Burying the lead, burying the real story

The New York Times specializes in it. Here it is down in the third paragraph:

[E]thical concerns relating to embryonic stem cell research had not surfaced in the latest procedure because it had used only the patient’s own stem cells. “This was not embryonic stem cell research,” he said in a telephone interview.

The headline on the story is “Pioneering Stem Cell Surgery Announced.”

These particular adult stem cells were taken from the patient’s own bone marrow. In fact, nearly all successful stem cell breakthroughs have come from using adult stem cells. In other words, the destruction of human embryos to get embryonic stem cells has been both unnecessary and a dead end.

The ethical question referred to in the above quote is the ethical question of destroying a human life, which is what a human embryo is, in order to do medical research. The even deeper ethical question is creating that human life in order to destroy it for medical research.

The Times article, of course, doesn’t explain any of that, especially the part about how successful research with adult stem cells has been. So successful in fact that the need for embryonic stem cell research has been vitiated.

But the Times will always continue to carry water for embryonic stem cell research, no matter the success of adult stem cell research. That’s because the Times is all signed up for the Brave New World of “bioethics,” where what is called “human exceptionalism” (essentially that human life is unique and exceptional and by its intrinsic nature distinctly superior to all other forms of life) is out the window, and there is certainly nothing special or sacred about it. Hence, the destruction of a human life at its embryonic stage, or the creation of a human life for medical research, is no problem.

Except that it is a problem, a very serious problem.

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