Saturday, July 30, 2005

Bill Frist's Ideological Split From Bush On Stem Cell Research

There are several factors at work in Senator Bill Frist's break from Bush over the controversial issue of stem cell research. To those in the prolife community, research on these life products are akin to parting out some humans to repair others, a highly moral suspect position. But to others in the scientific community, and much of the public, the prospect at repairing damaged genetic codes which probably hold the key to many serious diseases may be found in the scientific study to use these human embryos, which would face destruction anyway, would appear to some as a moral use of these human life materials. Bill Frist finds himself as a doctor caught between these world's. As a prolife Republican, which argument has the greater moral value tears at Bill Frist.

From a number of factors, Bill Frist has come down on the side of embryotic stem cell research. One is his role as a doctor to battle human suffering. Another is that since these embryos would face destuction if not used, a good scientific use seems to hold some moral value. Another is those conservative's since the Reagan death, such as Nancy Reagan that believed stem cell research may have helped her husband. Another is the strength of companies in the stem cell research to influence this important political leader with large campaign contributions, and in another sense it makes George Bush a lame duck president, and raises the regard for Frist among many centrist voters for his own presidential ambitions in 2008. And after a wrongful videotape diagnosis in the Terri Schiavo case, that brought some critical attacks by some, Frist is in need of an issue that his medical expertise can forcefully represent. His education and background as a doctor can well state a case for a medical issue like this, and to champion it would not only help medical research, but allow a spotlight for Frist.

I have split feelings on the issue myself. I could use the stem cell research to help with the serious autoimmune problems I am having, but I am also concerned that it in no way will increase abortions or lead to a society of parting out some humans to help others medically. I'd rather die than violate that moral standard. But if the research can be morally and respectfully done to respect life in all regards, then I feel it may offer some hope to many with serious health problems that conventional medicine cannot help.

There are other life products such as male sperm that will pass with the urine if the prostate gland is full. And an egg is lost in the menstrual cycle with the female. So for a life product such as an embryo to be a subject of medical research, although a fertilized product may not be far from normal human body processes that dispose of extra life products normally. Yet I think this question still requires a prayerful guidance from God from all involved for the proper moral answer to this question.


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