Christopher Reeve

Rusty links to a statement by Patrick Reardon asking the question, why is the life of Christopher Reeve or Michael J. Fox worth more than the life of the embryos they would kill by the research they promote? A very good question.

I’d ask another question: Why are these men regarded as moral heroes when their only cause is to deny life to others for their own benefit? I am sorry for the family of Christopher Reeve, and I’m sorry for the suffering he went through. Likewise for Michael J. Fox. But I do not regard it as a great act of moral bravery that they agitate for a cause that they perceive will benefit them directly, whatever the moral value of the cause. Even if embryonic research was a morally neutral cause (which it is not), why is it an act of bravery and moral courage to promote research which will cure you of a disease you have? What would impress me would be someone who has one of those diseases and yet works against embryonic stem cell research. In other words, someone who promotes a cause that doesn’t directly benefit them.

Maybe I’m wrong about these guys? Maybe they gave a lot of money to disabled causes before they themselves were disabled?


4 thoughts on “Christopher Reeve

  1. Matt how in the world does advocating Stem Cell Research translate into ‘denying life’ to anyone? Those blastocyes don’t dome from aborted fetuses. They come from IVF procedures. If we could totally ban stem cell research world-wide, we would prevent a single aborted pregnancy. If we could totally ban IVF procedures world-wide, we would not prevent a single aborted pregnancy.

    Why? Because embryos used in IVF and to create embryonic stem cell lines don’t come from aborted fetuses.
    However we could certainly prevent thousands of children from existing if we banned IVF, and we could plausibly deny millions of people life saving treatment by banning ESCR. So where is the ‘denying life’ aspect to ESCR and/or IVF?

  2. DS,
    You have to destroy the fetus in order to harvest the stem cells from it. Yes, I think any reproductive technology which creates fetuses which will simply be destroyed is immoral of itself, whether or not the stem cells will be harvested from those fetuses or embryos. Embryonic stem cell research is just another step along the road of devaluing life, a road we’re already pretty far along.

  3. I am advocating the elimination of any procedure which creates fetuses which will then be destroyed. IVF, as I understand it, creates many fetuses, implants some of them and discards the rest. This is the wilful destruction of life, and the creation of life is no justification for the destruction of other life. If there is a way of performing IVF that does not deliberately create fetuses that will be destroyed, then I’d not oppose it, but I’m unfamiliar with such a procedure.

    Now I’m not an expert on these techniques. I’m taking a moral position here, not a scientific one. Any technology that deliberately begins human life only to destroy it is immoral. That, to my understanding, applies to IVF, therapeutic cloning, embryonic research and, of course, abortion.

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