construed to begin AFTER cell division begins), this may not be a problem. But for those who believe life begins at conception, this is quite an ethical dilemma.


    What does this mean, "life begins at conception"? Technically, speaking, sperm are alive, and an egg is alive. Since all of this is based on "potential people", why stop at when an sperm and egg are fertilized?


I'm guessing it's probably because the sperm y egg are from an already existing life, while the embryo's a potential new life. Offing a spermatozoa isn't going to kill you. Just guessing, as that's not how I'm inclined (I say birth, although it gets a LOT closer when the Potential Human In Question can survive on its own outside of the mother).



AWArulz
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Since: 28.1.02
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#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.59
    Originally posted by Leroy
    What does this mean, "life begins at conception"? Technically, speaking, sperm are alive, and an egg is alive. Since all of this is based on "potential people", why stop at when an sperm and egg are fertilized?


I don't want to disagree, but no, sperm and eggs are not "alive" they are part of the body they reside in, like your organs, your blood, and other various stuff.

Sperm and Egg, produced by the host bodies of the male and female, have only half each of the biological make up of en entire human. Like, each has 23 Chromosome.

But when the sperm (I am desperately trying to resist calling them Mr. Sperm and Mrs Egg) fertilizes the egg, a new cell is created that has the requisite 46 Chromosomes - that's an actual person, were he or she to live.

That would be your biology 101 lesson for today.

I must now add this link. I personally was much amused.
http://health.howstuffworks.com/adam-200107.htm

Shockwave required.



(edited by AWArulz on 20.7.06 0320)


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oldschoolhero
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Since: 2.1.02
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#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.00
These embryos are the very beginning of life. They exist as a separate entity, but with many more circumstances needed for them to become human life. They are, essentially, simple-celled organisms with the potential for becoming more. You can't look at them and say "this is a life". You CAN look at them and say "this is a life IF....". The process of creating life has not been completed-the simple genetic soup that is a fertilised embryo is but one ingredient in the mix.

Unless, of course, you value that simple pairing as an organism in its own right, which is really all you can do. Without the proper conditions, maternal nurturing and continued development within the womb that embryo is not a human life. Which then begs the question: Why are animals slaughtered? What about the destruction of plant life? All are far more complex lifeforms than a fertilised embryo, so if we care about one living thing being butchered then why not all living things. It's a silly point, but I feel someone's gotta make it.



To those who say people wouldn't look; they wouldn't be interested; they're too complacent, indifferent and insulated, I can only reply: There is, in one reporter's opinion, considerable evidence against that contention. But even if they are right, what have they got to lose? Because if they are right, and this instrument is good for nothing but to entertain, amuse and insulate, then the tube is flickering now and we will soon see that the whole struggle is lost. This instrument can teach, it can illuminate; yes, and it can even inspire. But it can do so only to the extent that humans are determined to use it to those ends. Otherwise it is merely wires, and lights, in a box.-Edward R. Murrow
DrDirt
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Since: 8.10.03
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#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.02
Not to get involved in the prior debate (I have stated my views ad nauseum) but perhaps I can restate the question.

We as a society must decide which takes priority the "potential human life" or the "realized human life." Or more simply, we must debate if the ends (potential cures, etc.) justify the means (destroying the embryo). Both sides have legitimate arguments.

"W" may or may not have deeply held convictions, only he knows. However, it is fair to say both sides are using this politically. I personally don't have a problem with that. It is how things are done. All actions taken by government (and ourselves for that matter) are political. Look up the definition of politics.

Personally, if the embryos are to be destroyed anyway, I would rather see something potentially positive come out of the whole mess we have created with technology.

Maybe we as a society need to step back and debate the whole spectrum of issues created by our technology and catch our moral/ethical framework up to the science.



Perception is reality
AWArulz
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#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.59
    Originally posted by oldschoolhero
    These embryos are the very beginning of life. They exist as a separate entity, but with many more circumstances needed for them to become human life. They are, essentially, simple-celled organisms with the potential for becoming more.


Now, everyone, especially Leroy, look. This this is the essence of the difference in my position (and I am sure Dubya's) from what I would call the other position.

To me, it is a human life already. Period. End of story. Just younger. And I can't allow myself to make a decision when to kill that innocent (ie: not a convicted criminal or not a person my country is at war with) person. Is it at 1 hr after conception? 1 Day? Is that long enough? How about a week after? A month? nine months? 3 years? When?

And I don't compare human life with plants or animals. They aren't the same. Unless you don't eat plants or animals, of course. Which might cause you to be mighty thin.



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oldschoolhero
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#18 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.00
Except it's a valid comparison. A fertilised embryo isn't a human life-it needs more ingredients to become one. We're not talking a fetus here. Hence the comparison to other organisms that we happily destroy.



To those who say people wouldn't look; they wouldn't be interested; they're too complacent, indifferent and insulated, I can only reply: There is, in one reporter's opinion, considerable evidence against that contention. But even if they are right, what have they got to lose? Because if they are right, and this instrument is good for nothing but to entertain, amuse and insulate, then the tube is flickering now and we will soon see that the whole struggle is lost. This instrument can teach, it can illuminate; yes, and it can even inspire. But it can do so only to the extent that humans are determined to use it to those ends. Otherwise it is merely wires, and lights, in a box.-Edward R. Murrow
AWArulz
Knackwurst








Since: 28.1.02
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#19 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.59
    Originally posted by oldschoolhero
    Except it's a valid comparison. A fertilised embryo isn't a human life-it needs more ingredients to become one. We're not talking a fetus here. Hence the comparison to other organisms that we happily destroy.


Well, we would disagree on that point. I would argue that it IS human life.



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#20 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.57
AWA, I understand your position. I disagree with it but I respect that it is at least logically consistent.

However, since this bill that would allow families to donate unused embryos to science for stem cell research was vetoed, there is no companion act regarding any sort of change in the disposition of these embryos.

Even if a bill was passed today to ban embryo farming or creation of multiple embryos, there would still be thousands of them already created. These embryos would likely be destroyed. I see no tenable way to willfully create thousands of basically orphaned children (unless you plan to make families adopt dozens of their emryonic children). I suppose it is possible there could be a demand by women for them, but I would be surprised if the demand met the supply that already exists. If proponents of stem-cell research were to support any sort of move to end the process of creating and storing unneeded embryos, or to make some sort of rule that potential hosts for all created embryos must be procured prior to emryonic creation, would you support using these already-created, certain to be destroyed embryos for stem-cell research?

As for the idea of what is and is not a human, I have my answer which I know will sound flip, but it kind of answers it for me. If I walk into a restaurant and order chicken for dinner, and the waiter brings me an omelet, I'm going to send it back.



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