The Corner

Re: Stem Cells and Bush

An e-mail:

Two further points regarding your response to Corn:

1. I wonder how many infertile couples were even aware that frozen embryos were available for adoption? Had my former wife and I known this, and we were never told any such thing was possible, we might have taken that route. There are millions of those kinds of couples out there. Additional point for Mr. Corn: This Catholic didn’t take the IVF route for the very reason of “leftover” embryos. I find that morally unconscionable and while having a deep understanding of the pain and anxiety of infertile couples I still see IVF as utterly narcissistic.

2. Having spent six years in a tier-one university pharmaceutical research environment (as a technical support professional in the labs) I learned quite a bit about the nature of research, including failed experiments, wrong track, simple mistakes and of course, new ideas and directions. So here’s a question for Mr. Corn: Do you really believe that 400,000 embryos are enough to do the basic research so many are clamoring for, and if not, where do you propose we “find” the additional millions of embryos necessary to do this research? Now watch him “bob and weave.”

It’s ridiculous to believe that over the next ten years and beyond, that an entire research, medical and pharmaceutical industry segment won’t be operating at full tilt if we cross this line. Just like any other industry, it will have an ongoing and most likely insatiable appetite for “raw” material. The argument that just dozens of new lines will keep the researchers busy for years to come is true, but irrelevant. Each lab at each university in the never-ending pursuit of grant money will come up with new approaches requiring new lines. The prospect is terrifying. And this doesn’t even touch on the issue of actual production once some future research demonstrates results. Brave new world. Life imitates art once again.

It’s probably too late now due to the South Korean lab, but there is still value to standing athwart history…well, you know that one. Keep it up.


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