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RE: [IP] Presiden'ts Decision

Julie Britt [mailto:email @ redacted] wrote:

> knowing what one man wil or will not do in order to save his job.

This is reminiscent of a line said by the President in The American
President (played by Michael Douglas): "I was so busy keeping my job that I
forgot to do my job."

There are a couple of interesting (IMHO) facts about human embryos that
impact stem cell research: human reproduction is inherently very wasteful -
less than one in four conceptions results in an implanted embryo, and most
implanted embryos do not survive to be become a fetus.  If every conception
resulted in a baby, we'd *REALLY* have a population growth problem with
probably an order of magnitude (or more) as many successful pregnancies.

Given these facts, most reproductive ethics experts consider a fertilized
egg, or even an early embryo to be a *possible* human being in that it is
really a blueprint for a human - but it is not yet human; an implanted
embryo is a *potential* fetus.  Theologically, many religions don't give the
attribute of personhood until some significant time after birth (for
example, Judaism generally considers a baby to be a person on the eighth day
- the day of circumcision for boys).

Arthur Caplan, biomedical ethicist brought these to light (at least the
numbers regarding embryos, fetuses, and pregnancies) on Fresh Air hosted by
Terry Gross.  You can listen to this interview by clicking on
http://search.npr.org/freshair/topicFA.cfm and clicking on Listen . . .

Jim Handsfield
email @ redacted OR
email @ redacted

The opinions expressed are mine and may not represent those of my wife who
runs our house and makes more important decisions than I do.
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