July 20, 2001|
Senator Frist Endorses Killing Human Embryos
Senator Bill Frist (R-TN) is a physician. He is a heart and lung transplant surgeon. On July 18, Frist, who is considered an influential adviser on medical issues to President Bush, announced his support of taxpayer funding of research on human subjects who are at the embryonic stage of development.
Sen. Frist prefaced his remarks by pointing out the differing "beliefs" people have regarding the ethical and moral questions surrounding research on human embryos. He said, "Many believe that these days-old-embryos are human life and should not be used for research purposes under any circumstance." "Others believe that, because such embryos exist outside the womb at this early developmental stage, they are not yet life."
"Still others believe that, regardless of whether such embryos are life, the potential of embryonic stem cells should outweigh moral or ethical concerns about their uses for potentially life-saving research." Clearly, by endorsing research on human subjects that will not benefit them, but will kill them, Senator Frist belongs to the third category.
As a trained physician, he knows that this is not a question of belief. It is a matter of scientific fact that a human embryo is a unique, individual human being. He knows that every embryo that has ever lived existed outside the womb for the first week of life. When conception takes place naturally, it occurs in the fallopian tube, not the uterus. When unnatural means are used to engender a human life, as in in vitro fertilization, conception occurs in a petri dish. During the natural process, the tiny embryo travels through his motherís fallopian tube until he reaches the entrance to the uterus, where he implants in the uterine wall. The unnatural method involves implantation by doctors who remove the little one from the petri dish and physically implant him. Either way, the child exists outside the womb for a period of time.
In calling for the taxpayers to pay for research that will kill many in order to possibly cure others, Sen. Frist recommended that certain "safeguards" and "public accountability" be established in order to "govern this new, evolving research." He said the experiments should be confined to embryos "left over after in vitro fertilization and would otherwise be discarded." But then he called for a ban on embryo creation for research, saying, "The creation of human embryos solely for research purposes should be strictly prohibited." Why? If it is unacceptable to create human beings for research, why is it acceptable to kill those who have been orphaned by their parents? They could be adopted. They could be allowed to die a natural death. They are people, not property. No one has the right to kill them.
Senator Frist called for a rigorous informed consent process; a limitation on the number of cell lines to be created; establishment of a strong public research oversight system; ongoing, independent scientific and ethical review; a ban on human cloning; and more money for adult stem cell research. If itís a good thing to do, and worthy of support by a United States Senator/physician, why put so many restrictions on it -- unless his suggested "safeguards" are designed to provide the Bush administration and members of Congress with a means to salve their consciences if they decide to sanction this evil and force the American taxpayer into complicity with it.
"Physician, heal thyself." (Luke 4:23)
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