While defending President Bush’s veto of legislation to expand federally financed research on embryonic stem cells, White House press secretary Tony Snow said,”The president believes strongly that for the purpose of research it’s inappropriate for the federal government to finance something that many people consider murder. He’s one of them.” Today, though, Snow had to do some back-pedaling. When asked if Bush considered it murder, Snow said: “He would not use that term.”
Snow said he was sorry the remark became a subject for White House chief of staff Josh Bolten in an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday. But Bolton also has his own terminology troubles. “The president thinks that that embryo, that fertilized embryo, is a human life that deserves protection,” Bolten said. “I haven’t spoken to [the President] about the use of particular terminology. ”
Before Bolten has that talk with Bush, he might want to learn the terminology himself. Is it any wonder that many Americans confuse “eggs” with “embryos” when the President’s own advisor uses terms such as “fertilized embryo?”
Over the weekend, someone pointed out to me the complicated nature of the commenting process. As an author, I’m always logged in, so I wasn’t aware of what visitors had to go through post comments. In short, the commenting procedure has just been revised to make it easier to weigh-in on the posts.
Please avail yourself of the easier commenting procedure and let us know what you think about our posts.
Also, we soon will have some new authors joining us. More soon . . .
The European Union science programme should not be used to give financial incentives to kill embryos . . . The current proposal from the European Commission and the European Parliament does not rule this out.
The letter was timed to coincide with the debate and vote in the United States Senate on the Bush stem cell funding policy. Dr. Prentice was given no opportunity to publish a response. Indeed, the timing scarcely enabled him to compose, much less publish anywhere, a rebuttal before the Senate floor debate.
. . .
the claim that Neaves and his co-authors refute is not the claim that Prentice made. This is a blatant instance of the classical fallacy Ignoratio Elenchi (also called “irrelevant conclusion”: presenting an argument that may actually prove something, but something quite different from what you claim it proves). They have distorted (by exaggeration) Prentice’s claim, refuted the distorted version of the claim, and then impugned Prentice’s integrity for allegedly making it. This is blatant rhetorical abuse.
Worth reading for content as well as for method of argument.
The peer-reviewed Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine contains an article (PDF) by a doctor in Lisbon Portugal who is treating spinal cord injury patients with their own stem cells. This is the same doctor who treated Jacki Rabon, a young lady who told her story at a June “Toast to Adult and Cord Blood Stem Cells” (video here).
While this law struck me as creative thinking on how to solve the problem of rising costs for the state to care for the uninsured, I’m not surprised that it’s been struck down. What if Wal-Mart could meet the need for less than 8% of payroll? What if 8% would not meet the need in any meaningful way? The judge concluded “the law would have hurt Wal-Mart by requiring it to track and allocate benefits for its Maryland employees in a different way from how it keeps track of employee benefits in other states.”
This bill would support the taking of innocent human life of the hope of finding medical benefits for others. It crosses a moral boundary that our society needs to respect, so I vetoed it. –President Bush
For that matter, aspirin is a drug but by [the writers and editors of Science] standards it only has potential use for aches and pains since it never went through the clinical-trial process and the FDA has never given it formal approval.