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John Wayne's Holster: Fetus Farmer Frist
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Sunday, July 31, 2005

Fetus Farmer Frist

Senator Bill Frist (R-Tenn) broke ranks with President Bush Friday by endorsing the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act (HR 810), which the House passed in May. Bush has promised to veto the bill if it reaches the oval office.

The legislation essentially calls for a repeal on the policy Predident Bush set out in August of 2001. The Bush policy neither funds nor bans embryo research. It simply restricts the use of federal funds for such research. States and private entities are not bound by the President’s policy.

Senator Frist contends that he is merely reaffirming the position he has held since 2001. In a speech on the Senate floor, Frist stated his belief that embryonic stem cells “uniquely hold specific promise for some therapies and potential cures that adult stem cells cannot provide.

Critics of the bill were quick to point out the problems encountered with embryonic stem cell therapies being tested in animals – including the development of tumors. In addition, they point out that there are currently no human therapies derived from embryonic stem cell research, while there are over 60 such therapies derived from research on adult stem cells that are used to treat conditions such as spinal cord injuries, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis and sickle cell anemia.

Frist was careful to point out that he only supports research on stem cells extracted from existing embryos that "would otherwise be discarded." Frist added that the “[research] must be done in a way that is ethically considerate, that respects the dignity of human life…"

What? His statement is a contradiction of itself! No more needs to be said about that.

Perhaps Frist is correct in his assessment of the potential benefits of embryonic stem cell research, but does that legitimize an inhumane practice that rejects the dignity inherent in individuals? A practice that reduces the embryo to a piece of property valued only for what it yields at harvest. Why not take this logic a step further. Thousands of people with life-threatening ailments are currently on lists awaiting organs for transplantation. Why not go into the prisons, take all the people on death row, and harvest their organs. After all, those people are going to die anyway.

Many conservative were surprised at the sudden shift in policy by Frist. As recently as June, Frist stated that he supported the President’s policy. Many see it as a political move – Frist tossing his hat into the 2008 Presidential race. It is a shame to see Frist put politics ahead of principle.

Are there no real statesmen left?


At 7:16 PM, Anonymous Roy said...

I think this was a good political move for Frist, this will allow him to become more mainstream. I still do not have a firm position on this issue yet but if the cells are already here and will be thrown away then I would say we should use them. If the cells are going to be created solely for the destruction or solely to harvest then I would be against. Fortunately science is not my thing therefore I do not get to invested either way. PS there have been no statesman in this country for quite some time, only politicians.


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