<$BlogRSDURL$> abbr, acronym { cursor: help; font-style: normal; font-weight:bold; color: #2a548d; /*border-bottom: 1px solid; */ }

Eminent Domain Stuff

New London Update (2/24/06)
Coverage of the Rally at New London's City Hall (w/ pics)

Monday, April 12, 2004

In response to “What Gives?”

I will do my best to address your concerns and make my position a bit clearer.

You correctly pointed out that I wrote, “[IVF] can sometimes be medically necessary, or at least beneficial, in the case of gender-specific disease risks.” Let me point out that I did not endorse IVF; I only indicated that it can be medically necessary or beneficial…and I was remiss in not adding, “if one wishes to have a ‘biologically related’ child.”

There are lots of things in life that are beneficial (and sometimes even seemingly necessary) but morally wrong. Do I think IVF is morally wrong? Yes. Would I argue that it should not be conduced in a fashion that necessitates the discarding of zygotes? Yes. I know, I know, many of you are out there thinking that I’m crazy. Maybe I am. However, I do honestly believe that the zygote, having the requisite genetic complement and (this is important) the potential to naturally develop into a fully developed human being in the absence of outside interference, is deserving of our protection.

The issues surrounding human-mouse (etc.) chimera cell lines and the possibility/certainty that a human being will be cloned from a somatic cell fall into the same moral category. Here is the basic issue, as far as I am concerned (and I will admit that I have yet to hear anyone else put it exactly this way, so here’s to going out on a limb).

A collection of matter deserves our protection if, in its natural environment, it has the potential to develop into a fully formed human being. That includes zygotes produced by the natural process of sexual intercourse, artificial insemination, IFV, etc. A case against this position might be made by pointing out that certain fertilization events (as already cited, ~50%) end in spontaneous abortion. Therefore, the argument might go, we would end up with a mutable definition of Life given that we will one day gain the ability to predict which fertilization events will end in spontaneous abortion and which will make it to term. To that, I would reply that it is the potential that is important. I suppose that if, one day, we end up knowing things like this in an absolute sense…well, we’ll be indistinguishable from God. Until that day I think it’s safe to conclude that we will never know anything about the future with absolutely no possibility of error.

With respect to the double-homicide-of-a-pregnant-women law. This argument is moot simply because the correctness of the law must depend solely on whether or not a zygote/embryo/fetus is alive. If it is, then such an act is a double homicide and vice versa. After all, to my knowledge it’s still a double murder if one bullet kills the intended target, passes through and kills an unintended target.

As for the specifics of your closing paragraph, you equate the double homicide issue with that of spontaneous abortion. These are obviously very different issues. The former is dealt with above while the latter is a natural process and, therefore, is beyond the control (and also culpability) of a pregnant woman and every other human being.

In the end, this is one of the most important issues of our time. I hope that we will continue to have discussions such as this one at all levels of society and government so that, perhaps one day, we will do the right thing…whatever it is.


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?