Saturday, May 28, 2005

A question:

Gov. Mitt Romney vetoed a bill Friday to expand stem cell experiments in Massachusetts...because extracting the stem cells destroys embryos.

Is there any conceivable non-religious justification for Romney's position? Is there any way at all to justify it besides arguing that human life is sacred for sectarian religious reasons (i.e. something along the lines of "because man was made in the image of God")?


At 6:50 PM, Blogger aija said...

The only possible other argument I've heard (and i'm a bio student) is that it is the unauthorized use of genetic material, which does constitute personal property (or at least it does in Canada, where I live). While private companies can patent genes, they cannot patent genomes, so one's genetic composition occupies a unique place vis-a-vis the law. In addition, the procuration of embryonic tissue continues to be a sore point - because in Canada, you cannot sell or otherwise exchange body tissues or cells for gain. Prospective mothers or women undergoing abortions might not be considered emotionally competent to sign away fetal tissue, notwithstanding the fact that contracts often are not legally rigorous enough to stand in a court. In addition, what about the fathers? Do they have any say over the tissue?
Personally, I am in favour of stem cell work, if there are good justifications made for the work done, and the parents of the fetus' tissue are properly informed and comprehending of what happens when they sign on the dotted line.


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