August 23, 2007


Back in February, 2006, Congress, considered bills that would have allowed stem cell research using embryos that are slated to be destroyed anyway. These are fertilized eggs that were left over from in-vitro fertilizations and frozen in case the initial implantations didn’t result in a child. When the couple who were trying to have a child successfully became pregnant, these eggs weren’t needed and have remained in stasis.

The eggs can’t remain frozen forever, though. They have a shelf-life of a certain number of years after which they must be destroyed or the cells will simply die. So, they’re thawed out and thrown into the trash in bio-hazard bags. Thousands of eggs are destroyed weekly.

Of course, Bush promised to veto any bill that crossed his desk that sought to use these eggs rather than throw them away because he ostensibly believes that using them to save lives diminishes them. It is lacking in ‘dignity’. Being thrown in the trash is preferable to benefiting people who are, I guess, less human, more expendable, and somehow less deserving of dignity than the embryos are.
Now, fast-forward to a person who was an embryo once upon a time. A soldier who is stationed in Iraq. He or she is driving around in a truck that has no armor. It has no doors, either. In his or her time off, the soldier scavenges for spare steel plating and doors, hunting for ways to make his or her truck stronger and safer. This young man or woman, whom Bush sent to Iraq, is less deserving of protection than an embryo.

When a roadside bomb goes off, assuming the person survives, she or he may lose an arm or a leg or part of his or her brain because our government sends our troops into battle with inadequate equipment.

Ironically, the research that Bush has vowed to veto could one day conceivably restore this soldier to health—along with my mother who has Alzheimer’s Disease—and someone with Parkinson’s Disease—and someone else with cancer or heart disease.

But that soldier, my mother and the person with Parkinson’s aren’t deserving of dignity. I guess they should have had the good sense to remain embryos. They shouldn’t have grown into children and matured into adulthood. Then, according to Bush, they would have been worth protecting.

btw-- The research might help my cousin, too [see post above.] He might be able to go back to work if his spine could be repaired.

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