Human Exceptionalism

Late Embryo Farming for Cells or Organs

In Will Saletan’s fourth installment in Slate, he demonstrates further how embryonic stem cell research is not going to remain in the Petri dish. Now, some apparently have decided to draw the line that cannot be crossed (yea, right) at the transition point from embryo to fetus, meaning 8 weeks or so. That would permit cloning, implantation, and harvesting or drug testing of late stage embryos. I don’t know if Saletan approves or disapproves. This isn’t the point. What he has done ably is reveal a mindset that, by a process of continual redefinition of terms and stretching of moral boundaries, will steadily move cloning through implantation, organ harvesting, birth, and into genetic engineering. The goal is unfettered research. Coming next, by the way, the claim that there is a constitutional right to do scientific research, which if imposed by the courts, would mark the end of any meaningful societal controls over science.

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