“If human embryonic stem cell research does not make you at least a little bit uncomfortable, you have not thought about it enough.”
During the the years we have been embroiled in the embryonic stem cell debate, the people who defended life in all its stages were routinely vilified as agenda driven wackos who cared more about a clump of cells than sick people. The lunatic fringe. Of course this was never true. We were consistent in our defense of life and the notion that the ends do not justify the means. Even some self identified pro-life politicians came down on the side of human life destroying research. Those who would not yield on this point were considered the fringe of the fringe.
Now things are changing rapidly. With the advancements recently announced that undercut any argument that continued destruction of human life in the name of research is necessary, even those at the forefront of this research now admit that the enterprise made them “uncomfortable.”
This brings me back to the quote with which I started this post. It does not come from a radical pro-lifer, rather it comes from the man who brought us embryonic stem cell research in the first place, Dr. James A. Thomson. From the NY Times.
“If human embryonic stem cell research does not make you at least a little bit uncomfortable, you have not thought about it enough,” he said. “I thought long and hard about whether I would do it.”
Dr. Thompson is also one of the scientists who have developed the new methodology that may remove the need to destroy embryos to obtain the needed cells. The other leading pioneer, Dr Iam Wilmut just this week abandoned the research involving embryo destruction citing among his reasons as ongoing ethical concerns. I find it stunning that the two leading scientists who paved the way for the destruction of so many embryos now admit that they too understood the ethical implications of their work.
I suddenly don’t feel so fringe anymore.