Monday, June 27, 2005

Those Frozen Embryos

From Paul Greenberg, via The Federalist:

"Did you see Arlen Specter's justification for subsidizing stem cell research on human embryos? The senator from Pennsylvania noted that 'there are some 400,000 of these frozen embryos, which were created for in-vitro fertilization, which are going to be thrown away....' So why not put them to good use?

For some reason -- can't imagine why -- listening to the senator brought back the reasoning that German doctors once used to justify their experiments on concentration camp inmates. They were going to die anyway; why just throw them away?

So these subjects of scientific curiosity would be dipped into freezing water to determine how long downed fighter pilots might be expected to survive in the North Atlantic. When they froze to death, the experiment was successfully concluded. Or the victims were injected with deadly germs to study the course of terrible diseases.

Yes, they died awful deaths, but science would be advanced, terrible plagues cured. It was all for the greater good. The trick is not to think of the subjects of these experiments as human, but as Jews, Slavs, Gypsies -- the eugenically undesirable.

And remember that they were doomed anyway, and you can see the (brutal) logic of it.

That's the trick in this case, too: Think of these embryos as something other than human, not as microcosms somehow programmed to turn into fully developed human beings with all of a human being's capacity for good -- and evil. Think of them as microscopic dots, as pre-human, or under-human, literally untermenschen, and anything we do with them is ethically permissible. Even commendable."

--Paul Greenberg

Nothing to add.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You folks lost the battle on this one when IVF was permitted to occur. A couple frozen cells to not a human being make. If these frozen cells are indeed human, how do you permit such cruelty to continue? They're FROZEN! That has gotta hurt...