We must respect life, including stem cells

August 18, 2005|By: Wendy Leece

Sen. Bill Frist betrayed his fellow conservatives when he decided to

support stem cell research. He may have thought his support for stem

cell research would help him should he run for president, but those

who truly understand this issue will not vote for someone who is

willing to go down the slippery slope of experimentation on human


To reason that it is acceptable to experiment on even "potential


life" is to clear the way for the acceptance of a host of other

research ideas that hold that one life is more valuable than another.

All lives are created equal, regardless of their size or perceived

handicaps, and all lives should be equally respected. Cures can be

found using adult stem cells or even stem cells from skin. Yes, we

would like to help those who suffer, but not at the expense of the

innocent and defenseless who cannot speak up for themselves. My own

mother had ALS but accepted her mortality. I believe she would not

have wanted to have taken the life of another, regardless of how

tiny, to allow for research to find a cure for ALS.

If you have visited the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in

Washington, D.C., and walked through the exhibit "Deadly Medicine:

Creating the Master Race," you will understand the justification

Hitler used for research on human beings. It is not too much of a

leap from embryonic stem cell research to devaluing the lives of --

in the words of the exhibit brochure -- the "mentally retarded or ill

and others deemed hereditarily inferior and a burden on the national

resources." Terri Schiavo's cruel death was an example of the power

of those (such as judges and her husband) who reckoned her life did

not have value, in the same way that those who support stem cell

research believe embryos have no value.

The common thread in all of these examples is the notion that each

life has a soul from conception to death. Human beings should not

play God and decide who lives and who dies for the sake of medical


Although Susan Bryant describes the embryo as being "smaller than

the period at the end of this sentence, so small that it is invisible

to the naked eye," the embryo is still potential life, and many

believe it possesses a soul and should not be destroyed or used for

experimentation for the greater good of mankind. I believe many who

voted to pass the ballot proposition did not understand the finer

details or the scientific and ethical issues involved and as time

goes on will come to see they were misled by those who support

embryonic stem cell research.

o7* Wendy Leece is a member of the Costa Mesa Parks Commission

and a former school board member.


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