Friday, December 4, 2009

Defending Human Dignity

Al Mohler has commented on a recent decision by Dr. Fancis Collins concerning the use of human embryos in scientific research.

The defense of human dignity is the responsibility of all human beings, but certain individuals bear a special responsibility due to position or influence. This is certainly the case with Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health...

Throughout the confirmation process, Collins appeared to reassure scientists that he would support the President's policy. That assurance was made clear on December 2, when Dr. Collins announced the NIH approval of the first 13 additional stem cell lines for federally funded research. Collins said:

"I am happy to say that we now have human embryonic stem cell lines eligible for use by our research community under our new stem cell policy. . . . In accordance with the guidelines, these stem cell lines were derived from embryos that were donated under ethically sound informed consent processes. More lines are under review now, and we anticipate continuing to expand this list of responsibly derived lines eligible for NIH funding."

In making his statement about the new cell lines for federally funded research, Collins defended his policy with very strange language. As The Washington Post reported, Collins said, "I think that there is an argument to be made that what is being done is ethically acceptable, even if you believe in the inherent sanctity of the human embryo."

An argument can be made? Arguing that "an argument can be made" is no substitute for making the argument. Dr. Collins must now take personal responsibility for the use of additional stem cell lines that required the destruction of human embryos. When he says that such research is conducted according to "ethical" guidelines he is repeating the pattern of President Obama, who limits the "ethical" concern to the fact that the human embryos were derived with donor consent. In another evasion, the NIH is prevented by congressional action from funding the actual destruction of the embryo, so it allows other entities to fund that process, taking over after the embryo is destroyed.

Read the entire article HERE.

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