Tuesday, June 04, 2002

WHAT PASSES FOR ARGUMENT
This peice by Jennifer Rosato shows what passes for a pro-cloning argument.

There's absolutely nothing new here. Cloning research promises great advancement, banning cloning would be banning "science." Veterans of this debate have heard all this before.

She also uses the pro-cloner calling card -- trying to draw a distinction between "theraputic" and "reproductive" cloning. The first is good, the second is bad, and the pro-cloners would never dream of pushing for the second. That is, until research using embryos falls short, and they think they can achieve the cures if they let the embryos develop just a little more. We'll be asked, "Is this distinction worth a young girl's life?"

Of course left unanswered is the pro-life position, articluated in the opposing piece by Patricia Coll -- that thereaputic cloning neccesarily creates embryos that are destined for destruction. This adds a dimension to the already troublesome practice of IVF, where at least one embryo is slated for developement, and embryonic stem cell research, which uses existing embryos.

I also couldn't help but notice the bias in MSNBC's placement of the stories. Rosato's story is titled "The promise of research," and she is listed with several crednetials: "Jennifer L. Rosato is a professor of law at Brooklyn Law School and co-director of the Center for Health Law and Policy. She specializes in issues related to the intersection of family law and bioethics." Coll's piece is billed "Counting clones" and the only credential listed for her is that "Patricia Coll is congressional liaison for the National Right to Life Committee."

The subtext? "Normal" ethicists favor cloning. But only those "Right To Life" whackos oppose it. This depite the fact that Coll's pieceis much longer and more substansive that Rosato's piece.
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