Frist Folly

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Senator Bill Frist

What’s the difference between an organ donor and a human embryo? The answer is life and death.

In fact, the difference between an organ donor and an embryo is radically significant, but apparently the Majority Leader of the Senate, Dr. Bill Frist who is himself a heart transplant surgeon, thinks they are basically the same thing. In his speech to the Senate Friday morning which called for more federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, he began by implying that using embryos for scientific research is the same thing as organ transplantation:

. . .when I remove the human heart from someone who is brain dead, and I place it in the chest of someone whose heart is failing to give them new life, I do so within an ethical construct that honors dignity of life and respect for the individual.

Like transplantation, if we can answer the moral and ethical questions about stem cell research, I believe we will have the opportunity to save many lives and make countless other lives more fulfilling.

There’s a big problem with this analogy: An organ donor is dead. An embryo is alive.

The strange thing is that Frist himself acknowledged this point. His statement on embryonic life is jaw-dropping:

Right now, to derive embryonic stem cells, an embryo — which many, including myself, consider nascent human life — must be destroyed.

Is it the adjective “nascent” that makes him believe it’s okay to destroy human life? Those are his very own words!

Then, as Senator Frist moved into discussing the specifics of the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act, he begins to sound positively Huxleyian — here’s a passage from Frist’s Brave New World:

Third, the bill doesn’t specify whether the patients or clinic staff or anyone else has the final say about whether an embryo will be implanted or will be discarded. [ed. — life or death] Obviously, any decision about the destiny of an embryo must clearly and ultimately rest with the parents.

The parents. Just ponder for a moment the use of this word. It is the right word to use. And oh, how sad.

Does Dr. Frist not understand how clearly he just articulated the so-called “pro-choice” agenda?

He certainly doesn’t want others to notice. He tried to paper it over:

I am pro-life. I believe human life begins at conception. It is at this moment that the organism is complete — yes, immature — but complete. An embryo is nascent human life. It’s genetically distinct. And it’s biologically human. It’s living.

But. He then follows with his call for expanding the research that requires the destruction of these living, “biologically human” “genetically distinct” embryos.

Senator Frist, that’s not pro-life. That’s “pro-life, but. . . ” There’s a big difference.

The difference is life, and death.

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ProLife Blogs has the debate covered beginning with Frist’s Position.

Bitch Ph.D. has a poem at Friday Pet Blogging,

Has it got a finger? Has it got a toe?

Not quite yet, it’s an em-bry-o.

Soon it will be glad to meet us,

But for now it’s just a fetus.

And be sure to read her posting on What it’s like to live with [suicidal] depression.

Visit the excellent horn tooting at Outside The Beltway at Traffic Jam

and while you’re there see My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy with more on radio personality Michael Graham and Islam

Thanks to Mudville Open Post

JustOneMinute has detail in Scuffle in the Big Tent.

The American Mind has blogosphere overview.

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7 Responses

  1. Frist Flip-Flop 2

    In our earlier post about Senator Frist’s change of position on embryonic stem cell research, we said, “It seems to us this is more akin to donating the organs of a deceased person than some Mengelian atrocity.”

    Charmaine Yoest disa…

  2. becca says:

    I am so disappointed with Senator Frist’s reversal on stem cell research. I understand the gut level, emotional desire to discover a cure for loved ones with diabetes and other difficult illnesses … but this is no reason to break through the moral/ethical barrier to tamper with human life … even destroy human life (with no voice) … for the sake of those with a voice. Thank you for your courage to speak truth.

  3. Don’t Hold Back, tell us how you really feel

    Now, I don’t like Senator Frist. For me, Senator Frist is the guy who snuck an amendment into the Patriot Act that insulates from lawsuits the company who makes thimerisol. He did this even though anti-terrorism vaccines like small pox and anthrax don’…

  4. Response to Charmaine –again

    UPDATE: Charmaine, rightfully took me to task over a comment I made in my post about Senator Frist. So, let me correct it.

  5. Kathryn says:

    I think Senator Frist has forgotten is that there is a difference between personally thinking something is a good idea and making a federal project out of it. Shame on him for that, too.

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