The SanityPrompt

This blog represents some small and occasional efforts to add a note of sanity to discussions of politics and policy. This blog best viewed with Internet Explorer @ 1024x768

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Arlen Specter Confirms He Is Schizophrenic

Or maybe that is multiple personality disorder. This from the AP: - Stem cell debate moves to the Senate

"Meanwhile, the Republican chief sponsor of the Senate bill, Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., who is being treated for cancer, made a personal appeal for quick action on behalf of the nation's critically ill, 'some of them, myself. "


He went on to say:

"I look in the mirror very day, barely recognize myself," said Specter, whose hair has been lost to chemotherapy treatment. "And not to have the availability of the best of medical care is simply atrocious."

It's not simply that, but the Bush position isn't even about life or his so called culture of life. Because the embryonic stem cells that are at issue are coming from fertility clinics that will otherwise dispose of them. Given the millions of parents/couples who go through fertility treatment each year, I am skeptical (to say the least) of Bush's claim that the legislation gives incentives to people to create embryo's only for the sake of the research.

IVF treatments involve stimulating a woman's ovaries so that they produce tens of egg-filled sacks over their surface and then puncturing each sack with a needle to extract the egg before they are released. The gathered eggs are then fertilized creating anywhere between 4-20 embryos for a fertility cycle. The couple decides how many embryos to place in the uterus and wait to see if any take. Twins and triplets are highly likely from this procedure so doctors usually counsel placing no more than 4-5 eggs in at a time. So what happens with the other 15 eggs? The couple can freeze the eggs and if the IVF cycle fails, try to implant another 5. But frozen eggs are less effective than fresh ones so doctors often counsel the family to start an IVF cycle with hormone treatments afresh. When the couple gets pregnant and/or decides they no longer want to pursue IVF, the eggs are discarded or used for clinical studies (but of course, not anymore) Fertility clinics give couples whose beliefs make them uncomfortable with this the option to inject the embryos into the uterus after pregnancy is confirmed where they are flushed from the system, the uterine lining being unable to accept any additional embryos once one is already implanted. So down the toilet, through the clinics medical waste or in the uterus, the end result is the same -- 'wanton destruction of human life.'

If Bush were to step forward and say he wants a law that would ban fertility treatments, or require that all eggs be used for the legitimate efforts to create children (i.e. none of the above activity) then I might give him some credit for consistency even if I would oppose him with every breath I have. But to take the position he has, given the 'wanton' destruction of millions of embryos each year, his position can only be described as the rankest hypocrisy. Gee, there's a surprise.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:


<< Home