Skip to content

Killing the weak to heal the sick

I’d heard just about enough of the blather about a supposed “ban” on stem cell research, but John Edwards’ speech about helping the crippled to walk through embryo stem cell research pushed me over the edge.
In 2002 I published a Note (the term for an article by a law student … mine’s available below) on federal funding of human embryo stem cell research in Health Matrix, the health law journal at Case Western Reserve University. My article built on the reasoning of Scott Klusendorf, the most effective pro-life debater I know.
In that article I picked through peer-reviewed studies and the history of stem cell research, analyzed the state of applicable medical research law, and applied scientific and philosophical considerations to the debate. I conclusively demonstrated that federally funded human embryonic stem cell research is illegal, immoral, and unnecessary. To my knowledge, nothing significant has changed. There are no legal restrictions on privately funded stem cell research on human embryos, repugnant though it is.
I expect reporters and even editors to fall for hype now and then, but politicians running for president have science advisors whose job it is to keep their guy from saying stupid and dishonest things. The facts are not in doubt:

  1. There is no ban on stem cell research. The only restriction is on federal funding of research on stem cells derived from embryos destroyed after August 9, 2001.
  2. Embryonic stem cell research derived from destroyed embryos is morally repugnant, especially since those cells are obtainable from umbilical cords and placentas.
  3. Embryonic stem cells hold less scientific promise than stem cells from adult sources.

John Kerry and John Edwards need to fire their advisors and apologize for a shameless lie that cruelly gives false hope to people with spinal cord injuries.
Here’s a PDF version of my Note, published in 2002.

Are We Killing The Weak To Heal The Sick?: Federally Funded Embryonic Stem Cell Research

More coverage:
Redstate (read the comments; they’re great)
Wizblog (a fellow Clevelander)
TigerHawk
Considerettes
Truth, Lies & Common Sense
Just One Minute
Wes Roth
Confessions Of A Political Junkie
Jay Reding
The Corpus Callosum (opposing view)
Evangelical Outpost
Citizen Z
Daniel W. Casey
Power Line
Polipundit
Sean Gleeson
bLogicus
Back of the Envelope
Drink This …

UPDATE (9:33 PM): Arthur Chrenkoff sees a pattern of exploitation in the Kerry/Edwards campaign’s use of the handicapped:

John Edwards is engaging in cynical political game at the expense of the sick and the suffering. Not satisfied with using triple amputees to deliver letters for the Kerry campaign, the Dems are now using the chronically ill and the incapacitated to whack Bush over the head: you see, Bush is mean, because he provokes the terrorists, he makes your gas more expensive, and he sends your jobs overseas. He’s so mean, in fact, that he will keep the sick sick for the sake of his extremist moral agenda.

And I do mean “use” literally and pejoratively.

UPDATE (10:04 PM): This post just merged at high speed into today’s Beltway Traffic Jam.

UPDATE (10:17 PM): Paul at Wizbang is as pithy as you can hope to be.

UPDATE (11:59 PM): Before you revel in embryo stem cell dreams, consider the proven nightmares.

16 Comments