Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Stem Cells, Ethics, and Ideals

Since Obama signed an executive order ending Bush's executive order that denies federal dollars for stem cell research on human embryos, the debate about stem cell research has hit the news again.

On thing I am noticing is how each side is careful to articulate their point. On the anti-stem cell side, the word "ethics" is thrown out there. Scientific research must fall within acceptable ethical boundaries. Destroying human life for the sake of scientific research is unethical, even if that research could lead to cures for many horrible illnesses.

On the pro-stem cell research side the word thrown around is "ideals." They argue that scientists don't study ideals, they study facts. Ideals are for politicians, not scientists.

I expect we will be hearing a lot more on this front. I also suspect that those opposing stem cell research will find themselves on the losing end of this battle.