Friday, December 29, 2006

Stem Cell Research : You Can't Handle the Truth

A Public Pulse letter in yesterday's Omaha World-Herald said it was “shameful” to describe embryonic stem cell research as cannibalism. Critics of Harriet Beecher Stowe called her a shameful extremist for writing “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” Her offense was that she forced her critics to embrace the truth of their position.

The dictionary defines cannibalism as taking something apart and putting its parts into other things. Think of a car. When you strip it down for spare parts and put those parts into other cars, you cannibalize the car.

That’s what embryonic stem cell research advocates want to do with embryonic humans — take them apart and put their parts, their stem cells, into other humans to cure them of diseases.

Not only does this research fit the dictionary definition of cannibalism, but it also fits the more sensational meaning.

The fall 2006 edition of “UNMC Discovers” gushes about a University of Nebraska Medical Center researcher trying to turn embryonic stem cells into liver cells to be implanted in people with diseased livers. This would skip the digestive system, but it still would be one human consuming the remains of another.

Shameful, indeed.

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