Saturday, June 25, 2005

Been there, done that, wasn't acceptable

Paul Greenberg: A modest proposal takes a look at how some people these days seem to be going down paths that led to no good before. He starts with Arlen Specter's justification for subsidizing stem cell research on human embryos, and goes from there.
...Remember the various experiments the Japanese performed on prisoners of war during the 1940s? These subjects were going to be worked to death anyway, so why not put them to some scientific use? Back then we could see through such rationalizations. Not even the records of those experiments would be used.


All seemed to understand what didn't have to be said back then: This research was . . . unclean. To touch it would be to defile oneself, and risk infection by the same ethical absence that motivated the experiments in the first place.

There is no scientific explanation for such a feeling; it is just there. Call it the wisdom of repugnance...
Read the rest of the column

1 comment:

Christina Dunigan said...


When I look at the way embryos are just handed over for medical "experiments," I don't know which image to bear in mind:

1. Josef Mengele and his "experiments" on Jewish twins that were just fuel for the ovens anyay.

2. The scene from the Monty Pythonnn movie in which the "overpopulated" Catholic father announces that since he can't feed his brood any more, "it's medicall experiments for the lot of you."