Human Exceptionalism

Georgia Outlaws Assisted Suicide/Texas Legalizes Adult Stem Cell Experiments for Pay

This blog is written in real time. It is primarily commentary, not journalism, in the literal sense.  It also seeks to engage readers in discussions about the cutting edge issues of human exceptionalism, bioethics, animal rights, scientism, radical misanthropic environmentalism, etc..  A lot is going on about all these issues and so the discussion often moves from issue to issue the way a hummingbird does from flower to flower.

But that sometimes means I fail to report how things we discussed played out.  I hope to improve on this lapse as we go forward.

Two stories discussed here at SHS recently have now reached their conclusions. I have good news and bad: First the good news. I wrote here in support of a proposed law to outlaw assisted suicide after Georgia’s Supreme Court (rightly) overturned the previous law on First Amendment Grounds. I wrote in part:

The Georgia Supreme Court threw out a badly written law that made it a crime, essentially, to advertise to assist suicide but not actually do the deed.  Bad law led to an unforunate, but I think correct, legal ruling.  But it left Georgia as a wild, wild, West of assisted suicide with no law on the books. After all, that which isn’t illegal, is legal. Now legislation has been filed in Georgia to remedy the problem with a real ban.

The legislation passed and assisted suicide is now the law of Georgia.  Hooray.

Now the bad news: A proposed Texas regulation allowing doctors to provide–for pay–experimental and unapproved (by the FDA) adult stem cell treatments was finalized.  I opined:

If the FDA is dragging their feet in approving adult therapies, we should light a match. But states should not seek to circumvent crucial ethical rules that exist for the protection of human research subjects. That road leads to biotech anarchy. It could be dangerous. But beyond that, it just isn’t right.

But Texas didn’t listen. I predict we will see the same type of clashes with the use of unauthorized adult stem cell treatments with the Feds–particularly if something goes wrong–that we have seen with medical marijuana.

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