Thursday, July 29

Ron Reagan, Boy Scientist; OR, Give Pro-Lifers a Choice

Did anybody listen to Ron Reagan pitching stem cell research to the Democratic Party Convention on Tuesday? He, like his father, can harness his own delusions to create simple and compelling visions:

Now, imagine going to a doctor who, instead of prescribing drugs, takes a few skin cells from your arm. The nucleus of one of your cells is placed into a donor egg whose own nucleus has been removed. A bit of chemical or electrical stimulation will encourage your cell's nucleus to begin dividing, creating new cells which will then be placed into a tissue culture. Those cells will generate embryonic stem cells containing only your DNA, thereby eliminating the risk of tissue rejection. These stem cells are then driven to become the very neural cells that are defective in Parkinson's patients. And finally, those cells with your DNA are injected into your brain where they will replace the faulty cells whose failure to produce adequate dopamine led to the Parkinson's disease in the first place.

In other words, you're cured. And another thing, these embryonic stem cells, they could continue to replicate indefinitely and, theoretically, can be induced to recreate virtually any tissue in your body. How'd you like to have your own personal biological repair kit standing by at the hospital? Sound like magic? Welcome to the future of medicine.

Not that stem cells are chopped liver, but — way to overkill, Ron-boy. I know the Demo leadership wanted him up there to show that the Reagan kids hate G.W., but couldn't Ron stick to something he knows about? Like, uh...Ballet?

And, I don't know about you, but with the "personal biological repair kit" thing I thought he was talking about keeping a clone of me in a hospital drawer, ready to bin-out for spares whenever I need them.

Later, he tries to sell the "its only a bunch of cells" POV to the right-to-lifer-but-scared-of-Altzheimers:

It is a hallmark of human intelligence that we are able to make distinctions. Yes, these cells could theoretically have the potential, under very different circumstances, to develop into human beings — that potential is where their magic lies. But they are not, in and of themselves, human beings. They have no fingers and toes, no brain or spinal cord. They have no thoughts, no fears. They feel no pain. Surely we can distinguish between these undifferentiated cells multiplying in a tissue culture and a living, breathing person — a parent, a spouse, a child.

Uh, yeah, but viable embryos in the womb likewise "...have no fingers and toes, no brain or spinal cord. They have no thoughts, no fears. They feel no pain." What's your point? You might be able to trick the right-to-lifers for a while, but they'll remember soon enough that they are in the business of not drawing lines between fertilized eggs and squalling babies.

I say: don't dodge the issue, sharpen it. Tell the anti-choice lunatics that they can live forever, but they've got to mince-up teensy unborn babies to do it. They'll take that deal (they never gave a damn about babies anyway), and that'll put a stake through the heart of the abortion issue once and for all.

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