President Bush: How Do You Explain Two Issues?
Mr. President Bush, I’ve got two issues to pick with you and I would appreciate hearing the answers. I have been thinking about them for the past several days and lo and behold, the questions popped up today on a bioethics listserv to which I subscribe. Perhaps you will be able to explain them to me and us in non-political terms. OK? [Note: Each issue was written by a separate ethicist and I have excerpted their words, in quotes, in a way to fit the context of my posting but the meaning and significance of their questions are unchanged.]
If you are “so concerned with embryos why is no one trying to make it illegal for IVF clinics to destroy embryos in the first place? Shouldn't they be up in arms about that if they are opposed to using them for research? … if this concern for embryos were well thought out, the same people would want to require that all ‘leftover’ embryos be adopted and implanted or at least not destroyed.”
And the other issue..
President Bush, you seem to be against the concept, as the listserv writer put it, “the noble aspiration [finding cures through use of embryonic stem cells] to justify the
ignoble action [killing of 'our embryonic cousins']. … No matter how promising the
ends, we must not use immoral means to achieve them.”
Now, Mr. Bush, might you not apply your, as the listserv writer continued, “strict moral principle as well to real-live
human beings - say, with regard to the killing in a ‘preemptive’ war,
as in Iraq.”? “Substitute the word ‘Iraq’ for ‘embryonic stem cells:’
‘The noble aspiration [finding weapons of mass destruction, deposing
a dictator, saving future lives - whatever one that's au courant] to
justify the ignoble action [killing and destroying the lives of
innocent Iraqi citizens, American troops, and others].’ Even if the
full status of personhood were conferred on embryos, why should
conscious human beings living real lives be given less consideration?
How can they be used as means to an end, however worthy?”
Mr. Bush, many others and I would be more understanding of your stand if you could answer these questions and explain the logic. Thanks. ..Maurice.
p.s. I thank my two anonymous ethicists for their fine words which I used for this posting.