Getting beyond stem-cell ethics obstacles.
In a recent Wall Street Journal opinion piece (registration required), Princeton's Robert P. George teamed up with Dr. Markus Grompe -- "a professor of genetics at the Oregon Health and Science University, director of the Oregon Stem Cell Center and a member of the International Society for Stem Cell Research" -- to herald the promise of an alternative to ethically challenged embryonic-stem-cell research.
NRO Editor Kathryn Lopez recently asked George, a member of the President's Council on Bioethics, to talk a little about the future of stem-cell research and some of the heated rhetoric surrounding the issue.
National Review Online: Last week in the New York Times, Mario Cuomo wrote "So far neither Mr. Bush nor religious believers have convinced a majority of Americans that the use of embryonic stem cells inevitably entails the murder of a human being. Most Americans, vividly aware of the millions of tragic victims of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, cancer and spinal cord injuries, believe that embryonic stem cell research may provide cures. They will demand that Congress act to realize that potential."
You must have been fuming.
Robert P. George: One really does wish that Governor Cuomo would defend his views with arguments. If he really thinks that human embryos are something other than human beings at the earliest stage of their natural development, he should state his reasons for believing such a thing. He should explain to us the basis of his judgment, if it is indeed his judgment, that every major text in the field of human embryology is simply in error on the point. After all, the question of whether a human embryo is or is not a whole living member of the species Homo sapiens is not one to be resolved in the mind of any conscientious citizen or morally serious policymaker by examining public-opinion polling data.
At the same time, it should be noted that Cuomo doesn't even manage to do justice to public-opinion polls on the question of embryo-killing. For what it is worth, polls stating the question in an unbiased fashion tend to show that a majority of Americans do not support the practice of destroying human embryos for biomedical research, and certainly oppose the creation of embryos by cloning for research -- so-called "therapeutic cloning" -- or any other purpose.
Read this article on the National Review Online website (new window will open).