Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Ya Gotta Pick One

In the Seinfeld episode "The Wig Master," Jerry tries to return a crested jacket, and when asked his reason for the return, answers, "Spite." When he is told that is not an acceptable reason, he claims he never liked the jacket anyway, but it's too late. He only gets one reason.

Because that's the way it works.

The Religious Right claimed their objection to stem cell research was that the blastocyst had to be destroyed in order to harvest the stem cells. Now that the news is full of the latest innovation, which extracts stem cells without destroying the blastocyst, are they satisfied? Apparently not.

A quote from the NY Times (behind the firewall, so no link, sorry) sheds some light: But Emily Lawrimore, a White House spokeswoman, suggested that the new procedure would not satisfy the objections of Mr. Bush, who vetoed legislation in July that would have expanded federally financed embryonic stem cell research. Though Ms. Lawrimore called it encouraging that scientists were moving away from destroying embryos, she said: "Any use of human embryos for research purposes raises serious ethical questions. This technique does not resolve those concerns." Their concerns are that someone, somewhere, did cause the death of a blastocyst to persue stem cell research, and that renders the whole thing ethically iffy.

I do admire principles. And I think they should stick with them. They shouldn't take antibiotics, because people have died from antibiotic reactions. They shouldn't have anesthesia for surgery, because people died while anesthetics were being developed. In fact, they shouldn't have surgery at all, because every procedure meant someone died while it was being developed.

They won't go that far; apparently there is a limit to principles. But that's really beside the fact. Because they had a reason to object to stem cell research. That reason was addressed.

And you only get one.

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