Thursday, December 20, 2007

Don't Stigmatize Me Bro! [Serge]

Another claim by destructive ESCR proponents is that it is not the ethical restrictions themselves which are slowing the research, but the "stigma" that is now attached to this type of research because of people like me. Here is how James Thompson states it:

Unfortunately, under the policy President Bush outlined on Aug. 9, 2001, at most 21 stem cell lines derived from embryos before that date are eligible for federal funding. American innovation in the field thus faces inherent limitations. Even more significant, the stigma resulting from the policy surely has discouraged some talented young Americans from pursuing stem cell research.
His wording is important. The stigma attached to doing this work is actually worse than the restrictions that Bush has placed on the federal funding of this work. This is discouraging young scientists from entering this field.

My gut response, admittedly not exactly rational, is simply to state that this is one of the weakest, whiniest, childish arguments that I have ever heard. Those poor scientists that just want our taxes to destroy embryos are having their feelings hurt because there are some of us think it that human embryos have intrinsic value. Poor things.

Let me address this more rationally. First, I would like to ask what exactly stigma there is involved in this research. We constantly hear from destructive ESCR supporters that the majority of Americans support their research. Unlike almost all other investigators, ESCR scientists have the option of relocating to California or New Jersey where they will go through the stigmatizing process of applying for some of the billions of dollars of taxpayer money that has been aside for that purpose. Stigma? If someone offered me a huge grant to relocate to sunny California to take out wisdom teeth at huge taxpayer expense - I wouldn't complain too much.

Second, if there was stigma attached, maybe it is because of some actions of the scientists themselves. South Korea once put Hwang Woo-Suk's work on a stamp alongside with someone walking out of a wheelchair. The result was a national embarrassment and an example of one of the worst scientific frauds of this century. It would seem that he is more responsible for stigmatizing scientists that any of us.

Third, is it true that the scientists not only want our money and permission to do this controversial research - but they also demand our acceptance? Should we not ask important ethical questions regarding any research out of fear that we may hurt the feelings and stigmatize those interested in such controversial research? Are the intrepid trailblazers of this "revolutionary" technology so emotionally soft that they can't accept any ethical questioning at all?

Sorry guys, if you choose to do research that intentionally kills human organism, you will need to expect ethical concerns. If you are not strong enough to take the criticism, you may be smart enough to be a scientist, but maybe you just have the stomach for it.

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments are moderated. We reject all comments containing obscenity. We reserve the right to reject any and all comments that are considered inappropriate or off-topic without explanation.