Stem Cells, And The Abolition Of Man
By Harvey Dean
Former president of
Warren-Center Line Right to Life
In the beginning, God created the heavens and
the earth.......and God saw everything that He had made, and behold,
it was very good. Genesis, Chapter 1
are bioethics? What assumptions underlay it? What are bioethicists
seeking to accomplish?
The word itself--bioethics--suggests that its
practitioners are involved in a high minded moral undertaking. This
tends to deflect a close examination of a movement that is unraveling
reverence to God and respect for man. Springing from the seedbed of
Scientism, that movement's central premise is that Nature is not good,
it postulates, nor is it evil. It is simply accidental. It denies that
the universe is intelligently designed, and contends that whatever order
may be impressed upon it comes only as a consequence of the efforts of
man. In seeking to impress this metaphysical vision of reality on a
world stumbling about in confusion, the bioethicists follow the pattern
marked out by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes and his cohorts when they
dismissed the concept of natural law from our jurisprudential system and
replaced it with the concept of "legal positivism." That concept, too,
ousted God from the equation and underpinned human rights on shifting
sands of "positivism" - i.e. - whatever those in power decreed from time
to time as being law.
It is interesting to observe that the bioethicists have
chosen to use the same strategies that the desecrators of natural law
utilized in their successful campaign. One of those strategies, a
leading one, is a policy of incrementalism. If society is not ready for
acceptance of cloning of human beings, for example, they satisfy
themselves with extracting stem cells from living embryos, while all the
while campaigning to widen the range of societally acceptable
experiments upon human beings. They debate continuously, but the
inevitable result of such debates is ever more, never less, permissible
Another strategy they employ is to confound the English
language to further confuse the public. In this they are like the
eugenicists of the 1920's who, when noting the antagonism their
endeavors were sparking, stopped calling themselves "eugenicists" and
substituted words like "population control" and "family planning" to
evade public criticism. Today, Planned Parenthood spokesmen hotly
contest the clear fact that its founder, Margaret Sanger, called for the
sterilization of black women.
Still another strategy employed by the bioethicists is
to appeal to the "greater" good of the many at the expense of the
individual. Using this strategy, they appeal to the general public to
accept the killing of embryos and babies-in-utero so that their fetal
tissues may be extracted to help Alzheimers' patients. The Christian
concept of the Fundamental dignity of each human life is entirely
foreign to bioethicists.
In short, the very word "bioethicists" is an obscene
oxymoron. One is tempted to wonder who is occupying the Josef Mengele
chair in the Kennedy Institute of Bioethics.
The sad psuedo-science of bioethics was anticipated by
C. S. Lewis when he wrote in THE ABOLITION OF MAN, "What we call Man's
power over nature turns out to be a power exercised by some men over
other men with Nature as the instrument.....The man-molders of the new
age will be armed with the powers of an omnicompetent state and an
irresistible scientific technique. We shall get at last a race of
conditioners who really can cut out posterity in what shape they
please...... it is not that they are bad men. They are not men at
all.... They have stepped into the void. Nor are their subjects
necessarily unhappy men. They are not men at all. They are artifacts.
Man's final conquest has proved to be the abolition of man".
There is a practical reason for putting a spotlight on
this movement today. Congress passed a law prohibiting the use of
federal funds for stem-cell research. The National Institute of Health,
with ex-President Clinton's blessing, drafted guidelines that
interpreted the law to allow such research, so long as the embryonic
lives were taken in non-federally funded laboratories by privately
funded scientists and then transferred to government-run facilities.
Review of those guidelines is now underway by the Secretary of Health
and Human Services, Tommy Thompson. The final decision will come from
the White House.
Write President Bush to ask him to issue an executive
order banning federal funding of stem-cell research that involves the
killing of embryonic human beings. Furthermore, ask him to send a bill
to Congress that would criminalize such privately funded research. This
would not thwart the great good that is coming from stem-cell research.
Experiments using stem cells derived from umbilical cord blood and adult
organs and tissue are extremely promising. Moreover, they do not involve